North Cyprus to be recognized by pan-Islamic body
Published Saturday, April 7, 2012
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation chief on Saturday welcomed a request by the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus to open a permanent mission to the pan-Islamic body.
"The organization welcomes this and is in contact with the host state (Saudi Arabia) to study and implement it," OIC chief Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, who is a Turkish national, told reporters after meeting Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu.
The TRNC – which is recognized internationally only by Turkey – currently holds only observer status in the 57-member OIC.
"The time has come for the international community to recognize the TRNC and review UN resolutions" on this matter, said Eroglu.
"If peace negotiations" with the Greek Cypriot-led government "fail, despite our efforts and those of the United Nations, then there will be no choice left but to recognize the TRNC," he said.
Ihsanoglu "called for putting an end to the unjust isolation of the Turkish Cypriots," an OIC statement said.
It called on OIC member states, Muslims around the world and the entire international community "to strengthen effective solidarity and continue to expand relations with the Turkish Cypriot people."
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops occupied the east Mediterranean island's northern third in response to a Greek-inspired coup in Nicosia aimed at union with Greece.