“Turkey has always endorsed a fair, permanent and comprehensive resolution of the Cyprus issue”
Evincing his pleasure to be visiting KKTC, President Erdoğan, pointing out that he is paying his first state visit to KKTC right after taking office, said he had conducted fruitful talks with President Eroğlu and the KKTC cabinet members with whom he noted they discussed the Cyprus issue. “The Turkish Cypriots have not been rewarded for their longlasting patience. We maintain our resoluteness; We believe in the saying ‘patience leads to salvation.’
“IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR US TO ACCEPT ANY UNFAIR PROJECTS”
The President, declaring that Turkey, from the beginning, has endorsed a fair, permanent and comprehensive resolution of the Cyprus issue and reiterated that “accepting unfair projects toward this issue would mean denying our history as a whole. As guarantor countries including Turkey, Greece and England, we all must demonstrate our sincere efforts toward the resolution. If some are trying to find any other guarantor country or organization, they are wasting their time.”
President Erdoğan reiterated that Turkey maintains its good will stance toward a resolution in the island and announced that Turkey’s aim is to carry the ongoing negotiation process to a point where simultaneous referenda can be held. The President further referred to their efforts to reach a decision for referenda during the term in office of the former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, saying that through the tireless efforts of Turkey with all its relevant officials and institutions, KKTC did their part during the meeting held in Burgenstock, but he noted the Greek side did the wrong thing and it almost undermined all Turkey’s efforts there.
TURKISH AND GREEK CYPRIOTS’ APPROACH TO REFERENDA
President Erdoğan later said he would share a historic fact with his audience, saying: “This is of great importance in terms of exposing who is sincere and who is not indeed. The EU told us that ‘we will take sides with the stance of KKTC as to the referenda.’ However, it has not taken the necessary steps in the financial and administrative process in this regard. It appeals to the UN Security Council. To make it worse, the EU admitted the Greek Cypriots into the club. At the time when they became a member of the EU, there were only 15 members in the club. After that, even their leaders said ‘this is a political verdict; otherwise, it is not that the Greek side was admitted into the club because it achieved the EU Acquis.’
The resolution of the Cyprus issue will benefit both parties in the island and greatly contribute to the peace, stability and prosperity in the whole region, declared the President, noting that such a resolution will make the Eastern Mediterranean an region of peace, stability and cooperation.
WATER PROJECT FOR KKTC
President Erdoğan further pointed to Turkey’s projects to carry the water of life to KKTC’s fertile land and predicted that in 2-3 months, the project to carry water from Turkey to KKTC will have been concluded and he also informed his audience that they will also provide KKTC with electricity soon, enabling it to enjoy a cleaner environment.
These projects, he reiterated, can be beneficial for the whole island as long as he said the Greek side affirmatively responds to the peaceful, heartfelt and sincere efforts of Turkey and KKTC toward a resolution. Turkey is determined to be one step ahead through its full cooperation with all the relevant countries and organizations including the UN, Greece, England and the US, noted the President.
“THE STATUS QUO CANNOT CONTINUE FOR GOOD”
President Erdoğan continued as follows: “The status quo cannot continue as it is permanently. Our common objective is that a permanent agreement which will ensure the equal status of the co-owners of the island, the Turkish Cypriots, must be achieved without further delay. To this end, we stand by the efforts being displayed by the Turkish Cypirots toward a resolution based on the established parameters of the UN such as new partnership which includes two founding states with bizonal, equal political equality and equal status. Our wish is that the efforts having been made since 2008 not be wasted. Everyone should undertsand that the current window of opportunity will not be open forever. No one has the right to stall the Turkish side and the international community by extending the UN process.”
President Erdoğan further underscored that they will not allow any effort to victimize the Turkish Cypriots, who he said explicitly demonstrated their will toward a reconciliation and partnership through many means including during the referenda held back in 2004. We will never allow the Turkish Cypriots to be a minority in a Greek Cypriot state in the island.
KKTC’S ECONOMIC GROWTH
Accentuating that Turkey is proud of the development and economic growth KKTC has achieved through Turkey’s contributons in recent years, President Erdoğan reiterated: “KKTC today is a modern and democratic state that has left 30 years behind and that can stand on its feet. It is necessary that while the steps are being taken to enhance the prosperity of the Turkish Cypriots, an understanding of a transparent, efficient, pro-active and accountable administration be dominant. It should be our common aim to double the national income per capita in KKTC by making it a center of attraction in the Eastern Mediterranean. Both the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot peoples have the resoluteness toward this objective.”
TURKEY’S SOLIDARITY WITH KKTC
As it has done so far, Turkey will continue to do its part to protect the legal rights of the Turkish Cypriots and to provide for their peace, prosperity, development and security, declared President Erdoğan, saying that developing and growing Turkey will always be in an unshakable solidarity with its Turkish Cypriot brothers and sisters.
Predicting that a brighter, more secure and more peaceful future is awaiting KKTC, President Erdoğan shared his happiness with the fact that many countries have sent 63.000 children to study at the universities of KKTC, as he said it demonstrates KKTC has become a center of attraction for these countries indeed.
The President further noted that the Cyprus issue has always been a priority on his agenda during international meetings he has attended and informed his audience that through the offices opened abroad, they are trying to forge KKTC’s infrastructure.
Piror to the press conference, President Eroğlu had introduced Prime Minister Özkan Yorgancıoğlu and his cabinet members to President Erdoğan.
After the press conference, President Erdoğan proceeded to the residence of the ambassador, where KKTC Parliament Speaker Sibel Siber introduced to the President the heads of the political parties represented in the parliament.