Name? Ersin Tatar
Westphalian identity? Turkish Cypriot
Why is he in the news? Today marks the 47th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus and Ersin Tatar, the President of the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, stated that the only solution to the Cyprian situation is a two-state solution. A bold statement given that his state is only recognised by Turkey and no other state in the world…
Why do we care? We have written about the situation in Cyprus before and how it has affected international relations under the Trump Administration. But since then, matters have changed as Trump has left the White House and Turkey has started exploring the sea around Cyprus for gas, claiming its exclusive economic zone. Tatar’s statement is a reflection of Erdogan’s more confident actions surrounding Cyprus lately.
Why should you care? This is one of the oldest frozen conflicts in the world and statements from both sides do not seem like there is any will to end it any time soon. If anything, the island of Cyprus will continue to be at the centre of Cold War-inspired actions from the Turkish and the EU side. Given the low intensity and normality of diplomatic disputes surrounding the situation, you should care 4/10.
Who else cares? Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis called for a peace settlement that reunifies Cyprus in a bizonal, bicommunal federation. Although Mitsotakis and Erdogan have recently been warming up a bit, he still called Turkey out saying “It’s time Turkey abandoned the meaningless policy of threats against Cyprus and the Turkish Cypriot.”
Any further comments? Tatar stated during an interview with the Guardian that he was “the man who convinced Erdoğan that after all these federation opportunities had been exhausted we should go for this two-state solution.” A bold statement given that he is completely dependent on Erdogan and could easily be turned into another Turkish Province…