Erdogan responds to statements about recognition of Northern Cyprus

January 21, 2023

Erdogan does not regard the observation of Northern Cyprus in the OTG as the beginning of its recognition

Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan said he does not see the admission of Northern Cyprus as an observer in the Organization of Turkic States (OTG) as the beginning of the process of its recognition.

The OTG summit was held in Samarkand on Friday. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told TRT Haber TV channel after the summit that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus became an observer in the organization. However, Foreign Minister Vladimir Norov told reporters that the summit did not approve Northern Cyprus for observer status in the organization. The Cypriot Foreign Ministry said in a statement that during the OTG session, Turkey proposed changing the organization’s charter to allow “entities” to participate in observer status.

“It would be wrong to regard this as recognition. Recognition has many peculiarities and sensitivities… But we will do our best. We will continue to work. I believe we will have the opportunity to present Northern Cyprus to the whole world,” Erdogan told reporters on the plane on his return from Uzbekistan.

Cyprus has been de facto divided between Greek and Turkish communities since 1974 after Turkey’s armed invasion, triggered by a coup d’état in Cyprus and an attempt to annex the island to Greece. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) was proclaimed in 1983 with 37% of the island occupied. Only Turkey recognized it. Negotiations between the Greek and Turkish communities on the reunification of Cyprus are being mediated by the UN. They were interrupted after the failure of another round held in the Swiss town of Crans-Montana in 2017. Attempts are now being made to resume talks.

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