Erdogan to use TRNC visit to promote religious, nationalist platform
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has plans to make a visit to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) this month to promote a religious, nationalist platform, Greek daily Ekathmerini reported on Wednesday.
Citing sources with knowledge of the upcoming trip, Erdogan will be making this trip to the TRNC to coincide with the anniversary of the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus and the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha. Accompanying Erdogan will be a large delegation of ministers, Justice and Development Party (AKP) officials, and his coalition partner Devlet Bahceli, the head of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
The report did not offer more specifics as to what Erdogan planned to push during his TRNC visit, but it said it was expected that he may declare Ankara’s plans for the resort town of Varosha, the fenced-off southern quarter of the city of Famagusta, and an announcement about the establishment of a base for Turkish military drones.
Erdogan and his ally, TRNC president Ersin Tatar, have adopted a hard-line position on Cyprus that demands a two-state solution for the island. The United Nations, European Union and the United States all oppose this insistence, which has complicated negotiations to end the nearly half century division of Cyprus.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 following a Turkish invasion that followed a coup supported by Greece's military junta. The invasion was waged in the name of protecting Turkish Cypriots from the new Greek Cypriot government that came to power.