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Tatar travels to Turkey

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Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar

Turkish Cypriot Leader Ersin Tatar travelled to Ankara on Tuesday.

Before departing for Turkey from Ercan (Tymbou) airport, he spoke to reporters about the invite extended to him by Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev the previous day to attend the next informal summit of the Organisation of Turkic States (OTS) in Azerbaijan in July.

He said the invitation “made us happy”, and that “the TRNC’s increased visibility and involvement in the international community is giving strength to our new political strategy” of a two-state solution to the Cyprus problem.

For this, he thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Ilham Aliyev for their help and said the north’s observer status in the OTS was “unanimously accepted” during a previous summit in Uzbekistan, though it has not yet been ratified by member states’ parliaments.

“The TRNC is already represented by ministers, institutions, and organisations within the OTS as an observer, and we will take part as the TRNC in July’s meeting,” he said.

He noted that there will be “international pressure” placed on Azerbaijan in the lead up to July’s summit and added that “the South will increase its initiatives” in this regard.

However, he said, “Aliyev is always with us, and attaches a great importance to Turkic unity.”

With this in mind, he said that “it is important for the future that the TRNC is included in the OTS. An independent Turkic state, the TRNC, will take its place in this union, even if it is a small state, and the TRNC will take its place [in the international community] just as the South has.”

Aliyev had extended the invite to Tatar during a meeting with Erdogan on Tuesday. He said he plans to hold an unofficial summit of the OTS in July in the town of Shusha.

“The president of the TRNC will attend the summit to be held in Shusha upon my invitation. This will accelerate the unity of the Turkic people,” he said.

“The unification of the Turkic world and the coexistence of peoples with common cultures will strengthen the power of each OTS member.”

Earlier in the day government spokesman in the Republic Konstantinos Letymbiotis said “once again we will take all necessary steps through all available channels”, even though this is an informal meeting.

He recalled the corresponding actions taken by the government in November 2023 regarding the summit in Kazakhstan, “where in the end, due to these steps, the pseudo-state did not finally attend.”

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