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Cyprus

Tatar speaks out on UN peacekeeper’s buffer zone ‘punch’

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Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar has said he will “defend the rights of the Turkish Cypriots to the end” in reaction to a “punch” thrown by a UN peacekeeper at a Turkish Cypriot soldier in Nicosia on Monday.

Speaking to Turkish television, Tatar said the Turkish Cypriot side “does not welcome the misbehaviour” of the soldier, and said the UN launched its investigation into the matter after the Turkish Cypriot side lodged a complaint.

In the same interview, Tatar said that UN actions regarding the planned road between the buffer zone village of Pyla and Arsos in the north “cast a shadow over the UN’s impartiality”.

He added that the UN “has turned a blind eye to the construction of roads, houses, universities, and shopping malls in the buffer zone” by the Greek Cypriot authorities.

“They stand by and watch the efforts of the Greek Cypriot administration to take the buffer zone into its own territory”, he said.

Additionally, he said “in a way, the UN is responsible for the Cyprus problem, with the unilateral recognition of the Makarios government … as the Republic of Cyprus, which excluded the Turkish Cypriots from the Republic of Cyprus with Security Council resolution 186 on March 4, 1964”.

He said, “the authorities of the Republic of Turkey, especially President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, are on the side of the Turkish Cypriots”, and that Turkey supports the political stance of the Turkish Cypriot side.

He also reiterated his belief in a two-state solution to the Cyprus problem and said, “the integration of the Turkish Cypriots into the Greek Cypriot Republic would be unacceptable”.

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