One Radical Planet

❌ About FreshRSS
There are new available articles, click to refresh the page.
Before yesterdaymyislandcyprus



The rule of Cyprus was transferred from the Ottoman Empire to the British Empire in 1878, but Cyprus remained as an Ottoman territory until the annexation of the island by Britain in 1914. The Muslim-Turkish community, together with the Greek-Christian community, continued to have the Ottoman nationality until then  

Although we do not have a copy that has survived to the present day, the first Turkish newspaper published on the island by a Turkish Cypriot, is the “Saded” (Topic) newspaper. According to the records, the first issue of this weekly newspaper was published on 11 July 1889 by Mehmet Emin Efendi, who was a retired person from the Property Directorate. The “Saded” was published only 16 issues. [1]

Two years later, on 25 December 1891, we see the first issue of the “Zaman” (Time) newspaper, which was published until 2 September 1900 and we have its whole collection. Therefore, some people prefer to begin the Turkish Cypriot press history with this newspaper.

The “Zaman” newspaper was published by the “Osmanlı Kıraathanesi” (Ottoman Reading Room), which was established by a group of Turkish Cypriot notables, who were worried about the future of the island. The merchant Hacı Derviş Efendi was the owner of the newspaper and Muzafferrüddin Galip, who was brought from Istanbul, was the chief author. Journalist Mehmet Remzi (Okan) made the following assessment regarding Zaman’s publications:

“When we look at the publication of the daily “Zaman”, we can say that the main purpose of this newspaper was to serve Sultan Hamid and to smother the young ideas that were awakened in favour of legitimacy and freedom at the time!”[2]

After one year of publication, Derviş Efendi had a dispute with the members of the administrative committee of the Ottoman Reading Room. In the second year, Hacı Derviş Efendi continued to publish the newspaper on his own name. Because his publication was in favour of the Sultan, the merchant Hacı Derviş Efendi, the publisher of the daily Zaman, was rewarded with the rank of “mir-i miran” (grand seigneur) on 10 February 1895 and he was started to be called “Derviş Paşa”.

A few years later, when the writers of the newspaper started to criticize the Istanbul government and to publish articles that supported the “Young Turk Movement”, the rank of Derviş Paşa was withdrawn by the Sultan. Thereupon, Hacı Derviş Efendi began to intervene in the articles, published in the newspaper and some of the writers, who did not like this, left the newspaper. “Zaman” newspaper continued for a while, until the publication ended on 2 September 1900, with the issue No. 423.

After the Ottoman Reading House separated its way with “Zaman” newspaper, “Yeni Zaman” (New Time) newspaper started to be published on 22 August 1892. As in “Zaman”, the writers of this newspaper were Muzafferüddin Galib and Mehmed Faik Bey. Faik Bey once again criticized Memduh Paşa and one day he left Cyprus for Istanbul and never came back. As the two writers left the island and settled in Istanbul before the end of the year, “Yeni Zaman” newspaper had to stop its publication on 27 February 1893 with its last issue No. 28.

Upon the closure of the “Yeni Zaman”, Kûfizade Mustafa Asaf Bey obtained permission from the colonial government to publish a new newspaper in his name, On 6 March 1893 he began to publish the weekly newspaper, called “Kıbrıs” (Cyprus). In every aspect, this newspaper was considered as the continuation of the “Yeni Zaman” and therefore its first copy had the No. 29. The “Kıbrıs” newspaper, like the “Zaman”, first published in loyalty to the sultan of the time, but later was influenced by the “Young Turk” movement and began to be popular among the people with its articles. As journalist Mehmet Remzi (Okan) stated below, these publications continued until 1898 and one day the newspaper suddenly closed down:

“Despite all our research, it has not been possible to learn the real reasons for the closure of the “Kıbrıs” newspaper. However, according to the information given to us by a person, who was involved in these drafts at that time, the Cypriot newspaper owner had an agreement with Memduh Paşa, the Minister of Internal Affairs, and closed the newspaper upon the orders and signs he received from him. If we have to believe the claim of the same person, Asaf Bey agreed to close down “Kıbrıs” on the condition of receiving 500 kurush per month and he received this money regularly until the declaration of the constitution (1908).” [3]

Ahmet Tevfik Efendi, who was one of the writers that left “Zaman” newspaper after Derviş Paşa interfered with the writers, started to publish the first Turkish Cypriot humor newspaper named “Kokonoz” (Old Man) on 27 November 1896. However, “Kokonoz” ended its publication with the 22nd issue of 17 September 1897. “Kokonoz” was prevented from entering the Ottoman territory, according to an order dated 10 August 1897 and an additional letter sent to the Ministry of Interior, Customs, Zaptiye and the Ministry of Post and Telegraph. [4]

Immediately after “Kokonoz” stopped its publication, a humor newspaper, called “Akbaba” (Vulture), was published by Ahmet Tevfik Efendi on 1 October 1897, which was accepted as the continuation of “Kokonoz”. After a while, the “Kokonoz” adopted the ideas of the “Young Turk” movement and Ahmet Tevfik Efendi started to attack the Sultan with open and very sharp satire. We learned from an article titled “The Consequence of Wrongfulness” published in this newspaper on 27 May 1898 (No: 17) that the “Akbaba” was banned by the Sultan for a second time, because the newspaper “advocated not to give back Thessaly”. Perhaps the transition from “Kokonoz” to “Akbaba” was in order to bypass this ban.

According to Mehmet Remzi, “That is why the number of readers of “Akbaba” has decreased and poor Tevfik Efendi has fallen into a very affectionate state. As if this problem was not enough, Sultan Hamid sentenced him to death and has prohibited him to go to Turkey with this decision.” [5]

After three months, Akbaba had to stop its publication on 19 August 1898 (No.23).

The pro-Young Turk “Feryad” (Scream) was a fortnightly newspaper, published by Hocazade Osman Enveri, only four issues between 11 December 1899 and 31 January 1900.  Mehmet Remzi made the following assessment regarding the “Feryad” newspaper:

“Although Feryad appeared as a genuine Young Turk newspaper, it stopped after 4 issues and never appeared later. According to the information we received privately, the newspaper “Feryad” was again closed on the sign of the Ottoman Government and the owner was allocated three hundred kurush per month! At that time, while the Greek Cypriots established newspapers one after another, we were setting up printing offices in order to grab a few kurush and closing it at the first opportunity. When one examines these events, one feels like to curse the sultan and the vizier of that time!” [6]

According to the information provided by Mehmet Remzi, the first four issues of “Mirat-ı Zaman” (Mirror of Time), the first issue of which was published on 3 March 1900, were published by Ahmet Tevfik Efendi, the owner and director of the newspaper, as a stone print. Later, he interrupted his publication and published regularly every week after 27 April 1901. The newspaper “Mirat-ı Zaman” ceased its publication between 25 November 1901 and 16 June 1902. Later, the publication continued at intervals.

The writers of “Mirat-ı Zaman” were Ahmet Tevfik Efendi and Rıza Bey from Vize. According to a document, dated 19 June 1901, they were tried in absentia, on 14 July 1901, according to the Ottoman Penal Code. It was alleged that “they dared to make some harmful and treacherous publication” in this newspaper.  They were sentenced for “a life-long stay in a walled city”and “to be rendered from the civil law” and “the already-foreclosure of their property has been decided to be managed.” [7] But despite this decision, “Mirat-ı Zaman” continued its publication with intervals and eventually stopped its publication on 18 April 1910 (Issue No.368)

The pro-Young Turk “Mirat-ı Zaman” newspaper, which had mutual discussions with the “Sünuhat”  (in Arabic it means “the issues that came to mind”) newspaper, published in 1906, was supporting the “Vatan” (Fatherland) newspaper of Bodamyalızade Mehmet Şevket Bey, a member of the Legislative Assembly, which appeared in 1911 and it was opposing the pro-Evkaf newspaper, Seyf (Sword).

According to Harid Fedai, “Because of the influx of the Turkish newspapers, coming to the island after the Second Constitutionalism in Turkey, the circulation of the “Mirat-ı Zaman” fell down. Ahmed Tevfik Efendi would also try his luck again by publishing the humor newspaper “Kokonoz”. [8] Between 2 May 1910 and 28 June 1910, Ahmet Tevfik Efendi re-published the weekly humor newspaper “Kokonoz”, but he stopped publishing after 9 issues.

Mehmet Remzi made this evaluation for him: “Regarding the difficulties he was confronted for the sake of his profession and his persistence and strength, we are in the opinion that Ahmet Tevfik Efendi was the most valuable deceased Cypriot journalist.” [9]

Hacı Mehmet Arif Efendi was the owner of the “Sünuhat” newspaper, which had 246 issues, published between 1 October 1906 and 3 November 1912. His son, Professor Ahmet Şükrü Esmer, in an interview with Cemalettin Ünlü, described the Sünuhat’s political attitude as follows:

“As for our newspaper, being pro-Sultan at that time, meant being on the side of the Sultan and being from Istanbul. The loyalty to the Sultan meant loyalty to Turkey. As a matter of fact, the policy of our newspaper changed after the 1908 Constitutional Monarchy and started to publish articles in favour of the Committee of Union and Progress. That is why our newspaper opposed the British policy of Evkaf, confronted Musa Irfan Bey at the head of Evkaf and started a fight with the newspaper Mir’at-ı Zaman, which supported them. (...) There was freedom in the Cyprus press, I can say. The British were tolerant to the press. In fact, this was their traditional attitude towards the press. I can say that they would never interfere.” [10]

Let us continue with the Printer Mehmet Akif’s account of the events:

“(After the closure of the “Kıbrıs” newspaper on 21 December 1914, due to World War I) no Turkish newspaper was published in Cyprus until 1919, because England was at war with Turkey. Already the Turkish community was not used to giving money for a newspaper. The newspapers appeared to the benefit of the community, but in fact, they were simply snatching a cone or holding a personal grudge or hunting the community for someone else’s account.” [11]

According to an article, titled “Apology to our readers” published in “Doğru Yol” (Right Path) newspaper on 14 April 1920 (Issue: 29), it was understood that some of the articles of the newspaper, published at that time, were censored by the British colonial administration and therefore the censored places appeared in white. The referred article wrote the following:

“The profession that “Doğru Yol” has followed since its first publication is known to our readers. For this reason, we do not say much about it, we leave the appreciation to commentators. From now on, our newspaper will not be able to subjugate the readers’ view as pleasant as before. Therefore, we ask that they have no bad opinions about us.

On the ground that our newspaper has been subjected to censorship by the Directorate of the War Department since this week, the places of the free articles seen in our previous issues will be seen as white. We hope that our readers will appreciate our position under this obligation and will not spare the abundance of affection they have shown for us until so far.”

In 1925, the advocate Ahmet Raşit, editor-in-chief of the newspaper “Doğru Yol”, was opposing to İrfan Bey, the Director of the Department of Evkaf and he also published dissenting articles by Dr.Eyyub Necmeddin in his newspaper.

According to the information quoted by Oktay Öksüzoğlu from Vedia Okan, Mehmet Remzi Okan’s article,  titled “There are treacherous and seditious persons among us, beware” was published in “Söz” (Word) newspaper on 3 April 1926, which caused the imprisonment of Mehmet Remzi Okan for two months. [12]

In “Söz” newspaper of 15 June 1926, Mehmet Remzi Okan announced to his readers his two months’ imprisonment, because of a personal attack on Sait Molla, who was a pro-British Turkish statesman, residing in Cyprus.


After the declaration of the Republic of Turkey, “Söz” and “Doğru Yol” newspapers were supporting the right of the Turkish Cypriots to emigrate to Turkey, according to the Lausanne Treaty. On the other hand, the “Birlik” (Unity) newspaper of Hacıbulgurzade Ahmet Hulusi was against the immigration.

I continue with Printer Akif’s account, as he describes these two tendencies:

“On 4 September (1926), Mr. M. Fehmi and his brother A. Retmi went to the prison with some of his friends and took Remzi Okan out. When Remzi Okan saw the article against the immigration in “Söz” newspaper that they gave him in the carriage on the way, he became angry against Fehmi Bey and he could not calm his anger until he came to the printing office. As a reaction to Remzi Okan’s angriness against Fehmi Bey,  Fehmi Bey only responded with the following short sentences: “Remzi Efendi, my conscience orders me to warn the Turks of the island by writing against such embarrassment. If you are happy with it, OK. If you’re not, it’s your problem.” Akif continues: “On the other hand, “Birlik” newspaper continued its seriousness. At that time, an article was sent by the Pharmacist M. Münir to the newspaper “Söz” and “Doğru Yol” against the immigration, but neither of the newspapers published this article. Since its author had a copy of the article, the same article was sent to “Birlik” newspaper and it was published there.” [13]

The first issue of “Masum Millet” (Innocent Nation) newspaper was published on 11 April 1931. After its issue, published on 14 March 1932 (No: 43), it did not come out due to censorship for more than 5 months. On 18 August 1932 (No: 44), there was only a publication of a “Supplement to “Masum Millet”.  The main newspaper was not published again for three and a half months. The owner and the editor of the newspaper ”John Rifat” (nick-name of Cengizzade Mehmet Rifat) explained this interval as follows:

“Since the censorship intervened to our articles, which were not related with the government, but with our national affairs, we put our publication on holiday in the first week of April until 3 December 1932, when the new governor arrived.” [14]

“Masum Millet” was re-published on 3 December 1932 as a “Supplement to “Innocent Nation” (Issue: 45). (This time the title of the newspaper was not printed in Arabic letters, but in Latin letters.) “John Rifat”, who learned from the British press the arrival of Sir Reginald Edward Stubbs as the new governor of Cyprus, said “Welcome” to him in this issue and introduced the problems of the community to him in 11 points. “John Rifat” published 13 open letters addressed to the Undersecretariat of the Colony of Cyprus in the issues published between the 10 December 1932 (Issue 46) and 11 March 1933 (Issue 59).

Starting from 8 April 1933 (Issue: 63) onwards, the “Masum Millet” newspaper was published two times in a week, On 23 August 1933 (Issue: 102), “John Rifat” complained about “Söz” newspaper and wrote the following under the title of “Söz’s derived reign of censorship”:

“Mr. “Söz” must know well that the “Masum Millet”, who succeeded in abolishing the Government’s censorship administration with bayonet, will no longer submit to the derived reigns of censorship that have emerged as such.”

The last issue of “Masum Millet” newspaper had the date of 29 August 1933 (Issue: 203).

As stated in British secret reports, when World War II began, “Söz” newspaper was described as Turkish nationalist and against the British colonial government. According to a report, dated 29 October 1937, from Governor Palmer to the British Secretary of State, the publication of the “Söz” was suspended for a month in 1937 (between 17 August 1937 and 17 September 1937).

In an article published in “Söz”, it was written that “there was a life of imprisonment on the island and the only way to escape from this prison was through Turkey”. Therefore, the newspaper had been placed under constant censorship since June 1938. The British officials stated that no other newspaper, except the “Söz”, was subject to constant censorship on the island. Mr. Remzi had petitioned the authorities to abolish this censorship.

When the Turkish Cypriot newspaper “Ses” (Voice) wanted to publish on its issue of 14 June 1938, an article with the title “Turkish Cypriots Help to the Earthquake (Victims)”, originally published in Cumhuriyet newspaper on 7 June 1938 (in İstanbul), it was censored. In this article, “The greatness of the feelings of brotherhood between the Turkish Cypriots and the homeland Turks” was mentioned and the attitude of the Evkaf administration was criticized.” [15]

It is known from the official records that both “Söz” and “Ses” newspapers, which were being published on the same ideological line, were censored on the occasion of the arrival of Hamidiye School Ship to Cyprus on 20 June 1938. Censorship began before the ship arrived in Cyprus and “Söz” newspaper announced this on 4 June 1938 as follows:

“CENSOR: By the order of the Reverend Colonial Undersecretary, our newspaper will be censored from yesterday onwards until the order that will terminate it.”

The censorship was also applied on the “Ses” newspaper of 14 June 1938. However, Hasan İzzet Asım Bey, owner and director of “Ses” newspaper, died on 23 June 1938 and the publication of “Ses” ended. [16]

The headline of the “Söz” on 21 June 1938 was “Hamidiye in our Island” and since the news was censored, the underneath of the headline was blank. In a secret report, dated 24 June 1938, sent from the British Colonial Governor Palmer to MacDonald, the following was reported:

“The “Söz” and “Ses” newspapers have been making propaganda for Turkish nationalism for a long time, while they attack the Evkaf administration and frequently include concepts such as “Motherland” and “Our Atatürk’. Therefore, these newspapers were censored before Hamidiye arrived.”

The following information was included in a “secret and personal” letter, dated 30 June 1938, sent by the British Colonial Governor Palmer from Nicosia to the British Ambassador in Turkey Percy Lorainne:

“The arrival of Hamidiye spurred the feelings of nationalism (among the Turks here). Moreover, the articles of the “Cumhuriyet” (Republic) newspaper (published in Turkey) on 24 May and 7 June issues are also of concern. The “Cumhuriyet” is a publication that can find a considerable readership in Cyprus. Finally, the Cyprus Governing Council had to take a decision, advising me not to forbid this newspaper from entering the island. I wanted to get your opinion on this issue before taking this prohibition and preventing it from entering Cyprus. Probably, the Republic of Turkey does not want its relations with Cyprus to be deteriorated.” [17]

The “Söz” of 27 August 1938 wrote the following: “The Jubilee of the “Söz” will not be held.” The newspaper also publishes a letter signed by "Acting Colonial Secretary Stanley". Censorship continued.

The “Söz” Newspaper of 18 October 1938, published the following news: “According to what is announced in the official newspaper, published on Friday, the importation to the island of the book called “Turks of Cyprus” (Kıbrıs Türkleri), printed and published in Turkey,  has been called strictly forbidden. The police administration carried out research in some businesses and establishments, but could not find the book. The author of the book is İsmet Konur, History Teacher of Denizli (city).” The writer was born in Cyprus.

A letter, dated 12 January 1939, sent to the Minister of Colonies by Mehmet Remzi Okan, owner and editor of “Söz” daily, included the following complaint:

“The Cyprus administration censors my newspaper without giving any reason, and I am not allowed to publish even the articles on Cyprus published in the Manchester Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Morning Post. I hope you will justify my belief that freedom of the press and thought within the Commonwealth is not an empty concept.” [18]

The following information from Battershill to Acheson was sent from Nicosia with a record of 15 September 1939 (Confidential): “Söz” is the only newspaper in Cyprus today under censorship. You shouldn’t answer Remzi for another two months. It is not appropriate for us to remove censorship for now. Moreover, we believe that the sister-in-law of the new Turkish consul is behind this “Söz” headache. Let’s implement the “wait and see” policy on this issue.”[19]

The Turkish Cypriot press announced in December 1938 that the film, containing scenes from Atatürk’s funeral and life, would be brought to Cyprus and screened at the Papadopoulos cinema in Nicosia. But Governor Palmer forbade the film to be shown. This film about the funeral could only be screened in the mid-1940s.

On 3 May 1939, speaking at the British Parliament, Mr. Foot criticized the Colonial Minister: “It is not right to prohibit the screening of the Atatürk film and the wedding film of the Greek Royal family, while films showing fascist movements and events are permitted on the island.”

Colonial Minister MacDonald said in his reply that there was a censorship committee of civil and official authorities in Cyprus and that he had no control, and that he did not know why the film was banned.[20]

M. Necati Ozkan started a series of articles, entitled “What are the real reasons for our tendency to head autonomous administration?” in “Söz” newspaper on 5 June 1937. Despite the fact that it was said at the end of the second article “to be continued”, “Söz” newspaper made the following statement in its copy on 12 June 1937:

“Open information for Mr M. Necati Özkan: We hereby declare that we will not be able to publish the further parts of the precious articles that you have sent to be issued in the sequence, and we kindly ask you to excuse us. Director of “Söz”: M. R. Okan.”

On 22 July 1937, the Cumhuriyet newspaper (of Istanbul) published a news, written from Cyprus, under the title “An event that causes for the Turkish Cypriots excitement”and the event was announced to the Turkish public opinion as follows:

“The “Ses” newspaper is the publication organ of those who attack and accuse with national betrayal the ones who seem to support the autonomous administration. (…) A second and stronger front of them was emerged with the Manifests, published by a personality called, the advocate Cengizzade M. Rifat, who studied law (!) in Turkey, knows very well Greek and English.”

The “Söz” newspaper referred in its issue of 4 August 1937 to the above news in its headline “The Cyprus correspondent of Cumhuriyet gives false news to its readers”and wrote this:

“We stopped the articles of Necati Özkan, because what we think is sufficient for now. When the time and the day comes, we will never hesitate to publish the further parts of the article. Let us also add that there were no complaints by any of our readers for publishing Necati Özkan’s articles, on the contrary, there were many who wanted us to continue publishing those articles.” [21]

M. Necati Özkan wrote a letter on 19 February 1939 to the Secretary-General of the Republican People’s Party in Turkey and complained that Mr. Remzi’s family was under the influence of the British and therefore his articles were no longer published.  He would like to ask for help in setting up a newspaper himself.

Advocate C.M.Rifat, one of the prominent figures of the Turkish Cypriot press, explained why he opposed giving autonomy to the administration of the island, with a series of manifests (Declarations), he issued in 1937. As Mr Rifat did not like the publication policies of the Turkish Cypriot newspapers “Söz” and “Ses”, he wrote in the “Kıbrıs” newspaper on 21 November 1949 the following about these hand-outs: “We had to publish these four manifests, since there were no other Turkish publication organ.” [22]

When Mehmet Remzi, the owner of “Söz” newspaper, went to Istanbul on 16 November 1941 for his illness, he died there on 22 January 1942. Vedia and Bedia, two of Mehmet Remzi’s daughters were not old enough to have a licence for a newspaper, therefore the publication of “Söz” had to stop on 10 February 1942. But a month later, this time, they put Dr. Fazıl Küçük as the licence owner and started to publish a new newspaper called “Halkın Sesi” (The Voice of the People) on 14 March 1942.

According to Vedia Okan, 9 months later, because of an article by the columnist “Yavuz”, criticizing the government’s decision to move the schools to Lapta, the “Halkın Sesi” was sentenced to 3 months of closure and was forced to suspend its publication from 21 January 1943 until 21 April 1943.

On the day, when the newspaper re-appeared, the “Halkın Sesi”, in an article titled “Getting Started Again” and signed by Dr. M. Fadıl Küçük, explained that “the newspaper had been closed for 3 months by the order of the Undersecretary. After that, the newspaper started to be published three times in a week, on Sunday-Wednesday-Friday. Dr. Küçük argued that this punishment was imposed by the British, who would allow the “Söz” to be published once again.

Vedia Okan, one of Remzi Bey’s daughters, who had a disagreement with Dr. Küçük, got the licence of “Söz” newspaper, after she completed 25 years of age and started to publish “Söz” together with his sister Bedia on 5 March 1943, but this time on a daily basis.

M. Necati Özkan, who was one of the Turkish Cypriot members of the Legislative Council, which was abolished in 1931, began to publish a daily newspaper called “İstiklâl” (Independence) on 28 October 1949. The newspaper informed its readers on 5 February 1950 as follows:

“There was an ugly assault on our editor-in-chief by Enver Mustafa, the brother of Mehmet Ali Pamir, the Vice-President of the Turkish Cypriot Cultural Association in Ankara, This incident aroused sadness and hatred among our people. Necati Özkan’s glasses were broken in the first move and his right eye was seriously and dangerously injured.”

On 4 June 1950, Necati Özkan founded the “Turkish Cypriot Union Independence Party” and continued his political struggle for leadership against the political views of Dr. Küçük and his newspaper “Halkın Sesi” until the beginning of 1954. However, Necati Özkan had to close his newspaper with the its last copy of 13 January 1954 and withdrew from politics after his cigarette factory was burned “by unknown people” on the night of 6 December 1953.

The first issue of the newspaper “İnkılapçı” (Revolutionary) was published on 13 September 1955. It was owned by the Revolutionary Press Company Ltd. and its director was Fazıl Önder. In the first issue of the weekly “İnkılâpçı”, the purpose of the newspaper was described as follows: “The name of our newspaper is “Revolutionary”. We are revolutionaries. Our inspiration comes from the people of Turkey, who revolted against the internal enemies and external attackers in 1918-1922 and from Atatürks, who guided and led this movement.”

The newspaper began to be published on Mondays starting from its 11th issue of 21 November 1955 and wrote: ‘Now our goal is to come out twice a week very soon. We trust our people’.

However, after the 14th issue, the Revolutionary had to stop publishing.  In its final copy of 12 December 1955 (No: 14) there were the following news: “On the occasion of the 7th Anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights, we invite the administrators of the Court to respect the human rights (Revolutionary)”. An article had the title “On the occasion of Cox’s visit to our island” by Fazıl Önder and another article, titled “Threat” wrote as follows:

“We observe that random letters of threat have been sent here and there recently. Two weeks ago, we received a letter from Mr. Sevim, a prominent sportsman, from Limassol. A letter of the same setting came to our office the other day. Contents: ‘Stop the “Revolutionary” newspaper’, ‘you will be killed’, ‘your head will be crushed’ etc. “

The “İnkılapçı” was among the newspapers that the British colonial administration banned in December 1955 when a state of emergency was declared on the island. The “Hürsöz” (Free Word) newspaper provided the following information in its issue of 16 December 1955:

“The weekly Turkish newspaper ‘İnkılâpçı’ was officially declared illegal. Other newspapers, banned for one year, were the Greek newspapers “Neos Demokratis” and “Aneksartitos” in Greek”.

On 8 January 1956, Hürsöz reported as follows: “The Greek Cypriot communist newspaper “Embros” was closed yesterday. Its rooms in the Zavalli Printing House were sealed.”

Fazıl Önder, the 32-year-old owner and editor-in-chief of the Turkish “İnkılapçı” newspaper suffered a brutal murder on 24 May 1958. In this first wave of terrorism, initiated by the Turkish Resistance Organization (TMT), an underground organization affiliated with the Turkish Cypriot leadership, other Turkish Cypriots known as left-leaning were either killed or injured. From now on, TMT intimidated both the Turkish Cypriot press and those, who thought differently from the leadership. Freedom of thought in the Turkish Cypriot community was suppressed for a long time after the British colonial rule ended in 1960.

(This paper was read at the International Conference on Colonial Cyprus (1878-1969), organized at the University of Nicosia, on 7-8 February 2020)

[1] Harid Fedai and Ahmet An, The History of Turkish Cypriot Press with Excerpts (1891-1963) Vol:1, Nicosia 2012, p.7

[2] The History of Newspaper in Cyprus, Söz newspaper, 10 August 1933 
[3] Söz, 10 August 1933

[4] Asst. Prof. Dr. Mehmet Demiryürek, Turkish Cypriot Press and the Government of Turkey (Ottoman Period) (1878-1910), Ankara University, Journal of the Institute of Turkish Revolutionary History, May-November 2000, Issue 25-26, pp.128- 129

[5] Söz, 17 August 1933

[6] ibid

[7] M. Demiryürek, ibid, p.130

[8] H. Fedai and A. An, The History of Turkish Cypriot Press with Excerpts (1891-1963), Vol.1, Nicosia 2012, p.26

[9] Söz, 17 August 1933

[10] The Press Event in Cyprus (1878-1981), Ankara 1981, pp.39-40

[11] The History of Turkish Press and Journalism in Cyprus, Kıbrıs newspaper, 18 April 1949

[12] Portraits from the Turkish Cypriot Press: 1, Mehmet Remzi Okan, Nicosia 1990, p.9 
[13] ibid

[14] From the writings of “Söz”, which were rude and mischievous and were similar with a Thief’s Lantern, Masum Millet, 25 October 1933, Issue:120    


[15] Şükrü S. Gürel, History of Cyprus (1878-1960) Colonialism, Nationalism and International Politics, Vol:1, Ankara 1984, p.189  

[16] Since the last copy of the “Ses”s collection in the National Archive in Kyrenia is dated 21 January 1938, the last issue of “Ses” newspaper should be dated 14 or 21 June 1938 
[17] Cited by Şükrü S. Gürel, ibid, p.190

[18] CO 67/300/4, Governor’s Dispatch, 3 February 1939 (secret) Enclosure No.1, cited by Şükrü   S.Gürel, ibid, p.182

[19] cited by Şükrü S.Gürel, ibid, p.182

[20] A.C.Gazioglu, The Turks in the Circle of Enosis, Nicosia 1996, pp.312-313

[21] Cited by Ahmet An, Political History of Turkish Cypriots (1930-1960), Nicosia 2006, pp.91-95

[22] ibid, p.90

  • February 19th 2020 at 13:44



Ahmet Djavit An


The paper provides information about the factors that endanger the existence of the Turkish Cypriot community and its identity due to the continuous occupation of the northern part of Cyprus by the Turkish army. The main emphasis is on the changes that have been taking place since 1974. It starts with the demographic changes caused by the constant colonization and transfer of Turkish settlers and then deals with the consequent formation of settlers’ organizations and the increasing religious propaganda that rose especially after the AKP’s rise to power. In addition to this massive colonization process, we also observe the increase of the criminality rates, drug abuse and sex tourism.


Ottoman Rule

The origins of the Turkish Cypriot community dates back to the Ottoman conquest of the island in 1570-71. The commander of the Ottoman Army, Lala Mustafa Pasha, left a number of soldiers in Cyprus. The official Ottoman sources mention about a total of 3.779 soldiers, who later brought their families to Cyprus. An additional 1.689 families were settled in Cyprus after a firman was issued by the Sultan, realizing that the island needed human resources for labour.  In the following years, other Turkish families from Konya, Kırşehir, Çorum, Samsun, Çankırı, Eskişehir, Ankara, Darende and Uşak settled in the towns which were surrounded by fortified walls or had castles (Nicosia, Famagusta, Limassol, Paphos and Kyrenia) and in the deserted Latin villages. The census taken shortly after the conquest revealed a taxable population of some 85.000 Greeks, Armenians and Maronites and also 20.000 Turkish settlers, mostly campaign veterans, who were given land by Lala Mustafa Paşa.[1] 

As we can see from the Ottoman tax lists, which are kept in the archives of the Cypriot Archbishopric, some villages converted from Christian into Moslem religion from 1825 to 1832.[2] Some others, who were practicing both religions as Crypto-Christians (Lino-bambakians), returned to the Christian religion, after the British rule started. In 1908, their number was less than 1.200, decreasing from the number at the time of British occupation.[3]

The Moslem population, which brought the Turkish-Islamic culture to Cyprus from Anatolia, lived peacefully with the Christian population of the island during the Ottoman period. The Anatolian settlers intermingled with the Greek Cypriots and cooperated with them in every field of life. Although the two communities belonged to different religions and had other ethnic distinctive features, they lived harmoniously, influencing each other, as they worked side by side in the rural and urban areas.

British Rule

Establishment of British Rule

When the island’s administration was taken over by the British in 1878 and the first census was done in 1881, the total population was 185.630. 137.631 were Christian Greek Cypriots, 45.458 were Moslem Turkish Cypriots and 2.541 were other nationalities i.e. Roman Catholics (1.275), Maronites (830) and Armenian (174).[4]

The first printing house was soon established, allowing newspapers to be published both in Greek and Turkish. In this context, the weekly “Zaman” newspaper was first printed in 1891, while the first book in Turkish language titled “Müsameretname” (Evening Tales), was published and in 1893. Until 1914 the number of books published in Cyprus reached 600, 550 of them being in the Greek language.[5] 

Cyprus was annexed by Britain in 1923 (Lausanne Treaty), declaring it a Crown colony in 1924. In the same year, an organisation under the name “Kıbrıs Türk Cemaat-ı İslâmiyesi” (Cyprus Turkish Community of Islam) was established that was later (1931) changed to Kıbrıs Türk Milli Kongresi” (Cyprus Turkish National Congress).

Attempts to Formalize the Turkish Cypriot Identity

The British colonial administration had abolished the parliament in October 1931 after a nationalist rebellion of the Greek Cypriots. During these oppressive years all the national symbols of Greece and Turkey[6] were banned and no text books were allowed to come from the mainlands. In the 1930’s the British colonialists strived to prevent the concept of Cypriotism from leaving behind both Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot nationalisms. According to Palmer, the British Governor, the only way to stop or postpone this development was to establish a new administrational structure, which would provoke inter-regional difference of identity. In a secret report sent to London on October 23, 1936, he claimed that:

“In order to have ease in the future on the island, we have to continue the administration on the basis of exceptis excipiendis (opening the way to exceptions), on the basis of districts. Thus the concept of Cypriot nationalism -which will be emerging as a new concept after Enosis becomes an eroded value- should be pushed away as much as possible and left in the dark. Now it is almost not living. Cypriots are either their district’s “nationalists”, or they are Greek or Turks”.[7]

It is in this period that we see one of the first articles that dealt with the identity of the Turkish Cypriots. Ulviye Mithat, who wrote in one of her articles in the Turkish Cypriot newspaper “Ses” (Voice), dated August 24, 1935, underlined the cultural problems of the Turkish Cypriots in those years as follows:

“As I heard, the cultural part of the history of Cyprus belonging to the Greek Cypriot community is completely protected. The Greek Cypriots recorded their cultural history in various works and prepared them for the coming generations. On the other hand, the Turkish Cypriots have not even thought of this subject! They also neglected every period of the history of Cyprus. Where is a history of literature? Where is a history of administration? Even their general history was written in a simple text book. The only article written up to now about our cultural history is the short article about the history of the Lycee, which was published last year in the journal of the Lycee. We need an article immediately about the development of our elementary schools which are the cradle of our culture”.

 The article mentioned by Ulviye Mithat was the one written by her husband, history teacher of the Lycee, Mustafa Mithat Bey, titled “Lisenin Tarihi” (History of the Lycee), and published in the “Kıbrıs Erkek Lisesi Mecmuası, 1933-1934 Yıllığı” (Journal of the Cyprus Boys’ Lycee, 1933-1934 Almanac) (107-127).[8]

In 1938, a book was written by İsmet Konur titled “Kıbrıs Türkleri” (The Turks of Cyprus) and was consequently published by the Remzi Bookshop in Istanbul. This book was banned in Cyprus by the British colonial regime.[9]

During the British period, although there were some political restrictions, the Greek Cypriot community developed better than the Turkish Cypriot community in the fields of economy, education, culture and social life. Additionally, the bourgeois movement came from Europe through Greece. The Turkish Cypriots were open to the modern way of life because of their coexistence with the Greek Cypriots.  That is why they were ready to adopt Atatürk’s reforms (modern dress, Latin alphabet, secularism etc.) quicker than the Anatolian Turks.

Although there was a difference of mentality and psychology between the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots, they did not have big disagreements. The development of their ethnic-national awareness was more rapid during the British rule as the middle-class grew in the towns. The enosis movement of the Greek Cypriots and the Greek defeat in Western Anatolia hastened the polarization of the two communities.

During the Second World War, we see an awakening of the Turkish Cypriot community. The formation of the first Turkish Cypriot political party was in 1942 under the title “Kıbrıs Adası Türk Azınlığı Kurumu” (KATAK, acronym for the “Organisation of the Turkish Minority in the Island of Cyprus” in Turkish). The separate ethnically-based trade-unions started in those years, because of the pro-enosis policy of the Greek Cypriots.

New literary journals and newspapers were also published in this period.[10] The first delegation of Turkish teachers from Turkey visited Cyprus in 1948. The leaders of the Turkish Cypriots living in Turkey came to Cyprus in 1949 and helped the Turkish Cypriot political parties, football clubs and organizations to unite and to establish the “Federation of Turkish Cypriot Associations”.

The number of books published by the Turkish Cypriots from 1878 to 1939 was 120, whereas from 1940 to 1963, 205 books were published. This shows the intellectual activity of the Turkish Cypriots in the fields of both politics and culture in the two periods.

Final years of the British Rule

After the Second World War, the sporadic assimilation of the Turkish Cypriots had stopped because of the emerging nationalism among the Turkish Cypriot elite. The Turkish Cypriot landowners and the leaders, who cooperated closely with the British colonial government, were unable to catch up with the development, achieved by the Greek Cypriot commercial bourgeoisie. The Turkish Cypriot leadership preferred to start the notorious “from Turk to Turk campaign” only with the help of the underground organisation TMT, with the aim of building the economic and political base for the partition of the island between the two communities.

During the turbulent years of anti-British terror the Turkish Cypriots were used as colonial police in order to fight against the EOKA rebels, who aimed at the union (enosis) of the island with Greece.

In this period, we see one of the first scientific researches about the Turkish Cypriot community, which was done by Professor Charles Fraser Buckingham of Islamic Studies at Manchester University. His first article was titled "The Cypriot Turks" and was published in the Journal of Royal Central Society (April 1956-No.43, pp.126-130). His second article was titled "The Turks of Cyprus" and was published in the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland (December 1957-Vol 87, Part II). He also wrote "Islam in Cyprus", published in The Islamic Quarterly (July 1955-Vol II, No 2, pp 153-141) and "Islam and Turkish Nationalism in Cyprus", published in Die Welt des Islam (1958, Vol V, No 1-2, pp 65-83).

Republic of Cyprus

The Republic of Cyprus declared its independence on August 16, 1960 and the first official census was taken on December 11, 1960. The number of Turkish Cypriots at that time was 104.320. Adding the 475 Moslem gypsies and other Moslems, the total came to 104.942. The number of Christians was 473.265.[11]

The Turkish Cypriot underground organization, the TMT, continued to be active also after the foundation of the Republic of Cyprus in 1960. TMT killed in 1962 the two advocates, Ahmet Gürkan and Ayhan Hikmet, who were trying to organize the opposition around their newspaper “Cumhuriyet” (Republic) against the partitionist policy of the Turkish Cypriot leadership. Another Turkish Cypriot, the AKEL activist Dervish Ali Kavazoglou was murdered by the TMT in 1965 and the political opposition was supressed for a while. After 1967, the graduates of the secondary schools, who were forced to stay in the enclaves and do military service, were allowed to go abroad for higher education. Intellectual activities were limited during the 1960’s, because of the limited freedoms inside and outside the Turkish Cypriot enclaves. The number of books published during this period was only 187, including the official propaganda books.[12]

At the end of 1963, the Turkish Cypriots had withdrawn from the structure of the Cypriot state after the outbreak of inter-communal clashes and no census covering the Turkish Cypriots could be conducted thereafter. According to the study of a Canadian researcher, Richard A. Patrick, who served as an officer in UNFICYP, entitled "Political Geography and the Cyprus Conflict 1963-1971", published in 1976, there were a total of 119,147 Turkish Cypriots living in the Turkish Cypriot settlements on the island.


The Partition of the Island and the Arrival of the First Turkish Settlers

In 1974, Cyprus experienced two tragedies, the first one was the coup of the Greek fascist officers against the President of the Republic, Archbishop Makarios. The other one took place five days later, as the Turkish troops occupied one third of the northern part of the island. The excuse was to restore the constitutional order before the coup. These two traumatic events effectively divided Cyprus and its population. During the military occupation of the northern part of the island, the Greek Cypriots fled to the southern part of the island, where the legitimate government of the Republic of Cyprus had complete control.

Shortly after the division in summer 1974, the following information was provided in a report prepared by Ahmet Sami, the “Secretary-General of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Justice of the Autonomous Turkish-Cypriot Administration", dated October 20, 1974:

"A total of 83.719 Turkish Cypriots live on the territory of the `Autonomous Turkish Cypriot administration'. There were 32.039 Turkish Cypriots left in the south. Approximately 10.000 of them are in the SBA, 4.200 in Limassol and in its villages, 12.000 in Paphos district, 2.630 in the Larnaca district, and 3.209 in the villages of Nicosia district. It was stated in the same report that until October 19, 1974, about 12.000 Turkish Cypriots had moved to the north".

According to the information given above, there were 71.719 Turkish Cypriots living north and 44.039 Turkish Cypriots living south of the partition line, making a total of 115.758. This essentially confirms the estimates published in the Patrick study.

Turkish settlers were first brought in from Anatolia in October 1974 on the pretext that "they would work in the hotels and gardens left behind by the Greek Cypriots". But the real aim of Turkey was to colonize the occupied northern part of the island by using similar traditional methods, which were implemented by the Turkish nationalist “Unity and Progress Association” (İttihat ve Terakki Cemiyeti) and which ethnically cleansed Anatolia from the Armenians and Greeks, before the foundation of the Republic of Turkey.

In January 1975, the families of Turkish military personnel, killed in Cyprus during the war of 1974, were settled in the north. They were granted citizenship by the decision of the “Council of Ministers” of the Turkish Cypriot Administration and they were given the houses and the properties of the Greek Cypriots, who were forced to leave their ancestral homes. This practice was extended further to granting houses and plots of land to anyone wishing to settle in Cyprus. Thus the first massive wave of immigration from Turkey was initiated after the signing of a “Protocol of Agricultural Workforce” in February 1975. A top secret directive[13] was issued under the title “Directive related with the fulfilment of the deficit of work force in the Turkish Region of Cyprus, prepared after the demand of the Cyprus Turkish Federated State”. It was stated there that even if all the Turkish Cypriots, who used to live in the south of the divide, would come to the north, there would not be enough workforce. Therefore the northern part would be populated as soon as possible.[14] To this effect, an announcement was made through the Directorates of Settlement and Governorships in 14 provinces of Turkey, including the Black Sea region (Trabzon, Samsun, Rize); the Aegean region (Manisa and Denizli) and the Mediterranean region (Antalya, Mersin, Silifke).

A secret document published with the above Directive revealed that a number of families were settled in the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus: 81 families from Karakeşli village, 115 families from Silifke and 129 families from Taşkıran village of Trabzon. Other groups from Adana, Antalya, İçel, Denizli and other provinces were settled in a similar way.[15]

Those, who were willing to settle in the Turkish occupied part of the island, were sent to the island voluntarily. They were mainly from rural areas and they were settled in the villages, abandoned by the Greek Cypriots. These Turkish settlers were given enough agricultural land to cultivate and some animals. They were not allowed to leave their settlements at least for five years. Otherwise all would be taken from them. Those, who could not get accustomed to the new local conditions returned to Turkey later, but a great majority stayed. According to the above study by Kurtuluş and Purkis, 82.500 Turkish settlers were settled in the occupied part of Cyprus from 1975 to 1979, but 20-25% of them returned to Anatolia.[16]

On June 10, 1976, Zaman newspaper reported Rauf Denktash's response to those in the north, who criticized the way the resettlement was being conducted, as follows: "It was a matter of uprooting and resettling about 80 thousand people. This magnificent mission was accomplished by human beings, who could make mistakes". Denktash's statements confirmed that as early as 1976 the number of Turkish settlers was almost identical with the number of Turkish Cypriots resettled from the south to the north.

According to an article published in Zaman newspaper on August 9, 1977, Hakki Atun, “Minister for Settlement and Rehabilitation” of the "Cyprus Turkish Federated State”, had declared that 20.934 families, i.e. 83.650 Turkish Cypriots were settled in the north from 1974 to 1977. As the number of Turkish Cypriots coming from the south was 44.039, the remaining 39.611 persons must have been settlers transferred from Turkey.

A complementary provision was adopted in 1981 to the “Law of Citizenship” opening the way to Turkish settlers to be granted the citizenship of the separatist Turkish Cypriot statelet if they reside in the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus permanently for at least one year, or if they made or could make an important contribution to the economy or social and cultural life, or if they rendered services to the security forces.

Turkish Settlers at the End of 1983

Turcification Policy

In the draft "Second Five-Year Development Plan" prepared by the State Planning Department and published in September 1983, it was stated that 91.225 persons were re-settled from 1974 to 1982 on the territory of the "Cyprus Turkish Federated State”. As the number of Turkish Cypriot refugees coming from the south was 44.039, the number of Turkish citizens settled in northern Cyprus can be estimated as 47.186. No official statistics were ever published.

The Turkish Cypriot population in 1960 was 104.942 and in 1974 it was 115.758. As of 1974, however, reference to the numbers of the "Turkish Cypriots" also included the Turkish settlers. It was clear that the number of Turkish settlers was constantly rising. A census taken on 26.5.1990 to determine the number of voters before the next general election showed that the "Turkish Cypriot" population had reached 173.224. Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash ultimately revealed why detailed population statistics were never disclosed: "If we disclose them, they will know who came from where!”[17]

Increasing Crime Rates

The second wave of immigration of the Turkish settlers was in the 1980’s, especially after the declaration of the so-called “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” (“TRNC”) in 1983. A “Labour Force Agreement” was signed between governments of the “TRNC” and Turkey in 1987 and another agreement was signed in 1991, which allowed their citizens to enter into both states without a passport, but only by showing their Identity Cards.[18] This time, there was no incentives, but tolerance for all the good and bad activities.

The new regulation made it easy for everyone to come to the occupied area and parallel to this the crime rate increased considerably. This open-door policy was strongly criticized first by the Turkish Cypriot leader Dr. Fazıl Küçük in his newspaper “Halkın Sesi” and later by the two opposition parties, the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and the Communal Liberation Party (TKP). These political parties were against the influx of Turkish citizens as illegal labour force from Turkey and were afraid that their presence will increase and harm the texture of the Turkish Cypriot community.[19] The first detailed article about the dangers of increased number of Turkish settlers in Northern Cyprus was published in the “Söz” (Word) weekly magazine (Issue: 26, April 11, 1986) under the title “Are we heading to the hegemony of those, who have an education of elementary school level and below?” In this article, statistical information was given about the level of education, the number of marriages, the partnership permits granted to the Turkish citizens and the criminality rate among them.

The same subject of demographical changes was dealt in further issues of the same magazine. For example, from 1977 to 1984, a total of 14.915 Turkish citizens were granted permission to work in “Northern Cyprus”, according to the 1984 Statistical Yearbook. If each one was considered to represent a family of at least 3 people, this meant 47.745 persons. This was in line with the number of Turkish citizens, who had been resettled. Even assuming that some of them left and returned to Turkey, it could be argued that with the most optimistic estimate, about 40.000 Turkish immigrants were settled in northern Cyprus until 1984.[20]

There was a great turmoil among the Turkish Cypriots, who entered into a new stage of survival or extinction, after the influx of the Turkish settlers from the mainland. The increasing number of Turkish settlers were also granted the citizenship of the “TRNC” and this was seen as a real threat to the existence of the indigenous Turkish Cypriots. After all, there were socio-cultural differences between the native Turkish Cypriots and the Turkish settlers coming from various parts of Anatolia.[21]

Soon the Turkish settlers started to form their own political parties and to take part in the general elections as well. Thus the Turkish settlers became a sensitive issue for the Turkish Cypriot political parties. Türk Birliği Partisi (TBP, Party of the Turkish Union) was established in 1982 and Yeni Doğuş Partisi (YDP, New Revival Party was established in February 1984 by a former military officer, Aytaç Beşeşler.

These parties were collaborating with the Turkish embassy in Nicosia and they supported the nationalist right wing governments and also the colonization policy of the Turkish Cypriot leadership.

Threats to the Turkish Cypriot Identity

This policy of Turcification has been intensified, since the AKP is in power, acquiring an anti-secular point of view. Turkey has been implementing a new policy to change the secular traditions of the Turkish Cypriot community and to make them more Moslem by financing the constant construction of mosques. While in the period from 1974 to 2002 a mere nine mosques were built, since 2002, a total of 39 new mosques were built. The Turkish Cypriots perceive these Islamization activities with concern. For example the Trade union of Turkish Cypriot Teachers (KTÖS) issued a statement criticizing the ongoing Koran courses and new schools for religious education:

“There are 192 mosques in the “TRNC”, whereas there are 160 schools, 21 health centers and 17 hospitals. Each university wants to build a mosque and these plans increased the controversies. […] They say that they got permission from the Ministry of Education, but there are Koran courses ongoing in the mosques, without permission and controls. If the government does not have the power to control these places, they should resign".

AKP’s anti-secular campaign, also manifests itself through a constant attempt to enhance non secular training. In particular, in 2014 out of the 260 imams, who were paid from the budget of the “Prime Ministry” of the “TRNC”, a mere 13 of them were on permanent staff- list. Another 120 imams received their salaries from the Turkish Embassy in Nicosia”.[22]

The influences from mainland Turkey became more intense through the organs of the mass media, which promote this policy of Turkification of the occupied part of the island. There are Turkish students and graduates working in the Turkish Cypriot media organs (30 radio stations, 7 TV channels and 18 newspapers.) The mainland Turkish TV channels are relayed through a Turkish satellite and can be watched free of charge. The local Turkish Cypriot TV channels are watched only at a rate of 17%, getting almost no advertisement from the main Turkish companies that export goods worth 2,3 million dollars every day to the “TRNC”. 

In 2015, Turkey exported to the “TRNC” goods worth of 851 million dollars, whereas the “TRNC” exported to Turkey goods worth of a mere 62 million dollars! In the period from January to September 2016, the exported goods from the “TRNC” to Turkey had a total value of 83.873.287 dollars, whereas the imports from Turkey had a value of 1.026.953.811 dollars.[23]

All the Greek geographical names were changed into Turkish and the old names are not used anymore. The Turkish Cypriots were forced by law to get a surname as it is the case in Turkey. “Mersin 10” was adopted as the postal code of the occupied area of Cyprus as if “Northern Cyprus” is a province of Mersin-Turkey. The Turkish Lira was used as means of transactions instead of the Cyprus Pound and the exchange rate was officially fixed as 1:36 for many years, in spite of the high inflation rate of the Turkish Lira in those years.    

Turkish Cypriots’ Reaction to the Turkification Policy

Initial Reactions

The awareness of Cypriotism in the cultural field has led to new studies about the Turkish Cypriot history, literature, culture and folklore, which became the popular subjects for research among the Turkish Cypriot elite. From 1974 up to 1996, over 1.500 books on these subjects were published, a striking trend, which went parallel to the political struggle by the opposition political parties for more democracy and economic progress. The Turkish Cypriots started to ask the question “Who are we and what are the differences between us and the Turkish settlers coming from Turkey?”

The problem of protecting the original Cypriot identity against the cultural assimilation, which gained importance from our subject’s point of view, forced the Turkish Cypriot intellectuals to think of this situation constantly and to take various actions against it.

Defending the Turkish Cypriot Identity

Since 1974, the Turkish Cypriots have been focusing more attention to the struggle of repossessing and developing their own cultural identity. Initially, discussions in this direction started under the roof of some political parties. Later activities included those of cultural associations and personal researches.

The first comprehensive meeting for the definition of the qualities of the Turkish Cypriot culture took place in Nicosia from February 1-4, 1983 with the participation of cultural and artistic organizations and personalities. This meeting was also supported by the responsible “Minister for the Cultural Affairs”. More than 200 persons participated at this Advisory Meeting on Culture and Art and 24 papers were submitted. The activities were carried on in 10 separate commissions on Language and Literature, History, Music, etc. During this meeting, the Cypriot culture in general and the Turkish Cypriot culture in particular were discussed intensively. Only a part of the discussions was published in the Söz daily newspaper, along with my three articles for these meetings (January 31 to February 12, 1983).[24]

Right after the advisory meeting, Halk Sanatları Derneği (Has-Der, The People’s Arts Association) organized in Nicosia on February 25, 1983 the First Folklore Symposium. This was one of the first scientific steps forward in the crystallization of the ethnic-national consciousness of the Turkish Cypriots. All the papers, submitted to the Folkloric Symposia from 1983 to 1986, were published in a book by the “TRNC Ministry of Culture and Tourism” in 1986, which was a huge gain.

Other panel discussions and publications concerning the identity research were later conducted, these however, reflected the official ideology, adopting chauvinist views, e.g. “The importance of the identity of the Turks, living in Cyprus, its necessity from the geographical, historical, national-religious and political point of view” (December 1990)[25] and a book titled “The Identity of the Turkish Cypriots” (1990) published by the “Ministry of National Education and Culture”. The latter made the following assertions:

“We, in other words, the Turkish Cypriots of today, are not, as the Greek Cypriots allege, the remnants of the invaders, but the real owners of the island... The Turkish Cypriots are the oldest people of the island with their history and culture and as a national people, they are different from the Greek Cypriot people and have all the rights that the Greek Cypriots have”.[26]

Meanwhile, the Turkish Cypriots are more willing to stress their cultural differences with Turkish citizens and settlers. For example, nowadays, they started to use more frequently the Greek Cypriot or Turkish Cypriot local words as names of the restaurants that serve local dishes: “Gafgarıt, Galbur, Piron, and Garavolli”. A lot of villages organize every year festivals (panayır) with the names of local products (Walnut, Orange, Strawberry, Date etc.) and perform the Cypriot folkloric dances with local music. Theatre plays are staged with Turkish Cypriot accent by the folkloric associations. Many webpages and Face-book groups are established, where Cypriot identity is possessed and propagated.                

The Council of Europe and the Population in the Occupied Area of Cyprus

The Spanish parliamentarian, Alfonse Cuco, Rapporteur of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Demography of the Council of Europe (CoE), prepared a report on the "Structure of the Cypriot Communities" dated April 27, 1992 which was discussed by the Parliamentary Assembly of the CoE. According to this Report, from 1974 to 1990 the population in the areas controlled by the Republic of Cyprus increased by only 13,70% whereas the increase in the northern part was 48,35%.[27] The same Report mentions that UN Representative Camilion had informed Cuco that 40-45 thousand Turkish civilians had been transferred to the island.[28]

In 1997, the number of Turkish settlers and their children living in the occupied area had not been declared officially. Yet, based on the statistics of outgoing and incoming passengers, I was able to estimate that the number of the Turkish settlers in Northern Cyprus about 100.000 persons.[29] The same process was repeated in 2009, resulting into the following estimation: 198.101 Turkish citizens were staying in the occupied area and 46.546 Turkish Cypriots were staying abroad. Since then, the immigration statistics are not published anymore in detail.

The First Official Turkish Cypriot Census

Twenty two years of Continuous Colonization: The First Official Census

The results of the first official census conducted by the Turkish Cypriot authorities on December 1996 and evaluated by the State Institute of Statistics in Ankara, were publicized two years later. According to this data, the de facto population of northern Cyprus was 200.587 and the de jure population was 188.662.[30]

The difference between the two was explained by Ahmet Bulunç, Adviser of the State Planning Department, who stated that on the day of the census 11.925 persons had declared that their permanent residence was outside the “TRNC”.

The results of the census were as follows:

Total population                            200.587 (100%)

Citizens of the “TRNC”                 164.460 (82%)

Born in the “TRNC”                       137.398

Born in Turkey                                 23.924

Born in a 3rd country                         3.138

Citizens of Turkey                            30.702 (15%)

Citizens of a 3rd country                    5.425 (3%)

The number of Greek Cypriots living in the north was 384 and the number of Cypriot Maronites was 173.

No data was given about those, who were citizens of both the “TRNC” and the Republic of Turkey or about those, whose parents were born in Cyprus. The indigenous Turkish Cypriots were already a minority in the occupied north in 1996 and their number was estimated not to exceed 100,000. The numbers of those with double citizenship already exceeded those of the Turkish Cypriots.[31] The census did not specify the number of children born in the “TRNC” to Turkish parents. There was no mention of the approximately 35.000 Turkish soldiers in Cyprus, nor of their dependents. It is further estimated that in addition there were about 25.000 or 30.000 illegal workers, pushing the total of the de facto population even higher. According to information provided by sources, who would like their identity to remain undisclosed, approximately 46.000 people have been granted “TRNC” citizenship since 1974 and 20-25.000 of those do not live permanently in the “TRNC”.[32] This number includes famous Turkish politicians, such as Kenan Akin, who originates from mainland Turkey and was the “TRNC” “Minister of Agriculture and Forestry”, disclosed that there were 60.000 mainland settlers in the “TRNC”.[33]

CoE Report on Colonisation by Turkish settlers of the occupied part of Cyprus

The report of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Demography of the CoE (May 2, 2003, Doc 9799), prepared by Finnish parliamentarian, Jaakko Laakso, informs us that:

“2. It is a well-established fact that the demographic structure of the island has been continuously modified since the de facto partition of the island in 1974 as a result of the deliberate policies of the Turkish Cypriot administration and Turkey. Despite the lack of consensus on the exact figures, all parties concerned admit that Turkish nationals have been systematically arriving in the northern part of the island. According to reliable estimates, their number currently amounts to 115.000. (. . .)

4. In particular, the Assembly expresses its concern at the continuous outflow of the indigenous Turkish Cypriot population from the northern part. Their number decreased from 118,000 in 1974 to an estimated 87.600 in 2001. In consequence, the settlers outnumber the indigenous Turkish Cypriot population in the northern part of the island. (...)

5. In the light of the information available, the Assembly cannot accept the claims that the majority of arriving Turkish nationals are seasonal workers or former inhabitants who had left the island before 1974. Therefore it condemns the policy of "naturalization" designed to encourage new arrivals and introduced by the Turkish Cypriot administration with full support of the Government of Turkey.

6. The Assembly is convinced that the presence of the settlers constitutes a process of hidden colonization and an additional and important obstacle to a peaceful negotiated solution of the Cyprus problem.

36. The aim of the Turkish-Cypriot administration's policy towards the settlers has been to promote their permanent establishment on the island. The settlers are granted housing, land or other properties on special terms. They are issued with a "concession certificate" which they are not entitled to sell or pass to a third party until a period of 20 years has elapsed.

37. The most important measure for the settlers has been the possibility of acquiring Turkish-Cypriot nationality. In 1975, the Turkish-Cypriot administration passed Act No. 3/1975, under which nationality could be given to anyone who requested it and, in particular, to members of the Turkish armed forces who had served in Cyprus and their families.

38. In 1981, complementary provisions were established according to which Turkish-Cypriot nationality can be granted to persons permanently resident in the northern part for at least one year, those who made or could make an important contribution to the economy, or social and culture life, and those who have rendered services to the security forces.

39. Along with citizenship, the settlers get a whole series of political rights including the right to vote and set up political parties”.


Citizenships Granted to Settlers: No Official Number

Although there is no reliable official number of the citizenships granted to the Anatolian settlers, a member of the “Parliament”, Arif Albayrak (CTP), disclosed in 2003 that the number of citizenships granted from 1974 to 2003 was a total of 53.904.

Birlik newspaper gave the following details of the citizenships, granted after 1994 (numbering 17.293) by the “cabinet” decision: 3.675; by the approval of the “Ministry of Interior”: 7.272; third generation: 2.246; by matrimony: 1.971; citizens of a third country: 1.142; Bulgarian Turks: 987.

The CTP was very critical of this practice, when they were in the opposition, but granting of “TRNC” citizenship to the Turkish settlers continued during the period of the CTP governments (2013-2016) as well. 796 people were made citizens by the decision of the “cabinet” of the “TRNC”. (A total 3.916 persons, including the natural routes.)

During the period of UBP-DP coalition governments (2016-2017), 7.200 citizens of Turkey were granted the citizenship of the “TRNC”. If each person is multiplied by 4 (wife and at least 2 children), this number makes 28 thousand new citizens.

According to the “Ministry of National Education and Culture” of the “TRNC”, the percentage of the pupils, who originate from Turkey and study at the schools in the occupied area, is 26%. The mother tongue of 4,3% of them is not Turkish.

Since the population in the occupied area is rapidly increasing every year, the number of schools, teachers and classes has become insufficient. There are 113 “state” primary schools and 19 lyceums. In the 2016-2017 educational year the number of pupils in each class reached to 45 and the excessive number of students in the classes made the teachers, not to show enough interest in each student.

The Turkish Cypriot secondary school teachers’ trade union (KTOEÖS) proposed that new lyceums should be built in each of the cities Nicosia, Famagusta and Kyrenia. The Turkish Cypriot primary school teachers’ trade union (KTÖS) argued that three new primary schools are needed in Famagusta, one in Nicosia, two in Kyrenia and one in Karpasia. The KTÖS said there are 160 schools compared to 192 mosques in the northern part of Cyprus, complaining that more money was being poured in religious affairs at the expense of education. The union issued a statement after learning that the authorities were preparing to shut down two elementary schools, one in the Famagusta area and the other in Morphou area. KTÖS criticized the proposed amendment to the legislation on the religious affairs department, which will open the way for Koran courses for children and increase the budget of the department that will allow more recruitment from Turkey. This amendment had the support of the “Minister of Education and Culture”, Berova, who at the same time claimed there was no money for teachers or building new classrooms.

Further Transformation in the Demographical Character in the Occupied Area

The economic situation in the “TRNC” was very bad after the bankruptcy of some of the local banks in 1999. A third wave of Turkish settlers and workers came after the voting of the Annan Plan in 2004, which opened the way for the plunder of the Greek Cypriot lands through an unpresented construction boom. The economy of the “TRNC” developed 50% from 2002 to 2007, but after the global crisis the economic activity diminished. The economic grow from 2008 to 2016 was approximately 1,3%.[34]

Many construction workers arrived at the “TRNC” in order to find a job and later some of them brought their families as well. This caused also a shortage in the infrastructure of the cities. Recently, the union of Turkish Cypriot Constructors announced that the annual need for housing in the “TRNC” is about 800 units, but in the last three years, more than 6.500 housing units were built.[35]

Growing Number of University Students

Parallel to the influx of Turkish settlers, there is another channel of sending Turkish Citizens to the occupied area of Cyprus. After 1974, there was only one institution of higher education, “The Institute of High Technology”, which was turned into “Eastern Mediterranean University” in 1988. This university in Famagusta had only 2.279 students (1.112 from Turkey, 719 from the “TRNC” and 438 from third countries) in the first academic year.

After 29 years, there are now 14 universities in the “TRNC”, with a total of 93.292 students (52.135 from Turkey, 27.538 from third countries and 13.619 from the “TRNC”). 18 more universities have received their licences and they will be functioning in the coming years. But those, who have more students (87.099) are the old ones, established by the Turkish Cypriot Foundations or private persons: Eastern Mediterranean University (1988-Educational Foundation), Near East University (1988-Private), Lefke American University (1990-Foundation), Girne American University (1985-Private), and International Cyprus University (1997-Private).

