The Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Cyprus (MFA) on Friday played down allegations by Turkey that the occupied north has been accepted in the Organisation of Turkic States (OTC) as an observer.
Earlier on Friday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced the alleged admittance of the “TRNC” in the intergovernmental organisation that aims to promote cooperation between Turkic-speaking states.
Cavusoglu wrote on Twitter that everything was developing “step by step,” referring to Ankara’s efforts to achieve international recognition of the breakaway state.
Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar also lauded the decision.
Adım adım… O da olacak!
Kuzey Kıbrıs Türk Cumhuriyeti Türk Devletleri Teşkilatı’na Gözlemci üye olarak kabul edildi.
Her zaman her yerde #KKTC’nin yanındayız.
— Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu (@MevlutCavusoglu) November 11, 2022
However, in response, the Foreign Ministry of Cyprus (MFA) denied the allegations and said that the occupied north was not admitted to the organisation.
In a press release on Friday, the MFA stressed that what happened was that Turkey suggested changing the constitution of the OTC, in order to be able to admit “entities” and not only recognised states as members.
“The fact that Turkey promoted and chose to accept the degradation of the participation of the pseudostate under the status of ‘entity’ and not as a ‘state,’ points out the obvious; that no state in the International Community, not even Turkic states, do not accept and do not recognise any legal or international status for the breakaway entity of the so-called ‘turkish republic of northern cyprus,’ the Cyprus MFA said.
Therefore, “any attempt by Turkey to present the development as a victory is devoid of substance,” the MFA added and explained that the constitutional change is still pending verification by OTC member-states.
The Cyprus MFA also pointed to public statements made by the President of Kazakhstan and the Foreign Minister of Uzbekistan, who “both expressed the support of their countries to International Law and to the necessity of respecting the independence and territorial sovereignty of all states.”
Reports by the Uzbek news agency, Ferghana News, seem to validate the Cyprus MFA’s announcement. Specifically, the agency quoted the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan Vladimir Norov clarifying that the “TRNC” was not admitted to the Organisation of Turkic States, “contrary to what was reported by Turkish media.”
“On November 11, during a meeting of the heads of the countries participating in the OTC, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on his colleagues to recognise the independence of ‘northern Cyprus’. However, the heads of other states did not respond to this call,” Ferghana News writes.
“As a result, no separate decision on ‘northern Cyprus’ was signed. Uzbekistan is strictly guided by the norms of international law, especially in matters of sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of states. There can be no talk of recognising ‘northern Cyprus’ as an independent state,” Norov was quoted saying.
The Organisation of Turkic States has Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey and Uzbekistan as full members, while Hungary and Turkmenistan have observer status.
In international diplomacy, observer-status members are granted the ability to speak during an organisation’s activities, but cannot vote on resolutions.
For example, the State of Palestine and Vatican City are observers at the United Nations General Assembly.