In brief

Northern Cyprus president reiterates at UN his rejection of federal settlement

Guterres explores ground for new talks on half-century-old dispute

Tatar at the UN Headquarters, after meeting Guterres.
Tatar at the UN Headquarters, after meeting Guterres.
The President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Ersin Tatar, said that any agreement to resolve the Cyprus conflict must recognize the island’s northern area as a sovereign state, and explicitly rejected a federal settlement. Tatar expressed this after meeting with UN Secretary General António Guterres in New York.

Guterres appointed María Ángela Holguín as his personal envoy to Cyprus in January. Holguín was assigned to seek “common ground on the way forward” between the conflicting parties for the resolution of the dispute. Tatar said he supports Holguín’s efforts, but warned that the Colombian diplomat only enjoys a six-month mandate.

Tatar’s stance on the two-state solution is similar to Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Turkey is the only country in the world that recognizes Northern Cyprus’ independence and maintains around 40,000 soldiers there. Tens of thousands of Turks have settled in Northern Cyprus over the past 50 years.

In 2004, the Turkish Cypriot population approved a UN proposal to reunify the island under a federal arrangement. However, the Greek Cypriot population rejected it. Further talks on the same model took place in 2008 and 2017, but did not result in a final agreement. In 2020, upon winning the Turkish Cypriot elections, Tatar demanded the world to recognize two Cyprus states.