Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan uses some kind of blackmail, declaring his struggle for the recognition of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
He made it clear that he would give the necessary consent to join the bloc of the Republic of Cyprus only in exchange for recognition of the TRNC – Turkish Northern Cyprus, Aydinlik reports. After his visit to the TRNC, he stated:
“If we do not give a positive answer here, South Cyprus will not be able to join NATO.”
Erdogan said that Ankara will not allow this time, by analogy with NATO’s acceptance of Greece in 1980, the entry of South Cyprus into the North Atlantic Alliance. He noted that one of the priority issues on today’s agenda is the recognition of the TRNC in the world. And along the way he praised himself, noting that only Turkey cares about security and stability in Cyprus.
Earlier, during his visit to Northern Cyprus, the Turkish president announced the opening of the Varosha tourist quarter in the ghost town of Famagusta, located on the border of South Cyprus and the TRNC. He also announced the mandatory transfer of the quarter to the possession of Northern Cyprus.
This statement caused a mixed reaction in the European Union and the United States. Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, strongly condemned this decision and recalled: according to the UN Security Council resolution, Varosha should be a neutral territory controlled by United Nations peacekeepers.
The island of Cyprus was divided into North and South in 1974, following a conflict between Turkish and Greek Cypriots. After a military coup, the Greek army junta came to power there. But Turkey took advantage of international law and occupied the northern part of the island as a result of the invasion of it. In 1975, she proclaimed the founding and independence of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
In protest against the Turkish occupation, Greece withdrew from NATO, where it was admitted in 1952. But in 1980, she decided to return to the North Atlantic Alliance and, with the approval and support of the bloc’s member states, she did so. Although the Turkish government was categorically against it.