Turkish Cypriot leader lauds Erdoğan over call for int’l recognition of TRNC

The president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) on Wednesday praised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan over his speech at the U.N. General Assembly calling for international recognition of the TRNC.

Remarks by the Erdoğan at the 76th U.N. General Assembly in New York served as the voice of the TRNC, state-run Anadolu news agency cited Ersin Tatar as saying.

"Erdoğan became our strength… we would like to thank him,’’ Tatar said.

In his speech on Tuesday, the Turkish leader said Turkish Cypriots were the co-owners of the ethnically divided Island, adding that a solution on the Cyprus issued called for recognition of the “equality and equal international status of the Turkish Cypriot people.”

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey intervened after a brief Greek Cypriot coup orchestrated by the military junta then ruling Greece. Turkey justified its intervention by citing its rights to protect Turkish Cypriots, but the island has remained divided between the internationally recognised Republic of Cyprus and the TRNC, which is only recognised as a state by Turkey.

"Greek Cypriot leader (Nicos) Anastasiades, who will speak at the U.N. General Assembly, will surely repeat his known views and propaganda on the Turkish side and against Turkey,’’ Tatar said. 

Numerous diplomatic efforts to reunify the Mediterranean island have failed, most notably in April 2004, when Greek Cypriots rejected a U.N. reunification plan in a referendum despite Turkish Cypriot support.

The latest Cyprus talks held informally in Geneva in April were inconclusive due to the "intransigent attitude of the Greek side, detached from the facts on island," according to Erdoğan.

Erdoğan on Tuesday also pointed out that it was ‘’unfair’’ for Anastasiades to address the assembly while Tartar could not ‘’make his voice heard’’ on the same platform.

The Turkish leader also spoke on the east Mediterranean, where Turkey has been odds with both Cyprus and Greece over hydrocarbon resources.

“The continuation of the calm environment in east Mediterranean is in our common interest. We hope that the problems regarding maritime boundary delimitation will be resolved within the framework of international law and good neighbourly relations,” Erdoğan said. 

Greece and Cyprus have long disagreed with Turkey on overlapping claims on hydrocarbon resources in the region, with both sides holding conflicting views of how far their continental shelves extend in the waters.

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