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Politics

Tatar Keeps Pushing Two Separate States on Cyprus, UN, World Recognition

The hardline leader of the Turkish occupied side of Cyprus, Ersin Tatar, said if the United Nations and world doesn’t recognize the self-declared republic that it will become even more reliant on Turkey.

Tatar, who has followed the line of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, rejected any idea of reunification that has been sought since two unlawful invasions by Turkey in 1974 seized the northern third of the island.

He told the British newspaper the Guardian from his offices by the UN-policed Green Line that separates the two sides that the only solution is for the world to accept the occupied side.

He has broken from previous policies by former leaders of the occupied territory to try to negotiate for reunification with the Greek-Cypriot legitimate government that’s a member of the European Union and said he wants the two sides to be permanently partitioned with equal rights.

He said a half century of failed talks, including the last round in July, 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana when the occupied side was led by a moderate, Mustafa Akinci, proves it’s “a waste of time” to keep bargaining.

He didn’t mention those talks collapsed when Akinci and Erdogan said a 35,000-strong standing army would never be removed and that they demanded the right of further military intervention when they wanted.

Tatar blamed the Greek-Cypriots for intransigence as the two-term 10-year rule of Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades is about to come to an end with elections to find a successor.

“Things have got worse. The Greeks refuse to share power. They think they are masters of this island and that it is a Greek-Hellenic Island. If we are to resume formal negotiations, we have to have our sovereign equality and status as an independent state recognized,” he said.

Turks represent less than 20 percent of the island’s population and earlier rejected Anastasiades’ offer to share 30 percent of potentially lucrative energy revenues with them after his government licensed foreign companies to drill.
Turkey responded by sending its own research vessels into parts of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in defiance of soft European Union sanctions that exempted Erdogan and were ignored.

HEED HIS WORDS

Tatar said: “Any deals made by Greek Cypriots with big petrol companies are absolutely illegal since they should have our consent as the co-founders of Cyprus,” he told the paper.

“If there is conflict, then exploitation of these billions of dollars’ worth of natural resources obviously comes with risks. We have our own maps. I have my own people, my own territory, my own coastline and my own right to make an agreement with other countries, and I have done this already with Turkey,” he said.

And, he warned menacingly that, “Where this is a source of conflict over billions of dollars of natural resources, it can lead in the future to unpleasant events,” he didn’t clarify although Anastasiades had said Turkey wants to take the whole island.
The newspaper noted that Tatar’s critics have already rejected permanent partition and two separate states and his entreaties to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who was at the Swiss debacle, weren’t even considered.

There are also worries, however, that Erdogan may decide to annex the occupied side and declare it part of Turkey, ahead of May 14 elections where he’s facing a challenge and could move to rally his zealous nationalist base.

Tatar admitted that could happen unless he gets what he wants, an ominous warning for the UN to accede to his demand for recognition, the occupied side isolated in the world.

“Obviously if there is no agreement, in the long run we will have more and more Turkish influence on the island because we will over time become more and more dependent on Turkey,” he said, which already provides at least 270 million euros ($293.56 million) annually in support.

A Turkey annexation could see the acquired territory tilt toward Islamification on an island where the Greek-Cypriot government has had some timid EU support.

Turks and Russians are pouring into the occupied area to gamble, although in a number of subterranean and all-night casinos operating in the basements of luxury hotels, the newspaper said.

Tatar said Turkey is the savior. Whenever we have been kicked around or suffered, Turkey always came to save us,” he said. “Turkey sacrificed her own children for our security. We feel part of the Turkish race,” and the invasion was to protect them.

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