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Tatar: “no common ground” between Cyprus’ sides

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File photo: Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York (Photo: UN)

Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar said on Wednesday there is “no common ground” between Cyprus’ two sides.

“The isolations, embargoes, and restrictions imposed on the Turkish Cypriot people must be lifted,” he said, speaking at Ercan (Tymbou) airport ahead of his trip to New York to meet United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

“The Turkish Cypriot people were pressured to find a solution which was imposed on them, but the world has now learnt that this will not be the case,” he said.

Earlier, he had spoken to Kibris, saying “as an equal founding partner of the Republic of Cyprus, we are also sovereign and have the right to establish a state.

The Republic of Cyprus has been turned into the Greek Cypriot Republic. Since our genuine goodwill and initiatives were exhausted in the search for a federal solution after 1974, we have now started a new process.”

He also made reference to the UN Security Council’s resolution 186, which referred to the 1964 Cypriot administration devoid of its constitutionally mandated Turkish Cypriot representatives as the “Republic of Cyprus”, and the Annan plan referendum in 2004, which would have reunified the island but was voted down by Greek Cypriots.

“The Turkish Cypriot side has not got any results despite making all kinds of sacrifices,” he said on the subject. “Promises were made that embargoes would be lifted after the Annan plan, but these promises were not kept.”

Greek Cypriots “are waiting for Turkey to give up,” he added.

“Their aim is to eliminate the TRNC and to extend their sovereignty to the north over time. They want zero soldiers and zero guarantees. Since Turkey is not in the European Union and a federal Cyprus would be, their aim is for Turkey to withdraw its soldiers from here and thus bring an end to the Turkish Cypriots,” he said.

He also underlined what he sees as the importance of Turkey’s presence on the island as a guarantor power, saying “who would have thought that this would one day happen in Ukraine? One day, it could happen here, too.”

“If Turkey pulls out of Cyprus and Turkish soldiers leave, then no army can come here. In this sense, the presence of the Turkish army here and its status as a guarantor power acts as a guarantee for both us and the Greek Cypriots,” he said.

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