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Turkish Cypriots dream of Europe (Turkey,Cyprus and the Truth)
Le Monde ^ | September 1998 | NIELS KADRITZKE

Posted on 12/08/2002 6:34:50 PM PST by pkpjamestown

"The reason for the intervention was that Greece cannot be allowed to te this part of the Mediterranean": this is how Ankara explains its response to the 1974 Cyprus coup in which Archbishop Makarios was overthrown (1). The strategic issue came well before any concern for the fate of the Turkish Cypriots, as they soon realised. "Until 1974, we were needed. Once the Turkish intervention was over, we had served our purpose", wrote Turkish Cypriot politician Özker Özgur six months ago (2).

Mr Özgur is well placed to testify to the powerlessness of native Cypriots in the face of the new order. In 1994 he was deputy prime minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). Head of the left-wing Turkish Republican Party (CTP), he joined the government to put through the opposition's main demand: to stem the tide of immigration from Turkey. But, as he puts it, "they gave me a drum, but other people kept the sticks".

Those "other people" are the generals in Ankara. Apart from the 35,000 Turkish soldiers they have stationed in Northern Cyprus, they control the police, the , the secret services and strategic sites like the water purification plants. The Turkish embassy has the last word on major civilian issues. It employs more people than most ministries and has with impunity assumed the right to grant the nationality of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus - which it is the only country in the world to recognise - to Turks and other foreigners.

"They're importing a population that's more useful and more submissive than the Turkish Cypriots," Mr Özgur continues. Mass immigration from Anatolia is a subject that really raises the hackles of the Turkish Cypriots (3). Alpay Durduran, leader of the opposition party, Yeni Kibris (New Cyprus), estimates that 40,000 Cypriots have emigrated since 1974, most of them to the United Kingdom. He believes 80,000 have remained in Cyprus, which means - since the 1997 census recorded a population of 160,000 - there must be equal numbers of natives and new arrivals. The fear is that, within a few years, the Turkish Cypriots will become a minority in their own country.

It is not going too far to call Northern Cyprus a Turkish protectorate. For two reasons: people feel at once protected, but also denied the freedom to make their own decisions. There is an ambivalence that most Greek Cypriots refuse to understand. Nearly all Turkish Cypriots remember the 1963-64 civil war which they have either lived through or been told about. It is the source of their deep need for existential security.

"1963-1964 will not be repeated" reads a poster as you enter the Turkish part of Nicosia. It is on this trauma that Rauf Denktash has built his political career. He started the Turkish s that fought against the Greek armed groups and then took control of the Turkish enclaves. He took advantage of the splits between Greek nationalists. As early as 1962 his aim was to "take advantage of the Greeks' mistakes to win our freedom to the full." An advocate of separatism, he refused all cooperation with the Greek Cypriots because that might result in the "Cypriotisation of the Turks", which he saw as their "extinction".

And indeed the "Greeks' mistakes" and Ankara's support made Mr Denktash the most successful man in the political history of Cyprus. After 1964, he had his community under his complete control, was able to block a new constitutional compromise in 1973, and in 1974 began distributing the Greek possessions conquered in the North.

Historically, he was mistaken on just one point. Though they have no contact with the Greek part of the island, the Turkish Cypriots are more Cypriot than ever. Their increasingly minority position and the risk of being swallowed up by Turkey has strengthened their sense of identity. This sense of identity is the common denominator of the North's opposition forces who accuse Mr Denktash of betraying his own ethnic community's interests by making them secondary to Turkey's (4). The primacy of Turkish Cypriot identity and interests have given rise to the following demands: a bi-zonal federation with a high level of autonomy and equal rights for the Turkish Cypriot part of the state; demilitarisation and the stationing of an international protection force with Turkish and Greek contingents; and membership of the European Union. Nowhere else in Europe will you find such convinced - or desperate - Europeans as among the Turkish Cypriots

The strongest reason for wanting to join Europe is poverty. Turkish Cypriots have to compete for work - which is scarce - with day labourers from Anatolia who enjoy unrestricted entry. "Only two branches of the economy are flourishing here," Alpay Durduran complains: "the Turkish mafia's casinos and the cheap universities that entice the offspring of rich Turks with strange English-sounding names".

