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25 November, 2020
 
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Tatar goes to Ankara with clean slate

Newly-elected Turkish Cypriot leader says Greeks never saw Turks as equals

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Newly-elected Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar is visiting Ankara on Monday, following his first tell-all interview with Turkish media after being sworn into office.

Tatar is scheduled to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on Monday, with reports saying the Turkish Cypriot leader is also expected to have a get-to-know meeting with his Greek Cypriot counterpart, President Nicos Anastasiades, sometime in November.

Greek Cypriot politicians have expressed concern over Tatar’s election, whose victory over federalist Mustafa Akinci signaled new challenges in peace talks on the Cyprus Problem.

"There are two separate peoples, two separate states in Cyprus. We continue to tell the whole world about it," Tatar said in his interview with Anadolu Agency.

'There are two separate nations, two separate states in Cyprus. We keep telling the whole world about it'

Tatar, who sees UN-backed talks on a federal settlement “unrealistic” to reunify the divided island, accused the Greek Cypriots of blocking Turkish Cypriots from achieving diplomatic recognition, with the newly-elected leader vowing to “overcome embargoes, isolation, and restrictions.”

"It's against human rights to still not have direct flights," Tatar said.

The Turkish Cypriot leader also said he would work closely with Ankara while also accusing the government administration of the Republic of Cyprus in the south of “failing to negotiate” with Turkish Cypriots in the north over the issue of hydrocarbons.

"Because the Greeks never saw the Turks as equal,” Tatar said, adding that “now, the Turkish Cypriots should stand up for a new future.”

Nicosia and UN officials reportedly have been aiming to resume negotiations on a federal-track agenda, with political pundits cautioning that Tatar’s election was a paradigm shift in the Cyprus talks since they began half a century ago.

But former Cypriot foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides said Tatar’s election would not change Ankara’s stance on the Cyprus Problem, while also clarifying disagreements between Turkish Cypriots and Turkey would have been more public had Akinci won, as the former leader would have had a stronger public mandate to stand firm on some issues.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  Turkish  |  Cypriot  |  Greek  |  north  |  Tatar  |  Erdogan  |  politics  |  Ankara  |  Nicosia  |  Anastasiades  |  Kasoulides  |  UN  |  Cyprus Problem

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