The Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly Binali Yıldırım is in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus for a day visit.
Yıldırım and his accompanying delegation are meeting with state and government officials.
Speaking at Esenboğa Airport before his arrival, the Turkish Parliamentary Speaker said that Turkey’s support and efforts to increase the TRNC’s presence on the international platform will continue.
He said the Turkish Cypriot people and motherland Turkey had entered a sensitive period in light of the recent developments as well as the deadlock on the Cyprus Problem.
Shortly after his arrival this morning, Yıldırım first paid visits to the tombs of the late Turkish Cypriot leader Dr. Fazıl Küçük and the founding TRNC President Rauf Raif Denktaş.
He was then received by President Mustafa Akıncı.
Speaking during his meeting with the President, the Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly Binali Yıldırım said that Turkey will continue to support the TRNC and the Turkish Cypriot people in all fields.
Pointing out that he had conducted his first visit abroad to the TRNC as Parliamentary Speaker in line with an establishment tradition, Yıldırım pointed out that Turkey was currently under attack economically but that necessary measures were being taken.
Stating that this attack also had a global dimension and that other economies around the world were also being affected, Yıldırım said that the TRNC economy too was experiencing the impact of the latest developments.
“We shall however overcome this situation together” he said.
Also touching upon the Cyprus Problem, Yıldırım pointed out that the Turkish side’s determination and willingness for a settlement continued.
He however pointed out that the Greek Cypriot side needed to be mentally prepared for a settlement if talks were to resume and that any solution which disregarded the Turkish Cypriot peoples’ equality was unacceptable.
On the issue of hydrocarbons, Yıldırım expressed the view that such activities in the absence of a settlement will only serve to further heighten tensions on the island and the region.
President Mustafa Akıncı for his part expressed his happiness from seeing the Turkish Parliamentary Speaker in the TRNC.
Pointing out that there were both a political and economic dimension to the current developments taking place in Turkey, Akıncı reminded that the TRNC parliament had convened yesterday to discuss the matter.
“I shall be meeting with the Prime Minister tomorrow. We shall definitely find a way out” he said.
Underlining the importance of solidarity, Akıncı also pointed out that it was important for everyone to respect each other’s rights.
Also touching upon the issue of hydrocarbons, Akıncı said that the island’s wealth was enough for both communities and that the most logical way was to come up with formulas that will benefit everyone.
He also stated that opportunities arise from every crisis and that it was important to approach the current crisis in that manner.
Following his meeting with the President, the Turkish Parliamentary Speaker came together with his TRNC counterpart Teberrüken Uluçay.
Yıldırım and his delegation then attended a lunch hosted in their honour by the Speaker of the Republic’s Assembly Teberrüken Uluçay.
Early in the afternoon, the Turkish Parliamentary Speaker met with Prime Minister Tufan Erhürman.
As part of his contacts, Yıldırım will be visiting the Boğaz Martrys’ Cemetery at 3:30pm and the Headquarters of the Turkish Peace Forces in Cyprus at 4pm.
The Turkish Parliamentary Speaker and his delegation are expected to depart from the TRNC at 6:30pm this evening following the completion of their contacts.