Turkish opposition leader backs two-state solution in Cyprus

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) should be recognised as an independent state, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) said on Thursday.

“At the end of 50 years of struggle, we want the TRNC to emerge as an independent state, to be recognised and to become one of the respected countries of the world. This is our greatest desire,” Kılıçdaroğlu said after a meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar in the TRNC capital Nicosia, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

“If there is a task we can do in this regard, the CHP is ready to fulfil it," Kılıçdaroğlu said.

Cyprus has been divided since a 1974 Turkey military intervention in response to a brief Greek Cypriot coup aimed at unifying the Mediterranean island with Greece.

The Republic of Cyprus in the south has wide international recognition and is a member of the European Union. The TRNC is only recognised by Turkey.

In late April, representatives from the Republic of Cyprus and the TRNC, along with Turkey, Greece and the United Kingdom, the three guarantor powers of the island, met under the auspices of the United Nations to search for common ground to resume formal negotiations for reunification.

However, the talks led by U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres failed after the Turkish Cypriot side, backed by Turkey, called for a two-state solution. The Greek Cypriot side and Greece insisted on a bizonal, bicommunal federation, citing UN resolutions on Cyprus.

The Cyprus issue is a national cause for all the political parties in Turkey and there are no different views on the matter, Kılıçdaroğlu said.

“We all support the independence and economic development of the TRNC,” he said.

Tatar said his administration wanted two separate states living side-by-side in Cyprus based on sovereign equality.

"When we look from Cyprus, we see Turkey as one. There might be divergences within Turkey, but the Cyprus issue is a national cause,” Tatar said.

“I think that a solution between the two states is in the common interest of all of us."