According to the State Planning Department of the “TRNC”, the total revenue coming from the universities was in 2013, 535,6 million dollars, in 2014, 589,8 million dollars and in 2015 636,2 million dollars. This amount makes almost half of the budget revenues of the “TRNC”.[36]

Hüseyin Angolemli, a member of the “Parliament” from the TDP (Communal Democracy Party), stated that the foreign workers are brought to the country with student status, since there is no infrastructure of the universities and that these people do not go to the school, but work as cheap labour force. Even the bar-girls are brought from abroad with student status.[37]

Havadis newspaper reported that almost 20.000 students do not go to the classes and prefer to work in the construction sites, restaurants and cafes for a daily wage of 35-40 TL. There are others, who practice prostitution.[38] There are also commissioners, who get 500 dollars from each student and 500 dollars from the university.[39]

The Report of the Higher Studies Workshop, organized by the YÖDAK (Organization for the Higher Education and Accreditation) stressed that the higher education institutions have increased the number of their students, but they could not be institutionalized according to the universal standards for universities and that the quality of education is not good. YÖDAK does not have an authority to enforce anything. The state policy gives importance only for growth in quantity, but not in quality. Politics is interfering the affairs of the universities. There is a destructive and unjust competition among the universities and ethical rules do not function. The salaries and wages are low, the standards of admission requirements are low and not strict. There is possibility to work with a student visa and there are also chances for scholarships.[40]

Apart from the scholarships given by the universities themselves, the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Turkey gives educational credits to 22.517 university students and 405 scholarships for the “TRNC” through its Institution for Higher Education, Credits and Dormitories. There are three dormitories serving the university students from Turkey: Bülent Ecevit Dormitory (built in 2011, with 962 bed capacity), Necmeddin Erbakan Dormitory (built in 2013 with 769 bed capacity) and Teacher Refika Dormitory (built in 2016 with 1.000 bed capacity, but only for female students).[41]

 On the other hand, Turkey is also active to give religious education especially for the settlers’ children and other young people, who are sent with scholarships from Turkey to the “TRNC”:

“At the moment there are 600 students at the two theological faculties, one at the Near East University (YDU) and the other one at the University of Social Sciences [Sosyal Bilimler Üniversitesi], while another 800 pupils attend the Theological Colleges. Almost all of the students and teenage pupils are from Turkey who came to the occupied areas with scholarships while a small number are the children of the Anatolian settlers; the teachers are all coming from Turkey. The newly established Hala Sultan Theological College is part of the big complex with a boarding house, a large mosque, conference rooms and shops that will cost 80 million dollars. The Hala Sultan Mosque with its four tall minarets – a small replica of the Selimiye Mosque in Edirne – will be ready by 2017 at a total cost of 30 million dollars. Another large mosque with six minarets is being constructed at the Near East University and is expected to be completed by 2017”.[42]

India issued a manifesto calling the students and their parents not to go to the “TRNC” universities. The government of Nigeria started to follow these universities more closely on the ground that the “TRNC” could become a country of crimes, since it is not under the control of the Interpol.[43]

The CEO of the American University of Kyrenia (GAÜ), Asım Vehbi made the following assessment about the universities in the “TRNC” to the columnist Sait Gürsoy:

“There are about 300.000 people living in the “TRNC” now. Today, over 75.000 students from 120 different countries and academics from 50 different countries are in the “TRNC” at an important point in the context of internationalization. Universities continue their strategic sector position by directly contributing to the “TRNC” economy. The budget of the “TRNC” is 4 billion TL. The contribution of the universities to the economy is 3,1 billion TL. In the “TRNC”, where there is 1 student for every 5 persons, the contribution made to the economy has reached very large numbers. If we think that 71 percent of contributions go directly to the public, we can say that the “TRNC” is rapidly advancing towards being an educational island”.[44]

Social Problems Created by Increased Population


On the other hand, there are many disadvantages of having so many students, settlers, workers and so-called tourists, coming to the occupied area of Cyprus without any control. Every day the mass media is full of reports about the increasing number of theft, prostitution, rape, murder, wounding, drug offences. The great majority of the convicted persons are Turkish citizens.

From January 2006 to December 2016, a total of 5.818 cases were filed in the Supreme Criminal Court. Their breakdown is as follows: 19 murders, 525 attempted murder, assault with grave injuries, 508 cases of using weapons, explosives and knife, violence and threat and 2.157 drug offences. 2016 was a record breaking year.[45]

In 2016, 20.491 legal cases were filed and 13.730 of them were about money lending without payments.[46]

According to the Nicosia Police Directorate, 1.026 crimes were committed in the district of Nicosia over a period of nine months. 732 crime files were sent to the court. 562 criminal files were demanding for more than three years’ imprisonment, 464 files of misdemeanour for up to 3 years' imprisonment.[47]

Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Çavuşoğlu announced lately that there were 5.531 Turkish citizens sitting in the prisons of 147 countries and 218 of them were in the “TRNC”.[48] According to the legislation in force, if a Turkish citizen is convicted to an imprisonment at the courts of the “TRNC” and later s/he is sent to Turkey, the person can be free after staying in prison less than the half of the time of the “TRNC”, i.e. 8 years imprisonment in the “TRNC” means 3 years imprisonment in Turkey.[49] The central prison in Nicosia is not sufficient and there are 440 convicts living in the dormitories with a capacity of 175 persons.[50]

Teenager crime rate is also high among the settlers’ children. According to the Activities Report of the Supreme Court Secretariat for 2010-2015, 553 children were convicted in a total of 511 cases. It is noteworthy that children under 16 years of age are taking part in an increasing number of crimes. The highest incident rate was in 2012 with burglaries, murder attempt, murder, assault, wounding, keeping guns and explosives.[51] From 2005 to 2016, 1.373 children, aged less than 16 years old, were convicted. They were involved mainly in theft incidents.[52]


The Chairman of Casino Managers union, Ahmet Arkın, announced on August 20, 2015 in a press conference that there are 28 casinos in the “TRNC”. These provided 600 million dollars annually as input to the economy and that the industry needed more interest and legal support, so that it could continue to work and develop in the desired conditions.


et Offices

There are a total of 5 bet companies operating legally in the “TRNC” and 48 bet offices. The state gets 1 million Euros from each company with up to 10 branches and these bet offices are taxed with millions of Turkish liras. There are 25 illegal gambling and illegal betting websites detected by the police.[53]

Night Clubs

According to the US Report on Women-trafficking, there were a total of 334 women working as “consomatris” (artistes) in the 35 night clubs in the “TRNC” (2016). Most of these sex-workers were from Moldovia (128), Ukraine (53), Morocco (30), Belorussia (26), Russia (25), Kazakhstan (17), Kenya (14) and other countries. These night clubs provide 20-30 million TL to the state budget annually. From 1997 to 2002, 3,927 sex-workers had worked in the “TRNC”.[54]

Although routine health checks are conducted at the State Hospitals, according to statutory legislation for women working in nightclubs, there are increasing number of sexually transmitted diseases. While prostitution is forbidden by law, soldiers and students are not allowed to enter the nightclubs for the purpose of this service. Some years ago, “peace operations” were organized in order to control the night clubs and men, who were bargaining with women, working as "artistes" in nightclubs, were also being detained on the pretext of "prostitution." Tens of people were taken into custody on the grounds that it was a "mafia" structure. The media covered the problems caused by the night clubs, while Ertuğrul Hasipoğlu the Health “Minister” was against the closure of these night clubs. He reminded the opinion of an ex-“Minister”, who said: “If I close the night clubs for 40.000 soldiers and 40.000 students, will they not handle us?” The use of such a sentence had disturbed the military and one university rector issued an angry announcement to the “Minister”.[55]

Sex tourism combined with gambling in the casinos and entertainment with pop stars, who come from Turkey every weekend to perform at the 5 star hotels with casinos, is very popular with the Turkish tourists.  

According to the “Annual Activity Report of the Courts” in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, 131 cases of rape or sexual assaults went to trial at the “Supreme Criminal Court” within the last ten years. However, the paper reports that it has been a serious increase of this crime in the last 3-4 years: 2013 (7 cases), 2014 (15 cases), 2015 (21 cases), 2016 (29 cases).[56]

Results of the Last Official Census in the “TRNC”

According to the 2011 Population and Housing Census, there were 286.257 permanent residents (de-jure) in the “TRNC”, excluding the Turkish Army personnel. Out of this population, 150.483 (52,6%) were male and 135.774 (47,4%) were female. It was announced by the “Undersecretary of State Planning Department” Ali Korhan that the number of Cyprus-born (north or south) people living in the “TRNC” was 160.207. The number of people born in Turkey, who were permanently residing in the “TRNC”, was 104.641.

The total number of Turkish Cypriot citizens, who declared that they had single or double citizenships amounted to 190.494 (66,5% of the resident population). Of the total, 136.362 persons (71,6%) had only “TRNC” citizenship and 38.085 (20%) had double (“TRNC” and Turkish) citizenship.

Since this last census, there have been many births, deaths and many people left or arrived at the country and no one knows the real number of the population today in the Turkish occupied northern part of the island.

The total population in 2013 in “Northern Cyprus” was 301.988 according to the Economic and Social Indicators 2014, published by State Planning Department of Northern Cyprus in December 2015.

Growing Number of Population and Voters in the “TRNC”

When the first general elections were held in the occupied area on June 20, 1976, the number of voters was 75.724, out of a population of 130.136. During the general elections of December 6, 1998, the number of voters grew up to 120.758, out of a population of 188.662. The last official number of voters was announced in 2017 as 180.949 by the Supreme Electoral Council.

Unfortunately there is no official number disclosed for the population, living in the occupied area of Cyprus under the so-called “TRNC”, which is only recognized by Turkey. The “TRNC” State Planning Department made an estimate based on the population of 294.600 in 2011 and gave the number as 342.587 persons for 2016. On the other hand, there are active mobile telephones in the “TRNC” two times more than this number.

Meanwhile, the same Department estimated that the non-institutional civil population was 245.828 in 2016 and the number of work-force was 118.387.  This number does not include those, who go to school and are below 15 years of age and those in the private hospitals, pensioner homes, army barracks and prisons.

The Turkish settlers and the Turkish university students living in the occupied area participated lately in some Turkish electoral processes and their registered number was announced officially by the Turkish Embassy in Nicosia. During the general election of May 15, 2015 in Turkey, there were 91.588 Turkish citizens, who were eligible to vote and living in the “TRNC”.

This number rose to 95.366 during the general election of November 1, 2016. For the last referendum of “Constitutional Amendments” in Turkey, on April 15, 2017 there were 104.509 Turkish citizens living in the “TRNC” and had the right to vote at the Turkish “Embassy” in Nicosia.[57]

Recent Involvement in the Internal Affairs of the Turkish Cypriots by Turkey

On June 18, 2014, an agreement was signed between Turkey and the “TRNC”, which provided for the opening of an “Overseas Coordination Office” by the Turkish Ministry of Youth and Sports in the “TRNC”. This office would manage all projects and programs related to sports, such as the renovation of sporting facilities, organization of sports camps, as well as the management and allocation of student housing facilities throughout the “TRNC” with its annual budget of 13 million Turkish Lira.  However, the majority of the Turkish Cypriot youth organizations rejected this deal by establishing the “We reject Platform” (Reddediyoruz). They believed that this agreement had a hidden Islamic agenda and it caused debates over “the sovereignty of the TRNC” and Turkey’s position as a guarantor state.

Specifically, the deal refers to an internal protocol signed on February 25, 2015, between the Turkish Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Turkish Directorate of Religious Affairs. And herein lies the crux of the problem according to the “We reject Platform”, the youth movement stimulated by this controversial deal.

The protocol of the deal ascribes various responsibilities and services to both state bodies and attributes all sports, youth activities and institutions (such as sports facilities and camps, student dormitories, etc.) as directly related to young people’s moral and spiritual development.

Zeki Çeler, a spokesperson from the youth movement fighting this deal, explained that any religious event or activity, such as “Holy Birth Week” or “Koran” recitation courses, would be in coordination with sports-related events and activities. The times of sports education will be coordinated with the daily prayer times, there will be specific courses that teach how to perform the namaz or “Koran” reading. It is basically for the youth to adopt certain moral and religious norms and values and this will be executed through direct collaboration between the Turkish Ministry and the local religious representatives. The idea is to spread religion into sports, youth centers and programs.”

Çeler also criticized the lack of consultation with either the “TRNC” government or local researchers and community needs. “The deal has clauses that give diplomatic rights, privileges to the assigned officials. It completely transfers the fate of young people to the hands of this office”, he added.

The Agreement Regarding the Establishment and Activities of an Overseas Coordination Office of Youth and Sports Ministry Between the Governments of Republic of Turkey and the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” (Ratification) Law was enacted on June 13, 2016 and was sent to the “Office of the President” on June 14, 2016 to be promulgated in the Official Gazette and entered into force.

The Platform took to the streets again in mid-June, when the deal was to be voted on in “Parliament”. The wave of protests grew rapidly and lasted for several days. Meanwhile, under pressure from this growing protest movement, “President” Mustafa Akıncı referred the said Law to the “Constitutional Court”.

On August 3, over a thousand Turkish Cypriot protesters took to streets of Nicosia once again in order to march against increasing Turkish state control over the future social and cultural lives of Turkish Cypriot youth.

On August 5, 2016, the “TRNC” Constitutional Court decided that article 3 (1) (G) of the agreement contravened the constitution, while all the other articles did not. It was a victorious moment for all social movements, which saw this agreement as a threat that failed to recognize the “TRNC”s so-called sovereignty and the socio-cultural structure of the Turkish Cypriot community.

Article 3 (1) (G) provided that the office will ensure the construction, operation, repair and maintenance of the campuses, which operate or will operate in the “TRNC” by the General Directorate for Credit and Dormitories and the modernisation of all existing campuses and that it will implement the protocol, which was signed on February 10, 2012 with the “TRNC”s competent ministry and was put to effect upon approval by the “cabinets” of both countries. It also provided for the preparation of additional protocols, if necessary. The people rejected the deal so emphatically that many have begun to associate the resistance as a more general rejection of Turkish involvement in the “TRNC”s domestic affairs. In fact, Turkish Cypriot politics heavily centre around the question of Turkey remaining on the island as a guarantor state or not. Following the Court’s decision, the “We reject Platform” won what they set out to achieve: “President” Akıncı sent the deal back to the “Parliament” along with the Court verdict. The “Parliament” approved the agreement with a small amendment.

The “education secretary” of the Turkish Cypriot Teacher’s trade union (KTOS), Burak Mavis issued a written statement in June 2017 and condemned the “amendment law for the religious affairs department”, which was discussed recently in the assembly and stated that “they would not accept the religion to become a political instrument, neither the education to become a religious instrument”.

Pointing out that in the last 15 years the Turkish Cypriot community had no chance to recover from the reactionary facilities, which derive from the secular life model, Mavis recalled that they will continue their struggle against those, who are exerting efforts to put religious pressure on the community. “The religious communities, the religious movements and the associations with enormous economic activities make propaganda”, Mavis said, adding that they violate “people’s personal lives”.

In short, Turkey’s military, economic and political presence has already changed the demographical structure in the occupied area of Cyprus and turned the Turkish Cypriots into a minority in their own home country. In the near future, the Turkish settlers can be represented in the so-called “Assembly of the TRNC”, according to the ratio they reached in the population, as Erdoğan envisaged during his first visit to the occupied area.

Latest Data 2015-2017

As of December 2015, the number of workers, who had consecutive work permits in the “TRNC” was 20.762. While at least 12 consecutive work permits were required to get citizenship during the CTP government, now Turkey demands that those Turkish individuals, who have at least six consecutive work permits, should be granted citizenship. There are at the moment 8.627 persons, who have at least 6 consecutive work permits. If these Turkish citizens would be granted citizenship, they will be with their spouses and children 34.500 persons. The “Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister”, Serdar Denktaş said: "During the UBP-DP government, we gave 7.200 citizenships. But if this number should be 27.000 (as Erdoğan demanded), we shall be granting further citizenships".

According to the official numbers announced by the “Ministry of Labour and Social Security of the TRNC”, there were 12.500 registered unemployed persons and 42.000 registered foreign work-force. Most of them were not qualified workers. There were 92.976 socially insured workers and the number of retired persons from the “Social Insurance Department” increased in one year by 1.300 persons. There were approximately 34.500 pensioners.

The National Unity Party-Democratic Party (UBP-DP) coalition government announced on June 14, 2017 the number of the persons, who had been granted the citizenship of the “TRNC” from April 2016 to March 2017 as 4.603 persons. The statement noted that 372 of these persons became citizens with a decision of the “cabinet” and 1.904 with the approval of the “Ministry of Interior”.


Since 1974, due to the constant occupation of the northern part of Cyprus by the Turkish army and the massive colonization by the Turkish settlers, the Turkish Cypriot community faces serious problems.  Despite the Turkish efforts, not to allow official and clear information about this issue, this paper provided extensive evidence by recording the settlers’ actual numbers and by developing their main typologies, such as workers, families of Turkish military personnel and students.

The demographic changes caused by this enormous transfer of settlers turned the Turkish Cypriot community into a minority, in the northern part of Cyprus. To make matters worse, the rate, with which these demographic changes occur, indicates that the Turkish Cypriot community will be facing an existential threat.

These demographic changes have severe social implications: increase of the criminality rates, drug abuse and sex tourism. Furthermore, this continuous colonization process has been going hand in hand with a Turkification policy, whose features have been endangering the Turkish Cypriot culture. Crucial aspects of this Turkification process were recorded, such as the control of the media by Turkey, the increasing religious propaganda and the attempts to diminish Turkish Cypriot’s secularism. In this context, the attempts of the Turkish Cypriots to react to Turkey’s involvement in their internal affairs came mainly from intellectuals and the teachers’ unions who strived to prevent cultural assimilation.

The recent Turkish general elections (June 2018) along with the Constitutional Referendum (April 2017) enabled Erdoğan to maximize his political control over Turkey. As the deterioration of the Turkish economy intensifies, there will be serious consequences in both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot community. Given the asymmetrical nature of the relation between Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot community, these latest developments are expected to enable Turkey to intensify its control over the latter.

[1] Ahmet Djavit An, Origins of Turkish Cypriots, Cyprus Today, Vol.XLVI, No.2, April-June 2008.

[2] Theodoros Papadopoulos, The very last transfer to Moslem of the Rural Population in Cyprus, Cyprus Today, July-December 1967 and January-March 1968.

[3] Roland L. N. Mitchell, A Muslim-Christian Sect in Cyprus, The Nineteenth Century and After, Vol.LXIII, Jan.-June 1908, 751-762.

[4] Theodore Papadopoulos, Social and Historical Data on Population (1570-1881), Nicosia 1965, 78-79.

[5] Ahmet An, Kıbrıs’ta Türkçe Basılmış Kitaplar Listesi (The List of the Turkish Books Printed in Cyprus), Ankara 1997, 3-4.

[6] The role of the mainland Greek and Turkish nationalism as an external factor, the formation and the consolidation of the Turkish Cypriot leadership during the process starting from the beginning of the 1900’s as a Muslim community and turning into a Turkish community in the 1950’s, are dealt extensively in my book “Kıbrıs Türk Liderliğinin Oluşması: Dinsel Toplumdan Ulusal Topluma Geçiş Süreci (1900-1942)” (The Formation of the Turkish-Cypriot Leadership-The Process of Making a National Community out of a Religious Community (1900-1942), published in Nicosia in 1997.

[7] Quoted in Ahmet An, “Kıbrıslılık Bilincinin Geliştirilmesi” (The Development of Cypriot Awareness), Lefkoşa 1998, 43.

[8] Mustafa Mithat Bey, who wrote “Muhtasar Kıbrıs Tarihi” (The Concise History of Cyprus) (1926), had published in 1930 a 73-paged book “Muhtasar Kıbrıs Coğrafyası ve Muhtasar Kıbrıs Tarihi” (A Short Geography and A Short History of Cyprus for the Schools) in Turkish together with the geography teacher, İbrahim Hakkı Bey, published in Birlik Printing House in Nicosia.

[9] Söz newspaper, 18 October 1938.

[10] See the article “40 Yıl Öncesi Düşün Yaşamımızdan Örnekler” (Examples from the Turkish-Cypriot Thought in the Journals of the 1940's), in the book by Ahmet An, “Kıbrıs Türk Kültürü Üzerine Yazılar” (Articles on Turkish Cypriot Culture), Nicosia 1999, 91-122.

[11] Census of Population and Agriculture 1960, Government Printing Office, Nicosia, 1962.

[12] Ahmet An, Kıbrıs’ta Türkçe Basılmış Kitaplar Listesi (The List of the Turkish Books Printed in Cyprus), Ankara 1997.

[13] This directive was dated May 2, 1975 and bore number 97. A mere fifty copies were printed.

[14] Mehmet Ali Birand, Diyet, İstanbul 1979, 85 & 92.

[15] The details of this settlement were recorded by two Turkish scholars, Hatice Kurtuluş and Semra Purkis, who focused on the economic, social and spatial integration problems of the Turkish settlers in Northern Cyprus. Their findings were published in 2010 in a book edited by Besime Şen – Ali Ekber Doğan, “Tarih, Sınıflar ve Kent” (History, Classes and City), Dipnot Yayınları, İstanbul 2010, 465-506.

[16] Mehmet Ali Birand, ibid, 60.

[17] Yeni Düzen newspaper 23 July 1993.

[18] “TRNC” Official Gazette, 30 July 1991, Issue No: 20945.

[19] Yeni Düzen and Halkın Sesi newspapers, 31 July 1991.

[20] Söz weekly magazine, Nicosia, No.55 and 56, 31 October 1986 and 7 November 1986.

[21] See “Kuzey Kıbrıs’ta Türkiyeli Göçmenlerin Kültür Farklılığı” (Cultural differences of the Turkish settlers in Northern Cyprus), “Kıbrıs’ta Sosyalist Gerçek” (Socialist Truth in Cyprus) journal, Nicosia, No. 77 (Special issue), August 2002.

[22] I have dealt with this subject in my article under the title “The Development of Turkish Cypriot Secularism and Turkish Cypriot Religious Affairs”, published in “Eastern Mediterranean Policy Note, No. 8, 10 July 2016, Cyprus Center for European and International Affairs, University of Nicosia. For more on the “Written Evidence” regarding the number of the Turkish Cypriots who remain in Cyprus and the role of Turkey see:

[23] Havadis newspaper, 8 February 2017.

[24]These were: 1. The Origins of Cypriot culture from historical and ethnological point of view, 2. Changes in the ethnic and cultural structure of Cyprus after 1571, 3. Cultural and folkloric interactions between the two main ethnic-national communities living in Cyprus.

[25] Summaries of the contributions were published in Halkın Sesi newspaper, 26 December 1990.

[26] Ali Nesim, ibid, 13.

[27] Draft Recommendation, Paragraphs 2 and 3

[28] Cuco Report, 27 April 1992, Doc. 6589, Paragraph 85

[29] Ahmet An, "Kıbrıs nereye gidiyor?" (Quo Vadis Cyprus?), İstanbul 2002, 324

[30] Yeni Düzen newspaper, 28 November 1997

[31] Ahmet An, "Kıbrıs’a Taşınan Türkiyeli Nüfusun Durumu” (The Status of the Mainland Turkish Population Transferred to Cyprus), Afrika newspaper, 3, 4, and 5 September 2003.

[32] Avrupa newspaper, 31 January 1998.

[33] Avrupa newspaper, 6 June 1998.

[34] Necdet Ergün, Kıbrıs Postası newspaper, 26 January 2017.

[35] Kıbrıs newspaper, 28 January 2017.

[36] Havadis newspaper, 21 November 2016.

[37] Kıbrıs newspaper, 25 April 2017.

[38] Havadis newspaper, 10 April 2017.

[39] Kıbrıs newspaper, 4 April 2017.

[40] Kıbrıs newspaper, 24 November 2016.

[41] Kıbrıs newspaper, 10 February 2017.

[42] Ahmet Djavit An, Eastern Mediterranean Policy Note, No. 8, 10 July 2016,Cyprus Center for European and International Affairs, University of Nicosia.

[43] Kıbrıs Postası newspaper, 2 November 2016.

[44] Sabah newspaper (İstanbul), 10 June 2015.

[45] Kıbrıs newspaper, 19 April 2017.

[46] Havadis newspaper, 24 April 2017.

[47] Kıbrıs newspaper, 27 September 2016.

[48] Kıbrıs newspaper, 7 March 2017.

[49] Advocate Barış Mamalı, Kıbrıs newspaper, 25 April 2017.

[50] Kıbrıs newspaper, 25 August 2016.

[51] Kıbrıs newspaper, 23 January 2017.

[52] Kıbrıs newspaper, 22 April 2017.

[53] Havadis newspaper, 9 March 2017.

[54] Kıbrıs newspaper, 27 November 2016.

[55] Milliyet newspaper (İstanbul), 18 March 2013.

[56] Yeni Bakış newspaper, 2 June 2017.

[57] Yeni Düzen newspaper, 9 April 2017.

(Published in the "Policy Paper Series", No. 2/2018  -  October 2018 by the Cyprus Center for European and International Affairs, University of Nicosia)

  • October 31st 2018 at 23:15



The first round of Presidential elections in the Republic of Cyprus was held on 28 January 2018 with the participation of nine candidates. The incumbent President Nicos Anastasiades received 35.50 percent of the votes, while AKEL backed independent Stavros Malas got 30.25 percent. DİKO leader and candidate Nicolas Papadopoulos was the third candidate, who garnered 25.74 per cent and lost the chance to be in the second round. The voter turnout in the first round was 71.88%, which was the lowest for a presidential election and abstention reached 28.1%.

            Since no candidate secured 50 plus one vote, the run-off election was held one week later on 4 February 2018 between President Nicos Anastasiades and independent Stavros Malas. The winner was Nicos Anastasiades (71 years old), who received 55.99 per cent of the votes (215.281) and will stay in his post on a second five-year term.  Independent Stavros Malas (51 years old) lost the election to his rival with 44.01 per cent (169.243). The turnout in the second round was a little bit higher than the first one, 73.97%. Abstention votes reached 26.03%, invalid votes 2.65%, blank votes 2.99%.

            President Anastasiades told his followers after the results were announced that he was willing to reactivate the inter-communal peace talks, which collapsed in Switzerland last July. The AKEL criticized the President’s handling of the Cyprus problem especially during the election campaign that he bears the responsibility for the failure of talks.  Mr. Anastasiades said: “The biggest challenge we face is reunifying our country. I will continue to work with the same determination in a bid to achieve our common goal – ending foreign occupation and reunifying our state. There are no winners or losers, just Cyprus.”

            Now that Mr. Anastasiades gained more of the centrist voters, he assured his supporters that he was willing to cooperate with everyone in order to achieve the common goal – ending the Turkish occupation and reunifying the island. Mr. Anastasiades repeated that he would seek a peace deal that doesn't include Turkey's demands for a permanent troop presence and the right to intervene militarily in a federated Cyprus.

            The inter-communal talks have been going on since June 1968. The two communities living on the island, Turkish Cypriots (18%) and Greek Cypriots (80%), were trying to reach an agreement on a new constitution for the island republic, first on a unitary basis until 1974 and then on a federal basis since 1974, when the island was occupied by Turkish troops after a failed coup d’Etat against President Makarios.

            Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, told in an interview with the Greek Cypriot Kathimerini newspaper on 4 February 2018 that the new Cyprus negotiations under UN parameters could only begin, when Greek Cypriots change their mentality and are willing to share power with their counterparts in the North of the island.

After the United Nations Security Council renewed the mandate of the U.N. Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) for a period of six months on 30 January 2018, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News reported that Turkish Foreign Ministry underlined in a written statement that any process in the coming period for the resolution of the decades-old Cyprus problem should be based on “current realities” and on the fact that Turkish and Greek Cypriots have differing conceptions of a new federal state.

            Actually, here is the crux of the matter: “Current realities” are the partition of the island since 1974 with the proclamation of a breakaway state on the Turkish occupied northern part, which is ethnically cleansed from the indigenous Greek Cypriots and has more than 300,000 Anatolian settlers. Instead of a garrison of 650 Turkish soldiers, which was a part of the Treaty of Establishment of the Republic of Cyprus in 1960, there are at present more than 35,000 Turkish troops stationed in the occupied area. What else Turkey wants now for the so-called security needs of the Turkish Cypriots, who are afraid of possible future attacks by the Greek Cypriot nationalists, to have a permanent sovereign base in the Northern part, similar to the one, proposed originally in the Acheson Plan of 1964. This has been a part of the Natoization plans of the island!    

            The Turkish Cypriot side went further in the inter-communal talks and asked the four freedoms for the Turkish nationals, who would remain in a re-united Cyprus. If this is accepted, it will open the way for an uncontrolled migration from Turkey to Cyprus or to the other EU member states. This possibility was already dealt in an article by Christoph B. Schiltz in German daily “Die Welt”, dated January 9, 2017, which stated that many bureaucrats in Brussels started to ask questions like "Will Erdogan step into the EU through Cyprus? Will Cyprus be Erdogan's Trojan Horse?"

            Since most of the constitutional issues are agreed upon, the issues of security and guarantee of the new Federal Republic is the most important aspect of the next phase of the inter-communal talks, which could be resolved with an international conference, with the participation of the five permanent members of the United Nations.

            In the new five-year term of President Nicos Anastasiades, I hope that a compromise can open the way to a genuine federal solution. The longer the partition lasts, the more the division solidifies.   

            Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been trying to influence the secular Turkish Cypriot community through religious and nationalist activities in the occupied area. The Turkish Cypriots have increased their complaints against the cultural and demographic changes, the alienation and islamization, designed by the occupying power, Turkey. (*)  

            (*)Erdogan expressed his anger to the criticism of the Turkish Cypriot “Afrika” newspaper, which published an article on 21 January 2018 saying that Turkey’s operation in Syria was like Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus. When Erdogan was informed about this, he called “on my brothers in North Cyprus to give necessary response”. The result was an attack by a group of local and Anatolian fascists against the office of the newspaper and against the “Parliament”.

This extreme nationalism and culture of intolerance is foreign to the secular Turkish Cypriots. That’s why around 5,000 Turkish Cypriots attended a march defending peace and democracy. The march was organised by the Trade Union Platform, which represented more than 20 Turkish Cypriot trade unions and associations. It was also backed by the New Cyprus Party, the United Cyprus Party and the Socialist Liberation Party, which are not represented in the “Parliament”. The demonstrators marched towards the ‘parliament’ building and chanted ‘shoulder to shoulder against fascism’, and for solidarity, democracy and peace.   

(published in In Depth – Special Issue – Bimonthly Electronic Newsletter, Cyprus Center for European and International Affairs, University of Nicosia, Volume 15, Issue 1 – February 2018)       

  • February 20th 2018 at 18:31



      The 14th general election in the northern part of Cyprus, which has been under Turkish military occupation since 1974, took place on 7 January 2018. Since 1974, this area has been ethnically cleansed from the Greek Cypriot population and the demographic structure has been changed through the settlers brought from Anatolia. A breakaway state was declared in 1983 on this territory occupied by the Turkish troops and this illegal state is recognized only by Turkey.

      In 42 years since 1976, 39 governments have been formed in this occupied area and the National Unity Party (UBP) took place in 24 of them. The UBP, supported by the separatist Turkish Cypriot leadership and its underground organization TMT, has been in power for 29 years. In the last elections, the majority of the votes went to the UBP.

       In the table below, you can see the names of the political parties that participated in the last three general elections, the percentage of votes they received and the number of seats they won in the 50-seat-parliament, shown in parentheses. The increasing number of the voters and the decreasing number of participation are also significant:

19.4.2009                   28.7.2013                    7.1.2018

UBP                                       43.97 (26)                   27.30 (14)                   35.57 (21)

CTP                                        29.34 (15)                   38.37 (21)                   20.97 (12)

DP                                          10.6 (5)                       23.11 (12)                     7.83 (3)

TDP                                                -                                  -                            8.61 (3)

  HP                                                 -                                  -                         17.10 (9)

YDP                                                -                                  -                           6.96 (2)

Number of voters                   161.373                      172.803                    190.553

Actually voted                       131.349                      120.287                    125.900

Participation (%)                     81.70                          69.61                        66.07

       As you can see from the table above, the National Unity Party (UBP) raised the number of seats from 14 to 21. The second party is the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), which used to be in opposition to the traditional Turkish Cypriot leadership and was on the left, lost 9 parliamentarians and won only 12 seats. The Head of the Democratic Party (DP) is Serdar Denktaş, the son of Rauf Denktaş, who was the founding President of the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” (“TRNC”). The number of the seats of his party has fallen from 12 to 3, despite he was in the coalition government with the UBP before the election. Only three seats went to the Communal Democracy Party (TDP), which is close to the President of the “TRNC”, Mustafa Akıncı, who represents the Turkish Cypriot community in the present inter-communal negotiations.

         There are two newly formed parties that could gain seats in their first endeavour. The People’s Party (HP), founded by Kudret Özersay, an academician, who took part in the previous negotiation team, gained 9 seats with a significant success. Prior to the formation of his party, Özersay had a stance that supports the traditional Turkish politics in the Cyprus problem and he was leading the “Clean Community Association”, bringing forward demands such as fighting corruption, transparency and good governance. 2 seats are won by the Revival Party (YDP) that represents mainly the settlers brought from Anatolia.

      It was the first time that a new electoral system was implemented and it was adopted in the parliament that allowed all settlements to be identified as a single constituency, with a mix of party lists and independent persons, as well ticking a mixed cross-party list.

        As you can see from the table above, the number of those, who went to the ballot-boxes in the last general election was the lowest. Meanwhile, the rate of invalid votes has reached the highest level with 11.7%. 67,653 voters (33.8%) did not go to the ballot-box. Besides the fact that the new electoral system has not been adopted by a significant portion of the voters, the people are not satisfied with the policies of the existing political parties and this may have increased the proportion of those who abstained from voting. There were already 379 candidates from 8 parties and 9 independents. We have to consider also that 17,000 new citizenships were granted to the Anatolian settlers before the elections, which was strongly criticised by the oppositional parties.

       The illegal state, which was created by the occupying power Turkey and was defined by the ECHR as “a subordinate local administration of Turkey”, violated the Article 49(6) of the “Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949. According to this article, “The occupying power will not transfer a part of its civilian population to the region it occupies, nor will it send through exile.” Unfortunately, Turkey, have sent since 1974 more than 300 thousand civilian population as settlers to the occupied northern Cyprus and this practice continues until today.

         In the booklet of “The Basic Economic and Social Indicators”, the “State Planning Organization of the TRNC” gives the population as 326,158 in 2015, whereas the “High Electoral Council” declared before the recent elections that the population of the “TRNC” was 230,747, out of which 190,553 are eligible to vote. De facto population was supposed to be 299,514 in 2016.  

        The local government granted the settlers the citizenship of the “TRNC” and distributed them the homes and the agricultural land that had been abandoned by the Greek Cypriots in 1974. They were given the right to vote together with the indigenous Turkish Cypriots for the general and local elections so that the collaborationist governments could maintain their power. Furthermore, they took part also in the voting of the Annan Plan.

        When we evaluate the results obtained in this early general election, we can see that the right-wing and non-solution political parties have won the majority of the votes. The positive outcome of 60:40 on the Annan Plan is now reversed and the parties that are in favour of a non-solution have a superiority with 70:30. In the campaigns run by the political parties before the last early election, which was held six months after the failure of the last round of the inter-communal talks in Switzerland, there was no debate whatsoever about the solution of the Cyprus problem. Although mainly the internal issues have been raised, no political party has presented a convincing project for their concrete solution.

       The new distribution of seats in the parliament indicates that a coalition government will be formed, rather than a stable government. The authorities in Ankara have already begun to work in order to transform the existing parliamentary regime in the occupied area into a presidential regime, similar to the one in Turkey.

      AK Party Istanbul deputy Burhan Kuzu shared the following statement in his twitter account related to the elections held in the “TRNC”: “Today, there was an election in the TRNC. A majority government did not emerge. Three governments were formed in the last four years. Obviously, this system doesn’t work in the TRNC. My recommendation is that they should go to the Presidential System. As a scholar who has studied 40 years the architecture of bringing this system to Turkey, I’m ready to give them my service.”  

       Already the Directorate of the Aid Mission of the Turkish Embassy in Northern Nicosia and the “Prime Ministry of the TRNC” commissioned the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey to look into the existing electoral system in the “TRNC” and a report was published in April 2013. Under the title “The State of the TRNC Functional-Institutional Review Study”, the report reads as follows: “In case of a revision of the electoral system, it is recommended that the election districts in accordance with the district boundaries should be abandoned and that a single constituency be formed to cover the entire territory of the TRNC.” (pp. 23-24)

      Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu gave a statement after the election results were announced and asked the Turkish Cypriot politicians to stop saying that they will not participate in a certain coalition government, which was regarded as a clear order and a message sent to the public. A group of Turkish Cypriot Trade Unions issued a protest declaration and condemned Çavuşoğlu’s interference with the internal affairs of the Turkish Cypriot community. 
      In the coming days, Turkey’s socio-political engineering plans, which will be applied in the occupied part of Cyprus, will become clearer. 


     On 19 January 2018, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed his anger against Afrika newspaper, which wrote that Turkey’s military operation in Syria was similar to Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus. Erdogan reacted to Afrika’s main title with this call:  “What is necessary must be done by our friends in North Cyprus!” One day later, on 20 January 2018, an angry mob of ultra-nationalist Turkish settlers from the AKP’s youth organization, which had the support of some civilian organizations and ‘municipalities’, gathered outside the building of the Afrika newspaper and threw stones and eggs against its windows. Two protesters climbed on the balcony and removed the paper’s signboards from the wall in front of police’s eyes. The protesters attempted also to enter into the building, but the police prevented them.  The demonstration was turned into a lynching operation with slogans such as “Allah is most great.” Protests were made as well against the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, who came to attend the first session of the ‘parliament’ on the opposite corner of the Afrika’s office.  He was jeered by the mob outside Afrika, when he approached to calm down the situation, but he was forced to get in his car and leave the scene with the help of his bodyguards. 

     The crowds were dispersed by riot police, but they then made their way to the ‘parliament’ where ‘deputies’ were being sworn-in after the elections on 7 January 2018. Two men managed to climb on top of the building from which they waved Turkish flags and a flag frequently waved at rallies by supporters of Turkey’s nationalist Good Party.

     CTP’s ‘deputy’ Dogus Derya was booed during her swearing-in by Nationalist Unity Party lawmakers and the protesters in the ‘parliament’. She reacted shouting “Shoulder to shoulder against fascism”. This caused the reaction of Bertan Zaroglu, ‘deputy’ with the settlers’ Revival Party (YDP), who threw a paper to Derya, something which caused tension in the room.  All these incidents were watched through a live broadcasting on television and shocked the ordinary Turkish Cypriots.

       A “Peace and Democracy March” was held on the evening of 26 January 2018 under the pouring rain in Nicosia in order to protest against the violent attacks by the ultra-nationalists. Around 5,000 Turkish Cypriots took part at this march, which was organized by the Trade Union Platform that represented 21 organizations. It ended up in front of the ‘parliament’ and Afrika newspaper, where a declaration of the Platform was read.

      On 2 February 2018, the prime minister-designate Tufan Erhurman presented his cabinet to the President Akinci. The cabinet, which was approved by Akinci is made up of following members: Tufan Erhurman (CTP), Prime Minister; Kudret Ozersay (HP), Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs; Aysegul Baybars Kadri (HP), Minister of Interior; Serdar Denktas (DP), Minister of Finance; Cemal Ozyigit (TDP), Minister of National Education and Culture; Zeki Celer (TDP), Minister of Labour and Social Security; Filiz Besim (CTP), Minister of Health; Tolga Atakan (HP) , Minister of Public Works and Communications; Fikri Ataoglu (DP), Minister of Tourism and Environment; Ozdil Nami (CTP), Minister of Economy and Energy; Erkut Sahali (CTP), Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

       In the meantime, CTP Famagusta ‘deputy’ Teberruken Ulucay has been elected as the speaker of the parliament, while Zorlu Tore from the main opposition UBP has been elected as the deputy speaker. The government received the vote of confidence on 15 February. While 27 deputies voted in favour of the new government, 22 deputies voted against it. One MP did not attend the session. According to the constitution, no party or group of deputies can table a motion of no confidence for the first three months after a vote of confidence is secured.

      The six men, charged for the attacks against Afrika newspaper and the ‘parliament’ building, have been sentenced on 21 February 2018 to between two and six months in prison. Judge Tacan Reynar, who was presiding over the case, found all of the six accused guilty of the charges of unlawful assembly, rioting, causing damage to property and inflicting intentional harm.

     On 7 March 2018, contacts were held in Ankara by ‘prime minister’ Tufan Erhurman (CTP) and ‘foreign minister’ Kudret Ozersay (HP) with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, Deputy Prime Minister Recep Akdag and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    Havadis newspaper reported on 9 March 2018 that “everything was discussed” during these meetings and described as “interesting at first sight” the fact that the ‘finance minister’ Serdar Denktas (DP) was not included in the Turkish Cypriot delegation. A full harmony was exhibited on the Cyprus problem. The privatization of the “telecommunications authority”, the decrease of the number of “municipalities” and the “citizenship” were issues to which the government in Ankara attached importance. 
   Dogan News Agency reported on 13 March 2018 that President Erdogan asked for more “citizenship” to be given up to one million so that the population of the occupied area would be able to compete economically with the same population of the Greek Cypriots!

(published in In Depth, Bimonthly Electronic Newsletter, Volume 15, Issue 2 - March 2018, Cyprus Center for European and International Affairs,  University of Nicosia) 
  • January 15th 2018 at 15:02



In the “Special Issue: The Cyprus Problem” of the “In Depth” bimonthly Electronic Newsletter, published in February 2017, I dealt with the internal aspect of the Cyprus problem under the title “Uncertainties at the Cyprus negotiations.” In this issue, I shall point out the uncertainties about the external aspect, mainly the security and the guarantee issues in a possible agreement.


According to the new guarantee formula that the Greek Cypriot side has brought to the table, first 75% of Turkish troops will be withdrawn and the remaining 25% will be withdrawn within a predetermined time (e.g. 18 months) under UNFICYP supervision. (The Turkish Cypriot side did not accept this. They insist that the Turkish Cypriot constituent state, whenever it is needed, should have always the unilateral right of calling Turkey for intervention.)

Internal security was organized in three stages: First, there will be a police force at the constituent state level, comprising 60% Greek Cypriot and 40% Turkish Cypriot policemen, who will serve at their desks, i.e. 5,000 in the south and 3,100 in the north.

The second phase is at the federal level, with 500 police officers at a proportion of 50: 50%, units with the authority of using weapons would serve in emergency response and in federal criminal investigation bureau. The local police of the Turkish Cypriot state will ask for help from the federal government if it is difficult.

In the third stage, the UN Security Council will have an international police force of 2,500 people. This police force will provide personnel from the EU countries outside Greece and the UK and from third countries outside Turkey. This multinational police force to be formed immediately after the settlement will not interfere in any way with the internal arrangement of the United Cyprus and it will function for five years and will be placed on the border between the two constituent states, after the Turkish troops have withdrawn completely from the island. According to Article 6 of the UN Constitution, there will be only light weapons and no authority to interfere with conflicts.

The international police force will only be activated if there is a threat and international peace is in danger. This is a comment by the Security Council based on political criteria and interests and it requires a number of other measures, such as implementing the 7th Article, the economic embargo before the military measures and/or the sea and air bombings.


Great Britain and Greece, three of the NATO countries that guaranteed the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus in 1960, seem eager to give up their rights in the new era.

Greek Foreign Minister Kotzias made a proposal to sign a Treaty of Friendship and Stabilization between Greece, Cyprus and Turkey. Through this treaty, it was announced that safety valves could be added to various subjects.

Turkey, on the other hand, requires a structure, as in 1960, not only for the United Cyprus Republic, but also for the constituent states, in which the territorial integrity, security and constitutional order are guaranteed. Three Turkish formulas have been put forward regarding the guarantees:

1. A formula, in which NATO is involved,

2. The guarantee of a Turkish base within the Turkish Cypriot province and commanded by the Turkish commander,

3. The Turkish guarantor will remain for only the Turkish Cypriots after the settlement. In this regard, no agreement has yet been reached.


It is understood that Turkey's proposal is not to assure the physical security of the Turkish Cypriots or the implementation of the resolution, but rather to raise the geo-strategic demands of her own country. Although Turkey had leaked to the press that she wanted to limit her right to interfere with island’s internal affairs, only to the Turkish Cypriot province, but later Turkey wanted to keep a sovereign military base within the Turkish state to be formed in the northern part of the island. This would be commanded by a Turkish commander and its duration would not be fixed.

Turkish President Erdogan wanted to give the message that Turkey will always stay in Cyprus with guarantees and her troops, in a statement he gave immediately after the end of the five-party conference in Geneva in the middle of January 2017. Erdogan demanded that the closed territory of Famagusta be given to the Greek Cypriot side, while the territory of Kokkina and Morphou would be combined and given to the Turkish Cypriot side. "Do not wait for Karpasia and the shoreline" he added. This meant that the Pirgo-Dilliria regions would be given to the control of the constituent Turkish Cypriot state.

According to the Greek Cypriot press, the occupation army has recently developed facilities in the Kokkina region and the Republic of Cyprus also was asked for some facilities, but these requests were rejected. After this rejection, 250 concrete and other materials were transported by sea to this region. According to the evaluations made, this development of the region is related to the military base the Turkish side wants to establish in Cyprus in case of a solution. According to the Turkish proposal, this base will be sovereign and 2,500 troops will settle here.


It was described as "very serious", when Turkey demanded, especially during the discussions on the Cyprus issue, that the EU's 4 freedoms (free movement of people, goods, services and capital) should be granted to Turkish citizens and the Greek Cypriot side stated that it did not consider this demand to deal with Cyprus negotiations.

President Nicos Anastasiades sent a letter to the European Commission on January 30, 2017, saying that "Ankara made a blackmail with her demand for 4 freedoms" and, if recognized, "this will have very serious and unprecedented effects not only on Cyprus, but also on the EU and its member states".

The newspaper wrote that Anastasiades received positive responses from the European countries, saying that so far some EU member states were against to the granting of 4 freedoms to Turkish citizens and Bulgaria responded in the same way the day before.

The Fileleftheros newspaper, dated 4 April 2017, informed that a joint procedure of Washington, London, Brussels and the UN Secretary General's Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide was being followed that the demand for the recognition of 4 freedoms would be recognized for the Turkish citizens after the settlement of the Cyprus problem.

Under the title of "The US has 4 freedoms in the background", the Fileleftheros newspaper, based on the information it received, reported that the United States was included in the "game" of support for the request of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, through Jonathan Cohen, Deputy Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The newspaper claims that Cohen gave the EU the opinion that the Turkish request should be fulfilled and that Brussels does not oppose this view and that, based on the same information, he also claimed that the issue of equal treatment for the Turkish citizens was also on the agenda, whereas they are not aware of the rights the Greek citizens in Cyprus have acquired from the EU membership.

The newspaper also said that in case the EU demands, Cohen would be able to provide equal treatment for Turkish and Greek Citizens in Cyprus by "simulating exercises" through the combination of previously applied models, including "Kaliningrad" or "Portugal". He was also informed that preparations could be made for that. It has also been suggested that Brussels will act in a way that Cyprus will have a special status in the EU, in accordance with "previous models".

Regarding the free movement of goods, the newspaper claimed that Turkey is working on the combination of "Customs Union with the EU" and "Providing mutual facilities" between the Federal Republic of Cyprus and Ankara.

In its news comment on 5 March 2017, the Fileleftheros newspaper wrote under the title "EU: Four Freedom with the Portuguese-Brazilian Model" that there are hopes for the creation of a perspective for the resumption of the negotiations on the Cyprus issue, if the influential circles in Brussels examine the “similar examples” for the realization of the Turkish demands for 4 freedoms for her citizens in Cyprus.

The newspaper wrote that the influential circles worked on the example of Portugal, which provided the privileged treatment of the EU, before allowing it to join the EU, by granting work permits to workers from Brazil depending on the special relationship between the two countries.

The newspaper reported that there is a significant difference between the Portuguese example and the situation in Cyprus and that Portugal was not an EU member, when it demanded this privilege, whereas Cyprus has been an EU member state since 13 years.

After a blockage of the inter-communal negotiations, the Greek Cypriot press wrote that the UN has prepared some important bridging proposals between the external security aspect of the Cyprus problem and the internal constitutional aspect, like the rotating presidency. We shall be seeing the results, when the two leaders meet in New York.

(published in In Depth, Bimonthly Electronic Newsletter, Volume 14, Issue 3- June 2017, Cyprus Center for European and International Affairs,  University of Nicosia)

  • June 27th 2017 at 22:25



The Cyprus problem has been the legacy of the British colonial “divide and rule” policy. When the British occupied the island in 1878, ending a 300-year period of Ottoman rule that had begun in 1571, the British preferred to keep the existing structures of education in Cyprus. The Christian Greek Cypriot and the Moslem Turkish Cypriot schools were kept separate from one another. There were two Boards of Education, which ensured that the curriculums of the two communities mirrored those in Greece and Turkey respectively. Thus the nationalism of both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots did not originate from the local historical circumstances, but the nationalist ideas were imported to the island through the teachers, books and newspapers that came from Greece and Turkey. This nationalism was encouraged by the British colonial administration and the British tried to disseminate it among the unconscious masses of people in accordance to their traditional policy of ‘divide and rule’.
           Following the annexation of Cyprus by the British Empire in 1914, the new Republic of Turkey gave up all of her rights on Cyprus, when the Treaty of Lausanne was signed in 1923. This was confirmed in 1925, when Britain declared Cyprus as a Crown Colony – a status it retained until 1960.

The Communist Party of Cyprus, which was established in 1926, had a political programme of acquiring independence of the island and it was envisaged to become a part of the Socialist Balkan Federation. But after the nationalist rebellion of the Greek Cypriots in 1931, the British banned all the political activities and abolished the Legislative Council, where a Turkish Cypriot member voted together with the Greek Cypriot members some months ago.

             During the Second World War, the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots fought and served together, on the side of Great Britain, on various fronts and at home, they organised  themselves in the same trade unions against the difficult economic conditions. In 1941, the Progressive Party of the Working People of Cyprus (AKEL) was established and it adopted a policy for the union (enosis) of the island with Greece. This was the biggest obstacle for the cooperation with the Turkish Cypriots, who saw it as a danger to their existence.

            In 1955, the Greek Cypriots started a terror campaign against the British colonial administration with the final aim of union of the island with Greece. It was in 1955 that Turkey was made again a party to the Cyprus problem with the London Conference and in 1956 Turkey and the collaborationist Turkish Cypriot leadership adopted the British plans, which aimed at the partition of the island (taksim) as a political solution.

The Turkish Cypriot youth became auxiliary police and commandoes in order to fight against the Greek Cypriot fighters. When the Greek Cypriot underground organization, the EOKA, killed the Turkish Cypriot members of the security forces, the Turkish Cypriot underground organization, the TMT, began to kill the Greek Cypriots in retaliation.

Both organizations were anti-communist oriented and they killed also progressive Cypriots. The TMT killed in 1958 some members of the progressive Turkish Cypriot trade unions and forced the others to resign from the common trade unions, thus destroying the foundations of the common political struggle.

            At the end of the conflict, neither the Greek Cypriots’ aim for enosis, nor the Turkish Cypriots’ aim for taksim were materialized, but a limited independence was given to a new partnership Republic of Cyprus, which was established in 1960. The British maintained their sovereignty over the two military bases. Both enosis and taksim policies were banned in the constitution. The guarantors of the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the new state were members of the NATO, i.e. Britain, Greece and Turkey and they did not want to see a Cypriot state, free of their influences.

            The Turkish Cypriots, having 18% of the island’s population, were given 30% share in the administration of the new Republic of Cyprus. This was not digested by the Greek Cypriots. Archbishop Makarios, the President of the Republic, did not believe in the idea of creating a new Cypriot nation. He told to an Italian newspaper that the London Agreements created a new state, but not a new nation. On the other hand, the Turkish Cypriot leadership did not believe in the new partnership Republic and continued its separatist policies.

Two Turkish Cypriot advocates, Ahmet Gurkan and Ayhan Hikmet, started to publish on the day of independence a weekly newspaper, called “Cumhuriyet” (The Republic), where they waged with other progressive Turkish Cypriots a struggle for the cooperation of the two main communities in Cyprus in the new state. For the first time, the ideas of Cypriotism were being propagated through an oppositional newspaper and later they established a political party. The writers of the “Cumhuriyet” newspaper were supporting the independence of Cyprus, condemning the aim of union of the island with another nation or state and they wanted that Cyprus should belong to its own people, the Cypriots. Unfortunately these staunch supporters of the Republic of Cyprus were killed by the TMT on 23 April 1962, on the pretext that they served the interests of the Greek Cypriots. In 1965, Dervish Ali Kavazoglu, who was a Turkish Cypriot member of the Central Committee of the AKEL, was murdered together with his Greek Cypriot trade-unionist friend. He was against the partitionist policies of the Turkish Cypriot leadership and for the friendship and cooperation of the two communities in Cyprus. These actions of intimidation silenced the democratic opposition within the Turkish Cypriot community.

In the 1960’s, contrary to the processes in Europe, many African and Asian states were formed before the consolidation of a nation. In the case of Cyprus, this fragile partnership lasted only three years. In December 1963, the President of the Republic, Archbishop Makarios tried to change the 13 points of the constitution by abolishing the veto power of the Turkish Cypriot Vice-President Dr. Kuchuk. The inter-communal clashes started and at the beginning of 1964, the Turkish Cypriots withdrew from the state apparatus. This conflict of nationalisms between the pro-union Greek Cypriot leadership and the pro-partition Turkish Cypriot leadership complicated the solution of the ethnic-national question in Cyprus. The unity of action and aim of the Cypriots could not be developed under a common shared aim and this was exploited by the imperialist powers.

            On 21 December 1963, inter-communal clashes started and the underground organizations, which had their connections with the foreign powers, became influential again in both communities. The Greek Cypriot leadership was aiming the union of the island with Greece and the Turkish Cypriot leadership was planning to create the conditions for the partition of the island. Now Cyprus problem was once again on the international arena.

            We read in a working paper, prepared by Donald A. Wehmeyer, a US legal adviser, on 11 December 1963 that a Treaty of Joint Sovereignty between Greece and Turkey was proposed. Wehmeyer added to his memorandum “Outline of Possible Cyprus Settlement” an important ingredient for a solution, which would be more attractive to Turkey: Cyprus should be divided into provinces. Certain provinces would be administered mainly by Turkish Cypriots and this would create an illusion of partition or federation. (Claude Nicolet, United States Policy Towards Cyprus, 1954-1974: Removing the Greek-Turkish Bone of Contention”, Germany, 2001, p.226 and 229)
Salahi R. Sonyel writes that the British government hit upon an interesting solution, which was the reconstruction of Cyprus as a federal solution:

“Thus on 3 January (1964), Sir Francis Vallat asked H.G.Darwin, a constitutional expert, to produce a paper examining the possibility of dividing Cyprus into a Turkish and a Greek area, which might be formed into a federal state. Even if such a plan was feasible a number of problems were foreseen in its application. Darwin composed a memorandum, in which he suggested a federation of two states, one predominantly of Greek, and the other of Turkish populations. He also suggested an exchange of population in order to realise the Turkish state. The capital of the Turkish state would be Kyrenia.” (Cyprus, The Destruction of a Republic and its Aftermath, British Document 1960-1974, Extended second edition, Ankara 2003, pp.78-78)

In the summer of 1964, Makarios rejected the Acheson Plan, which was discussed in Geneva and which envisaged the union of Cyprus with Greece on the condition that a military base would be given to Turkey in Karpas peninsula. President Makarios was re-elected in 1968 with his new policy of “feasible solution”, instead of enosis.

We read again from Nicolet’s book: “Acheson was fully indulging himself in studying the different proposals that had emerged in Washington throughout spring of 1964. In Brands’ words, “he was ready to devise a plan that would eliminate the Cyprus problem by eliminating Cyprus.” A suggestion he was particularly intrigued with was Don Wehmeyer’s scheme of 24 April, providing enosis with an illusion of partition or federation to the Turks by the establishment of certain provinces to be administered by Turkish Cypriot eparchs, as he cabled to Ball on 8 July. (Nicolet, ibid, p.257)

And this was finally realized with a so-called “controlled intervention” (Nicolet, ibid, p.213)  in the summer of 1974, which was decided by the Deputy Foreign Minister of Greece, Christos Ksantopoulos-Palamas and the Turkish Foreign Minister, Osman Olcay. The two ministers met on 3-4 June 1971 during the NATO ministerial meeting in Lisbon and discussed how to get rid of Makarios and put an end to the independence of the Republic of Cyprus by partitioning the island through “double enosis”.

            As the imperialist foreign powers and their tools on the island were against the independent development of the Republic of Cyprus, which followed a non-aligned foreign policy, they were continuously inciting nationalistic and anti-communist feelings among the island’s population. We observe again in this period that a Cypriot consciousness could not be developed to a sufficient degree.

From 1968 until 1974, various rounds of inter-communal negotiations were carried out without signing a final agreement.  A de facto situation was created by an aborted coup d’Etat against President Makarios, organized by the fascist Greek junta and its military forces in Cyprus on 15 July 1974. This created an opportunity for Turkey to intervene five days later to the internal affairs of Cyprus. Turkey occupied the 37% of the northern part of the island and on 16 August 1974, on the 16th anniversary of the foundation of the Republic of Cyprus, the island’s territory was partitioned into two regions, one in the North for the Turkish Cypriots and the other in the South for the Greek Cypriots.

In a declassified Secret Memorandum sent from Helmut Sonnenfeld, Counselor of the US State Department to Secretary Henry Kissinger on 14 August 1974, the directive was the following:

“Assuming the Turks quickly take Famagusta, privately assure Turks, we will get them a solution involving one third of the island, within some kind of federal arrangement.” (Cyprus Weekly, 10 August 2007)

            The Greek Cypriots were forced to leave the occupied areas and the Turkish Cypriots living in south of the cease-fire line were transported to the northern part. A bi-regional, ethnically cleansed geographical division was attained de facto. It remained to form a de jure central government for the “federation”, which was the aim of the Turkish government since 1964. The new state of affairs forced the Turkish Cypriots to have closer relationship with Turkey. The Turkish Cypriots became under the direct influence of the mainland Turkish economy, politics and culture.

            The Autonomous Turkish Cypriot Administration declared first on 13 February 1975 the “Cyprus Turkish Federated State” and then announced a unilateral declaration of independence on 15 November 1985, under the name “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”, on the Turkish occupied territory of the island. This was condemned immediately by a resolution of the Security Council of the UN. Several rounds of inter-communal talks could not bring the two communities together under a bi-communal federal umbrella and the island remains since 1974 partitioned, occupied and colonized. Besides the Turkish Occupation Army of 40,000 troops, there are more than 250,000 Anatolian settlers, living in the northern part of the island and most of them are given the citizenship of the “TRNC”. Northern Cyprus has become a colony of Turkey, where the number of the indigenous Turkish Cypriots are estimated to be around 120,000.
            We observed that especially after 1974, two different identities have emerged: One in the north of the divide, possessing the separatist “TRNC” as an expression of Turkish Cypriots’ nationalist identity and another one in the south of the divide, as the sole owner of the Cypriot state, which has distinctively a Greek Cypriot character.
            In order to reach at a common goal, there should be common political parties of Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, seeking common political aims. The full equality of all the communities living on the island in the fields of politics, economy and culture could only be achieved through common political parties, which will fight for a democratic federal state and against all kinds of separatism and discrimination.

            A correct policy for the solution of the problem of nationalities is indispensable and this is the responsibility of the party of the working class, the AKEL. Unless the AKEL review its policy for the Turkish Cypriots and turn to them, no step forwards could be achieved with the existing nationalist policies and this would consolidate the partition of the island.  

            Another point of view, which should not be overlooked is that the solution of the problem in the concrete conditions of Cyprus depends on one hand on the elimination of the influences of imperialism and neo-colonialism and the military bases and on the other hand to decide how to solve the internal question of nationalities, which I see as the main issue. But the determining factor here is not the difference between the two communities. On the contrary, it has to be stressed that the class struggle in the whole country and in the international arena will be decisive.

It seems that the following fear of the imperialists is still valid, first mentioned in the 1989 International Yearbook of Communist Affairs: “If the north and the south of Cyprus will be united in a future “Federal Cyprus”, the electoral power of the Greek and Turkish communists can win the majority of the votes in any Presidential elections of such an unusual government. But here the crucial problem is not, as the bourgeois circles suggest, “which   community will govern the other one”, but “which class will have the power in his hand on the whole of the island.

(Paper read at the Emergency 4th Euro-Mediterranean Workers’ Conference, organized by Balkan Socialist Center “Christian Rakovsky” and the RedMed web network, in Athens-Greece, on 26-28 May 2017)

  • May 30th 2017 at 09:46



In Cyprus, which has been divided since 1974 as a result of the occupation of the northern part of the island by Turkey, a new set of the intercommunal negotiations have been going on since mid-May 2015 between President Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Akıncı, in order to reunite the island under a federal umbrella, but there are some uncertainties, which draw attention as follows:  

1. The two sides have agreed that the constituent federal states shall have the right to enter into agreements with foreign governments and international organizations on matters falling within their jurisdiction. These areas cover culture (including arts, education and sports), tourism and economic investment (including financial support).

According to the information given to the Turkish Cypriot press, the constituent states may only want the Federal Foreign Office to be in operation, if they need it! But the Greek Cypriot side said the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs will not need to ratify, as the agreements will involve the entire state in a cooperative effort with the constituent state.

Since the education is left to the powers of the constituent states, it is a matter of debate how federal state citizens will be educated in a federalist and unifying manner, whereas the nationalistic prejudices have been strong for many years. This issue is important in the context of the dependencies of the Turkish Cypriot statelet on Turkey in all aspects since 1974.

2. The Turkish Cypriot side has accepted in the past that the proportion of the territory of the constituent federal state in the north could fall from today’s 36% to 29% +. The Greek Cypriot side has prepared two maps, which envisage that 28.5% of the territory will be left to the Turkish Cypriot side, but the talks on territory have not yet ended.

The Greek Cypriot side suggested that if the establishment of cantons in the areas of Karpasia and Maronite villages were accepted, Morfou could also be a special administrative area for the central government.

The Turkish Cypriot does not accept the creation of special territories, mass population migrations and the reduction of the coastline. (According to official data of the Central Command of the British Sovereign Base Areas, 316.19 km of the coastline of Cyprus is controlled today by Southern Cyprus and 420.55 km by Northern Cyprus.) Moreover, it insists that the borderline between the two constituent states must be flat!

3. According to the agreement reached on the population, there will be 800,000 Greek Cypriots in the south and 220,000 Turkish Cypriots in the north. However, the Turkish side wants to add 30,000 Turkish Cypriots living abroad to this 220,000.

An interesting point is that Mr. Anastasiadis, in response to the question put by the Chairman of the Citizens’ Alliance, Georgos Lillikas, about the source of the number of accepted 220,000 Turkish Cypriot citizens, answered that the number of Greek Cypriots registered in the Statistical Office of the Republic of Cyprus was deliberately increased from 667,000 (2011 Census) to 800,000 in order to provide legitimacy to the 100,000, who are Turkish citizens!

According to the latest official census, conducted in 2011 in the occupied territory, the number of permanent residents is 286,257. The number of those born in Cyprus (“TRNC” and Southern Cyprus) was 160,207 (56.0%) and 104,641 (36.6%) were born in Turkey. As it is known, after 1974, Turkey moved population to the occupied territory in order to change the demographic structure of the island and this is contrary to the 1949 Geneva Convention. It is a fact that these settlers, who were granted citizenship of the “TRNC”, also voted for the Annan Plan, but this does not mean that they are legally located in the island.

On the other hand, President Anastasiades said that the number of Turkish Cypriots registered as Cypriot or have a passport or ID card is 117,544 and that there are at least 12,500 Turkish Cypriots, who did not apply or did not sign up, and thus the number of Turkish Cypriots reached 130,000.

Anastasiades said that the total number of Turkish nationals, formed by mixed marriages and their born children, did not exceed 90,000, but later he said that this figure was “a wrong number spelled out” and led to reactions. Anastasiades told that about 40,000 Turkish settlers will stay in the island and that this figure is much less than the Greek Cypriots had accepted in the past.

,In addition, Anastasiades noted that 25,000 Turkish Cypriots living in the United Kingdom have not applied to the Republic of Cyprus and that the number of Turkish Cypriots, included in the figure of 220,000, has increased to 155,000. It was estimated that the total number of mixed marriages and their children was 25,000 this time, making a total of 180,000 Turkish Cypriot population. Thus, he reduced the number of Turkish settlers, who would gain legitimacy, to 40,000.

Akıncı stated that the number of Turkish Cypriot citizens is taken as 220,000 persons, instead of 286,257 as mentioned above and he explained that all the “TRNC” citizens will be citizens of the new federal state and the EU in the future without difference of origin. Underlining that the work permits of the non-citizens will be renewed and they will continue to work, Akıncı emphasized that the work-force required by the economy will continue to be in Cyprus. He stated that the wish of the Turkish Cypriots is that the needed workforce should remain in the island.

The New Birth Party, formed by the settlers from Turkey, directed the following questions to Akıncı: "Anastasiades said 90,000 people will stay. Who are meant by the words, those who originate from Turkey? How are they determined? What is the status of the spouses in mixed marriages and what will happen to the children born in “TRNC”?

According to the Greek Cypriot press reports, it is estimated that between 90 and 120 thousand citizens of the Republic of Turkey will remain in the island. If it is the case, the Turkish Cypriots will be a minority in their own constituent state. In order to find out the real composition of the population, it is necessary to have a census, monitored by UN or another reliable organization.

