Peacekeepers’ actions on Cyprus ‘incompatible’ with UN’s founding spirit: Türkiye

Recent actions by the UN peacekeeping force on Cyprus are “incompatible with the founding spirit of the UN,” Türkiye said on Tuesday.

“The recent events have unfortunately once again demonstrated how some practices of the UN on the island do not actually align with the founding spirit of the UN,” Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said at a news conference with visiting Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mariya Gabriel in the capital Ankara.

Fidan’s 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 Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (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 (4.66 mi) of the road will pass through the village of Yigitler, and the second 4.1 km (2.55 mi) will pass through Pile.

A road construction project from Yigitler has always been on the agenda to deliver the necessary humanitarian aid to the Turkish community in Pile, Fidan said, adding that the UN had never condemned or tried to hinder a roadway built by the Greek Cypriot administration of Southern Cyprus in Pile.

Türkiye observes that the civilian and military presence of the UN on the island lacked internal coordination, Fidan said, adding: “Because there are longstanding negotiations between the civilian representative and the officials of the TRNC. These talks have been going on for a long time. They had been informed when this road would be built.”

Ankara did not welcome the sudden accumulation of UN vehicles in the buffer zone, said the Turkish foreign minister.

“We think that the UN has lost its neutrality on this issue,” he added.

Türkiye will keep supporting Northern Cyprus in every field, including for its recognition by the whole world, Fidan underlined.