ISLAMABAD - Ambassador of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus to Pakistan, Mustafa Everan, has said that the European Union (EU) has taken wrong decision to recognise South Greek Cyprus.

In an inclusive interview, he said that EU would soon realise its mistake that its recognition of Greek Cyprus was a historical blunder. Answering a question about Pakistan’s relations with Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), he said when Turkey intervened in Cyprus after the last attempt of Greeks and Greek Cypriots to unite the island with Greece on July 15, 1974 coup staged by Greek Colonels, Pakistan as brotherly country offered military support to the Turkish government.

The ambassador went on to say when the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was established on 15 November 1983, Pakistan was the second country after Turkey to recognise the TRNC as an independent state. The third State being Bangladesh. But later, as a result of the US pressures both had to withdraw their recognition. (In spite of the fact that in international law recognition is irreversible). “We are again grateful to brotherly Pakistan since it has given us the opportunity to represent our State here in Islamabad since 1987. Our representation here in Islamabad is functioning since 1987 and I believe, it is much older than most of the foreign embassies here.”

He said that TRNC is an observer member of the OIC (with its new name Orgnisation of Islamic Cooperation), and Pakistan is always supportive whenever a resolution is taken about Cyprus. The OIC has many resolutions calling member States to develop further their relations with Turkish Cypriot people.

In TRNC there are 6 universities that are giving education in English language and they are affiliated with some American and European universities. There are many Pakistani students studying in our universities. “We can cooperate in educational field and develop the relations between our universities through ‘student exchange’ and ‘academician exchange’ programmes.

There are also many Pakistani businessmen, craftsmen and workers who are now living in North Cyprus. Some of them were granted TRNC citizenship also.

We can say that there is a ‘Pakistani Diaspora’ living in North Cyprus and they have adapted themselves to our style of living. There are many Pakistani owned restaurants, medical clinics and other establishments in our country.

“I know that, once a month, a full TIR of goods are sent from Sialkot region to TRNC. So, there is some trade but we have to increase it through planned visits between the Chambers of both countries. “Tourism is a developed sector in TRNC. We have also a school of hotel management and we are ready to accept students from Pakistan. We are ready to share our experience on tourism with Pakistan also. “I sincerely believe that the relations on economic, cultural and educational fields will be better developed in the following years ahead. Turkish and Pakistani people have similar cultural roots, they are sharing the same religion and they will close to each other because of the historical roots they came from,” Ambassador Everan concluded.