SECURITY COUNCIL: Statement from Ambassador for Turkey

The island of Cyprus is a contentious issue between neighbours Greece and Turkey. The United Nations has administered a buffer zone and the United Kingdom also has some military base areas.

The following is a statement of reply from the Ambassador for Turkey released during the first committee session. The unstable relationship between Turkey and Greece stems from a history of violent conflicts between the nations since Cyprus became an independent state in 1960. In 2015 the discourse has heightened in the post conflict aftermath.

“The Turkish republic has a long history with Cyprus, and strong cultural ties to the islands. After Turkey intervened in 1974 to guarantee Turkish Cypriot rights and to re-establish the constitutional order of 1960, Turkey has been dismayed with international condemnation of its defense of human rights. Turkey is a strong believer in unification, but believes that in order for peace to prevail, Turkish Cypriots right must be strongly guarded. Turkey believes that the Anan Plan V acknowledged this, and the Turkish government supported, and continues to support this plan. Turkish Cypriots resoundingly voted for the Anan Plan V, but Turkey believes that any weakening in protections for Turkish Cypriots in a new plan would drastically undermine this.

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the Turkish republic believe that in order to guarantee peace and security on the island after reunification, Turkey must maintain a residual troop count, and would be willing to submit to UN administered troop counts and force limits, if appropriate protections were guaranteed for Turkish Cypriots, such that these forces would not be needed.

Turkey does not believe its action in the sovereign territory of the TRNC constitute a violation of international law, and rejects the selective Greek interpretation of our actions. Turkey reminds delegates that all vessels have access to EEZ’s for navigational and research purposes, and only economic exploitation is prohibited. Turkey is eager for the natural resources and trade opportunities of the region to be unlocked, but will not compromise its support for the TRNC or its citizens as part of that process.”

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