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Politics

Turkish-Cypriot Leader Wants Peace on Island – On His Terms

NICOSIA — Turkish-Cypriot hardliner leader Ersin Tatar said while he doesn’t want reunification of Cyprus – only recognition for the occupied northern third – he still wants peace there.

After taking power in October, 2020 elections, Tatar – who said he takes his marching orders from Turkey’s authoritarian President Recep Tayyip Erdogan – demanded the United Nations accept a two-state solution.

That would mean international recognition for the isolated territory accepted only by Turkey, and the European Union to which Cyprus belongs, allowing an occupying army on the island, where Turkey keeps 35,000 troops.

“What we want is the continuum of peace in Cyprus to reach an agreement. An agreement between the two countries is necessary for that,” Tatar said an audience at the Turkic Council Media Forum, said the Turkish newspaper and site Hurriyet.

He said his side is resisting “those who want to destroy the Turkish-Cypriots under the guise of clash of civilizations,” without indicating how that belligerent language coincides with his call for peace.

The last round of real reunification talks collapsed in July, 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana when Erdogan and then-Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said the Turkish army would never leave and as they demanded the right of military intervention – invasion – again.

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