NICOSIA – The provocative statements from Turkish military officers continues relentlessly ahead of Turkey’s local elections. Among those who joined the ever-increasing chorus of high-level Turkish officials delivering controversial speeches was Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, who characterized the barbaric 1974 invasion of Cyprus as “The Turkish Era”. At the same time, Turkish Vice-President Fuat Oktay reiterated to the “Prime Minister” of the non-existing country of Northern Cyprus that Turkey’s stance for Cyprus is the same that it has been for the last 45 years. The two were at an event commermorating Turkish veterans of the Cyprus invasion.
Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, his speech, stated. ” history was written in Cyprus in 1974 by our heroes, our dead and you. We came late to Cyprus in November and December of 1974 in Cyprus. We came to Cyprus to help you all out, however you had already finished the job”.
Akar said that, ” with the mission in Cyprus, blood and tears were stopped from being shed”, adding,” Under the terms of guarantees, Turkey will protect the rights of the Turkish Cypriots and will not allow the creation of any fait accompli”.
The Turkish Defense Minister also mentioned that, ” In Cyprus, Turkey will continue to guarantee peace and safety, under the guidelines of alliance agreements and will defend its rights and interests”.
“In the Aegean, in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean, we are in favor of resolving all issues in the context of good neighborliness, peace and international law. However, we did not allow and we will not let in the future any fait accompli! Everyone needs to know that there is no chance that a decision will be agreed upon without the presence, approval and consent of Turkey”.
The Turkish Vice-President
While the provocations with Hulusi Akar were being aired publicly, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay also gave a speech at the same event in Ankara. Oktay was at the celebratory ceremony of the Turkish veterans of the 1974 invasion, assuring them that Turkey would continue to protect the rights of Turkish Cypriots. Specifically, Oktay said, “Whatever our attitude was 45 years ago (in Cyprus), it is still the same today”.
In the same ceremony, the “Prime Minister” of the non-existing country of Northern Cyprus, Tufan Erhurman, Turkish Defense Minister Halusi Akar and Turkish Labor Minister, Mehmet Muezzinoglu.
At the ceremony, the Turkish Vice President said that the Turkish veterans “fought for the prosperity and security of the Turkish Cypriots”, and today Turkish Cypriots are equal partners of the island. He said that whatever cost Turkey will always be on the side of Turkish Cypriots.
“Cyprus is our national cause, our goal is to ensure political equality, prosperity and security of the Turkish Cypriot people,” he said.
Fuat Oktay argued that the efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem have so far failed because of the “intransigence of the Greek Cypriots”.
The Turkish Vice-President said that Cyprus with its hydrocarbon sources has become a place of major attraction, adding that “there is an opportunity for these resources to increase prosperity on the island, but the Greek Cypriots do not want to share them.”
“We will not close our eyes and ignore the Turkish Cypriots, we will continue to protect their rights, whatever our attitude was 45 years ago, it is the same today. If we must pay a price, we are ready to pay”, he declared.