President Ersin Tatar’s Message on ‘Europe Day’

“The EU should pay attention to our demand for acknowledgement of sovereignty”

President Ersin Tatar made a statement on the occasion of May 9, ‘Europe Day’ and called on the EU to acknowledge the sovereignty of the Turkish Cypriot people and also to fulfil the promises made to the Turkish Cypriots during the Annan Plan referenda.

President Tatar's statement is as follows:

“While May 9 is celebrated as ‘Europe Day’ every year, we regret to see that the European Union has moved away from its basic principles in its perspective on the Cyprus issue and is acting against them.  The biased attitude of the EU on Cyprus is worrying and harms the efforts for a solution.

Southern Cyprus, which was unilaterally admitted to the bloc in an unjust manner, is continuing to exploit its membership and is using this as a basis of making threats and blackmails. It is unfortunate that the Greek Cypriot side continues its uncompromising attitude with the power it receives from the EU. This is unacceptable, and as separate people in Cyprus, our expectation and wish is that the EU takes into account our demand for an acknowledgment to be made in relation to the sovereignty of the Turkish Cypriot people. We believe this conforms to the principle of respect for the sovereign right of the peoples, which has an important place among its basic principles.

We also call upon the EU to fulfil its promises made to the Turkish Cypriot people during the process of the Annan Plan referenda which was held on April 24, 2004.  During the referenda process, as well as promising that ‘the isolation and restrictions imposed on the Turkish Cypriots will be ended in the event they vote in favour of the Annan Plan,’ this failed to materialise and, regrettably, the Turkish Cypriot people were left out in the cold. The side that voted against the Annan Plan were a week later rewarded with unilateral EU membership. To add insult to injury, the Cyprus issue, in contrary to what had been promised at the time, is being put as an obstacle in front of Turkey in her own membership process.

However, even though 17 years have passed,  not only have none of these promises been  fulfilled, the Turkish Cypriot people are being forced to accept becoming a minority of the Greek Cypriots. Isolations and embargoes that contravene universal human rights laws are still continuing, and the issue of Cyprus is still continuing to be placed in front of Turkey as an obstacle in its negotiations with the EU. All these factors have made the credibility of the EU questionable and created a great disappointment among the Turkish Cypriot people.

Today, on May 9 'Europe Day, my call on behalf of the Turkish Cypriot people is that the EU should put an end to its one-sided stance on Cyprus, and to take into account our demands on sovereignty and fulfill the promises made in the Annan Plan referenda."