Turkish Cypriot leader reiterates two-state solution alternative
Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar has reiterated that a two-state solution is the only way for both peoples to live peacefully in coexistence on the island, citing that equality will remain on paper in the event of a possible federal solution.
Evaluating the recent developments in Cyprus to daily Milliyet, Tatar noted that a federal model based on one state sovereignty on the island might aim to create an environment where the Turkish Cypriots would be more troubled.
“With Turkey’s withdrawal from Cyprus in time, the sovereignty and authority of the south [Greek Cypriot administration] will be spread to the north, and the Turkish Cypriots will be more troubled,” Tatar said, claiming that Greek Cypriots’ ultimate aim was indirectly to reach the Enosis, a movement to secure the political union of Greece and Cyprus, within the European Union.
“When we look at it now, they are still working on the Greater Greece dream. The Turkish Cypriot people must resist this and stand upright. This is what we are doing now,” Tatar noted.
The island of Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island’s Turks and Turkey’s intervention as a guarantor power.
Tatar also welcomed the latest remarks of Jack Straw, a former British secretary of state for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, who advocated for a two-state solution as the only solution to the Cyprus issue in a webinar on March 23.
Tatar stressed that Straw was one of the politicians who heard the voices of the Turkish Cypriots in the United Kingdom.
“Straw said that the membership of [Greek] Cyprus to the EU is a great injustice to the Turkish Cypriots, and if this [Cyprus] dispute is not resolved, it is due to the admission of Cyprus to the EU in violation of the  Cyprus Constitution,” Tatar noted.
In 2004, the plan of then-U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan for a federal solution in Cyprus was accepted by the Turkish Cypriots but rejected by the Greek Cypriots in twin referendums.
The Greek Cyprus became a member of the European Union in 2004, only a week after the Greek Cypriots thwarted the U.N.’s Annan unification plan to end the decades-long dispute.
“Straw was able to say that a federal-based agreement would not be possible and therefore there could be a solution with the cooperation of two states living side by side, based on sovereign equality,” Tatar added.
Tatar stated that he was very impressed and delighted with Straw’s statements, adding that such moves in national causes and struggles were very difficult and takes a long time.
The Turkish Cypriot leader also welcomed Straw’s remarks on the opening of direct flights from the U.K. to Turkish Cyprus to which he called a “good deal.”