The trade unions and numerous trade associations are calling with great conviction for EU membership. The pan-Cypriot trade union forum is an umbrella organisation for both South and North. It advocates an economic order that will allow people to work anywhere on the island. Unionists generally meet abroad because this year Mr Denktash has been preventing Turkish Cypriots from visiting the South.

Most Turkish Cypriots have had enough of nationalism. They are just as fed up with the revival of pan-Hellenic feeling in the South, resulting from military cooperation with Athens. The opposition in the North regrets the Southern Cypriots' purchase of S-300 missiles and their failure to understand that more soldiers and arms mean even more repression for the Turkish Cypriots. But the Northern opposition's greatest fear is that the South will join the EU on its own. Which would, they fear, provoke Turkey to annex the North - with the end of its own identity.

They are also worried that the Greek Cypriots are trying to seize the opportunity of membership to make their frustrated people swallow the bitter pill of division, and also meet their security needs - since a "European territory" would be safe from Turkish attack. It could also dampen nationalist sentiment by making out that EU membership represents some sort of reunification with Greece.

Such a separation by stealth would doubtless not meet with international reservations. But, as always in the last 50 years, the Turkish Cypriots would be the first to lose.

TOPICS: Editorial; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: archbishopmakarios; bulgaria; cyprus; enosis; eu; europeanunion; greece; nato; treatyoflausanne; turkey; unitedkingdom
This article about the how the Turkish Cypriots, was written in 1998. Four years later, the situation did not get better, it is worse. The same puppet regime controls the life for 40 years. Turkey has not made any changes to better their life, but claims that they are ready to join the EU. Sorry Mrs. Turkey, the world is not blind. The Greek Cypriots want to unite with the Turkish Cypriots and the EU, not with Turkey. Turkey will not be accepted in the EU, until she learns to play with the rules of Democracy and Human Rights.
1 posted on 12/08/2002 6:34:50 PM PST by pkpjamestown
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To: Turk2
Do you see any change since 1998, regarding the above situation?
2 posted on 12/08/2002 6:36:19 PM PST by pkpjamestown
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To: Turk2
You have not commented on this post. I hope all is well with you.
3 posted on 12/08/2002 6:43:51 PM PST by pkpjamestown
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To: Turk2
4 posted on 12/08/2002 6:58:38 PM PST by pkpjamestown
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To: knighthawk
5 posted on 12/08/2002 6:59:38 PM PST by pkpjamestown
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To: pkpjamestown
Thanks for the info. I know next to nothing about the Cyprus situation. So you think the EU is right to say, solve the Cyprus problem and you're in?
6 posted on 12/08/2002 8:07:00 PM PST by PianoMan
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To: pkpjamestown
The EU has nothing to do with such BS abstractions as "Democracy" and Human Rights anyway.


7 posted on 12/08/2002 9:09:45 PM PST by Clemenza
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Comment #8 Removed by Moderator

Comment #9 Removed by Moderator

To: Hermann the Cherusker
Stop making the current generation suffer for the sins of the past. Should we continue to blame southerners for being guilty of slavery and apartheid?

Turkey is a nation where most of the girls don't wear veils, alcohol is freely available and the US is respected. Let's not forget that the Turks have supplied considerable intellignce from the cold war onward and committed troops to both Korea and Afghanistan. Let's not forget our important bases located in Turkey. Stop indulging in silly stereotypes!

10 posted on 12/08/2002 9:50:43 PM PST by Clemenza
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To: pkpjamestown
Archbishop Makarios theocratic reign was nothing to write home about either.
11 posted on 12/08/2002 9:51:33 PM PST by Clemenza
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To: Clemenza
Just another Turcophobe. I love the country, myself.
12 posted on 12/08/2002 9:58:44 PM PST by Mortimer Snavely
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