NEWS

Erdogan insists on two states for Cyprus

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Maintaining Ankara’s tough stance on the Cyprus issue, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday that the only way forward is a two-state settlement on the island.

“We cannot wait another 50 years, there are two states on the island,” he said Monday, in a speech to the so-called “parliament” of the self-proclaimed entity in Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus.

“A just and lasting solution can be achieved by accepting reality. There are two states and two peoples on the island. Sooner or later the international community will accept this reality,” he said, and took aim at the “mentality” of the Greek Cypriots.

“It is the same mentality that overthrew the Republic of Cyprus in 1963; in 2004 it rejected the Annan Plan, in 2017 it got up and left Crans-Montana (peace talks),” he said. 

“I want to emphasize that we will be against any effort of the Greek Cypriots that ignores the rights of the Turkish Cypriots,” he stressed. 

As for the island’s natural resources, Erdogan said Turkey has no aspirations for anyone’s lands and rights. “Our goal is to resolve the issues with a fair distribution and justice,” he said.

Erdogan arrived in the Turkish-occupied north of the island to attend Tuesday’s events marking the 47th anniversary of Turkey’s invasion of the northern part of Cyprus.

However, contrary to the expectations cultivated by the Turkish presidency in the run-up to the visit, Erdogan only mentioned a plan to build a new “presidential palace” in the north and a new “parliament” building.

However, analysts believe that in his speech Tuesday, Erdogan may refer to the operation of a base for unmanned aerial vehicles and possibly an energy plan, while the fenced-off town of Varosha may also be mentioned.