Cyprus remains divided after almost half a century, marking the 48th anniversary of Turkish invasion

Cyprus remains divided after almost half a century, marking the 48th anniversary of Turkish invasion
Update: 20 July 2022 20:22
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Anastasiades blamed Turkey for continuing to display intransigence, Turkish Cypriot leader said Cyprus problem "remained unsolved because of Greek Cypriots’ stance."

Reunifying Cyprus and freeing it from third-party dependencies still remain as a goal, Nikos Anastasiades, President of the Republic of Cyprus said, marking the 48th anniversary of Turkish invasion of the Mediterranean island.

“Despite painful efforts, Turkey continues to display the same intransigence. The Turkish obsession with unacceptable positions that are not consistent with modern states led to the derailment of any negotiation process,” Anastasiades said via Twitter on Wednesday.

But according to Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar, the Cyprus problem "remained unsolved because of Greek Cypriots’ intransigent stance." “False claims cannot change what was experienced in Cyprus or hide history,” he said in his speech addressing the nation on Tuesday, marking the division’s anniversary.

The Eastern Mediterranean island has been ethnically split since July 20,1974, when Turkish military intervened in response to a Greek Cypriot coup d’etat, ordered by the military junta in Greece, aiming to unify the island with Greece (ENOSİS). 

Internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus, governed by the Greek Cypriots, controls the south of the island, and the Turkish Cypriots, the north. The administration in the northern part of Cyprus is only recognized by Turkey.

“Cyprus still suffers from the brutal consequences of the invasion,” Anastasiades said.

“Let this sad anniversary be the last one with our island divided and our citizens deprived of universal rights,” he said.

Meanwhile Turkish Cypriot leader Tatar said “Greece and Greek Cypriot duo continues to pursue the goal of reducing Turkish Cypriots into a minority.”

“The TRNC [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus] is a sovereign, free and democratic modern state. It exists whether or not it is recognized,” Tatar said, adding that the time had come for the Turkic world to take steps that will help free Turkish Cypriots from international isolation, state broadcaster BRT reported. 

Concerning the reunification talks, Tatar reiterated his stance that negotiations to reach a federal solution in Cyprus were over and that the time had come to negotiate a two-state solution on the island.

Several diplomatic initiatives under the auspices of the United Nations have failed to reunite the island.

In April last year, Greek Cypriot leader Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Tatar, alongside delegations from Turkey, Greece and the United Kingdom - the guarantor countries of the Cyprus Republic, established in 1960, held meetings in Switzerland to search common ground for the resumption of unification talks. However, no deal was reached after Turkey and Turkish Cypriot side called for a two-state solution, despite UN resolutions supporting a peace agreement through the establishment of a bizonal, bicommunal federation.