This issue is important also for the EU. Because, if the composition of the population in the northern federal state is dominated by the settlers of Turkish descent, the impact of Turkey, which is not a member of the EU, may be decisive in Cyprus's foreign policy issues and this will cause dispute within the EU. Already, many bureaucrats in Brussels have asked "Will Erdogan step on to the territory of the EU through Cyprus? Will Cyprus be Erdogan's Trojan Horse?" Moreover, Turkey has demanded that four freedoms should be valid for its citizens in Cyprus that will remain to be a EU country after the solution.

4. The number of Greek Cypriots, who will live in the federal state in the north, has been constrained in terms of four freedoms and the ethnic cleansing after the 1974 war has also become permanent. The Turkish Cypriot side explained that there is difference between the legal domicile and the right of abode, which has no political or other right. Moreover, for any person, who would apply for "internal citizenship", s/he should be able to know and to use the native language in the North perfectly. Apart from the right to stay, for example, there will be no political right to vote. "Domestic citizenship", i.e. legal residence will be entitled maximum up to 20% of the population of the Turkish Cypriot constituent state. It is thought that thus, the majority of the Turkish Cypriot population in its own state will not be threatened in any way.


There are 183 topics, which have not yet been agreed upon, as reflected in the minutes of the negotiations. Among these are some of the demands of the Turkish Cypriot side:

1. Although there has already been a rapprochement in the idea of a “single ticket” for the election of the President and the Vice-President, the Turkish Cypriot side has clearly indicated during the process of negotiating the subject of “Governance” that "Cross voting" is a package with the subjects of “Rotating Presidency” and the choice of the ministers to be preferred by both communities. Thus a cleavage was formed.

2. The Turkish Cypriot side believes that the subject of Primary Law is not yet closed. However, Peter van Nuffel, EU Commissioner in Charge of the Negotiations, said that the Final Agreement must be approved in the national parliaments of the EU member countries, which is a very difficult argument.

3. The Turkish Cypriot side insisted on the FIR for having two separate air traffic control centres. The Greek Cypriot side did not discuss this and suggested that there should be two control towers for approaching 20 km to the airport.

4. It was agreed that the casinos would be under federal juristiction. However, according to the convergence reached, the operating conditions and rules will not be applied to the existing casino facilities in the occupied area.

5. The Turkish Cypriot side has not yet provided the required data for organizations such as the IMF and the World Bank that are examining the economic aspect of the solution.


After the political agreement is reached there are technical issues that need to be discussed and resolved. Some of them are: The writing of the constitutions of the constituent states and the federal state, which should be in harmony with each other, the list of international agreements, the federal laws and even the detailed writing of the coordinates of the territory. Besides the ones mentioned above, it has been reported that the UN provided a list of 103 items, including flag, anthem, civil servants, demining, etc., which should be realized before the agreement. Of course, once the internal aspects of the Cyprus dispute are resolved in this way, securing the newly established order, if necessary, by the UN or the EU, will be discussed at an international meeting. 

(Published in "In Depth", Bimonthly Electronic Newsletter, Special Issue: The Cyprus Problem, Volume 14, Issue 1- February 2017, © 2016 Cyprus Center for European and International Affairs • University of Nicosia)

  • March 2nd 2017 at 18:10


The first founding meeting of the “Movement for an Independent and Federal Cyprus” took place in Ledra Palace Hotel in Nicosia on 23 and 24 September 1989 with the participation of 25 T/Cs and 36 G/Cs. The participants discussed the ways of rapprochement and more contacts between the two communities in Cyprus. The joint press release of the meeting was published both in the T/C and G/C press and the meeting was flash news at the CyBC-TV.

            The Second Meeting of the Movement took place on 20-21 January 1990, where the participants approved the following basic views and principles, which were later published, in Greek, Turkish and English languages as a leaflet.


Views and Basic Principles

1.We are concerned about our future

Every Cypriot citizen in our times is deeply concerned about the future of his country.

We have all lived through the tragic moments of our history – the armed and bloody conflicts, the forced displacement of people, the immeasurable human suffering, the partition of our country.

For years now we all have experienced the consequences of this violent separation – the uprooting, the uncertainty, the lack of contact and communication between Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot citizens.

The separate existence of the two communities and the separate organization of daily life leads them to consider the absence of each other as the norm. The new generation is raised with an image which presents the other community as the enemy – magnifying the crimes of the other side while minimizing the crimes of its own.

2. We acknowledge our share of common responsibilities

We believe that every Cypriot citizen fully comprehends that the root of our problem and suffering are quite complex. Undoubtedly, foreign interests and intervention share a substantial part of the blame.

We believe, however, that every sincere Cypriot also acknowledges a collective blame and responsibility. For it is the internal contradictions and weaknesses of our society that have made outside intervention possible.

The lack of common objectives, the antagonism between Turkish and Greek Cypriots – instead of a common, liberation struggle against colonial rule, undermined the prospect of a free and democratic common future.

The outcome of all this was a Constitution that was imposed on us and a “crippled” independence, where divisions, antagonism and suspicion among Greek and Turkish Cypriots were institutionalised. The final blow came from the persistence of separatist ideologies (Enosis and Partition) even after the establishment of the fragile Independence.

3. We must condemn both the violence and the separatist ideologies of the past.

All Cypriot citizens would agree that foreign meddling in our affairs should be put to an end and that we ourselves should be those to decide our own fate, our own future.

But this alone is not sufficient. In order to be able to proceed together towards a common future, with shared goals, we must begin by acknowledging and condemning whatever separated us in the past.

It is high time that each community acknowledges and irrevocably condemns the violence it used against the other in the past. For the ordinary citizen, the victim of violence whichever direction it came from, this violence was equally painful and caused the same grief.

It is high time each community recognized the consequences of its own separatist ideology and condemned it thereof. What is called for today is not an ideology that separates people, but one that can unite them together, that could form the basis of a common struggle.

This is the only way through which we can “cleanse” ourselves from our bloody and violent past – so that henceforth we may sincerely join forces together bringing about reconciliation and shaping a shared and peaceful future.

4. Federation – our common future

The continuation of separation and antagonism does not promote our own common interests, but only serves the enemies of the independence of Cyprus.

            The struggle for a common future, in a united country, is not a matter of sentimentalism or utopia – but a basic, imperative, historical and political need, a sheer matter of survival.

            In a common country the survival of Greek and Turkish Cypriots crucially depends on the survival of the Turkish Cypriots, and vice-versa.

            All Cypriot citizens have a right to live in a federated and united Cyprus, under conditions of freedom, democracy and security.

A federal solution is, under the present circumstances, the only guarantee for the independence of Cyprus. It should not be looked upon simply as a solution of necessity; it is at the same time our only hope for a just and peaceful common future.

            A federal solution has the potential of transcending our past history of violent conflict, which built the walls of separation between Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

The pursuit of a federal solution constitutes a common goal, a path towards a common future. A future, which will secure some measure of autonomy for each community, whilst also ensuring a unified character for the Cyprus Republic, preventing permanent separation and estrangement.

The future federation, for which we must strive, should be based on the principles of justice and viability. It should establish the right of every Cypriot to live in a democratic system, irrespective of race, ethnic identity, religion, sex or colour, under conditions of security and equal opportunities for development.

Federation is not a magic formula which will be introduced by outside forces, and which will automatically solve all of our problems. No one system or constitution can by itself secure our future. The most important is the good will of the people. Federation should be regarded as the expression of our collective determination for a joint struggle/effort by all Cypriots.

5. The mobilization of citizens is an imperative need

The dangers from the continuing impasse of the Cyprus problem are only too obvious. The reappearance of mistrust and chauvinism, as well as thoughtless pseudo-patriotism on either side, are the consequences of the present stalemate.

            Real and constructive patriotism nowadays means resistance to mistrust, fanaticism and chauvinism.

            Every Cypriot should stand against the reactionary forces in both communities which are attempting to undermine the effort for a common future – expressed, in our days, in the pursuit of a federal solution. It is only with the active participation of the people of Cyprus that independence, democracy and a common peaceful future can be achieved.

            The mobilization of ordinary citizens and the dialogue between Greek and Turkish Cypriots should become a conscious political choice and action, a matter to be undertaken independently – of and beyond any formal and official procedures.

            It is nowadays imperative to cross over from passive awaiting to active political participation in the struggle of shaping our common future.

  • November 29th 2016 at 08:33



Ahmet Djavit An

The origins of today’s Moslem population on the island
After the conquest of the Cyprus in 1570-71, the Ottoman commander Lala Mustafa Pasha left a small garisson on the island.  The official Ottoman sources refer to a total of 3,779 soldiers, many of whom, later, brought also their families.[1]Some of them even married the widows or daughters of the fallen Latin notables; an example is the last Lusignan Cornaro Lady of Potamia Castle who married the cavalry soldier Ibrahim Menteshoglou; their family has survived to the present day with the families of Menteshoglou and Bodamializade.
A census, taken shortly after the conquest, revealed a taxable population of some 85,000 Greeks, Armenians and Maronites, as well as 20,000 Turkish settlers, mostly campaign veterans, who were given land by Mustapha.[2]According to the Ottoman Register Book of 1572, 905 villages were inhabitated and 76 villages were deserted.[3]Thus the Ottomans did not build new villages and inhabited the empty ones, which mostly kept their old names while a few were given new Turkish names. The Sultan, realizing that the island needed human resources for labour, issued a firman which was sent to the Kadıs (local judges) of six Anatolian provinces: Karaman, Ichel, Bozok, Alaiye (Alanya), Teke (Antalya) and Manavgat. One in every ten families living in those provinces was ordered to transfer to the island, which meant a total of 5,720 families; at the end, only 1,689 families settled in Cyprus.[4]

According to the Register Book of 1581, there were plans to transfer 12,000 families, but eventually only 8,000 families were transported. In the following years, other Turkish families from Konya, Kirsehir, Chorum, Samsun, Chankiri, Eskisehir, Ankara, Darende and Ushak settled in the towns,[5]which were surrounded by fortified walls or had castles (Nicosia, Famagusta, Limassol, Paphos and Kyrenia), and in the deserted Latin villages.

Later the Anatolian settlers, who were mainly Turkmen artisans and villagers, intermingled with the Greeks of the island and cooperated with them in every field of life. Although the two communities belonged to different religions and had dissimilar ethnic distinctive features, they lived harmoniously, influencing each other as they worked side by side in the rural and urban areas.[6]In the course of 300 years of coexistence, during the Ottoman domination, some Christian Greeks converted to Islam in order to avoid high taxation. In some other cases, some Anatolian Moslems converted to Christianity.[7]Analysing the situation, Ronald C. Jennings wrote:

In the decades following the Ottoman conquest of Cyprus many of the island’s Christians converted to Islam.Contemporary observers and modern scholars have attributed that conversion to official compulsion, but no contemporary local sources substantiate that view except a few travelers embarrassed at the circumstances (as Venetians or Christians) who had no way of guessing how the new converts really felt. Although the level of conversion cannot be measured precisely, there are several indicators of its extent. In 1593-1595 32% of the adult male Muslims whose names and fathers’ names were cited as legal agents (vekil) were converts, as were 28% of those names as witnesses to legal cases and 41% of those named as instrumental witnesses. More than a third of such Muslims appearing in court at that time were converts. What the highest proportion ever reached was or when it was reached can only be conjectured, but obviously the intensity was temporary.[8]

There was another category of Cypriots, called Linobambaki that they were Crypto-Christians. This community of Cypriots was living in villages like Louroudjina (originally Laurentia), Potamia, Monagria, Ayios Sozomenos and some villages of Tylliria that were formerly estates of the Latins, who converted en masse to Islam.[9]Theodoros Papadopoullos gave an example of conversions from Christianity into Islam between 1825 and 1832, when in 16 villages, the percentage of the previously Christian population changed into a Moslem religion. By 1960, nine of them (Marki, Givisilin, Melounda, Kouklia, Sinda, Prastio, Malunda, Kantou, Platanissos) were all Moslem, two villages (Skoulli, Monagri) were all Christian, and the remaining five villages (Denia, Flasou, Palekithro, Syngrasi, Moniatis) had one third of their village population as Moslems.[10]

            Paschalis M. Kitromilides pointed out that the names of Christian Saints borne by several Turkish villages, especially in the Paphos and the Karpasia regions, offer a convincing indication of Islamization. These are the following Turkish Cypriot villages: in Paphos district, Ayyanni (Agios Ioannis), Aynikola (Agios Nikolaos), Ayyorgi (Agios georgios); in Limassol district, Aytuma (Agios Thomas); in Nicosia district, Aybifan (Agios Epiphanios); in Famagusta district, Ayharida (Agios Chariton); in Karpassia; Hirsofu (Agios Iakovos), Ayandroniko (Agios Andronikos), Ayistar (Agios Efstathios), Aysimyo (Agios Symeon).[11]Kitromilides notably wrote:

It should be made clear in this connection that this sort of evidence is not cited here in order to question the Turkish Cypriots’ Turkishness – which as is the case with modern national identity generally, has to do more with the states of consciousness and less with the ‘purity’ of ethnic origins.[12]

The Moslem identity of the Turkish Cypriots

After the conquest of Cyprus in 1571, the traditional Ottoman settlement system brought a new ethnological and cultural element to the island. The Anatolian Moslems had a different religion, language and culture than the island’s Christian population. The Latin Catholic Church did not oppress the Orthodox Christians anymore, and the Latins (Lusignans and Venetians) were allowed to stay in Cyprus if they would choose the religion of the conqueror, Islam, or the religion of the local Cypriot Orthodox people.[13]According to the Ottoman millet system, there were two millets in Cyprus. One was the Moslem millet and the other was the (Christian) Rum[14]millet. The Orthodox Christian Church and its Archbishop was responsible from the Christian population and later he was given the right to collect the taxes for the Ottoman governor. 

The Moslem community was mainlySunni-Islam following the Hanefi sect. There were a Muftü for religious affairs, a Chief Kadı appointed from Istanbul for judicial matters, and a Mulla as the deputy of the Ottoman Governor.  From 1571 up to 1839, when a legal reform (Tanzimat) was proclaimed, the Moslem sacred Sheri Law was applied for the Moslem population; the Sheri Laws derived mainly from verses of the Koran and from traditions of Prophet Mohammed. Sometimes the Orthodox Christians themselves applied to the Sheri Courts in order to solve their disagreements with the Moslems in Cyprus. The Anatolian settlers believed in Islam, but they were not all following strictly the Sunni sect; some followed other sufi orders. For example, the tanners in Nicosia had their own lodge, called “Ahi Revan Dede”, a kind of “lonca” (professional syndicate). 

Right after the Ottoman occupation of Cyprus in 1570, various Vakfs[15]were created for the assistance of the Moslem community in their religious, social and cultural needs. Since the Ottoman conquerer of Cyprus, Lala Mustafa Pasha, was a devotee of the Mevlevi order, a Tekke[16]was built in Nicosia, near the Kyrenia gate, soon after the conquest; the Mevlevi Tekke functioned until the beginning of the 1950’s. Another Tekke of the Jelveti order was built in Famagusta, which had a library founded by Kutup Osman Efendi, the Grand Şeyh of this order. Aziziye Tekke, within the municipality market of Nicosia, founded in the name of the Müftü of the Ottoman Army that conquered Nicosia in 1570, was following the Rifai order. C. F. Beckingham wrote in 1955:

The dervish orders, which still have secret adherents in Turkey, were not strong in Cyprus. At present there is one Mevlevi tekke in Nicosia. […] Most Cypriot Muslims would prefer to close the tekke and use its income for the repair of mosques, the payment of hocas and religious education. It is felt that the Mevlevi ritual has lost all religious significance and has become, as one Muslim said, ‘a floor-show for tourists’.[17] (The text continues with a new paragraph here)

Formerly other dervish orders had a few adherents. There were Qadiris in Nicosia at the time of British occupation and there was once a small Bektaşi community in Larnaca; these have now disappeared. In Turkey many of the dervish orders were, or became, xenophobe. Their comparative absence from Cyprus, doubtlessly, helped the spread of modern ideas. The general character of Cypriot Islam is liberal and tolerant, and in this the Mufti reflects the attitude of the community. The social changes associated with Ataturk’s revolution were introduced into Cyprus without encountering the opposition of mullas, as they did in some parts of Turkey. (17) [Is this your text or Beckingham’s text? Quoted from Beckingham, same article, word by word]

When the British occupation began in 1878, the administration of Evkaf (Moslem pious organization) was entrusted to two delegates; a British, and a Moslem Turk who was appointed by the “Sublime Porte” (Ottoman Empire). The annexation of Cyprus (1914) and the Treaty of Lausanne (1923) brought a change in the status of the island; when the post of the Turkish delegate vacated in 1925, after the death of Musa İrfan Bey, the appointment was made by the British authorities (Colonial Office), which was subsequently confirmed by a British Order-in-Council in 1928.[18]The Moslem members of the Legislative Council, led by Hacı Hafiz Ziyai Efendi, protested to the British colonial government and claimed that the Caliph should appoint the director of Evkaf, and that the Cyprus Kadı should be considered as the head of Evkaf.

Vedjhi Efendi, who was the Kadı of Cyprus, supported this thesis. Already in 1902, the governor of Cyprus informed the Kadı by telegram that the management of the Evkaf would be carried out by the Kadı of Cyprus; advocate Fadıl Korkut wrote that he was among the congregation when this telegram was openly read in the Agia Sophia Mosque in Nicosia. Vedjhi Efendi was not able to take the necessary steps to implement the transfer of administration to Evkaf, since he got a mental disease; eventually Hacı Hafız Ziyai Efendi withdrew from the Legislative Council and become the Müftü of Cyprus. The Turkish Cypriot delegate of Evkaf, Musa İrfan Bey, who was appointed in 1903, started to behave as the leader of the Moslem community by using his authority at the Evkaf. He also adopted a policy of allocating the Moslem memberships of the Legislative Council to the candidates of the Evkaf. He gave 10,000 pounds credit to the candidates from the Evkaf Treasure, but later there were difficulties to get the Evkaf money back.

When Numan Efendi was appointed to the post of Kadı of Cyprus in 1907, he demanded again to get the administration of Evkaf to his office. It was in this year, when Dr. Hafız Djemal Bey (Lokman Hekim) settled in his own country and started to publish a newspaper and more than 20 booklets for the enlightenment of the Turkish Cypriot community. He also opened his Cyprus Industrial School in Nicosia, where young boys were taught various handworks and they used to sell their products in the Friday Market. In the evening classes, people were taught foreign languages. But the reactionary circles fought against him until he left the island for good in 1909.  

A National Council (Meclis-i Milli) convened under the leadership of Müftü Ziyai Efendi on 10 December 1918 in order to raise the demands of the Turkish Cypriots in the Paris Conference, where the Greek Cypriots would participate. We read from its resolution that Müftü Ziyai Efendi was elected as the head of the millet (reis-i millet), defining the Müftü for the first time as the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community. But the British local government did not allow him to go abroad.

When the “Organization of Islam Community” (Cemaat-ı İslamiye Teşkilatı) was established in 1924, as the first political association of the Turkish Cypriots, it demanded that the administration of the Evkaf should be handed over to a commission to be elected among the community. There was no positive outcome and when Münir Bey was appointed as the Turkish delegate of Evkaf in 1925, after the death of İrfan Bey, the government had two delegates, instead of one. Evkaf should have been handed over to its real owner, the Turkish Cypriot community, but the Lausanne Agreement had already abolished the Cyprus Convention, which provided for the British Administration to appoint one of the Evkaf delegates.[19]

            In 1928, the Evkaf Department was established by a decree issued by the colonial government, which gave special privileges to the director of the department. After the Lausanne Agreement, the Evkaf properties in the Balkan countries and Palestine were to be administered by a commission and this was not done in Cyprus and therefore there was no say anymore on the administration of the Evkaf properties by the Turkish Cypriot community. On the other hand, the Greek Orthodox Church continued to administer the Church properties in Cyprus.

Starting from 1923, when the Republic of Turkey was declared, there was no Califdom and no Minister for Religious Affairs anymore in modern Turkey. The British Colonial Government abolished the post of Müftü, starting from 19 November 1928, and this was an important event, since the Moslem population had this institution since 1571. Instead of Müftü, the post of Fetva Emini was created under the Evkaf Department and Hürremzade Hakkı Efendi was appointed there. He was supporting the Kemalists and also made a meeting together with the teacher for replacing the Arabic alphabet with the Latin at the schools. Now the authority of the Evkaf director was reinforced and Münir Bey was regarded as the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community and was invited as such to the Royal Garden party in London in 1928.

The Sheri Courts were in a deplorable state, functioning in Cyprus as if the island was still in Ottoman 19th Century. In 1927, the Cyprus Courts of Justice Order-in-Council limited the jurisdiction of the Sheri Courts to strictly Moslem religious matters and provided for appeals from them to the Supreme Court. This was done in conformity with the view of a report prepared by three leading Turkish Cypriots, Münir Bey, M. Raif and M. Shevket. Cingizzade Mehmet Rifat wrote a series of open letters to the British Governor of Cyprus, between 10 December 1932 and 11 March 1933, in his newspaper Masum Millet for the modernization of the Sheri Courts, and the Inheritance Law, similar to the reforms made in Turkey since 1926, as well as the matters of Müftü and Evkaf. 

            In 1930, Münir Bey lost his seat at the Legislative Council to the Kemalist leader Necati Bey, who voted later in April 1931 against the Customs Tax Law together with the Greek Cypriot members. In May 1931, Necati Bey convened a National Congress, where a new Müftü was elected for the Turkish Cypriots, but this was not recognized officially by the colonial government. When the British appointed in 1951 Yakup Celal Menzilcioğlu, aged 72, as temporary Müftü from Turkey, his preaching was strongly criticized by the Kemalists of the Turkish Cypriot community; uncoincidentally, after six months the anti-Kemalist Menzilcioglu resigned and left Cyprus. Necati Özkan supported again another candidate from Turkey, Mahmut Kamil Toker, for the post of Müftü against the candidate of the National Party of Dr.Küçük, Dana Efendi. But Toker was forced to withdraw his candidacy before coming to the island and the only candidate from Paphos, Dana Efendi was elected on 30 December 1953 as the new Müftü of Cypriot Muslims.    

Religious Education

Eleven “Sibyan” schools were opened between 1571 and 1600 for the elementary education. In 1632 “Büyük Medrese” and in 1640 “Küçük Medrese” were founded for the young people, who wanted to acquire religious and legal knowledge. These schools were started by rich philanthropic Turkish Cypriots, who made vakıf for the financing of these institutions, therefore the schools were under the administration of the Evkaf. From the Vakf Registers, we can see that some of these philanthropics belong to religious orders that they appointed their own care-takers for these vakıf properties for financing their activities.[20]

The first modern secondary school (Rüştiye) was opened in 1862 and in 1897 the first modern gymnasium (İdadi) followed. In 1922, it was called “Sultani”, but after the foundation of Turkey, the name was changed into “Cyprus Turkish Lycee”. The British colonial government appointed in 1937 an English headmaster to the Lycee, Mr. Wood, who changed the name all of a sudden into “Cyprus Islam Lycee”. The Turkish Cypriot community could use the original name only in 1950, when a Turkish Cypriot Headmaster was appointed to the Lycee. In 1932 a Moslem Theological School was established by Münir Bey in order to replace the Büyük Medrese, which was demolished. Advocate Mehmet Rifat (Con Rifat), who was one of the supporters of the Kemalist populist movement, criticized in his newspaper Masum Millet [Innocent Nation] the establishment of a Theological School in Cyprus.

In the first year, there were only two students and three teachers. From 1932 until 1949, in 16 years, only 8 imams graduated from this school. To be exact, in addition, two persons, one coming from Solia and the other from Tilliria also took a short course. If we bear in mind that there were about 300 mosques over the island, the qualified imams were not over two dozens. Many mosques were without imams and prayers were officiated there only at great intervals, twice a year by qualified persons. This Moslem Theological School in Nicosia was closed in 1949.[21]

            The Interim Report on Turkish Cypriot Affairswas prepared in 1949 by exclusively Turkish Cypriot members, who collected data on all relevant subjects (Evkaf, Müftü, Family Laws, Sherie Couts, Schools) from official and non-official quarters, and five public meetings were held in all towns of the island other than Kyrenia. The Turkish Cypriot press gave also considerable prominence to its deliberations. Therefore, these recommendations had gained general approval and represented a fair reflection of the desires and opinions of the Turkish Cypriot community. Thus the Turkish Family Courts Law and Marriage and Divorce Law came into force in 1951 and later amended in 1954.[22]There were reactions by Şeyh Nazım Hoca, who published a leaflet “Family Law is contrary to the Sheria”, but he was attacked by Dr. Küçük in Halkın Sesi, on 25 May 1950. Another political opponent of Dr.Küçük, Necati Özkan, wrote a series of articles in his own newspaper İstiklal (28 May-11 June 1950). The Turkish Religious Head (Müftü) Law was enacted in 1953. It provided an indirect election, that the Turkish Cypriot community elected in 1954 Dana Efendi as the Müftü for the first time after 27 years. The transfer of the Management of Evkaf properties was made officially on 14 April 1956. The administration of the Turkish Cypriot schools was handed over to the Turkish Cypriot community on 9 June 1959. 

The traditional Turkish Cypriot mosques

After the conquest of the island in 1571, the Ottomans were impressed with the Latin cathedrals in Nicosia and Famagusta and they converted them into mosques by adding minarets and other Islamic elements. Besides these and other conversions, mosques were built by the Turks in various periods in Ottoman style. Those of architectural interest are Arabahmet, Sarayönü and Turunçlu in Nicosia, Seyit Mehmet Ağa and Hala Sultan in Larnaca, Haydar Paşazade Mehmet Bey in Lapithos, Cafer Paşa in Kyrenia and Camii Cedid in Limassol. The mosques in the villages have tiled roofs, carried by one or two rows of high arches, giving the interior a spacious atmosphere.[23]Most of the mosques in rural areas did not have minaret, because they were modest buildings for the villagers built by Evkaf. Some writers insist that they represent the Alevite sect in Cyprus; but they have nothing to do with the “Cemevi”, where the Alevites perform their rituals.

The Islamization of the northern part of the island

There has been a religious movement among the Turkish Cypriot community, which was mainly represented by Şeyh Nazım Hoca, a Turkish Cypriot follower of the Nakshibendi order, which was active especially between the years 1945 and 1949 and later in 1954. Those activities were well documented by one of his followers, Hüseyin Mehmet Ateşin, in his book Dr. Fazıl Küçük and Şeyh Nazım Kıbrısi, (İstanbul, 1997). The book reflected the ideological struggle between Dr. Fazıl Küçük, (who was supporting Kemalism and modern Turkey in Cyprus in his activities for winning the leadership of his community) and Nazım Hoca, (who was an anti-Kemalist.) The same writer wrote also the history of the Islamic Movement among the Turkish Cypriots in Kıbrıs’ta İslami Kimlik Davası [The case of Islamic Identity in Cyprus] (İstanbul 1996).[24]

Islamization activities of the occupied parts of the island started right after the invasion and the occupation in 1974. Churches were transformed into mosques in the main towns and villages. Religious propaganda went parallel with the increasing activities of the religious parties in Turkey. When Müftü Dana Efendi retired on 1 September 1971, his deputy, Dr. Rifat Mustafa was appointed as Müftü. The Turkish Cypriot Islam Association was founded already in 1971 with a publication of a fortnightly newspaper Her şeyde ve her yerde milli ve dini NİZAM [National and religious ORDER in everything and at everywhere], on 5 February 1971, which ceased its publication with issue 38 on 19 July 1974. Right wing and religiously oriented columnists from Tercüman newspaper, Ahmet Kabaklı and Ergun Göze, were invited to Cyprus in February 1974; it was a kind of revival of the Şeyh Nazım movement.

A second religious association “Cyprus Turkish Islam Cultural Association” was re-activated after 1974. One of its activities was a conference organized in Kyrenia in June 1977. The chairman of the Association accused the Turkish Cypriots as being “Gavur” (infidel to Islam): “Unless Islam disseminates now or in the future in Cyprus, they shall stay as Gavur as they are today”.[25] The insult provoked Dr. Fazıl Küçük to reply in a series of articles in his daily Halkın Sesi for five days, under the title “Tongues with spikes”. On 12 July 1977 he wrote:

They have given permission to those members from the Koran courses that are spreading across the island and they are practicing as imams and preachers. The administration should be more sensitive in their duties. […] We are embarrassed from the words of those, who came from mountain or forest villages. They don’t know how to walk properly on the street, with their wide trousers. They are chewing the sentence ‘You are bastards of the British, gavurs, without any religion’ and they passed the limits of tolerance. We don’t know what will happen and what will be the result, when there will be no tolerance for these curses. […] Our arms are open for the Ataturkist imams and preachers and we can share our bread with them. These associations have become hearths of disaster. These Islam associations should be closed without any further delay. Although everyone is free to open an association according to the constitution, but the government has the right to close them, when they engage in dangerous activities. […] There is no authority today, who will force them to withdraw their long tongues back into their mouth, who says ‘We shall make you, the gavur Turks, Moslem’.[26]

He further wrote that he had received a letter about the activities of Süleymanist missioners, who were employed by the Müftü Mustafa Rifat that they were teaching Arabic to the youth in Famagusta and giving conferences without getting permission in the villages, where they accused the Turkish Cypriots of not being religious enough. Halkın Sesireported one year later, on 11 August 1978, that Koran courses were organized in a mosque in Famagusta and the children were told not to watch TV, because it was a sin; small boys were not allowed to wear short trousers and they could not learn by heart to sing the prayers properly at the minarets.

The growth of mosques and Islam in occupied Cyprus

There were approximately 300 mosques in Cyprus before 1974. Many of them in the rural areas did not have minarets and between 1968 and 1974 minarets were built to some mosques like the ones at Krini, Fota and Agridi. At the end of 1991, there were 141 mosques in the occupied areas, but 58 of them did not have imams for performing the religious prayers. Βy 1999 the Department for Religious Affairs – with a personnel of 13 – employed 135 imams in all the mosques (only 5 of them were graduates of a Theological Faculty), plus 56 imams were appointed from Turkey. According to the official numbers, there were 199 mosques in the ‘TRNC’ at the end of 2012, excluding those in construction; in these mosques, 255 imam and muezzin were employed. Furthermore, there were another 103 imams, who were paid by the Turkish Embassy in Nicosia. Thus the total number of imams – including the three imams working in the southern part of the island – is 361 of whom only ten are are permanently employed while the rest are on a contact basis.[27]In 2014, there were 260 imams, who were paid from the budget of the Prime Ministry of the TRNC, but only 13 of them were on permanent staff- list. Another 120 imams received their salaries from the Turkish Embassy in Nicosia.[28]

Nine mosques were built between 1974 and 2002 in various towns and villages in the occupied areas with the finances of the Turkish Embassy in Nicosia. One of them is the big mosque, built in Anatolian style in Kyrenia in 1999 and it was named after Nurettin Ersin Pasha, the Turkish commander of the 1974 invasion forces. It was followed, in 2003, by another big mosque that was built in Famagusta and was named after Fazıl Polat Pasha, the Turkish commander who occupied Famagusta in 1974. In the summer of 2005, there were a total of 173 mosques and a budget of 3.5 million TL was allocated in order to build 12 new mosques. During the AKP government, starting with the year 2002, out of 39 newly built mosques, 37 were in occupied Greek Cypriot villages; they were all reduced-size copies of the big mosque built in Kyrenia, either with one or two minarets.[29]

The Turkish Cypriots perceive these Islamization activities with concern. For example the Trade Union of Turkish Cypriot Teachers (KTÖS) issued a statement and criticized the ongoing Koran courses and new schools for religious education:

There are 192 mosques in the TRNC, whereas there are 160 schools, 21 health centres and 17 hospitals. Each university wants to build a mosque and these plans increased the controversies. […] They say that they got permission from the Ministry of Education, but there are Koran courses ongoing in the mosques, without permission and controls. If the government does not have the power to control these places, they should resign.[30]

The Trade Union of the Turkish Cypriots Secondary School Teachers (KTOEÖS) protested for a teacher that was appointed from Turkey, at the Polatpaşa Lycee, because the pupils did not like the way he was teaching the lesson of “Religious Culture and Ethics”.[31] The parents’ association of the same school made a demonstration and criticized the Ministry of Education that there was no inspection how the teachers for religion perform their duties.[32]The chairman of KTOS, Semen Saygun, remarked that there were 2,000 pupils, who were participating at the Koran courses during summer season in 2012 while in 2015 the number increased to 5,000. She said that it was not pedagogically appropriate for the immature children to have these courses instead of playing games, resting or spending time with their own families.[33]

Turkish Cypriot reaction

The majority of the Turkish Cypriots does not like that that religious belief is mixed with politics in a show off and are against using religion for political purposes.  Therefore they do not approve mass propaganda for Islam, done by the various religious associations, mainly set up by Anatolian settlers and students. There have always been religious people among the Turkish Cypriot community, but they were in minority and not so fanatic. Some religious Turkish Cypriots formed in cooperation with Turkish settlers some political parties, which were based on religious programs, but they did not have any success: “Reform and Welfare Party” (1979), “Our party” (1998). When the followers of Şeyh Nazım convened on 22 December 1996 in Nicosia at a meeting under the name “Great Islam Congress”, Şeyh Nazım defined the Turkish Cypriot as “a different kind of human, who is clever and has many demonic ideas. There is a need to have someone, who can imprison the demon in a bottle. Those imams, who are sent from Turkey, do not know the Turkish Cypriots. I can convince millions, but in the last 60 years, I got tired of trying to convince this millet (of Turkish Cypriots)!”[34]

            Since the population of the Anatolian settlers is more than the local Turkish Cypriots in the occupied areas at the moment, religious events and activities are organized mainly for them by various associations and organizations that are financed by the Turkish Embassy in Nicosia or some reactionary Arabic countries, and enjoy the support of the ‘TRNC’ government. Last year the Evkaf distributed 5,000 packages of food, sent by the General Directorate of the Vakıfs in Turkey. During the Ramadan month, when the Moslems do not eat or drink anything during the daytime, 100,000 persons had the chance to have dinner on 14 meeting-points in various towns and villages, under the organization of the “Red Crescent Association of Northern Cyprus” with the support of the Turkish Embassy Aid Department in Nicosia. Since 2005, it has been a traditional event. Similar dinners were given also by the Evkaf Department, the Turkish Cypriot Islam Association and Universal Love and Brotherhood Association (ESKAD).[35]

            At the moment there are 600 students at the two theological faculties, one at the Near East University (YDU) and the other one at the University of Social Sciences [Sosyal Bilimler Üniversitesi], while another 800 pupils attend the Theological Colleges. Almost all of the students and teenage pupils are from Turkey who came to the occupied areas with scholarships while a small number are the children of the Anatolian settlers; the teachers are all coming from Turkey. The newly established Hala Sultan Theological College is part of the big complex with a boarding house, a large mosque, conference rooms and shops that will cost 80 million dollars. The Hala Sultan Mosque with its four tall minarets – a small replica of the Selimiye Mosque in Edirne – will be ready by 2017 at a total cost of 30 million dollars. Another large mosque with six minarets is being constructed at the Near East University and is expected to be completed by 2017.

            It is interesting to note that an Anatolian settler, professor Talip Atalay – also an unsuccessful AKP candidate at the 2015 general elections – who settled with his family in occupied Famagusta in 1975, when he was 7 years old, was appointed by Ankara, in 2010, as the Muftü of Cyprus. His employment as the Director of the Religious Affairs, was accompanied by the purchase of two Mercedes and three BMW cars for his Department, which caused criticism by the Trade Union “Hizmet-Sen” in the Turkish Cypriot press.[36]Talip Atalay, a professor of theology, represents the Turkish Cypriot community in its relations with the Cyprus Greek Orthodox Church and he is welcomed by the authorities of the Republic of Cyprus, although he is not a local Turkish Cypriot. The Anatolian settlers can visit now the Hala Sultan Tekke during Moslem Holidays. Since 2014, four such visits were organized with the participation of more than one thousand visitors in each time, comprising mainly of the Turkish citizens![37]

(Published in “EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN POLICY NOTE • No. 8 • 10 July 2016, Cyprus Center for European and International Affairs, University of Nicosia)

Dr Ahmet Djavit An, MD, is a historical researcher, activist and author of 24 books about the Turkish Cypriot political, religious, communal and social affairs. Among his books about the history of the Turkish Cypriots and the Cyprus Problem are: Kıbrıs’ta Fırtınalı Yıllar (1942-1962) [The stormy years in Cyprus (1942-1962)], (Nicosia: Galeri Kultur, 1996); Kıbrıs Türk Liderliğinin Oluşması: Dinsel Toplumdan Ulusal Topluma Geçiş Süreci (1900-1942) [The formation of the Turkish Cypriot leadership: the process of making a national community out of a religious community (1900-1942)], (Nicosia: Galeri Kultur, 1997); Kıbrıslılık Bilincinin Geliştirilmesi [Notes on the development of Cypriot awareness], (Nicosia: Galeri Kultur, 1998); Kıbrıs Nereye Gidiyor? [Quo Vadis Cyprus], (Istanbul: Everest, 2002); Küçük Adada Büyük Oyunlar: Kıbrıs’ta Ayrılıkçılık, Federal Çözüm ve AB Üyeliği [Big games on a small island: separatism, federal solution and EU membership of Cyprus], (Istanbul: NK Publishing, 2004); Kıbrıs Türk Toplumunun Geri Kalmışlığı (1896-1962) [The under-development of the Turkish Cypriot community (1892-1962)], (Nicosia: Shadi Publishing, 2006)

[1] Cengiz Orhonlu, The Ottoman Turks Settle in Cyprus (1570-1580), in Milletlerarası Birinci Kıbrıs Tetkikleri Kongresi (14-19 Nisan 1969) Türk Heyeti Tebliğleri, Ankara 1971, p.100

[2] Ibid, p.97

[3] According to the 1572 census 76 villages in the Mesaoria and Mazotos regions were empty: Cengiz Orhonlu, Milletlerarası Birinci Kıbrıs Tetkikleri Kongresi Türk Heyeti Tebliğleri, p.93. Quoting B. Sagredo in des Mas Latrie, Histoire De L’Ile de Chypre, III, Paris 1855, p. 542, Halil İnalcık wrote that “in 1562 there were 246 villages belonging to the State and were described as ‘Real’ while those belonging to the mobility and the Church numbered 567”: Halil İnalcık, Milletlerarası Birinci Kıbrıs Tetkikleri Kongresi Türk Heyeti Tebliğleri, p. 64.

[4] Cengiz Orhonlu, ibid, p.94

[5] Ibid, p.100

[6] Ahmet Djavit An, “Origins of Turkish Cypriots”, Cyprus Today, Vol. XLVI, No. 2, April-June 2008, pp.13-21.

[7] Letter of Mehmet Ziyai Efendi to Sublime Porte (“Bab-ı Ali” in İstanbul) dated 22 February 1910, quoted by Mustafa Haşim Altan, Kıbrıs’ta Rumlaştırma Hareketleri [Movements for Greek convertions in Cyprus), 2nd edn (Kyrenia: Milli Arşiv, 2000), pp. 9-10; also M. Nabi, “Nüfus Sayımı-2”, Hürsöz newspaper, 15 June 1947.

[8]Author’s emphasis; Ronald C. Jennings, Christians and Muslims in Ottoman Cyprus and the Mediterranean World, 1571-1640, New York University Studies in Near Eastern Civilization XVIII (New York: New York University Press, 1992), p. 137.

[9] Alkan Chaglar, Toplum Postası newspaper, London, 5 August 1981.

[10] Cyprus Today, July-December 1967 and January-March 1968.

[11] Paschalis M. Kitromilides, “From coexistence to confrontation: the dynamics of ethnic conflict in Cyprus”, in Cyprus Reviewed, ed. by Michalis Attalides (Nicosia: New Cyprus Association, 1977), pp 35-70 (37).

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ahmet An, ‘Changes in the ethnic and cultural structure of Cyprus after 1571’, in Kıbrıs Türk Kültürü Üzerine Yazılar [Articles on the Turkish Cypriot Culture]; (Nicosia: Ateş Matbaacılık, 1999), p.15.

[14] [“Rum” is related to Eastern Roman Empire and all the Greek speaking Orthodox Christians, who were living in Anatolia, were called as “Rum” in Turkish language. The Greek Cypriots used to be citizens of the Eastern Roman Empire, therefore they were called also as “Rum”, i.e. “Kıbrıslı Rumlar” (Rums of Cyprus).  For example, those Rums, who were living in the Black Sea region, were called as “Trabzonlu Rumlar” (“Rums of Trebizun”= Pontians). On the other hand, “Yunan” means (Ionian in Arabic) and it is used for a citizen of the state of “Yunanistan” (Land of Ionians= Greece) after 1829. Therefore the Greeks, living outside the boundaries of Greece, are called “Rum” as the ex-citizens of Eastern Roman Empire, not being the citizens of Greece.  Could you please explain in this footnote why the Christians in Cyprus were called Rum and not Υunan]

[15] Evkaf is a religious institution in Islam. The legal definition of Vakf (Evkaf is the plural of Vakf) is the tying up of the property for the sake of God and to earn the Divine Mercy, with ultimate imposition of interdiction on its transfer to persons contrary to the conditions of dedication. The term is equivalent of “dedication”.

[16] A Tekke (convent) is a place where Dervishes belonging to a cult used to stay and carry out their prayers and religious ceremonies. 

[17]  C. F. Beckingham, “Islam in Cyprus”, The Islamic Quarterly, vol. II, no. 2, July 1955, p. 140.

[18] M. Kemal Dizdar, “Cyprus Evkaf”, in Milletlerarası Birinci Kıbrıs Tetkikleri Kongresi, 14-19 Nisan 1969 Türk Heyeti Tebliğleri (Papers of the Turkish delegation to the First International Congress of Cypriot Studies) Ankara: 1971, p. 211.  

[19] Advocate Fadıl N. Korkut, 31 Mart 1947 tarihinde Kıbrısta Mevcut Türk Kurumları Namına Ekselâns Valiye Takdim Edilen Arizada Hükûmetten Talep Edilen Haklarımızdan 2ncisi EVKAF, Hür Söz Basımevi, (Lefkoşa), (Evkaf, The second of our rights, being demanded from the government in an application given to his Excellency the Governor in the name of the existing Turkish institutions in Cyprus on 31 March 1947, Hür Söz Printing House (Nicosia).

[20] Ali Süha, ‘Turkish Education in Cyprus’, in Papers of the Turkish delegation to the First International Congress of Cypriot Studies (Ankara: 1971), pp. 235-237.

[21] 1949 Interim Report of the Committee on Turkish Affairs [in Turkish], Nicosia 1950, p.70.

[22]Ahmet An, A Short Overview on the Past of the Turkish Law Institutions in Cyprus, Articles on Turkish Cypriot Culture, Nicosia, 1999, p.89.

[23] Hakkı M. Atun, “The Influence of Ottoman Architecture in Cyprus”, in Papers of the Turkish Delegation to the First International Congress of Cypriot Studies (Ankara: 1971), pp. 262-263.

[24] Ahmet An, “The role of religion in Turkish Cypriot community” (in Turkish), Kıbrıslı Turkun Sesi dergisi, 27 September 1996,; Ahmet An, “Religion and society in the 2000’s” (in Turkish), Kıbrıslı Turkun Sesi dergisi, December 1997, /01/2000li-yillarda-din-ve-toplum.html.

[25] Halkın Sesi, 11 June 1977.

[26] Dr Fazil Küçük, “Dikenli diller” [Tongues with spikes], Halkın Sesi, 12 July 1977, p. 1

[27] Havadis, 6 December 2012.

[28] Afrika, 18 August 2014.

[29] Mete Hatay, “‘Direniş’ Minarelerinden ‘Vesayet’ Minarelerine”, Afrika, 17 October 2014, p. 19.

[30] KTÖS Press release, Kıbrıslı, 5 August 2012.

[31] Yenidüzen, 29 December 2015.

[32] Kıbrıs, 16 February 2016.

[33] Kıbrıs, 11 July 2015. 

[34] Quoted by Ahmet An, Kıbrıs Türk Toplumunda Dinin Yeri [Place of Religion in Turkish Cypriot Society] Kıbrıslı magazine, 27 September 1996, no.14.

[35]  Kıbrıs, 18 June 2015.

[36] Afrika, 5 March 2014, p. 3.

[37] Kıbrıs, 11 December 2015.

  • July 23rd 2016 at 23:53



The Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi=AKP) has been in power in Turkey in the last 14 years and it has already made big steps forwards in order to legitimize the establishment of an Islamic State in Turkey. The Republic of Turkey was founded in 1924 by Kemal Ataturk and until 1990’s, Kemalism has been the state ideology of modern Turkey.  

The AKP originated from the religious movement, started by the National Order Party (MNP) of Necmettin Erbakan, who broke apart from the traditional right wing Justice Party (AP) in 1970 and started a separate political party in order to represent independently the political Islamism in Turkey. Erbakan’s political movement continued under various parties, which succeeded each other after the proscription of the previous one: National Order Party (1970-1981), National Salvation Party (1983-1998), Welfare Party (1983-1998), Virtue Party (1997-2001), Prosperity Party (2001-today). Those, who did not want to join the Prosperity Party, established the AKP on 14 August 2001 and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was the chairperson between 2003 and 2014.  The AKP won 34.28% of the votes in the general elections in 2002, 46.58% in 2007 and 49.83% in 2011. In June 2015, the AKP won 40.89% of the votes under its new chairperson Ahmet Davutoğlu, who could increase the percentage in November 2015 up to 49.50%. Davutoğlu was previously the Foreign Minister in Erdoğan’s cabinet and he initiated the so-called “Zero-problem with the neighbours” policy, which proved later to be an enemy maker policy for Turkey.    

The Islamic religious communities have been very active since 1973 in Turkey and the most influential one of them was Fethullah Gülen’s movement. Gülen supported Erdoğan’s AKP, starting from the general elections of 1994 until 2009. During the power of the AKP, the state apparatus was not anymore supporting the Kemalist principles of the founder of the Republic of Turkey. It was already under the influence of a Turkish-Islam synthesis, which could be defined as a kind of fascism with Turkish flavour. It is not only anti-communist and anti-democratic, but also anti-humanist and anti-enlightenment. The ideology of the AKP is oppressive and against the classic liberalism in the sense of political rights and freedoms.

After the military regime of 1980, the Turkish state establishment did not disturb the so-called “moderate” religious movement of Gülen, organized as companies, associations and foundations. The security bureaucracy of the Turkish State, like the Ministry of National Education and the Directorate of Religious Affairs were already indocrinated with the Turkish-Islam synthesis, as well as the Intelligence Services (MIT), the police and the army. It is not possible to find Kemalist persons anymore, working in the Ministries of National Education or Internal Affairs or among the Security Bureaucracy.  

Starting with the military ultimatum on 28 February 1997, the political Islam in Turkey took a neo-liberal course, which brought Turkey to participate in the Great Near East Project of the USA, to start relations with the EU, to implement the programme of the IMF and to privatize the big state enterprizes. The big monopolies of Turkey have accumulated a lot of capital during the power of the AKP and they bought almost all of the state properties and benefited from extraordinary subsidies.

According to a survey, done by the Ministry of Family and Social Policies, published at the beginning of 2013, Turkey is one of the countries at the top of the list with inequal division of national income. The division of national income is unjust and inequal. 95% of the households live below the poverty line (3.200 TL) and 60% live below the limit of hunger (1.200-1.000 TL). Out of 19.7 million families, the richest 100 were getting 30% of the national income with their wealth of 216 billion dollars. The income of the richest 10% of the population in Turkey is 12.6 times more than the 10% of the poorest population. According to the numbers from 2015, Turkey is the fifth OECD country after Mexico, Chile, USA and Israel and the first in Europe.

According to the study of Research Institute on Turkey, which was based on the Global Wealth Report of the Credit Suisse, the richest 1% of the population in Turkey, used to get 39.4% in 2002, but they got 54.3% in 2014. The remaining 99% got in 2002 60.6% of the total wealth, reduced to 45.7% in 2014.  Erdoğan’s family, alone, has accumulated in the last 10 year a wealth of 128 billion dollars, which makes 16% of the national income.

The Gülen Movement had 88 foundations, 20 associations, 128 private schools, 218 companies and approximately 500 boarding houses in Turkey. It was also well organized in the mass media with 17 newspapers and magazines, several TV and radio stations. The Gülen imperium, which is supposed to have the support of the CIA, has in 92 countries, approximately 500 elementary and secondary schools and 6 universities, plus many education and language centres. The movement educate more than 100.000 persons worldwide. The schools, which operate in the foreign countries, are all private and enroll the children of the middle and the upper classes.

In November 2013, Erdoğan decided to break his cooperation with the Gülen Movement and and get the whole power in his own hand in Turkey. Therefore he started by preparing a bill for the closure of the preparatory classes for the universities. This was a big challenge for his long-time collaborator, the Gülen Movement, which was recruiting young members to the movement through these preparatory classes for the universities. The “Zaman” daily newspaper of the Gülen Movement reacted strongly against this decision of the AKP government by saying that this was not done even during the Kemalist military regimes in Turkey. This was a big economic and political blow to the Gülen community, because 60% of all the preparatory classes (4.000 of them registered, 2.000 - 5.000 unregistered) belonged to Gülen Movement and 80% of the publishing materials for the preparatory classes.   

Gülen Movement reacted on 17 December 2013 by making some operations, where 80 persons were detained and  among them was an Iranian businessman, Rıza Sarraf, who sold the Iranian petrol during the years of embargo and gave the money back to his partner in Iran in gold.  The mass media was given some recorded telephone conversations about the corruption of four cabinet ministers, who were bribed by Sarraf. This ended up with their resignation on 24 December, because the sons of  Zafer Çağlayan, Muammer Güler, Erdoğan Bayraktar were involved. During the police operations, 4.5 million dollars were found, hidden in shoe-boxes in the house of the director of Halk Bank and a money-counting machine was found at the bedroom of Minister Güler’s son! Erdoğan Bayraktar told to the press that what he had done was according to the orders of Premier Minister Erdoğan! But he negated this statement later.  On 25 December 2013, a second operation for the arrest of 30 suspected persons for money laundering could not be realized, because the security forces did not implement the order of the state attorney. From that day on, the AKP started to restructure the legal system in Turkey with its own supporters. 

Later, the events on 17 and 25 December 2013 were seen as a civil coup d’Etat of Erdoğan, whereas the accused ministers should have been before court, in order to have a clarification, if they did something against the law or not, but the AKP stopped the legal procedure!

In January 2014, the MIT officers did not allow the state attorney to search lorries carrying guns and ammunition for the ISIL. The Minister for Internal Affairs stated on a TV programme that during 35 days, after the incident on 17 December, 5,000 policemen and many state attorneys were appointed to other posts. On 25 February 2014, another voice-recording was popular on the social media and Youtube which was recorded on 17 December 2013. The PM Erdoğan was informing his son, Bilal, about the police operation at the homes of the sons of some ministers and he told his son to get rid of the money, hidden at their own home. Bilal Erdoğan has been accused of involvement in illegal oil smuggling in Syria  and Iraq.

After the corruption scandals were made public, Erdoğan decided to abolish the court decisions on Ergenekon case and the similar ones, which made a big blow on the strength and authority of the Turkish Army. Now the Army was a reliable partner of Erdoğan, who wanted to avoid his cornered position.

The AKP was able to collect 44% of the votes in the local elections on 30 March 2014 and Erdoğan declared war on the Gülen Movement, which he defined as a “parallel state within the Turkish state.” On 12 June 2015, 37 judges and attorneys were expelled from their professions.  

Erdoğan started also a revenge attack on the Kurdish cities and people in South-Eastern provinces, where his party could not win, but the Democratic Party of the Peoples (HDP) was very successful. Erdoğan broke the alliance with the Kurdish movement, which costed 40.000 lives in 35 years and 6.000 people were killed only in 8 months time!

According to a report, prepared by the TU for Education Labourers (Eğitim-Sen), when the AKP came to power in 2002, the number of students attending 450  Imam Hatip schools were 71,100.  In the school year 2014-2015, the number of the Imam Hatip Schools was 1,017 with an increase of  90% to almost 750,000 children, aged between 10 and 18, or 9% of all students. (Hürriyet, 13 June 2015) Government officials, many of them former Imam Hatip pupils themselves, have since argued that the schools’ revival responds to demand by Muslim families, who felt discriminated against after 1997.

The Turkish Directorate for Religious Affairs, which employs 120.000 personnel, in a total of 84,684 mosques (, 18 June 2015), had a budget of  more than 3 billion Euros (6.5 billion TL) for 2016 and the whole amount, spent on religious activities between 2006 and 2015 makes a total of approx. 12 billion Euros. (, 27 January 2016) In the summer of 2015, more than 3 million children (4-6 year-olds included) went to Koran courses, organized in 60.000 mosques. More than 1 million visited other places than mosques for Koran education. 929 persons and many other associations and foundations organized 16.958 Koran courses in 2013-14. (Birgün newspaper, 31 March 2016)

In Turkey, there are 107,000 doctors and 1,250 hospitals, whereas there are 122,000 imams and almost 85,000 mosques. Every year only 9,000 doctors graduate, whereas there is a need of 105,000 doctors more. On the other hand, there are 122,000 imams and every year 60,000 imams graduate and they are in surplus. (Yılmaz Özdil, Sözcü newspaper, 8 January 2015)

The AKP is very happy with the majority of the media, including some 32 newspapers and 22 television channels, using them in order  to dominate the news coverage and attack on opposition parties. 

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu was forced to announce on 5 May 2016 that he was resigning as head of the ruling AKP and giving up the premiership. President Erdogan continued to concentrate the whole power of the state in his own hands and obedience to him within the AKP was openly praised as a virtue and required as a duty.

On the other hand, the country faced now serious challenges on the security and economic fronts. Turkey failed to protect the city of Kilis on the border with Syria, where ISIS attacks with missiles that took lives of 21 people, including eight Syrian refugees, and wounded scores of others. Many buildings have been devastated. One columnist wrote that Kilis is a clear testimony to Turkey’s powerlessness in its ambition to be recognized as a regional power.

Erdogan and his party AKP are among the major actors in the ordeal that Syria has been going through since 2011, alongside with Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Erdoğan strives to assume the leadership of the Sunni masses of the Middle East and return to Turkey the glory of its Ottoman past. This is one of the reasons why the AKP government supported ISIL until very recently and continue to support other Islamist groups fighting against the Assad regime in Syria, where he flamed the hatred of war between the Sunni and the Alevi. The Alevites are a minority denomination in Islam and they are closer to the Shia than the Sunni. The AKP does not have good relationship with the Alevites in Turkey. Another problem for the AKP government is the formation of the Kurdish cantons on the Syrian border. The USA asked Turkey to cleanse the line Cerablus-Azez from the ISIL, but Erdoğan does not want that the Syrian Kurds would put these areas under their control. Russia and Syria prefer the Kurdish authority rather than the ISIL.

The relationship between Turkey and Russia have deteriorated significantly since 24 November 2015, when a Turkish fighter jet shot down a Russian warplane in Syria. Russia declared economic sanctions against Turkey and the trade between the two countries contracted 25% in 2015. Since the beginning of 2016, Russia has put restrictions on the supplies of vegetables, fruits and other goods from Turkey and these restrictions included also a ban on hiring of Turkish citizens. It is estimated that the embargo could cost the Turkish economy more than 3 billion dollars.         

Erdoğan does not act as an independent President, but continue to govern the AKP as its leader, getting involved in goverment affairs and breaching the Constitution, which is punishable with life-long imprisonment. He should have cut his relationship with his AKP on the day he was elected as President. On the contrary, he succeeded the resignation of the Premier Minister, who won the elections with 23 million votes. Erdogan intervened also the internal party affairs of the oppositional National Movement Party (MHP) in order to secure the continuation of the party’s support for his power. 

The new chairperson of the AKP, Binali Yıldırım, who would be the Prime Minister of Turkey, is a well-known close friend of Erdoğan and one of the founders of the AKP in 2001. He was appointed to the Ministry of Transport in 2002 and served the longest term in the history of Turkey at that post. During his term of office, a lot of corruption allegations were published in the media and many state enterprizes were sold cheaply under the guise of privatization. Yıldırım’s family owns 17 companies, 28 cargo-ships and 2 super-yachts, but others allege that the real number of ships are higher than this. Now that Erdoğan has a puppet Prime Minister, he would try to get rid of the MP’s of the Democratic Party of the Peoples (HDP) in the Turkish Grand National Assembly by removing their immunity, nut not those from his own party, AKP. The Republican People’s Party (CHP) has lost its Kemalist ideology on one hand and takes a nationalist position in the Kurdish question like the MHP. Erdoğan is now a monarch!  


(Published in IN DEPTH bimonthly electronic newsletter • Volume 13 Issue 3 • June 2016
© 2016 Cyprus Center for European and International Affairs • University of Nicosia)

  • July 17th 2016 at 22:02



During the mediaeval period, the Pedios river used to run in the middle of Nicosia. When the Venetians decided to build the walls surrounding the town in 1567, the river’s bed was diverted for strategic reasons outside the walls, following its present course through the Greater Nicosia. The old river-bed within the present city walls from Paphos Gate to Famagusta Gate was covered in 1882 by the British in order to serve as the city’s principal drainage system. This line follows today’s Paphos Street and the Ermu Street, which were both lively centres for trade. There were four bridges on this river-bed: First one was near the Paphos Gate, the second was at the place, where we call now Lokmadji Gate, the third was at the junction, where the Goldsmithstreet near the Municipality Bazaar crosses the Tricoupis Street and this was called Köprübaşı (Head of the Gate) and the fourth one was at Tahtagala Neighbourhood.   

At the time of the Ottoman conquest of Nicosia in 1570, the town was originally divided into 12 neighbourhoods and the 12 generals in command of the divisions of the Ottoman Army, which conquered the island, were posted to these neighbourhoods, so that the names were said to be derived from these 12 generals, like Arab Ahmet Paşa, İbrahim Paşa and Mahmut Paşa.

Later the old city Nicosia was divided into 24 neighbourhoods. Each neighbourhood was organized around a mosque or a church, where mainly the respective Moslem and Christian communities lived. It was natural to have a church near a mosque or mesdjit and the hodja’s call for the prayers could get mixed with the sound of the church bells. For example behind the Dükkanlarönü Djami on the Paphos Street, there were the Armenian and the Catholic Churches or the Ayios Loucas Church was near the Akkavuk Mesdjit. Near the Phaneromeni Church was the Araplar Mosque, which was used until 1951.  

In some neighbourhoods, the majority population were Turkish Cypriots and in the others the Greek Cypriots. In the Arab Ahmet and Karamanzade neighbourhoods, the Armenian Cypriots were the majority. Almost all of the Nicosians were living mixed, in other words the Mohammedans or the Turkish Cypriots and the Christians or the Greek Cypriots and the other ethnicities used to live as neighbours side by side.

In the census of 1946, the population of Nicosia was 34,485 and in this census report, the distribution of the population was given for the first time not as “Moslems” and “non-Moslems”, but according to their ethnic origins, such as Turks, Greeks, Armenians, Maronites etc.

In 1946, there were 10,330 Turkish Cypriots, 20,768 Greek Cypriots and 3,387 persons of ethnic origin living in Nicosia.

Population in Nicosia in 1946

Neighbourhood                      Christian         Moslem           Others            Total

1. Abdi Çavuş                         74                    799                  29                    902

2. Akkavuk                             107                  1094                1                      1202

3. Arab Ahmet                       576                  846                  1195                2617

4. Aya Sofya                          632                  1239                65                    1936

5. Ayii Omoloyitadhes           1678                9                      123                  1810

6. Ayios Andreas

    (Tophane)                           2224                152                  636                  3012

7. Ay.Antonios                        2045                   7                    38                    2090

8. Ay.Ioannis                          1375                  57                    4                      1436

9. Ay.Kassianos

      (Kafesli)                            1061                115                  1                      1177

10. Ay.Loucas                         263                  536                  7                      806

11. Ay.Savas                          1211                39                    16                    1266

12. Haydar Paşa                     45                    334                  6                      385

13. İbrahim Paşa                    650                  1539                145                  2334

14. Karamanzade                   124                  61                    412                  597

15. Chrysaliniotissa                865                  29                    7                      901

16. Korkut Efendi &

      İplik Pazarı                       116                  232                  208                  556

17. Mahmut Paşa                    61                    713                  101                  875

18. Nöbethane                        438                  19                    63                    520

19. Ömerge                             917                  249                  27                    1193

20. Phaneromeni                    1065                10                    13                    1088

21. Tahtakale                          902                  518                  13                    1433

22. Tabakhane                         701                  20                    36                    757

23. Tripiotis                            2982                27                    238                  3247

24. Yeni Cami                          656                  1686                3                      2345

Total:                                      20,768             10,330             3,387               34,485

Within the walls:                    24,967

Outside the walls:                    9,518 in quarters like Köşklüçiftlik (part of Arab Ahmet Neighb.), Yeni Kapı (New Gate-part of Yeni Djami N.) and Yeni Şehir (Neapolis-part of Ibrahim Pasha N.).

In the outskirts of  the old city Nicosia, there were 9 villages, where a total of 18,839 persons were living. These villages were Ayios Dhometios (Incirli), Eylenje, Hamit Mandraları, Büyük Kaymaklı, Küçük Kaymaklı (Omorphita), Ortaköy, Pallouriotissa, Strovolos and Trakhonas (Kızılbaş).

(Source: Report by D.A.Percival, Cyprus: Census of Population and Agriculture, 1946, Report and Tables, London 1949)


Arab Ahmet neighbourhood was the most prestigious residential area of Nicosia, where the Turkish high-ranking officials and the Kadis and the Pashas had their homes. First of all it was near the old Ottoman Saray (previously Lusignan palace) and easy for the high-ranking officials to go to their work on foot. Secondly it was the coolest place in the evening during the summer. Because it could get the best of the evening breeze, coming from the west, from the direction of the Morphou Bay into the Mesoira plane.

When the Turks arrived, they confiscated the houses, the churches and the other properties of the Latins and settled mainly in the towns and in the empty Latin villages. The Greek Cypriots, the Armenians and the Maronites continued their living in their traditional quarters of the towns and the villages.

The Armenian Cypriots did not like the Latins and it was recorded that they opened the Paphos Gate and helped the Ottoman soldiers to enter into Nicosia during the siege of the town on 9th September 1570. Later the control of the Paphos Gate was given to the Armenians as a gift, together with the Benedictine Monastry, which was used by the Latins. With a special firman of the Ottoman Sultan, the Armenians could use for their religious services both the Monastry and the Church near the Paphos Gate.

Many other Armenians, who escaped from the massacre in Anatolia, settled in the Arab Ahmet neighbourhood and lived there until the inter-communal troubles of 1963, when they were forced by the TMT, the Turkish Cypriot fascist organization, to leave to the south of the Green Line.

Since most of the Armenians, who came from Anatolia could speak the Turkish language, they preferred to live side by side with the Turkish Cypriots, using the same language. The Armenians were known as tradesmen and they were famous especially in the fields of jewelry, tailory, photography and carpet-selling.

During the Ottoman period, the Lusignan Palace in Sarayonu Square was taken over by the Turkish governor of the island and until the British demolished it in 1905, one could see its last remains. The British built there in 1901 the present Law Courts. The only remains of this Lusignan Palace is a unique carved window in Gothic style, common to cathedrals in the 15th century, which is kept now in the Lapidary Museum near Ayia Sophia Mosque.

Until the inter-communal troubles started in 1956, there were a lot of law offices around the Nicosia Sarayonu Law Courts, belonging to the famous Greek Cypriot lawyers like John Clerides, the father of Glafkos Clerides. The Nicosia main police station was also near Sarayonu Square during the British rule.


