Prime Minister Ersin Tatar said on Monday that the Turkish Peace Operation carried out by the Turkish Armed Forces on the 20th of July 1974 was the beginning of a new era for the Turkish Cypriot people.
In an interview with the Anadolu News Agency, Prime Minister Tatar said the Greek Cypriot side and Greece had not agreed to an agreement on the basis of equality throughout the decades-long negotiations processes.
“The Greek Cypriot side’s primary objective is to diminish the Turkish Cypriots’ presence on the island while at the same time blocking Turkey’s entry to the EU,” Tatar argued.
He added that the Turkish Cypriot side, on the other hand, has always worked towards a lasting agreement.
“Nonetheless, from now on, the agreement can only be achieved on the basis of two equal states in line with the realities of the island,” Tatar stressed, noting that prospects of reaching a federal settlement had been exhausted.
He added that whatever solution was reached on the island, Turkey’s rights as a guarantor power needed to be maintained.
“The Turkish Republic will not and should not give up its rights as a guarantor power,” Tatar stressed.
The Prime Minister said that prior to 1974, Turkish Cypriots had been living scattered across the island, living in uncertainty and faced with the threat of genocide and ethnic cleansing.
He paid his respects to former Turkish Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit who had ordered the Turkish Peace Operation, his coalition partner at the time Necmettin Erbakan, the Turkish Cypriot resistance fighters, the Turkish troops as well as Dr. Fazıl Küçük and Rauf Denktaş for their services and sacrifices.
Claiming that the TRNC has become a more important place with the new developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, Tatar concluded by underlining that any solution on the island can only be based on sovereign equality.