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North not invited to Organisation of Turkic States summit

kazakhstan hosts summit of the organization of turkic states
Officials attend the Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Organization of Turkic States in Astana, Kazakhstan, November 3, 2023. Press Service of the President of Kazakhstan [REUTERS]

The north did not receive an invite to the 10th summit of the Organisation of Turkic States (OTS), despite its attempts to be admitted to the organisation as an observer member.

The OTS’ 10th summit began in Kazakhstan’s capital Adana on Friday, with the leaders of Kazakhstan, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Hungary, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan all present.

The north, therefore, was the only member or observer member of the OTS not to receive an invite to or be present at the summit, with its observer member status yet to be ratified by the parliaments of the OTS’ members.

Reacting to his exclusion from the summit, Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar blamed the “Greek Cypriot mentality”.

He said the Greek Cypriot side has “increased its efforts to ensure there is no improvement in the isolation imposed by the TRNC by all international organisations and countries in which they are unfairly and unlawfully members, including the European Union”.

“This malicious policy of the Greek Cypriot leadership continues intensively towards the OTS’ member states through the use of various channels, including threats. For these reasons, we could not attend this year’s summit,” he said.

Tatar was referring to the strengthening of relations between the Republic of Cyprus and Central Asian countries.

The Republic appointed a consul in Kazakhstan in September, with Cypriot Deputy Tourism Minister Kostas Koumis touting the possibility of direct flights between Cyprus’ and Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan’s Deputy Foreign Minister had also expressed his support for a bizonal, bicommunal solution to the Cyprus problem during his visit to the island in September.

Cyprus and Kyrgyzstan also signed a memorandum of understanding on political consultations between the two countries on the sidelines of the United Nations’ General Assembly in New York in September.

Despite the north’s non-inclusion at the summit, Cyprus was still a hot topic at the event, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaking at length about the island.

He pointed out that leaders present at the OTS’ 9th summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan had “unanimously granted observer member status” to the north and said the decision “showed everyone that the Turkish Cypriots were not alone.”

“It is our obligation to act in solidarity with the Turkish Cypriots, who are an integral part of the great Turkic family. I believe that at our next summit, we will see the TRNC among us as an observer member, as we have already decided,” he added.

He said he trusts the “astute leadership” of the OTS’ other member states on the matter.

His Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan also spoke about Cyprus, saying “we must stand together against the unfair and inhumane isolation imposed on the Turkish Cypriot people.

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