Tophane was another prestigious neighbourhood, where Turkish, Greek and Armenian Cypriots used to coexist together with the Latins. Tophane means literally in Turkish the cannon’s house or the store for artillery ammunition. The mediaeval building near the Paphos Gate, Casteliotissa, was originally a part of the second Royal Palace of the Lusignans and it was used as a munitions-store by the Ottomans. Tophane gave the name of the nearby neighbourhood.

The Turkish Cypriot writer Hizber Hikmetagalar describes in his book “Heighbourhoods and Memories from old Nicosia” some Turkish and Armenian families from the Tophane neighbourhood, where Turkish Cypriots, Greek Cypriots, Armenians and Latins were living side by side until 1950’s.

In September 1945, the Ottoman name of the Tophane neighbourhood was changed into Ayios Andreas. The nearby small neighbourhoods of Tabakhane and Nöbethane were abolished and attached to the Ayios Andreas neighbourhood, which after this had two muhtars, a Turkish Cypriot and a Greek Cypriot.

The Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Yankı wrote that a new church was to be built further to that neighbourhood near the Pedios river and Ayios Andreas would be the name of this church. Yankı was complaining on 17 September 1945 that there were Turkish Cypriot villages in Paphos district with the names of the Christian saints, like Ayios Nicholas, Ayios Yannis and that these names were never tried to be changed by the Turkish Cypriots. The daily Halkın Sesi reported on 16 October 1945 that all the three Turkish Cypriot members of the Nicosia Municipality Council gave a protest letter about this alteration to the Nicosia Commissioner on 15 October 1945, to be handed over to the British Governor.

The columnist Yavuz wrote in Halkın Sesi on 19 Ekim 1945 that the name of the Alemdar (Bairaktar) Street, used for 370 years, had been changed previously into Tricoupis Street. Hasan Fahri Uzman wrote on the same issue in Yankı newspaper on 29 October 1945 that the name of a historical Turkish neighbourhood was changed with the stroke of a pencil and that the British still use the Tophane as a store for armaments, which gave the name to the neighbourhood.

Ouzunian was the only Armenian street name in the Tophane neighbourhood. When Dikran Ouzunian bought the garden of a Turkish Cypriot, named Hadji Sofu, he parcelled the garden. The new street passing through the plot was given after his name. Nearby was the Tophane Mesdjidi.

No Turkish Cypriot was living in this neighbourhood after 1960 and the last Turkish name of the Tophane Mesdjidi Street, which was mainly resided by the Turkish Cypriots, was changed into Granikou Street after 1963.

Nöbethane was the headquarters of the Ottoman soldiers, patrolling the town. Until he died in 1956, Hodja Salih Efendi used to open the Nöbethane Mesdjit at the corner of the Pygmalion (previously Çizmeci) Street and the Paleon Patron Germanou (previously Usta Kadi) Streets. Artemis Street was previously called Nöbethane Street. Several shops were built in the garden of the mesdjit, hiding the main building behind them.

Tabakhane (the tannery) Mesdjit was on the Pericleus Street (previously Kalkancı Street), where Musa Nami Efendi used to live. He was a Turkish Cypriot village judge and one of the founders of the Nicosia Turkish Bank. His son Şevket Nami was also a village judge, later a tradesman on the Ledra Street as the general distributor of many trademarks for Cyprus like Quink, Parker, His Master’s Voice, Singer and Hilmann. Musa Efendi’s other son, Reşit Nomer was a judge in Istanbul. His daughter Nezire Hanım lived in their family house in the Pericleous Street until she died in 1960, as the last Turkish Cypriot, living in this neighbourhood.

Famous Turkish Cypriot tanners, who used to work at the tannery and live nearby within the walled city at the Tabakhane Neighbourhood, were Hallumazade Tabak Hacı Salih Ağa, Tabak Hacı Mehmet Bektaş Efendi, Debbağ Fellah Efendi, Tabak Emin Efendi (Grandfather of Kemal Rustem) and Tabak Mulla İsmail Ağa. Pharmacist Hasan Hilmi Bey, who was the father of Mrs. Şefika Durduran, used to live in the Megalu Aleksandru (Ahmet Efendi) Street. Old police chief Ali Raci Bey had to move to Izzet Efendi Street near Ayia Sophia, because his children were being harassed by the Greek Cypriot boys. He was the next door to Prof. Dervish Manizade’s home, whose family were living also in the same Vasilis Vulgaroktonou (Behçet Efendi) Street.

The famous bar of Antonaki was also on this street, serving all the ethnic communities of Nicosia like the other well-known bar, which belonged to the Armenian Cypriot Gamavor.


Tannery was a traditional Turkish artisanship and the working place was just outside the Paphos Gate. After the British took over the administration of the island in 1878, they decided in 1890’s to move the tannery away from the town, to Köşklüçiftlik (old name was Tabana=Tabakhane), near the Pedios river. Later, when Koskluciftlik was populated with Turkish and Armenian houses, starting from 1930 onwards, the tannery was moved to another place near Piroyi village in 1953.

The site of the original tannery near Paphos Gate, which was Evkaf property, was turned into a public garden by the Nicosia Municipality, according to a proposal of the then British Delegate of Evkaf. Later this garden became the most popular and respected place for strolling Nicosians. When the Nicosia General Hospital was built in 1925 on a nearby plot, the importance of the Public Garden grew. There was a wooden pergola in the middle of the garden. Every Sunday the police band would give an open air concert under this pergola and the people used to go and listen to them as a weekend entertainment.

According to an article published in Hürsöz of 19 July 1953 under the title “Ahirevan Dede?”, the  grave of the master of the old tanners was kept in the Public Gardens until the beginning of the 1950’s. This grave, which was supposed to belong to a certain “Vah Veli” (like the Grandfather Ahirevan-Shieh of the Tannery Guild), used to be visited by the newcomers to the profession as a respect. The Hürsöz writer was complaining that some Greek Cypriots hanged a picture there and started to call this grave as “Ayios Dimitrios”. He called the Evkaf Administration to take action against the decision of the Municipality Council, headed by the Greek Cypriot nationalist Dr. Dervis that changed the name.


Tahtakale is the neighbourhood, near the Famagusta Gate. The Ottomans named it as “Taht-el-kale”, meaning the lower part of the fortress, i.e. Famagusta Gate. But the word was corrupted as “Tahtakale or Tahtagala”, meaning wooden fortress. The street going from the gate to the west was called Çarşı (Market) Street, now the Ammohosto Street.

Tahtakale was one of the biggest mixed neighbourhoods of Nicosia with a population of 518 Turkish Cypriots and 902 Greek Cypriots. Now the only sign of this coexistence is the Tahtakale Mosque and the Koran School, which were built in 1826 by the Ottoman Governor Es-Seyyid Mehmet Ağa, at the same place of the old mosque. There were also a small graveyard and a koran school for the minors, which had its first teacher appointed in 1594. The Evkaf Administration built shops on the site of the graveyard in the 1950’s. In 1881, there was a fountain near the mosque, which Salvatore draw a picture of it, but it did not survive today. The original minaret was cracked in 1936 and it was rebuilt in 1948.

Hasan Karabardak Ağa was one of the most popular personalities of Tahtagala neighbourhood, where several Turkish Cypriot butchers and cattle-dealers used to live. Karabardak was one of the rich Turkish Cypriots, who were imprisoned during the First World War in the Kyrenia Castle, because they were accused of helping the Germans.

The imam of the Tahtagala Mosque was Ratip Efendi until 1935. He was the father of Ahmet Ziyaeddin Bey, the owner of first Turkish Cypriot macaroni factory. The signboard-maker Cahit Usta was the son of Ahmet Efendi, the muezzin of the Tahtagala Mosque. In front of the mosque was a Greek Cypriot businessman, making gyps-powder out of the baked gyps masses. Behind his shop was the mosaic factory of Pittarilli, that had its entrance from the Ermu Street. The first Turkish Cypriot cheese producers, Ahmet and Hüseyin Efendi brothers, were also among the well-known inhabitants, that had later their workshop in Kaimakli.

The Turkish Cypriots living in the Tahtagala neighbourhood were forced to leave their home twice, in 1958 and in 1963. That is why the younger generations do not remember Tahtagala as a Turkish Cypriot settlement.


In the southern part of Nicosia and again near the Archbishopric there is another neighbourhood, called Omeriye with a population of 249 Turkish Cypriots and 917 Greek Cypriots in 1946. The Omeriye Mosque was the second biggest Christian place of worship after Ayia Sophia Cathedral in Nicosia, which was turned into a mosque by the Ottomans after the conquest of Nicosia. It was believed that Chalif Omer prayed in the sofa of this Chapel of St.Marie des Augustin. After the conquest, Lala Mustafa Pasha turned it into a mosque.

The last muhtari and muezzin of Omeriye Mosque was Ahmet Seyfi Efendi, who was addicted to snuffing. His daughter, Peyker Hanım was killed by the EOKA fighters, who asked from her a glass of water and as she went to bring it, she was shot from behind.  

The Omeriye Mosque, which has two balconies like the one in Peristerona, is used today by Moslems other than the Turkish Cypriots and the Turkish Bath Omeriye is renovated and is used as a tourist attraction that won a Europa Nostra Prize. The street near the hamam was called Soutsos Street,which was out of bounds as there were borthels, where Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot women were serving the men from both communities. Karannaki was famous helping the youngsters with his syringe after their visits to the borthels. 

Among the Turkish Cypriot big landowners in this neighbourhood, we can name Galip Bey, the shopkeeper; Ata Dayanç, the manifacturer; Ali Riza Efendi, the tradesman; Osman Mısırlızade and others.


The Women’s Bazaar was on the east side of the Makri Dromo (Uzun Yol) which is called today Ledra Street and it used to convene on every Friday. It was established in 1850 by the Ottoman governor of Cyprus, Mehmet Ali Pasha, whose aim was to promote the trade within the island. He also established the weekly “Animal Bazaar” outside the Kyrenia Gate. It was originally convened every September for fifteen days and the villagers from far villages used to bring their animals to be sold there. There were also people coming from the neighbouring countries to buy animals and to shop in the Women’s Bazaar. (Ses, 26 February 1937, No.:82)

According to Kevork K.Keshishian, the courtyard of the extensive square block of shops and offices within Ledra, Liperti, Phaneromeni and Nicocles Streets, which belonged to the Phaneromeni Church, was used as Women’s Market. This area was known as the Garden of Orta Odası with a Persian well in the middle (alakadi in Greek and dolap kuyusu in Turkish). The owner lived in Istanbul and in 1893 the Phaneromeni Church Committee bought the place for 1100 Ottoman pounds through the intermediary of Michali Papadopoulos of Istanbul.


Many Greek Cypriots used to live in this neighbourhood around the Ayios Loucas Church in the northern part of Nicosia until the first inter-communal clashes in Nicosia in 1956. Ayios Loucas Church was dedicated to St.Luke and was built in 1758 in dressed limestone during the Ottoman period.

18th October was the day of festivities in the name of  Ayios Loucas, which was the most famous fair (panayiri) within the walls of Nicosia. A four-day- and- four- night-fair was organised annually in honour of Ayios Loucas, during which local products and seasonal fresh fruits and dried fruits, almonds and walnuts were sold, together with delicious shamishi and lokmades. The sweets, called pastellis, were brought in wooden boxes from Kazafani and the sudjuko, paluze and koefteri from the villages of Paphos.

However, by 1956, when the EOKA and later the TMT intensified their terror activities, the Greek Cypriot inhabitants of the Ayios Loucas neighbourhood were forced to leave their homes and also the church was evacuated. The Ayios Loucas Church remained in ruins until it was restored in 1986 and it was allocated to the Turkish Cypriot Folklore Association (HASDER).  


After the attack of the EOKA on the Turkish Cypriot villagers in Vasilia and the killing of a Turkish Cypriot policeman, who was chasing two EOKA fighters, the inter-communal violence intensified. On 27th April 1956, the Turkish Cypriot newspaper Halkın Sesi wrote in its main title the following:

“Curfew was declared and applied in Nicosia yesterday afternoon from 5 o’clock until 4 o’clock this morning... During the 11 hours of curfew, the town was divided into North and South Nicosia, like East and West Berlin. The street from Paphos Gate until the Famagusta Gate remained closed at all.”

Halkın Sesi wrote in its edition on 28th April 1956:

“The Greek Cypriots, who had their homes, offices or shops in the Turkish neighbourhoods, have started to look for places in the Greek Cypriot neighbourhoods, so that they could abandon their previous dwellings.”

Bozkurt daily newspaper wrote on 3rd June 1957 about the first step of the partition policy of the Turkish Cypriot leadership: “Yesterday, after a meeting of the Cyprus is Turkish Party, the Turkish Cypriot councillors in the Municipalities of Nicosia and other districts gave up their resignations all together.” 

Bozkurt reported on 24th June 1958 that Dr.Tahsin S.Gözmen was named by the T/C leadership as the Turkish Cypriot mayor of the Turkish Cypriot Municipality of Nicosia. The others were named later.

Then came the TMT provocations, when the Turkish Information Centre of the Turkish Consulate in Nicosia was bombed by the TMT on 7th June 1958, after which the Greek Cypriot properties and houses were attacked and put on fire in the mixed neighbourhoods by the Turkish Cypriot terrorists. This was followed on 12th June by the Gönyeli provocation of the British police, where 8 Greek Cypriots were killed.

In June 1958, 600 Greek Cypriot families were forced to leave their traditional neighbourhoods, where they used to live side by side with the Turkish Cypriots. The grocery shops of the Greek Cypriots in the municipality market near the Ayia Sophia Mosque were looted by the Turkish Cypriot terrorists and on 26th June 1958 the municipal market was left to the Turkish Cypriot sector of the divided municipality by the British colonial government.  

The partition line of Nicosia, drawn two years ago in 1956, was running through the Paphos, Ermu and Famagusta Streets and the same line was used in summer 1958 in order to divide the Turkish Cypriot and the Greek Cypriot sector of  Nicosia with the barbed wires, which left the people from either community to the mercy of the other. This so-called Mason-Dixon line was used originally in 1767, because of the border disagreement between the States of Maryland and Pennsylvania in the USA.

It was the same line used again as the basis for the Green-line drawn by a green pencil in December 1963 during the inter-communal clashes. As you know the line dividing Nicosia, which was about 4 miles long (6.4 km) was extended through the whole island along the 180 km. in the summer of 1974, completing the imperialist partition plan of the Anglo-Americans.    


1. An, Ahmet, The Values Cyprus Cultivated, Volume: 1 (1782-1899), Ankara 2002 (Turkish)

2. An, Ahmet, The Political History of the Turkish Cypriots (1930-1960): The Forgotten Political

    History of the Turkish Cypriots and the Struggles for the Leadership in the Mirror of the Press,

    Nicosia 2006 (Turkish)

3. Gürkan, Haşmet M., Nicosia of Yesterday and Today, Nicosia 1989 (Turkish)

4. Hikmetağalar, Hizber, Eski Lefkoşa’da Semtler ve Anılar, İstanbul 1996 (Turkish)

5. Keshishian, Kevork K., Nicosia, Capital of Cyprus, Then and Now, Nicosia 1978

6. Kyrris, Costas P., Peaceful Co-existence in Cyprus under British Rule (1878-1959) and

    after Independence: An Outline, Nicosia 1977


(This paper was read at the conference, “Nicosia: The Last Divided Capital in Europe”, organized by the London Metropolitan University on 20th June 2011)

  • April 29th 2016 at 08:38



Nowadays almost half of the world’s population lives in the countries, where the constitution and the structure of the state are federal. If we put aside the socialist federalism, implemented in the former socialist countries (e.g. the USSR, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia), the bourgeois federalism is being implemented today in 28 developed and developing countries.

Especially after the Second World War, the former colonialist countries like Great Britain and France practised a new policy of federalism. In this new period of the capitalist general crisis, this federalization of the colonies was realized by bringing federative elements into the constitution of those countries and by making detailed legal arrangements. Through this, the possibility of influencing the character, the structure and the form of the new states, which were about to become independent soon, emerged as an element of the new colonialism. The aim of this new strategy of the imperialist powers was to keep the old colonial territories under their sphere of influence as long as it was possible and to protect their economic and strategic interests under the specific conditions of each region.[1]

  As it will be remembered, this policy was tried to be practised under “self-government” in Cyprus in 1948, but it was not successful, because of the ambition of the Greek Cypriots for enosis[2]. It was in the same year, when the radio monitoring facilities of the British and the Americans were transported from the Middle East to Cyprus[3] and the Great Britain spent 50 million pound sterling for the construction of the two military bases at Dhekelia and Akrotiri villages in Cyprus.

 There are enough archieval material in Claude Nicolet’s book “United States Policy Towards Cyprus, 1954-1974” about the strategic interests of the USA and Great Britain on the island of Cyprus[4]. Both countries have used the policy of “divide and rule” in the past and today. The British are still willing to keep their “sovereign base areas” on Cyprus[5] and the Americans are still willing to keep under security their communication facilities on the island, which they have been using since 1949.[6]

  Prof. Nihat Erim, who was teaching Inter-state Law and Constitutional Law in the University of Ankara, was asked in 1956 by Turkish Prime Minister Adnan Menderes to prepare a report on the Cyprus issue and to help the government in shaping the Turkish policy on Cyprus. Erim was also informed by Menderes that a retired American general, who was a friend of President Eisenhower, was sent to Ankara and he suggested partition, which was accepted as positive.[7]

  Prof. Erim’s first report to the Turkish government had the date of 24 November 1956 and he underlined: “The optimum form of solution is partition of the island of Cyprus. The idea of partition was discussed between the governments of Turkey, Greece, England and America in some secret, official or semi-official negotiations… In view of the probability of the acceptance of the partition proposal, authorized experts should determine as of today how Cyprus would be partitioned, so that it would serve the benefit of the Turkish population in the island and also to the military and economical aspect.” [8]

   We already know that there was an American expert on geography, Dr. Alexander Melamid of the New York University, who was sent to Cyprus after the USA warned England that the threat of communism was increasing in Cyprus. Dr. Melamid made a field research on the island and published his findings in the “Geographical Review” journal in July 1956 under the title “Geographical Distribution of the Communities in Cyprus”[9] The same expert published another article in March 1960 under the title “Partitioned Cyprus: A class study in applied political geography”, proposing two lines for the division of the island, the first one dividing the island as northern and southern parts and the other as eastern and western parts.[10]

  In June 1956, the US President Eisenhower asked his Foreign Minister Dulles during a meeting if it is possible to put an end to the conflict by partitioning the island, shifting the Turkish Cypriots to the northern part?[11] When the US President met British Prime Minister Macmillan in March 1957 in Bermuda island, he told him during the four-day meeting: “The military bases are enough for us. They can divide the rest among themselves.”[12]

The architect of the Turkish policy on Cyprus, Prof.Nihat Erim, suggested in a speech in Ankara on 14 January 1958 that a Turkish state with a population of 120 thousand could be established in Cyprus.  On the other hand, the Turkish Cypriots started to attack the British for the first time on 27/28 January 1958 in order to force the implementation of the partition plan. The common demonstrations of the Greek and Turkish Cypriots on 1 May 1958 against partition and the terror events were followed by a series of murder and intimidation attacks on the progressive Turkish Cypriot workers.[13] In summer 1958, the TMT staged many provocations in order to show that the Turkish Cypriot community should be regarded as one of the main players in the Cyprus problem.

  Nicolet writes: “Zorlu had told Dulles in Washington that the Turkish idea of partition did not necessarily need to include a geographical division of the island. It may be enough, the Foreign Minister had said, “that the two communities ... be given the idea that neither was being governed by the other.” This concept sounded surprisingly compatible with the status of independence of the island.”[14] Thus the Republic of Cyprus, which declared its independence in 1960, was the result of a diplomacy, which was driven “towards some form of partition of Cyprus, if not geographically, then at least in terms of administration.”[15]

According to an evaluation by Prof.Stanley Alexander de Smith, the most complicated and detailed constitution of the world after the constitution of Kenya was prepared in Cyprus. As the rights of the communities were to be controlled through guarantees and limitations and to be balanced, constitutionalism was parallel with communal egoism.[16] Through long and complicated precautions, it was planned to avoid the misuse of the rights by the both sides, but an influential organization of a state was not realized.



When Makarios declared his 13 points of amendments to the Constitution on 6 December 1963, they were immediately rejected by Turkey, since the amendments would give some minority rights to the Turkish Cypriot community.

On 21 December 1963, intercommunal clashes started and the underground organizations, which had their connections with the foreign powers, became influential again in both communities. The Greek Cypriot leadership was aiming the union of the island with Greece and the Turkish Cypriot leadership was planning to create the conditions for the partition of the island. Now Cyprus problem was once again on the international arena.

From Nicolet’s book we read that in a working paper, prepared by Donald A. Wehmeyer, a US legal adviser, on 11 December 1963 that a Treaty of Joint Sovereignty between Greece and Turkey was proposed. Wehmeyer added to his memorandum “Outline of Possible Cyprus Settlement” an important ingredient for a solution, which would be more attractive to Turkey: Cyprus should be divided into provinces. Certain provinces would be administered mainly by Turkish Cypriots and this would create an illusion of partition or federation.[17]

Salahi R.Sonyel writes that the British government hit upon an interesting solution, which was the reconstruction of Cyprus as a federal solution: “Thus on 3 January (1964), Sir Francis Vallat asked H.G.Darwin, a constitutional expert, to produce a paper examining the possibility of dividing Cyprus into a Turkish and a Greek area, which might be formed into a federal state. Even if such a plan was feasible a number of problems were foreseen in its application. Darwin composed a memorandum, in which he suggested a federation of two states, one predominantly of Greek, and the other of Turkish populations. He also suggested an exchange of population in order to realise the Turkish state. The capital of the Turkish state would be Kyrenia.”[18]  

In Summer 1964, Makarios rejected the Acheson Plan, which was discussed in Geneva and which envisaged the union of Cyprus with Greece on the condition that a military base would be given to Turkey in Karpas peninsula. President Makarios was re-elected in 1968 with his new policy of “feasible solution”, instead of enosis.

We read again from Nicolet’s book: “Acheson was fully indulging himself in studying the different proposals that had emerged in Washington throughout spring of 1964. In Brands’ words, “he was ready to devise a plan that would eliminate the Cyprus problem by eliminating Cyprus.” A suggestion he was particularly intrigued with was Don Wehmeyer’s scheme of 24 April, providing enosis with an illusion of partition or federation to the Turks by the establishment of certain provinces to be administered by Turkish Cypriot eparchs, as he cabled to Ball on 8 July.[19] And this was finally realized with a so-called “controlled intervention”[20] in summer 1974, which was decided by the Deputy Foreign Minister of Greece, Christos Ksantopoulos-Palamas and the Turkish Foreign Minister, Osman Olcay. The two ministers met on 3-4 June 1971 during the NATO ministerial meeting in Lisbon and discussed how to get rid of Makarios and put an end to the independence of the Republic of Cyprus by partitioning the island through  “double enosis”.



A de facto situation was created by an aborted coup d’Etat against President Makarios, organized by the fascist Greek junta and its military forces in Cyprus on 15 July 1974. This created an opportunity for Turkey to intervene five days later to the internal affairs of Cyprus. Turkey occupied the 37% of the northern part of the island and on 16 August 1974, on the 16th anniversary of the foundation of the Republic of Cyprus, the island’s territory was partitioned into two regions, one in the North for the Turkish Cypriots and the other in the South for the Greek Cypriots. With the transfer of population across the partition line, a bi-regional ethnically cleansed geographical division was attained de facto. It remained to form a de jure central government for the “federation”, which was the aim of the Turkish government since 1964. 

In a declassified Secret Memorandum sent from Helmut Sonnenfeld, Counselor of the US State Department to Secretary Henry Kissinger on 14 August 1974, the order was this: “...assuming the Turks quickly take Famagusta, privately assure Turks, we will get them a solution involving one third of the island, within some kind of federal arrangement.”[21]

After two further days of fighting, the Turkish military occupied the approximately 37 per cent of Cyprus that it still holds today, according to a plan that had existed since at least 1964, possibly even since the 1950’s.” [22]

Five rounds of intercommunal talks took place in Vienna from 1975 to 1976 and a summit meeting between G/C Leader Makarios and T/C leader Rauf Denktash declared in 1977 their agreement on four guidelines for a solution of the constitutional problem on a bi-communal federal basis. The intercommunal talks continued also after the unilateral declaration of independence in 1983 under the name “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”, which was recognized only by Turkey.


Some circles seem to accept a federal Cyprus state, which will have a central government with weak authority, when they speak of re-unification of the two separate regions created de facto after 1974. But the official Turkish perception of a federation has the same meaning of a confederation, which envisages the partition of the island. One has to bear in mind here what the former Prime Minister of Turkey, İsmet İnönü spoke about the Turkish policy on Cyprus in the Turkish Grand National Assembly on 8 September 1964.

He underlined: “In order to be within the legal framework, we started to discuss instead of saying officially partition, we say a form of “federation”![23]

This official form of federation is synonymous with confederation, which envisages the partition of the island. Therefore, this statement is very important for the understanding of today’s Turkish policy on Cyprus.

Under the circumstances existing today on our island, the only way out is to transform the existing unitary or functional federal state into a bi-communal, bi-zonal federal state in order to gain the reunification of the state and the island of Cyprus. Therefore the following prerequisites are valid for a federal government, which the British Constitutional expert Sir Kenneth Wheare writes in his book “Federal Government”.[24]   

I quote from Ramesh Dutta Dikshit’s book “The political geography of federalism-An inquiry into its origins and stability” (New York 1975), where he refers to Wheare and writes that Wheare has tried to isolate various factors for union and separation, which appear to him as necessary factors in the origins of federalism. He enumerates the following half-dozen factors, all of which operated in the U.S., Switzerland, Canada and Australia, to produce a desire for union among the communities concerned[25]. Those factors are the following: [26]

1. Need for common defense: Is there a need for common defense for the Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, who have lived over 400 years side by side on this island? Of course there is such a need against imperialism and its aggressive organization NATO, which wishes the partition of the island and to stop the struggle of the people of the island for social liberation. It is imperative for the leaderships of both communities to follow a policy of peaceful coexistence consistently and to put Cyprus out of the sphere of influence of NATO.

2. Desire to be independent of some foreign power and a realization that only through union independence be achieved: From the point of view of the progressive and democratic forces, which have understood that the way to the complete independence of Cyprus is through unity, the demand for being independent from the imperialism and its military bases as well as from the “motherlands” are valid as ever.

3. Expectations of economic advantages from union: Expectations of economic advantages from union are very wide especially among the Turkish Cypriot working masses.

4. Some political association of the units involved prior to their federal union: From the point of view of certain political parties with class approach, there is an association of political aims of the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots before the federal union. This association of political aim will be crystalized better in a democratic system.

5. Geographical neighbourhood: Geographical neighbourhood is the most appropriate in Cyprus, where the small island is divided into two.

6. Similarity of political institution. Although there is a similarity of the political institutions on both sides, there is a difference in the level of maturity of the democratic life. But this can be developed with mutual solidarity and especially with the elimination of the anti-democratic elements, without any outside interference. Moreover, there will be common political organizations based on class approach rather than on ethnic-national origin.

It will be noted that Wheare excludes from this list of prerequisites for union, factors such as community of language, of “race”, of religion or of nationality.

To these six prerequisites Wheare adds one more: “Leadership or statesmanship at the right time” which is the most wanted patriotic merit that we need nowadays from all the political leaders in Cyprus.

Another point of view, which should not be overlooked is that the solution of the problem in the concrete conditions of Cyprus depends on one hand on the elimination of the influences of imperialism and neo-colonialism and the military bases and on the other hand to decide how to solve the internal question of nationalities, which I see as the main issue. But the determining factor is not the difference between the two communities. On the contrary, it has to be stressed that the class struggle in the whole country and in the international arena will be decisive.[27]

It seems that the following fear of the imperialists is still valid, first mentioned in the 1989 International Yearbook of Communist Affairs: “If the north and the south of Cyprus will be united in a future “Federal Cyprus”, the electoral power of the Greek and Turkish communists can win the majority of the votes in any Presidential elections of such an unusual government.[28] But here the crucial problem is not, as the bourgeois circles suggest, “which community will govern the other one”, but “which class will have the power in his hand on the whole of the island.” This is my evaluation.

(This paper was read at the two-day Conference entitled “The Cyprus Problem, its Resolution and the Broader Implications” organized by The Center for European and International Affairs” at the University of Nicosia, on 11 and 12 March 2016.)

[1] W.G.Grafski-B.A.Straschun, Federalism in the developing countries of Asia and Africa, Moscow, 1968, quoted in Ertan Yüksel, Federal Solution in Cyprus, Ortam newspaper, Nicosia, 22-23-24 January 1985

[2] Greek word for union of Cyprus with Greece

[3] New York Times, 17 May 1949

[4] Claude Nicolet, Removing the Greek-Turkish Bone of Contention, Mannheim und Möhnesee 2001. For a review of the book, see Ahmet An, The origins of Cyprus Conflict in the light of the American Documents, Yeni Çağ newspaper, Nicosia, Three articles on 21 and 28 March 2003 and 4 April 2003.

[5] Nicolet, ibid, p.87

[6] Nicolet, ibid, p.141

[7] Nihat Erim, Cyprus  as I know and I have seen, Ankara 1975, p.18

[8]Erim,  ibid, p.22 and 24

[9] Vol.46, No.3, New York 1956, s.355-374

[10] Vol.59, March 1960, Chicago, s.118-123

[11] Nicolet, ibid, p.92

[12] ibid, p.101

[13] Ahmet An, The victims of the TMT, Nicosia 2008, pp.25-39

[14] ibid, p.133

[15] ibid, p.133

[16] Prof. S. A. de Smith, The Common­wealth and its Constitutions, London 1964, p.285

[17] Nicolet, ibid, p.226 and 229

[18] Cyprus, The Destruction of a Republic and its Aftermath, British Document 1960-1974, Extended second edition, Ankara 2003, pp.78-78

[19] Nicolet, ibid, p.257

[20] Nicolet, ibid, p.213

[21] Cyprus Weekly, 10 August 2007

[22] Nicolet, ibid, p.452

[23] Dışişleri Belleteni, October 1964, Number:2, p.63

[24] Sir Kenneth Wheare, Federal Government, London 1953

[25] ibid, p.37

[26] ibid, pp.220-222

[27] See also Ertan Yüksel, The way to unity in Cyprus passes not from a confederal, but from federal state, Ortam newspaper, 20-21 December 1984

[28]  p.530, see also Ahmet An, How the USA look at the Turkish Cypriot Left? Socialist Observation, Nicosia, October 1993, No.5

  • March 13th 2016 at 11:38


SENDALL IN CYPRUS 1892-1898, A GOVERNOR IN BONDAGE BY DIANA MARKIDES, Moufflon Publications, 2014, 233 pp, ISBN-10: 996362322

Reviewed by Ahmet An (*)

Written by British-Cypriot historian Diana Markides, this book was published in 2014 by the Moufflon Publications Ltd in Nicosia. The author writes in the “Preface” to her book that “the Sendall years remained shrouded in obscurity.” Therefore, she took the task to research those years, when the British High Commissioner, Sir Walter Joseph Sendall, was in service in Cyprus. In order to get a full picture of events and developments from 1892 to 1898, she studied letters, memoirs and other official documents in libraries and archives in England, Athens and Cyprus. The six years of the British occupation were written in the six separate chapters of the book, ending with an epilogue. It is a good and recommendable study. Let us make some interesting notes from those years:

“The administration of Cyprus had been in a sorry state when he arrived in April 1892” (p.29) and “in September 1892 the Times of Cyprus was grumbling about the ‹disgraceful› state of the principal road in Cyprus, the Larnaca-Nicosia road and described the rest of the roads in the island as ‘impassable.” (p.34) The road to Paphos did not exist. There was lack of bridges. Little had been done to extend the road network once the ‘spend nothing policy was strictly enforced. (p.31) Therefore Sir Sendall started with several construction works, building bridges and maintaining the existing roads. The Pyroi bridge on the main Larnaca-Nicosia road was opened by Sir Walter ceremonially on 25 November 1893 (p.60). The Peristerona bridge was completed in 1897. (p. 141) No less than 30 bridges were built. The building of dams for better irrigation was another project and the dam in Kuklia was completed in 1900 (p.203).  

The construction of the Papadopoulos Theatre began in 1893 for an audience of 600 people near Phaneromeni church in Nicosia as a replica of a small opera house in Italy. It was completed in 1900 and was used also by British and Turkish Cypriots. (p.54) The British High Commissioner secured permission and a tiny loan from the Treasury for the capital’s municipality council, so that the Pedios river, which was used as Nicosia main drain, passing through the old city, could be covered for sanitary reasons. (p.47)  

The old Venetian Palace, which was used during the Ottoman administration as the Serai of the Governor, was demolished in 1897, in order to build new offices, but it did not get underway until Sendall’s departure. The only government office constructed in Nicosia during his term was the small government printing offices opposite the secretariat (in 1896), which housed the government printing office, but which has recently been converted into a crèche for PASYDY, the Civil Servants Association.

 A new Evkaf office was proposed by Sendall, but it was excluded from construction plans by Chamberlain, Secretary of State for Colonies. (p.155)

When Sir Sendall arrived the island, it was observed that the crime rates were rising with gangs of brigands active. This never occurred during the Turkish administration, when there was corporal punishment. (p. 35) Law and order was the priority. Reform of the police force started in 1894 from top down. (p.84) The Büyük Khan, an Ottoman caravanserai in the middle of the old city, was converted into a prison (p.42), like the old forts in Limassol and Larnaca, which had no facilities for isolating prisoners. (p.69) Sir Sendall’s first decision was to build a new central prison in Nicosia, which was finally completed in 1904.  

The author gives us two cases of notorious bandits, one of Yiallouris, who was convicted of murdering the mudir of Paphos (p.77) and the other of Hasanpouli brothers, Mehmet Ahmet and Hasan Ahmet, who were escaped convicts for over a year and had committed eleven murders, five acts of abduction and rape, nine of shooting and wounding and numerous acts of highway robbery. (p.137) They were all eventually hanged in 1895.

Lady Sendall was an energetic fund-raiser, who worked hard for local charities, particularly the lepers. The chief medical officer, Dr. Heidestam, who had been in the island since Ottoman times and was fluent in Turkish and Greek, had a close friendship with Sendalls and Lady Sophia had collected in England and in Cyprus, enough money to build Greek Orthodox church for the 80 or so lepers colony outside Nicosia. (p.75) Lady Sendall also raised money for the new Anglican church, being built outside Nicosia. Both the Christian and Moslem leaders were present as she laid the first stone to foundation of the Anglican church of St. Paul’s. (p.53) 

In the summer of 1893, Sendall made a start on educational reform. (p.65) Both the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot schools were extended to include lyceum. The author reports on the new Hellenic school, inaugurated ceremonially on 24 December 1893, where the chief cadi and principal Turkish notables were also present. (p.71) But she omits to report about the inauguration ceremony of the Turkish Cypriot school on 26 December 1897, which was raised from the status of rüştiye to idadi (wrongly written as rusty’e and i’dade-p.157. Also the name of the chief cadi, Mustafa Fevzi Efendi, is wrongly written twice as ‘Ferzi’ -p.65-67):  “Both Sir Sendall and Lady Sendall were also present, when the new building of the school was inaugurated on 26 December 1897. They were greeted with the British national anthem ‘God save the Queen’.” (A.An, The Values Cyprus Cultivated (1782-1899), Ankara 2002, p.145)

Since the author does not know Turkish language and could not use Turkish Cypriot archives, she had asked me to prepare some material for this purpose, but she did not to use this in her book. There is only one reference to a Turkish Cypriot newspaper, Kıbrıs, dated 15 April 1985 (p.106). This weekly newspaper was published by Kufizade Asaf Bey, from 1893 until 1898, covering almost the whole period when Sir Sendall was in office.

Diana Markides writes: “A deputation of leading Muslims, headed by the mufti, urged Sendall to prohibit the meetings” (p.106), but she does not mention about the protest letter of the Turkish Cypriot delegation headed by Mufti Hacı Rıfkı Efendi, which could be found in the famous English book “A History of Cyprus” by George Hill. We read from there that the delegation complained to Sir Walter Sendall about the articles, published in the Greek Cypriot newspaper “Foni dis Kipru”, defending the union of the island with Greece (enosis). The Turkish Cypriot newspaper “Yeni Zaman” responded to these articles on 23 January 1893. The delegation was happy with the British administration in Cyprus and told Sir Sendall that Cyprus would remain to be a part of the Ottoman Empire. (Cambridge 1972, Vol.4, pp.498-499)  

Diana Markides allocates several pages (pp.171-179) for the activities of Ethniki Etairia in 1897 and writes: “The dispatch of Greek soldiers to Crete was a move which intensified nationalist emotions in Cyprus.” (s.174) without giving the reactions of the Turkish Cypriot notables and the newspapers. On the other hand, rightly enough the author reproduces the petitions to Queen Victoria in Greek and Ottoman Turkish script by Christian and Muslim leaders, asking for Sir Walter Sendall to be granted a second term as High Commissioner (pp.196-197), but he and Lady Sophia caught the next mail boat to Egypt on 1 January 1898. (p.195)    

As a last point, I can say that Diana Markides’ book Sendall in Cyprus 1892-1898, A Governor in Bondage is a scholarly academic work like her first book, published in q998: Cyprus 1957-1963: From Colonial Conflict to Constitutional Crisis: The Key Role of the Municipal Issue. She illustrated there in detail the origins of the separatist policy of the Turkish Cypriot leadership. My review of that book was published in the Turkish Cypriot weekly, Yeni Cag, on 11 July 3003 ( Especially Cypriot readers will benefit a lot from reading her last book about Governor Sendall, which took a spotlight to an early and formative time in the British-Cyprus relationship.

(*) Ahmet Cavit An is a retired paediatrician who has devoted his adult life to the reunification of his country.  In 2003, just before the Green Line opened, he won an ECHR case against Turkey for preventing him from meeting with his Greek Cypriot compatriots, with whom they formed the bicommunal Movement for an Independent and Federal Cyprus. His archives and books, mainly in Turkish, are the basis of many other studies more available in English or Greek.

(Friends of Cyprus Report, New Year 2016, Issue No.58, pp.49-50)

  • December 10th 2015 at 18:20



The referenda on the Annan Plan, prepared by the UN was held on 24 April 2004. On the  G/C side 75.83% of the voters voted for “No”. Whereas on the T/C side, 64.91% voted for “Yes”. The outcome of the referandum on the T/C side was published in the Official Gazette of the TRNC, No.227, 25 April 2004 as follows:

Number of voters          : 143,639

Voters participated        : 121,162

Valid votes                    : 119,618

Rate of participation       : 84.35 %

Total number of “yes” votes: 77,702 (64.91 %)

Total number of “no” votes : 41,916 (35.09 %)

4.1. The change of percentages, in comparison with the previously held general election

       results, showed an increase for the total votes of the pro-solution parties:

                                                          14 December 2003              25 April 2004

The pro-solution parties                                 50.29 %                    64.91 %

The non-solution parties                                 49.69 %                    35.09 %

4.2. Kibris newspaper reported on 25 April 2004 that the settlers living in the certain

       suburbs of Nicosia, Famagusta and in the villages of Trikomo (Yeni Iskele) and

       Yerolakkos (Alaykoy) voted generally in favour of  “a solution and for the EU”.


       The Director of the Center for Research and Cyprus Studies (SOAR), Mr.Kudret Akay

        published an analysis of a survey made among 960 persons between 4 and 11 June

        2004, which was published in the Radikal newspaper of 30 July 2004. The political

        tendencies of the “yes” voters were assessed as follows: 69.7% envisaged a state of

        their own, which would be recognized internationally. 67.3 % supported the EU

        membership, 66.1% were for a separate sovereignty. 58.5% thought that the

        ownership of the properties they used would be legalized. 57.7 % thought that the

        TRNC would be a part of an internationally recognized state. Those, who thought of a

        common state with the Greek Cypriots, were 33.7% of the “yes” voters. Only 28.1%

        said that they voted “yes” in order to “reunify my homeland”.

        As for the analysis of the “no” voters, 54.3 % did not want to return the “territories

        which were made homeland”. 44% did not want to enter the EU without Turkey’s

        membership. 36.5% were against a partnership with the Greek Cypriots. 29.2% of the

        “no” voters would be affected negatively by the new property relations and 27.3 % by

        the territorial adjustments. 19.2 % thought that there would be no state of their own,

        which would be internationally recognized. It is obvious that all these answers

        indicate nationalist feelings which were related with “homeland”, “territory” and



4.4.1 “A high ranking official of the US Foreign Ministry said that the USA will cooperate

         with the EU in order to get rid of the unjustly treatment of the Turkish side, if the

         G/C side says “No” to the Annan Plan and the T/C side says “Yes.” (Kibrisli,


4.4.2 “The spokesman of the US Foreign Ministry, Richard Boucher, told in a press

         conference that in case the outcome of the referandum would be “No” in the G/C

         side and “yes” in the T/C side on 24 April 2004, Washington  would not let the

         Turkish Cypriots to stay out in the cold. He said: “We don’t want to see them being

          punished further more.” (Kibris, 16.4.2004)

4.4.3.“The special coordinator of the US Foreign Ministry Thomas Weston told in a press

          conference that it was possible in the long run to recognize the TRNC. He said that

          their main priority was to get rid of the isolations for the Turkish Cypriots in the

          short term and that they worked on a number of measures in coordination with the

          EU.” (Kibris, 29.4.2004)

4.4.4. “The special coordinator of the US Foreign Ministry Thomas Weston stated that

          they were waiting with excitement the visit of Mehmet Ali Talat to New York as a

          guest of Colin Powell, the Foreign Minister of the USA. The Prime Minister of the

          TRNC, Talat, is going to meet today the US Foreign Minister as a Prime Minister

          from the Northern Cyprus does it for the first time.” (Kibris, 4.5.2004)

4.4.5. “A high ranking official of the US Administration , who did not want to be named,

         disclosed to the Anatolian News Agency that Washington did not consider Mr. Rauf

         Denktas as the Leader of the Turkish Cypriot Community anymore. Instead, they

         accept Mehmet Ali Talat, the Prime Minister of the TRNC, as the new leader.

         Washington supports fully the representation of the TRNC in  the international

         Bodies like the IMF, World Bank, UEFA and the Organization of the Islamic

         Conference. The meeting between Powell and Talat was a part of the first steps in

         this direction. The USA is searching to find a formula to give  economic aid to the

         TRNC.” (Kibris, 6.5. 2004)



                Population of the TRNC        : 187,514

                Number of voters                  : 147,249

                Voters participated                : 118,912

                Valid votes                            : 129,409

                Rate of participation               :   80.76 %  


 Name of the political party                                 % of the votes         No. of MP’s

                Republican Turkish Party (CTP)                 44.45                     25

                National Unity Party (UBP)                         31.71                     18

                Democrat Party (DP)                                   13.49                      6

                Peace and Democracy Movement (BDH)      5.81                       1

                New Party (YP)                                            1.60                       -

                Nationalist Justice Party (MAP)                     0.52                       -

5.1. “After the results of the elections were announced, Mr. Nuri Cevikel, the

       Chairman of the New Party, complained to the press that half of the population

       of the TRNC were originating from Turkey, but there was only one MP in the

       Parliament, who originated from Turkey.” (Afrika, 23 February 2005)

5.2. “EvroDi Party of the Greek Cypriots stated that the political dynamics which

       follow the line of Ankara were successful in the T/C elections and that 90.000

       of the total 150.000 voters were settlers from Turkey.” (Fileleftheros,


5.3. “The Turkish ambassador in Nicosia, Aydan Karahan, stated during his visit to

       the highest circulation daily Kibris newspaper that Turkey would be watching

       the early general elections in the TRNC with unbiased eyes and that there

       would be no intervention from outside.” (Kibris, 11 February 2005)

5.4. Basaran Duzgun wrote on the same day in his column:

      “The common feeling of the voters is that Turkey will interfere to the election

      campaign in the last week before the elections. As we had experienced bad

      things in the past, the civil and military persons, given the mission by Ankara,

      would be visiting especially the areas, where the Turkish settlers live in dense

      population and they would change the direction of the Turkish voters according

      to their wishes. This will affect the result of the elections. Because thousands of

      voters of Turkish origin are under the influence of Turkish civil and military

      officials. If about a 10% of the total votes would be directed as a block to a

      certain party, both the number of the MP’s and the arithmetics in the parliament

      would change. Thus one could determine which party would make a coalition

      with which other party.

      We have experienced this scenario often during the previous elections. Are we

      going to see its repetition again? Will Turkey interfere again to the elections? I

      have to state immediately that our newspaper Kibris made a sensitive research

      and we have reached to the conclusion that neither in Karpasia nor in Famagusta

      region nor in any other part of the country, there is no trace of interference to

      the elections.” (Kibris, 11 February  2005)

5.5. Another columnist of Kibris, Hasan Hasturer, wrote on 12 February 2005

       under the title “Ankara does not have even a bit of ‘worry’ about the

       elections!” the following remarks:

                      “It’s bitter to say, but it is a fact that we have experienced in all the elections

                  that I remember intervention in one form or another. Intervention was made in

                  various forms. The voters originating from Turkey were kept under a form

                  which would be easily controlled. Every kind of pressurizing message was

                  conveyed to them in a very short time. Their votes were controlled

                  professionally. For this purpose, everyone from influential politicians to retired

                  generals were used.

                  Some institutions and organizations in the TRNC were also used by

                  overreaching their aims. No one can say that these have not happened. Even it is

                  also known that resources were allocated and sent from the covered payment

                  accounts of Turkey for the elections in the TRNC.... I remind to those, who

                  forgot, that the officials used the police and forced the coffee-shops to close and

                  they cut their electricity. The newspapers and the TV channels were used many

                  times for the intervention to the elections. Forget approaching to the

                  oppositional parties equally, they behaved against them as if they were

                  “infidels”... Both the military and the Embassy were being used without any

                   cover-up in these operations. Were these pressures effective? In general, yes,

                   they were. That is why we still have bleeding wounds in our democracy,

                   because of these pressures. The pressures were successful in defeating many

                   parties. They were forced to have good relations with the centres of pressure.

                   It was a criteria not to stir them a bit during the formation of the governments

                   and the party cadres.”

5.6. There were indirect interventions also from some foreign countries in

       favour of the RTP:

                5.6.1. “The Foreign Minister of the USA Condolezza Rice left Ankara after her

                       visit. She gave an important message to the Turkish Cypriots: “We are

                       working on the possibilities of lifting the isolations on the TRNC and we

                       plan to take some steps in this direction.” (Halkin Sesi, 7.2.2005)

                5.6.2. “10 Turkish Cypriot Bank Officials visited the USA within the CYPEG

                      program which was established for the lessening of the isolations of the

                      Turkish Cypriots.” (Halkin Sesi, 10.2.2005)


            5.6.3. “US President George W.Bush allocated 20 million dollars in the 2006

                       Budget in order to support the peace process in Cyprus.” (Kibris,


                5.6.4. “The US Ambassador Michael Klosson gave information at the TRNC

                       Office of his Embassy about the CYPEG programme which will distribute

                       30.5  million dollars for the development of the T/C economy.” (Kibris,


5.6.5. “Richard Boucher, the spokesman of the US Foreign Ministry said that the

          visit of the Turkish representatives of the 12 American companies to the

          TRNC for investment possibilities was a try to get rid of the isolation of the

          T/C.” (Kibris, 20.2.2005)


5.6.6. “The visit of Mehmet Ali Talat, the Prime Minister of the TRNC to Mr.Jose

                      Manuel Durao Barosso, the President of the EU Commission and to the

                      Foreign Minister of the USA. (Volkan, 10.2.2005)

5.6.7. “The visit of Baroness Sarah Ludford, member of the Liberal Group of the

          European Parliament to the TRNC. (Kibris, 5.2.2005)

5.6.8. “Visit of the Vice-Chairpersons of the Socialist Group of the European

           Parliament, Jam Marinus Wiersma and Hannes Swoboda, with the

           members, Mechtild Roth and Panagiotis Beglitis. (Kibris, 6.2.2005)

                5.6.9. US Foreign Minister congratulates Talat

                      “The Foreign Minister of the US Condolezza Rice congratulated Mehmet

                      Ali Talat, the Prime Minister and the Chairman of the RTP, on the occasion

                      of his success in the General Elections. She said that the US will continue to

                      make further steps for lifting the isolation on the North.” (Kibris, 19.3.2005)


               APRIL 2005

Name of the candidate          % of the votes

1. Mehmet Ali Talat                55.60

2. Dr.Dervis Eroglu                 22.73

3. Dr.Mustafa Arabacioglu      13.22

4. Nuri Cevikel                         4.79

5. Zeki Besiktepeli                    1.72

6. Huseyin Angolemli                1.05

7. Zehra Cengiz                        0.44

8. Arif Salih Kirdag                  0.30

9. Ayhan Kaymak                    0.17


Number of registered voters    : 147,823

Participated voters                  : 102,853

Participation rate                     : 69.58 %

6. 1. “The outgoing President of the TRNC, Rauf Denktas, made his comment

         about the Presidential Elections: “If Mr.Talat will comply with his promise

         that he would be above the political parties and he would embrace all of

         them, we shall support him. His aim was to get 65% of the votes, but he

         could get 55%. This a bit of a learner’s mistake... We would prefer

         Mr.Erdogan, the Prime Minister of Turkey, not to put his weight with his

         statement in favour of Mr.Talat for the period after 17 April.” (Kibris, 18

        April 2005)

6.2. The votes of the settlers were influential

        “The balance was affected by the settlers’ votes in favour of Talat in the

         regions of Trikomo (Yeni Iskele) with 44% and in Famagusta 54.39%. This

         indicates that with the influence of the AKP (Justice and Development Party

         of Turkey) the votes of the settlers were diverted to the candidate of the

         RTP... The participation rate dropped 12% in comparison to the last

         elections. This mass is supposed to be the voters of the UBP and DP, who

         reacted to the foreign interventions of the AKP and the foreign powers that

         imposed Talat. ” (Sabahattin Ismail, Editorial of the Volkan daily, 18.4.2005)

6.3. “According to a survey made by Mete Hatay for the Peace Research Institute

       of Oslo (PRIO), there are 28 villages most of them in the districts of Trikomo

       (Iskele) and Famagusta and also in other districts, where all the inhabitants are

       settlers from Turkey. They have a total of 8,162 voters. 5,652 of them went to

       the pools in the recent Presidential Elections. 32% of them voted for Talat. 26

       % voted for Nuri Cevikel, a candidate of settler origin himself, aiming

       especially at the settlers’ votes. Of course, there are a lot of voters of Turkish

       origin almost in every village and district . But it seems that their number does

       not go beyond 20 to 25 thousand among the total 147,823 voters. It means that

       the votes of the Turkish Cypriots are still the “elective” ones.” (Yeni Duzen,


6.4. “If you do not call this intervention, so what is it?” was the title of Dr.Erhan

       Arikli in Volkan, 12.4.2005. The columnist referred to the visits to the TRNC

       by Mr.Lajendik, the president of the Turkish-EU Common Parliamentary

       Commission and Mr.Baykal, the chairman of the Republican People’s Party

      (CHP) of Turkey before the Presidential Elections.”

7. The change in the total number of voters since 2000:

Date       General Elections

                               2003           141,596

                               2004           143,639 (Referandum)

                               2005           147,249 (Presidential Elections)    

(2006         178,031 Census)

                               2009           161,373

7.1. The unreliable statistics from the officials

       During the discussion of the Budget of his Ministry, Ozkan Murat, the

       Minister of Interior, told that there were 178,000 (TRNC) citizens in the

       TRNC. 40,000 foreigners are working. There are 7,000 children of the

       (Turkish) workers. The de facto population was 265,000 and the de jure

       population was 258.000. (Kibris, 20.12.2008)

7.2. “State News Agency of the TRNC, TAK, published in its bulletin of 13 March

       2009 that 198,006 voters would be eligible to vote in the general elections to

        be held on 19 April. All the Turkish Cypriot daily newspapers wrote on 14

        March 2009 that the number of the voters, who would be able to vote in 6

        districts of the TRNC was 198, 006.  

                7.3. On 22 March, Kibris Newspaper put this number of voters to the cover of its

                  “Election Supplement”, which prompted a statement by the Election Supreme

                  Board. The Board said in its announcement No.18 that the population of the

                  citizens in each district were given mistakenly as the number of the voters in

                  each district. The number of the eligible voters would be corrected as 159,906.

                  198.006 was the estimated total population of the TRNC. (Kibris, 23.3.2009)

7.4. On 30 March 2009, the number of the voters was declared as 161,373 in the

       announcement No.23 of the Election Supreme Board. It was said that this was

       the final number after the rejections and the corrections were assessed. (Kibris,


7.5. An estimate about the number of the original Turkish Cypriots

       On 9 March 2009, Afrika newspaper announced that according to the

       information the newspaper gathered, the number of the original Turkish

       Cypriots was 62,500, i.e. one third of the total number of the voters of the

       approximately 180,000 voters. About  47,000 Turkish citizens were waiting to

       get the citizenship of the TRNC after the elections, the newspaper added.

       Writing in the same newspaper, the columnist Turgut Afsaroglu estimated that

       there were 173.000 voters, out of which 63.000 were of Cypriot and the

       remaining of Turkish origin. He also gave various numbers about the

       population of the TRNC: The Prime Minister estimates 250,000 de-facto

       population. President Talat says minimum 500,000. Some others think of

       a minimum 700-800.000.


Number of voters           : 161,373

Voters participated        : 131,178

Rate of participation      :  81.29 %  

Name of the political party         % of the votes    No.of MP’s

National Unity Party (UBP)               44.04                    26

Republican Turkish Party (CTP)        29.26                    15

Democrat Party (DP)                        10.65                      5

Communal Democracy Party (TDP)    6.87                      2

Freedom and Reform Party (ORP)      6.21                      2

For the 50 seats in the Parliament, there were 356 candidates from 7 parties

and 8 independents. The total  number of the candidates, who originated

from Turkey was 71. (Afrika, 23.3.2009)  Only three of them could be

elected from Yeni Iskele (Trikomo) district, which is densely populated with

the settlers: DP (Ejder Aslanbaba from Adana), ORP (Mustafa Gokmen

from Trabzon) UBP(Ahmet Zengin from Caykar-Uzungol/Blacksea).

4 women were elected as MP’s (2 UBP and 2 CTP-BG). Out of 50

Parliamentarians, 17 are medical doctors, one less than the previous

Parliament. (Volkan, 21.4.2009) 

8.2. Intervention to the general elections

        The CTP government forced the owner of the highest circulation Kibris

        newspaper to take away its editor, Resat Akar, for three weeks before the

        elections, because the Kibris newspaper was criticizing the government and it

        published a public opinion pool, which showed that the CTP’s popular support

        fell from 45% to 28%. On 12 March 2009, the CTP government asked for the

        payment of 9 million TL tax from the previous years between 2002 and 2009 in 24 hours.

        Oddly enough, the Kibris newspaper was awarded by the same government

        together with other companies as tax-champion five months ago. The problem

        was settled later by paying 4 million TL as the first installment immediately and

        by using milder language against the government’s policies. (see for the details

        Kibris, 13.3.2009 and Havadis, 30.3.2009)

8.3. Kadir Toptas, the metropolitan mayor of Istanbul, sent a specially decorated

        election bus of the AK Party, plate Number 34 FFG 01 to the ORP Party of

        Turgay Avci. (Havadis, 9.4.2009)   

8.4. Under the title “Full supported Turkish intervention to the elections in the

        TRNC”, Kartal Harman wrote in Kibrisli newspaper on 10 March 2009:

        “ORP was formed as an alternative to the DP since there was a rift between

         the AKP government in Turkey and Denktas and his son’s party DP, which

         dissolved its coalition government with the CTP. At this point, the

         intervention to the internal politics of the TRNC was at its climax. One felt

         increasingly and speedily the intervention of the AKP and almost all the

         leaders of the AKP participated at the congress of the ORP, giving the message

         that the AKP is standing by the ORP. Likewise the deputy Chairperson of the

         Democratic Left Party (DSP), Melda Bayer, participated at the congress of the

         DP, which was held last Sunday. All they do is nothing, but to influence the

         Turkish settlers. The existing great potential will be exploited in order to

         influence especially the right wing with their competition of serious maneuvers.

         Therefore the representatives of the parties of Turkish Republic started to

         interfere the internal politics of the TRNC. As one can understand here, the

         fate of the elections will not be determined by the Turkish Cypriots, but by the

         citizens, originating from Turkey, who came at various times to the island.”

8.5. Afrika wrote on 13 March 2009 in the column “Letter from Afrika” the


                   “Look around. You will see that the deputies from the AKP and their election

                   specialists are participating at the election campaign of a party by visiting each

                   and every village. Is this not an intervention? Veysi Kaynak, Kahramanmaras

                   Mp of the AKP is among us. On Thursday Egemen Bagis will be coming.

                   Is he not the god of the intervention? Why do they speak of the intervention in

                   1998? Don’t you see this log in your eyes?”

8.6. “The Second Indictment of the Ergenekon Case was introduced to the Court in

                  Turkey yesterday. According to this Indictment (Page 437), The Chairman of

                  the Turkish Metal Trade Union, Mustafa Ozbek, was made TRNC citizen in

                  2003 with the order of Rauf Denktas, who was then the President of the

                  TRNC. In the same period Yalcin Taner brought many persons to Cyprus in

                  order to interfere to the elections and with this support Dervis Eroglu won the

                  elections.” (Havadis, 26 March 2009)

                       It was also disclosed way back in March 2007 by the Nokta magazine that

                  the Commander of the Turkish Marine, Vice-Admiral Ozden Ornek wrote in

                  his daily journal that the Turkish generals had planned two military putches

                  under code names “Sarikiz” (Yellow Girl) and “Ay Isigi” (Moonlight) in 2004

                  during the days of the Annan Plan to be voted in Cyprus. The  putches were

                  organized by the Ergenekon organization in order to topple the Erdogan

                  government, which supported the Annan Plan and the coupists were stopped

                  by Hilmi Ozkok, who was then the Chief of Staff.

8.7. Among the evidence files of the Ergenekon Case in Turkey, there was a report

                  submitted to Mr.Dervis Eroglu. The report was signed by the “Supreme  Council”

                  and was prepared by the “Western Study Group” and was found in the

                  house of Mustafa Ozbek, who was arrested. (Mr.Ozbek, who was the leader of

                  the nationalist Turkish Metal Trade Union of Turkey, was given the TRNC

                  citizenship and he established a TV station in the TRNC broadcasting via

                  satellite also to Turkey.) The report was published in the Havadis newspaper on

                  8 April 2009 and it referred to the intervention from Turkey to the general

                  elections of 6 December 1998: “Urgently”17.5 million TL were sent through

                  Mr.Ozbek and the money was distributed two days ago before the elections. A

                  further one million dollars from the “covered budget” were brought to the

                  TRNC in order to get rid of certain candidates and to support others as future

                  MP’s. The aim was to secure 24 deputies for Mr.Eroglu’s party. There were

                  plans that Eroglu would be supported against Rauf Denktas in the Presidential

                  Elections of 2000. (Havadis, 8 April, 2009)

8.8. The Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Vakiflar Bank, Ahmet

                   Keskin, told in a news conference that there were problems of getting the re-

                   payment of the credits, which amount 131 million out of the total 300 trillion

                   TL, distributed in the period between 2005 and 2006. He said that the debts

                   overtaken from the Akdeniz Garanti Bank were not dealt with and the files

                   were waiting on the shelves. Keskin accused also the governing CTP that 500

                   persons received credits for small enterprizes short before the general elections

                   as “election bribe”, which amount already 8 trillion TL. (Kibris, 15.4.2009)

8.9. Rauf  Denktas explained the reason why there was a boom for the UBP votes:

                  “The UBP bought votes. During the day, the participation rate was 60%,

                   but suddenly in the afternoon it increased to 80%. Unfortunately those who

                   got their money, ran to the pools” (Kibris, 20.4.2009)

8.10. “Serdar Denktas, the Chairman of the DP told in a radio program, broadcast

                     by SIM-FM that they too bought votes as every political party does. There

                     are persons now, who for one head, they bargain with you, starting from 300

                     to 100 liras. We bought too, but our possibilities were less and we bought

                     within that framework. It is in the hands of ours, the politicians, to take

                     measures against those demands... This we lived in the last two hours of the

                     voting when the people arrived from their picnics. No party should deny this.

                     I can proove it in front of them.” (Yeni Duzen, 23.4.2009)

8.11. Market for Votes was established. The will of the people was bought.

                    Democracy was killed. People’s will was bought by a rate of 25-30%. Is this

                    not a reason to cancel the elections? We invite the Supreme Election Council

                    to do its duty. (Headline of the Kibrisli, 24.4.2009)

9. Further meddling of Turkey into the internal politics of the Turkish Cypriots

9.1. The political activities of Ahmet Yonluer:

Ahmet Yonluer, a close friend of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for 15 years, was appointed as the Head of the Religious Affairs Department on 6 July 2005. He was previously Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health and Social Aid and was appointed in October 2004 as an adviser for Islamic countries in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

9.1.1 Kibris newspaper reported on 18 September 2006 that former President of the TRNC, Rauf Denktas spoke in Istanbul during a conference organized by the Workers’ Party. Denktas said: “An operation was done in Cyprus and we call this as “Muftu Operation”. Muftu made this operation by using the name of Prime Minister Erdogan his religious influence. Through this way, the Democratic Party, which was very cautious about concessions, was sent away from the coalition government.”

Denktas told that it was a mistake of Turkey to accept the Annan Plan and Turkey opened the door for many concessions. We think that concessions will be made with the new government. There is only one way to stop this. Erdogan should say this: “Muftu is not my man. He cannot use my name. I am not involved in this operation.” We wait from him to say this in the name of justice and fairness. 

Denktas alleged that the Turkish Cypriots were deceived by letting them say “yes” to the Annan Plan and they continue to live its consequences and it was the duty of everyone to stop them being deceived for the second time.

9.2. Formation of the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP)
The AKP intervened to the internal politics of the TRNC, which ended the coalition government between the CTP-BG and DP. For this purpose, the resignation of some Deputies from the UBP and the DP was organized and the coalition government of the CTP-BG with the DP came to an end. In this way, Serdar Denktas and his party DP were sent out of power.

The Freedom and Reform Party (Ozgurluk ve Reform Partisi) was founded on 15 September 2006 by the former members of the National Unity Party and the Democratic Party. The Chairman of the ORP, Turgay Avci, was the Secretary-General of the UBP and resigned on 7th September with three other members of the UBP (the two deputies E.Serdaroglu and E.Sanlidag and the mp Secretary-General of the UBP, Enver Ozturk). Another mp from the Democratic Party (Mustafa Gokmen) resigned from his party in order to become one of the founders of the ORP. 

The chairman of the ORP was appointed as the Mp Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the CTP-BG and ORP Coalition Government, formed on 25 September 2006. The ORP had two other ministries. Enver Ozturk, who was the mp Secretary General of the UBP was appointed as the Minister of Economy and Tourism. Asim Vehbi was appointed as the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, to be replaced by Mustafa Gokmen in March 2008. The coalition government lasted until 5 May 2009.

Now the ORP has two Deputies in the Parliament (Turgay Avci, Mustafa Gokmen).

The ORP supported Mehmet Ali Talat in the Presidential Election of 18 April 2010, which caused the resignation of some party members, among them some candidates for the parliamentary elections.

