Turkish Cypriot vote result a sign to build future with Turkey: Erdoğan
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has interpreted the election of Ersin Tatar as the president of Turkish Cyprus as a sign of the determination of the Turkish Cypriots to build a common future with Turkey in his first comments after the presidential elections in the northern part of the island.
“We see the Turkish Cypriots’ preference at the polls as a sign of their determination to build a common future with Turkey. The Greek side’s selfish and spoiled policies, which they have displayed by abusing the European Union and disregarding the other right holder in the island, once again has been crushed by the will of the Turkish Cypriots,” Erdoğan said after the weekly cabinet meeting late Oct. 20.
Congratulating Tatar and wishing him success in the office, Erdoğan stated, “Turkey will, as has always been the case, continue to stand with the Turkish Cypriots with all its power and capabilities.”
Right-leaning Tatar, who received Turkey’s support during the campaign, won the elections against the acting president, Mustafa Akıncı, in the second round of the polls over the weekend. In his first statements, Tatar said he will follow a closer line to Ankara’s policies and will pay his first official trip to the Turkish capital to meet Erdoğan next week.
Tatar has made his mandate clear that as president it would be overwhelming to advocate a two-state solution to the Cyprus problem as Greek Cypriot administrations have been preventing with their decades-old efforts to build a federation. He also hinted that he would be ready for a meeting with the Greek Cypriot leadership along with the three guarantor countries Turkey, Greece and the United Kingdom.
Tatar and his Greek counterpart, Nikos Anastasiades, held a phone conversation and agreed to meet in person in the coming days.
UN committed to revitalize talks
Meanwhile, the U.N. has made its first statement about the election of Tatar through the spokesman of the secretary-general, Stéphane Dujarric, upon a question of a journalist during his daily press briefing on Oct. 20.
He said Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has taken note of the election of Tatar as the Turkish Cypriot leader and remains committed to supporting both sides in revitalizing the political process on the divided Cyprus.
Guterres is exploring the possibility of convening an informal five-plus-U.N. meeting with both leaders and the guarantor powers at an appropriate stage, he said.
“The Secretary-General underscores the importance of trust-building between the two communities and encourages the continued development and implementation of confidence-building measures, which would bring the two communities closer together,” Dujarric also said late on Tuesday.
“He further calls on the two sides and all relevant parties to avoid any unilateral actions that could undermine the prospects for renewed negotiations,” Dujarric added.
As the way forward, he also said, the best way to resolve disputes is by returning to negotiations by fostering lasting settlement of long-standing Cyprus problem for the benefit of all Cypriots and create peace in the region.