Turkey to continue firm stance on Cyprus, Syria, Libya

Turkey’s vice president said Thursday that the country will continue its “righteous and firm” stance on Cyprus, Syria and Libya.

Speaking at a ceremony marking the 35th foundation anniversary of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Fuat Oktay said the reason for Cyprus still not reaching solution is the irreconcilable attitude of Greek Cypriots who have adopted insolubility as a maxim.

“Turkey will continue to display its righteous and firm stance with determination in Cyprus, Syria and Libya,” Oktay said.

Oktay said TRNC is one of the two founding and equal parts of the island and Turkey will not let Greek Cypriots ignore this fact.

He said the newly discovered hydrocarbon resources around the island made Cyprus a worldwide center of attention, adding that Turkey saw the new resources as an opportunity to be used for the prosperity and peace of the island.

However, Oktay said that the Greek Cypriot side has showed that they did not wish to share the natural resources of the island with the unilateral steps they have taken.

“We will not tolerate Greek Cypriots’ unilateral steps which ignore Turkish Cypriots,” he said.

“We cannot accept some countries’ unilateral interventions and moves only considering their own interests in issues which concern international society,” he said.

Oktay said there should be just and permanent solutions to current international problems in line with international law.

Turkish Parliament Speaker Binali Yildirim also marked the foundation anniversary of the TRNC.

“We will continue our support for the economic, social, cultural and political development of our Turkish Cypriot brothers,” said Yildirim.

He added: “We will never renounce our active right to guarantee, for Turks in Cyprus can look to the future with confidence.”

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was declared on Nov. 15, 1983. It is currently recognized only by Turkey as an independent state.

The eastern Mediterranean island has been divided since 1974, when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island’s Turks, and Ankara’s intervention as a guarantor power.

Negotiations over Cyprus resumed after a 2004 UN-backed Annan Plan to reunify the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities.

The status of the island remains unresolved in spite of a series of discussions that resumed in May 2015.

There has been an on-and-off peace process over recent years, the latest failed initiative having taken place in Crans-Montana, Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece and the U.K., collapsing last year.

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