"If not today, if not tomorrow, later, the recognition of the 'TRNC' will surely come," Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar said, adding that Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has always put the issue on the international agenda. Ersin Tatar reiterated that they will not enter into talks on a federation as in the past and that they are satisfied with the statement of the UN Secretary-General that there is no common ground at the moment.
He claimed that they did the right thing for Varosha and said that so far 400 Greek Cypriots have applied for the return of their property.
In an interview with the Anadolu news agency, the Turkish leader said that "we have promoted a policy with the full support of Turkey for the acceptance of two separate sovereign equal states in Cyprus so that we can enter the formal negotiation process."
If not today, if not tomorrow, this recognition will surely come later...there is a reality that there are two separate states, peoples and cultural structures in Cyprus, no one can deny this reality
He reiterated that they would not enter into federation talks as in the past. "We have been negotiating the federation model for 50 years and no results have been achieved," he said. The UN Secretary-General also sees that without the acceptance of the principles of two equal sovereign states and an equal international regime in Cyprus, there will be no common ground and therefore no formal negotiation or process can begin, further Tatar said. "Mr. Guterres, although he tries to be impartial, is pleased with the fact that he has confirmed that there is no common ground at the moment," he said.
He went on to say that co-operation is important so that "two peoples" can live side by side, adding that this could be in areas such as health, forensics, the environment and energy. As he said, there are many people who work in the bi-communal committees, who cooperate with the Greek Cypriot community on issues that may affect daily life, saying that they support this. However, he claimed, the Greek Cypriots do not sincerely support the work of the bi-communal committees as much as the Turkish Cypriots do.
A sovereign "TRNC" is important for Turkey's security
The Turkish Cypriot leader argued that the essence of the Cyprus problem is based on the "sharing of sovereignty", adding that our sovereignty is at least as legitimate as that of the Greek Cypriots. "Our arguments are that we are as sovereign as they are."
The Greek Cypriots, he claimed, "want to drag us into the EU as a single sovereign state. The solution they want to impose over time is to dominate the weaker north. This is something we will never accept. Turkey will not allow it anyway. As a result, the security and existence of the Turkish Cypriots are of course very important for the Turkish people, moreover, the continuation of the Turkish Cypriot state as a sovereign state is important for the security of Turkey as well."
Ersin Tatar said that the Greek Cypriot side insisted on a single point of sovereignty, adding that the Greek Cypriots "dream of integrating the Turkish Cypriots into the Republic of Cyprus, leaving behind their own state."
Regarding the withdrawal of US support for the EastMed pipeline in the eastern Mediterranean, Ersin Tatar said: "When you look at the details of EastMed, the distance and the cost, it was obvious that this would be the case, whether it would be a feasible project ".
In the event of an agreement in Cyprus, Turkey is only 40 miles from here, he continued. "The possibility of achieving it would also be much more substantial. All hydrocarbons can be transported to the EU via Turkey. "It was up to the Americans and others to see that the EastMed project is not feasible."
For Varosha, Ersin Tatar claimed that "they are within the borders of the TRNC, the gradual opening process began in October 2020, after 46 years". He claimed that with this they sent a message to the whole world that "the game has changed. Cyprus and the Turkish side have developed a new vision."
He argued that the opening of Varosha had benefited both the economy and tourism in the occupied territories. At the same time, he said, "it gives Greek Cypriots the right to apply through the Real Estate Commission for the return of their properties, eliminating human rights injustices."
Ersin Tatar said that in the last year and a half, investments had been made in infrastructure and major cleaning projects in Varosha, adding that despite the epidemic, almost 400 thousand people had visited the open parts of the city so far.
According to him, there are more than 400 Greek Cypriot applications for Varosha. "The Greeks have submitted new applications to the Commission, but there is too much pressure from the Greek Cypriot side calling on them to be careful and not to apply. Also telling the applicants their actions would increase the legitimacy of the TRNC. There is pressure in the form of oppression."
Tatar went on to say that some of the applicants could settle down in the area while others would probably sell and that "it depends on the rights they have on their land. The Administration of the Cyprus Vakufia (which are property donations made by believers for religious reasons to Allah) also has historical rights in Varosha".
Ersin Tatar said 3.5% of Varosha had been opened so far and had been converted from a military to a civilian area, adding that initiatives would continue over time.
On the recognition of the pseudo-state
Ersin Tatar stated, "the TRNC has contacts with people from all parts of the world. Students and tourists from more than 100 different countries come to the TRNC".
The TRNC also indirectly trades with more than 100 countries even though they are not officially recognized.
"Over time, we will try to increase our relations with the whole world by launching a bigger campaign to gain more acceptance and to prove that the Turkish people are also right in demanding the recognition of our human rights," he added.
"Turkey has always been with us in this struggle. President Tayyip Erdogan has always put our issue on the agenda of international public opinion and this is a great opportunity for us. If not today, if not tomorrow, this recognition will surely come later. Because there is a reality that there are two separate states, peoples and cultural structures in Cyprus, no one can deny this reality," said Ersin Tatar.