Turkey’s president has said during a controversial two-day visit to northern Cyprus that he still strongly supports a two-state solution on the island.
Separately, the Turkish prime minister also used an Eid al-Adha prayer speech to tell viewers that Ankara plans to start talks with the Taliban about Turkey’s offer to run an airport in Kabul.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Cyprus on Monday, on the 47th anniversary of the Turkish military invasion that divided the island along ethnic lines. The northern side of the country marks July 20 as a “day of peace and freedom.”
Erdogan will attend numerous official events during the 48-hour visit, including a soccer match with Turkish Cypriot ministers and officials in Nicosia and a “special” session of parliament.
Addressing lawmakers on Monday, Erdogan said his country supported a two-state solution for Cyprus, saying neither state could afford “to lose another 50 years.” He added: “We fully support the proposal put forward by [Turkish Cypriot President] Ersin Tatar. We do not intend to compromise. “
Erdogan also said that Turkey would build a new presidency building for northern Cyprus, as well as a national park in the Metehan district. He further stated that the Greek Cypriots had never seen the Turkish Cypriots as equals, adding: “There is nothing left to discuss in these negotiations.”
Some Turkish Cypriot parties, including the main opposition party, the Turkish Republican Party (CTP) and the Communal Democratic Party (TDP), had said they would boycott Monday’s parliamentary session because of Ankara’s alleged interference in domestic politics.
In a statement released online, the CTP said it believed the relationship between Turkey and Northern Cyprus was becoming untenable. He also noted that Erdogan’s agenda did not include meetings with opposition parties.
Meanwhile, the TDP said it was boycotting Erdogan’s speech to lawmakers on the deportation of Ali Bizden, press coordinator for former Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı, from Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökçen Airport on July 6 this year.
“As a result of our citizens not being brought to Turkey in recent days, we, as TDP, have decided not to participate in the parliamentary session that will take place on July 20,” the party said.
Erdogan: Turkey to talk to Taliban about Kabul airport proposals
Speaking after Eid al-Adha prayers at the Hala Sultan Mosque in Lefkosa on Tuesday, Erdogan told those present that his country planned to start talks with the Taliban.
Turkey has proposed to secure and operate the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. So far, Ankara has been negotiating with the United States on this.
“This process will also be discussed with the Taliban,” Erdogan said, adding that the Islamists had also negotiated with the United States and “should hold these talks much more comfortably with Turkey.”
Erdogan’s comments followed warnings from the Taliban last week that Turkey should withdraw its troops from Afghanistan, along with other foreign forces. The airport issue has become increasingly urgent before the final withdrawal of the last 2,500-3,500 US troops and 76,000 NATO-allied soldiers from Afghanistan, at a time when the Taliban are rapidly gaining ground in the country.
Greek Cypriots protest as EU stands firm
President Erdogan’s arrival on Monday was greeted with protests by Greek Cypriots in the village of Derynia, 2 kilometers from Turkey-controlled Famagusta.
The protesters called for a meeting of the fractured state, in contrast to Erdogan’s projections for the future of Cyprus.
Participant Andreas Charalambous told AP: “We came to Derynia today because this is the place where there was a call to come here and shout for a united Cyprus, a federal Cyprus, the Cyprus we want and the only Cyprus that can give us a future.” . , hope for tomorrow. “
Also protester Costas Antoniou said: “Erdogan is playing his game as he wants, but personally I don’t think he will dominate in the end. In politics, a lot happens.
Only Turkey recognizes the Turkish Cypriot declaration of independence and the country maintains 35,000 soldiers on the Mediterranean island.
In a 1983 resolution, the UN Security Council denounced the secessionist measure of the Turkish Cypriots as legally invalid and called for its withdrawal. The European Union has also ruled out a two-state agreement.
European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen said in Nicosia earlier this month that the 27-member bloc, which Cyprus joined in 2004, will “never, ever” accept such an arrangement.
But Turkey and some Turkish Cypriots say that a two-state agreement is the only path to peace because nearly five decades of negotiations based on the creation of a federation have led nowhere.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism