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The ‘go with Turkey’ north Cyprus option?

prohibition 1920's US style

prohibition 1920's US style

One option for north Cyprus, if the current Cyprus Talks fail, is for it to become part of Turkey. Without wishing to get involved in a complex discussion about how this could happen, it seems for some to be the only option that would allow it to survive. The one worry about this option is that in Turkey there seems to be a gradually movement towards a more strict Muslim society and a movement away from secularism.

What evidence is there for this? ‘What I Believe,’ a new book by Swiss scholar Tariq Ramadan gives an insight into what’s happening  in Turkey today. He talks of the return of religion via the backdoor, for example the calls to prayer are now electrified and are much louder; more women are wearing headscarves and in some places in the country it has become more difficult to buy alcohol. There is also evidence from research by Turkish political scientist Binnaz Toprak which suggests that discrimination and intolerance towards non-Muslims has been increasing in central Anatolia.

At the same time, Turkey has become more tolerant towards the Kurdish minority, for example with the opening of a 24-hour Kurdish-language TV station and the teaching of Kurdish at Mardin Artaklu University. There are also positive moves towards Armenia.

Whilst none of this shows clearly which way Turkey is moving, currently there is a trend which if applied to north Cyprus could mean that its ‘westernisation’ could be reduced if it were to become part of Turkey. Simply put, if this were to happen then many Europeans might find the north less appealing to live in.

Sources:
What I believe by Tariq Ramadan
Political Power and Social Conservatism in Turkey by Binnaz Toprak
Reading Ramadan in Istanbul by John Feffer

One option for north Cyprus if the current Cyprus Talks fail is for it to become part of Turkey. Without wishing to get involved in a complex discussion about how this could happen, it seems for some to be the only option that would allow it to survive. The one worry about this option is that there seems to be a gradually movement towards a more strict Muslim society and a movement away from secularism.

What evidence is there for this? ‘What I Believe,’ a new book by Swiss scholar Tariq Ramadan gives an insight into what’s going on in Turkey today. He talks of the return of religion via the backdoor, for example the calls to prayer are now electrified and are much louder; more women are wearing headscarves and iIn some places in the country, it has become more difficult to buy alcohol. There is also evidence from research by Turkish political scientist Binnaz Toprak which suggests that discrimination and intolerance against non-Muslims has been increasing in central Anatolia.

At the same time, Turkey has become more tolerant towards the Kurdish minority, for example with the opening of a 24-hour Kurdish-language TV station and the teaching of Kurdish at Mardin Artaklu University . There are also positive moves towards Armenia.

Whilst none of this shows clearly which way Turkey is moving, currently there is a trend which if applied to north Cyprus could mean that its ‘westernisation’ could be reduced if it were to become part of Turkey

Sources

John Feffer: Reading Ramadan in Istanbul

What I believe

Political Power and Social Conservatism in Turkey

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