Turkish Erdogan will visit northern Cyprus amid tensions with the EU Recep Tayyip Erdogan News


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will travel to the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) on Monday for a two-day official visit. He has said he will give “good news” in the separatist state.

But the visit could also provoke tensions with Greek Cypriots and the European Union over the divided island of the eastern Mediterranean, already heightened by Turkish ambitions in the region and its support for a two-state solution to the Cyprus dispute.

On Tuesday, Erdogan will attend an event commemorating the 47th anniversary of Turkey’s military intervention – seen as an invasion by Greek Cypriots – on the island and address the Northern Cyprus parliament in a special session.

“I hope we give messages in the best possible way for the establishment of world peace for the island and the whole world through the ceremonies [in Northern Cyprus]”He said in statements Friday.

“It simply came to our notice then. We have finished the preliminary studies, “the Turkish president said, without giving further details on the issue.

The island of Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey intervened militarily in response to a brief Greek-backed coup. Turkey said it acted in accordance with a guarantee treaty, signed in 1960 when the Republic of Cyprus was established, which allows Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom to intervene in disputes.

Since the establishment of the TRNC in 1983, the north has been described as an “occupied part of Cyprus” by the United Nations Security Council. Only Turkey recognizes the so-called TRNC as an independent state.

The Republic of Cyprus, which controls the south of the island and has a Greek Cypriot government, became a member of the EU in 2004.

Greek and Cypriot flags along with Turkish and Cypriot flags fly near UN-controlled buffer zone in Nicosia, Cyprus [Yiannis Kourtoglou/Reuters]

Repeated diplomatic initiatives over decades to end the dispute have failed.

A UN-initiated meeting in Geneva last April failed to reach an agreement between Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders to resume stalled negotiations in 2017. A Turkish Cypriot push, backed by Ankara, for a two-state solution to the dispute in Geneva only increased tensions.

The Greek Cypriot side and the international community at large support a federal solution.

Mensur Akgun, a professor of international relations at Istanbul’s Kultur Kultur, said Erdogan is expected to strongly stress his support for a two-state solution to the island’s dispute during his visit.

“Turkey has gradually changed its stance from a federal solution on the island to a two-state solution, as a solution to the dispute could not be found on the grounds of the former after decades of talks,” he said. and Al Jazeera.

“However, Turkey has not yet presented a roadmap to convince the international community and the Greek Cypriot to deviate in that direction,” Akgun said, adding that this should be the next step on the Turkish side.

The EU’s position

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Thursday that the EU “would never accept” a two-state proposal for a solution in Cyprus.

“I want to reiterate that we will never, ever, accept a two-state solution, we are firm and very united, and that is what Cyprus can expect,” von der Leyen said during a visit to the island.

“The most precious part is unity in the EU and the knowledge that the 26 member states at European level are on your side,” he said, speaking alongside President Nicos Anastasiades.

Akgun said that to convince the world to accept a two-state solution, Ankara should promote northern Cyprus as an independent entity and treat the state de facto as equal.

“I should also start talking to the Greek Cypriot side and offer them something to convince them. [agreeing to] a two-state solution, “he added.

During his visit to Northern Cyprus, Erdogan, as he did in November 2020, is expected to pay a visit to the abandoned resort of Varosha, whose Greek Cypriot residents fled during the 1974 Turkish raid.

On his November visit to the island, Erdogan went to Varosha and said the area would be reopened to the public and that Greek Cypriots could apply to a Turkish Cypriot commission, the Real Estate Commission, for the claim of rights. about its appealing properties.

Turkey also disagrees with Greece, another EU member, over energy resources and jurisdiction in the waters of the eastern Mediterranean, and countries came to the brink of a military clash last year as Turkish ships explored hydrocarbons in the region.

Erdogan has repeatedly said that Turkey would not cease exploratory activities in the eastern Mediterranean amid Greek and EU opposition.

Follow Umut Uras on Twitter @Um_Uras

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