A real solution in Cyprus would be for the Turkish Republic of North
Cyprus to maintain its existence as an independent state, to further strengthen
its ties with Turkey and to implement firm policies to enhance the Cypriot
people's national and spiritual awareness.
In the last few months, the question of Cyprus has been put before Turkey
as a condition for its long-awaited membership in the EU. In spite of
the fact that membership in the EU and the Cyprus question are two different
issues, some countries such as Greece and Britain have claimed that they
are related and have made the serious mistake of moving to put them on
the agenda in a single package.
The Essential Political Attitude Regarding Cyprus
In the approximately 150-page document recently prepared by UN General
Secretary Kofi Annan and delivered to representatives of both countries,
there are very serious risks for North Cyprus. The report as it has been
presented is unacceptable because Cypriot Turks have no area of sovereignty
and if it is accepted, they will be a minority living on the island within
3 to 5 years and are treated as such. Moreover, it is recommended that
a certain number of Greek Cypriots be moved into areas belonging to the
North. Under these circumstances, it is probable that all the measures
taken in the 1960 agreement between Turks and Greeks to preserve the status
of the two different communities will be nullified. More serious is the
probability that, without preparing a suitable foundation on which the
two communities can live securely, the attempt to implement the model
of a heterogeneous society may have a detrimental outcome as it had in
In the event of such an agreement, many Cypriot Turks
will be without a home and employment, living in anxiety with no peace
of mind. They have been settled on the island since 1974 and to remove
them from their homes and destroy the peace and order of their lives would
be of benefit to no one.
Turkey's policy on this matter, as it was well expressed by the National
Security Council, must have its basis in the primary goal of assuring
the security of the Turks in northern Cyprus and in support for the Turkish
Republic of North Cyprus. The Turks of northern Cyprus are a part of Turkey
and the issue of Cyprus is a national matter. Through the Cyprus Peace
Movement in 1974, the Turkish army protected Turks on the island from
the genocidal intentions of radical Greek Cypriots; these facts must never
be forgotten. Solutions that would be disadvantageous to the Turkish side
of the island and pose a risk to its security cannot be considered.
Moreover, from the point of view of Turkey, Cyprus is of great strategic
importance. If Turkey loses its control over Cyprus, it also loses the
possibility of access to the Mediterranean. In accordance to the decision
made at the last meeting of the National Security Council, Turkey must
work towards getting the fact accepted that Denktash insists on: there
are two separate states on the island. An autonomous government established
by two separate states will make joint decisions on questions of foreign
relations but, in domestic matters, one will be independent of the other.
In addition, it is essential that Turkey continues as guarantor.
Essential Cultural Policies for Cyprus
Policies to be implemented with regard to the Cyprus question are not
only of a political or diplomatic nature. Also in the areas of economics
and culture, measures must be encouraged that will strengthen the Turkish
people of Cyprus and improve their situation. It is definite that Southern
Cyprus will join the European Union, an attractive prospect for some of
the Turks on the island even though no official agreement has been signed.
In order to prevent this from becoming a debilitating factor, it is necessary
to solidify the connection of Cypriot Turks with Turkey and their Muslim-Turkish
identity by improving their socio-economic situation and strengthening
their national and spiritual values.
A meeting held recently in Cyprus revealed that a number of Turkish people
on the island were not happy with some of the existing policies. To counteract
this, the causes of the discontent have to be removed and policies developed
that will restore the people's trust in the government of the Turkish
Republic of North Cyprus. The government must adopt a compassionate and
understanding attitude towards the people, take a close interest in those
areas where there are problems and provide opportunities for initiatives
undertaken towards the development of Cyprus.
Furthermore, an intense cultural campaign must be implemented to infuse
Turkish national ideals and values deeply within the people in Cyprus,
especially the young generation. Cypriot Turks must embrace more strongly
the Turkish and Muslim identity that supported them since the island broke
away from the Ottomans, and Turkey must take the lead in this cultural
To this end, Cypriot Turks must avoid the dilemma that would arise from
being left with the prospect of an economically deprived and passive North
Cyprus and a developed and prosperous South Cyprus. On the contrary, the
model to be adopted is that of a modern, contemporary, developed Cypriot
Turk who has at the same time a strong national and religious identity.
Psychology is of major importance in the inclinations of societies, especially
in small societies. The strengthening of Cypriot Turkish society is bound
to a psychological reinforcement, and this will come about by the establishment
of the above mentioned economic and cultural policies.
In this matter, an important role will be played by the media and public
social institutions. Cyprus is a national issue and everyone must adopt
the national line in this matter and support the policies determined by
the Turkish state. Cypriot Turks must see a motherland that avidly supports
their existence on the island, that is of one heart and mind with them
in a feeling of national and religious brotherhood and that defends their
rights with its utmost power. To create and sustain this spirit is the
duty of all who love their nation and their state.