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YUSUF KANLI

yusuf.kanli@hurriyet.com.tr

YUSUF KANLI > The lesser of two evils

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Reading in this column my outcry about Turkey behaving as if it recognizes the Turkish Cypriot state but in effect acting more and more as if it considers northern Cyprus to be its “undeclared colony,” some people might think I am suggesting a surrender to the Greek Cypriots. Wrong…

Despite all the hardships and the macho colonialist-style approaches of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his political clan to the Cyprus problem, an overwhelming majority of Turkish Cypriots would rather opt to become an “82nd Turkish province” rather than being patched up as a minority in a Greek Cypriot-held Cyprus Republic.

Yes, my friend Robert Ellis was right in his comment that the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has long held that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is a “subordinate local administration” of Turkey. The ECHR ruling that primarily stopped potatoes and other agricultural products being exported from northern Cyprus to European countries, or the one that compelled Turkey to pay millions of euros in compensation to Greek Cypriots who lost their properties in the north because of Turkish intervention, has been one of the anomalies holding hostage to a Cyprus settlement.

I would not be pro-settlement if I had a seat in the government, my government had U.N. recognition, membership of the EU, and international court rulings asserting my statehood and condemning my adversary as a minority that should not expect anything more than minority rights. Why would Greek Cypriots want a settlement on Cyprus and share the government with Turkish Cypriots? Greek Cypriots have all the reasons to be adamant, aggressive and intransigent, and they have been perfectly obstructing a settlement since the start of talks in 1967. That is why they rejected a deal back in 1973 (which simply provided Turkish Cypriots with local autonomy), and that is why they again rejected deals in 1987, 1993, and 2004.

Over the past decades I have kept on complaining that the attitude of the international community to leave the Turkish Cypriots to the mercy of the Greek Cypriots was indeed forcing Turkish Cypriots to proceed with further integration with Turkey, and that they risk eventually becoming a lentil in the big Turkish soup. To be frank, Turkey had never been so vigorous and assertive in its neo-colonialist policies on Cyprus until the past few years. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), particularly in the past year, has converted the Turkish embassy into an office of governor general, undermining local administrators and working to create a new, conservative and religious northern Cyprus.

Turkish Cyprus becoming a declared or undeclared colony of Ankara is not in the best interests of the Turkish Cypriots, and it is definitely not in the interests of Greek Cypriots either. They have to wake up and see the looming danger that will not only devastate the cultural presence of Turkish Cypriots in the north.

If Turkish Cypriots are kept isolated, and continue to be forced to make a choice between patching up to the Greek Cypriot state or becoming the 82nd province of Turkey, they would overwhelmingly opt for the lesser of two evils and ask to be with Turkey.

August/01/2012

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ismail demir

8/5/2012 7:52:46 PM

No minority give up their rights gained by agreement including Turks.In lebanon half the parliamenters are christians although their population far less than muslims .When muslims object this western countries back christians on the grounds that constitution.So Turks have right to keep their rights gained from London-Zurich agreements.

DAVE IMPALER

8/5/2012 12:35:15 AM

Murat, are you for real more turk women are killed each year by their husbands. Census carried out in 1881 show their were 46.389 TCs. In 1960 TC's registered at 104.942. The growth of the GCS from 1881-1960 was from 137.631 to 441.656. That is a total of only 304.025. At its highest rate it grew by 1.8%. Turkish Cypriots ARE a minority! Now repeat this a thousand times!

Murat

8/3/2012 6:35:48 PM

TRNC is there and thanks to Greeks, it will stay. War crime was what Greeks were doing to Turkish Cypriots for decades. Mass graves were filled with Turkish women and children, what part is not clear? Once the majority, Turkish population was whittled down to 12% by Greeks. How many times this lesson needs to be learned? Turkish Cypriots are NOT a minority! Now repeat this a thousand times!

DAVE IMPALER

8/2/2012 11:39:47 AM

Murat, Once again please show me facts!! At the end of the day it still comes down to ethnic cleansing plus illegal settlers equals WAR CRIME. This is the reason after 38 years the north is still unrecognized as a nation.

Robert Ellis

8/1/2012 9:16:33 PM

The Cyprus problem derives from a clash of various agendas. In the 1950's and after independence the Greek Cypriots under Makarios were bent on enosis (union with Greece) but the Turkish Cypriots with Turkey's support wanted taksim (partition). The Turkish plan derived from the Nihat Erim report from November 1956, which as well as partition provided for the colonisation of Turkish Cyprus with mainland Turks. British plans for divide and rule and US support for partition complete the picture..

Chris Green

8/1/2012 8:47:47 PM

Dave Imp: As usual, you are a stranger to facts. You can contradict me all you like, but Murat does say it how it is. Greek Mainlanders flooded to the island post 1879 and especially so during and in the aftermath of WW1. In fact the first Greek uprising against the British administrators was in 1912. Whatever all the arguments may be, the island is permanently divided, it matters not a jot what the GC's lost in land (their fault anyway) and Turkey will never withdraw the TSK!

dogan kemal ileri

8/1/2012 8:27:35 PM

The only option is for Turkiye to annex northern Cyprus.The Greeks rejected a deal back in 1973 (which simply provided Turkish Cypriots with local autonomy), and that is why they again rejected deals in 1987, 1993, and 2004.So its quite obvious the Greeks are in no hurry to share power.The Turks living in Cyprus are all Turks and consequently there are no differences whatsoever no matter where they originated from.Hold a referendum join Turkiye and forget dreams of EU membership as well.The End.

Murat

8/1/2012 7:22:36 PM

How did the Turkish population in Cyprus came down to 18% from a majority it was once? They evaporated? Please, here is your chance to set the record straight. You give us the number of Greeks in Cyprus whose roots can be traced to Greece. When their complete removal is on the table then TRNC can be asked to discuss their legal immigrants. Can anyone tell me the main cultural difference between Cyprus and mainland Greeks? There is your answer.

Nikos T.

8/1/2012 6:24:13 PM

@Murat, before you keep writing such inaccuracies (I am being polite here) why don't you take the time and read about Cuprus demographics from 1974 till today. Just google it. You may be surprised.

DAVE IMPALER

8/1/2012 5:02:43 PM

murat, "hundreds of thousands mainland Greeks" Honestly I would love to know where you're getting your facts from. Please tell us because we would love to know!!
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