President Ersin Tatar pays visit to the Northern Cyprus Turkish Association of New South Wales

“I am visiting Australia as the first TRNC President to do so in history, to embrace the Turkish Cypriots living here, and to strengthen the relations you have with your homeland, the TRNC”


President Ersin Tatar has paid a visit to the Northern Cyprus Turkish Association of New South Wales, Sydney, where he addressed a meeting organised to mark the 80th anniversary of the Turkish Cypriot culture and traditions in multicultural Australia.
The meeting was also attended by the Ambassador of the Republic of Türkiye to Australia, Ufuk Gezer.
President Tatar was welcomed by chairperson Müge Hüdaverdi, officials and members of the association.  
Stating that he is visiting Australia as the first TRNC President to do so in history, President Tatar said: “I am here to join our community in the numerous celebrations in Sydney and Melbourne that is being held to mark a very important milestone anniversary of 80-years of Turkish Cypriot culture and tradition to Australia.”
President Tatar paid tribute to the founder of the association, Boral Avni, and to Adil Nami who was also the first president of the current premises of the association in Granville, Sydney.
“Despite being thousands of miles away from your homeland, your hearts and thoughts are with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, with your families and loved ones. As for us, the TRNC has never forgotten the Turkish Cypriots of Australia either, and we place great importance on your presence here and want to strengthen your relations and bonds with the TRNC,” President Tatar said.
President Tatar explained that numerous online meetings dating back to the pandemic period was held with civil organisations based in Sydney and Melbourne. “I place great importance on the Turkish Cypriots living in Australia,” President Tatar said. “For more than three years, I have been invited to come here, and this process continued for three years. I am happy that I am here, to express my gratitude to you and your successes, across different walks of life,” President Tatar said.
Turkish Cypriot migration to Australia goes back to the 1940s
President Tatar stated that “the story of the Turkish Cypriots of Australia goes back to the 1940s, when the first Turkish Cypriot migrants set foot in the country, due to the oppression imposed on the Turkish Cypriot People during the British colonial era and subsequently in order to escape from persecution, abductions and the ethnic cleansing plans of the Greek Cypriots who aspired to unite Cyprus with Greece (ENOSIS).  Your ancestors were forced to migrate to Motherland Türkiye, UK, Australia and other parts of the world, because of the situation at the time in Cyprus. . . however our hearts beat together, for our country, for the TRNC,” President Tatar said.
Paying tribute to the first Turkish Cypriots who arrived in Australia, President Tatar said: “You are all contributing to the economy and prosperity of Australia and have established yourselves into the society here in different sectors, many of you have become successful entrepreneurs, doctors, businesspeople, and some have even entered the realm of politics.  As somebody who lived and studied abroad, I know the love and passion you feel for the TRNC, your homeland. I know that your hearts are with us, and that you want justice.”
My new vision for a settlement on the basis of two States
President Tatar stated that despite being thousands of miles away from their homeland, “every Turkish Cypriot, and particularly our youth, should try to follow the developments in Cyprus.”
Stating that he is “putting forward a new vision and position for a two State settlement on the basis of our sovereign equality and equal international status,” President Tatar said: “What I am saying today is simple. There are two separate Peoples and two States in Cyprus. The Turkish Cypriot People have arduously worked for more than half-a-century, to reach a settlement which has been rejected at least by 15 times by the Greek Cypriot Side – as stated by their former Foreign Minister, Nikos Rolandis.”
“I was elected by my people for my new vision, for a realistic and sustainable settlement in Cyprus, based on our inherent rights, namely our sovereign equality and equal international status.”
President Tatar stated that the Greek Cypriot Side rejected a settlement in the separately held simultaneous referenda in April 2004 by 76 per cent, which was accepted by the Turkish Cypriot People by 65 per cent.
“Despite voting in favour of a settlement, the Greek Cypriots were accepted as members of the EU a week later, whilst none of the promises by the international community to end the isolation of the Turkish Cypriot People have ever been honoured,” President Tatar said.
Stating that the last and final attempt for a federal settlement collapsed in Crans-Montana in July 2017, President Tatar said: “The repeated failures clearly show the Greek Cypriot mentality of not accepting Turkish Cypriots as their inherent equals, and the lack of desire to share power and prosperity with us. My new position, that is fully supported by Motherland and Guarantor Türkiye – the largest and most powerful country in the region, is that the time has come to open a new page for Cyprus, to think outside the federal box, and to look forward rather than insisting on the same exhausted basis which has to date only served to keep the status-quo.”
President Tatar said there is an ongoing exercise following the appointment of a personal envoy of the UN Secretary-General, who has been mandated for a period not exceeding six months, to explore whether common ground exists or not to start a new and formal process.  President Tatar stated that he told the personal envoy “the need for our inherent rights to be reaffirmed and accepted,” which was also a “promise by the international community to end our isolation”.
President Tatar said his vision is for a two State settlement where the Turkish Cypriot People and Greek Cypriot People co-exist as good neighbours in a cooperative relationship.
I am here to strengthen the bridge between us
President Tatar stated that he is honoured to be paying a visit to the oldest Turkish Cypriot association established in Sydney, saying: “I am visiting Australia to embrace you all and to show my appreciation and recognition of your successes and achievements. I call upon you to act in solidarity and to be united.  Our hearts are beating together for the prosperity and well-being of our homeland, as we continue the struggle for justice and equal status, equal treatment and equal opportunities, that is enjoyed by the nations and People of the world.  I call upon you to invest in the TRNC, to not forget about the homeland of your ancestors. I am here to strengthen the bridge between us.  You are each a member of a very honourable People who are continuing the struggle for the reaffirmation and acceptance of their sovereignty and State.”
President Tatar thanked the members for listening to him and for the hospitality shown.
Hüdaverdi: “Today is our Bayram”
Association president, Müge Hüdaverdi, who welcomed the President, said “today is our Bayram”.  “It has been 80 years that we, as the Turkish Cypriot community in Australia, have longed for such a historic moment. You are the leader of not only the Turkish Cypriot people in the TRNC, but also of those around the world,” she said.
Stating that there are today “roughly 100,000 Turkish Cypriots living in Australia,” Ms Hüdaverdi stated that the first Turkish Cypriots to have moved to Australia started in the 1940s due to the oppression.  Ms. Hüdaverdi recounted the historical developments that was lived in Cyprus and said that “my own family took a long voyage across the sea. . .on a ship to this beautiful, peaceful and multicultural land [Australia]”.
She explained that many Turkish Cypriots had “left Cyprus because of the civilian strife,” adding that “there are many Turkish Cypriots, who were among the first to have arrived in Australia from the Island of Cyprus that are attending the meeting with our President today, who moved here for a better future for their children and grandchildren, in the face of violence perpetrated against them in the 1960s and 1970s.
Stating that Turkish Cypriots are “peaceful and hard-working people,” Ms Hüdaverdi said: “Our people have a rich cultural heritage, which was brought over to Australia, some 80 years ago”.
Ms. Hüdaverdi thanked President Tatar for his determined stance on visiting Australia – which she said is a historical moment for everybody.