In a speech at Istanbul’s Kadir Has University, President Eroglu said that the United Nations accepted the elected president of the TRNC, as the official representative of the Turkish side. Therefore, the international community, which does not recognise the TRNC, nevertheless, recognises the democratic regime of the Turkish Cypriot state.
He said that one of the reasons that the Cyprus problem has not yet been resolved is that the “international structure nourishes the continuation of the non-solution” and that the unwillingness of the Greek Cypriot people to reach a solution were to blame.
Eroglu claimed that the Cyprus problem cannot be solved with the current parameters and added:
“In other words, the Cyprus problem can never be solved with its current situation. The problem is not in the players. The problem is in the form of the design of the game itself. As a politician, who is [also] a doctor, I am obliged to openly say that the diagnosis in the Cyprus problem was wrong. And of course, when the diagnosis is wrong, the cure will also be wrong?”
He argued that the negotiations in Cyprus have “wrongly” been built on the reunification of the state, but there are two nations with different language, religion, nationality, culture and roots, and that now “two separate states” exist on the island. He expressed the view that these two nations could live together and that reaching a solution is possible, but we should consider whether or not it is realistic to establish a state by force and pressure given the current conditions.
Eroglu noted that they ask foreign guests, who visit them from time to time why, they refrain from recognising the right of self-determination of the Turkish Cypriots, as they did in Kosovo, South Sudan and East Timor. “The Greek Cypriots do not want us. They showed this openly with their democratic will and they continue to show this”, he said.
The President went on to say that the Turkish Cypriots are a “people” and live under the roof of a “democratic state”, adding that,
“Both the democracy of the Turkish Cypriots and the right to determine their destiny has, de facto, been recognised by the United Nations. I am the third president of my country. After every election, the newly elected TRNC president has been immediately accepted as the official representative of the Turkish side. As far as the self-determination right is concerned, the Turkish Cypriot people have the right to determine their destiny and using this right they declared their own state on 15 November 1983. The fact that the Annan Plan was submitted to simultaneous and separate referenda shows that the approval of the Turkish Cypriot people is ‘sine qua non’ [indispensable] for a possible agreement in Cyprus. The second issue is to realise the benefit of separating political matters from technical ones. I am not sure whether we have been able to make the slightest progress in the negotiations on political matters, but we have achieved many things on technical issues”.
Eroglu reiterated the view that there should be a time limit to negotiations given the reality of the situation in Cyprus.