Aliyev shows support in a first meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader
The President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev met with a Turkish Cypriot leader for the first time in history, in a show of support much needed by the internationally isolated enclave in Northern Cyprus.
Aliyev met with Ersin Tatar during an international sport event in the Turkish central city of Konya, and the two leaders said they held a “very cordial” meeting and discussed expanding relations.
Turkey made a military intervention in the ethnically divided island in 1974 and consequently helped establish a state in the north that is only recognized by Turkey.
Ever since, the Turkish Cypriot community lives under the heavy embargo of the international community and survives under the auspices of the Turkish government, whereas the internationally recognized Greek Cypriots joined the European Union in 2004.
Though it is still a far cry, some say the meeting could lead to the recognition of the Turkish Cypriot administration, a step that could boost the economy of the community.
The Azerbaijani TV called Ersin Tatar as “President of TRNC ['Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus']” instead of Turkish Cypriot leader the first time in its broadcast history.
Back in December, Tatar celebrated Aliyev’s birthday saying "He [Aliyev] will definitely have a message for us in the near future."
The meeting created “disappointment and regret” among Greek Cypriots as the Foreign Ministry of Cyprus said Thursday it is lodging formal protests against Azerbaijan.
The ministry said the meeting contravened UN Security Council resolutions condemning the unilateral declaration of a separate Turkish state in Northern Cyprus.