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‘EU is part of the Cyprus problem’

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Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar

Turkish Cypriot Leader Ersin Tatar slammed the European Union on Friday following the release of the EU-Turkey report on Wednesday.

“The EU has become a prisoner of the Greek Cypriot administration, which it unilaterally accepted as a member on May 1, 2004, contrary to the criteria for full membership, and has been a spokesperson for the Greek Cypriot leadership … since that date,” Tatar said.

The report had called on Turkey to “reaffirm a commitment to UN-led settlement talks on the Cyprus issue, in line with the UN Security Council resolutions.”

It added, “Turkey is expected to actively support the negotiations on a fair, comprehensive, and viable settlement of the Cyprus issue within the UN framework, in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and in line with the principles on which the EU is founded and the EU acquis.”

But Tatar said “despite the uncompromising attitude of the Greek Cypriot leadership, the Turkish Cypriot side has put forward a new and realistic vision for a solution to ensure that the Cyprus problem, which has been ongoing for 60 years, reaches a fair and permanent compromise”.

Reaffirming his commitment to a two-state solution, he added: “a solution in Cyprus can only be found on the basis of a new and formal negotiation process and the cooperation of the two states, which can only be initiated after the ratification of our sovereign equality and equal international status.

“Other parties, including the EU, which insist on repeatedly failed and exhausted processes only serve to maintain the status quo. With its current attitude, the EU is a part of the Cyprus problem, and it is out of the question for it to take any role in a possible process regarding the Cyprus problem,” he said.

He went on to say that the Turkish Cypriot side has never shied away from dialogue and cooperation, and has constantly put forward suggestions to initiate a relationship based on cooperation between the two sides.

In addition, he spoke about his proposal regarding cooperation between the two sides on the issue of irregular migration, saying “the Greek Cypriot side has not touched our proposal for cooperation and this much is obvious, but the report has portrayed this fact in a way which blames the Turkish side.

“This is the most striking indicator of how far from the truth this report is,” he added.

Speaking on the issues of Varosha and hydrocarbons, he said the EU “is encouraging the Greek Cypriot side to pursue empty dreams,” adding that “Varosha is in the territory of the TRNC.

“There are two separate states on the island of Cyprus, which have borders, separate leaderships, and separate administrative mechanisms. The TRNC will celebrate the 40th anniversary of its independence this year,” he said.

He added, “the Greek Cypriot leadership and its supporters, who try to prevent us from establishing relations with the international community at every turn, should never have a say in which organisations or international union our state can join.”

Concluding, he said “the EU must immediately lift the unfair isolation it is imposing on the Turkish Cypriot people and not be a tool or a middleman in efforts, blackmail and threats to prevent the Turkish Cypriots from making their voices heard.”

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