Celebrations to mark 40 years since the north unilaterally declared itself as the ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC)’ began there on Tuesday.

Ahead of the anniversary on November 15, Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar made a televised speech during which he hailed “the progress and development of the TRNC despite facing international embargoes and pressures.

“The TRNC is our honour and our dignity,” Tatar said, before accusing the Greek Cypriot side of “sabotaging all efforts for a just, permanent and sustainable solution to the Cyprus problem.

“The Turkish Cypriot side has consistently demonstrated sincerity and a desire for a solution, especially by accepting the Annan Plan,” he added.

Tatar also made reference to the “popular support received for the solution proposal based on two sovereign, equal and separate states” during the 2020 elections in the north.

He mentioned the support of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who, in his UN General Assembly speeches, called for global recognition of the ‘TRNC’ and an end to embargoes.

“The recent inclusion of the TRNC as an observer in the Organisation of Turkic States is a significant step towards international recognition,” Tatar said.

During the speech, he also praised the economic development of the ‘TRNC’ in areas such as information technology, agriculture, industry, and tertiary education, the opening of Varosha, and the operation of a new terminal at the airport in the north.

As part of the celebration, a Turkish Air Force aerobatic team is set to perform on Wednesday, with Turkish navy ships also set to dock at ports in the north.

In addition, TRT World, the English-language television channel of the Turkish public broadcasting corporation, is set to broadcast a six-episode documentary series titled The Forefront Cyprus to mark the anniversary.

According to the north’s press, the documentary will include never-seen-before footage filmed in the buffer zone.

Meanwhile, students in the Republic will hold protests against the establishment of the ‘TRNC’ across Cyprus.

Protests will take place in the morning in Nicosia, Larnaca, Limassol and Paphos from 11am.