Anniversary of the TRNC

Anniversary of the TRNC

Twenty-nine years ago yesterday, the Turkish Cypriot Parliament unanimously proclaimed the birth of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Several hours later, Turkey recognized the new state. With two separate resolutions, the Security Council not only condemned the Turkish Cypriot state as null and void but also appealed to the international community with a nonbinding resolution not to recognize it.

Is it possible to say since no one except Turkey recognizes the Turkish Cypriot state and as it is considered by the European Court of Justice, for example, as a sub-administration of Turkey, that there is no Turkish Cypriot state? Or can anyone come up with the claim that there is only one government, one state, one democracy on Cyprus? Is it possible not to acknowledge the Turkish Cypriot state despite serious problems with the municipalities and central government, the judicial system and a functioning democracy in northern Cyprus?

There was a photograph in Turkish Cypriot newspapers this week. Prime Minister İrsen Küçük and Finance Minister Ersin Tatar were sitting on the cold marble stairs of a court. They were there to answer questions from a judge probing complaints that the convention of the ruling party did not proceed according to the party’s statutes and Küçük was not elected with the required majority. Is there any other democracy around where justice is given such respect? A prime minister sitting on the cold marble stairs of a court!

1983 was not, of course, the date when Turkish Cypriots started self governance. 1983 was product of an accumulation that started with their December 1963 ousting from the partnership government. It was first the communal administration. Then came the Autonomous Administration. After the 1974 Turkish intervention, which came days after an Athens-engineered coup by Greek Cypriot supporters of a union with Greece, in 1975 they first formed the Turkish Cypriot Federated State; the Constitution of which stressed that it was the Turkish Cypriot wing of the future federation. The TRNC came in 1983 when Greek Cypriots applied for EU membership and the EU started processing their unilateral application despite 1959-60 Cyprus accords and the Constitution of the island that clearly condemned such unilateral undertakings by Greek Cypriots as illegal.

When they were ousted from the partnership government in 1963, per capita income of Turkish Cypriots was only around 300 dollars. In 1974 it was only around 540 dollars. Now, it is around 12,000 dollars. Between 1963 and 1974, Turkish Cypriots were compelled to live in ghettos that constituted less than 3 percent of the island’s territory, now they have their own territory with full security.

There are economic difficulties. Turkey has lately started posing some serious demographic and sovereignty problems as well. The world is not recognizing it but, there is a TRNC on Cyprus, 29 years old.