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Politics

Turkish-Cypriots Say Abp. Chrysostomos Misleading Greek-Cypriots

September 30, 2021

NICOSIA — Officials on the occupied Turkish-Cypriot side of the divided island assailed Archbishop Chrysostomos II for rejecting their demand for recognition and two separate states on the island, accusing him of misleading the argument.

"The Archbishop's bigoted statements demonstrate that the Greek Cypriot mentality, which has no tolerance for the Turkish presence on the Island, has not and never will change in any way," said an official statement from the self-declared foreign ministry.

Only Turkey, which set up the occupied territory after two unlawful invasions in 1974 and still keeps a 35,000-strong standing army there, recognizes the rogue government while the legitimate Greek-Cypriot administration is a member of the European Union.

The statement continued: "Archbishop's view that 'Turkish Cypriots cannot have the same rights as the Greek Cypriot majority' explains the reasons behind the inability to reach a mutually acceptable agreement on the Island since the collapse of the 1960 Partnership Republic,” said Turkey's pro-government newspaper The Daily Sabah, a propaganda sheet for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Turkish-Cypriot new hardline leader Ersin Tatar, an Edogan disciple and idolator, said the world and United Nations must accept the occupied land but all his calls have been rejected.

He said decades of diplomatic failures at reunification, including the collapse of talks in July, 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana – because Turkey said it would never remove its army and wanted the right to invade again – proved that the only answer is recognition for the invaded land.

Chrysostomos said that's not going to happen, as has Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, who met Tatar and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the sidelines of the General Assembly opening as the Turkish-Cypriots aren't allowed as a member.

"This cannot happen," Chrysostomos said of the two-state demand, stressing that Turkish-Cypriots they cannot be granted rights equal to those of the Greek-Cypriots, said Kathimerini as the divide on the island has widened.

Chrysostomos said the hardline nationalist Tatar's predecessor, the moderate Mustafa Akinci, was more “Cypriot” because he didn't demand permanent partition and two separate states.

“We do not have such favorable relations with people who feel Turkish first and Cypriot second because they want a Turkish state in Cyprus," said the Archbishop.

The Turkish-Cypriot side said those comments were an attempt to "brainwash" Greek Cypriots and "instill racism," and show prejudice and hostility toward the Turkish-Cypriots who are isolated from the rest of the world, relying on Turkey.

"It is a fact that there are two States on the Island, a Greek and a Turkish State," it said, adding that the Turkish-Cypriot side offered a new vision by "taking this fact and the changing conditions into account."

"We once again reiterate that the best and the realistic way forward is for the two Peoples to live in their separate States within the framework of good neighborly relations," the statement also added.

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