“It is high time to solve the Cyprus issue”

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“It is high time to solve the Cyprus issue”


Attending the ceremony held on Dr. Fazıl Küçük Street to mark the July 20 Peace and Freedom Festival of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC), President Gül delivered a speech during which he said: “Despite everything, we would like to keep our faith that a resolution, which is based on the will of the two founding peoples who are the co-owner of Cyprus, is accessible. Even so, we will not let this status quo, which makes the Turkish Cypriots victims of a deadlock inspite of our good intention, sincerity and open will, continue forever.”



President Abdullah Gül, attending the ceremony held on Dr. Fazıl Küçük Street to mark the July 20 Peace and Freedom Festival of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC), delivered a speech at the ceremony.


President Gül and President Eroğlu greeted people at the ceremony from an open top car. Afterwards, the flags of the Republic of Turkey and KKTC which were brought by young athletes were presented to the two leaders.

President Gül later evinced his happiness at attending the July 20 Peace and Freedom Festival of KKTC and the 40th anniversary of the Peace Operation. The Peace Operation, he said, ended the opression, terror and inhumane intimidation against the Turkish community, whom he added were otherized and isolated from the state although they were the co-owners of it. This operation, the President stressed, saved the Turkish Cypriots from brutalities and provided them with freedom and prosperity, enabling them to look to the future with confidence. July 20 is a very important date in that it reminds us all of the resolution demonstrated for the protection of the ideal of peace and security adopted by the Turkish Cypriots to have equal status and equal rights and law. The torch lighted on the seashores of Girne on July 20, 1974 illuminated the path of the Turkish Cypriots.”


President Gül reiterated that Turkey, as a guarantor country, demonstrated to the whole world on the operation day that the Turkish Cypriots were not alone and would not be left alone and noted that the Peace Operation, which was conducted as per the rights and responsibilities under international agreements, also showed Turkey’s resoluteness and determination to protect the Turkish Cypriots under any circumstances. It was a guarantee that Turkey would never allow the same agonies to be experienced again. “The patience and sagacity of the Turkish Cypriots, who have endured many hardships in their righteous struggle since 1964 are a source of pride for the Turkish nation of whom they are an inseparable part. The Turkish Cypriots, despite all the diffiulties they went through, only maintained their union and solidarity, but also established their own state. KKTC today is a good example for other states with its democracy, legal system and all its institutions. The level which KKTC has reached in the economic and political areas with the support of Turkey is also a source of pride for us. As long as we keep our union and solidarity that have brought us to this point, there is no obstacle we cannot overcome together.”


Turkey and KKTC have made sincere efforts so that a fair and permanent resolution for the Cyprus issue can be settled and fulfilled their responsibilities in this process. No one can expect the Turkish Cypriots to step back from the point they have achieved, to forego being the co-owner of the island and to live as a minority in a Greek state of Cyprus, declared the President. “Half a century ago, the UN sent a Peace Force to the island, as the Turkish Cypriots were going through brutalities and this Peace Force has been in the island since. The Cyprus issue has been on the agenda of the international community since 1963, when the Greek Cypriots tried to usurp the state founded by both communities in 1960 and when they broke the agreement toward living in and governing the island together. There are very few such conflicts lasting for 5 decades in the world and it is high time the Cyprus issue resolved.”

The President further reiterated that the Turkish side demonstrated their will toward a resolution with their stance in the 2004 referendum by saying “yes” to the resolution package of the UN and the EU, but he said that great opportunity was missed when the Greek side said “no” to it. He maintained most of the constructive proposals during the negotiation process conducted from 2008 to 2012 were made by the Turkish side, recalled the President, recalling that after the elections in the Greek side, the negotiation process resumed on February.


Declaring that the Turkish side has the necessary will and determination toward the resolution of the issue, President Gül said the efforts being made by President Eroğlu of KKTC and the negotiation team are supported by the government and other political parties in KKTC, which he added indicates this will and resoluteness.

The President, underscoring the importance that the Greek side espouse the same understanding, reiterated that a comprehensive resolution is possible only when the Greek side overcome their disagreement and can be united. “At this stage, we expect that the negotiation process should be concluded at the shortest time and that a fair and permanent resolution can be achieved through referenda without further delay.”

There are new and affirmative conditions today, noted the President, pointing out that a comprehensive resolution will bring important advantages to both sides and the whole region. Such a resolution, he predicted, will give the opportunity to reach Turkey, the strongest market in the region, paving the way for other cooperation opportunities as well. “The common use of the water that will be brought by Turkey to the island and acting together so that the natural resources around the island can be transfered to the international markets will contribute to the resolution indeed. Despite everything, we would like to keep our faith that a resolution negotiated, which is based on the will of the two founding peoples who are the co-owner of Cyrus, is accessible. Even so, we will not let this status quo, which makes the Turkish Cypriots victims of a deadlock inspite of our good intention, sincerity and open will, continue forever.”


President Gül called on the international community including the EU to keep their promises to the Turkish Cypriots and accentuated that the unjust practices that the Turkish Cypriots are subject to cannot be excused through either political, moral or humanitarian aspects, noting: “It is a great contradiction and unfair to make the Turkish side pay for the cost of the hard-line policies that the Greek side has been pursuing for years. Therefore, the steps to end the groundless and unfair restrictions and embargoes imposed upon the Turkish Cypriots must be lifted without further delay.

Turkey, President Gül said, has the necessary strength and will to raise the living standards of the Turkish Cypriots to a higher level and mentioned the peace of the Turkish Cypriots, consolidation of their economic welfare and their development as among the priorities of their mother land, Turkey.


President Gül further suggested courageously addressing problems and doing whatever is needed for a resolution. This, he said, is something we owe to the next generations. In this vein, our joint work in order for KKTC to develop more will continue, declared the President, adding that it is their common objective to make KKTC a center of tourism and education.


Referring to the project that is expected to end the water problem of the whole island of Cyprus, President Gül noted: “The water transfer project will greatly contribute to the union and solidarity between Turkey and KKTC. It is our sincere wish that the water we will transfer give life not only to the north but also to the south of the island and that it crown a comprehensive resolution. I hope that this project along with other natural resources will contribute to the multilateral cooperation mechanisms between the two sides. Despite all obstacles, the Turkish Cypriots are becoming the stronger side in terms of the economy. Turkey’s support for them to advance for a brighter future will continue.”

President Gül ended his speech by remembering with gratitude those who sacrificed themselves for the sake of the existence and rights and freedom of the Turkish Cypriots, extending his respects to the founding President late Rauf Denktaş of KKTC and others who made their contributions to KKTC.

Having completed his program in KKTC, President Gül left for Ankara.

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