President Ersin Tatar issues written statement on the 20th anniversary of the separately held simultaneous referenda on the Annan Plan and makes calls to the UN, EU, US and other international actors


President Ersin Tatar has issued a written statement on the 20th anniversary of the separately held simultaneous referenda that took place on 24 April 2004 on the UN Comprehensive Settlement [Annan] Plan.
The written statement reads as follows:

“It has been 20 years since the UN Comprehensive Settlement [Annan] Plan was put to a separately held simultaneous referenda on 24 April 2004 for a solution to the Cyprus issue.
Whilst the Turkish Cypriot side said "yes" in the referendum, the Greek Cypriot side, which has always demonstrated an entrenched hegemonic mentality towards the Turkish Cypriot People, continued its anti-settlement approach and blocked the solution of the Cyprus issue by voting "no".
In his statement recently, Günter Verheugen, the EU Commissioner for Enlargement of that period, reiterated that the EU had been “deceived” by the Greek Cypriot Administration.  Furthermore, in his report prepared immediately after the referenda, the then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan had stated that the Greek Cypriot side not only voted against the plan, but rejected the solution itself, because of their refusal to share power and prosperity with the Turkish Cypriot side.  I see it necessary to recall the events that took place in the referenda process and the position that had been taken by the UN, EU, US and the international community.
During the referenda period of the Annan Plan, the UN, EU, US and other international actors were making promises that the side who votes “no” will be penalised, whilst the side that votes “yes” will be rewarded.  However, what actually happened is, the side that voted against the plan was rewarded by unjustly and unilaterally acceding to the EU as a member state, whilst the Turkish Cypriot side that had voted in favour of the solution plan was penalised.
I see it beneficial to recall once again the promises that were made by the international community towards the Turkish Cypriot People during the referenda process which still have not been honoured.  
The then UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, had at the time stated that “it will be to the benefit of Turkish Cypriots if they vote in favour [of a solution] in the referendum,” and his Special Envoy, Alvaro de Soto, had stated that “if the Turkish side votes in favour, the restrictions imposed on the Turkish Cypriots will end”.  
Verheugen, who again confessed recently that the Greek Cypriot Administration “deceived” them,  had during the Annan Plan referenda period given an undertaking that if the Greek Cypriot side obstructs a settlement, they will face international pressure, and that in the event the Turkish Cypriot side votes “yes” and the Greek Cypriot side votes “no” to the UN Comprehensive Solution Plan, new initiatives would be taken to end the economic isolation of the Turkish Cypriots, and to prevent their punishment.
The then US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, had promised that in the event the Turkish Cypriot side votes in favour and the Greek Cypriots against the Annan Plan in the referenda, the isolation on the Turkish Cypriot People would be ended. The US position had been clearly stipulated by the then Spokesman of the US State Department, Richard Boucher,  who had promised that the Turkish Cypriots will not be left out in the cold if the vote is “yes” in the North and “no” in the South".
However, not one single promise has been fulfilled despite the passing of 20 years, and Turkish Cypriot People are continuing to be punished through unjust and inhumane isolation and restrictions that is tantamount to persecution.
The UN, EU, US and other powers are continuing a discriminatory and biased, pro-Greek Cypriot policy on the Cyprus issue.  This situation not only encourages the uncompromising Greek Cypriot side, but also constitutes the biggest obstacle to a solution.
In order to end the guarantee of Motherland Türkiye and the existence of Turkish soldiers as well as to nullify our State and our Sovereignty, the Greek-Greek Cypriot duo and their supporters are trying to impose a solution on a federal basis.  We shall never accept these demands.
Whilst the Annan Plan referenda result of 2004 and the collapse of the process in Crans-Montana in 2017 demonstrate clearly that a solution on the federal basis is not possible, these have also proven that negotiations on this basis have been exhausted. A sustainable and realistic settlement in Cyprus is only possible on the basis of sovereign equality of two separate States, that will be of benefit not only to the Island of Cyprus, but also to the region.  It is this basis that we brought to the agenda, which was first put forward to the international community in Geneva in April 2021.
We have stated that new and formal negotiations cannot be started until our equal inherent rights, namely our sovereign equality and equal international status, have been reaffirmed and acknowledged. We will not take a step back from this new and national position, that is fully supported by Motherland Türkiye, the largest and most powerful country in the region.
Although the unfair and inhumane isolation on the Turkish Cypriot people continues, our new national position is garnering more acknowledgement and support, as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) continues to develop and grow stronger with the support and contributions of Motherland Türkiye.
The President of the Republic of Türkiye, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, made historic calls to the whole world to formally recognise the TRNC and for the isolation of the Turkish Cypriot People to be ended, during his addresses at the 77th and 78th session of the UN General Assembly.  The TRNC has become an observer member at the Organisation of Turkic States under its constitutional name and is developing closer relations across different fields with the member states of this international organisation as well as with other countries.
Whilst we continue to pursue with determination our new vision and position, it is my duty to remind the Turkish Cypriot People about the recent past and warn them to be careful and alert against new games, new intrigues and empty promises.  
On the 20th anniversary of the referenda of the Annan Plan, I once again invite the Greek Cypriot side to give up its anti-settlement, hegemonic and bigoted mentality, and to approach our constructive proposals positively. I also reiterate my call to the UN, EU, US and other powers to fulfil the promises they made during the referenda process and to put an end to their discriminatory and biased pro-Greek Cypriot policies.”