Cooperation between Turkey, Northern Cyprus long-desired policy: TRNC president

Cooperation between Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is a long-desired policy, said the TRNC president on Saturday.

Speaking at an event in southern Hatay province, Tatar said it is necessary to act together to protect TRNC’s assets, national identity of Turkish Cypriots and national interests in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Saying that they are against a policy that would sever their ties with Turkey, Tatar added: "Our path is the path that is with you."

During his visit to Hatay Governorship earlier in the day, Tatar said: "There are two different communities in Cyprus, this is how the whole world should know. There is no nation called Cypriot. In Cyprus, you are either Turkish or Greek."

"For centuries, the Turkish Cypriots have always continued their existence there as the rulers of Cyprus during the Ottoman period," he added.

Adding that although Turkish Cypriots faced some difficulties during British rule in the island, he said they never fell under the yoke of Greek Cypriots.

The dispute over Cyprus

Cyprus has been mired in a decades-long dispute between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, despite a series of diplomatic efforts by the UN to achieve a comprehensive settlement.

Ethnic attacks starting in the early 1960s 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 to protect Turkish Cypriots from persecution and violence.

The TRNC was founded in 1983. It has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including a failed 2017 initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece and the UK.

The Greek Cypriot administration entered the EU in 2004, the same year when Greek Cypriots thwarted the UN's Annan plan to end the dispute.

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