UPDATES WITH MORE REMARKS FROM TRNC PRESIDENT
By Omer Tugrul Cam and Selen Temizer
BRUSSELS (AA) – Turkish Cypriot President Ersin Tatar called on EU leaders on Friday to "see the realities" on the island.
"I once again call on them (EU leaders) to see the realities of Cyprus," Tatar told reporters following a meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in Brussels.
Tatar's remarks came after Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, said after a two-day EU leaders' summit that the bloc opposed to a two-state solution on the island.
While Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration support a federation on Cyprus, Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) insist on a two-state solution reflecting the realities on the island.
"If they don't see it, if they keep treating Turkey unfairly like this, they shouldn't think we'd accept an imposed solution," said Tatar.
"Our message is that steps should always be taken according to the realities of Cyprus," he said, noting that there have been two states on the island since 60 years.
He stressed that Turkish Cypriots agreed on all roadmaps for a solution, including the 2004 Annan plan, however, these were rejected by the Greek Cypriot administration.
In 2004, a plan proposed by then-UN chief Kofi Annan to resolve the issue was accepted by the Turkish Cypriots, but rejected by the Greek Cypriots in twin referendums.
Tatar also cited Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s efforts during the 2017 Crans-Montana talks on Cyprus.
He said the talks proved fruitless because the Greek Cypriots left the table without accepting even "political equality."
– Turkey’s accession to EU
The president said that at the core of the Cyprus issue was a "great mistake, injustice and, in a sense, inequality" made by the international community towards the Turkish Cypriot people and added: "Therefore, no solution has been found, so far."
Tatar said that during his meeting with Guterres, he highlighted that that Greek Cypriot administration had been allowed into the EU in 2004 before the dispute on the island was resolved and that its leader represented the island alone at the EU summit.
Due to this "injustice" by the international community, the scales had been tilted "entirely in favor of the Greek Cypriots and Greeks," he added.
Noting that Guterres had agreed with these statements, he recounted that the UN chief said that when he was serving as prime minister of Portugal, he had made great efforts for Turkey's accession into the EU.
Guterres also said that if Turkey had been accepted as an EU member, today there would have been a "very different, and positive, world," Tatar added.
The Turkish Cypriot leader noted that they had also spoken briefly with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, during which he reiterated the TRNC's support for a two-state solution on the island.
However, Mitsotakis told him that such solution would not be welcomed by the EU, he added.
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.
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.
*Writing by Sena Guler in Ankara