Turkey was forced to fold over strong reactions it faced from members of the Organisation of Turkic States (OTS) after Ankara attempted to gain membership or observer status for the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state in the north.

Other member states of the organisation have assured the Cyprus foreign ministry of their opposition, a spokesman said on Friday.

In statements to CNA, spokesman Demetris Demetriou said that following contacts, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides had with counterparts from Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan – both members of the Turkic states group – and contacts the Cypriot ambassador Kypros Giorgallis had in Kyrgyzstan, it was established that Turkey faced strong reactions over their proposal.

This month, a declaration from the OTS stated that the organisation “consider Turkish Cypriots as part of the Turkic World and welcome TRNC’s OTS observer status”.

The ‘government’ in the north took this to mean recognition as a state.

In November, when the issue first arose, the Cyprus foreign ministry said the move was “meaningless”. It said the other member states of the organisation had refused to accept an unrecognised state as an observer whereupon Turkey then proposed changing the statute to include ‘entities’.

The fact that Turkey itself promoted and chose to accept the downgrading of the participation of the ‘TRNC’ to the status of ‘entity’ and not ‘state’, proved the obvious, the ministry said.

Demetriou said that Kasoulides was informed by his Uzbek and Kazakh counterparts that the proposal also needs to be ratified by all the countries that comprise the organisation. The organisation consists of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey and Uzbekistan.

The representatives of Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, hastened to reject any connection of the action in question as an act of recognition of the north, while they expressed full respect for the international legitimacy, sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of the Republic of Cyprus, he said.

Last week, the ambassador of Cyprus to Kyrgyzstan, Giorgallis, had contacts in the country, as part of a visit to the country held on the occasion of the presentation of credentials to the President Sadyr Japarov.

As announced by the foreign ministry, in the ambassador’s contacts with the foreign affairs minister and deputy minister in Kyrgyzstan, they discussed ways to further deepen relations both bilaterally and at the EU level.

Giorgallis raised with his interlocutors the issue of the recent decision of the Organisation of Turkic States at the Samarkand summit to grant “observer” status to the north and they assured him of the country’s adherence to the principles of international law and the relevant United Nations resolutions.