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Politics

Turkish-Cypriot Leader Says Greece, Cyprus Want Island Rule

NICOSIA – He has rejected reunification of the island split by two unlawful invasions in 1974 when Turkey occupied the norther third but Turkish-Cypriot leader said it’s really Greece that wants full control there.

In an interview with the Turkish daily Milliyet columnist Abdullah Karakuş, he said that “The real intention of Greece is to make Cyprus its 13th island,” after Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiade said it’s Turkey that wants to fully occupy the island.

Tatar told the paper that the Greek-Cypriot side that’s a member of the European Union wants full Greek sovereignty there, a premise that precipitated the invasion 48 years earlier, leaving the island divided.

“To them, full Greek sovereignty means unification with Greece. They have a mentality that one day this place will be unified with Greece. We are facing such an ideology,” he said.

“They’re violating international law in the Aegean. They are showing an aggressive approach. They are demonstrating militia behavior under the name of Hellenism, that would ruin the relations between the two countries,” Tatar said in an interview with daily Milliyet columnist Abdullah Karakuş.

“We will never fall for their games and traps. They should stop following vain hopes,” Tatar added, without mentioning that his side is isolated in the world and accepted only by Turkey.

While he said he will talk only about his demand that the United Nations recognized the occupied territory, he said he wants dialogue but won’t discuss anything other than his agenda.

In a poke, he said that Greece has never ruled Cyprus and that the island “was under the Ottoman Empire’s rule for more than three centuries, the 1974 invasion leaving a lasting division.

“The reality of two separate states has been going on for 60 years. But with economic blockade, it is aimed to make the Turks migrate. We have resisted the persecution. Despite all kinds of international difficulties, we will continue to fight,” he said.

The last round of talks fell apart at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana in July, 2017 when then Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said a 35,000-strong Turkish army wouldn’t leave.

They also demadned the right of further military intervention – invasion – when they wanted, which led Anastasiades to leave the table, the negotiations that included United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres collapsing.

 

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