Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday evening that “time will prove what a big mistake the European Union made by punishing the Turkish Cypriots.”

Erdogan was speaking following a cabinet meeting, and said the EU had “broken its promises” to the Turkish Cypriots.

“Despite all the injustice we were subjected to, we maintain our will for a fair and permanent solution,” he said, adding that such a solution will be achieved by “confirming the equal sovereignty and equal international status of the Turkish Cypriots.”

Congratulating the north on the 40th anniversary of its unilateral declaration of independence on November 15, he said “once again, I remember with gratitude Dr Fazil Kucuk, who devoted his life to the Cypriot cause, and the founding President Rauf Raif Denktash.”

Speaking about modern relations between Turkey and the north, he said “with the steps we are taking in every field, from energy to security, from defence to infrastructure, investments, we are ensuring that the economic, commercial, and human ties between the motherland and the baby homeland are strengthened ever further.”

Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan made similar statements regarding Cyprus at the Turkish Parliament’s budget committee on Monday evening.

Fidan said “the key to a fair, permanent and sustainable solution … is the ratification of the inherent rights of the Turkish Cypriot people, their sovereign equality and their equal international status.

“If there is to be a negotiation, it will be between two states, not between two communities, and the status of both sides will have to be equalised before they sit around a negotiating table,” he added.