President Ersin Tatar said it has become inevitable for Turkish Cypriots to maintain their sovereign rights on the island, adding it is no longer possible to agree on a federal structure for Cyprus.

TRNC President Ersin Tatar says sovereign equality on island is a must to resolve the dispute.
TRNC President Ersin Tatar says sovereign equality on island is a must to resolve the dispute. (AA)

Turkey has expressed support for a two-state solution on the island of Cyprus based on equal sovereignty, says the president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

President Ersin Tatar declared that it has become inevitable for Turkish Cypriots to maintain sovereign rights on the island, adding it is no longer possible to agree on a federal structure in Cyprus. The statement came during an event held by the TRNC’s consulate general in Istanbul.

“We are open to cooperation, only with the acceptance of the status of two separate states based on sovereign equality. Cooperation can only be achieved under these conditions. We share this demand with the entire world,” he said, adding his administration is open to reconciliation and agreement.

“We officially expressed this for the first time at the meetings held in Geneva on April 27-29. We conveyed our six-item plan based on equal status. However, we also stated that if our sovereign and international equality is accepted, we can enter the formal negotiation process, because sovereign equality is the only guarantee of our existence,” he added.

Tatar also said that Turkey’s role as a guarantor country on the island and the presence of its armed forces would help the TRNC establish its goals, otherwise, Turkish Cypriots would face the danger of being assimilated by Greek Cypriots.

READ MORE: Turkish Cypriot leader: No talks on Cyprus until equal status recognised

Decades-long dispute

Cyprus has been mired in a decades-long dispute between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, despite a series of diplomatic efforts by the UN to achieve a comprehensive settlement.

Ethnically-targeted 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 Turkey's military intervention as a guarantor power to protect Turkish Cypriots from persecution and violence.
As a result, the TRNC was founded in 1983.

READ MORE: Turkish Cypriot president says Turkey is 'motherland, guarantor country'

Source: AA