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Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

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The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) (Turkish: Kuzey Kıbrıs Trk Cumhuriyeti [KKTC]) is a de facto state, which controls the northern third of the island of Cyprus, in the eastern Mediterranean. Turkey is the only country which recognises the TRNC; all other governments and the United Nations recognise the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus over the whole island of Cyprus. The Organization of the Islamic Conference however, recognises the TRNC as a constituent state, under the name Turkish Cypriot State (See United Cyprus Republic).

The TRNC has a population of about 190,000 and an area of 3,355 square kilometres (including the tiny exclave of Erenky/Kokkina). The population in the north is almost entirely Turkish-speaking (both Turkish Cypriots and mainland Turks) with small populations of Greek Cypriots and Lebanese. The TRNC includes the northern part of the city of Nicosia (Turkish: Lefkoşa, Greek: Lefkosia), which serves as its capital.

From the tip of the Karpass Peninsula (Cape Apostolos Andreas) in the northeast, the TRNC extends westward to Morphou Bay and Cape Kormakitis (the Erenky exclave marks the westernmost extent of the TRNC), and southward to the Louroujina salient. The territory between the TRNC and the remainder of Cyprus is seperated by a United Nations-controlled buffer zone.

Kuzey Kıbrıs Trk Cumhuriyeti
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus </font>
</table> <tr> <td align=center colspan=2>Missing image
Trnc-map.gif


<tr>
Missing image
Northern_cyprus_flag_300.png
TRNC Flag

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Trnc-arms.gif
TRNC Arms

(In Detail) (In Detail)
National motto: 1983
Official language Turkish
Capital Nicosia (Lefkoşa) (Template:Coor dms)
President Mehmet Ali Talat
Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer
House Speaker Fatma Ekenoğlu
Area
 - Total
 - % water

3,355 km
2.7%
Population
 - Total (2003)
 - Density

210,047
Establishment
 - Declared
 - Recognition

November 15, 1983
Turkey
Currency New Turkish Lira 1
Time zone
 - in summer
EET (UTC+2)
EEST (UTC+3)
National anthem none (uses National Anthem of Turkey)
Internet TLD .nc.tr
Calling Code +90 392

1 Since January 1 2005, the New Turkish Lira (Yeni Trk Lirası) replaced the old Turkish Lira.

Contents

History

In the aftermath of the attempted Greek-backed coup in 1974, resulting in the Turkish military intervention and occupation of the northern third of Cyprus, The de facto state of northern Cyprus was proclaimed in 1975 under the name "Turkish Federated State of Northern Cyprus". The name was changed to its present form on 15 November 1983. The United Nations have refused to recognise the Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus, the 1975 declaration of the Federative State, or the 1983 declaration of independence in any way, and this refusal has been supported by all countries except Turkey. In retaliation, TRNC refers to the Republic of Cyprus as the "Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus".

The 1983 declaration of independence was condemned by the United Nations Security Council's Resolutions 541 and 550, which declared it legally invalid, called for Turkey's immediate withdrawal of armed occupying forces and urged all member states not to recognise it. Turkey refused to withdraw their forces, stating that their continued presence was fully legal under the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee, and that the Turkish Cypriot people had the right not only to self-determination, but for close protection from what they preceived as a continuous threat from the Greek Cypriots.

Despite formal non-recognition from other nations, the TRNC maintains informal relations with some Middle Eastern countries, such as Lebanon. The Nakhchivan Autononomous Republic (which is an exclave of the Republic of Azerbaijan), issued a resolution recognizing the TRNC as a sovereign state but as Nakhchivan's status is not that of an independent state, this is not regarded as official diplomatic recognition. Azerbaijan itself, however, maintains cordial informal relations with TRNC.

The TRNC is a democracy, with a president elected for a five-year term. Its legislature is the House of Representatives (Temsilciler Meclisi), which has 50 members elected by proportional representation from five electoral districts. In the elections of February 2005 the Republican Turkish Party, which favours a peace settlement and the reunification of Cyprus, retained its position as the largest parliamentary party, but failed to win an overall majority.

TRNC is heavily dependent on Turkish military and economic support. It uses the New Turkish Lira as its currency. All TRNC exports and imports are via Turkey, as are its communication links. International telephone calls are routed via a Turkish dialling code, +90 392, on the Internet TRNC is under the Turkish second-level domain .nc.tr, and mail must be addressed to Mersin 10, TURKEY as the Universal Postal Union refuses to recognise the TRNC as a separate entity.

