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Erdogan Stresses Common Ground with Azerbaijan on Northern Recognition

international relations geopolitics

President Erdogan stressed the strong alliance between Turkey and Azerbaijan in supporting the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) for full membership in the Organisation of Turkic States (OTS), emphasizing their mutual recognition and support for the TRNC’s sovereignty. This unified stance was highlighted during the OTS summit in Shusha, with Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar engaging with influential figures like Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev, showcasing Azerbaijan’s significant support for the TRNC’s international recognition.

What is the common stance of Turkey and Azerbaijan regarding the TRNC’s international recognition?

Turkey and Azerbaijan share a unified stance on the international recognition of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). Both countries advocate for the TRNC’s full membership in the Organisation of Turkic States (OTS), reinforcing their mutual recognition and support for the TRNC’s sovereignty and status.

Aligning Perspectives on International Recognition

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan emphasized the alignment between Turkey and Azerbaijan regarding the recognition of the north, stating their approach has unified. Erdogan’s remarks came as he was preparing to depart from Ankara’s Esenboga airport for the NATO summit in Washington DC. During a brief Q&A session, he addressed various topics, including the recent Organisation of Turkic States (OTS) meeting.

Although Erdogan was not present at the OTS meeting—having sent Vice President Cevdet Yilmaz in his stead due to a concurrent visit to Germany where the Turkish national football team was competing—he maintained a firm stance on the status of the north. He asserted that the north, referred to as the TRNC, should be granted full membership within the OTS, a sentiment echoed by Azerbaijan.

The OTS Summit and Expanding Influence

The OTS summit, hosted in Shusha, was a pivotal moment that saw prominent Turkish Cypriot figures participating alongside government members from OTS countries, including Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Hungary, an EU member state. Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar was treated as a peer, engaging with leaders like Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Tatar’s meetings with influential figures, especially Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev, highlighted the significance Azerbaijan places on the TRNC. Aliyev’s consistent reference to Tatar as the TRNC President reinforced their mutual recognition and the north’s designation as the TRNC.

Repercussions and International Response

The summit’s developments did not go unnoticed, provoking reactions from the European Union. Josep Borrell, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, swiftly responded, reminding everyone of Hungary’s obligations and its inability to act unilaterally on behalf of the EU. Borrell’s statement clarified the EU’s position, rejecting efforts by the OTS to legitimize the Turkish Cypriot secessionist entity and emphasizing the importance of adhering to the principle of territorial integrity.

Moreover, Cyprus’ foreign ministry issued a vehement critique of the summit and Hungary’s participation, marking it as a significant misstep. The ministry voiced a call for all EU states, including Hungary, to uphold United Nations resolutions on Cyprus, international law, and the commitments stemming from EU membership.

Erdogan’s Strategic Vision for the TRNC

President Erdogan has not been discreet about his international aspirations for the TRNC. His advocacy for their full membership in the OTS is part of a larger strategy to develop and solidify relations within the group of Turkic states. The shared cultural and linguistic ties among these states provide a basis for deeper cooperation, which Erdogan aims to extend to the TRNC.

In addition to seeking full membership for the TRNC in the OTS, Erdogan’s approach involves cultivating relationships and supportive stances from other Turkic countries. This tactic not only enhances the TRNC’s international standing but also serves as a stepping stone for Turkey’s broader geopolitical objectives in the region.

By positioning the TRNC within the framework of the OTS, Erdogan envisions a fortified alliance that transcends mere observer status. The strategy is multifaceted, encompassing political, economic, and cultural dimensions that would strengthen the bonds between these states while advancing their collective interests on the international stage.

What is President Erdogan’s strategic vision for the TRNC?

President Erdogan’s strategic vision for the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) involves seeking full membership for the TRNC in the Organisation of Turkic States (OTS). This strategy aims to develop and solidify relations within the group of Turkic states, leveraging shared cultural and linguistic ties for deeper cooperation. Erdogan’s approach also includes cultivating supportive stances from other Turkic countries to enhance the TRNC’s international standing and advance Turkey’s broader geopolitical objectives in the region.

What were the repercussions of the OTS summit and how did the international community respond?

The OTS summit, which highlighted Azerbaijan’s significant support for the TRNC, provoked reactions from the European Union. Josep Borrell, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, emphasized Hungary’s obligations and the EU’s position on rejecting efforts to legitimize the Turkish Cypriot secessionist entity. Cyprus’ foreign ministry also criticized the summit and Hungary’s participation, calling for all EU states to uphold UN resolutions on Cyprus, international law, and EU commitments.

How did the OTS summit showcase the alliance between Turkey and Azerbaijan regarding the TRNC’s international recognition?

The OTS summit in Shusha showcased the strong alliance between Turkey and Azerbaijan in supporting the TRNC’s full membership in the organisation. Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar engaged with influential figures like Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev, highlighting Azerbaijan’s significant support for the TRNC’s international recognition. This unified stance reinforces the mutual recognition and support for the TRNC’s sovereignty and status.

What is the common stance of Turkey and Azerbaijan regarding the recognition of the TRNC?

Turkey and Azerbaijan share a unified stance on the international recognition of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). Both countries advocate for the TRNC’s full membership in the Organisation of Turkic States (OTS), reinforcing their mutual recognition and support for the TRNC’s sovereignty and status.

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