9.2.1. UBP Nicosia Mp, Tahsin Ertugruloglu, told: “The CTP was recently in some activities in order to get rid of its coalition partner DP and to establish a new organization or to support a group, which will obey and stay in its orbit. These activities reached to a point where mp markets were set up.” (Volkan, 9.9.2006)

9.2.2. UBP Famagusta Mp, Ahmet Kasif told: “Ahmet Yonluer phoned me in August when he was in my home in Adana and asked me to resign from the UBP and establish a new party, to be the chairman and to make coalition with the CTP. Yonluer was in Istanbul then. He could get me from Adana to Istanbul in a few hours with a private airplane to Istanbul. Three years in coalition. No problem. Everything will be provided, material and spiritual. (Volkan, 14.9.2006)

9.2.3. DP Chairman Serdar Denktas told to the columnist Fatih Cekirge of Hurriyet newspaper that 600 thousand dollars bribe was proposed to a DP MP so that he would resign… I shall ask for an app. from the Turkish Prime Minister and ask his opinion after telling him these allegations.

Serdar Denktas gave another statement to the Milliyet newspaper: “AKP MP-Chairman Saban Disli played a role in the transfer of deputies from my party and the UBP in order to establish the ORP. For the first time, religion and politics came together in Cyprus and after the coalition government was broken, the military phoned me, but no one from the AKP government. (Volkan, 19.9.2006)

9.2.4. Vakit newspaper’s main title: “Save Cyprus from Denktas’es.” Zaman newspaper wrote: “Serdar Denktas said that Ahmet Yonluer proposed 600 thousand dollars in order to destroy the government. Yonluer, who used to be Serdar’s adviser for Islamic countries, responded to this allegation as follows: “It is easy to accuse. I can also say that Serdar Denktas embezzled trillions liras when he was in power. Can I prove it? If he has documents about me, he should disclose them. Rauf Denktas and Serdar Denktas want to weaken the AKP in Turkey by using my name. Since Erdogan was elected as the Prime Minister, Rauf Denktas could not digest it. As a proof of this, he cooperated with the marginal groups like the Workers’ Party, since Erdogan came to power. He participated at meetings and conferences, which were against the AKP. Now he uses my name and tries to shoot the AKP and the government. Their main aim is to weaken Erdogan.” (Kibrisli, 20.9.2006)

9.2.5 ANAP Mersin MP, Huseyin Guler, asked in the Grand Assembly of Turkey a question to be answered by the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan: “Did Saban Disli, Vice-Chairman of the AKP and Foreign Relations Secretary meddled in the politics in the TRNC? If this is true, what was the reason?” (Kibris, 21.9.2006)

9.2.6. President of the TRNC, Mehmet Ali Talat gave a statement to Milliyet newspaper about the AKP’s coup in the TRNC. Talat said: “If the AKP meddled here in one way or another, this has been done or not. If someone from here asked for advice from Turkey, this is not meddling. If this happened, it is natural that I do not know how. (Kibrisli, 25.9.2006)

9.2.7. Ahmet Yonluer, a close friend of the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is being accused of having an influential role in the government crisis in the TRNC and in the resignation of some deputies. Yonluer has made a place in the agenda of the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot press  for a long time. Yonluer also directed strong criticism to father Rauf Denktas and his son Serdar Denktas.  Serdar Denktas told that Yonluer made indecent proposal to one of the DP deputies with 600 thousand dollars, to another one 400 thousand dollars and a post of a ministry.

Muftu Yonluer denied these as lies and said completely opposite: “ Many deputies who wanted to become minister or party leader, passed through my room. They knew that I was close to the AKP and the Prime Minister Erdogan in Turkey. They were persons who asked for help from me.

Father Denktas is very much angry. Because after him, his son also left the power and lost his armchair. They have been asking for help from me for a long time. Now that they lost the armchair, I became a bad man. They indicate me as a target everywhere. My family is very much embarrassed and has concerns. But I declare from here that if my nose bleeds, my head wounds, they have to see father Denktas as responsible. (Dialog weekly, 29.9.2006)

9.2.8. Prime Minister Ferdi Sabir Soyer spoke in the Parliament: “When President Talat was talking with Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, Talat said that the Prime Minister of the TRNC could not find someone to appoint as Muftu. Erdogan told Talat: “If you think of  appointing Ahmet Yonluer, don’t do. Because he is a friend of mine since 15 years. There can be serious speculations.” Talat told this to me. Serdar came and insisted. Then we appointed Ahmet Yonluer after his proposal. I had to disclose this as my responsibility to my conscience.” (Kibrisli, 5.10.2006)

9.2.9. Kibris newspaper reported on 20.12.2006 that the independent deputy Erden Ozaskin, who resigned on 24 July 2006 from his party, entered the ORP. Now the ORP, the small partner of the coalition government has 4 seats in the parliament and the bigger partner CTP-BG has 25 deputies.


9.3. On 14 August 2007 Ahmet Yonluer gave his resignation to Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer.  He said that he would now be in a position to answer the attacks to his personality. He continued: “The dimension of these attacks made it necessary that I, as Ahmet Yonluer, should take a more influential role in the political life of the Turkish Cypriots.” (Volkan, 15.8.2007)

9.3.1. Turkish daily HURRIYET newspaper wrote on 15.8.2007 that the Head of the Religious Affairs Department in the TRNC, Ahmet Yonluer, who played an active role so that the coalition government of Republican Turkish Party – Freedom and Reform Party (CTP-OP) to come into power, has resigned from his post in order to engage in politics.   According to the paper, Ahmet Yonluer who is close to the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has resigned from his post due to accusations directed against him regarding his post. In a written statement issued regarding his resignation, Mr. Yonluer stated that he has decided to leave his duty as Head of the Religious Affairs Department of the Turkish Cypriots in order the institution, which is one of the most pre-eminent bodies for the Turkish Cypriots, not to loose its influence and for him to be able to react strongly towards the accusations against him. He went on and said that these accusations made his entry into politics inevitable.

9.3.2. Ahmet Yonluer, who resigned from his post as the Head of the Religious Affairs Department, gave a statement to Halkin Sesi: “I entered into politics in the name of  our citizens from Turkey, who are humiliated and I want to embrace them. We are coming not with words, but for real equality. We put our head for this road in order to bring the understanding of service to our country where our citizens were neglected and opposed by the previous administrations, without discriminating them from our Turkish Cypriot citizens. Commenting on the news that he would become the secretary-general of the ODP, Yonluer said that “if he would do politics in the ORP, I shall do whatever task I would be given. We do not choose. We only want to secure the people… The elections were made in Turkey. The AKP won a victory. The UBP and the DP were not satisfied with this. If the AKP would lose, these two parties would make celebrations with a convoy. (Halkin Sesi, 17.8.2007)

9.3.3. Yonluer gave a statement to the weekly Dialog newspaper:

“Question: Why did you wait the results of the elections in Turkey in order to resign?

Answer: If  I would resign before the elections, they would say “He resigned because the AKP would lose.” I did not want to give them this chance, therefore I waited. I am very happy that I resigned after the big victory of the AKP and Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

There are ten thousands of persons, who became citizens and the percentage of the citizens with Turkish origin who are voters in the elections, has reached to 40%. They have given to these people the posts of nurse or police. There is only one MP with the Turkish origin in the parliament. I am against this. I do not want to make discrimination between the Cypriots and the Turks, but I want that these people should be given the right of representation both in the parliament, cabinet and in the public services. I shall start a campaign in this direction.”

(Dialog, 17.8.2007)

9.3.4. The ex-Muftu of the Turkish Cypriots gave a statement to the Greek Cypriot newspaper Alithia and said that he aimed at bringing all the right persons together like Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan made. He said that he is following his footsteps (Kibris, 27.8.2007)

9.3.5. The UBP Secretary-General Nazim Cavusoglu published a statement on the first anniversary of the 8th September- The Black Day when our democracy was stabbed. He referred to the founders of the ORP, Enver Ozturk and Turgay Avci, who met the CTP Secretary-General Omer Kalyoncu and the CTP Nicosia Deputy Ahmet Barcin, in the house of Enver Ozturk one year ago. This picture was already published and the event was named officially as political indecency. (Volkan, 8.9.2007)

9.3.6. Under the title “The first step to politics by Yonluer”, Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper reported on 14.9.2007 in its first page that a new political movement with the name “Movement for Politics for the People” was established officially. The former Mufti, who acts as the spokesman of the new political movement, Mr Ahmet Yonluer, stated, inter alia, that the aim of the new movement is to unite the Turkish Cypriots under a new political formation which would also promote Turkish Cypriots’ religious identity as well as their political character. Noting that there is discrimination between the Turkish Cypriots and the Turks from Turkey in the country and that the problem is not solved by denying its existence, Yonluer argued that this problem will be solved with the Muslim Turkish Cypriot identity.  Mr Yonluer also said that the new party has no connection with any other political party, neither the Turkish Cypriot “Freedom and Reform Party”, nor the ruling “Justice and Development Party” in Turkey. 

9.3.7. Ahmet Yonluer established the Movement for Politics for the People yesterday…. Yonluer said that a scientific poll gave the result that almost 50% of the people did not trust the politicians in the TRNC. Cyprus problem will be solved with the Moslem identity of the Turkish Cypriots. Yonluer stated that he learned from the similar scientific studies of the AKP and take it as an example. He added that the Movement does not have direct contact with the AKP. (Kibris, 14.9.2007)

9.3.8. Ahmet Yonluer told in a programme of the Kanal T that he is going to Ankara on Monday. The list is ready… They told me to bring together clean and decent persons in Cyprus. Then we can give you the necessary support and I made a list of those people, who support our Movement.  (Kibrisli, 16.9.2007)

9.3.9. Columnist Aydin Akkurt wrote in Volkan on 26.9.2007 the following:

“Yonluer was already making politics when he was in his office. We remember very well how he was involved in the resignation of some UBP and DP deputies and in the formation of the ORP.

After he resigned, we heard that he would enter the ORP and even become its secretary-general. Later he started a new organization, named “Politics for the People” (HIS).

There were allegations that HIS was a branch of the ORP and one day it will merge with the ORP. According to those, who alleged this, HIS was formed in order to secure popular basis for the ORP.

We have to look at Yonluer’s attitude and position. According to his statements, he tries to establish a party, based on the discrimination between the Turks and Cypriots. He is also in close contact with the ex-Chairman of the YDP, Orhan Ucok and the ex-minister Hasan Yumuk.

He attacks also the ORP. But why? Is there a new complot, being prepared by HIS?”

9.3.10. Under the title “Ertugruloglu is following directions” Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Afrika reported on 4.10.2007 in its first page that officials from the National Unity Party (UBP) who do not seem to be able to succeed in applying the boycott of the assembly’s sessions, started some time ago, they went again to Ankara yesterday and met with Egemen Bagis, who is the member of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), Responsible of Foreign Relations. Ertugruloglu and UBP’s general secretary Nazim Cavusoglu will make statements about their contacts in Ankara after their return to occupied Cyprus.  Afrika wrote that this is the most difficult time in its history for UBP which is suffering loses. The paper wrote that the split within the party is growing bigger.

9.3.11. Ahmet Yonluer gave the following statement yesterday: “After our movement matures to a certain extend, we think of forming a party. The infra-structure is being prepared by expert teams... There is only one deputy in the 50-seats-parliament, who came after 1974 as a citizen from Turkey. We put the picture to the front. Unfortunately there is such a picture in the country, either we accept it or not. (Kibris, 4.10.2007)

9.3.12.Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper wrote on 18.10.2007 that Ahmet Yonluer went to Ankara in order to have various contacts with Turkish politicians and to inform them about his political movement. Mr Yonluer will meet with the chairman of the Republican People’s Party Deniz Baykal, the MP of the Justice and Development Movement (AKP) and former Speaker of the Turkish Assembly Bulent Arinc and the chairman of the Nationalist Action Party Devlet Bahceli. Mr Yonluer has already held contacts with various ministers of the AKR government.

9.3.13. Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan newspaper  reported on 18.10.2007 in its first page that it was learned that the Responsible for Political Affairs of the US Embassy, Chris Pancio, visited the Culture and Solidarity Association of Persons from Hatay (Allexandretta) on the 3rd and 4th of October together with his own translator. During the first visit Mr Pancio was accompanied by the chairman of the Politics for the People Movement (HIS) Ahmet Yonluer and on the second visit by two other members of the HIS. On Pancio’s first visit with Yonluer to the Association, a meeting was arranged with the members of the executive committee of the association.  At the meeting Mr Yonluer gave information about HIS and Pancio is quoted to have said the following to the members of the executive committee who attended the meeting: “I want you to support the Politics for the People Movement (HIS) and to work towards this direction. If you support the HIS Movement, we, as US Embassy, we will support projects that will develop your association and we will give every kind of help from the material point of view”.

Referring to the issue, from the column “Letter from Volkan” columnist Aydin Akkurt, wrote on the same day, inter alia, that it is not yet known whether the US Embassy helped towards the establishment of HIS movement; however, HIS chairman Ahmet Yonluer is getting ready to transform the Movement into a party and he is not alone in this effort. The columnist went on and wrote the following: “What is the connection between Yonluer and HIS movement with the Responsible for Political Affairs of the US Embassy, Chris Pancio? What are the expectations of the USA from the HIS Movement?  Why does USA support this movement?”

9.3.14. Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan newspaper reported on 19.10.2007 that the news reported one day ago by the paper, that the US Embassy Official in Lefkosia, Chris Pancio, Responsible for Political Affairs (as written by the paper), visited the Culture and Solidarity Association of People coming from Hatay, were confirmed.

Abdullah Atlar, the chairman of the Association, pointing out that Mr Pancio visited the Association, revealed the details of the conversation took place between Mr Pancio at the Association members. Atlar said that he told Mr Pancio, who was giving emphasis to the “differences between (Turkish) Cypriots and Turkish (settlers)”, that there is no difference between them. “The Turks wherever they live they are Turks and the Turkish Cypriot people are one integral entity”, he said.

Mr Atlar also said that Mr Pancio was asking insistently about the number of the members of the Association. Mr Atlar told Mr Pancio that the Culture and Solidarity Association is one of the biggest non-governmental organizations in the TRNC. He also told him that regarding the Cyprus problem they support the active and de facto guarantee of Turkey for a just and lasting solution. He also said that the Turkish Cypriot people was deceived at the referendum and the promises made to them were not kept.   Pancio also wanted to know how the Association evaluates all the political parties in occupied Cyprus with the Politics for the People Movement (HIS). Mr Pancio made some evaluations himself as well.  Mr Atlar told Mr Pancio the Turkish Armed Forces and Security Forces Commandership is a safeguard for the Turkish Cypriot people to live in safety and peace.

9.3.15. After 5 months, the HIS Party was established last Friday (14 December 2007) with 64 founders  and made a press conference yesterday in the City Royal Hotel. 

9.3.16. Afrika wrote on 26.11.2007 under the title “Comment of the Day” that those with Turkish origin are being transferred to ORP. The prominent persons of the other parties too. On the same day Kibrisli reported that before the ORP congress, two mayors entered the ORP.


On 25.11.07 Turgay Avci has been re-elected as the leader of the Freedom and Reform Party. With no other candidate for the post, the ORP leader, Deputy Prime Minister-Foreign Minister Turgay Avci was automatically re-elected as the leader of the ORP.

Addressing the party’s first general congress meeting yesterday, Avci said that his party had been established just over a year ago by 4 people who had risked their political careers’. The message of the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan was read by Egemen Bagis, who represented the AKP. He is the
(19.10.07)  Deputy Chairman of the AKP and an MP of the AKP from Istanbul. Among other guests from Turkey were Mevlut Cavusoglu, who is deputy chairman of the Foreign Relations of the Turkish Grand National Assembly and an MP of the AKP from Antalya and Menderes Turel, Mayor of the Antalya Metropolitan Municipality and some other ex-ministers and Deputies. (Kibris, 26.11.2007)

9.4.1.  Referring on the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper  reported on 26.11.2007 under banner headlines ‘Ankara has found its party” and referred to the Freedom and Reform Party’s (ORP) Annual Congress and said that “the crushing majority of the members of the ORP are citizens of the Republic of Turkey. The ORP with the active support of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) has become the leader of the rightist front. It is expected that with the first elections several citizens of the Republic of Turkey will be elected deputies and will take their seats at the Assembly. During the last elections, since there was no alternative, the AKP had supported and channelled the Turkish votes to the RTP. This time the AKP is getting ready to use all its support for the ORP. Ankara considers ORP as the party which will be able to accommodate both the Turkish Cypriots and the Turks together. The ORP in 14 months opened 234 party regional offices. They say that it is being financed by circles close to AKP”.

9.4.2. Referring to the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Sozcu newspaper reported on 26.11.2007 on the ORP’s congress under banner headlines: “This is not a Bank’s credit Card” and says that the Italian Parliamentarian Maurizio Turco, who was invited to the congress by the ORP leader Turgay Avci, addressing the congress took out from his pocket the so-called Identity Card of the “TRNC” and branding it to the audience and referring to the Archbishop Chrysostomos II said: “This not a bank’s credit card but the TRNC ID card with which I am proud. He urged the Archbishop to act as a religious man and not as politician during his visits in Europe and if he continues to act like politician they will receive him as politician and not a religious man. He also said that they will invite Mr. Turgay Avci to the European Parliament, not as a citizen but as the “Foreign Minister of the TRNC.”

9.4.3. Under the title “UBP (National Unity Party) -ORP (Freedom and Reform Party) Coalition?” Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper reported on 25.11.2007 that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey, is working on a new scenario aiming to take the Republican Turkish Party of Mehmet Ali Talat away from the “government”. The paper wrote that after AKR established the ORP in order to put in the sidelines the Democratic Party of Serdar Denktas, now is taking the second step in order to change the political balance in occupied Cyprus. According to the paper, AKR wants to get rid of CTP so that a new political coalition may be formed between the UBP and the ORP. Invoking sources, the paper writes that this development came after pressure put to AKP from some nationalist circles in Ankara which did not digest the fact that CTP is in power.

9.4.4. Columnist Necmettin Capa wrote in Afrika on 3.12.2007 the following:

                “For the people who participated at the ORP congress, the ORP paid the children 10 YTL, youth 25-30 YTL, adults 50 YTL. It the congress lasts long 50 + meal + transport. How the associations of the persons from Turkey are benefiting from this, no one knows. But they get very high numbers and job opportunities from the state departments are for sure. What is important is that 2000 persons were filled in the Ataturk Sports Hall and they make a show off. It is a scandal. Egemen Bagis, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign relations Secretary of the AKP saw this crowd. It is enough.” 

9.4.5. Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper reported in its first page on 3.12.2007 that Mehmet Cakici, the chairman of the Communal Democracy Party (TDP), described as rottenness the situation exist in the Turkish Cypriot community. As he stated either the ideologist or the sold out will win in occupied Cyprus. Mr Cakici referring to the intervention of the AKP in occupied Cyprus stated that a new political opportunist’ elite was created which markets the will of the Turkish Cypriot people. As he stated these circles are putting the country in great danger. Mr Cakici went on and stated that in this period a settling of accounts is taking place in the TRNC between the idealists and the honest and the sold out and the opportunists. As he stated, if the opportunists win, nobody knows what the outcome will be.

9.4.6. Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper  reported on 14.12.2007 that the Politics for the People Movement (HIS) of the former Head of the Religious Affairs Department, Mr Ahmet Yonluer, is becoming a party. As the paper wrote, Mr Yonluer is submitting today at the self-styled interior ministry the application and the list of the founding members of the HIS party. The party’s emblem will be a blue evil eye bead (worn to ward off the evil eye).

9.4.7. Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper reported on 18.12.2007 that the newly established Politics for the People (HIS) party introduced itself yesterday at a press conference. The founding chairman of the party, Ahmet Yonluer and other party members participated in the conference. Mr Yonluer said that the clear message they have taken during their contacts with the people was that “people do not trust the politicians any more” and that they were expecting the establishment of a new party.  Mr Yonluer reminded that HIS has 63 founding members. He argued that efforts have been exerted recently to perform politics which is only focused on Turkey and both the “government” and the opposition tried to acquire political gains from this. He said that HIS launched its efforts trusting the “TRNC people” and pointed out that the “place for the internal politics is the TRNC”.

Responding to a question, he said that he could not deny his friendly relations with the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and added that he could not neglect these relations because he has established a political party. However, he said that he believes that the internal policy is carried out with the “TRNC people” and interferences from outside should not be allowed. He said that within the next few days they will meet with officials from Turkey, in order to introduce themselves, but they will do this without taking any suggestion from anyone and without expecting any aid. Asked about their targets, Mr Yonluer argued that in spite of the fact that the conditions for carrying out a serious opposition exist in the country, these conditions have not been utilized and added that they will carry out a serious opposition until the elections, they will complete their organizational structure and prepare for the elections and make every preparation for bringing the party into power in the elections.

9.4.8. The ORP has now 5 deputies. Huseyin Avkiran Alanli, who resigned from his party three and half months ago, joined yesterday the ORP. Now the parliament seats are distributed among the parties as follows: CTP: 25, UBP: 13, DP: 6, ORP: 5, TDP: 1 (Kibris, 12.8.2008)

9.4.9. The Our Party (Bizim Parti), which was established as a political party with religious views ten years ago in 1998, merged with the ORP yesterday. The chairman of the Our Party and his friends told that they were happy to support the ORP. (Kibris, 21.11.2008) 

10. Recent Figures

10.1. The number of Turkish Cypriots and Turkish settlers in the TRNC

In our previous table of the first edition (1.9.), we gave the figures of the arriving and departing TRNC and TR and other citizens starting from 1974 until 2003. In the table below, we started from 2001 and found out the number of the incoming and outgoing citizens of the TRNC and TR. According to this calculation, at the beginning of 2004, there were 146,255 citizens of the TR and third countries, who remained in the TRNC and 44,252 TRNC citizens remained abroad.

In our news list below, which we prepared according to the data available, it shows the list of passengers arriving at and departing from the TRNC airports and seaports, by year and citizenship:


 incoming    outgoing     difference                      incoming               outgoing        difference

                   TR             TR        TR                                  T/C                        T/C           T/C


2001    4,924,228   4,833,111        91,117                    2,092,729          2,138,112      -45,383      

2002       316,193       310,514         5,679                      133,317            134,083              766                 

2003       340,083       321,447       18,636                      119,682            119,583                99

2004       434,744       402,578       32,166                      134,886            135,343              457

2005      488,023        487,440            583                       152,804           152,347              457      

2006      572,633        570,533         2,100                       175,081           179,915            4,834

2007      598,529        555,193       43,336                       184,181           178,906            5,275    

2008       650,405       647,435         2,970                       200,074            199,713              361


             8,324,838    8,128,251   +196,587                   3,192,754        3,238,002         -45,248


At the beginning of 2009, there were 45,248 TRNC citizens who stayed abroad. The number of the TR citizens, who stayed in the TRNC was 196,587 (which include some tourists on holiday, university students studying at the TRNC universities, besides the mainland Turkish settlers and workers)

10.2. Unreliable number of population and of electors

10.2.1. Afrika newspaper wrote in its “Letter from Afrika” column on 9.3.2009 that in the previous elections, the number of electors was about 163,000 and now it is rumoured that the number is about 180,000. The paper asked:

“Well, How many of them are Turkish Cypriots? Do not expect that the Supreme Election Council make any declaration about this subject. Neither the government could do it. This is a delicate matter. According to the information we received this number is 62,500. It means the one third of our total number of electors. The number of the transferred population and electors are increasing and the local population is decreasing. This number will certainly be drawn to lower numbers. What you should understand is AS FOLLOWS: The administration will be determined mainly by those voters who come from the Republic of Turkey. We have to add also that around 47,000 Turkish citizens are waiting to become TRNC citizens right after the elections. They have been already registered by the Turkish Embassy here and they are waiting their turn.”  

5.2.2. On the same day, another columnist of Afrika, Turgut Afsaroglu estimated that the number of the electors were 173.000 and only 63.000 of them were Cypriots and the rest were Turkish citizens, i.e. the Turkish Cypriots were in minority and their political will was taken away from their hands.

5.2.3. According to the G/C newspaper Politis, Christophias told that the number of the Turkish settlers increased from 250,000 to 325,000 according to the new information they had. (Kibrisli, 17.6.2010)


11.1. The Supreme Election Council (YSK) declared on 13 March 2009 that the number of the electors, which will participate at the elections on 19 April 2009 were 198.006. (Kibrisli, 14.3.2009)

11.2.Turgut Afsaroglu wrote in his weekly column in Afrika on 16.3.2009 under the title “We have to take back our jasmines”:

“In the elections of 1976, our number of electors were 75,824. And our population was 113,736.

In the elections of 1990, the  number of our electors became 103,218. The total population was 154,827.

In the elections of 1998, there were 120,758 electors. Our total population increased to 181,137.

In the elections of 2005, the number of the electors was 147,823, whereas the total number of our citizens was 221,735.

It means that in the last 30 years, both our number of electors and the citizens were doubled.

God knows how much will it be in the elections of 19th April?

Let us make an estimate. Will it be 170,000 or 180,000 or 198,000?

And will the Turkish Cypriots be the majority of the minority of them?

Leave the citizens aside. There is also a de-facto population. According to Talat it is 500,000.

According to Serdar 600,000 and according to others it is 700-800,000. And the allegations are such as that after the elections, the Ankara will be pressing, so that at least 45,000 persons more should be made citizens of the TRNC.

Perhaps the population policy of this small country is determined by Ankara and either the UBP or the CTP is in power, they dictate their policies to those who come into power and they bow their necks to this for the sake of their seats....

One has to ask them: “As the 70 million population of Turkey arrive here in flocks, how can you find enough money for the employment, food, housing, school, teacher, doctor, hospital, prison for  this population?

If you divide the few hundred million dollars money that Turkey send here every year to each head, it makes less than two dollars a day. And this is not enough, neither for employment, nor for food, hospital, and prison. At this point one has to decide. Is it O.K. up to now or do we go on like this? And until where?”

11.3. On 23 March 2009, Kibris newspaper criticized the TAK news agency when it published on 22 March a new number of electors as 159,906. The editor of Kibris, Resat Akar, asked at the title of his column on that day: “To whom should we believe?”

He wrote: “The YSK announced in its statement yesterday that the number of the citizens in the TRNC are 198,000. According to the State Planning Bureau, the total population was 178,000 according to the census of 2006. This means that in the last three years, our population increased 20.000... If the government during the period of CTP gave only 60 new citizenships, where does this number of 16,680 new citizens come from? It means that there are serious mistakes here.”  

11.4. On 30 March 2009, the same Council announced in its declaration No.23 that the final number of electors were 161.373. (Kibris, 31.3.2009) 

According to these two declarations, the number of the electors and the number of the Deputies who would be elected by each district would be as follows:

                                            13 March 2009                        30 March 2009 

Nicosia                                 62,227       16                                      50,653

Famagusta                            52,795       13                                      42,325

Kyrenia                                35,990         9                                       30,428

Morphou                              25,383         6                                       21,017

Trikomo (İskele)                   21,611         6                                       16,950


                                            198,006       50                                    161,373  

11.5. There were 71 Turkish citizens among the 350 candidates:

7 parties with 350 candidates participated at the early general elections, held on 19 April 2009. Among the candidates 71 were Turkish citizens also. They were mainly represented in the parties of HİS and ORP.

Out of 50 candidates of the HIS, 23 were Turkish citizens. In the list of ORP, 17 were Turkish citizens. DP came in the third row with 13 candidates. The UBP had 7, TDP had 6, CTP-BG had 3 and BKP-Jasmine Movement had 2 candidates with Turkish citizenship. (Afrika, 23.3.2009)


12.1. “Meddling of Turkey with full support to the elections in the TRNC!” was the title of the column by Kartal Harman in Kibrisli on 10.3.2009.

He wrote that Denktas did not get directives from the AKP and he used to get support from another place in Ankara. Later the relationship between AKP and Denktas got worse and the party of Denktas’ son, DP was kept out of power with the formation of the ORP as an alternative to the DP. At that point, the meddling to the internal affairs of the TRNC was at its peak. Almost all the high ranking ORP Deputies participated at the ORP congress and the message was clear and net: The AKP is near the ORP!

                During the congress of the DP last Sunday, another leader of a Turkish party, Vice-Chairperson of the Democratic left Party (DSP) Melda Bayer participated at the DP Congress... What they do is nothing than influencing the electors from Turkey (in the TRNC).

                As you can see from this, the fate of the elections will not be determined by the Turkish Cypriots, but by the TRNC citizens, originating from the Republic of Turkey, who came to the island and settled here at one time or another. One should give attention to the following point! It was only yesterday that some persons did not know where Nicosia is and even they were asking us “Which language do you speak here?”. Nowadays they were given citizenship very easily and they were made as the people, who determine the political will of the TRNC.”

12.2. Kibris newspaper wrote on 24 March 2009 that the Chairman of the HIS party, Ahmet Yonluer reacted to the fact that the Turkish Cypriot political parties did not put in their electoral lists of the candidates who came to Cyprus after 1974 and he asked where is their sincerity. He continued:

“In the UBP list, only 7 candidates are persons who came after 1974. Moreover 3 of them cannot get elected because of their placing. Is this your understanding of equality?

Indeed, I do not get angry with the CTP, TDP and BKP, because they say sincerely in every platform that they do not want these people. But if you, like UBP, say that you do not make discrimination and you make fun of those people by making such lists, then we tell those people your real face. “

12.3. Under the title “Izcan: We do not accept the current regime”, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper  reported on 27.3.2009 that a delegation from the United Cyprus Party (BKP) – Jasmine Movement visited yesterday Basaran Duzgun, the paper’s editor-in-chief. Mr Izcan said that nothing in the occupied areas will be put in order unless the population policy is taken under control. Mr Izan noted that they will annul the “citizenship” of all the persons who acquired this “citizenship” in a manner contrary to the international law. “This is not racism”, he added, “what we are trying to do is to put an end to the population policy which annihilates the Turkish Cypriots and make the Turkish Cypriots to have a say”.

Mr Izcan noted that the occupied northern part of Cyprus is administered by the “high coordination council”, the “embassy” of Turkey and “Turkey’s Aid Delegation”. He noted that in case the power is not transferred to the Turkish Cypriots the “governments” will be nothing more than puppets and the Turkish Cypriots, who cannot plan their economy, education, population and future, will be annihilated.

12.4. Afrika newspaper, under the title “AKP is touting for votes for Avci”, reported on 30.3.2009 that officials of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) are currently in the TRNC and try to convince those from “the Turkish Republic” who live in the occupied areas to vote for the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP). The AKP experts believe that Avci’s party can elect up to ten deputies with the votes of those from the Turkish Republic. They are trying to reduce the power of the National Unity Party (UBP) and increase the votes of the ORP, notes AFRIKA paper arguing that a coalition government between UBP and ORP will be established after the elections.

12. 5. Yeni Duzen newspaper published on 30.3.2009 an interview by the veteran Turkish Cypriot politician Mustafa Akinci, who bids farewell to politics, with journalist Cagil Gunalp. Akinci pointed out that it would be naive to even consider that the deep state of Turkey is independent from the occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus.

He noted that until the developments of 2003, the Turkish governments, the military civil bureaucracy and the deep state had always been next to former Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas and the National Unity Party (UBP).

Mr Akinci said that the investigation in Turkey regarding the Ergenekon case will be incomplete if they don’t investigate all the unsolved crimes that occurred in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus, like the murder of Kutlu Adali, the bombs at the houses of two prime ministers (Eroglu-Talat), the bombs at Afrika and Kibris papers, the bombs at the cars of Durduran and Ali Osman as well as the attempt to burn the building of the Peace and Democracy Movement (BDH).

12.6. “IT IS A HUMILIATION FOR US TO INTERVENE TO THE ELECTIONS FROM ABROAD”  This was the title of a letter, written by Ratip Gulmez from Kyrenia, published in Kibris’ in the “The word is yours” column, on 29.3.2009. The writer of the letter gave some examples of meddling in favour of the CTP during the election campaign:

                “First some names, who captured their columns in the Star, Sabah and Radikal newspapers of Turkey, explored suddenly some relationship between “Ergenekon” and Cyprus. They did not remain only with this, they also serviced their findings for the usage by their comrades in the TRNC and by the Ergenekon craftsmen in Turkey... One of them came with another name from the same group to the TRNC and taught us what the “Ergenekon” is and they returned...

Later we saw that Olli Rehn came here all of a sudden. Without any reservation and losing any time, he declared “Let’s hope that the pro-solution parties will win” and he went back. With him we saw that there was a EU dimension of the meddling to the elections.

Right after Rehn, German parliamentarian Jurgen Walter landed out territory and without being ashamed he said “if the previous people come to power, the negotiations will come to an end.”

Mrs.Rothe was the other European parliamentarian who arrived here and she was the most clear one and unaware of the public opinion. She participated directly at a festival of the CTP and openly hinted us the “CTP” and she also went back.

How could such a situation can be experienced in a European country? What took my attention was that these people who meddle from outside were asking for support only in the name of those in the government, but not for the benefit of the parties which are in the opposition. I was wondering why?...”     

17.6. It was reported in the “Letter from Afrika” column, published on 30.3.2009:

“As if they hear it for the first time that Ankara meddles. We have said it yesterday in our main title. The heavy canons of the AKP arrived here, they are among us They are visiting every village and neighbourhood and collecting votes for Turgay Avci. The other day they were in Degirmenlik (Kythrea) region and yesterday they were in Guzelyurt (Morphou). If someone has a doubt, s/he has to go and look with her/his own eyes.”

None of our parties has raised its voice to the meddling of the AKP to our elections. They fish in the sweet waters. But when they will be caught on the hook, they will be surprised.” 


18.1.  Yeni Volkan newspaper (28.03.09) reports that Asil Nadir, owner of Kibris Media Group, has sent Resat Akar, whom he appointed as director of his Media Group, to compulsory leave until the end of the “elections”. Under the title “Asil has been surrendered to the green fascism”, the paper alleges that Asil Nadir has succumbed to the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), which cornered and blackmailed him because he has not paid his tax liabilities. The paper reminds that Mr Akar was appointed to his post two and a half months ago and adds that he was given three weeks compulsory leave.

18.2. “Ahmet Uzun of the CTP, Ersin Tatar of the UBP, Bengu Sonya of the DP and Rasit Pertev of the TDP were the four persons, invited to the KANAL T programme, presented by Dilek Kirci. When they entered the studio, Uzun wanted that Pertev would be sent out of the studio. He asked for the police to come. Pertev was given a short time to talk at the beginning of the programme and later he was sent away. The Patron of the KANAL T was also in the studio and he remained only silent to this scandal.” (Afrika newspaper, Letter from Afrika, 31.3.2009)


“The Chairman of the TDP (Communal Democracy Party), Mehmet Cakici, answered the questions of the Volkan correspondent as follows:

“The CTP-ORP coalition government “feeds” on one side the media, which support the government and on the other side tries to silence the persons and organizations, who do not think like themselves by oppression and threats. He gave the example of Kibris newspaper, where Asil Nadir, the owner of the KIBRIS Media Group, was forced to send the editor of his daily newspaper to holiday during the election campaign. Now Ersin Tatar, the owner of the KANAL T, is under attack by the pro-government columnists and his employees were given false promises so that they leave the TV station. (Volkan, 31 March 2009)


18.4.1. According to the information we received, the preparations have started in the Karpasia region. As we were talking to some old leaders of the local UBP organizations, they told us the following:

“We have seen very well how the meddling was in the previous elections. Even the most reliable persons that we know could say “What the green plate (the colour of the diplomatic car plate of the Turkish Embassy in the TRNC) says, that will happen.” After the public opinion polls were made, everything can change in the last three days. He gave us examples.

Eroglu is an old wolf (politician). He knows his work very well. As far as we can see, he took the delivery of the media and many businessmen. If he goes like this, he can get in power all alone, but he will not.... The AKP did not help the formation of the ORP for nothing, only for 2,5 years. Now the turn will for ORP. They will say “stop” to the UBP and “pass” to the ORP. They will secure that the ORP get enough votes over the limit, so that they can have 4-5 Deputies. Don’t tell that it is not possible. They do such things in the last 3 days. Do not forget the elections in 2003 when the balance was 25+25.”  (Harun Denizkan, Havadis, 8 April 2009)


“AKP sent its election bus to the ORP. The bus with the plate number 34 FFG 01 came finally yesterday and started to take part in the election activities. This luxurious bus is known as the election bus of Kadir Toptas, the Istanbul Metropolitan Mayor... On the other hand, the bus of the UBP was sent by Mustafa Sarigul, Istanbul Sisli Mayor, who is a “very close” friend of Eroglu. Sarigul had previously sent his advertisers to the UBP.” (Yeni Duzen, 9.4.2009)

18.4.3. Afrika newspaper, under the title “Let those who look for a meddling see. Give up Ergenekon, look at the AKP’s bus!...” and with a picture of the election bus of the leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, reported on 10.4.2009  that the Justice and Development Party (AKP), which openly in favour of CTP in the elections of 2003 and 2005, has not hesitated to do it again in these elections. AKP has sent the election bus to Turgay Avci to conquer the TRNC.  In its column “Letter from AFRIKA”, the paper wrote the following: 
“The bus was sent to the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP), because only Turgay Avci demanded it from Ankara. If UBP, CTP and DP wanted, would Erdogan have sent them one? So what? Is ORP Ankara’s own party and the rest the foster parties? (...)  Ankara will in our elections in every period. It is doing it today, it will do it tomorrow. Because TRNC is not an independent state... It is under Turkey’s administration.”

18.5. Ergenekon connections in the TRNC: The following information was included in the second indictment in the Ergenekon trial in Istanbul:

“In the 1998 elections in the TRNC, one million dollars were sent to the island in one evening. Two days before the elections, 17 million 500 million Turkish Liras were distributed by hand to the electors. A total of 20 million dollars were distributed. This operation in the TRNC covers solely the deep interest of Turkey. There is an agreement of opinion in the Upper Council. Mr.Eroglu has the characteristics that are sought for after Denktas. Our friends came to us with the thesis that we should not trust names other than Eroglu. The system of the Turkish Cypriot people has been cooked and they will eat it… The most important is the investment in the ART-TV station and this can serve the aims of the “Directorate of the Civil Department”. (Yeni Duzen, 8 April 2009)

18.5.1. Turkish daily Today’s Zaman newspaper (10.04.09) published the following: “Ferdi Sabit Soyer, prime minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC), who filed a request with the KKTC Chief Prosecutor's Office demanding an investigation into allegations against a former president and a former prime minister of the KKTC, has said as there have been revelations that a secret organization existed to influence the free will of Turkish Cypriots, his "silence would be equal to murder" with reference to the investigation into Ergenekon, a clandestine terrorist organization charged with plotting to overthrow the Turkish government.

Soyer filed the request on Wednesday, demanding an investigation into allegations against former KKTC President Rauf Denktas and former Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu, leader of the main opposition National Unity Party (UBP), whose names are mentioned in the second indictment in the Ergenekon trial submitted last month to the court hearing the case. He said that he had experienced a creeping sensation when he read documents seized at the home of Mustafa Ozbek, the jailed chairman of workers' union Turk Metal. According to the documents, the terrorist organization established two main centres, in the KKTC and Ankara, to wiretap conversations, including those of politicians and businessmen. Ozbek was arrested in late January as part of the ongoing Ergenekon investigation.

Soyer said the documents show Denktas’ phone calls were wiretapped to have him eliminated and there were great efforts to have the UBP elected as the winning party with Eroglu as the president. Soyer told that about 18 million dollars were sent by Ozbek to this effect.

“It is an organization that wiretapped the telephones of Mehmet Ali Talat, who later became the prime minister. They also tried to eliminate Talat. Nobody should forget that a bomb exploded in Talat’s home during the same period. Now that I have learned all this, my silence would be equal to murder. I acted upon concrete information with a desire to uncover past secrets,” said Soyer, as quoted by the Anatolia news agency.

Eroglu said that he is the one who should file charges. “We don’t take them seriously. As the Republican Turks Party loses voters, they do not know what to do. They even bring up allegations without knowing what they contain. The UBP is not involved in such a scheme,” he said. He added that he is consulting his lawyers about the issue: “I am the one who should file for a lawsuit. My rights are reserved in that regard.”

18.5.2. Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (10.04.09), in its front page under the title “Shock confession!”, reported that the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, during the television programme “Last Situation” broadcast by the Turkish Cypriot local television channel KIBRIS TV, said that he was receiving dead threat from CIA during the “elections” of 1981 and added:
“At that period, I was deemed as a hawk on the Cyprus issue. Clerides the peaceful one and I were displayed as the intransigent. Because we do not accept their sayings about the Turkish Cypriot government being a blood stained administration I was asked to be eliminated. Has the meddling of the foreigners disappeared today? Are not the remarks of the British High Commissioner and the U.S Ambassador a meddling? Or the fact that USA has distributed 30 million dollars? Let us not forget these. Those who do not call these meddling are standing up and shouting that Turkey is meddling. When I looked at this report, even the Turkish of the writers was not correct. When such information on certain issues taking place inside Cyprus was coming, I informed the competent officials when I realized that it was serious. And when a death threatening letter was sent by a CIA agent I informed Turkey and Turkey stood behind us.”

18.5.3. Viewing Turkish Cypriot politician Sabit Soyer's demand for an investigation against Rauf Denktas and Dervis Eroglu within the framework of the Ergenekon investigation in an article in Hurriyet Daily News (10.04.09), Yusuf Kanli questioned whether Soyer was plotting to avert a humiliating defeat in the 19 April elections.

18.5.4. Under the headline, "Frightening claims regarding Ergenekon's Cyprus operations," Zaman (10.04.09) published a report which asserts that the Ergenekon network is being accused of staging an assassination attempt against former Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat before the referendum on the island in 2004, maintaining explosives caches on the Turkish part of the island, killing certain Turkish Cypriot journalists, and trying to influence the results of Turkish Cypriot elections.

18.5.5. Under the headline, "Chief Public Prosecutor being threatened," the Zaman daily newspaper carried on 11.4.2009 a report which quoted TRNC Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer as saying that the office of the chief public prosecutor in North Cyprus is receiving threats over a recently filed formal request for an investigation into allegations of complicity between the Ergenekon network and former Turkish Cypriot President Rauf Denktas and former Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu.

18.5.6. In Hurriyet (12.04.09), columnist Ferai Tinc wrote in her article that many circles in north Cyprus believe that daily Havadis publishing new Ergenekon documents was a move by the Turkish Government to 'intervene' in the elections to be held in the TRNC on 19 April. However, she noted, a general consensus exists between all the political parties on the steps to be taken to resolve the Ergenekon mystery. Arguing that possible change of political balances after the elections in the TRNC might obstruct the Ergenekon investigation on the island, Tinc quoted unnamed Turkish Cypriot journalists as saying that "Ergenekon has become an influential organization in north Cyprus. Turkey will be unable to unearth the Ergenekon network's activities if it fails to investigate the organization's links on the island."

18.5.7. A column by Oral Calislar in Radikal (12.04.09) argued that the Ergenekon files that have been placed on the agenda one week before the elections seem to have changed the atmosphere in north Cyprus. According to the Turkish Cypriot media, he said, public opinion polls showing a significant increase in the National Unity Party [UBP] votes led the ruling Republican Turkish Party [CTP] to take action to prevent the transfer of power to the UBP. Claiming that the "peace and reunification talks" talks between Turkish Cypriot leader Talat and President Christofias might be suspended if the UBP wins the elections, Calislar warned that a possible UBP victory in TRNC is likely to affect the Turkey-EU relations negatively. He goes on to note that both the election in the Turkish Cypriot sector and the Ergenekon investigation in the north have the potential to dominate Turkey's political agenda soon.

18.5.8. “They do not say anything, when the God of Meddling is here” was the title of the “letter from Afrika column on 13.4.2009. The columnist wrote as follows:

                “We entered the last week before the elections. That is the most critical week. There is also the last critical 24 hours of this critical week. According to many people, what happens, happens at this last night. The last blessings were distributed and the poll was closed at that night...

                Last week there was a discussion that there was an meddling from outside in the elections of 1988. Who made this? The Ergenekon. The pro-CTP media used this fodder in abundance given by Ferdi Sabit Soyer. They made headlines. They gave supplements in support of this news. In reality, this was the lt branch, which was grasped by the CTP against the UBP. But it did not work. The branch was broken. The citizens did not take care of it... The Ankara governments have been intervening to our elections since 1976. Don’t they? It is not sincere to show that only in 1998 there was meddling...If you talk of meddlings, you have to look around yourselves. What will you see? Now AKP Deputies and election experts are taking part in the election campaign of a party and they visit every village. Why don‘t you say a word to this? Look, Veysi Kaynak, AKP MP from Kahramanmaras is among us. On Thursday, the Turkish Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator,Egemen Bagis will also arrive. For sure he will be coming with the last “blessings”. He is the God of the meddlings. You are still talking of 1998? Why don’t you see the log in your eye?”

18.5.9. Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (15.04.09) reported that Turgut Oker, chairman of the European Alevite Unions’ Federation visited yesterday the premises of Kibris and stated that the Alevites in the TRNC should have the right not only to vote, but to be elected as well. Mr Oker was accompanied by Ozdemir Gul, candidate in the forthcoming elections with the Republican Turkish Party – New Forces (CTP-BG) in Nicosia and chairman of the Association for Researching and Promoting the Haci Bektas-i Veli Culture i.e.The Association of the Alevites in the TRNC.

Mr Oker said, inter alia, the following: “The fact that Ozdemir Gul is candidate in the elections as our chairman in Cyprus is very suitable to our basic targets. From now on, as Alevites we should not only vote, but we should be elected as well. In Europe we have many friends who are MPs and we support them. It is not our fate to remain always in the back. Our people have become experts in many fields. The Alevites too should have a say in politics now.

 18.5.10. Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (16.04.09), under the title “100 thousand voters ´From Turkey´”, published an extensive reportage about the elections, which will be held in the TRNC next Sunday. The paper reported, inter alia, that in the general elections, which are the 10th after 1974, only 61 thousand of the voters are Turkish Cypriots. The rest 100 thousand voters are Turkish settlers who came in the occupied areas after 1974. As the paper wrote, looking it from this point of view, many Turkish Cypriots say that “it is the migrants from Turkey that will determine the elections”.

18.5.11. Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper published on 16.4.2009 a report by its correspondent in Nicosia, Sefa Karahasan under the title, “‘Election bribe’ quarrel in the TRNC”. Sefa Karahasan reported, inter alia, that the Vice chairman of the Executive Board of Vakiflar Bankasi, Mr Ahmet Keskin, speaking in a press conference, accused the CTP of granting credits to five hundred people in exchange of votes, three days before the elections.


Total number of electors:           161,373

Total number of valid votes:      131,178

Percentage of participation:        81.29

Name of the Party                          Percentage (in 2005)            No. of Deputies (in 2005)

UBP                                                      44,04    (31.71)                          26  (18)

CTP-BG                                                29,26    (44.45)                          15  (25)

DP                                                         10,65    (13.49)                            5    (6)

TDP                                                         6,87    (as TKP 2.41)                 2    (-)

ORP                                                        6,21          (-)                              2

BKP-Jasmine Movement                          2,42         (-)                               0

HİS                                                          0,49         (-)                               0           

19.1. 36% of the Deputies (18 new faces) were elected for the first time. There are now 17 doctors in the parliament, one less than the previous period. Out of 345 candidates of the 7 parties, 55 were women candidates.  Only 4 of them could be elected: 2 from the UBP and 2 from the CTP-BG.


19.2.1. The first President of the TRNC Rauf Denktas talked after the election victory of the UBP and told that “the electors were bought .” The percentage of the voters were 60% during the day, but afterwards, it jumped suddenly up to 80%. Unfortunately those who got their money, ran to the polls.”  (Havadis, 20.4.1009)

19.2.2. “Old habits were experienced again during the elections, which are a kind of examination for the democracy. One day before the elections, the political parties were in a competition of distributing money mainly in Nicosia within the walls, in the suburbs of Nicosia and the surrounding villages and in Karpasia. We have received numerous messages of notification especially in the late hours of Saturday... 

A businessman told that he has 1,000 identity cards in his bag and he asked for one milliard for each person. He was visiting the party buildings, saying “he, who pays one trillion, gets 1,000 votes”. This bargaining was the clearest indicator of the dark side of the election. (Levent Ozadam, Havadis, 20.4.2009)

19.2.3. “The DP Chairman Serdar Denktas, who gave a statement recently to Halkin Sesi newspaper to this effect, applied to the Parliament for the investigation of the allegations that votes were bought. He said that there are rumours of “buying votes and also a discussion about “a bourse of the elected”. The system should be examined by the Parliament, which has a great responsibility. “ (Havadis, 22.5.2009)

19.2.4. Serdar Denktas talked on the Sim Radio and said that his party had also bought votes like every other party during the election period. There are people, who come to you and bargain for each voter, asking 100, 200 or 300 Turkish Liras. If there is no party, which does not do this, it has to come forward and say, but every political party has bought votes.” (Yeni Duzen, 23.4.2009)

19.2.5. The Supreme Election Council (YSK) stated that it was not possible to go further in order to investigate the allegations that votes were sold or bought during the elections.”

Mr.Serdar Denktas changed his statement in front of the police interrogater and said that he did not remember the names of the persons, who wanted to sell votes. He also did not give any written statement and there were no enough available evidence on the subject. ” (Kibris, 16 and 22.5.2009)


19.3.1. A Sociologist and the director of the KADEM, Muharrem Faiz, told that the fundamental reason why the UBP became the first party with a percentage of 44.02 was that the previous government made very extreme promises and did not fulfil them. According to a research done, many citizens who were members of the CTP gave their votes for the UBP just out of revenge. Faiz continued: “This has nothing to do with the attractive sides of the UBP. The practices of the CTP government such as the high price for the electricity, the heavy taxes, increased unemployment and no anticipated progress in the Cyprus problem were the reasons that the UBP made a difference to the other parties, he said. The people were thinking completely of the internal situation and the Cyprus problem was in the second or third place.” (Halkin Sesi, 21.4.2009)“

19.3.2. Under the title “Cemil Cicek and the sensitive adjustment”, the Letter from Afrika column of Afrika newspaper of 23.4.2009 wrote that the last visit of Cemil Cicek from Turkey was hidden from the eyes. He made the last sensitive adjustment as all the eyes were concentrated on the ORP. As the nation was waiting to see if an election bus will come or not, he struck the fatal blow to the CTP.

                According to the allegations, Cemil Cicek asked Ferdi openly, if they are going to tighten the belts. He asked later, if they will be implementing or not implementing the package Turkey sent. Ferdi was uttering some words, then Cemil Cicek got angry: “You have not even withdraw the mobile scale for the salaries!” ... When Ferdi slowed down the implementation of his promises, Ankara sent the first warning. From that point on, the December salaries could be paid with delay only in January.  After that moment, Ferdi had to inform Ankara that they will go on the early elections on 19th April. Then Ankara’s sensitive adjustment started...Ankara sent a life buoy to the ORP and took the two Deputies from UBP and gave them to the ORP, one from Karpasia, the other one from Famagusta were given as a present to Turgay Avci...”

19.3.3. Expences of the political parties in the last elections are being calculated...CTP had the highest expenditure with 1,778,600 TL. The TDP spent something like 220,000 TL and the UBP around 800,000 TL. It is estimated that the DP spent 400,000 TL in the general election campaign. (Kibris, 4.6.2009)


20.1. Mechtild Rothe, ex-MP and ex-vice-President of the European Parliament,

gave a conference in Gonyeli under the title “The benefits of a solution for the Turkish Cypriots”.  She said that after Mehmet Ali Talat came into power, the negotiations have a strengthened basis. (Kibris, 6.3.2010)

20.2. The US Foreign Minister, Hillary Clinton, invited TRNC President Mehmet Ali Talat to the USA. Talat is undecided.” (Kibris, 8.3.2010)

20.3. President Mehmet Ali Talat returned to the TRNC after completing his contacts in Ankara.  Talat said that he will not be going to the USA, because the way the invitation was made, disturbed him and he did not want to stay away from the TRNC 3-4 days, therefore we will not be going to the USA. (Kibris, 11.3.2010)

20.4. Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu talked in a conference in Aydin University, Turkey and said that the American invitation to Talat is an meddling to the presidential elections in favour of Talat.” (Halkin Sesi, 11.3.2010)

20.5. Under the title “Now the turn is for Tahsin Ertugruloglu!”, the columnist Kartal Harman wrote among others the following:

“Although Eroglu gives statements to the effect that he does not have any problem with the AKP, it is well-known that the AKP do not want Eroglu. Turkey has always intervened into all of the elections in either this way or in another and managed to bring out a government to her like, she gives more importance to the presidential elections than the general elections and she is supporting one side... If a party comes into power and at the moment that this party does not do as Turkey says, the fountain of money is closed and a government crisis is being created immediately in the country... In my opinion, it is not possible that Eroglu can be elected as President. If you look at the scenarios and listen to what Eroglu repeats every now and then like a faulty record, the direction we go is that one. Eroglu says that “we are not in a position to get away from the negotiation table” and he does not say anything else... Therefore, Tahsin Ertugruloglu was called to Ankara and he was told to be a candidate in the presidential elections. The aim is not to give Eroglu a chance to win the Presidential elections.” (Kartal Harman, Kibrisli, 11.3.2010)

20.6. President Mehmet Ali Talat came yesterday to the Supreme Electoral Council and made his application for candidacy. He told to the reporters that he, himself, did not see Ankara intervening to the elections. The doors of Ankara are open for everyone.  He said:  “I have not seen such an meddling since 2004 that I am in this post. Therefore I do not see these allegations as true.” (Volkan, 13.3.2010)

20.7. Ferdi Sabit Soyer, the chairman of the CTP met yesterday at the CTP Headquarters in Nicosia with the AKEL Secretary-General Andros Kiprianu. Kiprianu told that the two parties support Christophias and Talat so that the initiative they undertook will lead to a success.” (Volkan, 13.3.2010)

20.8. The Chairman of the TRNC Settlers’ Association, Gonul Uygun, criticized Enver Dincoglu, Chairman of the Settlers’ Aid and Solidarity Association, who decided to support Mehmet Ali talat in the coming presidential elections. Dincoglu told that they are a nationalist association and they will not be the extension of a political party or the backyard of any political party. (Kibris, 14.3.2010)

20.9. Greek Cypriot weekly newspaper Kathimerini reported that Adviser of the US Foreign Ministry, Philip Gordon asked George Papandreou during his visit to the USA last week to use his authority on President Christophias to support Mehmet Ali Talat for a common declaration about the intensive negotiations on Cyprus problem, which could be very helpful for him during the election campaign. According to the daily Phileleftheros, Papandreou told President Obama that there exists no  relationship of dependency between Athens and Nicosia, whereas there is such a dependency between the occupation regime and Ankara. So Obama has to turn to Turkey. (Volkan, 15.3.2010)

20.10. Independent candidate, Tahsin Ertugruloglu, who broke away with the UBP, told that he met during his stay in Ankara with President Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and State Minister Cemil Cicek. He shared his view about his candidacy. I did not get any promise from them. But also they did not tell me not to do such a thing.” (Havadis, 20.3.2010)

20.11. The Chairman of the ORP, Turgay Avci told that his party decided to support Mehmet Ali Talat, since the ORP likes his vision of solution. Avci said: “I have talked with Turkish officials. They asked me to support Mehmet Ali Talat. At this moment, it is not possible that we decide otherwise. Our party has a debt of 380,000 euros in party’s name. If we do not act together, everyone will have problems with the courts. (Volkan, 25. and 27.3.2010)

20.12. Independent candidate for the presidential elections Mehmet Ali Talat told during a visit to the industrial area in Famagusta that in the last six years, it has been a golden age of the TRNC and they made severe progress with a policy in cooperation with Turkey.” (Afrika, 27.3.2010)

20.13. The candidate of the UBP for the presidential elections, Dervis Eroglu, told the Anatolian news agency that he only could laugh at the allegations of Talat that he does not know the Cyprus question. Eroglu said that he has been in the politics since 1976 and he has read all the proceedings of the previous negotiations and he has been always in close dialog with Turkey. Eroglu also said that the chairman of the ORP, Turgay Avci wanted to have a coalition government with the UBP on the condition that the debt of 350,000 TL of the party should be paid by the UBP. Eroglu continued: “Avci told the ORP Council that he received a directive from Ankara to support Talat and later this decision was announced to the press. It is wrong to exploit the name of the fatherland with lies.” (Kibris, 28.3.2010)

20.14.The Supreme Electoral Council announced yesterday the total number of the electors as 164,072. The distribution is as follows:

Nicosia                 51,381

Famagusta            43,004

Kyrenia                31,233

Morphou              21,214

Trikomo               17,240

(Kibris, 30.3.2010)

20.15. The Turkish State Minister and Chief Negotiator with the EU, Egemen Bagis told the Anatolian news agency that whoever will be elected to the Presidency of the TRNC on 18 April, Turkey will do whatever she can for the continuation of the negotiation process within the UN parameters. Turkey will continue to be one step forwards in the words of our Prime Minister.” (Halkin Sesi, 2.4.2010)

20.16. The columnist of Halkin Sesi, Hasan Kahvecioglu, asked  Mehmet Ali Talat “Are you going to get support from the citizens of the Turkish Republic in the TRNC?” Talat answered: “Of course I shall get. Why not? If you make a comparison of the advantages of a solution, the voters with a Turkish origin will have more benefits of the solution than the Turkish Cypriots.” (Halkin Sesi, 2 April 2010)

20.17. The Chairman of the DP, Serdar Denktas, told that his party DP decided to support Eroglu actively and unconditionally. Denktas said: “During our meetings with Eroglu, we did not make any preliminary dealing. We just wanted to tell the world that our will for solution protects our state and our sovereignty. (Kibrisli, 2.4.2010)    

20.18. The columnist Levent Ozadam, writing in Havadis on 5.4.2010, stated under the title “The result of the election will be determined by the electors with TR origin.” Ozadam wrote: 

“First the UBP, then the DP, much later the CTP explored them. The settlers from TR were successful to bring a party they supported into power and a person they supported to the Presidency. And they will have again a big share in the Presidential Elections to be held on 18 April and the candidate who will win their heart will sit to that post. 

                At this moment, the candidates work mainly in their regions. There is a big interest in the crowded masses, who are of Turkish origin. Because a word, which comes from the mouth of an agha or a family head, is very important. And one person can easily influence hundreds of them and the votes go, not scattered, but in bulks, to the polls.

                Maybe those of Cypriot origin are angry at this situation, they complain as if Cypriotism is fading away, but now they are not anymore foreigners, they are the persons, who determine the real will in this country, either they want or not!

                Since the politicians know this very well, they concentrate in the rural areas and try to attract them with thousand and one promises to themselves.”

20.19. US Foreign Minister Hillary Clinton phoned yesterday the President Mehmet Ali Talat and congratulated him for the progress in the intercommunal talks. Clinton also invited Talat to come to Washington after the presidential elections in order to see how the USA can contribute to the talks. (Yeni Duzen, 7.4.2010)

20.20. Turkish daily Today’s Zaman newspaper published on 10.4.2009 the following on the issue:
“Ferdi Sabit Soyer, prime minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC), who filed a request with the KKTC Chief Prosecutor's Office demanding an investigation into allegations against a former president and a former prime minister of the KKTC, has said as there have been revelations that a secret organization existed to influence the free will of Turkish Cypriots, his "silence would be equal to murder" with reference to the investigation into Ergenekon, a clandestine terrorist organization charged with plotting to overthrow the Turkish government.

Soyer filed the request on Wednesday, demanding an investigation into allegations against former KKTC President Rauf Denktas and former Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu, leader of the main opposition National Unity Party (UBP), whose names are mentioned in the second indictment in the Ergenekon trial submitted last month to the court hearing the case. He said that he had experienced a creeping sensation when he read documents seized at the home of Mustafa Ozbek, the jailed chairman of workers' union Turk Metal. According to the documents, the terrorist organization established two main centres, in the KKTC and Ankara, to wiretap conversations, including those of politicians and businessmen. Ozbek was arrested in late January as part of the ongoing Ergenekon investigation.

Soyer said the documents show Denktas’ phone calls were wiretapped to have him eliminated and there were great efforts to have the UBP elected as the winning party with Eroglu as the president.

“It is an organization that wiretapped the telephones of Mehmet Ali Talat, who later became the prime minister. They also tried to eliminate Talat. Nobody should forget that a bomb exploded in Talat’s home during the same period. Now that I have learned all this, my silence would be equal to murder. I acted upon concrete information with a desire to uncover past secrets,” said Soyer, as quoted by the Anatolia news agency.

Soyer, also head of the centre-left Republican Turks Party (CTP), had accused the Ergenekon gang before of blocking the peace process in Cyprus. He had said in March that the KKTC was facing an obstacle in the path toward peace and the name of this obstacle was “Ergenekon.” He promised that the KKTC would continue to seek a solution for the divided island, no matter what obstacles it faces.

Meanwhile, former President Denktas held a press conference yesterday afternoon, reiterating an earlier statement that he was not a perpetrator, but rather a victim of the plots mentioned in the second Ergenekon indictment.  Speaking to journalists at his office in Nicosia yesterday, Denktas claimed that Soyer was going to “correct” the KKTC Prime Ministry’s official statement on the complaint filed on Wednesday. Denktas also said the complaint, filed shortly before upcoming elections on the island, had a purpose; he claimed there was an attempt to make him appear as having links to Ergenekon. He said Soyer’s complaint filed at the KKTC Chief Prosecutor’s Office had been misrepresented, conveying the wrong meaning -- that he is also being accused. He said he talked to Soyer on the phone Thursday morning, adding that Soyer had accepted the mistake and promised to issue a statement to clarify Denktas’ position in the case.

President  Talat said Turkish prosecutors should submit their demands to the KKTC in order to achieve Turkey-KKTC coordination of the investigation into Ergenekon.

“Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer has called on prosecutors to do their duty. We are legally connected with the Turkish prosecutors. If there is bilateral will, both sides should work together. Turkish Cypriot prosecutors could open a case but if there is not enough support from Turkey, I don’t know how well this process would progress,” Talat said, as quoted by AdaTV.

Talat was asked if Turkey had requested such support into the Ergenekon investigation; he said there had been no such demand as yet but that Turkish Cypriot prosecutors would be ready to help if asked.

Eroglu said that he is the one who should file charges. “We don’t take them seriously. As the Republican Turks Party loses voters, they do not know what to do. They even bring up allegations without knowing what they contain. The UBP is not involved in such a scheme,” he said. He added that he is consulting his lawyers about the issue: “I am the one who should file for a lawsuit. My rights are reserved in that regard.”

Meanwhile, Denktas said the petition Soyer filed was not for an investigation into him, but into a past Ergenekon-related attempt to overthrow him. A statement released yesterday by the Turkish Cypriot administration’s press office said: “There has been an ongoing investigation dubbed ‘Ergenekon’ in Turkey. As is well known, there has been an indictment prepared against the suspects as a result of this investigation under the Code on Criminal Procedure [CMK] of the Republic of Turkey. Excerpts from this indictment have also been printed in our domestic press, including allegations against UBP Chairman Dr. Dervis Eroglu and former President Rauf Denktas. Since these allegations are grave ones and since the public good calls for action, it is inevitable that an additional investigation also be launched under KKTC legislation.” When Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was asked about the recent debate over some KKTC leaders’ involvement in Ergenekon, he said: “If there is anything in the legal process that is connected to Cyprus, then the judiciary would take necessary steps. Our desire is for an illumination of the whole issue. Nothing should remain in the dark.”

20.21. The columnist of Afrika, Turgut Afsaroglu wrote under the title “Ankara wants whom?” the following on 12.4.2010”:

                “It has been announced that our number of electors are more than 164,000 now. I wonder how many of them are Cypriot and how many Turkish? Is there anyone who knows it? In the 1976 elections the number of our electors was about 76,000. Have our fertility gone up, or what? In a country where the fertility rate is 5 in per thousand, normally we could catch this number in 200 years, but we reached at it in 34 years. Let God have more... Don’t have an eye on that.