Flying to Northern Cyprus is somewhat problematic(*), since the airports of Geitkale (Greek: Lefkoniko) and Ercan (Greek: Tymbou) are not internationally recognized as legal ports of entry, so all flights to Northern Cyprus must currently land in Turkey first. Anyone who has a TRNC immigration stamp may be refused entry by the Republic of Cyprus or Greece, although after the accession of the Republic of Cyprus to the EU such restrictions have been eased following confidence-building measures by the Cypriot government. The Republic of Cyprus allows unrestricted passage across the Green Line from Nicosia into Northern Cyprus , since TRNC does not require a visa or leave entry stamps for such visits.

(*) However in light of recent direct flight from USA by US Congressmen Deal, Bernice and Withfield to Ercan, indications are that the airport satisfies US security standards for international flights. Ercan was in particular subject to extensive security checks some months prior to the June 2005 landing. Also, in June 2005, US President George W. Bush instructed US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to make an investigation into the practicality of direct commercial airline flights from the United States to Ercan.

The flag of the TRNC on the Beşparmak or Pendadaktylos Mountains
The flag of the TRNC on the Beşparmak or Pendadaktylos Mountains

Politics

Main Article: Politics & Elections in TRNC

Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is a parliamentary democracy, organized around unicameral parliament of 50 MPs. Elections are held every 5 years, and the last one was in 20 February 2005.

Since the Republic of Cyprus had been founded, political life of Turkish Cypriots can be divided into 4 different phases.

  • 1960-1963 Period: This is the period where Turkish Cypriots participated in the Republic of Cyprus, and its parliament.
  • 1963-1974 Period: This is the period where Turkish Cypriots were kept out of the Republic of Cyprus parliamentary institutions.
  • 1975-1983 Period: This period Turkish Cypriots had founded Turkish Federated State of North Cyprus.
  • 1983-onwards: This is the period where Turkish Cypriots had abolished Turkish Federated State of North Cyprus and replaced it with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

Property issues

There are still outstanding legal proceedings relating to the 1974 Turkish invasion, which ousted more than 200,000 Greek-Cypriots from their homes. The precedent case of Loizidou vs Turkey was decided in favor of Loizidou, a Greek Cypriot, and ruled that Turkey should pay her compensation. More specifically, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Loizidou is entitled to a sizeable compensation for loss of use of her property, while she retains all rights of ownership of it. It is understood by both sides that no solution to the Cyprus problem can be achieved without a significant tranfer of property back to pre-invasion owners, Greek-Cypriots or Turkish-Cypriots, an issue that further complicates any potential solution. While there has been a flourishing construction market in the Turkish area recently, Greek Cypriots criticise the sale of land and property which belonged to them prior to 1974. This has led some Greek Cypriots to threaten prosecution through European courts(*) (including those of the Republic of Cyprus) against any purchase of their occupied property. Any purchases are guaranteed by the government of TRNC however, and legal rulings made by European Courts or Greek Cypriot Courts have no jurisdiction in the North.

See the Cyprus dispute.

(*) These threats may be no more than fear-uncertainty-doubt tactics as the current 'users' of the occupied properties are not in fact committing any illegal acts as the majority of them are refugees themselves. Legal opinion in this instance suggests that other EU member countries would not declare those people criminal even if an occupied property sale had subsequently ensued.

Recent developments

During 2002 and 2003 the approach of the Republic of Cyprus's accession to the European Union (on May 1, 2004) produced a political crisis in the TRNC, because its residents realised that they would not have access to the privileges of EU membership, particularly the right to work anywhere in the EU, which would be open to Cypriot citizens. In 2002 there were large demonstrations in the TRNC against the continuation of the division of Cyprus. During 2003, pro-EU parties campaigned vigorously against the seperatist government of Rauf Denktaş, standing for election on a platform of replacing him as the republic's chief negotiator and pushing for a settlement that could take the north into the EU as part of a reunited Cyprus. In January 2004, pro-EU leader Mehmet Ali Talat was appointed Prime Minister.

On April 24, 2004 a referendum was held in both parts of Cyprus on the Annan Plan for re-uniting the island before its entry to the EU. Turkish Cypriot voters approved the plan, while Greek Cypriot voters rejected it. (see Cyprus reunification referendum, 2004).

The EU expressed disappointment at the outcome. Turkish Cypriots, having long been blamed for obstructing the reunification of Cyprus, were praised for supporting the Annan Plan, while Greek Cypriots were criticised for rejecting it. As a result, the EU indicated that it would reward the Turkish Cypriots by relaxing the EU's embargo on the TRNC.

Gnter Verheugen, the EU's Enlargement Commissioner, was reported as saying that the EU was considering opening a representative office in the TRNC. EU foreign ministers agreed to give the TRNC 259 million euros (US$307 million) in aid. Verheugen also said that the Greek Cypriot government should not expect a reduction in the number of Turkish troops stationed in Cyprus due to the failure of the Annan plan. Instead Turkey might increase their number beyond the current 30,000, he said.

