Turkey - TRNC Joint Declaration July 20, 1999


At the invitation of H.E.Rauf R.Denktaş, President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, H.E.Mr.Bülent Ecevit, Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey, paid an official visit to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on 20 July 1999.

Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit was accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Mr.Cumhur Ersümer, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr.İsmail Cem, Minister of State Mr.Şükrü S.Gürel, Minister of State Prof.Dr.Tunca Toskay Minister of State Mr.Hasan Gemici, Minister of National Defence Mr.Sabahattin Çakmakoğlu, Minister of Tourism Mr.Erkan Mumcu, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Mr.Korkmaz Haktanır and Deputy Undersecretary of Prime Ministry Mr.Selçuk Polat.

Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit and the accompanying high-level delegation attended, on 20 July 1999, Celebrations of the 25th Anniversary of Peace and Freedom Day.

During this visit, Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit held consultations with President Rauf R.Denktaş, Prime Minister Dr.Derviş Eroğlu and members of the Government of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

During these consultations, the parties;

Reaffirming the contents of their Joint Declarations of 20 January 1997, 20 July 1997 and 23 April 1998;

Reiterating their mutual desire and determination to develop and deepen the relations between the two countries in every field; and

Having reviewed the current situation in the light of the statement by the G-8 countries at their Summit in Cologne; the United Nations Secretary-General's report on his mission of good offices; and the UN Security Council resolution 1250, deemed it useful to make the following common views and decisions known to the public:

- Today is the 25th Anniversary of a day which marks the end of a dark period of suffering for the Turkish Cypriot people.

- The Turkish Cypriot people, who, through great sacrifice, have reached the present day, fully appreciate the value of living under the roof of their own independent and sovereign State, enjoying the right to determine their own future. We commemorate, with respect, our Martyrs, who have sacrificed their lives to this end, and extend our gratitude to our veterans.

- There will never be a return to those dark days and there is no question of tolerating any fait accompli which would leave the door open to such a development. All such aspirations should be abandoned.

- Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus expect that their sensitivity and determination in this respect are recognized by all and, unlike in the past, their views are carefully taken into account.

- It is of vital importance that both for the security and well-being of the two peoples of the island as well as for the stability of the Eastern Mediterranean, the prevailing peace in Cyprus is not disrupted.

- The way to ensure this is to recognize the realities and to achieve a peace agreement between the Turkish Cypriot state in the North and the Greek Cypriot state in the South.

- The 36 years old chain of injustice against the Turkish Cypriot people must be broken.

- With their pre-planned armed attacks in 1963, the Greek Cypriots destroyed the 1960 Republic, which had been established jointly by the two peoples of the island by exercising their separate right to self-determination, and tried to annihilate the Turkish Cypriot people.

- Since then there has not been a state, government, parliament, or administration with the authority or competence to represent the two equal peoples in Cyprus, and to take any decision for the island as a whole.

- The Turkish Cypriot people have never accepted the usurpation by the Greek Cypriots of their rights and the titles emanating from the partnership Republic, by force of arms. They resisted the Greek Cypriot attacks and oppression for years and, continuing their struggle for survival, established their own administration and finally their own state.

- The intervention by Turkey under the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee, upon the coup d'etat carried out by Greece in 1974 with the aim of annexing Cyprus to Greece, not only put an end to this illegal act but also saved the Turkish Cypriot people from mass extermination and 11-year- long acts of oppression.

- After 1974, a new situation has come about in Cyprus, ending a period of continuous strife and bloodshed. The tranquility ensuing from this enabled the two sides to live within their respective territories and states, and to search for ways to settle their disputes created after 1963.

- The Turkish Cypriot side has, for years, made serious and constructive proposals for the creation of conditions with would preserve the environment of security in Cyprus and enable the two sides to resolve their disputes. It has spent efforts, in good faith, for the formation of a framework for a comprehensive settlement. The Greek Cypriot side, however, has not contributed to these efforts in a genuine manner; has not changed its attitude towards the Turkish Cypriot people; and has not abandoned its unfounded claims and prejudices.

- At the root of the 36-year-old impasse in Cyprus lie the failure of the Greek Cypriot side to abandon its obsession with converting Cyprus into a Greek island and, in that connection, its attempt to continue to hold onto its illegitimate title and claims. Greece primarily carries grave responsibility in the continuation of this negative and adventurous attitude of the Greek Cypriot side.

