NEW YORK – He refuses to recognize the Greek-Cypriot legitimate government that’s a member of the European Union he wants his country to join, but Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the United Nations should recognize a rogue state seized in unlawful 1974 Turkish invasions.
That has seen Turkish-Cypriots occupying the northern third for almost 50 years and decades of diplomacy failing, leading Erdogan and Turkish-Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar to reject reunification.
They want a two-state solution with permanent partition and acceptance of the self-declared republic on the occupied side where Turkey keeps 35,000 troops Erdogan said will never leave there.
Speaking at the UN General Assembly annual opening in New York he repeated his insistence that the Turkish-Cypriot side should be seen as an independent state, recognized only by Turkey now in the world.
“We call for the international community to recognize the TRNC’s [sic] sovereignty and establish diplomatic, political, and economic ties with this country,” he said, using an acronym for the occupied, isolated side.
He also made note of an incident in the buffer zone in which Turkish-Cypriot forces attacked UN peacekeepers trying to prevent the building of a road into the neutral area.
Referring to the peacekeepers he said that, “We expect neutrality from the UN peace force on the island. We do not desire this body, whose reputation has already been damaged, to face a new reputational loss in Cyprus.”
The Turkish leader also referred to “our expectation from the European Union is that it quickly fulfills its commitments towards our country,” adding that “the indecisive attitudes” towards Turkey must end.
That was in reference to his renewed push for Turkey to join the 27-member state bloc in a process that began in 2005 and seen prospects worsen until his authoritarian government that also bars Cypriot ships and planes.
Cypriot President Nicos Christodoulides wants the EU to be involved in unity talks but Erdogan and Tatar have rejected at the same time as reaching out to the bloc’s leaders to accept the rogue state.