The Turkish Cypriot community
(21st Congress of AKEL – November 2010)
Since the 20th Congress of AKEL until today, important developments in the socio-economic and political field have taken place within the Turkish Cypriot community. The economic crisis of 2001, but also the developments that followed in relation of the solution of the Cyprus problem during the Annan Plan procedure, created the preconditions for the formation of a balance in favour of the progressive and peace-loving forces within the Turkish Cypriot community who want a solution of the Cyprus problem. However, the period in the beginning of 2009 reversed this balance of forces.
Initially, in 2009 the so-called government, in which the Republican Turkish Party played a leading role, decided to call for early “elections” due to the economic package that was imposed by Turkey and that it was compelled to implement and in the end, it was defeated. Following that, in the so-called “presidential elections”, the leadership of the community by Mehmet Ali Talat passed to Eroglou, who supports a two state solution.
The socio-economic factors of the Turkish Cypriot community also played a role in the prevalence of all the previously mentioned. The confrontations within the progressive and peace-loving forces of the community during all this period of time, but also the fact that that the Republican Turkish Party did not manage to project dynamically its difference in “government”, but on the contrary, it was involved in an attempt to manage the occupational regime by openly defending the so-called “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus-TRNC”, also constituted significant factors concerning the previously mentioned results.
The promotion of assertions that overlooked the real causes of the so-called isolation, consolidate and stabilize partition in Cyprus, such as the implementation of direct trade, as well as the failure to fulfil these assertions, were also contributing factors to the change within the Turkish Cypriot community.
The hopes for the solution of the Cyprus problem, that were rejuvenated after the election of Demetris Christofias to the Presidency of the Republic of Cyprus, were not assessed to a satisfactory level by the Turkish Cypriot leadership. The almost complete alignment of Mehmet Ali Talat with Ankara, the abandonment by the Turkish Cypriot leadership of positions for the solution of the Cyprus problem, which in the past had been agreed between AKEL and RTK, and the submitting of proposals by the Turkish Cypriot leadership, that in some cases were outside the agreed framework, caused further tensions and delays in the procedure. This fact contributed to the lowering of the aspirations for a solution and pushed masses of Turkish Cypriots to forces that do not want a solution.
The Erdogan-Gul duo very hesitantly and belatedly backed the candidacy of Talat, whilst other forces in Turkey came out openly in favour and worked for the Eroglou candidacy. This also formulated largely the result of the vote for the new Turkish Cypriot leader.
This period urgently sets once again the issue of the decisive role Turkey plays in the occupied areas. Turkey is in a position to exploit the political resolve of the Turkish Cypriot community as a pawn; both through the colonisation and radical change of the demographic structure, as well as through various institutions and organisations such as the occupational army, “civil defence”, the “political affairs organisation”, the “Aid Delegation of the Turkish Republic”. The economic dependence of the pseudo-state on Turkey also plays a decisive role. Turkey is promoting the boosting of private capital in the occupied areas within the framework of the financial assistance it renders through the three-year “Financial Protocol” for the period 2010-2011-2012, which was signed between the “government” of the occupied areas and the Turkish government. Particularly after 2004, there is an increase in the investments of Turkish capital from Turkey to the occupied areas in the sectors of tourism and education. This fact, after the military invasion and the attempt to change the demographic structure, can also be characterised as an “invasion” in the economic field.
All these developments represent facts that on the one hand threaten the social existence of the Turkish Cypriot community and on the other hand, complicate the procedure for the solution of the Cyprus problem. The solution of the Cyprus problem is of great importance for the preservation of the existence and continuation of the identity of the Turkish Cypriot community on the island. The protection of the existence of the Turkish Cypriot community is achieved through the solution of the Cyprus problem and during the procedure to solve the problem, the Turkish Cypriot community represents a strategic partner of the progressive and democratic forces within the Greek Cypriot community.
Intervention of Georgos Koukoumas, member of the C.C. of AKEL and the International Relations Department, at the Hearing “Palestine: What’s Next?” organized by GUE/NGL2015-07-1
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