Türkiye refutes UN Security Council statement on roadworks in Northern Cyprus

Türkiye refutes UN Security Council statement on roadworks in Northern Cyprus

Construction of road linking Turkish Cypriot villages to TRNC is a humanitarian project for direct access of Northern Cypriots in Pile to their own homeland, says Turkish Foreign Ministry

By Diyar Guldogan

A recent statement by the UN Security Council on the construction of a road in Northern Cyprus was "completely divorced from realities on ground," Türkiye said on Tuesday.

"Rather than making any positive contribution to the issue, the statement makes the process more difficult. The wording used regarding the events of 18 August distorts the facts and misleadingly reflects what happened," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The ministry's remarks came a day after the UN Security Council released a statement expressing concern at the launch of "unauthorized construction work by the Turkish Cypriot side inside the UN Buffer Zone near Pyla/Pile."

Türkiye fully supports the statement made by the Foreign Ministry of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) on the issue.

"The construction of the Pile-Yigitler road is a humanitarian project aiming to facilitate the direct access of TRNC citizens in the village of Pile to their own homeland.

"The notification regarding the road work was made well in advance. This being the case, the physical intervention by soldiers of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) in the road construction work was the cause of the tension," it added.

UNFICYP last week intervened in road construction work to link the Turkish Cypriot village of Pile in the buffer zone with the rest of the TRNC.

The road expansion is strategically important for residents as it will give them more options to reach Pile, where Turks and Greek Cypriots live together.

The Greek Cypriot administration and the UN are opposed to the project.

Residents of Pile will be able to travel shorter distances and will not have to pass through British bases when crossing to the Turkish side when the 11.6-kilometer (7.2-mile) construction and repair work ends.

The first 7.5 km of the road will pass through Yigitler, and the second 4.1 km will pass through Pile.

The ministry said the peacekeeping force "unfairly" attempted to prevent the road project, endangering both its own personnel and all workers involved in the road construction.

"We regret that four UNFICYP personnel and eight TRNC citizens were injured as a result of UNFICYP's irresponsible behavior and we wish them a speedy recovery," it added.

The peacekeeping force was deployed to Cyprus in 1964, shortly after the Greek Cypriots hijacked the partnership state in 1963 and gave rise to the Cyprus issue.

"We assume that the call in the UN Security Council's press statement for the 'removal of all unauthorized constructions' is also directed at the Greek Cypriot side, which over the years has built the Larnaca-Dhikelia-Ayia Napa road, which goes through Turkish Cypriot property situated in the buffer zone and the village of Pile, the Pile-Oroklini road which also goes through the buffer zone, the university building in Pile and numerous other constructions in violation of the buffer zone," said the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

It called on the UNFICYP to treat the two sides on the Island equally and to act impartially.

"Unfortunately, developments such as the incident on 18 August indicate that UNFICYP is losing the trust of the Turkish Cypriots and becoming part of the problem in Cyprus. It is the duty of the UN Security Council to prevent this trend and to ensure that UNFICYP displays the impartiality expected of the United Nations Organization’s peacekeeping missions," it added.

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