There is no difference between Donetsk and Northern Cyprus

Cyprus Gaffe Highlights Deeper Policy Flaw: Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland did not distinguish herself when, at a press conference in Cyprus during a tour through Europe, she spoke about a forthcoming meeting with Ersin Tatar, the leader of the Turkish-occupied northern portion of the country. “I’m going to go up to the north and spend a little time with President Tatar,” she said before someone in the audience queried her legitimization of the occupation by calling Tatar “president.” “I guess it was a mistake,” she said after confirming with her aides off-podium.

Put aside the projection to Cypriots that she visited without knowing the situation; those aware of the issues arising from an almost 50-year occupation need not clumsily page through notes.

The real problem is that the State Department believes it appropriate to speak in any way to Tatar. Tatar is a puppet of Turkey, no different than Philippe Pétain in Vichy France or Vidkun Quisling in World War II-era Norway were puppets of Germany. Tatar is an illegitimate ruler, empowered not by Cypriots, but by Turkish settlers.  As such, he is the figurehead of the cultural genocide that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan conducts on the island as he tries to radicalize Cyprus’ traditionally moderate Muslim minority. If Turkey and its proxies really sought a diplomatic solution to the island’s partition, there would have been a resolution decades ago. The reality is northern Cyprus engages in diplomacy insincerely, as a tactic to delay resolution while they alter demography.

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