                Denktas did not say this in vain in 2000 elections: “In the TRNC, the person whom Turkey wants is elected as President. In the 2005 elections, Turkey wanted Talat, that’s why he was elected. Since Turkey did not want Denktas, he could not be even a candidate. Well... In the 2010 elections, whom does Turkey, better to say Ankara, much better to say Recep Tayyip Erdogan want to be elected? First time in these elections, it is not known whom Turkey wants to get elected.


                Talat says: “I am in the Ankara’s heart.” Eroglu says:”Ankara did not tell me not to be a candidate.” Ertugruloglu says: “I put my candidacy since Abdullah Gul told me to do so.”



                We know... Ankara can influence at least 100,000 of the 164,000 electors. If Ankara wants, even a single Turkish Cypriot could not be elected to any post. We have learned this by living... The one who wins in this contest, cannot go outside what Ankara says. Noone can win this contest, if Ankara does not want... “


The TRNC Supreme Electoral Board statement announced the official results on 21 April 2010 as follows:

Total Electors: 164.072
Electors casting votes: 125.294
Voter turnout: 76.37 percent.

Candidate                 Total Vote       Percent

Dervis Eroglu             61,422           50.35
Mehmet Ali Talat        52,294           42.87

Tahsin Ertugruloglu      4,647             3.81
Zeki Besiktepeli           1,967             1.61

M. Kemal Tumkan         964             0.79
Arif Salih Kirdag             520            0.43
Ayhan Kaymak              168             0.14

38,778 electors did not turn out and there were 3,312 invalid votes. The most invalid votes were casted in Morfou area and the less in Nicosia.
Moreover, the highest “voter turnout” was observed in Famagusta, while the lowest in Kyrenia.

21. 1. The columnist, Ali Osman, wrote in Afrika on 19.4.2010 the following:

                “Tayyip Erdogan’s last night meddling on the Kanal 24 TV was not sincere in my opinion. The events turn out to be as expected. There was an interest in nationalism. Talat, too, received votes from those regions, but he could not prove enough his nationalism to them. Otherwise they could bring him out of the polls instead of Eroglu.

                They had to find someone like Eroglu, who could make the other side to run from the table. In my opinion, it was a show-off to be on the Kanal 24 TV and behave as if he is intervening to the matter… It had a meaning that “I have done everything, but again Eroglu won.”


21.2.1. The chairman of the CTP-BG, Ferdi Sabit Soyer told that the citizens who had Turkish origin changed the direction of the elections. Soyer said that they would continue their struggle for a solution and peace.” (Yeni Duzen, 19.4.2010)

21.2.2. The Chairman of the BKP, Izzet Izcan, told the citizens with a Turkish origin have settled this work of elections. Izcan said that Eroglu won the Presidency with the votes of those in Famagusta and Trikomo. If the promises of the EU and international circles would be kept, the result would be different.” Izcan also accused the Geek Cypriots that Talat lost the election by rejecting to issue a common statement on a solution and peace.” (Yeni Duzen, 19.4.2010)

21.2.3. The columnist of Halkin Sesi, Hasan Kahvecioglu, wrote on 20.4.2010 under the title “Is Erdogan the real target? Did he or we lose?” the following:

                “If we compare with the 2005 presidential elections, one can see that Talat did not have very great losses, but Mr.Dervis have increased his votes in many places two or even three fold...This means that those, who orginate from Turkey and concentrate in Karpasia and Famagusta, did not go to a “different” place. They stayed in the right line and followed Mr.Dervis. Besides Erdogan’s tender, silent and hesitant “signals”. In fact, some deep state journalists could not help, but utter words like “In fact Erdogan lost”, shows where the revenge scenarios root in Turkey...”

21.2.4. The columnist of Havadis, Levent Ozadam, wrote on 21.4.2010 under the title “They could not read the electors originating from Turkey rightly!” the following:

                “Those people who say that the AKP did not interfere to the presidential elections deceive only themselves. The meddling was done as much as possible, but in a way it reacted! The election result which ended with a small difference approves this.

                The brain team of the AKP established a base in the TRNC and it used the Ankara government extensively. But when they made some tactical faults, they could not influence the election results and the fate of the elections could not be changed. ..The majority of our people, who originate from Turkey and live in the TRNC stand a little bit cold to the AKP and they reacted. But there are other factors other than these meddlings, which could be put forward and discussed. Those people, who supported Talat should make self-criticism.”

21.2.5. Turkish Cypriot weekly Yenicag newspaper, in its front page under the banner headline “Congratulations to the new postman!” reported on 23.4.2010 on the New Cyprus Party (YKP) executive committee's assessment on the so-called presidential election results.

The members of YKP’s executive committee Murat Kanatli, Alpay Durduran and Erdinc Selasiye held yesterday a press conference to outline their assessment on the “election” results. Mr Kanatli, inter alia, said that the number of voters in 2010, which were 164,072, has increased by 216% compared to the number of voters in 1976 when this number was 75,824. Noting that Turkey s in the “election” process in different ways, Mr Kanatli said that several circles have repeatedly made complaints regarding the behaviour of media organizations and added: “Besides that, we have our concerns and we will continue our struggle to improve this”.

Mr Kanatli added that despite all the pressure and manipulation, voter turnout in the “election” was only 76% which he described a failure for the regime. He said this was a remarkable reaction against the regime considering that a significant percentage of voters did not cast a ballot as conscientious objectors. He noted that the reaction of the people becomes more obvious when we take into consideration the fact that the turnout in the “elections” one year ago was 81%. Finally, he said that if you take into account the structure of the electorate then it is easily understood that this reaction was more prevalent among Turkish Cypriots.”

21.2.6. The G/C weekly newspaper Kathimerini reported on 25 April 2010 an interview with a close associate friend of Talat without giving his name. He said that one of the reasons of Talat’s failure in the presidential election was Christophias’ acceptance of only 50,000 Turkish settlers, who would stay in Cyprus after the solution. The Turkish settlers’ interpretation was that Talat sold them out. This was exploited by Eroglu’s propaganda machine accordingly. Although they voted “yes” in the referendum in 2004, they are not accepted by their President. So it was natural that they will not vote for Talat anymore.”  (Kibris, 26.4.2010)


22.3.1. Under the title “Congestion for the citizenship”, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper reported on 28.4.2010 that the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the TRNC experienced a raid yesterday ago by people who wanted to file an application in order to acquire the citizenship of the TRNC. The paper wrote that the length of the lines created by those who were waiting to file an application did not decrease all day long. The director of Ministry of Interior, Adnan Altan told Yeni Duzen that congestion existed yesterday but the citizenship was not given to every applicant. He reminded that according to the law, persons who have completed five years of work with a working permit and persons who have permanent working permit for ten years have the right to apply for permanent residence in the TRNC. He noted that these persons have the right to file an application but the citizenship is not given to everyone who applies for it.  The paper reminds that in February, Ilkay Kamil, the Minister of Internal Affairs, had stated at the assembly that his government gave the TRNC citizenship to 1020 persons in ten months and alleged that no one acquired the citizenship illegally. The paper wrote that yesterday was the last day for filing such applications because the bans for the municipality elections started as of today. Therefore the congestion which existed at the above-mentioned department forced the employees to work overtime.

22.3.2. Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar newspaper reported on 29.4.2010 that the population of the TRNC increased by 8 thousand people in a year, according to a survey carried out by theState Planning Organization (DPO). The head of the statistics and research department of DPO, Mr Guner Mukellef, in a press conference yesterday, announced the “Results of Household Labour force 2009 survey”. According to these results, unemployment which was 9.8% in 2008 increased to 12.4% in 2009. Unemployment among the young people increased from 24.7% in 2008 to 31.4% in 2009.

Mr Mukellef said that while the civilian population in the TRNC, estimated in October 2008 to be 250.373 persons, increased to 258.441 persons in October 2009. The increase amounted to 8.068 persons.

22.3.3. Under the title “Pressure for citizenship”, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper reported on 29.4.2010 on its front page that the congestion which is created at the Ministry of Interior by people who sought to file an application for citizenship of the TRNC is due to the occupation government’s policy to accelerate granting citizenship before restrictions take effect regarding the election period for the local elections on 27th June.

According to the paper, some bureaucrats at the Ministry of Health are exerting pressure on doctors at the hospital to issue health reports to citizenship applicants. The Chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Trade Union of Doctors, Mr Erol Seherlioglu, made these complaints to Yeni Duzen newspaper. He also added that these citizenship applicants are threatening the hospital personnel.

 22.3.4. Under the title “Congestion for the citizenship”, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (28.04.10) reported that the Ministry of Internal Affairs “experienced a raid” yesterday by people, who wanted to file an application in order to acquire the citizenship of the TRNC. The paper wrote that the length of the lines created by those who were waiting to file an application did not decrease all day long.

The director of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Adnan Altan, told Yeni Duzen that congestion existed yesterday, but the citizenship was not given to every applicant. He reminded that according to the law, persons, who have completed five years of work with a working permit and the persons, who have permanent working permit for ten years have the right to apply for permanent residence in the TRNC. He noted that these persons have the right to file an application, but the citizenship is not given to everyone who applies for it.

The paper reminded that in February, Ilkay Kamil, the Minister of Internal Affairs, had stated at the assembly that his government gave the citizenship of the TRNC to 1020 persons in ten months and alleged that no one acquired the citizenship illegally.

The paper writes that yesterday was the last day for filing such applications because the bans for the municipality elections started as of 28.4. Therefore the congestion which existed at the above-mentioned department forced the employees to work overtime.

22.3.5. Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar newspaper (29.04.10), on its front page and under the title “Youth unemployment shot up to 31.4%; the population increased by 8 thousand people in a year”, reported on a survey, carried out by the State Planning Organization (DPO). The head of the statistics and research department of DPO, Mr Guner Mukellef, in a press conference yesterday, announced the “Results of Household Labour force 2009 survey”.

According to these results, unemployment which was 9.8% in 2008 increased to 12.4% in 2009. Unemployment among the young people increased from 24.7% in 2008 to 31.4% in 2009. Mr Mukellef said that while the civilian population in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus estimated in October 2008 to be 250.373 persons increased to 258.441 persons in October 2009. The increase amounted to 8.068 persons.

22.3.6. Under the title “Pressure for citizenship”, Yeni Duzen, reported on 29.4.2010 on its front page that the congestion which is created at the Ministry of the Internal Affairs by people who sought to file an application for citizenship of the TRNC was due to the TRNC government’s policy to accelerate granting citizenship before the restrictions take effect regarding the election period for the local elections on 27th June.  According to the paper, some bureaucrats at the Ministry of Health were exerting pressure on doctors at the hospital to issue health reports to citizenship applicants. The Chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Trade Union of Government Doctors, Dr. Erol Seherlioglu, made these complaints to Yeni Duzen newspaper. He also added that these citizenship applicants were threatening the hospital personnel.

22.3.7. The Secretary-General of the BKP, Izzet Izcan evaluated with his party’s Council the election results. Izcan said that the Turkish Cypriots have turned into a minority in their own country and their will has been grasped away as it was seen once again by the election results.” (Yeni Duzen, 29.4.2010)

22.3.8. Yeni Duzen newspaper reported on 1.5.2010 that a delegation of the United Cyprus Party (BKP) headed by its General Secretary, Izzet Izcan visited the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) on Friday. Mr Izcan said that the aim of their visit was to discuss the municipality elections and to inform the CTP that they are ready for cooperation among the supporters of the solution in Cyprus. Mr Izcan criticized the policy followed by the National Unity Party (UBP) on the issue of the population and added that that they were worried about the fact that the UBP distributes the TRNC citizenship with the intention to benefit in the elections. Mr Izcan noted that they will refer to this issue during the conference on Cyprus which the European Left Group will organize on May 5 at the European Parliament.

Moreover, Ferdi Sabit Soyer, chairman of the CTP, also criticized the fact that the UBP distributes the citizenship of the TRNC before the elections and alleged that this could cause worries for the future and division among the people who live in the TRNC. He claimed that especially the recent developments showed the realities and that the “artificial alliances established for the continuation of the non-solution in Cyprus”, as he described the support of the Democratic Party to Dervis Eroglu during the presidential elections, were meaningless. Referring to the statement by Serdar Denktas, leader of the Democratic Party (DP), that he could not sign the letter sent by the Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu to the UN Secretary-General right after his election, Mr Soyer alleged that “this kind of artificial alliances could serve no other purpose than creating more crises in the society”.

22.3.9. Under the title “1,500 persons became citizens within a year”, Halkin Sesi published on 4.5.2010 the statements made by the mp of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) in Nicosia, Kadri Fellahoglu on the citizenship granted to settlers by the National Unity Party (UBP).

Speaking on the program “Morning Mail with Can Servan”, Mr Fellahoglu estimated that 1,500 persons became TRNC citizens during the last year. Noting that responding to a question submitted in writing two months ago by the CTP mp, Ozkan Yorgancioglu, the “Ministry of Internal Affairs answered that 1.062 persons have been granted the TRNC citizenship, Mr Fellahoglu said that during the last period the Migration Department worked until late and therefore the number of the persons who took the citizenship could have increased to 1.500.

22.3.10. Under the title “A necessity the carrying out of a population census”, Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar newspaper  reported on 6.5.2010 on an address made on Monday in Brussels by the General Secretary of the United Cyprus Party (BKP), Izzet Izcan, on the “Latest developments on the Cyprus problem”.

Speaking at a panel organized by the leftist group in the European Parliament, Mr Izcan referred on Cyprus and the outcome of the latest presidential elections, the impact of the negotiations process and the population issue in the TRNC. Asking for the carrying out of a population census in the TRNC, which will be monitored by international observers, Mr Izcan said that the population in the northern part of Cyprus has increased in a form, which is in a contradiction to the Geneva Convention. The transfer of settlers in the occupied Northern Cyprus has caused the population of the Turkish Cypriot community to decrease and in a future election procedure the genuine will of the Turkish Cypriots will not be able to be expressed.

Referring to the outcome of the latest presidential elections in the TRNC, Izzet Izcan said that the outcome of the procedure was determined by the votes of those living in Famagusta and Karpass peninsula, which are of a Turkish origin. “Mehmet Ali Talat would have won the elections if the votes of the TRNC citizens who are of a Turkish origin would cast, because these persons have expressed a different will than those of the Turkish Cypriots,” he said.

Mr Izcan also stated that his party is in favour of the continuation of the negotiations in Cyprus which aim to find a solution to the problem and added that the aim of BKP is for the population of Cyprus once again to live together on the basis of an effective and honourable agreement.

22.3.11. Under the above title “One thousand and 500 persons were made citizens in one night”, the Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar newspaper  reported on 7 May 2010 that tension was created one day ago at the TRNC assembly between Ilkay Kamil, Minister of Internal Affairs and Local Administrations and Abbas Sinay, the MP with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), when the latter brought onto the agenda the issue of granting the TRNC citizenship to 1500 persons before the beginning of the election bans. Mr Sinay accused the UBP government of granting the citizenship to 1500 persons including some students in order for them paying lower fees. He said that in this case all students should be declared as citizens of the TRNC. Mr Sinay said that the government was guilty because it granted the citizenship to 1500 persons in one night.

Responding to Mr Sinay, Mr Kamil said that the National Unity Party’s (UBP) government granted the citizenship to 1.139 persons until 30 April 2010. He noted that 900 persons were given the citizenship because of marriage with other citizens, 48 after a proposal by the Ministry and 81 persons because they are children from marriages with TRNC citizens.

Referring to the same issue, Mustafa Emiroglulari, the MP with the Communal Democracy Party (TDP), criticized Mr Kamil and noted that even students and persons who were painting Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu’s house were granted the TRNC citizenship.

22.3.12. Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper  reported on 7.5.2010 that Izzet Izcan, the General Secretary of the United Cyprus Party (BKP), told that the change of the demographic structure in the Northern part of Cyprus through the distribution of the citizenship of the TRNC, has become a bleeding wound within the Turkish Cypriot community. Mr Izcan, who was visiting Brussels, noted that the Cyprus High Level Contact Group of the European Parliament would visit the island in June in order to follow the developments closely. He stated that he brought the issue of the change of the demographic structure of the TRNC onto the agenda of the European Parliament (EP) and asked for a population census to be held under the observation of an international committee.
Within the framework of his contacts, Mr Izcan met with Spanish MEP Willy Meyer, vice president of EP’s High Level Contact Group for Cyprus, and discussed with him the elections held in the TRNC on 18 April 2010 and the negotiating process.


23.1. President Talat told during a visit to the village of Ayios Antronikos (Yesilkoy) that he will be finishing the elections in the first round and sending a strong message of peace and solution to the world. Talat was accompanied by the Vice-Chairman of the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP), Trikomo (Iskele) District Chairman and member of the Central Executive Committee of ORP and the Chairman of the Solidarity Association of the Turkish Refugees, Enver Dincoglu. Talat stated: “They say that our citizens, who are originating from Turkey will be sent to Turkey. This is a mere lie. Without any discrimination, everyone will be the citizen of the new state. (Kibris, 8.4.2010)

23.2. The five associations of those from Hatay, living in the TRNC, stated that they will be near the one, who applaused the TRNC. Presidential Candidate and the Prime Minister, Dervis Eroglu got another support from the citizens, who are born or their parents are born in Hatay and who live in the TRNC. The Cultural and Solidarity Association of those from Hatay, The Integration and Aid Association of those from Hatay, The Culture and Solidarity Association of those from the city of civilizations, Antakya, The Culture and Solidarity Association of those from Hatay and the Union of Students from Hatay stated that they will all support the UBP candidate Dervis Eroglu in the Presidential Elections unconditionally and without getting directives from anyone.” (Kibris, 12.4.2010)


After 1974, some Turkish soldiers were given the option to settle in Cyprus with their families. They first formed the Victorious Veterans’ Association of the Turkish Peace Forces. Later when the number of settlers grew, they formed The Aid and Solidarity Association of the Turkish Refugees. We saw in the course of later years, the formation of various so-called cultural associations, which are called after the name of the original birth place of the Turkish settlers, who came from Anatolia to live in the occupied northern part of Cyprus. Thus there are at the moment the following settlers’ associations:

1. TRNC Black Sea Cultural Association

2. Cultural and Solidarity Association of Persons from Gaziantep

3. Cultural and Integration Association of Persons from Adana

4. TRNC Cultural and Solidarity Association of Persons from Konya

5. TRNC Cultural Association of Persons from Malatya

6. Cultural and Solidarity Association of Persons from Cukurova

7. Aid and Solidarity Association of Persons from Erzurum

8. Educational and Cultural Foundation of Persons from Denizli

9. Association of Persons from Mardin

10. Association of Persons from the Region of the Southeast Anatolian Project (GAP)

Those coming from Hatay (Alexandretta) province were first organized in one association, but later they split into eight different associations, which support different interest groups, living mainly in Nicosia. The total number of the settlers from Hatay is estimated between 30,000 and 35,000 in 2007:

11. Integration and Aid Association of Persons from Hatay

12. Brotherhood and Solidarity Association of Person from White Hatay (Mainly settled in Famagusta)

13. Cultural and Solidarity Association of Persons from Hatay

14. Solidarity Association of Persons from Pure Hatay

15. Culture and Solidarity Association of Persons from Reyhan

16. Culture and Solidarity Association of Persons from the city of civilizations, Antakya

17. Union of Students from Hatay

18. Association for Innovators from Hatay.

19. There is also a Cultural and Aid Association of the Turks from Bulgaria, which represents about 1,600 persons.

There are also two associations of the Alevites:

20. Association for the Research and Propaganda of the Culture of Hadji Bektash-i Veli

21. Pir Sultan Abdal Cultural Association

Some of the construction workers also organized themselves

22. Solidarity Association of the Construction Labourers

23.4. Talat visited the quarters within the walls of Nicosia and talked with the shopkeepers and with the citizens of Turkish origin in the coffee-houses. Talat asked them not to believe the allegations about the TRNC citizens with Turkish origin: “They go around and say that “If Talat is elected, he will send you back to Turkey.” These are all lies. I have never put you on a bargain and I will not do either. I never made any differentiation between TRNC citizens of Cypriot origin and Turkish origin... President Talat visited during this visit the Election Office of the Culture and Solidarity Association of those from Reyhan and said that the citizens originating from Turkey cannot use many benefits, but with the solution they will be able to use all the possibilities equally like the other citizens with Cypriot origin. The President of the Culture and Solidarity Association of persons from Reyhan, Mehmet Celik, appealed to all theTRNC citizens with Turkish origin to support President Talat and he said that they are behind Talat until the end. (Kibris, 12.4.2010)  

23.5. Full support for Bulutoglulari from the Cultural Associations: The Associations of the settlers who came to Northern Cyprus from Gaziantep, Konya and Cukurova declared that they will give full support to Cemal Bulutoglulari, the UBP candidate for the Turkish Cypriot Mayor of Nicosia.” (Volkan, 14.6.2010)

23.6. The President of the Turkish Settlers Aid and Solidarity Association, Enver Dincoglu, declared the names of the candidates, whom their members will support in the local elections. In his written statement, he said that they will support without looking to the political identity of those, who are successful and whom they think will be successful. (Kibris, 17.6.2010)

23.7. Famagusta Mayor and the CTP Candidate for Mayorship, Oktay Kayalp, told yesterday in the quarter of those from Antalya about his projects. (Halkin Sesi, 21.6.2010)

23.8. The new chairman of the Retired Officers’ Association, Alper Onel said that whatever one’s the place of birth is or whatever the political view one has, everyone should be in unity. All of the TRNC citizens need this unity and togetherness very much, especially in a period, when successive election processes took place.” (Volkan, 23.6.2010)

23.9. The Culture and Solidarity Association of persons from Gaziantep declared that they will give support to the candidates of UBP-DP cooperation in the local elections and to Resmiye Canaltay in the interim elections. (Volkan, 26.6.2010)


This was the third election held in the last 14 months. The number of the electors for the local elections was 164.486. Voter turnout was 72%, highest being in Trikomo (79%) and lowest in Nicosia (65%).

In the local elections, 28 mayors, 268 municipality councellors, 148 village heads and 448 community councellors were elected. There was no election for 125 community councellors and for 91 community heads since there was enough number of candidates.

According to the Kibris newspaper (28.06.10) “There were not many changes in the municipalities and the mayors of the five big cities did not change.  Out of 28 municipalities

The National Unity Party (UBP) won 12 (lost 2),

the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) 8 (all of them re-elected),

the Democratic Party (DP) 5

and independent candidates 3.

The UBP preserved its mayors in Nicosia, Trikomo and Morfou, while the CTP reelected its mayors in Famagusta and Kyrenia.


On the same day of the local elections, interim election was made for one seat of the Famagusta district in the Parliament, which was left empty, after Mr.Dervis Eroglu was elected as the President of the TRNC. There were five candidates and Huseyin Angolemli (TDP) won this seat by having only two more votes than the UBP candidate, Resmiye Canaltay, who is the daughter of Dervis Eroglu. 

Huseyin Angolemli (TDP)             11,929- 2 votes more                   

Resmiye Canaltay (UBP)              11,927

Dursun Oguz (ORP)                       5,395

Nushet İlktug (Independent)               978

Ata Tepe (MAP)                               714

25.1. After the interim election, the composition of the TRNC parliament is as follows:

Name of the Party                                                   Seats

National Unity Party (UBP)                                         24

Republican Turkish Party-United Forces                      15

Democratic Party (DP)                                                  4

Communal Democracy Party (TDP)                               3

Freedom and Reform Party (ORP)                                 2

Independent    Deputies                                                  2

25.2. One of the independent Deputies at the moment is Ejder Aslanbaba, who was born in Turkey and is both TRNC and Turkish citizen, was elected in the Trikomo (Iskele) district from the DP, but he resigned later from his party. The other one, Tahsin Ertugruloglu was originally elected in Nicosia from the UBP. When he decided to put his candidacy against Dervis Eroglu in the Presidential Elections, he was excluded from the UBP.

25.3. The UBP will be going to seek for a coalition partner in the coming months since this party does not have the majority vote in the assembly of the TRNC.


Shortly after the division of the island in the wake of the Turkish invasion of 1974, the Turkish Cypriot administration tried to improve its institutions of self-government. Its efforts initially met with some success, especially as regards the formation of a legislative body.

In its current form this body has 50 members chosen through electoral contests occurring every 5 years. Political parties must obtain at least 5% of the total vote to gain entry to the legislature. Voters are able to choose candidates from different parties in five electoral districts, namely Nicosia (16 legislators), Famagusta (13 legislators), Kyrenia (9 legislators), Morphou (6 legislators), and Trikomo (6 legislators). The first elections in northern Cyprus took place in June 1976.

The main parliamentary political parties in northern Cyprus are the Republican Turkish Party-United Forces (CTP-BG), the National Unity Party (UBP), the Democratic Party (DP) and the Communal Democracy Party (TDP).

Founded in 1970 the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) is the oldest party in northern Cyprus and has a centre-left political orientation. It is a member of the Socialist International since 30 June 2008.  Its founding leader, Ahmed Mithat Berberoglu, was succeeded by Ozker Ozgur and later by Mehmet Ali Talat and Ferdi Sabit Soyer. The party has traditionally opposed the idea of partitioning Cyprus and is in favor of a negotiated solution that would follow the ideas included in the Annan Plan. 

The majority of RTP supporters are Turkish Cypriots although it has consistently, during the recent election campaigns, solicited the vote of the Turkish settlers. (NOTE: the Annan Plan essentially provides that at least 60,000 settlers will remain in Cyprus, which has made the plan attractive to those settlers who have been in Cyprus longer and are therefore eligible to remain under the Plan) Mehmet Ali Talat was reported during the 2003 campaign as saying that: “The human rights of the Greek Cypriots are not more important than the property rights of the mainland Turkish settlers in Cyprus,”(Press Summary of 25.8.03, published in Birlik 24.8.03)

In the Parliamentary elections of 20 January 2005 the CTP, in cooperation with the United Forces (CTP-BG) won 44.5 of the popular vote and 24 out of 50 seats and became the largest group in the TRNC Assembly. Its candidate, Mr.Talat, won the Presidential election of the TRNC in April 2005 with 55.8 % of the popular vote and was proclaimed as the new leader of the Turkish Cypriots by the US Administration. Mr.Soyer was elected as the President of the party, who was the Prime Minister from 2005 to 2009.  

The National Unity Party (UBP) was founded in 1975 by Rauf Denktash and others. Its current leader is Irsen Kucuk. In April 1994 the party incorporated the right-wing settler party of Orhan Ucok (the Homeland Party). The National Unity Party’s political agenda focuses on the concept that the current status quo in Cyprus is the best solution to the Problem, because it provides the best policy options for Turkey. The party opposes any solution that would deprive Turkey of its effective control of the island or that would mean that any of the Turkish settlers—on whose vote the party is largely dependent—would have to be repatriated. 

The Democratic Party (DP) is a right-wing party founded in 1992 as a breakaway faction of the National Unity Party that included Denktash’s younger son, Serdar. (Denktash has been supportive of his son’s party). The Democratic Party was joined later by the Social Democratic Party of Ergun Vehbi (originally founded by Raif Denktash—Rauf Denktash’s eldest son who died in a car accident in the late eighties). In 1992 the Democratic Party was joined by the main settler party of Ali Ozkan Altinisik (the Rebirth Party) hence gaining the largest settler following among all parties in northern Cyprus.

The Democratic Party supports the position that the solution of the Cyprus Problem must be based on the notion of two separate sovereign states. In August of 1994 together with the National Unity Party it voted against the idea of a federal solution to the Cyprus Problem, supporting instead Rauf Denktash’s call for a confederation. The Democratic Party has been traditionally opposed to Cyprus’ accession to the EU. Nevertheless, it has not rejected the Annan Plan outright, especially once the strong pro-Annan Plan and pro-Europe demonstrations of the Turkish Cypriots got underway in 2002-3.

The Communal Democracy Party (TDP) was formed in May 2007 with the merger of the Peace and Democracy Movement-BDH (founded under the leadership of Mustafa Akinci in June 2003 with an alliance of the several smaller political parties and trade-unions) and the Communal Liberation Party.

The party has no ideological platform other than the common desire to resolve the Cyprus Problem in accordance with the provisions of the Annan Plan. The Communal Democracy Party is predominantly a Turkish Cypriot-supported party. The People’s Party of Mr.Rasit Pertev, ex-advisor to Mr.Talat, joined the TDP just before the general elections of 2009.  The party leader is Mehmet Cakici.

The Freedom and Reform Party (ORP) was formed in 2006 by former MP’s from the UBP and DP in order to form a coalition government with the CTP-BG. The party leader is Turgay Avci who was the Mp Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs until the general elections of 2009.

All of the parties in northern Cyprus were and continue to be under the effective control of Ankara.

Only independent pro-reunification parties are the United Cyprus Party (Chairman: Izzet Izcan) which cooperated with the Jasmine Movement of the Afrika newspaper and the New Cyprus Party (Secretary for Foreign Relations: Alpay Durduran) which boycotted the general elections of 2009.

  • April 22nd 2015 at 22:31



The last census which covered all the inhabitants of the island of Cyprus was made on 11 December 1960 and the number of the Turkish-Cypriots (T/Cs) was 104,320. Adding on this number, the 475 Moslem gypsies and other Moslems, it reached to 104,942. The total number of Christians was 473,265. (Census of Population and Agriculture 1960, Government Printing Office, Nicosia, 1962)

ESTIMATE IN 1973: 114,960

Because the T/Cs left the structure of the Cypriot state after the beginning of intercommunal clashes at the end of 1963, no census covering the T/Cs could be made. According to the study of the Canadian researcher, Richard A.Patrick, who served as an officer in the UNFICYP, "Political Geography and the Cyprus Conflict 1963-1971", published in 1976, there were a total of 119,147 T/Cs living in the T/C settlements on the island. The population estimates of the G/C administration for the T/C in Cyprus put the number as 114,960.


After the division of the island with the war of 1974, the following information was given in a report prepared by Mr.Ahmet Sami, the secretary-general of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Justice of the "Autonomous Turkish-Cypriot Administration", dating 20. October 1974:

“A total of 83,719 T/Cs live on the territory of the "Autonomous Turkish-Cypriot Administration". There were 32,039 T/Cs left in the south. Appr. 10 thousand of them are in the SBA, 4,200 in Limassol and in its villages, 12,000 in Paphos district, 2,630 in the Larnaca district, 3,209 in the villages of Nicosia district. It was stated in the same report that until 19 October 1974, about 12,000 T/Cs moved to the north with their own possibilities.”

According to the information given above, there were 71,719 T/Cs living in the northern part, 44,039 T/Cs in the southern part of the partition-line drawn after the war, making a total T/C population of 115,758.


According to a news-item, published in the Zaman newspaper of 9. August 1977, Mr.Hakki Atun, the Minister for Settlement and rehabilitation of the "Federated State of the Turkish Cypriots", declared that 20,934 families, i.e. 83,650 T/Cs were settled in the north in the three years between 1974 and 1977. As the number of the T/Cs coming from the south were 44,039, the remaining 39,611 persons were those settlers brought from Turkey.

As it is well-known, the Turkish settlers were brought from Anatolia for the first time in October 1974 with the pretext that "they would work in the hotels and gardens left by the G/Cs", but later this practice was widened in January 1975 as the families of the martyrs fell in the war of 1974 were also settled in the north, continued with giving houses and plots of land to those who wished to settle in Cyprus.

The Zaman newspaper of 10 June 1976 reported Mr.Denktash, saying the following during an election speech: "Those, who opposed us, were exploiting the plight of the people. It was a matter of out-rooting and settling about 80 thousand people. This magnificent mission was done by human beings, they could make some mistakes." Mr.Denktash was making politics with the number of 80,000 by adding the number of Turkish settlers to the official 44,039 resettled T/Cs.


In the draft "Second Five-Year Development Plan", prepared by the State Planning Bureau, published in September 1983, it was stated that 91,225 persons were re-settled between 1974 and 1982 on the territory of the "Federated State of the Turkish Cypriots". As the number of the T/C refugees coming from the south was 44,039, the number of the Turkish citizens, settled in Northern Cyprus can be put as 47,186. It is interesting that there has been no official statement on this matter until now.


The population of the T/Cs were 104,942 in 1960 and 115,758 in 1974. The number of the T/Cs covered also the mainland Turkish settlers, starting from July 1974. The population reached to 173,224 when a census was made on 26.5.1990 for determining the number of the voters before the general election. The head of the regime in Northern Cyprus, Mr.Rauf Denktash, answered the reporters the reason why the population statistics were not disclosed: "If we disclose them, they will know who came from where!" (Yeni Düzen, 23. July 1993)


The Spanish MP Alfons Cuco, the rapporteur of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Demography of the European Council prepared a report on the "Structure of the Cypriot Communities" dated 27. April 1992, which was discussed by the Parliamentary Assembly of the European Council. The Assembly adopted a resolution No.1197 on 7 October 1992 which recommended that the Committee of Ministers instruct the European Population Committee to conduct a census of the islands' population, in cooperation with the authorities concerned, in order to replace population estimates with reliable data. The authorities of the Republic of Cyprus and the T/C Administration were requested to keep the arrival of aliens on the island under strict control. Turkey was invited to register in its Cyprus Consulate all Turkish citizens residing and arriving in Cyprus.

It is unfortunate that since then no census was conducted in the north of the island under the observation of international organizations and the number of mainland Turkish settlers or the number of those Turkish citizens living illegally could not be determined.



The results of the first official census, made by the T/C authorities on 15.December 1996 and was evaluated at the State Institute of Statistics in Ankara, were made public first after two years. According to this data, the de facto population was 200,587 and the de jure population was 188,662.

The difference between the two was explained by Mr.Ahmet Bulunç, Adviser of the State Planning Bureau, who made public the results, that 11,925 persons declared on the day of the census that their permanent place of residence were outside the TRNC.                   

The other demographical structure was given as follows:

Total population................. 200,857      %100

Citizen of the TRNC .......... 164,460       % 82

    Born in the TRNC.......... 137,398

    Born in Turkey ..............  23,924

    Born in a 3rd country.....     3,138

Citizen of Turkey...............   30,702        %15

     Student ........................     8,287           

     Employed....................    12,922

     Unemployed................      1,327

     Other (private business,

     pensioner etc.)...............    8,166

Citizen of a 3rd country.....     5,425         % 3

The number of the Greek-Cypriots living in the north was 384 and the Cypriot-Maronites 173.

As it can be seen from the above numbers, there is no statement about the number of those children born in the TRNC by the Turkish parents. There is no mention of the number of the appr. 35,000 soldiers of the Turkish Army in Cyprus, nor of their dependents. There are about 25 or 30 thousand illegal workers which should make the number of the de facto population much higher.

According to the information given by some authorities, who want to remain undisclosed, appr. 46 thousand people were given citizenship since 1974 and 20-25 thousand of them do not live permanently in the TRNC. (Avrupa, 31.1.1998) Famous politicians and parliamentarians were included among those. (Ortam, 17.19.1996)

Mr.Kenan Akin, who originates from mainland Turkey and was the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry of the TRNC, disclosed that there were 60 thousand mainland settlers in the TRNC. (Avrupa, 6.6.1998)


The idea of re-establishing a political party like the "Re-Birth Party" of the mainland Turkish settlers which amalgamated with the Democrat Party in 1992, emerged after the lost of votes on the general elections made on 6. December 1998 and those, who were angry, published an advertisement of protest in the press which said "The 40% of the population (Kibris, 15. December), nearly one third of the wider range of the population were divided cunningly and their just and balanced representation in the parliament was obstructed. (Hürriyet-Kibris, 22.December 1998)

As it can be seen, the number of those, originating from the mainland Turkey, in the population of the TRNC, differs between 60 and 80 thousand and this number reaches over 100 thousand with the illegal workers.


Below you will find the list of the passengers arriving at and departing from the TRNC through the air- and sea-ports, according to the years and citizenships. The number of the mainland Turkish settlers in the north is 100,000. As those born in Turkey and their children are later given the citizenship of the TRNC and they are included under the title of "TRNC citizens", it is difficult to know who are really of T/C origin.

                             ARRIVALS                                                  DEPARTURES
Year   TRNC      Turkey      Other          Total          TRNC       Turkey        Other         Total   
1974       5,098       5,573       1,022        11,693           6,093         4,193           804     11,090
1975    13,635      73,831       6,577        94,043        29,842        51,465        5,943      87,250
1976    30,764      83,440       4,552      118,756        31,454        80,347       4,985      116,786
1977    33,570   108,016        5,113      146,699        34,540        97,142        5,377      137,059
1978    35,449   104,738        8,177      148,364        36,410       103,108       7,802     147,320
1979    47,839     95,095      13,286     156,220         46,858         92,956     12,619     152,433
1980   51,204      69,810      14,793     135,807         53,135        68,727      14,082     135,944
1981   52,933     62,812      15,471     131,216          52,371        44,912      15,512     112,795
1982   49,870     62,058      22,811     134,739          51,764        66,172       22,631     140,567
1983   58,908     78,467      20,467     157,842          60,660        76,386       20,300     157,346
1984   57,929      93,913     18,925     170,767          56,763        90,403       19,511     166,677
1985   53,860    103,791     21,284     178,935          54,599       102,754       21,049    178,402
1986   55,076    105,729     25,763     186,568          55,788       105,492       25,603    186,883
1987   59,602    149,394     36,448     245,444          60,954       149,980       36,995     247,929
1988   60,178    173,351     56,050     289,579          62,243       169,501       53,966     285,710
1989   68,583    214,566     59,507     342,656          68,212       209,837       58,562     336,611
1990   74,681    243,269     57,541     375,491          73,771       241,764       57,615     373,150
1991   66,012    179,379     40,858     286,249          66,627       178,770       40,502     285,899
1992   78,466    210,178     57,440     346,084          80,304       209,045       57,380    346,729
1993   93,669    281,370     77,943     452,982          97,702       281,160       78,876    457,738
1994 109,787    256,549     95,079     461,415        113,012       252,813        94,514    460,339
1995 134,374   298,026     87,733     520,133         136,803      291,058       87,214      515,075
1996 133,072   289,131     75,985     498,188         135,079      286,691       75,337     497,107 
1997 138,109   326,364     73,000     537,473         138,884      321,208        71,853     531,945 
      1,562,868  3,668,850 895,825  6,127,343     1,603,868    3,575,884      889,032  6,068,784
As of the beginning of 1998 
Departing TRNC citizens                                             41,000                              
Remaining Turkish citizens in the TRNC                                           92,966
Remaining other citizens in the TRNC                                                                  6,793

As seen above, 41 thousand persons left the north of the island in the last 23 years and about 100 thousand persons, 93,000 being citizens of Turkey, remained there. If the number of 11,765 university students (10,349 from Turkey, 1,416 from other countries like Pakistan, Sudan, Jordan, Palestine etc.) are reducted from this (Kibris, 12.11.1998), there were at the end of 1998, a total of 87,994 aliens in the TRNC, 82,617 citizens from mainland Turkey and 5,377 citizens of the third countries.

Covered in the departing 41,000 persons are those Turkish citizens who were given the citizenship of the TRNC and those having higher education in Turkey and other countries during the school-year 1997-98 (Statistical Yearbook 1997 of the State Planning Bureau of the Prime Ministry of the TRNC, p.90) If those who are abroad on a travel for touristic and other purposes are also counted, about 38,000 TRNC citizens have already emmigrated from the island.


The number of the Cypriot-born TRNC citizens, 137,398, does not indicate the actual number of the original T/C's in the TRNC, because it covers the children of the mainland Turkish settlers.

The G/C newspaper Fileleftheros stated in a news-item titled "Revelation: Turks reached 25% of the population. Colonization speeds up and change its dimension" that although all of them have not been given the citizenship of the TRNC, the number of those mainland Turks reached 120,000. There are clear signs that Ankara speeded up the plots of changing the demographical structure radically, both in quantity and in quality.

Fileleftheros, relying on the information collected and evaluated through various channels, alleged that "the number of the T/C's is not more than 86,800 at the end of 1998. This means that their proportion in the Cypriot population has dropped from 18% to 11%."

The newspaper continued: "The number of the colonists is already over 120,000 and is between 125 and 128 thousand. According to the Report of the Statistics Department, the emmigration wave of the T/C's continue and 54,000 of them have already emmigrated. The number of T/C's is only 88,200 at the end of December 1997. Instead of increase, they decreased in number." (extracted in Halkin Sesi, 1.3.1999)


In the last 25 years since 1974, the T/C's have become more a minority in their own country, as the 37% northern part of the island is being kept under the occupation and the control of the Turkish Armed Forces. The demographical structure there has been changed in an important scale. The approximately 160 thousand G/C's who used to live on this territory before 1974 and who were displaced to the south of the partition line after the Turkish invasion, are not allowed to return. Whereas, the legal status of an occupational force on an occupied territory, its rights and responsibilities were arranged by international conventions and all of these are written one by one in the Regulations of Den Haag about the Ground Wars, dated 18. October 1907 and the 4th Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civil Persons during the Times of War, dated 12. August 1949. These conventions regulate how the occupational forces would behave according to the international law, when an occupation of a territory was made according to the international law.

Since 1974, the mainland Turkish settlers were first tried to be kept secret as "seasonal workers", today they have a say as the future of the T/C's are being determined as the T/C's are made a minority in the total population of the territory, which is kept under the occupation of the Turkish Armed Forces in the north of Cyprus. The settlers have become a social entity which plays an important role in the stalemate of the Cyprus problem.

(Translated into English by the author from his book "Kibris Nereye Gidiyor? (Quo Vadis Cyprus?)", published in Turkish, in Istanbul/Turkey, in June 2002, by the Everest Publishing House, pp.318-327. The article was originally published under the nickname "M.Sonuç" in "Kıbrıs'ta Sosyalist Gerçek" (Socialist Reality in Cyprus) journal, Issue No.42, July 1999)

  • March 8th 2015 at 16:30



Nowadays almost half of the world population lives in the countries, where the constitution and the structure of the state are federal. The socialist federalism implemented in the socialist countries, where the working class is in power (e.g. the USSR, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia) and the bourgeois federalism of the developed capitalist countries will not be dealt here.

Especially after the Second World War, the colonialist countries, Great Britain in the lead, practiced a new policy of federalism. In this new period of the capitalist general crisis, this federalisation of the colonies was realised by bringing federative elements into the constitution of those countries and by making detailed legal arrangements. Through this, the possibility of influencing the character, the structure and the form of the new states, which were about to become independent soon, emerged as an element of the new colonialism. The aim of this new strategy of the imperialist powers was to keep the old colonial territories under their sphere of influence as long as it was possible and to protect their economic and strategic interests under the specific conditions of each region.(W.G.Grafski-B.A.Straschun, Federalism in the developing countries of Asia and Africa, Moscow, 1968)

Great Britain, which was the country forming most of the federations in the colonial countries, depended on her experience in legal arrangements both in her dominions, Canada and Australia and in the USA. Great Britain, as Karl Marx stated, used the Roman principle of “divida et impera” for the extension of her sovereignty in India and created enmity among various nationalities, tribes and casts. The same policy was also used in all of the British colonies in Africa.

But in all former colonies there was a close relationship between the national resistance and the nationalities policy of the colonial country. The colonialists intensified their divisive policy of nationalities after the formation and the strengthening of the national liberation movements. Parallel to this practice, which was about to emerge in this period, when the imperialist colonial system started to crack down, the colonialists, as if they agreed beforehand, tried to make special arrangements in the colonial countries in the direction of federalism and autonomy. By doing this they tried to combine the national differen­ces in a great scale with the national contradictions, to weaken the anti-imperialist unity front and to keep their sovereignty in other forms through arrangements. As it will be remembered, this policy was tried to be practiced under “self-government” in Cyprus in 1948, but it gave no result, because of the ambition of the Greek Cypriots for enosis (Greek word for union-with Greece)

As stated above, the main weapon of the nationalities policy of the colonialists was the administrative and political separation. With the help of this, they managed to break off the centuries old political, economical, cultural and other relations between the communities or nationalities or deteriorated their development. In order to achieve national integration, the colonialists took no initiatives, on the contrary they practiced openly a destructive policy for the split of the national movement. They succeeded in changing the structure of the state into a federal one or realised the division of the minorities. They put the national prejudices to the fore and funned them. They managed to make the weak communities influ­ential in the ethnic composition of the colonial armies and they used them against the stronger ones. A typical example for this was seen in the anti-colonial struggle in Cyprus, where the police force from the Turkish-Cypriot community was used against the Greek-Cypriot resistance fighters.

The origin of the idea of having a federal constitution in Cyprus

In the 1950’s the British imperialism did not want to lose its last colony in the strategic region of Middle East, Cyprus. But later she preferred to withdraw itself to the territories of the two military base areas and decided to give the administration of Cyprus over to the Turkish and Greek-Cypriot communities.

The British law expert, Lord Radcliff, who partitioned India and left Pakistan apart, prepared the proposals for a new constitution for Cyprus in 1957 as Cyprus was then a colony. In Paragraph 28 of his re­port, he stated that there was no ethnic-regional division in Cyprus, which was a precondition for an arrangement of federal state in Cyprus. He wrote down his opinion that a federation of the Cypriot communities was a very difficult constitutional form. On the other hand, Lord Rad­cliff proposed a dual administration for the island. One, under the British governor, whose administration would be responsible for the Foreign Affairs, Defense and Internal Security and the other administra­tion would be autonomous, consisting of legislative assembly, executive and the judiciary.

In the plan of June 19, 1958, prepared by the British Premier Minis­ter MacMillan, it was gone further and Cyprus was about to be given for 7 years to the “tripartite administration” of the three NATO countries, Great Britain, Turkey and Greece. We have to stress yet another fact about the crux of the nationalities policy: C.M.Woodhouse, who worked as a successful agent in the British Intelligent Service, loyal to the conservative aristocracy, wrote in his Memoirs (London 1982) that Mac­Millan, who had been Foreign Minister before, had insisted on the mobilisation of the Turkish-Cypriots in order to neutralise the Greek-Cyp­riot agitations.

The Republic of Cyprus and its constitution

After the special meeting of the NATO Council of Ministers in Paris from 16th to 18th December 1958, the Premier Ministers of Great Britain, Turkey and Greece agreed on the foundation of an independent republic of Cyprus through the agreement signed in Zürich on February 11, 1959. The ideas of taksim (partition) and enosis (union with Greece), which were being advocated by the both sides respectively, were supposed to be abandoned. The separatist elements of the Macmillan plan were transferred to the new constitution. The three NATO countries, Great Britain, Turkey and Greece were the guarantors of the independence, sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus through the signed agreement of Guaranty and Alliance. The British military bases in Akrotiri and Dhekelia were put out of the territories of the Repub­lic of Cyprus and the British sovereignty was to continue in these re­gions for the protection of the imperialist interests. Thus the guarantor countries were protecting and developing their own interests on the island rather than the interests of the Republic of Cyprus.

Turkish Professor of Constitutional Law, Nihat Erim wrote in his memoirs: “While preparing the constitution of Cyprus in the summer of 1959, I told in one of my speeches that this Cyprus state, planned in Zürich and in London, was in reality a federation. This was a federation with specifics of its own.” He went further on, saying that the only necessary thing for the good functioning of this federation was the good will of the both sides. (Nihat Erim, Cyprus as much as I’ve known, I’ve seen, Ankara 1975, p.98-167)

The 1960 Constitution divided the administration between the Greek- Cypriots, who make the 80% of the islands population and the Turkish-Cypriots, who make the 20%. It forsaw the preservation of the 70:30 ratio in all of the executive organs and 60:40 ratio in the army. According to an evaluation by Smith, the most complicated and detailed constitution of the world after the constitution of Kenya was prepared in Cyprus. As the rights of the communities were tried to be controlled through guarantees and limitations and to be balanced. Constitutionalism was parallel with communal egoism ( Smith, The Common­wealth and its constitutions, London 1964, p.285). Through long and complicated precautions, it was planned to avoid the misuse of the rights by the both sides, but an influential organisation of a state was not realized.

The constitution of the Republic of Cyprus was supposed to bring a federal state order, not through territorial separation, but through communal separation. Additional to the House of Representatives, comprising of 55 Greek- and 15 Turkish-Cypriots, there were Communal Chambers for each community, but their members were to be elected separately by their own communities. Thus they were representing in a way the executive of the regional administration in the classic federal system. But the Chambers did not have the rights for executive openly and this dual structure helped the strengthening of the separatist tendencies in the public service. (The problem of separate municipalities, proposed by the British in 1958, sew the first seeds of separation then.) In this situ­ation, the necessary institutional guarantees, requisite for intercom­munal cooperation were ignored and the federal relations were annihila­ted. (Carl J.Friedrich, “Dangers of Dualism:Cyprus” in Trends of Federa­lism in Theory and Practice, New York 1968)

The authors of the book called “Cyprus problem” emphasized the following: “This dual element, comprising of Turkish and Greek communities. Was under the foundation of the whole state life. This state of affairs went through the whole political and social mechanism, despite the monistic (unitary) structure of the state, into dualism. The unitary structure was placed on the reality of two separate communities and on verysensitive balances in the constitution. This point was clearer in the formation of the political institutions. The state mechanism with one constitution and the unitary structure with its characteristic of federal content was a typical proof of transformation into a federal administration in the future. (Murat Sarica, Erdogan Tezic, Özer Eskiyurt- Cyprus Problem, Istanbul 1975, p.22)

The conflict in 1965 and the Turkish thesis

The constitutional conflict started in the years of 1960-63 resulted in intercommunal clashes on December 21, 1963. Underground organisations on both sides caused bloody events. The Cyprus question was put again to the fore in the international arena. Dr. Galo Plaza, who was appointed by the Secretary-General of the UN as a mediator in order to find a solution to the problem, wrote in the Paragraph 97 of his Report of March 26, 1965 the following: “The Turkish-Cypriot community insists on a solution based on the geographical separation of the two communities under a federal system of government.”

Dr. Plaza went on by saying that the Republic of Turkey had the same opinion and stated in the Paragraph 150: “The establishment of a federal regime requires a territorial basis and this basis does not exist. The events since December 1963 have not basically altered this characteristic; even the enclaves, where numbers of Turkish-Cypriots concentrated following the troubles, are widely scattered over the island, while thousands of other Turkish- Cypriots have remained in the mixed villages.”

The federal form of government, proposed by the Turkish side, was in fact a proposal for the partition of the island (or with official wording, the geographical federation). Even the line of partition was proposed. (Plaza Report., Paragraph 154)

One of the architects of the Constitution of Cyprus, Prof. Nihat Erim wrote his above mentioned Memoirs that in the summer of 1959, as General Turgut Sunalp was in Cyprus for the preparations of the Turkish Army contingent to be stationed in Cyprus, he visited the island all over, mountains and plains with a car as he caught the possibility and pointed the necessary places on a map opened on his thighs. He also participated at the Third Tour of Negotiations on the Acheson Plan in Geneva. Mr. Acheson told Nihat Erim himself that the Pentagon is in need of such commanders as General Sunalp” (ibid, p.98 and 367)

Imperialist Conspiracy

The complicated structure of the I960 Constitution of Cyprus, which was prepared with a view of opposing the division of the island’s territory into two, did not satisfy both sides, because of their own reasons and caused a lot of difficulties in its implementation. The intercommunal talks for a new constitution for the Republic of Cyprus continued between the years 1968 and 1974 on the basis of a “unitary state”. But the sides could not reach to a solution. (For a detailed analysis of the agreed and disagreed points at the negotiations, Polyvios Polyviou, Cyprus in search of a constitution, Nicosia 1976)

After the coup, prepared against the President Archbishop Makarios the CIA through the hands of the Greek junta in June 1974 failed, the following military intervention of Turkey created the preconditions for the partition of the island, longed for a long time by the USA and the British imperialism. The bi-zonality, which was necessary for a federal solution was realised by the transfer of the Turkish- and Greek-Cypriot populations after the war. In other words, the two units of a federation were created de facto and the remaining question was to form an influential central government de jure.

Unitary and federal state

The Soviet scholar G.B.Strauschenko writes in his book “Nation and State in the newly liberated countries” that in those countries, where there is an effort to form a single nation out of the state people (Cyprus is not in such a period at the moment), the choice has to be mostly in favour of an “unitary state”, where a high degree of centralism governs and that this was the favourite form, chosen by most of the leaders on the African continent. Because, if in the existing state, a new single nation is to be formed after an appropriate process, a unitary structure of state is more suitable for those countries. (ibid, p.279)

Strauschenko, in his same book shows that if the national conflicts are sharp and it is impossible to protect the unity of the state, the most suitable form of state is federalism. The federal form of state, which was difficult to implement before 1974 in Cyprus, as we stated at the beginning of the article, seems to be the only form of state in the aftermath of 1974, where no solution was reached and this could secure the unity of the island of Cyprus and its people.

Federal and confederal state

As known, federal states are composed of more than one states or part of states (autonomous republic, canton or states). The constituent units, which form the federation, have their own legislative and executive organs and as a rule they have their own judiciary organs. On the other hand, unitary states are formed only by regional administrative units (regions, provinces, governments).

The difference between a federation and a confederation is that a confederation is a unity of states, which have their own organs, dealing with the general affairs, which are defined exactly. A decision, taken by the organs of a confederation, is valid after the signature of all the member states of the confederation or if a sufficient majority signs (Marxistisch-Leninistische allgemeine Theorie des Staates und Rechtes, Band 1., Berlin 1974)

Bourgeois federalism in the developing countries and some impor­tant principles

The bourgeois federalism practiced in the developing countries is more complicated than the unitary state and it needs a special effort for its implementation. There is a need for capable cadres in the state and administration. It is not only necessary that the federalism would cope with the realities in the country, not only in the practical and social fields, but also in the economical field. Therefore one has to be very careful. Because of the economical under-development and the extreme dependence on the imperialist countries, the state in the deve­loping countries has to play an influential role in the economy under the present conditions.

Although Karl Loewenstein, one of the bourgeois scholars, supports the idea that federalism has become obsolete in the 20th century and that economic planning is the DDT of federalism, in fact, it is only the pest of dualism that economic planning (the DDT) has killed. (Ramesh Dutta Dikshit, The political geography of federalism, New York 1975, p.6)

In federal states, state ownership in the important sectors of the economy requires the planning and the orientation of the important economic processes by the state; control and direction of the internal and external financial economy by the state, restriction of the foreign and private capital, bringing the economy of the private sector under influential state control, promotion of the agricultural production by the state and the erection of new property relations, es­pecially in the rural areas. In the developing countries, especially in most of the states in Africa, there are different social and political orientations and different levels of development. This should not be forgotten. For this reason, it is necessary to centralise the state and the political power strictly, which are not sufficiently formed or are under very difficult conditions in the bourgeois federalism. (Grafski-Straschun, ibid)

Another point, which should not be forgotten, is that bourgeois federalism is not an instrument for the solution of the questions of ethnic or national development. Federalism is rather a specific form of practicing the political power on the regional administrative level. It works with a relative decentralisation and formal and structural independen­ce between the regional levels. It depends on a relatively developed bourgeois constitution and on parliamentarism with two or more political parties. (ibid)

The relationship between many problems during the formation of the state and the ethnic-national structures, which are in transition, is still in a seed-form and it is very difficult to diagnose them. Because of this reason, if the forms of the national-regional autonomy are built in a progressive way in the federal states of the deve­loping countries, it can be helpful for the solution of the questions of the ethnic-national development or the conflicts, in the interest of the whole people of the country and its social progress.

On the other hand, the role of the subjective factor in general and the role of the state by the solution of the national-ethnic problems and conflicts will increase. Hence, there will be necessity, especially in the states, which chose the way of socialism, for the conceptions of politics and state law on a scientific base, which will be realist and suitable for the conditions of the country. Without high consciousness and administration and planning, in which the whole society participate the problems cannot be solved. For this reason also Lenin regarded the federal form of state as a possibility for a “voluntary integration” for the ex-colonies, which have achieved their freedom newly and have a complex ethnic-national composition of the population and have adopted the way of social progress. (Lenin, Werke, Band 27, Berlin, p.145)  

Therefore in the poly-ethnic processes of consolidation, being experienced in the developing countries or under the conditions of sharpened ethnic-national conflicts or when the states or the divided territories of the countries are in need of reunification, federal state structure can make an important contribution for the solution of the questions of national development or for the reduction of national conflicts. (Klauss Hutschenreuter, Problems of nation formation and state development in Transsahara of Africa, Berlin 1970)

The way to unity in Cyprus

The rightist circles in Cyprus, when they speak of reunification of the two separate regions, which were created de facto after 1974, start from the point of two separate states and seem to adopt a federal state of Cyprus, which has a weak central authority. As Ismet Inonu, former Premier Minister of Turkey, told on September 8, 1964 in the Grand Assembly of Turkish Nation about the official concept of a federation, he explained “We started the discussion not by saying partition officially, but using the word federation, just to stay within the framework of the agreements.’’ This official form of federation is synonymous with confederation, which envisages the partition of the island.

As it is known, in a confederation there is no direct contact between the peoples of the constituent units and the central authority. The central authority is compelled to reach the people only through the respective regional governments, which may or may not allow this contact. In a federation, by contrast, there is a direct relationship between the central government and the people, who not only share in the task of the constituting it, but also submit to its rule (in the spheres of its competence without interposition of the regional governments as intermediaries. (Dikshit, Ramesh Dutta, ibid, p.3)

Contrary to a confederation, there is no division of sovereignty in a federation. The constituent units are only autonomous in certain limited spheres. Once a federation is created the states have to abide by the decisions of the properly constituted central government in matters, where the constitutional compact empowers it to act. (ibid, p.3)The regional and central government in a federation should not only be coordinate, but they should also be cooperative. (ibid, p.8) A balance between the two opposing sentiments is necessary. This balance should, however, be so struck that the forces for unity have a slight edge over those for separation. As Wheare says (Federal Government, London 1953), if the communities involved are not prepared to submit themselves to an independent government, they have not achieved the first prerequisite of federal government. This is important, for federalism is essentially what Riker terms a bargain between prospective national leaders, who want unity and the officials of the constituent governments, who stand for larger regional control .(Riker, W.H., Federalism: Origin, operation, significance, Boston 1964, p.11) Indeed, “a truly federal government is the denial of national (sic) independence to every state of the federation” (Dicey, A.V. Introduction to the study of the Law of the constitution, London 1939)

Some prerequisites of federal government

Ramesh Dutta Dikshit refers to Wheare in his above mentioned book and writes that he has tried to isolate various factors for union and separation, which appear to him as necessary factors in the origins of federalism. He enumerates the following half-dozen factors, all of which operated in the U.S., Switzerland, Canada and Australia, to produce a desire for union among the communities concerned (ibid, p.37). Those factors are:

1. Need for common defense

2. Desire to be independent of some foreign power and a realization that only through union independence be achieved

3. Expectations of economic advantages from union

4. Some political association of the units involved prior to their federal union

5. Geographical neighbourhood and

6. Similarity of political institution (ibid, p.220-221)

It will be noted that Wheare excludes from this list of prerequisites for union, factors such as community of language, of “race”, of religion or of nationality. To these six prerequisites Wheare adds one more: “Leadership or statesmanship at the right time.” (ibid, p.221)

The situation in Cyprus now

It is of interest to look at these prerequisites one by one in the concrete situation in Cyprus.

1. Is there a need for common defense for the Turkish- and Greek-Cypriots, who have lived over 400 years side by side on this island? Of course there is such a need against imperialism and its aggressive organisation NATO, which wishes the partition of the island and to stop the struggle of the people of the island for social liberation. It is imperative for the Turkish-Cypriot leadership especially, to follow a policy of non-alignment consistently, in order to put Cyprus out of the sphere of influence of NATO.

2. From the point of view of the progressive and democratic forces, which have understood that the way to the complete independence of Cyprus is through unity, the demand for being independent from the imperialism and its military bases as well as from the “motherlands” is valid as ever.

3. Expectations of economic advantages from union are very wide especially among the Turkish-Cypriot working masses.

4. From the point of view of certain political parties of class approach, there is an association of political aims of the Turkish- and Greek Cypriots before the federal union. This association of political aim will be crystalised better in a democratic system.

5. Geographical neighbourhood is the most appropriate in Cyprus, where the small island is divided into two.

6. Although there is a similarity of the political institutions on both sides, there is a difference in the level of maturity of the democratic life. But this can be developed with mutual solidarity and especially with the elimination of the anti-democratic elements, without any outside interference. Moreover, there will be common political organisations based on class approach rather than ethnic-national origin.

Another point of view, which should not be overlooked is that the solution of the problem in the concrete conditions of Cyprus depends on one hand on the elimination of the influences of imperialism and neo-colonialism and the military bases and on the other hand to decide the internal question of nationalities how to be solved, which is the main issue. But the determining factor is not the difference between the two communities, on the contrary it has to be stressed that the class struggle in the country and in the international arena will be decisive.

The problem is not as the bourgeois circles suggest which community will govern the other one, but which class will have the power in his hand on the whole surface of the island. That is our evaluation.

(The original Turkish version of this study was published in Ortam daily newspaper under the name “Ertan Yüksel” as two separate articles, on 20, 21 December 1984 and on 22, 23, 24 January 1985)

  • March 6th 2015 at 18:33




Although the adapted Turkish thesis after 1974 for the solution of the Cyprus problem is "federation", unfortunately there has been no detailed scientific study until today by the interested individuals or organizations, e.g. the political parties, about the structure and the function of the proposed "Federal Republic of Cyprus". As far as I can follow, the first article, which evaluated this subject in the Turkish-Cypriot (TC) press was published in the Ortam daily (20-21 December 1984) with the title "The way to unity in Cyprus passes through federation, not confederation" by Ertan Yüksel. Later in three other articles the subject was elaborated under the title of "Federal solution in Cyprus" and the stress was made on some principles which will help the success of a federation in Cyprus.

            The subject "federation" was put on the agenda once more and was discussed during the "Second German Week", organized by the TC-German Cultural Association from 26th Nov to 6th Dec. 1985 and the contributions which gave information to the public were read there. The titles of these contributions were "The history and culture of the federal systems in the Federal Republic of Germany and in the world" by Prof.Vural Ülkü, "Federal Germany and the federal systems in the world" by Oktay Feridun, "Cyprus Conflict and the approach of the both sides to a federal solution" by Zaim Nedjatigil and "Federalist elements in Cyprus between the years 1955 to 1984" by Uwe Berner.

            Again a documentary compilation under the title "The first proposal for federation in Cyprus with the partition in mind as the Turkish view and the concept of federation of the Soviet Union" was serialized in the "Söz" weekly magazine for 6 weeks, starting from 17th January 1986 and the misunderstandings and the facts were stressed there once more.

            Lately, a serial of interviews were published by Sevgül Uludağ in the Yeni Düzen daily on the "Economic aspects of a federal republic (5-10 May 1988) and "Working life in a federal republic" (13-20 June 1988), where the views of some individuals and members of some organizations were reflected to the public opinion. Later the views of Mr.Denktaş's economical adviser, Mr. Ahmet Aker were published on 19-23 August 1981 and the views of some businessmen on 22-27 August 1988.

            There was another serial in the Kibris Postasi newspaper, a chronological review of the GC press on a federal solution (24-28 September 1988) prepared by Ahmet An. Ismet Kotak published a 4-day serial about his impressions from the Prag Meeting of the Cypriot political leaders from 20 to 23 May 1989.

