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When Erdogan realized the cost of breeding in Northern Cyprus
by Thanos Kalamidas
2011-02-11 09:18:56
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It was in the Turkish papers in the beginning and the Cypriot papers after but it saw very little in the mainstream European media even though it was the first honest declaration of the Turkish intentions regarding Cyprus the last four decades and it came from the mouth of the Turkish Prime minister Tayyip Erdogan.

So, according to the English version of the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News the Turkish PM got furious with a mass Turkish Cypriot rally in North Nicosia last month, the against Turkey banners and the Cyprus Republic flags. He nearly accused them for treason, for plotting with the Greek Cypriots and emphasized that Turkey is there to stay because Turkey has special and extensive interests in the island. And if that was not enough the Turkish PM continued bitching about the financial benefits the Northern Cypriots have enjoyed from Turkey comparing salaries and special resorts.

For four decades the Turkish policy is that the invasion in Cyprus happened because the minority Turkish brothers and sisters in the island were in lethal danger and for four decades the Cypriot government says that yes mistakes happened – lethal mistakes and not easy to forget - but the Turkish invasion served – and still serves - a totally different agenda that has nothing to do with the Turkish minority in the island.

Semantic, but shouldn’t we somehow translate this “Turkish minority” in the island issue and somehow understand what’s really going on? The Turkish Cypriots with roots and family history in the island nowadays are not more than 80,000, perhaps even less since most of them moved either abroad - mainly to UK - or to the Cypriot Republic’s side. The reasoning for them to leave was the dramatic economic deflation of the occupied part of the island and the causes are too many with one of them the new reality thousands of settlers that moved from Turkey to northern Cyprus created. A reality that change the social structure of the minority and the demographics of the island.

Last year the Australian Alexander Downer, the United Nations Special Envoy for Cyprus visited Finland and participated as a speaker to a seminar organized by the Finnish Foreign Office for the Cyprus issue; and I had the chance to exchange a few words in private with him shocked after his answer to a question I did during the seminar, about the number of the Turkish settlers in Cyprus this moment. During the seminar Mr. Downer said that the number of the settlers is well over 200,000 and that they definitely change in too many ways the island’s demography and social structure, for example what happened with the referendum two years ago. Later and during our private conversation he pointed that perhaps this is the worst problem in the negotiations because a big number of these over 200,000 has moved in the island three decades ago, with the Turkish government – according the rumours as very carefully he pointed – benefiting them in many ways especially for more births creating a new generation with birth-rights in Cyprus and their heart definitely in mother Turkey.

The real number of those settlers is getting closer to 400,000 with the majority of them coming from the poorest and less advance parts of Turkey, mainly Anatolia. People who left Turkey with absolutely nothing and now they live in ready – sometimes luxurious - houses, using the fortunes they never worked for and enjoying series of financial benefits form mother Turkey. Actually these people found the goose that makes the golden eggs and they have absolutely no reason to give her back. But these people created a new reality not only to the whole peace and unification process but to their own community.

Think of it, you have a community that enjoys a certain life style and then from one day to the other they become second class citizens in their own land due to an overwhelming number of newcomers. A minority where the newcomers have enjoyed the full support of the occupation army, enjoyed the privileges to live and enjoy things that they have never had to work for, they also enjoy constant benefits – and I clearly meaning economic benefits – from the ones who send them there aiming to keep them happy so they will never move. Actually an army of losers and lazy living in benefits exactly as Tayyip Erdogan described them. You see ironically the Turkish PM is angry with the Turkish own Frankenstein creation in Northern Cyprus and his insulting references accidentally or intentionally were targeting them since they have become a serious overweight for the Turkish economy the last two decades. Imagine what a weight it is for the Turkish fragile economy nearly 400,000 well paid civil servants that produce absolutely nothing and their only work is to exist in a certain place and time and breed.

Ironically this is exactly what has send away the original Turkish Cypriots and has turned a dramatic boomerang to the Turkish policy in a very twisting way hitting the mother country where it hurts more, financially. But apart of that - to my opinion a major problem - the Turkish PM has shown the real agenda behind the invasion and the continuing occupation. Cyprus has a major strategic and geopolitical interest for the Turkish governments and they are not going to give up so easily doesn’t matter how many mass rallies will follow and what the Turkish Cypriot minority thinks or wants. To my opinion the legitimate Cypriot government, the Cypriot president Dimitris Christofias and the General Secretary of the UN should start thinking if negotiations with the Northern Cyprus puppet Dervis Eroglu are in vein and it would be much better if the negotiations should be between the Turkish government and the Cyprus Republic government without mediators and guarantee powers. After all Tayyip Erdogan pointed that it is Turkey’s decision what will happen and the Turkish Cypriots have just to obey. 

After all these - mediators and guarantee powers  - are realities of another era; nowadays Cyprus is an independent state, member of the United Nations and the European Union; a club that Tayyip Erdogan wants Turkey to join urgently and under any cost. To go one step further the best mediator in this case should be the European Union since a full member state is partly occupied from a candidate member, therefore part of the European Union is occupied from a candidate country. 

As far the Turkish minority and the settlers issue, the reality that the minority represented three decades ago the 18% of the total population and this minute due to Turkish interference 450,000 people with over 350,000 of them newcomers from Anatolia in a country that counts less than a million habitants then the responsibilities of the UN and the EU are gigantic and everyday going by they are missing a chance to correct not only an unfair invasion but the unjust to the real Turkish Cypriot minority which with the population games Turkey plays are losing what remains from their legitimate rights and dignity, if by any chance anybody in Turkey really cares about them.

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Get it off your chest
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Alan2011-02-11 15:29:37
imperialist Turkey

Anastasios2011-02-12 18:24:48
It should not come as a surprise to anybody that Turkey has been getting away with murder for a long, long time. This is the very nature of Turkey. I applaud the steadfast courage of the Cypriot people and I bow to them with utmost respect in dealing with the sad pariah that Turkey has been known to be. Find one moment in history when Turkey has acted as a nation of democratic values, a people honoring human rights. A country with a constant denial syndrome. And i have a final comment. Who in his right mind would want a country like Turkey to be a member of the most civilized, most democratic group of nations in the planet?

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