Northern Cyprus calls for single identity for Cypriots

July 21, 2013 - 3:55:28 am

Celebrations marking the anniversary of Northern Cyprus.

By Lester Jansz

NICOSIA: Northern Cyprus or the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) yesterday marked its 39th anniversary observed as Peace and Freedom Day at the Dr Kucuk Boulevard here with President Dervis Eroglu as the chief guest.

Dr Eroglu said the Turkish Cypriot people established a sovereign state on their own territory after struggling for freedom with the support of Turkey and added that the media should play a pivotal role in making the voice of the Turkish Cypriot people heard throughout the world.

The Cyprus dispute is the result of a conflict between the Republic of Cyprus and Turkey, over the Turkish occupied northern part of Cyprus.

Initially, with the annexation of the island by the British Empire, the “Cyprus dispute” was identified as the conflict between the people of Cyprus and the British Crown regarding the Cypriots’ demand for self determination. The row, however, finally shifted from a colonial dispute to an ethnic one between Turkish and Greek islanders.

Turkey occupied the northern part of the internationally recognised Republic of Cyprus after its invasion in 1974, and later on the Turkish Cypriot community unilaterally declared independence forming the TRNC.

During a press briefing ahead of the anniversary, TRNC Foreign Minister Kutlay Erk called for a single international identity for the Cypriot people. He said that with every new president elected to the southern part of the island, there was renewed hope that it was the leadership that would resolve the long dispute.

“Our leader has repeatedly said that he is ready to start negotiations and finalise a solution during his term of presidency. He has two more years to go. So we hope Mr Anastasiades will come to the negotiation table in good faith to resolve the problem,” Erk told The Peninsula.

Erk said he hoped that president Nicos Anastasiades would be able to resolve the financial issues and restructure the economy of the south by the coming autumn and commence negotiations in finding a solution to the Cyprus dispute.

The Peninsula