Despite numerous diplomatic efforts by the United Nations to reach a comprehensive settlement, the island has been trapped in a long-running dispute between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the equal international standing of Turkish Cypriots have been sought by Turkey to be recognised by the UN Security Council and the world community.
Vice President Fuat Oktay said, “We call on the UN Security Council and the international community to register officially the equal international status of the Turkish Cypriots and to recognise the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,” during a ceremony in the Turkish capital Ankara on Friday.
The UN Security Council’s decision to extend the term of the UN peacekeeping operation in Cyprus on Monday drew criticism from Oktay, who said that it “added another error to the many it has been making about Cyprus for years.”
It has “no humanitarian, diplomatic, or legal value” to unilaterally ask the Greek Cypriot side for permission to prolong the UN peacekeeping force’s mandate. With this decision, the UN Security Council demonstrated that it was still insistent on using failed solution paradigms, according to Oktay.
Despite several diplomatic efforts by the UN to reach a comprehensive settlement, Cyprus has been trapped in a long-running dispute between Greek and Turkish Cypriots.
Turkish Cypriots were forced to retreat into enclaves for their safety after ethnic violence began in the early 1960s.
Turkish Cypriots were subjected to violence and persecution as a result of a Greek Cypriot coup in 1974 that sought to conquer the island. As a result, Turkey intervened militarily as a guarantee power to defend Turkish Cypriots. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was established as a result 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 United Kingdom.
The Greek Cypriot administration was admitted to the EU in 2004, the same year when Greek Cypriots thwarted a UN plan to end the longstanding dispute.
UN Peacekeeping Mission in Cyprus:
Following the mission’s extension, the Turkish foreign ministry issued a statement claiming that the UNSC “insists on settlement models that have been tried and have failed many times.” Without the approval of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, the UN Security Council unanimously approved a resolution that extended the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus’s mandate for an additional year.
The resolution from Monday said that the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) must remain on the island past January 31, 2023, to January 31, 2024.
The TRNC’s desire for a two-state solution was ignored, and the Council insisted on settlement solutions that have been attempted and failed numerous times, according to a statement from the Turkish Foreign Ministry criticizing the action.
“This situation is inconsistent with good Judgement and goodwill, and it demonstrates that the Council is unable to break free from Greek Cypriot influence in order to advance a genuine settlement on the Island.”
The United Nations Security Council justified the action by stating that the absence of an agreement risks causing lasting changes on the ground, intensifying political tensions, and lowering the chances of a settlement.
Read More about Uzbekistan referendum 2023: https://youthdiplomacyforum.com/2023/03/26/uzbekistan-referendum-2023/
On the other hand, Türkiye claimed that by urging cooperation while also ignoring the recommendations for cooperation made by TRNC President Mr. Ersin Tatar, the UN was contradicting itself.
The ministry statement said, “Once again, the UN Security Council has disregarded the inhumane and unlawful embargoes imposed on the Turkish Cypriot people.”
UN Chief fails to emphasize isolation of Turkish Cypriots:
Regarding reports on the activities of the UN Peacekeeping Force (UNFICYP) and the goodwill mission in Cyprus, the TRNC Foreign Ministry has said in a statement that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres once again refrained from emphasizing the inhumane isolation and embargo on Turkish Cypriots as in previous reports.
According to the statement released late on Friday, Guterres made an effort to make public every development that occurred on the island and in the buffer zone throughout the course of the six-month tenure.
The study, which could not debate out-of-date restrictions on Turkish Cypriots, who are equal owners of the island, was far from the reality, according to the Foreign Ministry.
It was suggested that Greek policies that impede Turkish Cypriots from conducting direct trade with the outside world are served by the notion of “Intra-Island Trade,” which is included in the report as a remedy for restrictions on Turkish Cypriots.
It stated that unless the position of both sides on the island is established on an equal footing in accordance with international law and the vested rights of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus are recognised, an agreement between the two parties would not be possible.
The UN’s “principle of neutrality” has been violated, the Foreign Ministry stressed, and references to the “Cyprus Government,” which has devolved into a mere Greek administration and lost its legitimacy, as well as claims that the Greek Cypriot administration pays one-third of the peacekeeping force’s budget, also show that the UN has contributed to the issue in Cyprus.
Regarding the draft agreement, the Status of Forces Agreement, which was presented by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus to the UN, it said: “In this regard, the necessary works by our ministry will continue to establish a reconciliation model that will register the existence of our country and satisfy our rightful demands.”
This article is written by Mustafa Ali khan, who studied International Relations from the National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad. He is interested in global conflicts, International affairs, diplomacy and youth empowerment in Foreign Affairs. He is currently working as Director HR at the Youth Diplomacy Forum.