No: 201, 19 August 2023, Press Release Regarding the Intervention of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus in the Construction of the Pile-Yiğitler Road in the Territory of the TRNC
We find unacceptable and strongly condemn the physical intervention yesterday (18 August) by soldiers of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) in the sovereign territory of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) with the aim of preventing the construction of the Pile-Yiğitler road. We fully support the relevant statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the TRNC and the justified reaction of the TRNC authorities.
The UN's stance on the Pile-Yiğitler road, which is a humanitarian project aiming to facilitate the direct access of TRNC citizens in the village of Pile to their own homeland, as well as the subsequent statements made by the UN, are incompatible with the impartial attitude that the Peacekeeping Force is obliged to display on the Island.
UNFICYP, while on the one hand playing a major role in the escalation of tension in the context of the road construction project which started peacefully, presented itself on the other hand as a victim in the events on the ground. What is in fact expected of the UN Peacekeeping Force is that it should contribute to the solution of humanitarian needs on the Island. It is inexplicable that despite this, the UN has for years turned a blind eye to the Greek Cypriot Administration’s faits accomplis in the Buffer Zone while preventing the Turkish Cypriots from meeting their justified humanitarian needs. This situation clearly demonstrates that the UN is not fulfilling its basic duties and functions such as approaching the two sides on the Island equally and finding solutions to disputes.
Following yesterday's events, the UN and UNFICYP must make concerted efforts in the coming period to ensure that they do not completely lose the trust of the TRNC authorities and people. As a Guarantor State, we invite the UN Peacekeeping Force to refrain from actions and rhetoric that would overshadow the mission it has been carrying out in Cyprus for nearly 60 years, to accord equal treatment to the two sides in Cyprus and to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the TRNC.