UK ministers are considering officially recognizing the independence of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), according to sources who spoke to the Sunday Express newspaper.
Turkish Cypriot President Ersin Tatar said the UK can assist a "historic opportunity” to end a decades-long stalemate in Cyprus by recognizing the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).
Tatar “urged Boris Johnson’s government to get behind his plan for a two-state solution,” which he said would be proposed at the talks in Geneva.
Turkish Cypriot President said that “after Brexit freed Britain from the EU it can now fulfil its role as a neutral guarantor for the eastern Mediterranean island, ensuring that both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots are treated in a balanced way.”
Resolving the longstanding dispute on the island would help around 300,000 Turkish Cypriots who live in the UK to seek direct flights to their country, the daily wrote.
UK ministers assessing the issue
Citing sources in the British government, the report said UK ministers are considering officially recognizing the TRNC as an "independent country."
Resolving the longstanding dispute on the island would help around 300,000 Turkish Cypriots who live in the UK to seek direct flights to their country, the daily added.
“With the developments in the eastern Mediterranean, the island has become even more valuable,” Tatar told.
Tatar: Two-state solution is the only way
“Turkey will never give up or change its mind. It will continue probably increasingly to support the Turkish Cypriots.”
He said that a two-state plan is now the only way forward and one which has the full backing of the Turkish government.
“Since 1974 we have been separated. The young generation doesn’t know one another. They have different language, culture and experiences. There have been so many bitter experiences that there is no hope for a federal relationship in the future.”
Talks were positive
“Therefore we demand that our state is recognized,” he said, adding that he has held “positive talks” with British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and European minister Wendy Morton.
Tatar said: “My message is as a Turkish Cypriot, as an elected President, as a friend to the British people. I lived in England for 17 years, I went to school in East London, I went to Jesus College Cambridge, I graduated as an economist, then I worked with PwC as a chartered accountant.
“I am a friend. And as a friend, I am asking the British community to reconsider what happened in Cyprus over all these years.”
Historical background of Cyprus
The island has been divided since 1964, when ethnic attacks forced Turkish Cypriots to withdraw into enclaves for their safety. In 1974, a Greek Cypriot coup aiming at Greece’s annexation led to Turkey’s military intervention as a guarantor power. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) was founded in 1983.
The Greek Cypriot administration, backed by Greece, became a member of the EU in 2004, although most Greek Cypriots rejected a UN settlement plan in a referendum that year, which had envisaged a reunited Cyprus joining the European Union.
Turkey's military intervention stopped years-long persecutions and violence against Turkish Cypriots by ultra-nationalist Greek Cypriots.