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16 June, 2024
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President denies plans to visit Ankara after Erdogan's offer

Erdogan's invitation: Diplomatic gesture or trap?

Yiannis Ioannou

Yiannis Ioannou

President Christodoulides put an end to the DISY-government-opposition political confrontation from Brussels, in response to a report in the newspaper "Truth" which, citing sources, referred to an invitation by Turkish President, Tayyip Erdogan, to the President of the Council of Europe - on the sidelines of the brief, informal meeting between the two in the framework of the Climate Summit (COP 28) in Dubai.

The report created a buzz against the backdrop of DISY and the Presidency, and the convening of the National Council with a letter from Anita Demetriou to which the government spokesperson responded in writing.

The President denied this: "The management of the Cyprus problem needs seriousness and certainly does not lend itself to communication or other purposes or to serve other purposes. Of course, if I have an invitation from Mr Erdogan, I will visit him. Of course, if there is a possibility of a meeting with Mr Erdogan, I will seek it.

I have conveyed this readiness to him and through third parties," President of the Republic Nicos Christodoulides said in his statements upon his arrival for the European Council meeting in Brussels - denying the existence of an invitation from Ankara to the RoC and the President himself.

Earlier, Deputy Government Spokesman, Yannis Antoniou, had clarified that there is a gap between the interest of President Christodoulides to visit Ankara and the official invitation from the Turkish Presidency to do so.

As "K" is in a position to know, an official invitation from Turkey to the Republic of Cyprus and especially to the President presupposes a specific -protocol-based- procedure and, in addition, recognition of the Republic of Cyprus (as a de jure state entity) by Ankara -a reality that has not changed since Turkey still does not recognize the existence of the Republic of Cyprus.

It is worth noting that in 2014, Erdogan, informally, had also conveyed the idea of a visit by President Anastasiades (with a simultaneous visit by the TC leader to Athens) without ever extending an official invitation -and therefore recognition of the RoC- for such a visit.

Tensions have risen: The report of "Truth" had clear political implications, raising the oppositional tones both in the DISY-Presidential axis and in relation to AKEL.

Initially, the letter of DISY President Anita Demetriou, where she focused on issues of information on the Cyprus problem and the convening of the National Council -which was answered by the Presidential Council and, subsequently, the follow-up came from AKEL, always with the National Council as an axis (having essentially been calling for consultation on developments in the buffer zone and the Cyprus problem since November 30th and speaking of leaks to the media).

What "K" understands is that the issue of an official invitation has not been raised, while individual issues are shaping the Cyprus problem - as a long-standing issue of political confrontation in Cyprus between parties, government and opposition - on the occasion of the slight mobility that the new UN Secretary General's special envoy's arrival after January.

Finally, over time, the National Council has also become a field of micro-political confrontation between the political parties in Cyprus, both in relation to the subject of discussion within it and the periodicity of its meetings.

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

Cyprus  |  president  |  Erdogan  |  Turkey  |  invitation

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