Türkiye has become our 'gateway to the outside world': Turkish Cypriot minister

‘At the moment, although the whole world does not want to see us, the reality of the TRNC is before the press and political organizations all over the world,' says Sadik Gardiyanoglu

10:45 - 19/05/2024 Sunday
File photo
File photo

Sadik Gardiyanoglu, labor and social security minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), highlighted the long-standing support from Türkiye in gaining international visibility, saying, "Türkiye has become the TRNC's gateway to the outside world."

Speaking to Anadolu about participation as an observer state in the First Meeting of Ministers in Charge of Social Policy of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) in Istanbul, Gardiyanoglu highlighted that the TRNC has become an observer member of the OTS with a unanimous decision of other states in geographies where "we are historically part of."

"I would like to thank the President of the Republic of Türkiye Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the (Turkish) Minister of Family and Social Services Mahinur Ozdemir Goktas for their contributions,” he added.

Gardiyanoglu noted that as part of the Organization of Turkic States, the TRNC attaches importance to the meeting for integration in terms of social policies and believes the country will become a full member as soon as possible.

Stressing that such meetings increase the recognition of the TRNC in the international arena, Gardiyanoglu said, “We are extremely happy and proud to be a part of this big family.”

- ‘Although the whole world does not want to see us, the reality of the TRNC is before the press and political organizations all over the world'

Emphasizing that full recognition of the TRNC by Turkish states will not happen in an instant and take place in a process, he underlined that integration at the bottom must happen first. "The ministries must know each other, the systems must know each other.

Stressing that the TRNC's only connection for centuries was with Türkiye. owing to its geographical location, Gardiyanoglu said: "Although other Turkic states have contact in Northern Cyprus, perhaps in an individual commercial sense, unfortunately, they have not had a political contact until today.”

He underscored that due to isolation and embargoes, the TRNC could not open abroad and its recognition was weak, noting that the Azerbaijani Parliament's unanimous decision to approve the establishment of a parliamentary friendship group, Azerbaijan and the TRNC was "a very serious initiative."

"Once similar initiatives in other Turkic states start at the level of parliaments and reach the level of ministerial relations and when we can fully express ourselves to all Turkic states, I think that the recognition will be realized,” Gardiyanoglu added.

Emphasizing that Erdogan brought the Turkish Cypriot community and the TRNC, which is known in the geography but not wanted to be seen and has been under isolation for years, to the showcase of the world, Gardiyanoglu said, “At the moment, although the whole world does not want to see us, the reality of the TRNC is before the press and political organizations all over the world.”

- TRNC accelerated social policies

Noting that they have started serious work for the elderly, disabled and those in need in the TRNC, Gardiyanoglu said in this context, they will build two new nursing homes and two rehabilitation centers this year, as well as six nursing homes within the government's term of office.

He highlighted that they have opened employment opportunities for 500 disabled people within five years and have started to realize a project regarding the participation of the disabled in social life.

Underlining that they attach great importance to women within the understanding of the social state, Gardiyanoglu said: “We organized courses on the survival of Cypriot culture, the development of hand skills and the continuation of art.

"We have started to provide full social premium support and salary support to all women who have received certificates in these courses. Let's keep them in economic life and let them earn income for their homes.”

- Türkiye's presence gives confidence to TRNC

Stressing that Ankara's presence and support since 1958 have given them confidence, he said, “Türkiye brought peace to the island," adding that Türkiye's presence on the island gives them "strength and motivation."

Emphasizing that Türkiye is a source of self-confidence for the TRNC, he noted: “Having a power behind you increases your freedom. When the Israeli-Palestinian events started to intensify, the late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat said to the late Rauf Raif Denktas, founding president of the TRNC: 'Denktas, you are so lucky because you have a motherland behind you.

"Even saying this right now makes one's heart swell. Because we know that we also have our motherland Turkey behind us. If Palestine had a motherland behind it, we would be talking about different things today. We would not be talking about the Israeli oppression and genocide. I am proud to be a Turk. I am very proud to be a member of this great family.”

Since Oct. 7, after a Hamas attack killed less than 1,200 Israelis, Tel Aviv has launched a deadly offensive on the Gaza Strip, where it claims Hamas fighters are hiding.

More than 35,270 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, mostly women and children, and over 79,200 others injured, according to Palestinian health authorities.

#Mahinur Ozdemir Goktas
#Organization of Turkic States (OTS)
#President of the Republic of Türkiye Recep Tayyip Erdogan
#Sadik Gardiyanoglu
#Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
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