UPDATE - UN peacekeeping force's intervention in Northern Cyprus road construction 'unacceptable': Turkish President Erdogan
'It is neither legal nor humane to prevent Turkish Cypriots living in Pile village from reaching their homeland,' says Recep Tayyip Erdogan
UPDATES WITH MORE REMERKS BY TURKISH PRESIDENT
By Diyar Guldogan
ANKARA (AA) – The UN peacekeeping forces' intervention in the road construction in Northern Cyprus was "unacceptable," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday.
"The physical intervention of UN peacekeeping forces on the territory that falls under the sovereignty of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is never acceptable for us," Erdogan said after the Cabinet meeting in the capital Ankara.
His remarks came after the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (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 (4.7 mi) of the road will pass through Yigitler, and the second 4.1 km (2.5 mi) will pass through Pile.
"It is neither legal nor humane to prevent Turkish Cypriots living in the Pile village from reaching their homeland," Erdogan said.
The president also stressed that the UN peacekeeping force overshadowed its impartiality with physical intervention to villagers in Northern Cyprus and unfortunate statements.
- Türkiye not to allow 'unlawful acts' on Cyprus island
Erdogan said tensions in the region have escalated again due to these attitudes that are "incompatible" with international law.
"We certainly do not find this intervention in good faith at a time when we are trying to mutually strengthen our relations with our neighbors and clear up the problems between us."
"What is expected from the UN is to contribute to resolving the humanitarian needs of all parties on the island by truly representing its name, instead of demonstrating destabilizing behavior," he added.
Türkiye, as a guarantor state, will not allow "faits accomplis and unlawful acts" on the Cyprus island, especially in the buffer zone, Erdogan stressed.
"We will not leave our Turkish Cypriot brothers alone with the uncompromising attitude of the Greek Cypriot side that imposes their unjust and unilateral demands," he added.
Erdogan also criticized the EU's statement on the issue, dubbing it "unfortunate."
"Our struggle will continue until the equal sovereignty and equal international status of the TRNC is confirmed by the whole world," he added.
Cyprus has been mired in a decades-long dispute between Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots despite a series of diplomatic efforts by the UN to achieve a comprehensive settlement.
Türkiye fully supports a two-state solution on the island based on sovereign equality and equal international status between its two states.
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