Tatar's remarks spark concerns on possible annexation by Turkey
The recent remarks of the president of the de facto republic of northern Cyprus about the "absolute impossibility" of a "reunification" of the two parts of the island, and the inevitability of becoming more dependent on Turkey in the absence of a two-state solution sparked reactions both from the main opposition Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and from an expert in the Republic of Cyprus.
Ersin Tatar, the President of the unrecognized "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus," recently told The Guardian:
“The Greeks refuse to share power. They think they are masters of this island and that it is a Greek Hellenic Island. If we are to resume formal negotiations, we have to have our sovereign equality and status as an independent state recognized. There are two states and two people on the island. We have our own culture and ambitions. Reversing the clock back to reunification of the island is absolutely impossible."
Stressing that Turkish Cypriots will be forced to integrate even more closely with Ankara if the international community do not engage with his two-state proposal, Tatar said:
"Obviously if there is no agreement, in the long run we will have more and more Turkish influence on the island because we will over time become more and more dependent on Turkey."
Tatar's remarks led to serious concerns in both parts of the island on a possible annexation of northern Cyprus by Turkey, Duvar's Nikolaos Stelya reported, citing CTP leader Tufan Erhurman saying:
"Mr. Tatar's 'policy' will not lead to any negotiation, or contribute to a solution in Cyprus, and it will gradually make us more and more dependent on Turkey. He actually tries to say that there is no possibility of having negotiations, of reaching a solution and standing on our own feet while his policy is in place. It remains to be deciphered whether he is concerned about 'becoming more dependent on Turkey,' or whether he uses that as a 'threat' that will supposedly make others feel concerned!"
Dr. Theodoros Panayiotou, the director of Cyprus International Institute of Management (CIIP), expressed a claim in Cypriot media Fileleftheros that Turkish authorities may be planning to legitimize a possible annexation through a plebiscite.
According to Panayiotou, this scenario is likely be based on three arguments.
"First, the negotiations have not led to any solution in the past 50 years," he wrote. "Second, the two-state solution has not been accepted by the other side. Third, the international community continues not to recognize the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. So, the only remaining option that may end the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots is the annexation of the occupied territories by the 'motherland.'"