The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) wants peace on the island to settle disputes with an agreement, the country's president said Friday in Istanbul.
"What we want is the continuum of peace in Cyprus to reach an agreement. An agreement between the two countries (the TRNC and the Greek administration of Southern Cyprus) is necessary for that," Ersin Tatar said in an address to participants at the opening of the Turkic Council Media Forum.
Touching on the issue with Cyprus, he said the TRNC is resisting "those who want to destroy the Turkish Cypriots under the guise of clash of civilizations."
Underlining that the TRNC is a deep-rooted state, he said it has come to a point where it can look to the future with self-confidence with its developed tourism, education and industry sectors, despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Pointing out that the strength of the Turkic Council comes from unity and solidarity of the Turkic world, he said the TRNC is the representative of the Turkic world in the eastern Mediterranean.
Strife his country goes through is a struggle for the future and safety of Turkish Cypriots and of the Turkic world, he added.
The Turkic Council was established in 2009 as an intergovernmental organization with the overarching aim of promoting comprehensive cooperation among Turkic-speaking states. It consists of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey and Uzbekistan as member countries and Hungary as an observer state.
The Turkic Council Media Forum, hosted by Turkey's Communications Directorate, is held in Istanbul under the theme, Deep-Rooted Past, Strong Future.
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.