“Our flags and the TRNC are our sanctuaries," says Turkish Cypriot President Ersin Tatar.
Turkish Cypriot President Ersin Tatar has harshly criticised the burning of his country's flags in demonstrations held in the Greek Cypriot administration on the 39th anniversary of the foundation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).
“Our flags and the TRNC are our sanctuaries. The necessary response will definitely be given to those who do harm to them," Tatar said on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertugruloglu strongly condemned recent statements by the Foreign Ministry of the Greek Cypriot administration regarding the 39th anniversary of the TRNC’s foundation, the TRNC Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“Contrary to what the Greek Cypriot Foreign Ministry says, the Turkish Cypriot people are not a 'minority.' They are honourable people who have succeeded in establishing their own state by using their right to self-determination,” the statement quoted Ertugruloglu as saying.
In a statement released on the occasion of the 39th anniversary of the TRNC, the Greek Cypriot Foreign Ministry claimed that ongoing efforts for a two-state solution in Cyprus were "in vain and unsuccessful."
READ MORE: Turkish Cypriot president: TRNC recognition cannot be prevented
Cumhurbaşkanı @ErsinrTatar, Güney Kıbrıs'taki gösterilerde KKTC bayraklarının yakılmasına çok sert tepki gösterdi— KKTC Cumhurbaşkanlığı (@KKTCCB) November 16, 2022
“Gereken yanıt elbette verilecektir”https://t.co/lEcOiyn3fk pic.twitter.com/InF6iqcbMY
The island has been mired in a decades-long dispute between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, despite a series of diplomatic efforts to achieve a comprehensive settlement.
Ethnic attacks starting in the early 1960s forced Turkish Cypriots to withdraw into enclaves for their safety.
In 1974, a Greek Cypriot coup aimed at Greece’s annexation of the island led to Türkiye’s military intervention as a guarantor power to protect Turkish Cypriots from persecution and violence. 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 Türkiye, Greece and the UK.
The Greek Cypriot administration was admitted to the EU in 2004, the same year when Greek Cypriots thwarted a UN plan to end the longstanding dispute.
READ MORE: How Türkiye's Cyprus operation brought peace 48 years ago