- It is abundantly clear that none of these claims of the Greek Cypriot side have a legal or justified basis or a legitimate purposes that they are of an aggressive nature, and that they openly violate international agreements.

- The imposition, as an extension of these aggressive policies, of embargoes on the Turkish Cypriot people in all fields, and the propaganda war waged in the international arena cannot, in any way be justified or accepted.

- The EU, by opening accession negotiations with the Greek Cypriot side, has taken a totally wrong turn. It is not possible to consider the balance between the two peoples of Cyprus as well as between Turkey and Greece, established and guaranteed by the 1960 Agreement, as non-existent. This has no validity in international law. Despite our objections and admonitions, the EU, by taking such an irresponsible step, has destroyed the established framework and parameters for a settlement, and by deepening the crisis of confidence, led to the further estrangement of the two peoples from one another.

- An approach which regards the Greek Cypriot side as the sole interlocutor authorized to negotiate on behalf of the island as whole, and which purports to ignore the equal political status and sovereign rights of the Turkish Cypriot people, is totally invalid and is bound to fail. The Greek Cypriots and the EU should realize that the future of the island cannot be built on such an approach.

- The emergence of a new awareness on the part of the EU in this direction is welcome but not sufficient. The Union must show the will to abandon the wrong path it has embarked upon, and the accession negotiations conducted with the Greek Cypriot side under the banner of Cyprus must be stopped.

- Because the green light given to the Greek Cypriot side for EU membership has raised expectations on the Greek Cypriot side and encouraged them to pursue a dangerous policy of tension. The Greek Cypriot Administration has been engaged in importing high-technology weapons to South Cyprus; establishing air and navy based for Greece; and openly supporting PKK terrorism against Turkey, in collaboration with Greece. These are unacceptable actions, which escalate tension in the island as well as the region, and place obstacles in the way of any process of negotiations.

- Turkey, as motherland and a guarantor country, has treaty rights and obligations towards the Turkish Cypriot people, and has national security interests over the island of Cyprus. The erosion, directly or indirectly, of the 1960 Treaties of Guarantee and of Alliance will not be allowed under any circumstances. The balance established between Turkey and Greece over the island an in the Eastern Mediterranean, through the 1960 Agreements, ill be carefully maintained, in political, military, economic and all other fields, particularly in the light of developments in the EU's relations with the Greek Cypriot side.

- We are aware of the existence, within the international community, of circles who acknowledge the mistakes of the past and properly evaluate the situation in Cyprus, sincerely desiring an agreed settlement. As many past experiences show, talks which are undertaken without creating the necessary prerequisites and basis for achieving a reliable outcome end in failure, each failure deepening the mistrust and tensions in the island and pushing the parties further apart.

- The point has been reached where it is not possible to start a new process of negotiations, without accepting the equality of status between the two sides, and without manifesting, with the necessary legal and political clarity, the existence in Cyprus of two equal and sovereign states representing the two peoples, and the fact that neither of these two states can claim sovereignty or authority over the other. The acceptance of the separate sovereign existence of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has become the key to reconciliation based on agreement between the two states of the island.

- Avoiding the realities in the island is not in the interest of anyone, including the Greek Cypriot side. A new Cyprus can only be founded on these realities. Third parties can only contribute to the preservation and further consolidation of peace in Cyprus by encouraging the Greek Cypriots along this path and by adopting an attitude which would make them abandon their obsessions. A settlement can only be lasting if it is freely negotiated between the two equal states in the island; if the balance between the two motherlands, namely Turkey and Greece, is maintained; and if the differences between the two sides are reconciled on a comprehensive and mutually acceptable basis.

- The confederation proposal put forward by President Rauf R.Denktaş on 31 August 1998 draws up a framework for opening the door to a lasting peace based on agreement between the two peoples and the two states of the island on the basis of equality and sovereignly. If the aim is to secure lasting peace in the island of Cyprus and in the region, the proposal for a Cyprus Confederation should be considered with utmost care and seriousness.

- The relations between Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus will be developed and deepened in line with the target of integration set at the highest level. Projects which are important for speeding up the economic development of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus will be put into effect and completed. With the aim of protecting their common interests in all their aspects, Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus will sign a special relationship agreement, in the period ahead.