The political parties keep silent on this subject

Until now, if a federal Republic of Cyprus will be established the following questions should have been answered: How will be the functioning of the state structure? How will the citizens of the federal republic feel the federalism in their everyday life? Unfortunately these questions are not dealt with yet by any political party, which at least seems to defend federalism, by the help of an enlightenment and propaganda campaign. It is worthy to think why they have not begun such a campaign. It is not yet clearly stated what kind of political solution is aimed at: Federalism between the states, that is confederation or federalism in one state, that is federation? Everyone comments diffe­rently on federalism, but as long as we are going to establish a federal republic, I don't know why it is not discussed before the public, what federalism is and what it is not. The main reason for this is that both those having the power and those oppositional parties do not work within the principles of the political science and they are satisfied with day-to-day politics. Then, it is left to the people and organizations outside the political parties, who are interested in this subject, to answer the following questions:

Why is the federal structure accepted in Cyprus? How was the his­torical development in this respect? Those, who are in favour and aga­inst this structure should say what are their argumentations? According to the law of constitution, which necessary bodies should be set up in the future FR of Cyprus? How will be the division of the governmental duties between the federal state and its provinces? In which spheres of influence should the central and local governments act together? What is a federal parliament, what are its duties, how does it work? How is the position of the political parties regarding the federal parliament? How influential is this parliament in the political determination processes? Will the policies of the federal and provincial governments be supportive or destructive to each other? Which one will have more say on the money collected from the tax-givers? Which government will have what kind of financial resources, who will be financially independent from whom and at which point?

Sovereignty will be at the central federal government

We can still go on asking more questions. As it is looked upon from the point of view of political science, there is a difference between repeating the stereotyped sentence "our party is for a bi-regional fe­deral state" and finding answers to these questions. Even the most left wing Republican Turkish Party talks about a divided right of sovereignty between the northern and the southern provinces of the FR of Cyprus. This shows what the RTP understands from federation. Thus this party falls into parallel of the official line, which says "federation" and means "confederation". On the contrary, the sovereignty belongs to the central federal government in a federal state and what is shared between the governments of the provinces is the state power.

            Then, there has to be the following article in the constitution of the FR of Cyprus: "The form of the state is republic and the FRC is a union, which consists of two regions. Both provinces, in the North and in the South are the territory of the state of the FRC. Beside the central federal state, there will be two separate administrations, one in the north and one in the south. Both of the federal and the provincial administration will have representative-parliamentary governments and their administrators will be elected directly by the citizens.”

            The idea of “we are responsible from the sea- and air-ports in the north and they, in the south" does not suit to the principle of a federal state. This is true in a confederal structure. But in a federal state, the entering into the country by aeroplane or by ship will be checked up by two uniformed officials. The federal authority will set the passport of the visitor, while the provincial authority will ask if there is something to be declared to the customs office. There has to be both amblems at the entrance, one of the province and one of the federal state.

Federal parliament-provincial parliament

            The most outstanding character of the federal states is that there are two parliaments. One is the federal parliament, where the problems of the whole country are discussed and the decisions are taken. The other one is the provincial parliament, where the local provincial matters are discussed. The political principles of the central federal state are written in the federal constitution. Besides the respect to the human rights, freedom and equality, the respect to the representative democracy, principles of the law and the social state are all put into order in the constitution.

            The bi-regionality of the federation, which will be stated in the constitution of the FRC and the common action in the legislative have to be unchangable articles. Even the 2/3 majority, which will be enough for constitutional amendments at the federal parliament would be able to change this federal structure and organizations.

Bi-regionality does not mean two states.

There should be no tolerance for those, who use the term bi-regionality in the meaning of the two states and who do not understand federalism by creating a confusion of concepts and a conflict. The FRC will be a single state, consisting of a central federal government and the provincial governments. The fixed boundaries of the provinces will not be changed and no province will ask for this later. But some corrections on the boundaries could be made with the consent of the both provinces. Most important of all, it has to be written in the constitution clearly that the union of the whole island or one of the pro­vinces with another country is out of question and that the propaganda for this cannot be made.

            The constitution of the provincial governments will be arranged in a way that they will be independent from the federal constitution, but not contrary to its provisions. The provincial constitutions will be the basis for the legislative, the executive or the judiciary of the province. Every province will have its own parliament and government. There will be a prime minister and ministers of every province with the provincial government and the parliament. Its judiciary organs will take its own political decisions, but this will only cover the sphere of its own provincial legislative authority. It will have a limited financial autonomy and it can put additional taxes and use this money freely. It can make laws, related to its own province and veto the ones made by the federal parliament. But both provinces have to obey some fundamental principles. The provincial laws have to be in harmony with the republican, democratic and social state of law character of the central federal state, the validity of the laws in the provinces will be under the responsibility of the province.

Federal Constitution is above the provincial constitution

What are the principles for the regular function of federalism and the constitutional homogenity? The central government will guarantee the constitutional order in the provinces. The federal constitution is always above the constitution of the provinces and it has more say. For example the provinces cannot make a new law on the family law or on the traffic rules. The federal government can appoint an official for the province, which does not fulfill its responsibilities and the government can give orders to this official. If the freedoms and the democratic order are disturbed in a province, the federal government can send the federal police force to this province and retain the order. How this will be done is regulated by the laws.

No division, but cooperation

It is very important to develop mutual confidence and contacts. Cooperation will be supreme between the provinces, not the division. The protective character of the Federal Supreme Court for the Constitution has a big role in the development of these relations of security The Federal parliament has to approach friendly and constructively to the provinces and vice-versa. The federal constitutional court will be the protector of the federal peace in the country. The disputable subjects between the federal parliament and the provinces will be examined by the federal constitutional court in order to find out which party is right in the case of uncertainty.

            The division of the duties and the responsibilities of the state is another important subject. The state duties have to be taken seriously both by the federal government and the governments of the provinces. These can be summarized as follows: To protect the country from outside, to make laws in order to maintain security inside the country, to show the power of the state everywhere in the country, to fulfill the constitutional responsibilities of the principles of the social state like health, old age and housing matters.

            One of the characteristics of a federal state is that the sovereignty rights of the provinces in their international relations in the fields of foreign policy and military are extremely limited. In other words, according to the international law, the provincial governments do not have their own sovereignty in their contact with other states. Foreign policy and the defense subjects belong to the central federal government. For this reason the provincial governments do not have their ministers for foreign affairs and defense. The provincial parliaments do not deal with these subjects and they do not make laws on them. They cannot discuss the related problems and do not make declarations. As an exception they can make agreements with other states, but these agreements have to get the approval of the federal government. This can be a cultural agreement (for example a TV-broadcast) or an agreement on the sea-cleanliness and this needs the approval of the other province. Or it has to be very careful in not disturbing the interests of the other province. It is natural to have cultural diversity in federalism.  Theatres, museums, libraries and monuments are different. The  radio -TV broadcasts and the press are separate, because of the language difference. But the federal state secretary or a provincial mi­nister can speak to the people or the decisions of the federal or the provincial courts can be read to the people from these media organs. One can establish organizations on federal or provincial basis on the subjects of economy, religion, sport, labour and social relations. There can be political parties, functioning in both of the provinces or in one province only. The provincial groups of a party can come together at the federal parliament and work more influentially. The elections for the federal state organs have to be done throughout the country. When the federal government is formed, there has to be representation of the provinces. It should not be formed only out of one province. The results of the provincial elections may change the structure of the federal or the provincial parliament.

Division of power   

In federalism, the judiciary powers of the state are stated clearly in the constitution as "the ones belonging only to the federal parliament" and "the ones belonging only to the provincial parliament". For example foreign policy, defense, civil defense, citizenship, passport, fiscal and financial subjects, customs and foreign trade, federal roads, air ways, maritime lines, post-telephone-telegraph services belong only to the federal parliament. It can make frame-laws related to the high-schools, hunting, protection of the nature, land distribution and consolidation, residence and identity affairs. Among the subjects, which belong only to the provincial parliament are culture, provincial police force, provincial education and health problems. There can be contradictory laws in the matters of citizen rights, penal law, demonstration and meeting rights, rights of the foreigners to reside, nuclear energy. But different laws should not result with big differences because of different  policies.

The points against federalism

As we have seen above, there are some points against federalism. First of all, the capabilities of the central officials and the pro­vincial ones can be different and the living conditions in several places of the country may not be at the same level. Thus, the principle of social state can be disturbed. The equality of chances, social security, promotion of the individuals and social support may not be the same in both provinces. As a result of this, there can be different outcomes in the economic, social, cultural and political fields. This situation is already deeply felt in the northern region of Cyprus before federalism is set up.

            The federal and the provincial officials have to respect the views of each other when they take political decisions. In case of conflict, a compromise has to be reached. There has to be no suspicion on how the view of the state is. It should not give way for the diminishing of the politicality.

            Federalism is an expensive form of state. It will require a lot of money. Beside the two different provincial governments and parliaments, there is a need of a federal parliament, a federal government and the federal administrative organs. The process of taking political decisions is complicated. The gradually increasing taxes cannot be sufficient for the federal expenses. If the federal policy is very strong, sometimes the provinces can have their own policy in the foreground.

The points in favour of federalism

Beside the above criticized points, there are lots of points, which are in favour of a federal state structure. Especially in the circumstances, when the unity of the people is necessary, federalism is very useful to strengthen the unity of the state. With the democratic participation of the people, democratic values are realized and strengthened and this will be beneficial for the people, whose possibilities have become more. The citizens use their votes twice, once on the provincial level and once on the central federal state level. The provincial participation is being increased more on the federal level and the influence of the citizen will be more. In a modern pluralist party state, the influence of the horizontal power distribution in the executive, legislative and judiciary is very low. But in a federal state, the vertical power distribution strengthens them more. The power of the central and the provincial governments are limited in a certain rate, but they have to work together for the realization of the state duties. Thus, they can influence and control each other and limit their use of power. Through this way, the division of power in a federal state and its limitation will strengthen the state of law.

            Federalism develops the possibilities of bringing the opposition together and promotes the contest of the political parties. Both in the central and in the provinces, the political parties are forced to increase the number of their voters according to their individual and capacity-related characteristics, in order to strengthen the parliamentary administration. If the federal and the provincial parliaments have different votes of majority, it will be possible to get some oppositional parties in some provinces into the power, while the majority of the government the federal parliament can be forced to be in the opposition in that province.

            There is a need of political leader cadres in a federal state. The practice of democracy in the provincial parliaments and the parliamentarism will be realized better. The provinces are the places, where the capable political forces are existent for the federal posts. It is same for the federal parliament, where distinguished politicians are raised. This circulation of the political cadres guarantees the realization of the state duties and the disappearance of the conflicts. As compared to the unitary system, the federal provinces have the right to exercise new political ideas in their fields. They can warn the federal government or the parliament in certain political matters. This can be in the other way round that the central government warns the provinces. Through this mutual exchange of experience, the social progress can be realized.

            Federalism provides the looseness of the strong party structures the political parties and strengthens the democracy of the party. The political parties can develop themselves within the provincial administration in forms of regional autonomy and self-sufficiency. The party organization, which is tested in power or in opposition can bring proposals to the party central. There is no such possibility in the unitary states for the local party organizations. In this way, both the party program and the aims of the party can benefit from these proposals.

            Finally federalism gives the possibility of having diversity in unity. Cultural diversity, individual and local characteristic can be protected and developed and the massive monotypicality can be left away.  Besides, there is respect for the partnership and togetherness, the monotony is avoided and the diversity in various fields of life is reached.    

Main issue: The question of  power

                If we summarize, we can say the following: As one thinks on the practice of federalism in Cyprus, the most important point, which should not be forgotten is that the bourgeois federalism is not a vehicle for the solution of the national or ethnic problems. Federalism is more a specific form of practice of the political power on the level of the regional or the provincial administration. Different political preferences and differences of the socio-cultural development between the provinces can be removed, through the central federal state and the extreme centralization of the political power and through a strong structure. In the concrete situation of Cyprus, the question of state and the power depends on one hand on the elimination of the influences of imperialism and neocolonialism and the abolishment of the military bases from the island. On the other hand it depends on how the internal main issue, the question of nationalities will be solved. But again the determining factor is not the national differences between the main two ethnic communities living in Cyprus, but the class struggle in the country and on the international level. This has to be underlined. As the bourgeois circles argue, the question is not "which community will govern which one?", but it appears as "which class will have the power in its hand on the whole of the island".

Reference Source:

Federalism in the Federal Republic of Germany (in German),  Informationen zur politischen Bildung, Heft: 204/1984, Bonn.

(The original English version of this study was read on 10-11 February 1990 in a conference, organized by the bi-communal Movement for an Independent and Federal Cyprus, at the Ledra Palace Hotel in the buffer-zone of Nicosia. The Turkish translation of the same study was published in Yeni Düzen daily newspaper on 2 and 3 February 1990.)

  • March 6th 2015 at 18:30



We have lost a dear friend, Greek Cypriot historian Rolandos Katsiaounis on 30 June 2014! He was always proud of being a graduate of Oxford University and I got to know him at the Cyprus Research Centre (CRC). His doctoral thesis “"Labour, History and Politics in Cyprus during the Second Half of the Nineteenth Century" was published in 1996 by the CRC in English and it is still a unique study in its own field, which could not be overcome. Unfortunately, he could not realize the second overviewed edition of this book.
Rolandos (1954-2014) was a militant Marxist, who took history seriously and he could not refrain to declare his political views. He was complaining that his own party AKEL have not given him enough support. His uncle, Christos Katsiaounis was among the leaders of the Cyprus Communist party and he was one of the members of the AKEL Central Committee, who fought against Hitler’s fascism in the Second World War.

Rolandos published his second book in Greek in 2000, where he recorded lots of new information, which shed light to today, related with the political developments between 1946 and 1948 and  with the experience of “The Consultative Assembly”, which the British Colonial Administration proposed to our island.

He mentioned to me about his project of writing the history of the KKK-AKEL, when we met after a meeting organized by PEO and DEV-İŞ on 13 October 2005 in Nicosia about the “1948 Miners’ Strike”. I was so happy to hear that he would deal with this subject. Rolandos wanted to learn my opinion about the book, dealing with this important past, whether it should be a short or a long story. I told him to write two versions: One, in more than one volume, where all the documents and information would be found in a detailed history and the other one would be a concise history, which could be read by an ordinary reader.

Unfortunately he could not finalise his studies. When the diagnosis was done, the incurable illness was already advanced and at the end, he left us behind. He was a 60 year old Famagustan and he had a lot of studies to accomplish.

I talked to him as my last on 27 April 2013 at a bi-communal meeting on “The birth and the development of Nationalism in Cyprus”. I had learned about his illness beforehand and I rather wanted to see him and to listen to his contribution on “Nationalism and Left” at this meeting. He told me about the side-effects of his treatment and he was complaining very much. Thus, his life adventure was this much, until this point.

The working class movement of Cyprus has lost one of its very dear members. As I convey my condolences to his relatives, I hope that his studies will be a guide for the new generation of historians.

(Obituary by Ahmet Cavit An, published in the “Friends of Cyprus Report”, Issue No.57, New Year 2015) 

  • December 30th 2014 at 21:53



            History deals with the sum of the events that happened in the past. It should be studied in order to understand the present. Today’s reality in Cyprus is influenced by history. It directs our attitudes and preferences. In this context, an awareness of history, the way the history is written, and the teaching of history are crucial. As Cypriots, how much do we know about the history of our country and the history of the inter-communal relations?

The emergence of Greek and Turkish nationalisms in Cyprus

           When the British occupied the island of Cyprus in 1878, ending a 300-year period of Ottoman rule that had begun in 1571, they preferred to keep the existing structures of education in Cyprus. Christian and Moslem schools were kept separate from one another. There were two Boards of Education, one Christian and the other Moslem. They ensured that the curriculums of the two communities mirrored those in Greece and Turkey respectively. The Greek Orthodox community was educated by teachers who had mainly graduated from Greece educational institutions and the educational system was under the control of the Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus. At the request of the Cyprus Government, the headmaster of the only lyceum in Nicosia was always sent from Istanbul. They were all Turkish nationalists. The Boards also prescribed the books to be used in the schools, insisting that the history textbooks were written in the so-called motherlands. As a result, the books emphasised the conflicts between Greece and Turkey, which fought against each other in 1821, resulting in Greece’s independence from the Ottoman Empire, and again in 1921, when Turkish Army defeated the Greek troops that had invaded Western Anatolia, leading to the formation in the Republic of Turkey in 1923. Both events therefore influenced the Moslem Turkish and the Christian Greek community in Cyprus. This was particularly the case with Turkish nationalism, which had developed during the national struggle to liberate the Ottoman Empire from occupation by imperial powers. Though it developed almost a century after Greek nationalism, this Turkish nationalism became influential among the Moslem Turkish population in Cyprus after the military defeat of the Greek occupation of Western Anatolia.

As well as through the schools, Turkish nationalism was disseminated in Cyprus by the Turkish Cypriot press, which followed the example of the mainland Turkish press, as well as through the activities of the Turkish Consulate on the island, which was opened after the foundation of the Turkish Republic. Meanwhile, the Greek Cypriots also pursued their own nationalism. They aimed to bring about the union of the island with Greece; a demand often put before the Legislative Council, which had been established by the British in 1879. The Turkish Cypriot members of the parliament used to resist these demands by saying that the island should be returned to the original owner, Turkey. However, following the annexation of Cyprus by the British Empire in 1914, Turkey gave up all of her rights on Cyprus when it signed the Treaty of Lausanne Agreement, in 1923. This was confirmed in 1925, when Britain declared Cyprus to be a Crown Colony – a status it retained until 1960.

The nationalism of both Greek and Turkish Cypriots did not originate from local historical circumstances, but was imported to the island through the teachers, books and newspapers that came from mainland Greece and Turkey. This nationalism was encouraged by the British colonial administration and the British tried to disseminate it among the unaware masses of people in accordance to their traditional policy of ‘divide and rule’.


The consolidation of nationalisms

            When the Greek Cypriots started a terror campaign in 1955 to end British colonial administration, the Turkish Cypriot leadership collaborated with the British and provoked the Greek Cypriots by recommending the Turkish Cypriot youth to become auxiliary police and commandoes in order to fight the Greek Cypriot fighters, thereby defending the colonialists. Thereafter, as the Greek Cypriot EOKA (National Organisation of Cypriot Fighters) underground organisation killed Turkish Cypriot security forces, the Turkish Cypriot TMT underground organisation began to kill Greek Cypriots in retaliation. As both organisations were anti-communist, they also killed progressive Cypriots who were against the partitionist policies of the British and their local collaborators. The growing demand of the Greek Cypriots for the union of the island with Greece (enosis) was encountered with the demand of the Turkish Cypriots for the partition (taksim) of the island between Turkey and Greece.

Finally, neither the Greek Cypriots’ objective of union nor the Turkish Cypriots’ aim of partition materialised. Instead, a limited independence was given to a new partnership, the Republic of Cyprus, which was established in 1960. The British maintained their sovereignty over the two military bases and the island was declared an independent state, banning both enosis and taksim in its constitution. The Turkish Cypriots, with 18 per cent of the island’s population were given 30 per cent say in the administration of the new Republic of Cyprus. This was strongly opposed by the Greek Cypriots. In December1963, the President of the Republic, Archbishop Makarios, tried to change the 13 points of the constitution by abolishing the veto power of the Turkish Cypriot Vice-President Dr Fazil Kuchuk. Inter-communal clashes began and, at the beginning of 1964, the Turkish Cypriots withdrew from the state apparatus. This conflict of nationalisms between the pro-enosis Greek Cypriot leadership and the pro-partition Turkish Cypriot leadership complicated the solution of the ethnic-national question in Cyprus. The unity of action and aim of the Cypriots could not be developed under a common shared aim and this caused new bitterness.

Meanwhile, those who sought to promote coexistence were silenced. In 1958, Turkish Cypriot trade unionists started to come under attack. In 1962, two prominent lawyers, Ahmet Muzaffer Gurkan and Ayhan Hikmet, founders of the ‘Cumhuriyet’ weekly newspaper, which advocated cooperation between the two main communities of new Cyprus state, were murdered. In 1965, Dervis Ali Kavazoglu, a Turkish Cypriot communist trade-unionist, was murdered by the Turkish Cypriot underground organization TMT (Turkish Resistance Organisation). These actions of intimidation silenced the democratic opposition within the Turkish Cypriot community, which was fighting against the partitionist policy of the Turkish Cypriot leadership. As a result, the separatist policy that the Turkish Cypriot leadership had pursued since 1958 was one of the reasons that Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots did not have a common political aim during the inter-communal negotiations that began in 1968.

From 1968 until 1974, various rounds of inter-communal negotiations were carried out, ending with a coup d’état by mainland Greek Army officers against Makarios, on 15 July 1974. This was followed by the invasion of the island by the mainland Turkish Army, on 20 July 1974. Together with Great Britain, Greece and Turkey were supposed to be the guarantor powers of the independence, sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus. The Turkish Cypriot leadership unilaterally declared independence in 1983, forming the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, on the Turkish occupied territory of the island; a move that was immediately condemned by the UN Security Council. Nevertheless, in the Turkish Cypriot textbooks of Cyprus history, the Turkish invasion in 1974 was described as an act of salvation. In contrast, Greek Cypriot students were taught nothing about the events between 1963 and 1974. The struggle for the union of the island with Greece during 1955-59 was portrayed as a struggle for the independence of the island. The Turkish Cypriots were ignored and excluded.

As imperialist foreign powers were against the independent development of the Republic of Cyprus, which followed an independent non-aligned foreign policy, they continuously incited nationalistic and anti-communist feelings among the island’s population. Yet again, a Cypriot awareness could not be developed to a sufficient degree. The guarantors of the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Cyprus were members of the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) and did not want to see a Cypriot state free from their influence. That is why they still do whatever they can to prevent the development of independent internal political and cultural structures.


Challenging nationalist histories


In order to draw useful lessons for the future, we have to have a good knowledge of our history and a multi-perspective approach to our past without any prejudice. For this purpose, it is necessary to have well-educated historians; rich archives open for all; multi-communal platforms, where everything can be discussed freely; and a democratic environment free from all taboos. Without all these, it would be very difficult to bring historical realities to light. Even then, it cannot be said that the Cypriot communities are likely to be at ease discussing these subjects.

History has to play a unifying, rather than a discriminatory role between the nations and communities. In the nationalist way of history-writing, the writer chooses ‘we’ in every stage of history and sees ‘the others’ as enemy. Seeing those from his nationality as different from and superior to others is the minimum characteristic of the nationalist history-writers. Some writers state this in a hard form. Others take a softer approach. But what is seen in all the nationalist history writers is seeing their own nation state as superior and defending, if necessary, the interests of their own nation at the expense of the others. This way of looking at history and commentating on the past is a dominant characteristic in various stages of writing official history and in the development of a nation state.

The review of textbooks and history teaching with multilateral and international efforts is a very long and much tiring process. Efforts to produce new models for text-books in European countries as well as in Turkey, Greece and the Balkans are being conducted by non-governmental bodies, historians and social scientists. In this respect, it would be very valuable to form a common committee of the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot historians which could try to achieve an interpretation of the common history of the communities living in Cyprus. I can name some subjects to be discussed and researched by such a Committee: the common rebellions during the Ottoman Occupation against the local governor’s arbitrary taxations; the common struggles in the Legislative Council during the British colonial rule related with the economic policy; the common struggles of the trade-union movement, which was united until 1958; the common struggle of the Cypriots against fascism during the World War II on the side of the Allied Forces.

Since 1974, the influx of mainland Turkish settlers in the occupied areas of Cyprus, which is contrary to the Geneva Convention, has been a threat to the existence of the Turkish Cypriots. This has led many of them to reassess their communal identity. Turkish Cypriot intellectuals, in particular, have started to ask themselves the question ‘Who are we?’ and ‘How can we preserve our own identity?’ as they have looked into the history of their cultural heritage. Cultural, scientific and the literary heritage are three important components of the national consciousness. Here we see the responsibility of historical researchers for the development of a common Cypriot consciousness. They have to research the common cultural heritage of the island and use these common elements for a common political aim. The various examples of cooperation between the two communities in the commercial and social life and in trade- union movement in the past are good examples of the coexistence of the two main communities in Cyprus. This highlights the degree to which the class character of the state has a big role to play in the formation of the Cypriot consciousness. There has to be a clearly designed state policy for the support of a Cypriot identity. The organs of the mass media should also play a constructive role in this respect since they can easily reach the homes of almost all citizens. 


             Over the past century and a half two different identities have emerged in Cyprus. Since 1974, these have been consolidated. Today, one is North of the divide. This holds the separatist TRNC as an expression of the nationalist identity of the Turkish Cypriots. The other is in the South of the divide. This views itself as the sole owner of the Cypriot state, which has distinctively an Orthodox Greek Cypriot character. To combat this, there needs to be an effort to challenge the separate histories told by the two communities. However, it needs to go further than this. There also need to be common political parties of Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots, seeking common political aims. The New Cyprus Association, which was formed in March 1975, aimed to preserve the existence of the state of Cyprus and avert the danger of permanent partition by encouraging people to behave first as Cypriots and then as a member of their respective community. Unfortunately, during the past 37 years, this movement of intellectuals was unable to become a political movement that could organise Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots under a common Cypriot identity. Nevertheless, the full equality of all the communities living on the island in the fields of politics, economy and culture can only be achieved through common political parties that will fight for a democratic federal state and against all kinds of separatism and discrimination. As the Turkish-Cypriot Coordinator of the Bi-communal Movement for an Independent and Federal Cyprus, which was formed in 1989, I fought for 11 years to win a case against Turkey in the European Court of Human Rights, in February 2003 (Djavit An v. Turkey, 20652/92) for depriving me of my freedom of assembly due to my efforts to promote greater contacts between the two communities in Cyprus. My experiences since then have showed me that all Cypriots who want to see a reunited island should organise themselves and fight for the same goal: ending the occupation and the colonisation of the Northern part of our island by Turkey and forming a democratic federal state through power sharing. Policies are needed to solve the problem of nationalities. Rather, a single Cypriot nationality is needed. This can only be done by challenging the historical presentation of the past and promoting political cooperation in the present.


References and recommended reading

1.      An, Ahmet, An Overview of the Research Studies on the Identity of the Turkish Cypriots, in “Articles on the Turkish Cypriot Culture”, Nicosia 1999, p.222-230, (in Turkish)

2.      An, Ahmet, The Political History of the Turkish Cypriots (1930-1960): The Forgotten Political History of the Turkish Cypriots and the Struggles for the Leadership in the Mirror of the Press, Nicosia 2006 (in Turkish)

3.      Attalides, Michael, Cyprus, Nationalism and International Politics (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1979)

4.      European Court of Human Rights, Djavit An v. Turkey (application no. 20652/92)

5.      Worsley, Peter and Pashalis Kitromilides (eds), Small States in the Modern World (Nicosia: The New Cyprus Association, 1979)


(This contribution by Ahmet An was included in the book “Resolving Cyprus: New Approaches to Conflict Resolution” edited by James Ker-Lindsay, published by I.B. Tauris, London 2015, pp.24-30)

  • December 23rd 2014 at 11:23



The British rule in Cyprus started on 12th July 1878 with the raising of the Union Jack, instead of the Ottoman flag, when the British admiral Lord John Hay took over the administration of the island from the last Ottoman “mutasarruf” Besim Pasha. The first British High Commissioner, Sir Garnet Wolseley landed at Larnaca on 22nd July 1878 and a new period in the history of this Mediterranean island began. (1)

Until the British came to Cyprus, there was no printing house. The first printing house was established in Larnaca right after the arrival of the British by Henry S. King and Co., which published on 29th August 1878 the first newspaper in Cyprus. This weekly newspaper was called “Cyprus/Kypros” and the first two pages were in English and the other two pages in Greek. According to Claude Delaval Cobham’s bibliography, the first book published in Cyprus was “İstoria hronologiki dis nisu” (Chronological History of the Island) by Archimandrite Kyprianos. This book was first printed in 1788 in Venice and its second print was made in Larnaca in 1880. (2) The first book printed in English in Cyprus was in 1885. “Cyprus Guide and Directory” was its title and it was printed in Limassol. (3) The first Turkish book published in Cyprus with Arabic letters, was “Müsameretname” (Tales for the evening entertainment). It was printed by the Ottoman Club in Nicosia, which founded also the first Turkish Cypriot printing house for the “Zaman” newspaper. Zaman was the second newspaper published on 25th December 1891, following “Saded”, the first ever newspaper in Turkish language in Cyprus, which was published weekly from 11th July to 14th November 1889, only 16 numbers. (4)

British scholar C. F. Beckingham, who made one of the first scientific studies on Turkish Cypriots, writes that until December 1892, there was no Turkish book printed in Cyprus according to the records and the number of them could not reach 40 in the year 1914. (5)

When the British came to Cyprus in 1878, the Turkish Cypriots had three types of school. These were Sibyans, Roushties and Medreses and their administration was in the hands of the Evkaf (a religious trust institution). According to a report by Mr. M.Sager on Evqaf Properties, dated 1883, the number of these schools was about 70, consisting of 22 in Nicosia, 8 in Larnaca, 5 in Limassol, 16 in Paphos, 13 in Famagusta and 6 in Kyrenia. There were 114 teachers employed in all these schools. 47 of them were being employed by the Ottoman Government, 47 of them by Evqaf and the other 20 were being paid by the people of the village, where they served. (6)

At the Sibyan School the subjects taught were the Alphabet, Hand-writing, Reading, the Koran and Arithmetic. Children started going to the Cyprus Sibyan Schools, when they were 4 years, 4 months and 4 days old. Because the teacher instructed each child individually, the admittance of children throughout the year constituted no problem. Although the normal period of instruction lasted for four years, those, who wished to attend the school beyond this period of instruction, could stay on until they were ten. At the end of this period of instruction, the well-to-do families sent their children to the medrese, whilst the poor and those, who wanted to discontinue, entered an apprenticeship in crafts or commerce. (7) In the medrese of preparatory and secondary school level, subjects such as Arithmetic, Cosmography, Grammar, Syntax, Geometry, Moslem Philosophy, Logic and Discussion were taught… The Roushties were the establishments, which provided education in the modern sense with the “class” system. Although religious teaching and Arabic continued, greater importance was attached to subjects such as Natural Sciences, Algebra and Turkish. (8)

When the administration of the island was taken over by the British in 1878, a change was made in the status of the Evqaf and its administration was henceforth carried on by the two Delegates of the Evqaf, one of them being Turkish and the other English. Education was controlled by the Evqaf and since the Evqaf directed the Education, the British began to have a say in Turkish Cypriot Education from the very start. Their first course of action was to set up the “Moslem Board of Education” in 1884. This Board consisted of nine leading citizens of the time, headed by the Qadi (The Judge) and the Mufti (Religious Head). It undertook the administration of all the Turkish schools in the Island… One of the most important deeds of the Education Board was the decision to open “The Idadi”, a five-year institution, the equivalent of the present Lyceums, on the 14th November 1896. (9)

In 1880, at the request of the British High Commissioner in Cyprus, an inspection of a number of schools in the island was undertaken, which led to the discovery of many grave defects, although the children were reported as intelligent and quick to learn. The result of these inquiries was the appointment in 1880 of an English Director of Education. The Secretary of State, Lord Kimberley, was unable to agree with the High Commissioner’s views as to the prominence to be given to English teaching, the making of it the vehicle of education or “placing it as a language for general use in any way on level with the two ancient languages of the island.” (10)

That assessment explains why the British necessarily kept the Christian and Moslem schools quite distinct. With the introduction of the Education Law of 1895, there were two separate boards of Education, one Christian and the other Moslem. This decision had its implications until today.

The first elected Moslem Board of Education in Nicosia met on 29th March 1884 and one of the decisions taken by this Board was to supply the textbooks and the other teaching material for the Turkish Cypriot schools from Istanbul, Turkey. (11) The same Board, elected for the years of 1896 to 1898, decided the teaching of the Greek language in the Rushtie. (12)

In 1895, we see the publication of “Kıbrıs Tarihi” (The History of Cyprus) by Ziver Bey in a Nicosia Printing House. This 100 paged-book is the first Ottoman history book on the history of the island, covering the period until the Ottoman rule. (13) The writer notes in the preface to his book that he was sorry to write the history of Cyprus without seeing the island. Ziver Bey was born in Lesbos and served also in Rhodes, where he wrote a history of Rhodes in the same serial of Ottoman islands. (14)

Ibrahim Hakki Bey, who was working in the Department of Education and was appointed later as the chief inspector of the Turkish Cypriot schools, published in 1906 in Nicosia the first ever book of geography for the Turkish Cypriot elementary schools. “Muhtasar Kıbrıs Coğrafyası” (A Concise Geography of Cyprus) was a 65 paged book, printed in the Printing House of “Foni dis Kipru” in Nicosia. Hakki Bey wrote this in the preface: “The Moslem Board of Education decided to include in its curriculum Geography for the 3rd and 4th classes of the elementary schools. There was no such textbook available and I tried to fill this gab with this book, which I prepared with the information I compiled from the English and Greek Cypriot books and from the official government resources.”

This book gives detailed information about the physical geography of the island with its climate, animals and plants. Other sections on the 6 districts of the island, import and export, population, roads, administration and a short history of Cyprus from the periods B.C. up to the British rule completes the book. (15) Its second print was made in 1931.

According to the Minutes of the Moslem Board of Education for the years of 1912 to 1914, some Turkish Cypriot teachers proposed the Board to write the textbooks of the elementary schools and asked if the government undertakes the cost of printing. The Board decided that “the textbooks would be imported as before from Istanbul and the teacher’s proposal was rejected.” (16)  

The Minutes for the year of 1916 to 1918 reads: “Because of the ongoing First World War, it was not possible to import textbooks from Istanbul. If the chief inspector for the schools approves, the textbooks written by Hasan Cengiz for the elementary schools will be used locally.” (17)

The report of 1913 issued by the Education Department informs us that “the Moslems have, in the capital (Nicosia) an admirable institution called the Idadi School, which was, in the days before the British occupation, controlled and supported by the Turkish Government and then receives an annual Government grant of 384 pounds. It is controlled by a governing body and the course of instruction includes the Turkish language, Persian and Arabic, English and Modern Greek. Mathematics is taught on a modern and Western system and history and geography are included.” (18)

After the Ottoman Empire entered the war on the side of Germany, Britain annexed Cyprus on 5th November 1914, ending the sovereignty of the Ottomans on the island. The new republic of Turkey accepted this annexation in 1923 with the Agreement of Lausanne and the British declared Cyprus on 10th March 1925 as a “crown colony”.

In 1920 a new Education Law was enacted, which reorganized schools “other than the Greek- Christian”. Two major changes were brought through this law: First, the appointment of teachers came under the power of the Turkish Board of Education, but it was subject to confirmation by the high Commissioner; secondly, of the total amount required to meet the expenditure for these schools half of it was paid by the Government out of the general revenue. The Greeks resented the law, because in proportion to the small contribution made by the Turks (a minority of 2%) to the country’s revenue, the Government expenditure on the Turkish schools was too big… They felt that they were educating their enemy with “their own money”, when their hatred against the Turks had been revived because of the tragic events in Asia Minor of 1920. (19) The law of 1923 marked the first step towards centralization and the Greeks were forced to accept in 1923 what the Turks had accepted in 1920.

In the Minutes of the Moslem Board of Education in 1920-1922 period, there was a note that the inspector of the schools told the members: “The Government is not going to accept those textbooks, which include events about the First World War.” A committee was formed to select the textbooks for the Turkish Cypriots after a consultation with the Turkish Cypriot inspector of education, Mr. Ibrahim Hakki. (20)

1926 the first Short History of Cyprus (Muhtasar Kıbrıs Tarihi) was published in Nicosia by the Turkish Cypriot teacher, Mustafa Mithat. He was already the co-author of another book (Muhtasar Kıbrıs Coğrafyası ve Muhtasar Kıbrıs Tarihi) published in Istanbul in 1920, together with Ibrahim Hakki. The second print was made in Nicosia in 1930 with the name “Mekteblere Mahsus Küçük Kıbrıs Coğrafyası ve Küçük Kıbrıs Tarihi” (Concise Geography and Concise History of Cyprus for the Schools). The author of the Geography section was Ibrahim Hakki Bey, who already published his first book in 1906 in Nicosia and it covered 22 pages out of the whole 52 pages. The section on the history of Cyprus was written by M.(Mustafa)Mithat Bey, who was supposed to be one of the well-informed persons about the history of the island in his time. The history of Cyprus was dealt from the geological period up to the British occupation. The researcher, Harid Fedai, who introduced the contents of this book in Modern Turkish, writes that this textbook of geography and history was very useful for both the teachers and the pupils. (21) The third print was made in 1931, again in Nicosia.

The teacher of history at the lyceum for the boys in Nicosia, M.Mithad wrote this in the Yearbook 1933-1934 of the school: “Within the boundaries of the general history, as we teach the world events, it will be very appropriate to give a special place to the individual history of our island in our schools. This is my opinion.” (22)

The only secondary school for the Turkish Cypriot boys was the Idadi, which was called between 1922 and 1924 as Sultani. When the Sultan’s rule ended, the school was called Lise (lyceum).

From the Minutes of the Moslem Board of Education, we see a decision from the period 1922-1924 that 300 pieces of Cyprus map were to be printed in Turkey and to be distributed to the Turkish Cypriot schools. (23)

The Minutes from the period 1924-1926 records a decision of the Administrative Committee for the Turkish Secondary Schools to the effect that teachers for the history and geography would be appointed from Turkey and the textbooks of the lyceum would be the same as in Istanbul. The decision about the textbooks was repeated in the Minutes for the period 1928-1930. (24) We also see a decision that starting from 1st September 1929, books printed in Latin, instead of Arabic Alphabet should be taught in all the Turkish Cypriot elementary schools. (25)

After the Greek Cypriot rising of 1931 and the closure of the Legislative Council, the freedoms were curtailed by the Governor. “With the Education Law of 1933, the centralization system was completed. Thus: a) Textbooks were to be determined and supplied by the Government, b) Education Board and District Committee members were to be appointed by the Government, c) the Government was to have complete control over the Educational Taxes, d) the Board of Education would be reduced to the form of a consultative body only, e) in addition to these the Land Taxes of the Turkish people would be raised, in order to meet Educational expenses.

Up to 1933, however, the curriculum was being determined by the Board of Education. When this power passed to the Government under the new Law, a new curriculum was prepared for the Elementary schools and put into practice during the school-year 1935-36. As a result of this, the importation of the textbooks that were being brought from Turkey until then, was prohibited. As it was possible to prepare in Cyprus only the Primer and Reading books, instruction without a text-book for the rest of the subjects was put into practice… In 1936 English as a secondary language was added to the Elementary School Curriculum.” (26) The name of the Turkish Cypriot lyceum was changed into “Islamic Lyceum”, starting from the school-year 1936-37 and the teaching of Turkish history and Ataturkist principles were not desirable. (27)

Panayiotis K. Persianis writes that “contrary to what was feared, the Governor did not order the immediate change of textbooks (for the Greek Cypriots after 1931). With the exception of political maps showing Cyprus as part of Greek territory, which were prohibited by the proclamation of 23 December 1936 issued under the Seditious Publications Laws of 1931 and 1932. Readers and textbooks continued to be imported from Greece. The Cyprus Government did not order them to be changed even during World War 2, when the opportunity arose because of the German Government, at the time in exile in Egypt, to reprint the textbooks in Cyprus. The books were reprinted in 1942 and were used in Cyprus until 1948.” (28)

The Cyprus Turkish Lyceum in Nicosia was the centre of anti-British and pro-Turkish nationalism activities in the 1930’s. As mentioned above, the name of the lyceum was changed to “Islamic Lyceum” in 1937 by the newly appointed British veteran officer Mr. Harold Wood as the headmaster of the lyceum. The appointment of British headmasters since 1931 was already a matter of dispute between the colonial administration and the Turkish Cypriot nationalists on one hand and between the pro-British Evqafites and the Turkish Cypriot nationalists on the other hand. For example, Dr.Eyyub, a member of the Legislative Council and of the Lyceum Commission, was attacked by the other members, when he told: “Until the Republic of Turkey will be in a position to raise up such headmasters with enough competency and character to administer our lyceum, we have to accept the appointment of British headmasters.” (29)

Until the school-year 1943-1944, there was only one secondary school, that in Nicosia, but afterwards new secondary schools were opened in Famagusta, Limassol and Paphos for the Turkish Cypriots. The Cyprus Victoria Moslem Girls’ Technical School, which was established in 1901 and later turned into a secondary school, was raised to the status of a lyceum in 1952.

Education was among the important problems dealt by the “Turkish Affairs Commission” formed by the Colonial Government in 1948. We read from the Halkin Sesi daily on 30thOctober 1948 the following: “The Turkish Cypriots give more importance to their education in the last 10-15 years, but Mr. Cullen (the Head of Education Department) obstructs the teaching of the elementary books imported from Turkey.”

Another report in Halkin Sesi daily on the 8th June 1949 states: “According to the instruction of the Governor’s deputy, the term “Turkish Cypriots” will be used, instead of Moslems of Cyprus”.

In 1949, we see the amendment of the Educational Law of 1935 and a new “regulation for the curriculum” was prepared and the same coverage and time-tables for both Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot schools were accepted.

In the past period, Halil Fikret Alasya, who was a teacher at the lyceum, published in 1939 “The History of Cyprus (B.C.1450-A.D.1878) and its main antiquities” (174 pages), but it was not used as a textbook.

Alasya later immigrated to Turkey. Another émigré of Turkish Cypriot origin, Ismet Konur, who was a teacher of history in Denizli, published in 1938 in Istanbul his book “Turkish Cypriots”. The first 22 pages were about the history of Cyprus. His second book “The History of Cyprus and the Turkish Monuments in Cyprus” was published in 1946 in Adana. Konur was very critical of the British in his both books and they were banned in Cyprus.

Starting from the school-year 1950-1951, the British headmaster of the lyceum retired and a new headmaster from Turkey, who was of Turkish Cypriot origin, was appointed. Now the school was called again as “The Turkish Lyceum”. Turkish national days were accepted as school holidays. (30)

In 1951 “Halk ve Çocuklara Resimli Kıbrıs Tarih Bilgisi” (Illustrated Knowledge on History for the People and Children) was published by an elementary school teacher, Fikri Karayel, which was used at the schools. The Department of Education was publishing two monthly school magazines, called “Pictorial Education” and “Children’s Journal” in Greek and Turkish languages. These publications were distributed free of charge and the Church leaders tried to prevent their being circulated among the Greek Cypriot children on the ground that they were published merely for propaganda purposes. (31)

Turkish Cypriot Board of Education for the years 1955-1956 decided to abolish the methods of teaching without textbooks and that the history books together with the others would be supplied from Turkey. For the school-year 1956-1957, we read this decision in the Minutes: “Greek language will not be taught anymore at the secondary schools and lyceums.” (32)

Again in 1956, the new Director of Education, W. B. Tudhope, tried to break the rigid centralization, which had remained in force since 1933. He announced a policy of “partnership”, by which the Greek and Turkish communities were invited to take over extensive control of their education. According to the new arrangement, education, instead of being divided on a level basis, was henceforth to be differentiated on a community basis. Administration was divided between officers, who would be responsible to the Deputy Director. A Greek Cypriot Education Officer would be responsible for the Greek elementary and secondary education, a Turkish Cypriot for the Turkish education and a British Officer for the Government and inter-communal schools and institutions. (33)

One of the first decisions of the Turkish Cypriot Board of Education, taken on 1stApril 1957, was to supply the textbooks for the school-year 1957-1958 from Turkey. The text-books of Arithmetic, Religion and Civics were to be printed in Cyprus. (34)

Starting from 9thOctober 1958, Mr. Fuat Sami was appointed as the Turkish Cypriot Education Officer and the Minutes of the Board was recorded only in Turkish, not anymore in English too. (35)

The 23rdApril was declared as in Turkey a public holiday for the elementary schools. For the school-years 1958-1958, a decision was taken for the printing of all textbooks used in the elementary schools in Turkey. On the 9th June 1959, the administration of the Turkish Cypriot Education was given to the Turkish Cypriot community, which decided to raise the Turkish flag every weekend at the schools with a ceremony. (36)

At the end of the British rule, the Turkish Cypriots had seven lyceums, three secondary schools one institute and two technical schools. Of these, only one lyceum, three secondary schools and one institute were being run with the financial aid of the Government of the Turkish Republic. The ten remaining secondary educational institutions were under the administration and control of the Education Office. In 1960, the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus in Article 87, paragraph b, transferred “all educational, cultural and teaching matters” under the jurisdiction of the Turkish Cypriot Communal Chamber. (37)

In 1959, a mainland Turkish teacher of history published “An Outline of the History of Cyprus” in Nicosia. This was followed another book, by Ahmet Gazioğlu, a Turkish Cypriot teacher, “Cyprus under British Rule – Matters of Status and Constitution (1878-1960)” in 1960. Both were not used as textbooks.

Those textbooks about geography and history of Cyprus published during the British rule were not critical about the British administration as we examined. But the situation changed when the British left the island and the education was left to the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.  

The first Turkish Cypriot textbook of Cyprus History, published after the clashes of December 1963, was the one, written by a teacher of history, Vergi H. Bedevi: “From the early beginning up to our time, The History of Cyprus”, published in Nicosia in 1966. This 226 paged book was approved by the Turkish Department of Education as an ancillary textbook with its decision No.28/62, dated 7thFebruary 1966.

The section 5 of the book starts with “The rent of Cyprus to England”. The following evaluation ends up the section: “The change of administration (to British) in Cyprus was greeted by the Greek Government and the Greek Cypriots, because they were hoping that this would end up with the union of Cyprus with Greece. Moreover, one of the Cypriot Bishops, Kyprianos, spoke on the occasion of Sir Wolseley’s arrival: “Like England did it for the Greek Islands, we believe that she will help us for our annexation to our motherland Greece. That’s why we are happy with the British administration.” (p.167)

The following sections are as follows:

6. The British administrative system (p.167)

7. Annexation of Cyprus to England (p.169)

8. Cyprus in Lausanne Agreement (p.171)

9. The change in 1925 (to Crown Colony) (p.172)

10. Rebellion of 1931. Here the three reasons of the rebellion were given such as:

            1. Colonialist policy of England on the island and non-recognition of the basic right

                  to local autonomy as she did it in its other colonies in Asia and Africa.

            2. Growing crisis of the economic situation on the island

3. Systemic propaganda for the union of Cyprus with Greece (p.173)

11. The period between 1931 and 1959. Here we see references to “two important changes in

      Cyprus after the Second World War: 1) Formation of a Communist Party, named AKEL

      and 2) Labour Party gets into power in England.” There is also information about the

      political organization of Turkish Cypriots, namely the KATAK. In 1948, main demands of

      the Turkish Cypriots from the Colonial Government are listed as follows:

1.      Handing the Evqaf to the Turkish community.

2.      Putting the Turkish schools out of the absolute control of the government and the election of the members of the school commission by the people themselves.

3.      Allowing the election of a Mufti for the Turkish community.

4.      Change of the Inheritance Law for Moslems.

5.      Abolition of the Religious Sheri Courts, Preparation of a New and Modern Family Law and Establishment of Modern Family Courts.

   Reference was also made to the activities of the Greek Cypriots for the Union of Cyprus with Greece (enosis). The position of Greece and Turkey, the developments in the years 1954 to 1959 (p.181-194) and a summary of the Agreements of Guarantee and Alliance (p.195) are dealt with. The list of the British High Commissioners and Governors ends the chapters on the British Rule (p.196)

The approach of the writer of the book can be defined as nationalist, but not as chauvinist in general. On the back-cover of the book, it was stressed that there was no objective history of Cyprus and this book would fill the gap, breaking the monopoly of the foreign history writers. The book was published by the Cyprus Turkish History Association.

In 1967, a Turkish Cypriot teacher of geography, Ali Beyoğlu, published his “Geography of Cyprus” in Nicosia. This 82 paged book was written as “a contribution to the Turkish Cypriot culture” as the writer put it in the preface and it was not used as a textbook in the schools. In the references of both books, we see two mimeographs, prepared by special commissions, but they are not used as textbooks as well: “Notes of the History of Cyprus – Three Parts, Nicosia 1962” and “Geography of Cyprus” – Three Parts, Nicosia 1962”. Turkish Cypriot Education Department prepared a third book on Civics, but all of the three books were not published officially for the reasons we could not learn.


A new “History of Cyprus” was published in November 1970 by the new President of the Cyprus Turkish History Association, Vehbi Zeki. This 180 paged book was approved by the Cyprus Turkish Directorate for Education on 1st February 1971 as the “textbook” for the lessons of History of Cyprus at the secondary schools’ first, second and third classes. More than 10 reprints of this textbook were made and it is still in use.

Two chapters of this book deal with the British Rule in Cyprus. The 8th chapter has the title “English Sovereignty in Cyprus”. General outlines of the lesson are summarized in 13 parts with related explanatory questions.

Mr.Vehbi Zeki writes on p.102: “The hand-over of the Turkish Administration to the British was received with some resistance even if it was small in scale. A patriotic Turkish officer in Famagusta resisted with gun-fire at the head of his division against the British occupation. The local Council in Limassol did not recognize the British occupation, but later under the use of force, it accepted the new situation.

As the Turkish flag was lowered in Nicosia and the British flag was raised, a Greek Cypriot insulted a Turkish officer during this ceremony. The Turkish officer took his sword out and attacked the man, but the pallikaria was able to escape through the crowd.

The Greek Cypriots, as they had done in the course of history, accepted their new masters. They were happy to see the Turks leaving, who had saved them then from slavery and gave them all kinds of opportunities.”

On p.103, there is an extract from Rauf Denktash’s book “Cyprus: Five Minutes before Twelve” about the ceremony of downing the Ottoman flag, ending with this sentence: “Without exaggeration, one can say that with this flag ceremony, the political rope-game between the Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots had begun.” (p.105)

The evaluation of the measures taken after 1931 was done by the writer in the following manner: “After the rebellion on 21st October 1931, these measures were taken:

1.      The Greek Consul, Kyrou, was called back to Greece.

2.      The Legislative Council was abolished.  

3.      The Kitium Bishop, Nikodemos and his friends were exiled from Cyprus.

4.      Many liberties were restricted. For example, the restriction of the freedom of press, appointment of the village-heads, instead of their election by the people, banning of raising the flags without getting permission from the authorities etc.

5.      The damage, caused by the rebellion, 34.345 Cyprus pounds, was to be collected from the villages and towns, participated at this rebellion.

6.      The political parties were banned.

7.      The press was put under censorship.

8.      The teaching of Turkish and Greek history in the schools was prohibited.

              We have to stress here with sorrow that the above measures were applied also to the

              Turkish Cypriot community, although they were not at fault and did not take any part

               in the rebellion.” (p.108-109)

The reason of the rebellion in 1931 is described here as follow: “Indeed, the Greeks were planning a rebellion for the “union”. The problem of the budget’s refusal was only a pretext.” Vergi Bedevi uses “Kavanin Meclisi” as the right translation of the “Legislative Assembly”, whereas Vehbi Zeki uses “Teşrii Meclis”, which was not the word used in practice, probably taken from the books, written by mainland Turks.

There is reference to the KATAK, but it adds this: “There was soon a disagreement among the party members. Dr. F. Kucuk and his friends left the party and formed another under the name “Cyprus National Turkish People’s Party, which later in 1948 reunited under the name “Cyprus National Unity Party.” (p.109) The other political developments in the Cyprus problem are described up to the Macmillan Plan. On p.114 there is a map of the villages, where the Turkish Cypriots were attacked by the EOKA terror organization in 1955-58. In the text it reads: “The EOKA murderers destroyed many Turkish villages with their brutal attacks.” (p.113) It continues: “For the cause of separating the joint municipalities, pro-partition meetings were organized by the attacks. But those meetings, which had no back-thoughts were attacked brutally by the British soldiers and 7 innocent race-brothers of ours were killed as the result of this. Later meetings were staged in the Motherland for Cyprus. As the island was painted with blood, the British Prime Minister Macmillan announced new proposals for the administration of Cyprus on 19th June 1958.” (p.112)

These important events in May-June 1958 are described in Bedevi’s book with another aspect:  “This incidence raised the tension in Cyprus and excited the Turks of the island… As the idea of partition grew stronger once more, the mainland Turkish youth opened “a campaign for volunteers” to fight in a possible civil war in Cyprus. 25.000 Turkish youths applied to come to Cyprus and fight shoulder-to-shoulder with the Turkish Cypriots… The first meeting of 300,000 people took place in Istanbul on 8th June. It was followed by others in seven leading cities.” (p.189) There is also a list of the fallen Turkish Cypriots in June-August 1958 on pages 190-191.

Vehbi Zeki writes about the “Search for a solution to the Cyprus problem” in the 9th Chapter (p.117-124) There is a summary of the Zürich and London Agreements on p.118-121.

On p.121, we read the arrival of the Turkish soldiers in Cyprus in this sentence: “After 82 years of its departure, the representative of the brave Turkish Army, the Turkish Contingent in Cyprus landed once again on Turkish Cyprus on 16thAugust 1960.” We see another extract from Rauf Denktash, “speaking to the brave Turkish soldiers in the name of the Turkish Cypriots.” Vehbi Zeki illustrates the section with four pictures of the Turkish contingent and he writes: “After 82 years of separation, the Turkish soldiers stepped on Turkish Cyprus once again with the decisiveness of never leaving the island again.” (p.124)

In this book, there is also a small section, two and half pages, about “The education in Cyprus during the British period” (p.114-116), which says: “During the British period, the Turkish Cypriot schools in general were under great pressure. Even the pictures of Ataturk and other Turkish dignitaries were removed with putting those of the British king and dignitaries. We used to have the British flag on the masts and sing the march “God save the King”. Despite all the pressure of the British government, the hard-working Turkish teachers educated the youth loyal to the reforms of Ataturk.” (p.116)

In the Turkish Cypriot lyceums, the textbook of “History of the Struggle of the Turkish Cypriots (1878-1981” by Zeki Serter and Ozan Zeki Fikretoglu, first published in 1982 in Nicosia is taught. This book was originally written in three volumes, dealing with the periods 1878-1959, 1959-1963 and 1963-1975 respectively and its author, Dr. Vehbi Zeki Serter was also the Educational Inspector of the Ministry for Education, Culture and Youth. With the decision of the Directorate of Education on 25thJune 1973, it was approved as ancillary textbook for the lessons of “History of (Turkish) Revolution”.  It is interesting that there is a note in the first print of the book: “This book is examined by Rauf R. Denktash, Vice-President and the President of the Turkish Administration.” The first print of the book was dedicated to the 50thAnniversary of the Republic of Turkey.

In 1982, a concise textbook of 104 pages was printed. This time Serter worked with Fikretoglu, who was the Director of Instruction and Training at the Ministry of Education. This “History of Struggle of the Turkish Cypriots” was approved on 14thJanuary 1982 for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Classes of the Lyceum as textbook.

The British rule is dealt in three chapters: Chapter 2 (Cyprus during the English Administration), Chapter 3 (The 1956-59 Period) and Chapter 4 (The transitory period, February 1959-August 1960).

Some extracts from the Chapter 2 are given below:

“The 1890’s are the years, full of activities of the Greek Cypriot community, aimed at the union of the island with Greece and we see the concentrated initiatives of the Turkish Cypriot community in order to block these initiatives… As British Deputy Minister of Colonies, Sir Winston Churchill, who was on a visit to the island in 1907 left Cyprus, he addressed to the Greek Cypriots in Limassol: “Since there are Turkish and Greek communities here, it is not possible to have enosis. If you want your country to have a high standard of living, you have to find a way to cooperate with the other community in a friendly manner.” This period is full of injustice, done to the Turkish Cypriots by the colonial administration in the public offices and municipalities. Therefore, one can find many complaints, published in the local Turkish Cypriot newspapers. For example, although the town Polis has an equal population of the Greek and Turkish Cypriots, the nearby Greek Cypriot villages were put within the boundaries of Polis, but the nearer Turkish Cypriot villages were excluded. Another example was favouring Varosha and not Famagusta, the old city. The revenue gathered from the Port of Famagusta was used for the works of illumination and cleaning in Varosha, whereas the Turkish Cypriot part of the town, Famagusta, could not benefit from such works. Another complaint was that the Greek Cypriots were favoured by the appointments to the vacant posts in the Police, instead of Turkish Cypriots, who were at their right turn. The Greek Cypriots could not have teachers from Greece, whereas this right was not given to the Turkish Cypriots… The period 1878-1931 gave the control of the Evkaf to the government despite the reaction of the Turkish Cypriots, there were British headmasters at the Turkish Lyceums, one for the boys and one for the girls, the posts at the public services were given preferably to the Greek Cypriots, the municipalities under the Greek rule took care of the Greek quarters, whereas Turkish quarters were neglected.” (p.12)   

There are new events mentioned in this book. For example, convening of the Cyprus Turkish National Congress on 1st May 1931 and it gives the list of demands of the Turkish Cypriots from the British administration. (p.13) The measures, taken by the British after the rebellion of 1931, are listed on p.13 and the writer comments: “Thus, the Colonial Administration was punishing the Turkish community, which was loyal to the laws, as well as the Greeks, who were responsible from the rebellion. Especially the pressure on educational institutions and prohibitions were felt, but the sacrificing Turkish teacher resisted and the values of Turkishness were transferred to the pupils in secret manner.” (p.13)

The Turkish Cypriot reaction to the 1950 Plebiscite, the position of the Turkish Government, the formation of the Turkish Cypriot Federation of Associations, which later, at the end of 1957, got its news President, Rauf R. Denktash, who was the chief solicitor of the British Colonial Government are the other developments referred to. (p.15-16) The events from 1951 to 1955 are dealt later (p.16-22) with special sub-section on London Conference.

The 3rd Chapter deals with the developments in 1956, 57 and 58, ending with the Zürich and London Agreements. (p.23-36)

The 4th Chapter is short, only three pages. It reports about the elections for the posts in the new Republic, the landing of the Turkish and Greek Contingents and the reflections of the new Republic’s Declaration in the Greek Cypriot press, which saw it as a new start for the final goal, the union of the island with Greece. (p.43-44)

There have been a lot of criticism of the books, written by Vehbi Zeki Serter, which made many reprints since 1970, but there is no change in the policy of education. One of the last critics about the methods of selling the book at the schools and about the contents of the book appeared in Vatan newspaper on 5th November 1992: “From our point of view, among the unnecessary lessons given in our schools, the lesson of Turkish Cypriot History is the most important. What a pity that our glorious history is lost in the book of Vehbi Zeki and almost no mention is made to our recent history. The Ministry of Education has not allocated the necessary money for a comprehensive book, but it brings the years-old book of Vehbi Zeki every year into the young brains. (Metin Semerci)”

There was lately a seminar for the teachers of History and Social Knowledge, titled “new Approaches in the teaching of Cyprus History”, but this was again sick of chauvinism . (38)

The last minister of Education and Culture, Mehmet Ali Talat, who was appointed in January 1994, tried to make some changes in the curriculum, but he was attacked by the chauvinist press. The parents are also critical of the textbooks, dealing with Cyprus history. One of them complained: “The Greek Cypriots teach chauvinism at their schools, but we should not do the same with giving this as a pretext. The chauvinist contents of the textbooks of Cypriot History should be changed.” The police raided the place, where the meeting took place with the Minister and an interrogation was started immediately, asking, who was talking destructively and who the Minister was. (39)

The other textbooks taught at the schools of the Turkish Cypriots are all imported from Turkey. In some years the textbooks arrive late or some of them fail. (40) The textbook of National Geography I has two and a half pages about Cyprus, stating that the part, where the Turks are living is the TRNC in the northern part of the island: “The inhabitants of this part call our country as “Motherland” or “our race-brothers in the Northern part live within the boundaries of the TRNC under the guarantee of their motherland” are the examples of the approach to the island, giving the perspectives: “The Turkish Cypriot side believes in a bi-communal, bi-regional and politically equal federal framework, where both peoples could come together and this is only possible with the active and influential guarantee of Turkey.” (41)

It is interesting that when there was a meeting in Ankara about a joint textbook of History and Literature for all the Turkic republics, the TRNC was not invited on the ground that there was no need to invite the TRNC, since Cyprus is seen as a part of Turkey. The Ministry of National Education of Turkey said: “Cyprus already uses the same curriculum as in Turkey and we did not need to invite a special representative from Cyprus.” (42)

That concludes our evaluation of the Turkish Cypriot textbooks and the British rule in Turkish Cypriot textbooks.


1.      Zia, Dr.Nasim, Kıbrıs’ın İngiltere’ye geçişi ve Adada kurulan İngiliz İdaresi, Ankara 1975, p.79-80

2.      Excerpta Cypria, Nicosia 1969, p.490

3.      Keshishian, Kevork K., Romantisches Zypern, Nicosia, p.35

4.      An, Ahmet, Turkish Cypriot Bibliography 1878-1963, in Deldio Bibliografikis Eterias Kipru, Tomos G (1990), Lefkosia 1991, p.181

5.       Beckingham, C. F., The Turks of Cyprus, in the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol.87, Part 2, 1957, p.164-174

6.      Suha, Ali, Turkish Education in Cyprus, in the First International Congress of Cypriot Studies, 14-19 April 1969-Papers of the Turkish Delegation, Ankara 1971, p.240

7.      Ibid, p.236-237

8.      Ibid, p.239-240

9.      Ibid, p.241

10.  Orr, Captain C.W.J., Cyprus under British Rule, London 1972, p.122-123

11.  Behçet, Hasan, Kıbrıs Türk Maarif Tarihi (1571-1968), Lefkoşa 1969, p.75

12.  Ibid, p.79

13.  Fedai, Harid, İlklerden bir kitap: Ziver Bey’in Kıbrıs Tarihi, Yeni Kıbrıs, Eylül 1989

14.  Fedai, Harid, Ziver Bey’in Kimliği, Türk Bankası Kültür-Sanat Dergisi, Sayı:11, November 1992

15.  Fedai, Harid, Muhtasar Kıbrıs Coğrafyası, Söz, 20-23 November 1984

16.  Behçet, Hasan, ibid, p.86

17.  Ibid, p.88

18.  Orr, Captain C.W.J., ibid, p.133

19.  Persianis, Panayiotis K., Church and State in Cyprus Education, Nicosia 1978, p.91

20.  Behçet, Hasan, ibid, p.89, p.92

21.  Fedai, Harid, Muhtasar Kıbrıs Coğrafyası ve Muhtasar Kıbrıs Tarihi, Söz, 23-26 November 1984

22.  Kıbrıs Erkek Lisesi Mecmuası 1933-1934 Yıllığı, p.29

23.  Behçet, Hasan, ibid, p.133

24.  Ibid, p.127, p.133

25.  Ibid, p.97

26.  Suha, Ali, ibid, p.242

27.  Behçet, Hasan, ibid, p.728

28.  Persianis, Panatiotis K., ibid, p.170

29.  Behçet, Hasan, ibid, p.612

30.  Ibid, p.719-720

31.  Persianis, Panatiotis K., ibid, p.172

32.  Behçet, Hasan, ibid, p.141

33.  Persianis, Panatiotis K., ibid, p.111

34.  Tekakpınar, Kemal and Demiray Doğasal, Dr. Fazıl Küçük (1906-1984), Nicosia 1991, p.765

35.  Behçet, Hasan, ibid, p.106

36.  ibid, p.108-109

37.  Suha, Ali, ibid, p.244

38.  Halkın Sesi, 15 February 1990

39.  Kıbrıs, 2 February 1994

40.  Kıbrıs, 9 October 1993

41.  Orta Okullar için Milli Coğrafya I, 4. Basılış, Ankara 1992

42.  Cumhuriyet, 31 March 1993

(This paper was originally prepared and read for the first time in English at the international conference on “Cyprus in Textbooks-Textbooks in Cyprus”, organized by Georg-Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research in Braunschweig-Germany between 28.4 and 1.5.1994. It was published later in “Cyprus Review” Journal, Nicosia, Volume 6:1, Spring 1994, pp. 65–79)

  • August 31st 2014 at 19:42



It is well-known that as a result of the conflict between the enosis-ists and the partition-ists, the Cyprus problem re-flamed once again in December 1963 and the intercommunal talks were started on June 24, 1968 in order to find out a solution to the problem. The aim of the talks was to reach through peaceful means to an agreement, based on the principles of an “independent, sovereign and unitary state”. The talks were reinforced and started again on June 3, 1972 with the participation of constitutional experts. In these five-party negotiations the sides were able to reach to an agreement on the subjects of executive, legislative and the judiciary and the Turkish and Greek constitutional experts were given the task to find a solution to the problem of local administration, which caused long discussions. After a compromise was reached on the controversial subjects of police and courts, there was an expectation for the signing of an overall agreement in the year 1974.

