Erdogan slammed after visiting N. Cyprus and calling for ‘two-state solution’

Erdogan slammed after visiting N. Cyprus and calling for ‘two-state solution’
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Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, his wife Emine Erdogan, left, Ersin Tatar, second right, and his wife Sibel Tatar, greet each other during a welcome ceremony at Ercan Airport, in Nicosia, Northern Cyprus, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020. (AP)
Erdogan slammed after visiting N. Cyprus and calling for ‘two-state solution’
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Protesters in the Turkish-occupied Cypriot resort town of Verosha demonstrated against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit on Sunday. (AFP)
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Updated 16 November 2020

Erdogan slammed after visiting N. Cyprus and calling for ‘two-state solution’

Erdogan slammed after visiting N. Cyprus and calling for ‘two-state solution’
  • Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said the visit was 'provocative and illegal'
  • Erdogan was visiting Northern Cyprus after Ersin Tatar won last month's presidential election

ANKARA: Recep Tayyip Erdogan was again accused of provocation on Sunday after a controversial visit to a Turkish enclave in Cyprus.

The Turkish president demanded a “two-state solution” for the divided island and vowed to continue oil exploration in Greek territorial waters in the eastern Mediterranean.

The island is split between the Republic of Cyprus, an EU member that controls the southern two thirds, and the northern third occupied by Turkey since 1974. 

Only Ankara recognizes northern Cyprus as an independent state, and it is largely shunned by the international community

"Our priority is to ensure a fair, lasting and sustainable solution" in Cyprus that ensures Turkish Cypriots have security and legal rights, Erdogan told an audience after his arrival.

“There are two peoples and two separate states in Cyprus. There must be talks for a solution on the basis of two separate states,” he said. 

"A two-state solution must be negotiated on the basis of sovereign equality," he added.

Erdogan was visiting Northern Cyprus after Ersin Tatar, who also supports a two-state solution, won last month's presidential election. Tatar's predecessor had backed reunification of the island.

'Provocative and illegal'

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades condemned Erdogan’s visit, and the “secessionist act of the declaration of the illegal regime” in the north.

“Ankara has absolutely no respect for international law, European principles and values, and its obligations toward the EU,” he said.

Erdogan later visited Varosha, a beach town that has been fenced-off and abandoned in no-man's land since 1974.

Ankara backed the partial re-opening of Varosha just before last month's election in a move criticized by the United States, Greece and Greek Cypriots.

Turkey has increasingly flexed its military muscle in the region, including by backing Azerbaijan in its renewed conflict with Armenia over the past few weeks.

Erdogan alluded to Turkey's dispute with EU members Greece and Cyprus and with other neighbors over territorial waters in the eastern Mediterranean.

The EU has threatened to impose sanctions on Turkey next month over illegal exploration at sea.

"Neither we nor Northern Cyprus can tolerate diplomacy games (in the region) anymore," Erdogan said.

He added that Tatar would soon visit Azerbaijan - which does not recognize Northern Cyprus — to "make the situation better", without elaborating.

Tatar backed Erdogan's calls for a two-state solution and offshore rights.


Eight people killed in shelling in Yemen’s Hodeidah

Updated 5 min 33 sec ago

Eight people killed in shelling in Yemen’s Hodeidah

Eight people killed in shelling in Yemen’s Hodeidah

DUBAI: At least eight people were killed in the shelling of an industrial compound in Yemen’s strategic port of Hodeidah, the government said Friday, pointing the finger at the Iran-backed Houthis.

There has been an uptick in fighting in and around the lifeline port of the western city, where a fragile UN-brokered truce has largely averted major battles between the government-backed by a Saudi-led military coalition - and the Houthi insurgents.
Yemeni Information Minister Moammar Al-Eryani condemned the Houthis’ “ugly terrorist attack” on the Thabit Brothers industrial compound on Thursday, according to the official Saba news agency.
He said that eight workers were killed and 13 others were injured, while medical sources told AFP there were at least 10 deaths.
The United Nations Mission to support the Hodeida Agreement (UNMHA) also condemned the incident.
“The killing of civilians must stop,” it said Thursday, urging all parties to maintain the ceasefire.
“In addition to being a working factory servicing the population and providing employment, the site of the industrial complex is being considered as one of the possible locations of an UNMHA office,” it said.
The United Nations said that a total of 74 civilians were killed or wounded in Hodeida province in October as hostilities escalated.
And in late November, five children were among eight civilians killed in rebel shelling of the government-held district of Al-Durayhimi on the Red Sea coast.
Yemen, which since 2014 has been gripped by a war between Iran-backed Houthis and a beleaguered government supported by the Saudi-led military coalition, faces the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
Tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians, have killed and millions displaced and on the brink of famine.
The UN said Thursday that malnutrition has now hit record levels, narrowing the window of opportunity to prevent a famine as the coronavirus and funding shortfalls threaten a humanitarian perfect storm.
The number of people facing the second-highest level of food insecurity in Yemen is set to increase from 3.6 million people to 5 million in the first half of 2021, the United Nations World Food Programme warned.