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Northern Cyprus’s foreign minister highlights Türkiye's influence on island

Anadolu Agency WORLD
Published May 16,2024

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus' foreign minister highlighted Türkiye's influence on the island Wednesday, saying it is not a reality that the Western world "can digest."

Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu addressed a conference on "Cyprus in the Context of International Law on the 50th Anniversary of the July 20 Peace Operation" at Karadeniz Technical University in northeast Türkiye.

"When we look at the geography where the island is located, we are talking about a geography where the interests of all major countries and organizations are in question," Ertuğruloğlu said.

He pointed out that the region holds vital energy resources and trade routes, attracting the attention of major global players.

Ertuğruloğlu stressed that the Cyprus issue extends beyond the relationship between Turkish and Greek Cypriots.

"This is not just a Turkish Cypriot, Greek Cypriot struggle, not just a Türkiye-Greece issue. We are talking about the existence of a much bigger picture," he said.

Regarding Türkiye's role in the island, Ertuğruloğlu denounced Western efforts to diminish Ankara's influence.

"The problem of the Western world is to remove Türkiye from the island. Türkiye's influence on the island is not a reality that the Western world can digest," he said.

The minister criticized the European Union's bias towards Greek-administered Cyprus, asserting that the EU has ceased to be a neutral party in the "Cyprus problem."

Ertuğruloğlu reiterated Türkiye's commitment to Northern Cyprus' security and Turkish Cypriots' rights, emphasizing that "not only Turkish troops, but in all aspects, Türkiye is and will continue to be present on the island, and it should be."

He concluded by criticizing the idea of establishing a new partnership between Turkish and Greek Cypriots through negotiations.

"If someone still wishes for a new partnership between the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots through new negotiations without taking lessons from this, they are dreaming."