When the Republican People’s Party got into the power in Turkey together with the National Salvation Party and proposed “a federal state structure for the solution of Cyprus problem” in its government program, the inter-communal talks were cut off on April 2, 1974. On the other hand, the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, Rauf Denktas began to talk about the possible declaration of a separate Turkish Cypriot state. According to the Greek Cypriot’s point of view, it was no use to continue the inter-communal talks since Turkey deviated from the policy of a unitary state to the thesis of a federal state and this was told by the then Prime Minister of Turkey, Bulent Ecevit and by this, he was undermining the inter-communal talks.

After three months, a de facto situation was created by the aborted coup d’Etat against President Makarios, organized by the fascist Greek junta and its military forces in the Greek Cypriot sector on July 15, 1974 and thus on August 16, 1974, on the 16th anniversary of the foundation of the Republic of Cyprus, the island’s territory was partitioned into two regions, one in the North for the Turkish Cypriots and the other in the South for the Greek Cypriots.

Nicos Sampson, who was appointed as the leader of the fascist junta in Cyprus, wrote in his memoirs, published in 1981 in Eleftheri Ora newspaper in Athens: “The responsible persons of this betrayal got together with Ecevit months before and agreed with him. They proposed Ecevit to give Kyrenia town and its sub-districts to the Turks. This was supposed to be thought within the frame of a final solution to the Cyprus problem. Thus Kyrenia would be connected with the Turkish sector of the town of Nicosia, which was in the hands of the Turks since 1963. In this framework of the agreements, the responsible persons of the betrayal agreed with Ecevit also on a population transfer and to find a federal solution.” (Sampson’s Memoirs, published in mimeograph by the PIO of the TFSC, February 1983, p.81-82)

After the declaration of the Turkish Federated State of Cyprus on February 13, 1975, all the member states of the UN Security Council, which met between February 20 and March 12 agreed sensitively on the point that the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity nd the non-alignment of the Republic of Cyprus should be respected.

Rauf Denktas declared in an interview with Milliyet newspaper on December 20, 1975 that from the Turkish Cypriots’ point of view, if the thesis of bi-regional federation would not be accepted, the only solution will be to get united with Turkey. He gave later various statements that in the year 1976 he could under these circumstances establish an independent Turkish Cypriot State. In the first government program of the National Unity Party, declared on July 12, 1976, the right of declaring a separate independent state in Cyprus was reserved. (Milliyet, 13 July 1976)

With the declaration of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on November 15, 1983, all the relations with the Republic of Cyprus were completely broken off. The UN Security Council Resolution No.541 of November 18, asked for the reversal of this decision and the declaration of the TRNC was branded as illegal. The Secretary-General of the UN was urged to find the ways of starting the inter-communal talks as soon as possible. The talks were started on September 10, 1984 and the talks passed through various stages, coming to the Denktas-Vassiliou summit of February 26, 1990. It was expected that a draft agreement would be signed at this meeting, but Rauf Denktas went outside the framework agreed on until so far and asked for the right of self-determination for the Turkish Cypriots, thus bringing the summit into a deadlock.

On March 5, 1990, the “Conquerer of Northern Cyprus” and the Chairman of the Democratic Left Party, Bulent Ecevit, issued a written statement, in which he proposed the following: “As an interim solution, the TRNC can be an autonomous state, whose foreign affairs and external security will be dependent on Turkey, but its regime will be determined by itself and all the internal affairs will be governed by itself. Of course such an interim solution could only put into practice if the Turkish Cypriot people find it appropriate after a democratic referandum.”

Rauf Denktas regarded this proposal as “a realist approach, on which we should think about” and said: “It is reasonal and mindful to exercise the representation of Cyprus through the Turkish Embassies and by this we can reach to the World. This is a necessary situation, which the Greek Cypriots created against us. Such an agreement can be made and from my point of view it will be useful.”

The chairman of the National Unity Party and the Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu declared that he welcomed the proposal made by Ecevit with satisfaction and that the NUP since the day of its foundation made the first step, having in mind the idea of establishing a separate Turkish state in Cyprus.

On the other hand, according to a newsitem, published in the Greek Cypriot press on March 11, 1990 and quoted from the Italian newspaper “Corriera della Sera”, the UN Secretary-General told the Italian Prime Minister Andreotti at a meeting in New York on March 8, 1990 that “a part of Cyprus cannot be the Puerto Rico of Turkey.”

In fact Ecevit’s proposal and the similarity made by Mr. De Cuellar fit into each other. Because between Puerto Rico, the most eastern island of the Caribbean Sea and the USA, there is the same relationship of a partnership, just like the proposed one to be between the TRNC and Turkey. Since 1898, the USA keeps the island under its occupation and the three million people, living on the island of Puerto Rico, are regarded as the citizens of the USA since 1919. Puerto Rico was granted the right of electing its governor in 1948 and approved its own constitution in 1952 with a referandum and the US Congress gave a free state status to this island state, which remains dependent on the USA. The Puerto Ricans do not have their representative in the US Congress and they do not pay the federal tax. Just like Ecevit’s proposal, the US government is responsible for the defense and foreign affairs of Puerto Rico. At the referandum of July 23, 1967, 61% of the voters wanted the continuation of the partnership state status with the USA and 39% voted for the union with the USA. In the elections of 1972, the Populist Democratic Party, which has been in power since 1940 and the New Progressive Party received 95% of the votes and proved the dominancy of the policy,  which advocates union with the USA. The Puerto Rico Independence Movement, which was started in 1968, is kept under oppression.

If we return to Ecevit’s proposal, we see the following: “This proposal will not put aside the federal solution from the agenda and will not obstruct it. On the contrary, this will end the illusion of the Greek Cypriots for return and may be it will market the federal solution easy.” As it is seen here too, the double-faced policy and the dishonesty of Turkey, which has been exercised since 1964 on the Cyprus problem is obvious. It will be recalled that the then Prime Minister of Turkey, Ismet Inonu, had declared the aim of the Turkish policy as partition of the island by saying: “Just to be within the framework of the agreement, we started to discuss officially with federation form, rather than using the word partition.” (Nihat Erim, As I know and recall Cyprus, Ankara 1975, p.427-428)

Therefore, starting from the first written Turkish proposals handed over to the Greek Cypriot side in April 1977 in Vienna, up to the last document of 27 pages put on the table in New York on February 26, 1990, the dominating view is to impose the existence of two separate states in Cyprus under the guise of federation. The reality on the other side of the medaillon is that the northern part of Cyprus is practically treated as a province of Turkey since 1974. It is not fair to accuse the Greek Cypriot side as if they do not want federation. The Turkish Cypriot side transfers to the other side the blame, whose responsibility it has, that is, it does not want a solution. The stage that we have arrived today by uttering federation is the demand of the acceptance by the World that Northern Cyprus would turn into the Puerto Rico of Turkey. This de facto situation, which has been continuing for the 16 years now, by depending on a military power is not acceptable as de jure, because of their incompatibility with the principles of international law, UN Charter and the Helsinki Final Act. The reunification of the island of Cyprus is only possible if the principles of international law are respected and a constructive attitude is adopted for the establishment of a real federal state. Proposals for confederation or proposals for a federation between the Republic of Turkey and the TRNC do not serve to peace, but only to the chauvinist and expansionist aims of Turkey on the island of Cyprus.

The return to the thesis of a federal state, meaning the partition of the island, had unmasked once again the target, which Inonu pointed in 1964. This shows the strategy of the uncompromising Turkish Cypriot leadership and what it means with federation. The real federalists and those, who defend the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and the non-alignment of Cyprus, have to stress on this wrongness and keep the anti-peace aspect of this strategy always on the agenda.

(The Greek translation of this article was published under the name of Ahmet An in the Greek Cypriot newspaper Embros on 20 May 1990)

  • August 31st 2014 at 19:29



It has been almost three years now that 40% of our island has been under the occupation of the Turkish NATO Armed Forces. This northern part, which was formed as a separate economic and political entity after the transportation of the Turkish Cypriots living outside the occupied areas with the help of various promises or under pressure and threats, can be regarded practically as a district of Turkey.

The TMT of Denktas, which has been forcing the Turkish Cypriots since 1958 to live under fascist oppression and terror, has legalized its anti-democratic regime with the declaration of the so-called “Turkish Cypriot Federated State” according to the partition plans of imperialism. The Turkish Cypriot leadership, which has been supported by financial aids of the Turkish governments since the uprising of 1963, is under the complete control of the Turkish military clique and the collaborationist Turkish bourgeosie. The Commandments of the Invasion Forces and the Turkish Armed Forces, the Turkish Embassy in Nicosia and the Denktas Administration are the institutions, which govern the economic and political life in the North.

The economy of the occupied areas has a character of being dependent on abroad and aimed at consumption rather than production. Ten thousands of Turkish Cypriot producers, who were uprooted from their fields, gardens and working places in the South are forced now to live as consumers. For example every month 38,000 persons receive foreign-oriented food-aids. Among them are the mainland Turks, who are settled in Cyprus according to the plans of raising the number of the Turkish Cypriot minority in Cyprus.

The Budget: As it is stated in the Report of the Ministry of Finance, 1974 Budget was balanced with the help of the financial aid, sent from Turkey, but the 1975 budget gave a deficit of 4.3 million Cyprus pounds (CL). The “FCFS”, which is indebted to various banks and funds, closed its 1976 Budget with a deficit of 4 million CL. The 1977 Budget, which amounts over 37 Million CL will give again a deficit of 3.6 million CL. The millions of pounds, which are sent from Turkey in order to keep up the pro-imperialist puppet- government, are being used for the over-crowded civil servants of the so-called state and for a handful of capitalists, who are supporting the leadership. The Denktas Administration takes on one hand debts from local banks and on the other hand helps the so-called “Public Economical Establishments” to get debts under its guarantee. The “TCFS”, which is in a bad economic situation and borrows money even from private persons, is in a state of luxurious expenditure and waste, for example, when it is regarded that 2,000 CL can be wasted for a cock-tail party in Nicosia’s Saray Hotel.

Exchange and Banks: The import-rights of many goods are in the hands of a few establishments or persons. They realize the imports through the so-called “non-equivalent exchange” system or with the exchange bought from the black market. On one side, sterling, dollars and German marks are bought with the Cyprus pounds, kept in the banks by the money-mongers, from the South through the British bases and brought to the occupied areas, where they are so much needed. On the other hand, the local banks do not use the official exchange rate, when they sell it. They have fixed a 36 Turkish pounds (TL) buying value for the CL, but it is sold between 40 and 45 TL. The sterling is sold also for 33 TL, while its real value costs 29 TL.

The Nicosia Turkish Bank Ltd, which made CL business with a 100% profit, especially soon after the invasion, using the insufficient legal regulations about foreign exchange, has gained a great amount of profit, when the Turkish pound was introduced in the occupied areas as the official currency. The Nicosia Turkish Bank, which has saving-accounts of over 10 million CL, pays in TL to the account owners since June 1976. The Turkish Cypriot negotiator Umit S. Onan is the chairman of the Board of this Bank and the state-president Denktas together with his wife are the share-holders of Saray Credit Company, which is a branch of the Nicosia Turkish Bank and embraces all of the big capitalists of the Turkish Cypriot community.

According to the November 1976 statistics the amount of the whole savings in all of the banks was 46.4 million CL and the amount of the reserves was about 20 million CL. The Banks in general give credit to the ones, who accumulate capital, but they do not satisfy the credit demands of the small producers and the handicraftsmen.  The money-mongers get credit from the local banks with low-rate interests and send them to the European banks, where they receive high interests. In this way, they earn both the differences between the interests and also they do not give taxes, because of their debts to the banks.

The Denktas Administration, which wants to use also the money of the small savings in the banks, has realized in the first half of 1976 only the 29% of its planned investments and later put thousands of workers out of work from various projects on the ground that there were no funds anymore. Today the official figure of unemployment has reached to 4,000 and the number of the Turkish Cypriots, wanting to emigrate to foreign countries as workers, is over 3,000. While the great masses of people have to struggle against unemployment, soaring prices and black marketing, the cabinet approved a project of opening a big gambling centre in Famagusta! On the other hand the bill for the tax reform is waiting for the last two years on the agenda of the cabinet.

The Agricultural Bank of Republic of Turkey opened a branch in the occupied North and functions now as the Central Bank of the “TCFS”. The new law of banks gave the right to this bank to control and coordinate the activities of the banks, existing within the boundaries of the so-called TCFS. But the foreign banks do not want to implement the order of this law. They have not given the legal equivalent of their capital to the Central Bank and not brought their capital in foreign currency to the North, not taken special permission for exchange and not laid their foreign currency in the Central Bank.

On the other hand, the local banks are against the activities of the Agricultural Bank, which deals also with trade, when it has to function only as a Central Bank.

Production and Consumption: The various factories, work-places and hotels, which were left by the Greek Cypriots and regarded as a great source after the invasion, are under the management of various institutions, called “Public Economical Establishments” (PEE’s), which are formed by the common capital of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot Federated State. This kind of management, which is a form of state-capitalism, brings benefit only to a certain group of well-paid directors, who are appointed directly from Turkey. With this, the Turkish monopoly-capitalists succeeded to put their representatives to the high posts in the PEE’s and not to let some factories to function, so that they can import their own products into the colonized North. For example, the margarine production was not able to be realized, because of this reason.

In general the PEE’s do not contribute much to the economy of the North. In fact the whole economy is built upon consumption rather than production and only the agricultural sector is active. The Turkish Cypriot trade bourgeosie is satisfied with the situation, because their commissions and profits are higher than the ones in self-production, which will also bring some other problems for them.

According the official reports, the “TCFS” imported during 1976, 30 million CL worth goods from Turkey (%47) and the EEC countries like the UK, the Federal Republic of Germany, France and Holland. Among the goods imported from Turkey, many of which are not subjected to custom taxes, are primarily foodstuff, fruits, clothes, petroleum products, cement and newspapers. From the EEC countries, engines and transport vehicles, clothes, kitchen- and glass-ware are imported. Instead of promoting the local commodity production, the Denktas Administration is busy with the formalities of ever-rising imported goods, which bring high profits to a handful of capitalists.

The export from the occupied North, which amounts 7 million CL, is made to the UK, Turkey, Holland and Italy. Among the agricultural products, which make 75% of all the export, are citrus, potato, grinded carop, carrot and tobacco. Wool, leather, halloumi and bran are also exported.

The Public Economical Establishments: These establishments are copied with their name and structure from Turkey, where they number over 30 and only a few of them profit. They are used to make big profits for the private companies or persons by exploiting the state capital. The Turkish Cypriot counterparts, which are governed mostly by the mainland Turkish directors, are not subjected to the local trade-laws. The high costs of their products, unskilled usage of raw material, working with law capacity, having no plan for investment and marketing, giving high salaries to their directors and low wages to their workers, not accepting the right of trade-union activities are the main features of the PEE’s. During a debate in the House, these establishments are accused of not accepting the authority of the “TCFS” and having no function other than wasting the money of the people. There is no control of their expenditure and activities. The “TCFS” hesitates to do so, because the directors have come from the “motherland Turkey”.

ETI (Industry, Trade and Management) Enterprises Ltd. Co.: This company, which was founded in 1971, before the PEE’s, with a capital of 200,000 CL, imports more than 50% of the consumer goods in the Turkish Cypriot community. Today 25 % of its capital belongs to private persons and the rest to the Turkish Communal Chamber Development Fund. It is a product of the “From Turk to Turk campaign”, which is the economical basis of Denktas’s Partition Policy. Among the 50 private share-holders are the “state-president” Denktas and some ministers. This shows also the influence of the ETI in the political life. The Turkish Cypriot negotiator, Umit S. Onan is the legal adviser of the ETI. The other share-holders are the Nicosia Turkish Bank, whose chairman of the Board is again Mr. Onan, the İş Bank of Turkey – the biggest institution of the Turkish monopoly capital and the Evkaf.

The ETI, which made a trade of total 1.5 million CL during the period of 1971-74, has increased its activities after the invasion. It imports over 500 various agricultural and industrial products from Turkey and the EEC countries. The ETI has the monopoly rights of importing construction material, drugs and other medical equipment, marketing the spirits and the cigarettes of the Turkish state-monopoly in Cyprus and opening duty-free shops. It has imported and distributed the petroleum until June 1975 and also in the same year exported pyrit-mines worth 615.768 CL on behalf of the “TCFS”.

Beside the distribution of various auto spare-parts, the ETI is the general agent of the Renault cars, which are produced in Turkey by the OYAK Co., the economical holding of the Turkish Army.

The goods, imported from Turkey and Europe, are transported by the three TIR heavy cars, which have UK registration and by a company-owned ship “Seabird II, which has a Panama flag. The ETI works also in cooperation with the other foreign companies.

The ETI company, which is free from taxation for ten years, makes business with 44% profit and only in 1975 made a profit of 750.000 CL. This company, which is one of the most responsible reasons for the rocketing prices in the North is not controlled, on the contrary, it gets aid from the “TCFS”. At the end of 1976, the ETI applied to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and wanted its capital to be raised from 200.000 CL to 5 million CL. Besides the 1.3 million CL debt, it received from the local banks with the state-guarantee, ETI asked for another 1.8 million CL credit from the “state”. The ETI pays yearly 125.000 CL for the interests of its debts. This money is also put on the prices of its goods.

The ETI, whose financial responsibility has gone too much ahead of its capital, is in a big waste, disorder and favouritism. The chairman of the board, Ozalp Sarica, has 11 Renault cars at his disposal and a from-the-company-furnished guest house. 12 relatives of the director-general have well-paid posts in the company. Another acquaintance, who had a 85 CL salary before, is appointed to the ETI with a salary of 200 CL. The ETI, which has 130 permanent staff and 150 seasonal workers for the citrus packing centre, pays for its 14 depots and offices yearly 50.000 CL, rented from the big land-owners. The ETI’s representatives in Turkey get 20 CL daily and the representatives in Europe 30 CL a day for their accomodation. In 1975, 7300 CL were spent for the Turkish branch and 36.000 CL for the British branch only in 9 months.

Turkish Cypriot Industrial Enterprises Holding Ltd. Co.: It was founded in February 1975 with 100 million TL capital with the cooperation of the “TCFS” and the PEE’s of Turkey. Half of the total 200 shares belong to the Turkish Cypriot Communal Chamber Development Fund. “TCFS” gave raw material and equipment in the value of 250-300 million TL as the equivalent of 50 million TL. The rest of the shares belong to the following Turkish PEE’s: 40 shares Sumerbank, 20 shares Machine and Chemistry Industry Corporation and the Petro-Chemistry Company, Agricultural Equipment Corporation, Milk Industry Corporation and meat and Fish Corporation 10 shares each.

Under this industrial holding, there are 40 factories and workplaces out of 60, which were left after the invasion by the Greek Cypriots. The remaining 20 factories were supposed to be rented by the private sector, according to a cabinet decision. Now the company owns workplaces in the value of 80 million TL and 1,270 persons, out of which 950 are workers, working in these installations. There are 6 production branches, called Machine Production and Electric, Textile and Clothing, Plastic, Food, Cosmetics and Paint Industries. The company’s trade value of 20 million TL in 1975 reached to 60 million TL in 1976. It is because of this that the raw material and the stocks of finished products were used and sold out. When it was asked to give taxes of 2 million TL, out of their 4.717.000 TL profit, the company did not do so and gave as a pretext that they have a deficit. Although the company gets state credits and financial aids, it is indebted to some private and official institutions, to the banks and to the state. When the workers went on strike at the beginning of 1976, claiming that the company did not implement some of its obligations and that they have lost 1.5 million TL, the cabinet of the “TCFS” banned the strike.

On the other hand, the retired Army officers from Turkey are in majority among the well-paid members of the boards and the directors. The general director, Orhan Alicli is educated in military electronics in the USA and after his retirement, he worked as a coordinator in the Koc Holding of Turkey. The chairman of the board is also a mainland Turk, who was previously a financial expert in the Ministry of Finance.

Turkish Cypriot Petroleum Ltd. Co.: It is founded by the ETI, which had imported petroleum from Turkey for one year with 49% share and by the Turkish Petroleum Company with 51% share. The company, which made its foundation more attractive promising that it will make petroleum research in the Northern occupied areas, distributes only the petroleum, but has 46 personnel, together with a general director, Sureyya Koc. Members of the board and many other directors are all appointed from Turkey. The general director has a monthly salary of 28,000 TL and gets allowance for his house, although he lives in a state-owned house. He has also another house at his disposal in Bellapais. Only in one year, he received 86,113 TL as travelling allowance. He threatens the local Turkish Cypriot officials, when the activities of his company are criticized. During the election campaign, he had made pressure on some candidates on behalf of the Turkish government. The chairman of the board, Rasim Demir has a monthly salary of 5,500 TL and he had been paid 40,000 TL only in one year as travelling allowances. The money per hour, that the members of the board get, is 10 fold higher than the Prime Minister and the Speaker of the House.

There was a great abuse in the construction of the petroleum tanks and LPG filling installations in Famagusta. Although two big houses are put at the disposal of the company as guest houses, the officials, who live in these houses, get allowances for accomodation and travelling. This company, which can bring 16 million TL taxes yearly according to the estimates, is not subject to taxation.

Cyprus Fruit and Vegetable Enterprises Ltd. Co. (Cypfruvex): It was founded with 10 million TL capital by the “TCFS” for the export and marketing of the citrus products, left by the Greek Cypriot producers in the occupied areas. When its technical contract with the Turkish “Meysu Fruit-juice Company” did not work in 1975, it paid to this firm 1.5 million TL as compensation. Later Cypfruvex gave the distribution rights of its product “Meysan” to the local companies, ETI Ltd, Sanpa Ltd and Ahmet Rasit Mustafa and Co.

The distributor of Cypfruvex in England is a Jewish company, called Rudolfo. Cypfruvex has paid 10,000 CL instead of 3,000 CL, in order to buy half of the shares of this company. The distribution of the citrus products in Holland is done by the Euroface Company. The accounts of both companies were not given to the Investigation Commission of the House, when they were asked to do so.

At the end of August 1976, Cypfruvex had a debt of 93,857,723 TL to the banks and various companies. The total export of Cypfruvex in 1976 amounts 1.250,000 CL. The marketing of its products are not well-organized.

Turkish Cypriot Tourism Enterprises Ltd. Co: This company, too, was founded with the cooperation of the Turkish state capital and the Turkish Cypriot Communal Chamber Development Fund with the aim of making the best use of the hotels in Famagusta and Kyrenia, left by the Greek Cypriots after the invasion. The bed capacity is 1,350. Mainland Turks are appointed as directors of various hotels and they get high salaries. ,

The management did not pay the income-tax and savings-shares, which were cut from the wages of its workers without their consent, to the related institutions, saying that the company does not have money. An unlimited credit was given to a certain travelling agency together with the right of getting hotel-contingent without pre-payment. This agency has a debt of 1 million TL to the company since one year. The general director of the Tourism Company lives in a private, luxurious house in Kyrenia, whereas 84% of the hotels are in Famagusta.

Turkish Cypriot Airlines Company: It was founded at the end of 1975 with the equal capital of 20 million TL by the “TCFS” and the Turkish Airlines (THY). It has the monopoly right of using the Ercan (Timbou) airport. It was disclosed that it had made a net profit of 13 million TL in 1976. A bureau, which was rented in Istanbul Sheraton Hotel, maintains the contact with the THY. The company does not have its own airplanes and makes air-transport with the airplanes rented from the THY. It is alleged that its high fares are obstructing the development of tourism in the North and that it makes 60% reduction for some certain persons and gives free ticket to some persons, close to the leadership.

Turkish Cypriot Maritime Lines: Like the Airlines Company, it functions as an agency of the Navigation Bank of Turkey in Cyprus, which owns 50% of its shares. It has a capital of 30 million TL and a ship of 844 tons, named “MS Barış”, which carries Panama flag and was bought from Denmark.

Turkish Cypriot Tobacco Industry Ltd. Co. and Turkish Spirits Factory (Taşel): Both were founded with a 51% share of the Turkish Monopoly Administration for Tobacco and Spirits and 49% share of the Turkish Cypriot Communal Chamber Development Fund. “Harman” and “Barış” cigarettes are produced from the tobacco, imported from Turkey and the Spirit Factory works with primitive methods. Those low-quality products are not sold widely, because the import of both cigarettes and spirits is being done through a big smuggling net, which is formed by military and civil officials. They smuggle from the South or American cigarettes from Turkey.

The Private Sector: Apart from the PEE’s, whose structure of capital and activities are examined above, the Turkish Cypriot private sector, either distributes the goods, which are imported by the ETI or imports itself commodity products directly from Turkey or Europe.

The Turkish Cypriot trade bourgeosie, which did not want to participate in the formation of the PEE’s in the early period, wants now the PEE’s, to be handed over to the private sector. The chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, Mehmet Can told in a statement he gave on the occasion of Vehbi Koc’s visit (one of the biggest monopolists in Turkey) to the occupied areas: “We receive with pleasure this visit of the Koc Holding’s managers, as a first step in the way of the unification of our economy with Turkey. We believe that the PEE’s have fulfilled their duties and that it is now the time to hand over this duty to the serious holdings and public companies.”

The Turkish Cypriot capitalists, who are not willing to make long-term investments, are aiming with this proposal both to get their own share out of the exploitation in the PEE’s, which are very appropriate for practicing usury and to help the Turkish monopolies, whose local distributors they are, to rule over the economic life in the North.

On the other hand, apart from being a small market for them, the Turkish monopoly capitalists want to use the Greek-Cypriot-owned industrial and touristic installations, which are not functioning in full capacity. But until today the various attempts have not given any result to this effect. After the Koc Holding, a new group of businessmen from the Dogu Holding visited the island in the last May for the same purpose.

Meanwhile, in the mid-February, the Denktas Administration accepted a project of opening a free-trade area in Famagusta, which was the proposal of some Turkish and EEC monopolies for a long time. According to the project, a free-trade area of 30,000 square metres will be established around the Famagusta sea-port. Industrial products, which will be produced with the duty-free raw material or which will be assembled there, will be exported to the Middle East countries. There will be a reduction of custom duties for the imports made from this area, where some other goods can be freely exchanged as well.

Although it is not sure how far this project will be realized, it seems that imperialism wants to use a partitioned Cyprus for other purposes other than as a military base. The puppet administration of Denktas does as much as it can and does not hesitate of showing its loyalty to its imperialist patrons. Some Common Market circles are helping the “TCFS” in the realization of these plans.

Conclusions: The pro-imperialist “Turkish Cypriot Federated State”, which is formed on the expense of trampling the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus and of uprooting hundreds of thousands of people is today in an ever-deepening economic, political and social crisis. The money spent for the over-crowded civil servants of the “State” and for the general expenditure exceeds 20 million CL and only the salaries paid to the personnel of the PEE’s amount over 1.3 million CL. The “TCFS” is in a big waste and in short, it can be said that it is swimming in debts.

Comparing to the South, the cost of living is 116% higher in the occupied areas. On the other hand, the per capita national income has dropped 33%, compared to the last year. Soaring prices, unemployment, black-marketing, abuses, usury and thefts are growing higher and higher.

The reaction of the people is getting bigger, especially to the various fascist and reactionary elements sent from Turkey to the occupied areas, in order to support the administration of Denktas and the TMT. These chauvinist groups, which are against the friendship and the cooperation of the two communities in Cyprus, function under the protection and financial support of the capitalist circles in Turkey and in Cyprus. The Department of Youth, Culture and Sports, which is in the hands of the fascists, headed by an old TMT commander, has received an amount of 200,000 CL from the budget.

According to a statement of the leader of this fascist movement, 200 youths in 1975 and 800 youths in 1976 were trained in the special summer camps. Some thousands of fascists, who are fanatic members of the fascist Nationalist Action Party of Turkey, were settled also in various villages and towns in the occupied areas. On the other hand, religious and reactionary people from Turkey have come to Cyprus in order to teach “religion and morals” to the Turkish Cypriots, whom they accuse of not believing in God and not exercising the orders of the Islam religion. Religion lessons are introduced in the schools, where the fascists, too, want to raise their influence.

The Turkish Cypriot people, who is struggling against the imperialist plans of NATO, aimed at destroying the Republic of Cyprus by declaring a separate state and who does not approve the partitionist policy of the Denktas clique, wants to live again together with their Greek compatriots in a Cyprus, which will be independent, sovereign, territorially integral, non-aligned and without any military bases, free from the intervention of foreign countries in its internal affairs.

The deliberate keeping-away of the Turkish Cypriots from production is aimed to stop their growing consciousness in the process of production. 30 strikes took place in 1976, which were participated by over 8,000 workers and civil servants and organized by the progressive trade unions. Five of these strikes were banned by the Denktas Administration on the ground of endangering the social life and the welfare of the people. In this year, two such bans took place and at the end of last month, the number of the strikes against the anti-democratic administration reached to twenty.

The Turkish Cypriot people has seen and lived what the partitionist policy of the leadership, which says that it speaks for the whole Turkish Cypriots, brought for them. Despite the very difficult conditions under the rule of an invasion army of 40,000, the fascist TMT and the pro-imperialist administration of Denktas, the Turkish Cypriot working people will carry on its struggle for a united, territorially integral, sovereign, demilitarized and fully independent Cyprus.  

(An abridged version of this article in Turkish was published in socialist weekly Kitle in Istanbul on 15 November 1977, No.185. It was also sent on 12 June 1977 under the name “Hasan Mehmet” to Haravghi newspaper in Nicosia, but it was not published in Greek.)


  • August 31st 2014 at 19:27



The invasion of the 40% of our island by the Turkish Armed Forces in the summer of 1974 in the way of realization of the partition plans of imperialism and the following situation of uprooting thousands of Cypriots from their homes and forcing them to be refugees, brought many problems together with it. The economic and social crisis caused a big fall in the living standard of all our people. Among them, the most affected ones are the workers. Unemployment, black marketing, looting, theft, abuse and forgery have become daily features.

Denktas, the collaborationist of imperialism and the reigning powers that support him, are trying to put the burden of their partitionist policy, which prove wrong more and more, on the shoulders of ever wider sections of our people. The government of the National Unity Party, which received the support of the pro-capitalist Turk-Sen (Cyprus Turkish Trade Union Confederation) by telling the lie that it is for the interests of the workers and the peasants, sacked after the elections over 2,000 workers, who constitute 10% of the working masses in our community without any compensation and possibility for rehabilitation and planned to sack yet another equal number. (Halkın Sesi, October 3, 1976)

At a time, when the number of unemployment reached to 3,500, the attitude of the Denktas government was met with a big reaction both by the workers and the other working people. Four trade unions affiliated to Turk-Sen, arranged 3-hour-long warning strikes in Nicosia, Famagusta, Morphou and Kyrenia on the ground that the sackings were “irregular and random”. 4,000 workers participated in these strikes.

The government continued not to pay any attention to these warning strikes, which were demanding the stopping of the sackings, finalizing the common bargains, staff-grouping of the workers and a payment of cost of living after the retail price index. On August 13, 1976 the workers of Turk-Sen arranged again another warning strike, this time 24 hours of duration and a silent marching.

The progressive Yol-Is (Trade Union of the Road Construction Workers), which made a one-day strike on August 4, independently from Turk-Sen with its members over 500, evaluated the warning strikes of Turk-Sen as “a show-off action”, threatening the government in order to put Yol-Is out of the “Mixed Workers Committee”.

The proposal of the MP’s from the oppositional Republican Turkish Party for a general discussion in the parliament about the protest strikes, which were supported by various trade unions and democratic professional organizations were rejected by the government majority. When we regard that the Minister of Construction, who employs most of the workers, was abroad during the strikes and that the Ministry of Labour was abolished in the new government after the elections, we can better understand the uninterested and negative attitude of the government. It should be mentioned that many civil servants, who were employed before the elections as a part of the propaganda campaign were put out of work.

On September 3, 1976 the Revolutionary Workers Trade Union, Road Construction Workers Trade Union, Turkish Civil Servants Trade Union and All Technicians Trade Union arranged a big meeting, in which over a thousand workers participated. They protested the sackings and oppressions on the workers. One of the speakers stated that the workers, who are members of the progressive trade unions, not affiliated to the yellow Turk-Sen, were forced to resign and they were threatened to be put out of work, unless they do not do so.

This kind of oppressions reminds us the time of terror and threats during the days of colonialism. As it is known, during these days, when the first partition plans of British imperialism were defended staunchly by the Turkish Cypriot leadership under the slogans like “Turks and Greeks cannot live together anymore”, “Either Partition or Death”, after the May Day celebrations in 1958, which were prepared together by the Turkish and Greek workers, the fascist and chauvinist circles, which were at the disposal of imperialism, destroyed and burned down the progressive Turkish Cultural and Sports Club. They went even so far to kill some of the most talented Turkish Cypriot worker leaders.

The fascist TMT issued a statement and forced over 3,000 workers, who were members of the PEO, the trade union of the whole Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot working class. The ones, who would do otherwise, were threatened to death. Thus the unity of the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot workers, who were organized in common organizations on class basis until 1958 and the trade union movement was divided by the colonialists and their local organs. Later they spread the seeds of intercommunal disagreements with the help of various provocations.

The 16thCongress of the PEO issued a call in November of last year to the Turkish Cypriot workers, asking their common struggle for the common aims of the working class of Cyprus.

In the last three months of 1976, the Turkish Cypriot workers continued to strike in various work places. Some of them, for example the strikes in the Cyprus Turkish Petroleum Company, Organization of Agricultural Products and the Meteorological Department were banned by the order of Denktas’s Council of Ministers. It had also banned before the strikes of the petroleum workers and doctors on the ground that “the social life and the welfare of the people could be endangered.”

On November 28, 1976 thousands of refugees, which were uprooted from their homes and transported to the North, participated in the meeting of the Association of Southern Refugees and protested the Denktas government, which they accused as responsible for the misery. The ex-commander of gendarmerie of the Republic of Cyprus, Ahmet Niyazi, was one of the speakers and he criticized the irregular activities of the government. He added that every month hundreds of Turkish Cypriot youths are emigrating to Australia and London, because of unfair treatment. According to a statement made at the end of January 1977 in the parliament, the number of the applicants, who are willing to emigrate from the occupied zone is over 3,000.

The civil servants, who were forced by the partitionist Turkish Cypriot leadership to leave their posts in 1963, made a warning strike for the first time on January 11, 1977. During the 4-hour-strike, in which about 4,000 civil servants participated, they demanded the establishment of a new staff regulation, a payment against the rising cost of living, which grew 78% during the period from October 1974 to November 1976. They demanded that the appointments and promotions should be made according to the existing rules. They protested also the new taxation laws, which were forwarded to the parliament by the government. Among the other demands of the civil servants were putting under control the rising house-rents, adjustments of the allowances according to the present conditions.

After the negotiations failed to reach to a settlement, the Trade Union of the Civil Servants went on strike once again on February 8, this time 48-hour-long. The strike, which was supported by the opposition parties, various trade unions and professional organizations, paralyzed the life in the offices and work places all over the occupied zone. On the other hand, the so-called Council of Ministers banned once again the strike at the airport and the seaport, at the health and communication services. The oppositional Social Liberation Party issued a statement and demanded the resignation of the Denktas government. In reply to their demands, the government asked the civil servants “to pay attention to the prevailing situation.” The government officials, who threatened the civil servants in the past by “rolling and crushing over them like a cylinder”, if they strike, dare to say now to the growing popular opposition, “We are in a struggle against the Greek Cypriots, do not strike!”

With the plans in mind of declaring a separate state, they established 10 ministries, 40 MP’s. They distribute thousands of money to the directors, members and advisers of the so-called “Public Economical Establishments”, who are mostly imported from Turkey. As a result of unjust staff and salary regulations, favouring the relatives and friends and creating jobs for them, 60% of the whole expenditure goes to the salaries of the over-populated civil servants in the governmental offices. The analysis of the looting and abuse in the “Public Economical Establishments”, which are formed with the Turkish Cypriot ad Turkish state capitals and guide the economic life in the occupied zone can be subject of another study.

The above mentioned positive developments as a result of the organization of the Turkish Cypriot workers in the progressive trade unions have disturbed the reigning circles and caused trouble for the yellow trade unionists, who support the partitionist policy of the leadership. It is expected that the economic and political struggle, which is waged against the collaborationist Turkish Cypriot bourgeoisie, who does not respect even their own self-made laws, will grow higher and higher.

The Turkish Cypriot people, who is struggle against the imperialist plans of imperialism and NATO, aiming to destroy the Republic of Cyprus by declaring a separate state and who does not approve the partitionist policy of the Denktas clique, wants to live again together with their Greek Cypriot compatriots in a Cyprus, which will be independent, sovereign, territorially integral, non-aligned and without any military bases, away from the  intervention of foreign countries in its internal affairs. The realist policy of the Progressive Party of the Cypriot Working People, which favours peace, intercommunal friendship and cooperation is the greatest guarantee for the realization of this desire. The TURKİSH Cypriot workers convey their most cordial and friendly regards on this Mayday to their Greek Cypriot class brothers.

Long live the Mayday, the day of unity, struggle and solidarity of the international working class!

Long live the friendship and cooperation of the Turkish and Greek Cypriots!

Long live the common struggle of the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot people against the partition plans of imperialism and NATO!

Long live independent, sovereign, territorially integral and demilitarized Cyprus!

(This article was published in Haravgi newspaper on 1st May 1977 with the pen-name “Hasan Mehmet”)


  • August 31st 2014 at 19:23





After a nearly 30-year ban on crossings, the Turkish Cypriot administration significantly eased travel restrictions across the dividing line in April 2003, allowing Greek Cypriots to cross at the Ledra Palace Crossing just outside the walls of old Nicosia. This was made only possible after the decision of the ECHR (Djavit An vs Turkey, Application No.20652/92).[8]

Additional information about the book of reference, mentioned above:

"The TRNC Government took a very dramatic decision on April 21, 2003 with the number E-762-203 number and lifted from 23 April 2003 onwards, except some formalities, all the restrictions in order to facilitate the crossings, mutually from North to the South and from South to the North." (p.189)

“There was a great impact of the Cavit An’s application to the European Court of Human Rights, which announced its decision on 20 February 2003,  on the opening of the gates on the “Green Line” on 23 April 2003. It is not possible to see the opening of the gates as a coincidence that came after this provision." (p.189)

"A compensation should have been paid to Cavit An. The Attorney-General of the TRNC contacted Cavit An, the Euro account was opened in a bank in the TRNC and the compensation and the judicial expenses were credited to that account. After the court's decision, the gates were opened and the objectives of the decision were fulfilled."(p.190)

  • April 23rd 2014 at 09:32

The list of attempts to have intercommunal contacts from September 1989 until October 2002


The list of attempts to have intercommunal contacts through the Movement for an Independent and Federal Cyprus


 No    Date                                       Purpose                          Answer of the T/C leadership


1. 23-24 September 1989 Foundation-meeting of the Movement             Yes

2. 30 Sept.-1 October        Haravghi Press Festival                                    Yes

3. 6 October                       Meeting of the GDR-Cyprus Friendship Association   No

4. 16 October                     First application for an interview with Mr. Ploutis Servas  No

5. 6 November                   Second application...                                          No

6. 13. November                Third application...                                             No

7. 25 November                 Press conference of Mr. Vasiliou                       No

8. 29 November                 Meeting of the T/C and G/C doctors at the Ledra Palace Hotel  No

9. 2 December                   Meeting of the Coordinating Committee of the Movement    Yes

10. 12 December                Meeting of the “Free Thought Association” in Paphos             No

11. 14 December                Conference by Durduran and Kizilyürek at Famagusta Gate  Yes

12. 18 December                Meeting and the founding of the Committee for Cooperation

                                           of Cypriot Medical Professionals                       Yes

13. 22 December                Ball of the Journalists’ Union                             Yes

14. 29 December          4 members of the Movement were invited together with

                                      Mr. Ziartides to give a conference in the Turkish sector of Nicosia No

15. 5 January 1990       Visit of the G/C doctors to the North                  No

16. 10 January               Meeting of the Painters and Cartoonists              No

17. 12 January               Conference of Mr.Ziartides with a 15-man delegation in the North No

18. 13 January               Meeting of the Writers                                         No

19. 15 January               Conference of Christina and Themos in the North Nicosia  No

20. 15 January               Visit of 4 G/C doctors to the North                     Yes

21. 19 January               Conference by Akinci at Famagusta Gate           Yes

22. 20-21 January         Second meeting of the Movement at Ledra Palace    Yes

23. 26 January               Visit of 8 G/C members to participate at a conference in the North  No

24. 1 February               Painting exhibition by the T/C and G/C               No

25. 10-11 February        Seminar on Cancer in Limassol, invitation for 50 T/C doctors  No

26. 10-11 February        Third meeting of the Movement at Ledra Palace    Yes

27. 23 February              Conference by Özgür at Famagusta Gate                 Yes

28. 2 March                    Participation at the conference by Durduran given in Paphos  No

29. 3 March                     Meeting of the Writers (2nd attempt)                       No

30. 16 March                   Planned conference by Christina in the North          No

31. 17-18 March             Fourth Meeting of the Movement                             No

32. 18 March                   Visit of the T/C doctors to the South                        No

33. 10 April                     Meeting of the Coordinating Committee                  No

34. 28 April                     Exhibition in Paphos                                                 No

35. 29 April                     Foundation-meeting of the ADISOK                        No

36. 12 May                      Meeting of the Doctors at Ledra Palace                    No

37. 23 May                      Meeting of the Coordinating Committee                  No

38. 27 May                      Congress of the Paraplegics                                      No

39. 5 June                Meeting of the Movement and the Enviromentalists from both sides   No

40. 18 July               Meeting of the Coordinating Committee at Ledra Palace           No

41. 28-29 July         EDON Youth Festival                                                                   No

42. 1 September       Meeting of the Movement at Ledra Palace                                  No

43. 25 and 29 November   Mutual visits by the T/C Committee and the ADİSOK     No

44. 15 December             Annual meeting of the New Cyprus Association               No

45. 17-18-19 December  Three evenings with Aziz Nesin                                       Yes

46. 5 January 1991          Invitation by Satirigo Theatre to the CC of the T/C Union

                                         of Artists and Writers                                                         No

47. 15 January                  Visit of the T/C doctors to the South                                  No

48. 17 January                  Preparatory meeting for the Japanese Peace-lovers’ activity  Yes

49. 25 January                  Activities for the Japanese peace-lovers                              No

50. 9 February          Meeting of the World Peace Council, the participation of

                                 the T/C  Committee of the Movement                            No

51. 13 February        Invitation for the Pancyprian Exhibition       Yes for 8 artists, 

                                                                                            No for 7 representatives

52. 26 February        Conference on Federalism in the USA            Yes

53. 22 March            Conference on Yugoslav Federalism                No

54. 23 March            Return visit of the T/C doctors to the Southern hospitals  No

55. 26 March            World Theatre Day Celebrations                                        No

56. 30-31 March       World Democratic Youth Federation Meeting in the South  No

57. 3 April                 Meeting of the G/C and T/C painters and writers at L. Palace  No

58. 12 April              Visit of our Commitee to the ADİSOK        Yes for 5 persons,

                                                                                                         No for 2 persons

59. 13 April       Conference of the AKEL                              Yes for 5 persons,

                                                                                          No for the same 2 persons

60. 20 April       Meeting of the Peace Commitees of the T/G and G/G  Yes for all,

                                                                                           No for our representative

61. 5 May      Return visit of the T/C doctors to the southern hospitals (5th attempt)

                                                                        Yes (with the pressure from IPPNW-UK)

62. 5 May       Meeting of the Enviromentalists                                Yes for one,

                                                                                                           No for one person


On 6 May 1991, a three-man delegation of our Movement visited Mr.Atakol, the

Foreign Minister whose department is responsible for giving the permissions.

We were asked once again to make a statement that we are not coming from the

occupied areas when we meet with our compatriots. Dr.Djavit, the T/C coordinator

 of the Movement told Mr.Atakol that he accepts the occupation as the reality.

Later Mr.Atakol reported this incident to Mr. Denktash who wrote a letter to

the Commander of the “Turkish Peace Forces”, telling him not to give ever

any permission to the T/C coordinator and to theother three persons

accompanying him during that visit. In the middle of May 1991, the T/C

Committee of the Movement for an Independent and Federal Cyprus decided

to put a complaint against the T/C authorities of the Republic of Cyprus by the

Human Rights Commission of the European Council in Strasbourg. This application

 made the T/C leadership furious which reacted in the press against us.


63. 25-26 May    Application for a visit to the South for the evaluation of the

                            elections for the Yeni Çağ weekly                                                   No

64. 31 May          Invitation to visit the Makarios Hospital                                         No

65. 1 June            Invitation from the German Embassy for a social evening             No

66. 1-2 June         Second application for the visit forYeni Çağ                                 No

67. 4 June            UNHCR medical meeting at the Ledra Palace                                No

68. 4 June            Visit of the G/C pottery-makers to the North as the guest of the Union

                             of the T/C Artists and Writers                                                         No

69. 8 June            Visit of the G/C poets to the North as the guest of the Union         No

70. 9 June            Visit of the Mental Retardation Prevention Centre in Limassol    No                                               

71. 13 June          Press conference of Mr.Ledsky at the Ledra Palace                        No

72. 2 July             Farewell-cocktail for Mr.Gaulkin and his concert with T/C Jazzex group No

73. 6 July             Anniversary ball of the “Sosialistiki Ekfrasi” newspaper               No

74. 12 July            Meeting of the T/C and G/C committees of our Movement

                              at the Ledra Palace                                                                         No

Dr.Djavit put on 8 September 1992, this time a private complaint against

Turkey in Strasbourg, European Commission of Human Rights, for the violations

of the Articles 10,11 and 13 of the European Convention for the Protection of

Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

75. 27 September        Second anniversary of our formation, Meeting at the Ledra Palace   No

76. 23-24 November   Medical meeting on Hepatology in Limassol                                       No

77. 18 December         Press conference of a German organisation at the Ledra Palace         No

78. 10-18 January 1992  UNHCR seminar on Chronic Diseases Control at the Ledra Palace           

                                                                                       Yes for 21 T/C doctors, No for Dr.Djavit

79. 20-24 January         IUS’s 16th Congress in Larnaca                                    No

80. 4 February             Visit of the G/C Union of Writers to the North               No                      

81. 3 March                 Lecture at the University of Cyprus                                No

82. 20 March              Photographic exhibition “Beyond Lines” on the occasion of UN

                                    International Day against Racial Discrimination             No

83. 4 May                    7th Pancyprian Exhibition of ENAZ with T/C participation

                                                                                            Yes for 6, No for 7 persons

84. 9 May                    UNFICYP Spring Fair at the Nicosia International Airport

                                                                                      Yes for everyone, No for Dr.Djavit

85. 17 and 24 May      Visit of the G/C doctors to the North                              No

86. 26 June                   Conference on Cypriotism to be given by Dr.Djavit,     

                                       organized by the New Cyprus Association                   No

87. 29 June                   Bi-communal UNHCR Seminar on Neurological diseases and

                                      accidents in Philoxenia Hotel               

                                                                        Yes for 12 T/C doctors, No for Dr.Djavit

88. 2 October               Reception at the German Embassy on the occasion of the

                                      Reunification Day                                                         No

89. 7 October               Meeting of the Coordinating Committee of our Movement at L.Palace  No

90. 19 October             Reception of the US Embassy on the occasion of the 30th Anniversary

                                      of the CASP                                                                  No

91. 30 October             Bi-communal Poetry Evening at the Ledra Palace  

                                                                                       Yes for 10 persons, No for Dr.Djavit

92. 11 January 1993   Return visit of the T/C doctors’ contact group to the South  No

93. 26 February           Opening of the Pancyprian Exhibition of ENAZ            

                                                               Yes for 8 persons, No for Dr.Djavit

94. 2 April                   Poetry evening on the occasion of the Special T/C Literature

                                      issue of the Magazine “Nea Epochi”  Yes for 8 persons, No for Dr.Djavit

95. 28 June                   Cultural festival “Peaceful coexistence”, organized by the

                                      UN Association of Cyprus                                             No

96. 4 October               Unity-day reception at the German Embassy                 No

97. 11 January             UNHCR Meeting on Mental Health                              Yes

98. 4 February             EN-AZ Exhibition                                                          Yes

99. 14 March               Visit for a study on National Health Scheme in Cyprus  No

100. 18 March              Seminar on Confidence Building Measures from the Human Rights

                                      Point of View by Dr.Djavit                                             Yes

101. 8 April                   Conference on Cypriotism by Dr.Djavit                         Yes

102. 19 April                 Committee meeting of the Movement for Reorganization   No

103. 26 April                 Reception at the German Embassy                                        No

104. 5 May                    UNHCR-Seminar on Cardiology in Limassol    
                                                                        Yes for 50 T/C doctors, No for Dr.Djavit

105. 22 July                  Committee meeting of the Movement for Reorganization    No

106. 3 October              Reunification-Day Reception at the German Embassy          No

107. 2 February 1995   10th Pancyprian Exhibition of the ENAZ                               No

108. 16 June                  Folklore Evening organized by the Goethe Institute

                                      and the French Cultural Centre  Yes for 230 persons, No for Dr.Djavit

109. 17 June                  50th anniversary of the UN-Celebrations

                                       organized by the UNAC        Yes for 65 persons, No for Dr.Djavit

110. 24 June                  20th anniversary of the New Cyprus Association                   No

111. 6 June 1995            Meeting with Mr.Gustav Feissel at the Ledra Palace             No

112. 10-11 September   Celebration of Mikis Theodorakis’ 70th Birthday

                                       organized by AKEL                        Yes for all, No for Dr.Djavit

113. 3. October             Day of German Unity-Reception of the German Embassy   No

114. 18 October            Conference by SPD MP Mrs.Sigrid Skarperliis-Sperk           No

115. 22 October            UN Day Open House at Ledra Palace for 1800 persons       Yes

116. 25 October            Panel discussion on Cyprus-EU at Ledra Palace                   Yes

117. 5 December          Photographic exhibition about Dr.İhsan Ali                            No

118. 2 February 1996  Opening of the joint exhibition of the T/C and G/C cartoonists

                                      and painters                                                                              No

119. 12 February        Closure of the joint exhibition                                                   No

120. 8-9-10 March     NEDI-SY Seminar on “The price for peace and stability

                                    in the Eastern Mediterranean”                                                  No

121. 24 April              Cypriot Cartoon Exhibition                                                      No

122. 9. Mai                 Reception of the EU-Delegation: 46th anniversary of the

                                    Schumann Declaration                                                             No

123. 8 June                  Jazz concert at the Ledra Palace organized by the French Embassy  No

124. 3 October            Day of German Unity-Reception of the German Embassy      No

125.3 October 1997    Day of German Unity-Reception of the German Embassy      No

126.13 December        General Assembly of the New Cyprus Association                  No

127.22 January 1998  Opening of the joint exhibition of the T/C and C/C

                                     cartoonists and painters                                                           No

128.22 February 1999 Opening of the 14th Pancyprian Painting Exhibition              No

129.16 October 1999    Seminar of the International Association for the Protection of

                                      Human Rights in Cyprus: "50 Years of the Council of Europe-

                                          Achievements and Prospects in the Field of Human Rights                           

                                                                                                              First No, later Yes

130. 2 February 2000   Opening of the joint exhibition of the T/C and T/C cartoonists

                                                                                                                and painters  No

131. 14 March         Book presentation in memory of late journalist Stavros Angelides 

                                (permission given on the condition that 4 CY pounds will be paid

                                                                                              for the exit visa)            No

132. 20 May             Seminar on History Teaching                                                  Yes

133. 23 June             25th anniversary ball of the New Cyprus Association             No

134. 11 August         Visit to the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics         No

135. 22 September                                                                                              No

136. 24 October        Meeting of the New Cyprus Association

                                                                      (For Özker Özgür Yes, for Dr.Djavit) No

137. 9 November      Anniversary Meal of Dr.Ihsan Ali Foundation                       No      

138. 16 December     Congress of the New Cyprus Association                              No

139. 2 March 2001   Cartoon Exhibition of the Environmental Movement            No

140. 28 April            Annual Exhibition of the EN-AZ                                            No

141. 31 October        “Politics and Caricature” Exhibition of the House of

                                                                                               Representatives          No

142. 11 February 2002 Poetry evening (without application, per tel.)            No                           

143. 5 June                    CD-Presentation                                                                 No

144. 7 June                    Conference on Federalism: Looking to the future             No

145. 22 June                  New Cyprus Association: Social meeting in Ayia Napa   No

146. 29 October            Sener Levent’s book presentation                                      No

147. 28-29 October       International conference at the Intercollege

                                                                              (with the help of UNFICYP)    Yes



Type of meeting        Yes        No

Political                     13          45

Cultural                      6           41

Medical                      4           21

Social                          2          15


Total: 147                 25        122                                               

  • April 23rd 2014 at 09:16

Original English Text of an interview with the Greek Cypriot Periodiko magazine (14.3.2003) with Dr.Ahmet Djavit An


Original English Text of an interview with the Greek Cypriot Periodiko magazine (14.3.2003) with Dr.Ahmet Djavit An:

1. What is the motive that pushed you to go to the European Court?

The motive was the arbitrary limitation of my freedom of assembly and travel in my home country. As you know, we, as progressive Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots formed the Movement for an Independent and Federal Cyprus on 24 September 1989 in Nicosia. It was the first time since the terror wave of the T/C underground organization TMT in 1958 that T/Cs and the G/Cs came together in an organization. We declared our basic principles and views and later met to discuss the written contributions from both sides on the subject of “Federalism in Cyprus”. We could not have the time to deal with the “Independence of Cyprus” and we had only three plenary meetings at the Ledra Palace. We organized many political, cultural, medical and social meetings. For example the T/C oppositional political leaders were invited to talk in front of the G/C audience at the Famagusta Gate Cultural Centre for the first time since 1974. 

The T/C leadership was against our activities of enlightening the public opinion about the principles of a real federal system. As you know the T/C leadership has been all the way long, since 1958, when the idea of partition was innoculated into the T/C community, against the idea of friendship between the two main communities in Cyprus, i.e. T/Cs and G/Cs.

On 6 May 1991, a four-man T/C delegation of our Movement visited Mr.Atakol, the Foreign Minister whose department was responsible officially for giving the permissions. The Minister told us that everytime we met with our G/C compatriots, the G/C press wrote that we came “from the occupied areas” and we did not say anything that we were not under “occupation.” I, as the T/C coordinator of the Movement told Mr.Atakol that I accept the evaluation “occupation” as a de facto reality in Cyprus. After we left the Ministry, Mr.Atakol reported this incident to Mr. Denktash, who wrote a letter to the Commander of the “Turkish Peace Forces”, telling him not to give ever any permission to the T/C coordinator and to the other three persons accompanying him during that visit.

In the middle of the same month May 1991, the T/C Committee of the Movement for an Independent and Federal Cyprus decided to put a complaint against the “T/C authorities” of the Republic of Cyprus by the Human Rights Commission of the European Council in Strasbourg. This applicaton made the T/C leadership furious which reacted in the press against us. The Commission found that the Government of Cyprus “could not be held responsible under Article 1 of the Convention for the acts of Turkish Cypriot authorities in the north of Cyprus” and declared our application inadmissible (No.18270/92, Ahmet Cavit AN and others v. Cyprus, Dec. 8.10.91)

I received a letter dated 3 February 1992 from the “Health Minister of the TRNC” which informed me that a decision existed by the cabinet of the “TRNC” prohibiting my contacts with the G/C. On 7 May 1992 I wrote to the Prime Minister of the "TRNC" requesting to be informed of the content of the cabinet decision referred to in the above-mentioned letter, but I received no reply. On 29 May 1992 I sent a letter of protest to the Foreign Minister of Turkey, which also remained unanswered. On 18 May 1994 the "Directorate of Consular and Minority Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Defence of the TRNC" informed me that the permission requested by my letter of 19 April 1994 was refused for “security reasons, in the public interest” and because I made “propaganda against the state” when I was in the South.
From 24 September 1989 to 8 September 1992, I as a person or as a group of T/C members of the Movement applied to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 87 times to get the permission to go to the Ledra Palace or to cross over the “Green Line” to the G/C sector of Nicosia. I could get only in 15 cases a positive answer. Among the requests that were turned down were one concerned the UNFICYP (United Nations Forces in Cyprus) Spring Fair at the Nicosia International Airport in May 1992 and another a bi-communal medical seminar organised by UNHCR in June 1992. Moreover, in May 1992 the above-mentioned authorities refused to allow Greek Cypriots to attend a meeting organised by our Movement in the northern 
part of Nicosia.
I had no other chance than finding a way to put a complaint at the European Commission for Human Human Rights.  

2. Why did you decide to go with a Greek Cypriot lawyer?

As I was following day-to-day developments in the G/C community through the mass media, I decided to write a letter to the International Association for the Restoration of Human Rights in Cyprus and ask for help. They help me to put my complaint in Strassbourg and they found my lawyer in the second case, Prof. Malcolm Shaw from England. I could not find a T/C lawyer who had interest in such matters and who could dare to open a case against Turkey. Our T/C lawyer in the first case had told me that he was under professional and psychological pressure from the Nicosia T/C Bar Association where he was a member. He was lucky enough by one vote (4 to 3) that he was not punished by the Disciplinary Council of  the Lawyers.       

3. How was your life before the courts decision and how was it after?

There is no difference. I shall test the T/C authorities soon by asking for a permission to go to the G/C side of Nicosia and try to meet my compatriots over there.

During the years that I waited for the decision of the Court, I continued my research about the history of Cyprus and published nine books on the political history of  Cyprus and the T/Cs. One of my books was approved for publication by the Cultural Department of the   Ministry of Education of the “TRNC”. It was a compilation of the biographies over 160 T/C personalities born before 1900 and about the daily life of T/Cs. It was delayed for two years without any reason. At the end of a long waiting, I myself hastened the process and secured the necessary amount of money for the print of the book from the Budget Department, but I could not get the papers signed by the Ministry of Education. I learned that it was Turkey who gave the money and the permission to publish books of the TRNC. I was told that indirectly that if I withdrew my complaint against Turkey in Strassbourg, the TRNC authorities could print my book and give me permission whenever I wanted to cross over the Green Line. Of course, I rejected this indecent offer. I could finally publish my book of 500 pages in July 2002 with the help of a private sponsor.

When I asked for legal aid from the Court in 1999 since I could not earn my life as a private paediatrician, the Tax Department of the “TRNC” forced me to pay last year taxes for the year 1999 although I did not earn more than the minimum wage.       

4. What did you feel when you received the decision of the European Court?

I was very happy that finally an international court decided that I was discriminated and my freedom of assembly and my right to an effective remedy were violated. 

5. How do you evaluate this decision?

It is of great importance like Mrs.Loizidou’s case. The ECHR “recalled that States which had ratified the European Convention on Human Rights could be held responsible for acts and omissions of their authorities which produced effects outside their own territory. Such responsibility could also arise when, as a consequence of military action, the State concerned exercised effective control of an area outside its national territory. The obligation to secure, in such an area, the rights and freedoms set out in the Convention, derived from the fact of such control, whether it be exercised directly, through its armed forces, or through a subordinate local administration.”

The international body dismissed the Turkish claims that Ankara could not be held responsible for events in the areas of Cyprus it occupied and it declared once again that the so-called “TRNC” is “a subordinate local administration” of Turkey. 

6. What was the reaction of your community after this success?

For those who are fighting for a reunified Republic of Cyprus, it gave a lot of hope and encouragement. But for those who are obstructing the way to justice and lasting peace and are doing whatever they can for the continuation of the ethnic division,  it was a slap in the face.

7. How did the ordinary people react and how did the politicians react to the decision and to you as well?

Ordinary people and my close friends appreciated my civil courage and congratulated me personally. I received no reaction or telephone call from the so-called progressive T/C politicians! Only the columnists of the Afrika newspaper wrote about the subject right after the decision of the Court. Some other T/C newspapers gave only the news.  

8. Have you ever met Mr. Denktas and discussed with him your own views and beliefs?

I did not have any political discussion with him. It is useless to try and convince him that his policy for the partition of Cyprus brought only disaster and bitterness for the Cypriots. I asked him only once in a public conference if he ever had any mistake in politics. He answered that it was a mistake not to declare a separate state right after the events in December 1963!

9. How is today the situation in the Turkish Cypriot community?

It is a whole mess, I should say. Any solution other than the status quo will be accepted by the majority of T/C people. That is why they come in thousands to demonstrate for a speedy solution, EU membership and peace.

10. What is, according to you, the biggest problem of the Turkish Cypriot people today?

The diminishing population of the T/Cs is the biggest problem of the T/Cs today. We have become a mere minority in the occupied areas as the number of the mainland Turkish settlers are getting more and more every year. Since they are given the right to vote in the elections, the results are not reflecting anymore the will of the indigenious T/Cs. There has to be a reliable census, as soon as possible, under the control of an international body, like the European Council’s Committee for Population, Immigration and Refugees.  

11. Whom do you consider the number one enemy of the unification of Cyprus?

Maybe you want me to give the answer as “Mr.Denktash”, but I have to look into the problem from a wider perspective. The USA and its secret services-the Super NATO- have been the planner and the instigater of the partition of our island since 1956. Their instruments have been active both in Turkey, Greece and Cyprus, both within the G/C and T/C communities.  

12. After the European Court’s decision would you consider of crossing the line to the “South” again?

As soon as possible and maybe without giving two days beforehand any application letter with an invitation from a G/C organization. Mr.Chris Clerides, the President of the International Association for the Protection of Human Rights in Cyprus, plans to invite me for a meeting in the near future. Also the other Cypriot organizations that I am a member of, the New Cyprus Association and the Cyprus Writers’ Union will invite me for meetings.    

13. Do you have any indication on how the Denktas regime would react on such occasion?

We shall wait and see. For example, I could not get a permission for the annual meeting of the New Cyprus Association that I am a member of, but I got a permission through the help of the UNFICYP at the end of October 2002 for the participation at an international conference at the Intercollege. 

14. Do you believe that Greek and Turkish Cypriots can do more for Cyprus on a personal basis?

Of course. The open house meetings at the Ledra Palace and those at Pyla have contributed a lot and there are very good results. Since the T/Cs and G/Cs can make good frienships abroad and in Cyprus despite the walls of shame -the demarkation line-, why are they not allowed to meet freely by removing all the barriers and restrictions. The UNFICYP can undertake some responsibility in this respect for an interim period.    

15. Are you optimistic for the future of Cyprus? What do you foresee for the future of Cyprus?

I want to be optimistic, but we have a long  struggle to wage. First we have to be free from foreign interventions. We have to build up altogether a democratic, federal Cypriot state and a multi-cultural society which will foster friendship and cooperation between the Cypriots of all ethnic origins without any discrimination. Without multi-ethnic political parties, we shall not be able to overcome nationalism in Cyprus and  there will be no lasting peace. The problem will be which class forces will be in power in the future.

Look at the following evaluation (of the CIA), made in the “1990-Yearbook on International Communist Affairs, Hoover Institute Press”: “Although the AKEL is not banned in the T/C community, the party has chosen not to be active because of the criticism it would engender among the G/Cs... If the north and south of Cyprus were one day reunited in a “federal republic”, it is conceivable that the combined electoral strength of the left-wing parties of the two communities could produce a majority of votes in a presential election.. (Section on Cyprus, written by T.W.Adams, p.608) Hence the necessity of separation and partition policies among the Cypriots. Gadalaves?




  • April 22nd 2014 at 22:15