ATHENS – Turkey’s insistence that the United Nations and world recognize the occupied northern third of Cyprus – made during the anniversary of the self-declared Turkish-Cypriot republic – has brought condemnation from Greece.
Along with Turkey and the island’s former colonial ruler the United Kingdom, which still has military bases there, Greece is a guarantor of security and the UN has peacekeepers there as well.
The island was split after two unlawful Turkish invasions in 1974 and no other country in the world apart from Turkey recognizes the seized territory while the legitimate Greek-Cypriot side is a member of the European Union.
Mustafa Sentop, Turkey’s Parliament Speaker, reiterated the demand by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish-Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar for the UN to accept two states and give up the idea of reunification.
“Today it has become clear that a solution in Cyprus will only be possible with two equal and sovereign states,” he told an audience in Lefkosa, as the Turkish part of the Cypriot capital, Nicosia, said the site Al-Monitor.
“We will not turn from this path. We will never allow Turkish Cypriots, who are an essential element of the island, to be a minority in their homeland. We will make the whole world accept that the Turkish-Cypriot people are as sovereign and equal as Greek Cypriots,” he reportedly said.
Greece condemned the suggestion of a permanently divided Cyprus as “unacceptable” and one that “undermines all efforts to resume negotiations for resolving the Cyprus issue in the framework of UN resolutions.”
The last round of reunification talks collapsed in July, 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana when Erdogan and then Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said they would never remove a 35,000-strong standing army and also wanted the right of further invasion.