Former TRNC President  (left) with UN Secretary-General  and former Cypriot President
Former TRNC President Rauf Denktaş (left) with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and former Cypriot President Glafkos Klerides

Rauf Denktaş announced in mid-May 2004 that he would be stepping down as President of the TRNC at the end of his fourth term. He said Talat and Foreign Minister Serdar Denktaş were both suitable candidates to replace him. Elections for the post took place on April 17, 2005, which were won by Talat.

In June 2004 a meeting of Foreign Ministers of member states of the Organization of Islamic Conference decided that the TRNC would be represented at future OIC meetings under the name of "Turkish Cypriot State", as was envisaged in the Annan plan. The European Commission announced a plan on July 7, 2004, that all goods produced in TRNC could be exported freely to European market.

In December 2004 Turkey and the EU met to discuss Turkey's application into the European Union. They struck a deal over an EU demand that Turkey had to re-sign the 1963 Ankara Association Agreement to cover all of the new EU members, which includes Cyprus, before membership talks begin. The deal clears the way for Turkey to start entry talks around October 3 2005.

Also in December, Mehmet Ali Talat's fragile coalition finally collapsed. After opposition leader Dervis Eroğlu's efforts to form a new government produced no results, Denktaş called early elections for February 20, 2005. Talat's party strengthened its position at the vote, falling just short of a majority.

In the presidential elections of April 17, 2005, Talat was elected the second president of the TRNC with an absolute majority of 56% of the popular vote. His nearest rival (Dervis Eroğlu) got 23% of the vote. The eligible voter turnout was 70%. Talat issued an "olive branch" to the Greek cypriots in his first speech after the election, pledging to work towards reunification of the island while securing the rights and well-being of the Turkish Cypriot population. Talat was inaugurated as the TRNC's second President on April 25, 2005 and has named RTP leader Ferdi Sabit Soyer to take over as Prime Minister and form a government within fourteen days.

On April 26, Soyer presented to Talat a list of cabinet appointees for the TRNC's 20th Government:

The above list of appointees were endorsed by Talat and the TRNC Parliament, and were formally sworn in on April 28, 2005. On May 9, 2005, The new government was formally approved by the TRNC Parliament by a vote of 29 to 19.

On May 25, 2005, The African nation of The Gambia announced it's willingness to recognize the TRNC and to establish full diplomatic relations. Should it follow through on this announcement, this would be only the second sovereign nation to do so. Since then it has retracted any willingness to recognize, citing UN resolutions and international law.

On May 29, 2005, EU-Turkey Joint Parliament Committee co-chair Joost Lagendijk, critcized Greek Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos, claiming that his government was using its EU membership to complicate efforts to remove the isolation environment on the island. Lagendijk’s report accused Papadopoulos of creating an "aggressive mood", suggesting that Papadopoulos’s efforts are geared towards being re-elected on the upcoming Cypriot elections in 2008. Prepared by Lagendijk and his consultant Ali Yurtgl, the report also held the EU responsible for the current state of affairs.

Delegations from the TRNC (led by the Presidential Undersecretary Rasid Pertev) and the the internationally recognized Cypriot government (led by by Tasos Djonis) conducted several days of talks during June 2005 in Brussels, Belgium, with participation of high level EU officials, which concentrated mainly on the EU Regulation on Financial Assistance to North Cyprus, and the EU Regulation on Free Trade between North Cyprus and the European Union. The talks were held at the invitation of the EU term-presidency, and the term-president Luxembourgs Minister for EU Affairs Nicholas Schmit, who actively participated at these meetings. It had been reported that the second round of the discussions - which was closed to the press, - had been a scene of intransigence by the Greek Cypriots. Schmit was said to have been seriously annoyed after witnessing the stubborn and intransigent position adopted by the Greek Cypriots throughout the talks, who defended their position stating that any acceptance of the regulation by their side would be tantamount to recognizing the TRNC.

Education

Universities:

See also

Template:Wikitravelar:شمال قبرص التركية de:Trkische Republik Nordzypern et:Phja-Kprose Trgi Vabariik el:Τουρκική Δημοκρατία της Βορείου Κύπρου es:Repblica Turca del Norte de Chipre fr:Chypre du Nord id:Republik Turki Siprus Utara it:Repubblica Turca di Cipro Nord lt:Turkų Kipras nl:Turkse Republiek Noord-Cyprus nds:Noordzypern ja:北キプロス・トルコ共和国 no:Nord-Kypros pl:Cypr Północny pt:Repblica Turca de Chipre do Norte ro:Ciprul de Nord ru:Северный Кипр tr:KKTC zh:北賽普勒斯土耳其共和國

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