Cypriot President condemns ‘peace operation’ claims by Turkish Cypriot leader

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Cyprus’ President Nikos Christodoulides has condemned a recent statement by Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar, who claimed Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus in 1974 ‘brought peace’ to the island.

On the 49th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, Mr Tatar said in an interview with Anadolu News Agency that “if this operation had not taken place, Cyprus would have been worse than Crete.”

Mr Tatar said Turkey stopped the Cyprus union with Greece in 1974, which bought peace.

“On July 20, 1974, the Cyprus Peace Operation disrupted all these schemes, and left them dumbfounded,” Ersin said in the interview.

“They would have wiped out all the Turks on the island.”

Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar.
Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar. Photo: Anadolu Agency

In response, Cyprus’ President said he will not engage in a “game of public confrontation with Mr Tatar.”

“The Cyprus problem will not be resolved through public negotiations,” Mr Christodoulides told the Cyprus Mail.

“I am here with determination, with seriousness, with realism and I will do everything possible to create the conditions for breaking the deadlock, for the resumption of talks and for the resolution of the Cyprus problem.”

These comments come as Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan prepared to visit occupied northern Cyprus on Thursday to inaugurate the new terminal and runway of the Tymbou airport.

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