North Cyprus is Turkish???

Suleyman_I_of_the_Ottoman_EmpireHaving read several esteemed commentaries on the lack of progress of the current talks, and the unlikelihood of an acceptance of any proposals that may come from them, perhaps it is time to consider the implications of a failure of both of the bids affecting the northern half of Cyprus. By this I mean a failure not only to resolve the “Cyprus Problem,” but also a failure of Turkey’s bid to enter the EU. The former seems as if it will happen soon and the latter in several years. But what if the right-wing successes in Germany bring to a head Turkey’s feelings that actually they are not wanted in the EU? What if they walk out, perhaps so that they save face or perhaps because they feel the sheer cost of changing the country is not worth the results? Perhaps even that these results are not what the majority of the country want?

The International Crisis Group (ICG) states that this would lead to Turkey partitioning north Cyprus indefinitely. We already have partitioning but surely Turkey cannot carry on supporting this small area, unable to trade with anyone except Turkey? Is it not possible that they seek help from other quarters, from the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, for example? The OIC have given the TRNC the status of “constituent state” and have made the “Turkish Cypriot State” an observer member of the organization. This organisation represents 56 Islamic countries including many rich and powerful oil exporters and its full recognition of north Cyprus would be a turning point in the island’s history. Currently this scenario seems improbable but it would not be difficult to see a set of circumstances which might change this.

If anyone was offended by the provocative title “North Cyprus is Turkish” then perhaps they might understand why some people found the acceptance of the “Cyprus is Greek” banner equally offensive. The fact that such a banner was produced and brought to the Nicosia stadium was to be expected but allowing it to be viewed around the world was not. Neither was the mystified apathy towards calls for an official condemnation.

Fevzi Hussein of Embargoed! has informed us that it would be worth raising the issue with organisations such as Kick It Out [KIO] and Show Racism the Red Card. Both these groups are based in the UK, though Piara Power, who is “top cheese” at KIO is also a director at FARE, which is Football Against Racism in Europe. He knows both of these groups personally and will be raising the issue with them but it would help if others followed suit.

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