Opinion | Where now for the TRNC in 2012?

I suppose that this is the year that many North Cyprus based ex-pats start believing that the TRNC and Turkey will align themselves more closely. There is a high likelihood that the current round of Cyprus Talks will fizzle out with the South taking on the EU Presidency and this may leave Turkey looking for a grand gesture which would counteract the feeling that they have failed to secure the position of the TRNC.

The South are aligning themselves with Israel and look to be making themselves rich with money from gas exploration, even insulting Turkey by pretending to give some of the money to the North. Just like they pretended to pay Turkish Cypriots for land they have taken from them in the South. On top of this the TC votes which were wasted in the 2004 EU referendum have helped secure the South’s position in Europe while empty promises at the time have left the North embargoed.

The TRNC seems unable to function without massive help from Turkey so it seems only natural to believe there is a chance that Turkey will take the next step and take formal control of the North. To do so would mean abandoning all hope of entering the beleaguered EU but why should that be a problem? The only problem with the TRNC being part of Turkey is that it would mean accepting that some changes may not be welcomed by some ex-pats, nor perhaps by many of the TCs living here.

Alcohol and petrol prices, if they were to be the same as in Turkey, would be virtually doubled. Freedom of speech might be curtailed and the 90-day visa for temporary residents could be a thing of the past. But would the new government be more accountable and deal with the many issues ex-pats have been facing? Would excessive interest rates, for example, be removed retrospectively, in line with Muslim values? Would a process of Turkification mean that UK ex-pats would lose their imagined status as previous colonisers of Cyprus? Too many uncertainties might make the North less attractive to citizens of the EU but then maybe that’s the just price they will have to pay for their perceived betrayal of the TRNC after the farcical 2004 referendum?

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