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Occupied Cyprus Gains Organization of Turkic States Observer Status

Occupied Cyprus gains organization of Turkic States observer status. Credit: Turkish Presidency

Occupied northern Cyprus has become a non-member observer state to the Organization of Turkic States, announced Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on the 11th of November.

“The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has been accepted as an observer member to the Organization of the Turkic States. We will stand with the TRNC everywhere and every time,” Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Twitter.

The decision took place on November 10th and 11th when the leaders of the organization met in Uzbekistan. There, they agreed that the Turkish-Cypriots should be represented as an observer member in the organization.

Çavuşoğlu also referred to Turkey’s ongoing efforts to sway countries around the world to accept northern Cyprus as an independent state. “Step by step… That will happen, too.”  Ankara is currently the only one that recognises Turkish Cyprus, even though it was established in 1984.

The UN has attempted to end the division through a new system by which the Turkish-Cypriots and Greek-Cypriots can exist together.  Unfortunately, those efforts have failed as Turkey and Turkish-Cypriots state that they are only willing to negotiate the separation of the island and the recognition of their independence.

“We have provided our contribution to the solution process by showing that our Cypriot brothers, an indispensable part of the Turkic world, are not alone. I want to thank you for displaying this solidarity,” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during the organization’s meeting.

Founded in 2009, the Turkic States include Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, and Uzbekistan. Hungary and Turkmenistan are the observer states.

Turkish-Cypriot leader thanks Turkic states

Following the announcement, Turkish-Cypriot President Ersin Tatar issued a written statement to thank the Turkic States.

“My valuable people; I would proudly announce that our Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has gained the observer status at the Organization of Turkic States. This decision that will be marked in history is an additional pride for us,” he said.

Tatar also expressed his gratitude to Erdoğan and Çavuşoğlu as well as the organization leaders for their decision.

The Turkish invasion that led to an occupied Cyprus

The Turkish invasion of Cyprus began on July 20, 1974, five days after a coup d’etat. The aim was enosis, or union, with Greece. Much of the northern half of the island was occupied by Turkish troops at that time, and it still remains politically divided to this day.

Approximately 40,000 Turkish troops raided the island under the code name “Operation Attila,” during the invasion, an apt one for the barbaric attack against innocent civilians which clearly violated the Charter of the United Nations Security Council.

Cyprus’ cerulean summer skies turned black after Turkish warplanes bombarded the area  from Kyrenia to Nicosia, killing hundreds of civilians before their ground troops completed the massacre.

Their pretext was the protection of Turkish Cypriots, who only made up about 18 percent of the island’s population, an argument as weak then as it is now.

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