Turkish-Cypriots Celebrate Their Solitary Republic No One Recognizes

(AP Photo/Petros Karadjias, FILE)

Turkish-Cypriots on Nov. 15 will mark the 35th anniversary of declaring the occupied territory that Turkey seized in an unlawful 1974 invasion as a Republic, although no other country in the world recognizes them.

Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, who had reached out to Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades to try to reunify the island before talks collapsed in July, 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana, said his side would rejoice anyway.

The Turkish-Cypriots will hold a military parade as Turkey keeps a standing 30,000-strong army in the occupied land and said it would never be removed, a key reason for the reunification talks collapsing, along with Akinci and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan demanding the righte to militarily intervene again when they want.

Akinci, in statements to the Turkish Anatolia News Agency, said the intercommunal strife, which broke out in Cyprus in December 1963, signalled the beginning of the end of the fledgling Cyprus Republic established in 1960.

But it was not until after 1974 that Turkish Cypriots were given the opportunity to live together in one place he said without mentioning it was done by confiscating lands and homes and properties that didn’t belong to them.. “In all this… we felt the close interest and support of Turkey,” he said, which does recognize the self-declared Republic.

Akinci said the Turkish-Cypriot side would never stop trying for a lasting peace on the island but that Greek-Cypriots should try to “digest the concept of political equality” in a Federal solution.

Akinci said he had evaluated the “distorted interpretations” and the “wrong messages” coming from the other side and regretted it even as United Nations Special Envoy Jane Holl Lute has been trying to reboot the talks and meeting with both sides.

“The land of this island and the wealth in the seas are enough for everyone. All sides will gain from cooperation, agreement and peace. The relations between Turkey and Greece will also be improved in time. The stability in the area will also gain from this. The Eastern Mediterranean will stop being tense and will become a sea of peace and stability,” he said.