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'Turkey favors fair, permanent solution of Cyprus issue'

ANKARA 

Turkey believes in a fair and permanent solution to the Cyprus issue, the country's vice president said during a visit to Northern Cyprus on Wednesday.

"We stand against injustice and stand by the will for a solution on the Cyprus issue. The Turkish side favors a fair, permanent solution," Fuat Oktay told a joint press conference in Lefkosa, the Turkish Cypriot capital, with Ersin Tatar, the president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

"The sincere attempts of the Turkish side to solve the Cyprus issue in favor of all the Cypriot people have been undermined by the 'maximalist' demands of the Greek side," he said, adding that those attitudes still continue.



Stressing that Turkey will never abandon Northern Cyprus, he said there are two separate communities, democracies, and states on the island.

Oktay said that Turkey, as a guarantor country, will continue to support the Turkish Cypriots in their rightful struggle.

"We gave full support to the TRNC government on [the town of] Maras. We will maintain our support under all circumstances," he added.

Maras, also known as Varosha, was partially reopened to the public on Oct. 8 after decades as a "ghost town" in the wake of the 1974 Peace Operation.

Oktay called on the EU to adopt a more impartial, just, and fair approach towards the issue.

"There is no way out in Cyprus other than a two-state solution, we are clear on this issue. A two-state solution must be negotiated," he asserted.



He stressed that negotiations based on a federation model would serve nothing except for a waste of time for Northern Cyprus.

"History has witnessed that the federation model has not yielded any result. The Greek Cypriot side and Greece have caused it. Also, the Greek side has clearly never and ever wanted to share power and prosperity with the Turkish side for years," he said.

Turkish Cypriots demonstrated their will for a two-state solution when they elected Tatar as president, Oktay said, adding that all parties should respect this will.

For his part, Tatar said that they definitely are in compliance with Turkey on the Cyprus issue.

"I want to express with pleasure that we are definitely in harmony with Turkey, and we're at the same point with one hundred percent consensus at this current stage," the leader said.

He also stated that what Turkey says about the issue has remarkable importance since it is the region's largest and most powerful country.

Regarding Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis's remarks during his visit to Southern Cyprus, Tatar said that Mitsotakis did not respect the rights of the Turkish side when he described Turkey as a so-called "invader country."

On Monday, the Greek premier called for ending the so-called "Turkish occupation" on the island, saying the only solution to the Cyprus issue was a federation model between the two states.

While Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration support a federation on Cyprus, Turkey and the TRNC insist on a two-state solution reflecting the realities on the island.

Turkish officials favor negotiations based on sovereign equality to resolve the decades-long issue.

The island of Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when a Greek Cypriot coup aimed at Greece's annexation of the island was followed by violence against the island's Turks and Ankara’s intervention as a guarantor power.

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 TRNC was founded in 1983.
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