Türkiye to continue to fulfill its duty as guarantor for Cyprus Island: Defense minister

Türkiye will continue to fulfill its duty as a guarantor country for Cyprus Island as it has done so far, the nation’s defense minister said Monday.

“Türkiye's effective and de facto guarantor (role) and the presence of Turkish soldiers in Cyprus are our red line and indispensable,” Hulusi Akar said at the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Social Resistance and Armed Forces Day Reception.

Türkiye will always continue to stand by the Turkish Cypriots in their just cause, Akar said.

"In our work with the TRNC, we have not been able to find any response to all the solution proposals we have put forward,” he said, adding that Greeks did their best to separate themselves and differentiate the Turkish population there with an “uncompromising attitude.”

Greek Cypriots should recognize the sovereignty and independence of the Turkish presence and accept their right to live in security and prosperity, he said.

“In particular, we expect third parties to be objective and impartial about the Cyprus issue, to abandon their strategic blindness and to approach events with an equal understanding,” he added.

Decades-long dispute

Cyprus has been mired in a decades-long dispute between Greek Cypriots 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 aimed at Greece's annexation of the island led to Türkiye's military intervention as a guarantor power to protect Turkish Cypriots from persecution and violence. As a result, 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 Türkiye, Greece and the UK.

The Greek Cypriot administration entered the European Union in 2004, the same year Greek Cypriots thwarted a UN plan to end the longstanding dispute.

Source: Anadolu Agency