The myth of Turkish Cypriot isolation continues to confuse those with an interest in Cypriot politics. In an attempt to upgrade the status of the illegal regime in occupied Cyprus, millions of pounds in public relations are being wasted on trying to prove a negative – the alleged isolation of the Turkish Cypriots.
Despite the efforts of Turkey and the leaders of the Turkish Cypriots to have the so-called government of the occupied north recognised as a legitimate one, only Turkey recognises it. Therefore, Turkey’s claim of ‘isolation’ is designed to pressure the EU and the UN into recognition of the existence of that illegal entity.
|Number of Turkish Cypriots with Republic of Cyprus documentation
Official figures up to May 2007
Turkish Cypriots with Republic of Cyprus birth certificates
Turkish Cypriots with Republic of Cyprus identity cards
Turkish Cypriots with Republic of Cyprus passports
Source: Government of Republic of Cyprus
Unfortunately in this case the facts shout louder than the money can talk. According to statistics released by the Republic of Cyprus in June 2007 and accurate as of May 2007: 49,156 Turkish Cypriots currently have Republic of Cyprus passports; 79,497 have Republic identity cards and 90,920 have Republic birth certificates.
Armed with these documents, the Turkish Cypriots are free to travel not only throughout the Cyprus Republic but also, as citizens of the European Union, throughout Europe. On that basis it is very hard to see how this constitutes isolation. Indeed, by seeking this legitimacy and obtaining it, the Turkish Cypriots are expressly defying their leaders, whose policy of seeking international recognition for the illegal regime is proving increasingly bankrupt.
In addition to their complete freedom of movement these Turkish Cypriots are also likely to be working in the Republic and send or take money to the occupied north. They are equally accorded all the rights of Cypriot citizens including free state health care, social welfare services, national insurance and provision of education.
The news of the actions of the Turkish Cypriots to defy the efforts of their leaders and accept the benefits of citizenship of the Republic comes after the Republic of Cyprus had announced initiatives to establish joint ventures and other opportunities between businesses in the Republic and those in the occupied area. These programmes are a continuing part of the Republic’s compliance with the July 8, 2006 agreement, which the illegal regime in the occupied area has yet to honour by any action.
The ‘isolation’ is a myth, pure and simple. Turkish Cypriots are supported by the Republic of Cyprus and are entitled to the benefits of Cypriot and EU citizenship.