On November 18 1983, UN Security Council resolution 541 denounced the Turkish attempt, three days earlier, to create a ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ and called upon all states not to recognize it.
The Security Council in the same resolution deplored the purported secession of part of the Republic of Cyprus, considered it legally invalid and called for its withdrawal. Furthermore it called upon all States to respect the Republic’s sovereignty and not to recognize any Cypriot state other than the Republic of Cyprus.
Twenty years have passed since the adoption of resolution 541 and yet Turkey and its subordinate local administration in occupied northern Cyprus have to this day not complied with it. Ignoring mandatory provisions of Security Council Resolution 541, the Turkish side continues to pursue its divisive policy in Cyprus and spares no effort in attempting to achieve international recognition of the illegal ‘TRNC’. The insistence of the Turkish Cypriot leadership that the Turkish Cypriot community is entitled to a separate sovereignty, the right of self-determination or that they constitute a separate people in Cyprus, falls within the framework of Turkey’s long standing policy of gaining international recognition for the occupied part. A policy, which is in violation of international law and has been repeatedly condemned by the international community, while driving over the years the Turkish Cypriot community to both political and economic isolation.
The Cyprus Government in cooperation with the European Union has adopted and began implementing a series of substantive measures that aim at improving the wellbeing of the Turkish Cypriot community as well as allowing Turkish Cypriots to share the advantages of EU accession. Mr. Denktash and Ankara disregarding the true interests of the Turkish Cypriot community are doing whatever they can to obstruct the Turkish Cypriots from enjoying the benefits of the Cyprus Government’s measures.
Instead of heeding the calls of the world community to contribute to the efforts for reaching a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem, so that a united federal Cyprus can enter the EU on May 1 2004, Turkey persists with its secessionist policy in Cyprus and its aggressive behavior. It should be noted that the Turkish occupation forces continue to violate the military status quo in the Strovilia area, in spite of the warnings from the Security Council for the restoration of the status quo ante.
With regard to the partial lifting of restrictions on the freedom of movement implemented by the illegal regime back in April 2003 or any other such declarations including plans for the fenced area of Varosha, these constitute the results of the isolation, both internationally and internally of the Turkish side following the collapse of the UN led Cyprus talks in the Hague. The Denktash regime’s insistence that Greek Cypriots present their passports in order to cross into the occupied area, is an illegal act that aims at further consolidating the “purported independent state” and the division of the island and as such is in violation of UNSC Resolution 550 (1984).
In April 2003, ten new members signed the treaty of accession to the European Union enlarging it from fifteen to twenty-five members. The Republic of Cyprus was accepted into the EU as a whole, with the accession treaty clarifying that the acquis communautaire would be suspended in the occupied part until the day a political solution in Cyprus is found. One would expect that such a clear, undeniable declaration on the part of the EU would have brought Turkey to its senses, especially when it ardently desires to become a member of the European Union.
Turkey has to realize that its policy of a two state solution in Cyprus is a dead-end policy and an anti-European approach that does not meet the interests of either community on the island, moreover the interests of Turkey itself. It is our hope that Turkey will soon abandon these irrational and anachronistic demands and cooperate fully with all concerned in finding a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem as envisaged in numerous UN resolutions. Such an approach would allow a united federal Cyprus with a single sovereignty and one international personality to become a full member of the European Union in May of 2004, thus fulfilling the aspirations and hopes of both communities on the island.
*** From the Press and Information Office of the Mission of Cyprus at the UN