Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mustafa Akinci speaking at the opening of the Freshwater Herb Cultural Festival on Sunday said they are working to create a secure, equal and a peaceful environment for Turkish Cypriot citizens.

Akinci emphasized that participation in the upcoming leaders meeting was up to the Greek Cypriot Administration and how it deals with the “Enosis commemoration in schools” issue.

“We did not forsake the idea to live in equality, but we will not do it at any cost. We will continue on this path by protecting our rights, equality, security and freedom.” Akinci said at the opening ceremony of the festival.

The Greek Cypriot parliament recently voted to introduce a yearly public school commemoration of a 1950 referendum in which Greek Cypriots voted overwhelmingly for Athens to take over the island, an idea known as Enosis (Union).

The eastern Mediterranean island was divided into a Turkish Cypriot state in the north and a Greek Cypriot administration in the south after an Enosis-inspired 1974 military coup was followed by violence against the island’s Turkish population, and the subsequent intervention of Turkey as a guarantor power.

The status of the island remains unsolved despite a series of discussions that resumed in May 2015.

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