Turkish-Cypriot Leader Waffles Over UN Special Envoy Appointment

September 27, 2023

NICOSIA – After saying he wouldn’t accept it, Turkish-Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar said he might go along with a United Nations envoy being appointed to help try to negotiate a settlement over the divided island.

“There could, under certain conditions, be a personal envoy who would work directly with the UN Secretary-General. After all, this has been our position for two years,” Tatar told Turkish Cypriot journalist Hasan Hasturer on his return flight from the UN General Assembly in New York.

The rogue self-declared republic on the occupied northern third seized by unlawful 1974 Turkish invasions isn’t a member of the UN so Tatar was relegated to the sidelines and had no voice there.

He had rejected any idea of reunification that has been the goal of the UN for decades as he demanded instead that the occupied, isolated side – accepted only by Turkey – be recognized in the world.

In an article on the Kibris news site, Tatar was asked if he agreed with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres naming a special advisor and responded only that, “It is a sensitive issue.”

He earlier said he would “never accept” an envoy that has been the favored diplomatic tool of the UN for decades, all of whom have failed, including at the last round of talks that collapsed in July, 2017.

That was at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana instead of being held on Cyprus, the talks kept secret from the island’s residents but falling apart when then Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said a Turkish army would be removed.

“I told Guterres that we are very opposed to the appointment of the special representative to implement Security Council decisions, to make reports, and to impose a Federal solution onto us,” he said.

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan in his meeting with Guterres appeared positive to the UN proposal, said The Cyprus Mail, but that it was up to Tatar, who takes his direction from Erdogan.

Tatar said that, “We mentioned that the other side is trying to bend us with isolation and that can never be acceptable. We emphasized that our earned and inherent rights are being mercilessly violated.”

He said that he told Guterres – who was at the Swiss debacle – that since negotiations cannot formally start, he would be able to meet with Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides only over some smaller issues.


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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