Ankara, Turkey – Speaking at a ceremony held for 15 November Republic Day in the TRNC, President Erdogan said: “No equation in the Eastern Mediterranean in which Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus are not fairly included can produce peace and stability. We are determined to protect our rights in the Eastern Mediterranean. The incidents that took place in the period behind are the manifestation of our strong will on this issue.”

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivered a speech at the ceremony held in Nicosia, the capital city of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), for 15 November Republic Day.

Stating that the political issues concerning Cyprus are still continuing, President Erdogan said: “It is our priority that a fair, lasting and sustainable resolution is reached on the Cyprus issue in a way that will ensure the legitimate rights and security of the Turkish Cypriot people. However, the effort of one side alone is not enough to unlock the door to the solution. Neither we, as a guarantor country, nor the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus can tolerate these diplomacy games any longer. The Turkish Cypriots said ‘Yes’ in 2004 to the Annan Plan for solution, for the sake of peace and democracy, and in order to integrate with the world. The Greek side, on the other hand, rejected to build a shared future with the Turkish Cypriot people as a result of a ‘No’ campaign conducted in person by its leaders who has accepted the plan at the negotiation table.”

President Erdogan stated that despite the steps taken by the Turkish side, the European Union has yet to deliver on the promises it made and has not provided the necessary support to the TRNC in administrative and financial terms.

“There are two different peoples, two different democratic orders and two different states in Cyprus today. The solution efforts should be based on these efforts,” President Erdogan underscored. Further stressing that the Greek side do not want to equally share the power and prosperity with the Turkish Cypriots, the joint owners of the Island, President Erdogan noted: “This is the very reason why they constantly avoid coming to the negotiation table with the Turkish Cypriots on the issue of the hydrocarbon resources. And, neither we, as a guarantor country, nor the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus can tolerate these diplomacy games any longer.”

Also congratulating President Ersin Tatar of the TRNC and the TRNC government on their brave decision to open Maras, which had been closed for 46 years, President Erdogan said that Maras will be reinvigorated soon and cease to be a symbol of deadlock.

President Erdogan went on to say: “No equation in the Eastern Mediterranean in which Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus are not fairly included can produce peace and stability. We are determined to protect our rights in the Eastern Mediterranean. The incidents that took place in the period behind are the manifestation of our strong will on this issue. Obviously, our priority is that disagreements be settled through dialogue on the basis of international law and in line with justice. We do not encroach on anyone’s rights; we just work to prevent the duo of Greece and the Greek side from usurping our rights. We believe that the resolution to the issue is through negotiation table not further increasing the tension. The shortest path that will lead us to common benefit is diplomacy and negotiation. Our offer for the Eastern Mediterranean Conference, where the Turkish Cypriots will participate in as well, is a sincere sign of this will of ours. It is our wish that the European Union will not leave in the air the hand we have extended and avoid steps that would complicate a solution for the sake of European solidarity. The 405 billion cubic meters of natural gas we discovered in the Black Sea has further strengthened our will to turn energy into a means of cooperation. We believe that we will inshallah get good news from our exploration activities in the Mediterranean as well, just like in the Black Sea. We will determinedly continue our seismic exploration and drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean within the framework we have established until an agreement is reached.”

“We will continue to realize large-scale projects and works that will further strengthen the TRNC. We have resolved the drinking water problem in the TRNC in 2015. The works are underway for the irrigational water section of the Water Supply Project,” President Erdogan said.

President Erdogan also shared the good news that efforts were underway to build a natural gas line underwater and bring electrical energy via cables.

“We will never leave our Northern Cyprus alone and without support,” President Erdogan underlined.

Noting that Turkey transferred TL162 million to infrastructure projects in the TRNC, President Erdogan said: “We continue to increase our efforts to build a sustainable economic structure. Despite the difficulties before us, we have the means and the will to raise the quality of life if the Turkish Cypriots to a higher level. The motherland and the guarantor Turkey will stand with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and Turkish Cypriot people, as was the case so far. We will work harder to build a strong and prosperous common future with the Turkish Cypriots, whom we see as our dear brothers and sisters.”

Recalling that Azerbaijan liberated its lands, which had been under Armenian occupation for 28 years, in 44 days, President Erdogan said: “We send our greetings to our Azerbaijani brothers and sisters from Northern Cyprus. Inshallah, Mr. President will pay a visit to Azerbaijan as soon as possible, bringing this step to a very different status.”

“As long as we stand united and of one heart, there is no difficulty or obstacle we cannot overcome. Before I end my remarks with these thoughts, I would like to wish Allah’s mercy on our glorious martyrs, who brought the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus to these days, and remember with gratitude our heroic warriors and veterans. I pray to my Lord that we may celebrate many more anniversaries together. Happy Republic Day!” President Erdogan said.

Before the ceremony, President Erdogan laid a wreath at the Atatürk Monument in the TRNC. After observing a moment of silence and singing the Independence March, President Erdogan signed the Book of Honor at the monument.

President Erdogan was accompanied by President Ersin Tatar and Chairman Devlet Bahceli of the Nationalist Movement Party during the ceremonies.