Turkish Cypriot foreign minister welcomes observer status in Organization of Turkic States

"We consider the observer status just the beginning of the road leading to full recognition and we are very happy," Tahsin Ertugruloglu told Anadolu Agency in Istanbul.

"For the first time, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) has been admitted to an international organization with its official name," he said, praising Türkiye's role in it.

"We find Turkish President Erdogan’s call for recognition (of TRNC) at the UN General Assembly in September very meaningful," he further said.

He also thanked Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and officials of Uzbekistan, Kyrgzystan, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.

"We look at the future with hope. As long as we are with our homeland, there is no problem that we cannot overcome," he said.

Ertugruloglu was in Istanbul to attend the 13th Bosphorus Summit, an annual international economic event.

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

Ethnic 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 Türkiye’s military intervention as a guarantor power to protect Turkish Cypriots from persecution and violence. As a result, the TRNC was founded in 1983.

It has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including a failed 2017 initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Türkiye, Greece and the UK.

The Greek Cypriot administration was admitted to the EU in 2004, the same year that Greek Cypriots single-handedly blocked a UN plan to end the longstanding dispute.

Source: Anadolu Agency