Turkey Objects to Keeping UN Peacekeepers on Cyprus Again

July 29, 2020

Although it's been done routinely every six months for decades, Turkey's Foreign Minister denounced the United Nations Security Council for extending the mandate of a peacekeeping force on divided Cyprus as it always does.

The ministry said extending the mandate for six months, unanimously adopting Resolution 2537 (2020) without the consent of Turkish-Cypriots is against the rules and principles of the UN, going through the motions of objecting.

The United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) needs to make a legal arrangement with Turkish-Cypriot authorities regarding its presence on the island, it said, Turkey's state-run Anadolu News Agency said.

Turkey, the only country that recognizes its self-declared republic on the island where the northern third was seized in an unlawful 1974 invasion, claimed that UNFICYP is allowed there only because of the good graces of the occupied side.

The Turkish-Cypriots and Turkey's government want a say in the licensing of foreign companies to drill for oil and gas in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the legitimate government, a member of the European Union that Turkey has been trying unsuccessfully since 2005 to join.

Turkey's ministry said that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who failed to broker reunification when talks collapsed in July, 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana, reported Cypriots won't recognize Turkish-Cypriots.

The ministry didn't note that Turkey refuses to recognize Cyprus and its its ships and planes and talks fell apart when Turkey and Turkish-Cypriots said they would never remove a 35,000-strong army and wanted the right of further military intervention.

The UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus was established under the UNSC in 1964 to avert a fight between the Greek-Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots which didn't work in 1974 when the invasion was allowed to happen.

UNFICYP has routinely and automatically been renewed every six months for decades although there’s not been a hint of trouble along the Green Line that divides the capital if Nicosia, despite fears there could be a conflict again over Turkish drilling for energy in Cypriot sovereign waters, still going on.


Hoping to restart stymied Cyprus unity talks, the European Commission has proposed offering Turkey - which invaded the island in 1974 - inducements to help bring the island back together.

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