‘The violation of Cyprus’ 1960 establishment, alliance and guarantee agreements also puts sovereign British bases on island into question,’ says Ersin Tatar
France setting up a base in the Greek Cypriot administration of Southern Cyprus and the US arming the south are both clear violations of Cyprus’ founding agreements, said the president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) on Friday.
Speaking to Anadolu, Ersin Tatar said that the Greek Cypriot administration expressed its commitment to the three “establishment, alliance and guarantees” agreements signed by Cyprus, Türkiye, the UK, and Greece in 1960 when the “Republic of Cyprus” was established in order to provide international legitimacy.
Stating that neither France nor any other state can establish a base or send weapons to the island without the approval of Türkiye, the UK, and Greece, Tatar said: “France’s establishment of a base in the Greek Cypriot administration and the US arming it constitute clear and unambiguous violations of Cyprus’ founding agreements.”
He added: “The Greek Cypriot administration still claims that they are the ‘Republic of Cyprus’ and argues that their founding agreements are valid. Thus, on the legitimate ground of this agreement, it is impossible for France to come to the south and establish a base. From a legal point of view, France should not come and establish a naval base in the Greek Cypriot administration.”
Tatar said that the defense and arms agreements that the US and France separately signed with the Greek Cypriot administration and the Greek Cypriots’ admission to the EU in 2004 all violated the 1960 founding agreements.
Saying that it is illicit for the two countries to establish a naval base in Larnaca without the approval of Türkiye and the Turkish Cypriot people, Tatar stressed that he believes that the Greek Cypriot administration and France will act more carefully on this issue.
“The violation of Cyprus’ establishment, alliance, and guarantee agreements also puts the sovereign British bases on the island into question,” said Tatar, referring to bases that date back to 1960.
– Decades-long issue
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.
The Greek Cypriot administration entered the European Union in 2004, the same year that Greek Cypriots thwarted a UN plan to end the longstanding dispute.
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.