Has AK Party become the deep state in North Cyprus?

Has AK Party become the deep state in North Cyprus?

Anyone who is somewhat related to the subject would know that Turkish Cypriots have an identity problem with the Republic of Turkey. The sentence “Even the fire department is affiliated to Turkey,” is both an expression of the situation and a reaction. 

Indeed, the administration in North Cyprus is affiliated with Turkey systematically. While this affiliation brings a segment of the Cypriot Turks to a somehow “collaborator” position it pushes a significant portion of them into a “What is this we are suffering from Turkey?” mood. 

The ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AK Party) determined policy for the acceptance of the Annan Plan against the Turkish Armed Forces’ (TSK) “deadlock reflex” has changed many equations. Those anti-solution politicians have been wiped away from the political scene. 

We are visiting Cyprus and we are talking about the current situation with leaders of the main opposition Republican Turkish Party (CTP). Leader Özkan Yorgancıoğlu and his friends gave the message “we are not hopeless” to a group of journalists coming from Turkey. 

They said this: “Turkish Cypriot President Mehmet Ali Talat and Greek Cyprus Demetris Christofias have taken a significant step toward a solution. Derviş Eroğlu’s election as president made us lose two years. Now, some steps can be taken. Christofias also is willing to spend his last eight months in search of a solution.” 

Indeed, it all comes down to Turkey. 

Turkey, on the other hand, has given the impression that “it has given up the matter of Cyprus.” One of the Cypriot journalists we met over lunch conveyed to us an interesting picture about Erdoğan’s last visit: Erdoğan told the crowd who came to greet him, “We are proud with our ‘yes’.” The crowd who was greeting him had come from Turkey and was made up of those who had voted “no.” They have forgotten they are in Cyprus and were chanting: “Turkey is proud of you.” The Turkish Cypriots who have voted “yes” to the Annan Plan were being clubbed by police at that moment. 

The “style of application” of the aid from Turkey is one of the essential factors which hampers the relationship between the two. CTP leader Yorgancıoğlu brought up the subject of an “Aid Council.” This council is under the supervision of the Turkish Embassy and decides exactly where the aid goes and how it is distributed. 

Of course, those institutions that establish one-to-one relations to receive this aid need to act with Turkey’s direct guidance. This system makes relationships unequal and also brings an “addiction.” In order to evaluate the psychological effect of the phrase “fed by Turkey,” one needs to understand this rooted system.

The TSK continues its dominance over North Cyprus. It is TSK who decides who will be appointed to head the fire department, also the police chef. This situation reflects on daily events. For example, when there is a fight between Kurdish students and nationalist students in a university, TSK takes over the investigation and immediately Kurdish students are deported from Cyprus in groups. Often times, the North Cyprus Interior Ministry does not even know about this practice of deportation. Even if it were informed, it does not have any other option but to agree. 

Recently, President Mehmet Ali Talat asked “What happened to the Ergenekon in Cyprus?” Let me remind you: North Cyprus was a place where the Special Operations Department was the most active. Several generals who had a hand in coups, coup attempts and domestic disturbances in Turkey either “practiced” in Cyprus or was “promoted” to Cyprus. 

 Now nobody is cracking down on this. There is an environment where the TSK can maintain the former system. AK Party, on the other hand, does not seem to be uncomfortable. So the Cypriots are asking: “Has AK Party become a part of the deep state here?” 


Oral Çalışlar is a columnist for daily Radikal in which this piece was published on June 15. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.