Report: Turkey prepares to take recognition of Northern Cyprus to the UN

Report: Turkey prepares to take recognition of Northern Cyprus to the UN
Update: 30 September 2022 23:53
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Even Ankara’s attempts to eliminate the “obstacles” for recognition fail to pass the UNSC, a possible UNGA resolution could create a moral pressure on countries, Milliyet newspaper said

Turkey is preparing to take the Cyprus issue to the UN General Assembly to eliminate the “obstacles” standing before the recognition of the Northern Cypriot administration by the international community, according to the country’s pro-government Milliyet newspaper.

Even if Ankara’s attempt fails to pass the UN Security Council – the decision making authority of the organization – a possible UN General Assembly resolution could create a moral pressure on member countries, the newspaper said.

Cyprus 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, founded in November 1983, is only recognized by Turkey.

Two of the main “obstacles” standing before the recognition of the northern Cypriot administration, referred by the newspaper, are two UN resolutions approved following the announcement of the foundation of the breakaway state in 1983.

In Resolution 541 of 1983, the Security Council called upon all states not to recognize any Cypriot state other than the Republic of Cyprus, saying that the attempt to create a "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" is invalid.

Further in Resolution 550 of 1984, the UN Security Council condemned all “secessionist actions” between Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leadership, declaring them illegal. Reiterating its call upon all states for not recognizing the “purported state” of north, the council urged all member countries to respect the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, unity and non-alignment of the Republic of Cyprus.

“A resolution from the UN General Assembly, even if it is a draft resolution, may encourage some countries,” former Ambassador Uluc Ozulker told Milliyet.

Last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on UN member states to recognize the northern administration as a legitimate, sovereign state. 

“It is the key for the solution to the problems on the island of Cyprus to accept that the Turkish Cypriots have equal and sovereign rights and that their international status is to be accepted,” Erdogan said in his address to the UNGA77.

In response to Erdogan’s remarks, the President of the Republic of Cyprus Nikos Anastasiades said that Turkey has established an illegal entity in northern Cyprus, which is under its absolute political, economic, social, cultural and religious control.

“Turkey, which systematically violates international law, calls on the international community to recognize its illegal faits accomplis,” Anastasiades said, adding that “Thirty-seven percent of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus, an EU member state, remains under [Turkey’s] military occupation.”

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

In April last year, Greek Cypriot leader Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin 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.