Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus President Ersin President Tatar has made his remarks regarding the solution process of the Cyprus issue during an interview with the Kathimerini newspaper published in Greece.
Emphasising having common interests with Turkey, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Ersin Tatar has stated that Turkey is a strong country and guarantor country of the TRNC as well as arbiter and motherland.
President Tatar made his remarks regarding the solution process of the Cyprus issue during an interview with the Kathimerini newspaper published in Greece.
It came ahead of an informal 5+1 meeting on Cyprus that is planned to be held on April 27-29 in Geneva under the auspices of the UN.
Tatar said Turkish Cypriots are as sovereign as Greek Cypriots in the island and added that neither side can spread its sovereignty to the other side.
Both sides have their own right to self-governance, he said.
"We will never accept the thesis of a federation that will go to a unitary structure."
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will convene a new round of talks on the Cyprus issue on April 27-29, bringing together the leaders of the Greek Cypriot administration and the Turkish Cypriot government, and top diplomats from the guarantor countries – Turkey, Greece, and the UK.
Concerns over neutrality of the EU
Tatar said the European Union's taking part in Geneva talks is not a right decision as the EU is an (opposing) side (on the issue).
"Both Greece and the Greek Cypriot side are in the EU. Therefore, the EU is under their domination and management. Consequently, it is not possible for them (the EU) to be objective and impartial at the table in Geneva,” he reiterated.
The Greek Cypriot administration, backed by Greece, became a member of the EU in 2004, although most Greek Cypriots rejected a UN settlement plan in a referendum that year, which had envisaged a reunited Cyprus joining the EU.
'Defending Turkey's, Turkish Cypriots rights'
Tatar said he is in the same line with Rauf Denktas, the founding father of the TRNC.
"I am defending both Turkey's and Turkish Cypriots' rights," Tatar added.
'Acknowledge the existence' of two states
On Saturday in a separate statement Tatar urged the international community to "acknowledge the existence" of two states in Cyprus.
"We are going to Geneva with a new vision for Cyprus, one based on the realities on the island," he said in a statement.
"There are two peoples with distinct national identities, running their own affairs separately."
Tatar to pay working visit to Turkey
Tatar will pay a working visit to Turkey on Monday at the invitation of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
During Tatar's visit, bilateral ties between Turkey and the TRNC will be reviewed in all aspects and steps to be taken to improve cooperation will be discussed, according to a statement from Turkey's Communications Directorate on Sunday.
The talks will also focus on the latest developments on the Cyprus issue and the informal UN meeting on Cyprus that will take place in Geneva from April 27-29, it added.
EU position on Cyprus dispute
On the EU position in the Cyprus dispute, earlier last week on Saturday Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stated that the bloc completely ignores the TRNC and the Turkish Cypriot people on issues such as income sharing and that it supports the Greek side "even if it is 100 percent wrong."
He pointed out that if the EU really wants to be an "honest mediator," then it should put aside membership talks and act in an objective, balanced way in order to achieve a permanent solution to problems.
Also on Twitter, the Turkish minister said: "Federal solution has been negotiated for 53 years without any result. Turkish Cypriot side promotes two-state solution and cooperation based on sovereign equality. Turkey will always continue to support TRNC."
On the upcoming Geneva talks, Tatar said: "Our [TRNC's] sovereignty, independence and Turkey's guarantor position are indispensable matters at Geneva talks."
Noting that "a new policy" has been developed on the Cyprus issue, he said: "For years, efforts have been made with devotion and sacrifice for an agreement on the basis of a federation."
Tatar reminded that the Greek Cypriots, who said no to the Annan Plan in 2004, became an EU member illegally under the name of "the Republic of Cyprus".
In 2004, a plan proposed by then UN chief Kofi Annan to resolve the issue was accepted by the Turkish Cypriots, but rejected by the Greek Cypriots in twin referendums.
Cyprus has been mired in a decades-long struggle between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots, despite a series of diplomatic efforts by the UN to achieve a comprehensive settlement.
The island has been divided since 1964, when ethnic attacks forced Turkish Cypriots to withdraw into enclaves for their safety. In 1974, a Greek Cypriot coup aiming at Greece’s annexation led to Turkey’s military intervention as a guarantor power. The TRNC was founded in 1983.