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Politics

Erdogan Demands World Recognize Turkish-Occupied Side of Cyprus

After talks aimed at reunifying Cyprus fell apart when he insisted on two separate states and permanent partition, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeated his demand the world accept a self-declared republic on the northern third of the island seized in an unlawful 1974 invasion.

"If there are to be new talks on Cyprus, these should no longer be between the two communities, but between the two states," Erdoğan said, reported the pro-government newspaper The Daily Sabah.

United Nations informal, non-binding talks in Geneva, Switzerland were held in April bringing together the two sides, including the legitimate Greek-Cypriot government that's a member of the European Union along with the three guarantors of security: Turkey, Greece and the United Kingdom.

They fell apart almost instantly after Erdogan and Turkish-Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar, a hardline nationalist who said he would follow Erdogan blindly, said they would talk only about two states – as they had said before the talks.

Erdoğan blamed the latest debacle on what he said was due due to the "intransigent attitude of the Greek side, detached from the facts on the island,” without mentioning Turkey doesn't recognize Cyprus and bars its ships and planes.

Decades of discussions about the Cyprus dilemma have gone nowhere and Erdogan and Tatar said two states is the only solution although it would allow Turkey to keep a 35,000-strong standing foreign army in an EU country.

"As Turkey, we have fully supported the proposals made in Geneva by the Turkish-Cypriot side under the leadership of my dear brother, Mr. (Ersin Tatar). On this occasion, I would like to congratulate Mr. President Tatar on his leadership in Geneva and his determined stance," said Erdoğan.

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, who said he wouldn't talk as long as Turkey keeps drilling for oil and gas in Cypriot waters, broke that pledge to go to Geneva but when the meeting disintegrated said it was aimed at Turkey trying to get recognition for an occupied territory no one else in the world accepts.

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