In a message to mark 38 years since the unilateral declaration of independence in the north, Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar on Sunday said the people there live in their own country under their own state, and as such it should not be abandoned.
The declaration of the ‘Turkish Republic of Cyprus’ was made on November 15, 1983.
In a speech on Sunday Tatar said there have been two states in Cyprus since 1964, when the ‘general committee of the Turkish Cypriots was created, which was “the first step on the road for a separate state”.
He also reiterated his position for a “fair, permanent and viable solution” in Cyprus based on there being two equal states. “My expectation and hope is for the Greek Cypriot side to accept the facts and approach our proposal for a solution,” he said.
He added that he does not intend to take a step back from his suggestion which he has already outlined.
Even if the ‘TRNC’ has not been recognised it is still a reality, he said. “It exists and it will continue to exist. And our biggest power is the motherland Turkey”.
He said that whatever rights the Greek Cypriots have in Cyprus so do the Turkish Cypriots, before accusing the former of trying to turn Cyprus into a Greek island.
Referring to the Varosha Initiative, Tatar repeated the opening of part of the fenced in area is a boost for tourism and the economy.
On July 20, 3.5 per cent of Varosha was rezoned from a military area and Greek Cypriot owners of property there were encouraged to apply to the property commission to return.
And while 400 people have applied to do so the “Greek Cypriot administration” at every turn tries to stop them, Tatar said. “But whatever they do they cannot prevent the opening of the closed areas of Varosha”.
On hydrocarbons, Tatar said “a great struggle continues to purchase energy resources”, and spoke of the “Greeks, Greek Cypriot and imperialist forces” that are trying to eradicate the north and “remove motherland Turkey from the region” in order to keep the resources for themselves.
He said in this way the Greek Cypriot side was trying to build up tension in the area but warned it not to expect “us to remain spectators”.