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WATCH: Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus to seek international status following collapsed peace talks
Peace talks aimed at reuniting the Turkish residents in the North of Cyprus and their Greek counterparts in the South came to a crashing halt this summer.
The foreign minister for the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus tells The Hill he's now focusing his efforts on seeking official recognition from the U.S. and the global community as an independent nation.
"We keep asking everybody that this discrimination that they have caused of the Turkish Cypriots, because of their recognition - undue recognition, unlawful recognition - of the Greek Cypriots as the Republic of Cyprus, must come to an end," Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu said.
The two sides have been feuding for more than half a century after Turkish forces took control of the northern half of the island, forcing the ethnic Greeks to retreat to the South.
Northern Cyprus is only recognized by Turkey; the government in the South is recognized by the U.S. and has represented the entire island in the European Union.
The fight over reuniting Cyprus has been one of several obstacles to Turkey's hopes of entering the European Union.
Reunification and reconciliation seemed possible during talks sponsored by the United Nations in Switzerland this summer, but talks collapsed when the terms of a settlement couldn't be reached.
"It was inevitable," Ertuğruloğlu said when asked why the peace talks broke down.
In a statement sent to The Hill, officials at the Embassy of Cyprus said Turkey's insistence on keeping their military forces intact on the northern portion of the island prevented peace talks from going forward, but they are still open to reunification.
"The president of the Republic of Cyprus has expressed his readiness to resume negotiations at any time," a Cypriot official wrote in a statement.
"President [Nicos] Anastasiades remains determined to work for the reunification Cyprus as a bizonal, bi-communal federation, with a single sovereignty, single citizenship and single international personality, in accordance with relevant Security Council resolutions," the official wrote.
Foreign Minister Ertuğruloğlu says there are no plans as of now for future peace talks, but says the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus will not stop its push for independence.