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YUSUF KANLI

yusuf.kanli@hurriyet.com.tr

YUSUF KANLI > The AKP and its men in Cyprus

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As though everything is perfect, and the only remaining anomaly is the ruling National Unity Party (UBP) of northern Cyprus, Turkey has apparently started efforts to make sure that its man remains in power there for now.

Only few years ago, the same government in Ankara had some other people it considered its men in northern Cyprus, but the Turkish Cypriot people made it clear that the people in power in northern Cyprus should not be anyone else’s men but their own. That was why first the Socialist Republican Turks’ Party (CTP) coalition government with the Freedom and Democracy Party (ÖRP) – a party established with Ankara’s manipulation by four deputies who resigned from the other two center-right parties – was taken down in the elections, and later Mehmet Ali Talat was ousted from the presidency with an electoral defeat. Turkish Cypriots elected a center-right government and a center-right president, although Ankara very much wanted Talat and the CTP to remain in power.

Why did the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government want Talat and the CTP in and former President Rauf Denktaş and the UBP (as well as the Democrat Party) out? It’s simple: Talat, the CTP and the AKP believed that Denktaş and the UBP were the reason a solution to the Cyprus problem could not be achieved over the past four decades, and that if they were put aside and a pro-settlement government were installed in northern Cyprus, a deal with the Greek Cypriots would become very easy to achieve.

The end result? The AKP, Talat and some segments of the CTP (some still remain blinded by their ideology) realized that the Greek Cypriot side was never even interested in a settlement, and it was because of that that a resolution could not be achieved in the Cyprus talks that have been continuing since 1967.

Despite the AKP’s desire to work with Talat and the socialists, Turkish Cypriots realized that they must first embrace their state and support those who are for the consolidation of the Turkish state. Why? Because of the Annan Plan fiasco that Ankara so staunchly supported, and the gross failure of the EU, the United States and others who promised international integration to Turkish Cypriots should they accept the plan. Although the Turkish Cypriots did accept the UN plan, they have been left out in the cold. The Greek Cypriots, who rejected the plan, were rewarded with E.U. membership.

Now, the UBP government has been in power since 2010, and with Ankara’s assistance has been trying to restructure the Turkish Cypriot state. The plan is a rather wild one, dictated by Turkey. Those who were the AKP’s men yesterday are staunchly against the plan, thanks also to the arrogance of [Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan.

The AKP now wants the UBP convention to reelect Prime Minister İrsen Küçük as its leader so that the program can continue to be implemented without interruption. Due to the domestic struggle for political dominance, President Derviş Eroğlu, a former UBP leader, wants Health Minister Ahmet Kaşif to become the UBP’s chief and prime minister. Would Kaşif do anything other than what the AKP tells him? As long as Ankara remains the sole financier of the Turkish Cypriot government, unfortunately not… Yet, Kaşif is under pressure from Ankara to step out of the race.

The UBP convention is in December. As the saying goes: By then this rice will have taken up much more water.

July/27/2012

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john albay

8/7/2012 8:34:40 PM

@nikos T. The problem will never be solved if the greek cypriots dont stop treating us Turkish cypriots as 3rd class citizens and want to have a 100% greek island. Thank god we have the Turkish army to protect us from the evil greek cypriots who have murdered so many of us Turkish cypriots. You wanted Eonis with greece well you are now united,both greek occupied zone of cyprus and mainland greece are united in Bankrupcy!!

Chris Green

8/3/2012 10:02:02 PM

Mr Georgiou: I deal in facts and truth, something that your Greeks are complete strangers to. Everything I stated previously is completely true. Now from the point of view of "Turkey taking the island", well they had it before from 1571! During the successful intervention mission in 1974 and following the Turkish break-out which commenced Phase 2, the Greek National Guard were put to complete flight and had TK not over-extended their supply lines, the job would have been done! Taksim!

Another View

8/1/2012 3:48:57 AM

Mr Green pretends to historical authority which unfortunately totally lacks. The world through the United Nations, the EU, The US and every other country in the world except the perpetrator, Turkey, recognize the only legitimate government in Cyprus, I.e. the ROC. Turkish immigrants to the occupied territory are thus illegal since they did not enter through the government ports. And as for Turkey being able to take all of Cyprus my question is why didn't they

Hellenas in London

7/30/2012 1:14:28 AM

It appears that there is confusion between turkish and turkish cypriot identities and associated politics. If a country is recognised by another, then acknowledgement of independence and sovereignity is fundamental. @Chris Green/Murat, why go only as back as 1879/1878 to examine ethnicity statistics, I'd suggest 1550! Seriously though (re-population) practises from 2 centuries ago should not be pursued in our days.

Murat

7/27/2012 9:30:13 PM

Any discussion of immigrants in Cyprus needs to go back to at least 1878 and include a century of uncontrolled Greek immigration to Cyprus which altered demographics forever. Any discussion of outside influence needs to include EU. Any such discussion needs to acknowledge that TRNC was left to the mercy of TC influnce by Greeks themselves. After all, it was Greeks who rejected a UN plan that themselves had negotiated. Please respect our intelligence a little.

Chris Green

7/27/2012 6:43:07 PM

MS Smith: You should know that 're-population' in respect of Cyprus began after 1879 when Greeks began arriving in numbers and this continued a-pace especially during WW1. The Greeks gave notice of their intentions regarding Enosis in February 1879 to the British Administration via the Orthodox Church. The population 'imbalances' therefore began way before attempts to re-balance were made by Turkey. The reality now is a divided, two-state island and anyone thinking otherwise is deluded or Greek!

Agnes Smith

7/27/2012 5:57:07 PM

Thanks Recep - for your confirmation of a sad and worrying fact. I am I right in understanding the repopulation has been assisted politically and financially, not just by the AKP but also previous governments.

Chris Green

7/27/2012 4:47:31 PM

Actually, Turkey could have re-taken the entire island in 1974 Kypros, had they then so desired. So rapid was their advance during phase 2 of the intervention that they over-stretched their supply lines. Under duress from Kissenger, Ecevit ordered the Intervention Forces to their present positions in relation to the Green Line. Turkish troops are going no-where especially in the light of wider regional issues. Interestingly, Health Minister Ahmet Kasif has 'health problems' relating to UBP role!

LEVENT HUSEYIN

7/27/2012 4:25:42 PM

When you travel around S.Cyprus the flag of Greece is erected everywhere, thousands of mainland Greeks reside there, Greece also has a huge influence in S.Cyprus SO WHATS THE PROBLEM! North Cyprus is Turkish and always will be. Two State Cyprus. 

Recep Ozel

7/27/2012 4:10:46 PM

@ Karen @ Agnes Completely agree. Turkish Cypriots are nearly an extinct race. There are around 1 million people of Turkish Cypriot origin around the world of which less than 150,000 are in Cyprus. Looking back we now wish both sides did more to settle, leaders from both sides were less nationalist, and the Greeks were less of Turk-haters. The more peaceful of the Greek Cypriots have a culture similar to ours and one that is 100 times higher than what is infiltrating the island now.
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