Türkiye slams UNSC over statement on Cyprus road project - M5 Dergi
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Türkiye slams UNSC over statement on Cyprus road project

Abone Ol 

As tensions remain high over opposition to Turkish Cyprus’ road expansion project near the U.N. buffer zone, Türkiye sided with the TRNC and denounced the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday for ‘distorting the facts’ after the former decried the project.

The United Nations Security Council is under fire after a statement on Monday that Türkiye named as “completely divorced from the realities on the ground” over the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ (TRNC) road expansion project near the U.N. buffer zone.

The project, launched last week, led to the confrontation between U.N. peacekeepers in the divided island and Turkish Cypriot security forces.

The Council on Monday condemned what it called an “attack on peacekeepers” and “unauthorized construction” of the road. Turkish Cypriot authorities removed U.N. vehicles parked on the construction site to prevent the project last week. The U.N. Security Council said in its statement that “attacks targeting peacekeepers may constitute crimes under international law and reaffirmed their full commitment to the safety and security of all U.N. personnel.” The Council also expressed “serious concern at the launch of unauthorized construction work by the Turkish Cypriot side inside the U.N. Buffer Zone.”

In a statement on Tuesday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said that the Council’s statement was making the process “more difficult.” “The wording used regarding the events of Aug. 18 distorts the facts and misleadingly reflects what happened,” the ministry said.

“The construction of the Pile-Yiğitler road is a humanitarian project aiming to facilitate the direct access of TRNC citizens in the village of Pile to their own homeland. The notification regarding the road work was made well in advance. This being the case, the physical intervention by soldiers of the U.N. Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) in the road construction work was the cause of the tension. It will be recalled that this point was also emphasized in the recent statements of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the TRNC and our Ministry.”

“UNFICYP, in violation of the territorial integrity of the TRNC, unfairly attempted to prevent the road project on Aug. 18, endangering both its own personnel and all workers involved in the road construction. We regret that four UNFICYP personnel and eight TRNC citizens were injured as a result of UNFICYP’s irresponsible behavior and we wish them a speedy recovery,” the ministry said.

The ministry noted UNFICYP was deployed to the island in 1964 “shortly after the Greek Cypriots hijacked the partnership state in 1963 and gave rise to the Cyprus issue.”

“We assume that the call in the U.N. Security Council’s press statement for the ‘removal of all unauthorized constructions’ is also directed at the Greek Cypriot side, which over the years has built the Larnaca-Dhikelia-Ayia Napa road, which goes through Turkish Cypriot property situated in the buffer zone and the village of Pile, the Pile-Oroklini road which also goes through the buffer zone, the university building in Pile and numerous other constructions in violation of the buffer zone,” the ministry said

It called on UNFICYP to treat the two sides on the island “equally and act impartially.”

Earlier, the TRNC Foreign Ministry denounced the U.N. Security Council statement and underlined that peacekeepers “provoked” the situation and attempted to thwart a completely humanitarian project with no military angle.

On Monday, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called U.N. peacekeepers’ intervention in the project “unacceptable.”

“The physical intervention of U.N. peacekeeping forces on the territory that falls under the sovereignty of the TRNC is never acceptable for us,” Erdoğan said after the Cabinet meeting in the capital Ankara.

“It is neither legal nor humane to prevent Turkish Cypriots living in the Pile village from reaching their homeland,” Erdogan said. The president also stressed that the U.N. peacekeeping force overshadowed its impartiality with physical intervention to villagers in Northern Cyprus and unfortunate statements.

Erdoğan said tensions in the region have escalated again due to these attitudes that are “incompatible” with international law. “We certainly do not find this intervention in good faith when we are trying to mutually strengthen our relations with our neighbors and clear up the problems between us.” “What is expected from the U.N. is to contribute to resolving the humanitarian needs of all parties on the island by truly representing its name, instead of demonstrating destabilizing behavior,” he added.

Türkiye, as a guarantor state, will not allow “faits accomplis and unlawful acts” on the island of Cyprus, especially in the buffer zone, Erdogan stressed. “We will not leave our Turkish Cypriot brothers alone with the uncompromising attitude of the Greek Cypriot side that imposes their unjust and unilateral demands,” he added.

Erdoğan also criticized the EU’s statement on the issue, dubbing it “unfortunate.” “Our struggle will continue until the equal sovereignty and equal international status of the TRNC is confirmed by the whole world,” he added.

The region has been mired in a decadeslong dispute between Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots despite a series of diplomatic efforts by the U.N. to achieve a comprehensive settlement.

Türkiye fully supports a two-state solution on the island based on sovereign equality and equal international status between its two states.

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