Only a two-state solution can ensure equal rights for the rights of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus with its southern neighbour, Turkey's Communications Director Fahrettin Altun says in an interview with Greek media.
The most realistic solution on Cyprus is a two-state solution, in which both Turkish and Greek citizens have equal rights, Turkey’s Director of Communications said.
Fahrettin Altun spoke to Greek newspaper Kathimerini ahead of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's official visit to the island.
“If we do not want to hand down this conflict to our children, we must be realistic. The most realistic solution is a two-state solution, in which the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has equal rights with its southern neighbour,” Altun said.
Altun stressed that Ankara sought dialogue for the solution of problems in its region and for the Cyprus issue as well.
He said that some Greek politicians, along with Greek Cypriot politicians, have put forward maximalist policies that are not complying with international law and are ignoring Turkey’s and the Turkish Cypriots' rights.
"Turkish Cypriots have showed goodwill at every chance but that goodwill also has a limit,” he said.
READ MORE: Turkish Cypriot president says Turkey is 'motherland, guarantor country'
Director of Communications @fahrettinaltun gave an interview to the Greek newspaper "Kathimerini".— Republic of Türkiye Directorate of Communications (@Communications) July 18, 2021
“The most realistic solution is the two-state solution, where the TRNC has equal rights with its southern neighbour.”https://t.co/2iHuDwYWOD pic.twitter.com/pBVmJrrbKJ
Erdogan to visit TRNC
The interview came ahead of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's two-day official visit to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, TRNC, on Monday.
During his visit, Erdogan will address a special session of the Turkish Cypriot parliament and attend celebrations of July 20 Peace and Freedom Day, marking the 47th anniversary of Turkey’s 1974 Peace Operation, which protected the island’s Turkish Cypriot community from Greek Cypriot violence.
He also will meet with Turkish Cypriot President Ersin Tatar to exchange views on the latest developments in the Eastern Mediterranean and bilateral relations.
Erdogan will also attend a mass inauguration ceremony of some completed projects.
Every year the TRNC celebrates July 20 as its Peace and Freedom Day to mark the operation – a large-scale military intervention to protect Turkish Cypriots from violence that struck the island in 1974.
READ MORE: Ex-UK foreign secretary proposes 'two-state solution' to Cyprus issue
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.
In the early 1960s, ethnic attacks forced Turkish Cypriots to withdraw into enclaves for their safety.
In 1974, a Greek Cypriot coup aiming at Greece's annexation led to Turkey's military intervention as a guarantor power to protect Turkish Cypriots from persecution and violence.
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) was founded in 1983.
The island has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including a failed 2017 initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece, and the UK.
The Greek Cypriot administration entered the European Union in 2004, the same year that Greek Cypriots thwarted the UN's Annan plan to end the decades-long dispute.
READ MORE: Cyprus sides hold informal talks in Geneva