YUSUF KANLI > Is there a Turkish Cypriot state?

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A while ago socialist Sıtkı Süreyya Önder, a deputy from the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) was speaking in Parliament on the Cyprus issue. It was a lengthy speech. At one point he suggested that 1980 coup leader Kenan Evren should be tried not only because he led the coup but also because he established in 1983 the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

Had that speech been made by anyone else but a BDP deputy a major controversy would have started in the country, but it has become a routine to ignore the “extension of the separatist gang in politics.”
İsmail Cem, one of the longest-serving foreign ministers of the post-1980 period, had stressed in his memories as well that Turkey never, ever had a policy of promoting the Turkish Cypriot state or acquiring its international recognition.

Right, perhaps as late President Rauf Denktaş frequently stressed, it would have been a disaster for Turkish Cypriots if the world recognized their state but Turkey did not. Yet, is there Turkish recognition of the Turkish Cypriot state? Or, is there a Turkish Cypriot state?

Nowadays there is a battle continuing in northern Cyprus. It is not a usual battle of words between Turkish and Greek Cypriots. This battle is between the Turkish Embassy and Turkish Cypriot Presidential Office. It is not fought under the Geneva Convention rules. It has turned into a war of attrition. Be it the establishment of a theology college, religious courses at schools, who is to be granted citizenship, what facilities should be accorded to whom or who should be the next leader of the ruling National Unity Party (UBP) and the government, the Turkish ambassador is doing everything possible to promote the policy priorities of the Ankara government in northern Cyprus.

Is it possible for a diplomat to complain to the media about the president of the country he is posted to? Or, is it conceivable at all with the notion of diplomatic ethics for an ambassador to call a college and instruct them to hand over a certain “unused facility” to a theology course? Or, to deliver interviews and statements publicly accusing the bureaucracy or political parties and leaders of the country he is posted to?

Obviously the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government in Ankara is rather confused. Either Ankara annexed northern Cyprus and appointed a governor but somehow we still believe there is a Turkish Cypriot state there, or there must be something wrong somewhere… How could an ambassador – who was a former head of the Turkish assistance team to Cyprus and appointed as ambassador despite a letter from the Turkish Cypriot presidency to the Ankara government stating that he was not even wanted as the head of the assistance team – act like a governor general in a country recognized by his country as an “independent state”?

Perhaps Sıtkı Süreyya Önder was right and the proclamation of the Turkish Cypriot state was a big lie by Turkish leaders to the nation and indeed northern Cyprus has long since become the 82nd province.
Is there indeed a Turkish Cypriot state recognized by Ankara? Has northern Cyprus become a province or a colony of Turkey?


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Notice on comments

ismail demir

8/4/2012 2:37:09 AM

@Nikos, if there is a agreement about national quotas, no minority give up their rights.In lebanon half the parliament seats belong to christians although their population far lower than muslims.When muslims object this, all western countries back christians in lebanon because of previous agreement.London-Zurich agreements gave %30 political power and veto rights to Turks, Turks legitimately will hold their rights as lebanon christians do.


8/3/2012 6:30:42 PM

They were left alone to decide their fate. It was Greeks who rejected a UN plan that their leaders had negotiated. Do you ever ask how come the Turkish mjority of the island shrunk to 12%? You should.

Nikos T.

8/1/2012 6:52:51 PM

@Blue, before 1974 82% of the island's population was Greek speaking and 12% Turkish speaking. We are talking about less than 100000 Turkish speaking residents when the island population was 700.000. How would you call these people? Equal partner? Kurds are more than 30 million and you call them terrorists. So give me a break. Cyprus is an EU country that respects human rights in every way. The island should be left alone by the Turks and people should decide their governments.

Blue Dotterel

7/31/2012 8:33:06 PM

Mark and Nikos, first we are not talking about minority rule, Mark, so your comment is irrelevant. Second, it is not uncommon for countries, like Canada, say, to have two founding peoples. Cyprus' history would suggest that this would be the best way to solve the problem, but that a more workable solution be developed than the previous model. There are fewer French speakers in Canada, but they are not considered a minority, they are equal partners. This is what Turkish Cypriots should be.


7/31/2012 7:57:34 PM

"Is there indeed a Turkish Cypriot state recognized by Ankara? Has northern Cyprus become a province or a colony of Turkey?" No, yes, respectively. There is no such a thing as TRNC. It is simply Northern Cyprus occupied by the Turkish military, controlled by Ankara via the installation of Turkish figures in power and threats to discontinue the welfare payments, and assimilated into obscurity by the huge in numbers illegal importation of Turkish migrants. Regards

Nikos T.

7/31/2012 6:32:15 PM

@Blue, in a civilized country like Cyprus, minorities have equal rights with everybody. They are still called a population minority if they have a characteristic that separates them from the majority of the population. This is not a bad thing at all. People should try to maintain the title "minority" if they want to preserve their culture! Cyprus has three OFFICIAL languages, Turkish, English and Greek. Turkish speaking TCs can watch the news in GCs TV channels. Hope that gives you an idea.

Mark Mark

7/31/2012 5:49:16 PM

@Blue Dotterel - look at Sypria, Libya, Bahrain and so on, all with problems with the minority ruling the majority. This does not happen in any democracy. It has to be accepted that the RoC constitution is wrongly worded and must be re-written with one man one vote in mind.

Blue Dotterel

7/31/2012 4:17:42 PM

Nikos, Your last sentence demonstrates your ignorance. Turks wish to be equal partners, not an "acknowledged minority". Until Greek Cypriots begin to grasp this difficult concept of "equality", there will not be a unified Cyprus.

Nikos T.

7/31/2012 12:20:17 PM

There are no TCs or GCs but Cypriots. People from the north part are spending their day at the southern part, shopping at the malls, even spending the unemployment allowance that the RoC is giving to them! If these people could decide on their own, they wouldn't care for a separate entity state. They are Cypriots not Turks. Both communities have done terrible things in the past but no one is afraid now. Turkish speaking Cypriots could live better as an acknowledged minority of Cyprus today.

ilker avni

7/31/2012 1:58:12 AM

The voice and oppinions of Cypriot turks are the same of a dyeing breed.We have lost our identity and our lands, we have become orphans,Turkey has become our guardians, to do what ever they like with our future.Cypriot Turks are named after the street they born or live in,our fathers name is forgotton instead we use our street name.Mine is ilker girneli
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