Foreign relations of Northern Cyprus: Wikis

  
  
  

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Northern Cyprus

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Politics and government of
Northern Cyprus



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The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, due to its unrecognized status internationally, is dependent upon Turkey to facilitate its contacts with the international community. Northern Cyprus is a self-proclaimed entity, its relations with the rest of the world are further complicated by a series of United Nations resolutions which have declared it legally invalid and consider the territory de jure part of the Republic of Cyprus. A UN Referendum on settling the Cyprus dispute was rejected by the Greek Cypriots and accepted by the Turkish Cypriots in 2004. Since then, the European Union has declared its intentions to assist in reducing the economic isolation of Northern Cyprus and began giving aid to the country.

Contents

Diplomatic representations

Büyükelçilik Amblemi

At the present time, only Turkey maintains a formal embassy in the TRNC, while the TRNC has an embassy and consulates in Turkey. In various other countries, the TRNC has unofficial representative offices which serve as de facto consulates. Turkey represents the TRNC's interests in countries without such offices. In Northern Nicosia (the Turkish Cypriot administered northern half), both the British High Commissioner to Cyprus and the United States Ambassador to Cyprus have their formal residences, though since these residences had been in use since before 1963, it is not indicative of formal recognition of the TRNC by the United Kingdom or United States.

London office of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Bedford Square.

Azerbaijan and Gambia have recently announced their willingness to eventually formally recognize the TRNC. They so far have not followed through, but their informal contacts have increased. Also, diplomats from other countries have recently officially visited the TRNC Embassy in Ankara to hold meetings with the TRNC Ambassador. The latest nation to state their intention to (positively) change its policy towards TRNC is Paraguay.

The Autonomous Republic of Nakhichevan (part of the Republic of Azerbaijan) had issued a resolution in the mid-1990s recognizing TRNC’s independence, but Azerbaijan itself has yet refrained to officially support this decision due to the Nagorno-Karabakh issue. Azerbaijan is sympathetic to the TRNC, but the Republic of Cyprus would recognize the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic if Azerbaijan did officially recognize TRNC.[1]

Honorary Representatives are also appointed by the TRNC in various other cities to represent the TRNC and to assist the primary TRNC Representative Offices.

Russia's ambassador to Turkey said Russia could recognize Northern Cyprus if Turkey recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia.[2]

Foreign Representations

United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany and Australia have representation offices in Northern Nicosia. As well, Northern Cyprus has a number of representations in other countries with various status.

Foreign Minister

Reform Party (Minority partner in the TRNC Government) Leader Turgay Avcı serves as the Foreign Minister (as well as Deputy Prime minister). He replaced Serdar Denktaş (son of the former TRNC President Rauf Denktaş) on 27 September 2006.

Disputes

Republic of Cyprus

The internationally recognized Cyprus Government refuses to give any official status to the government of the TRNC, and actively dissuades any other country from doing so. This policy is in line with the United Nations Security Council resolutions and the policy of the entire international community which refuses to recognise the TRNC. The Cyprus Government regards the TRNC in such terms as: "illegitimate entity", "Turkish military occupied territory" and "a puppet state of Turkey". Phraseology such as "pseudo" or "so-called" are used by the Cyprus Government to describe government officials and institutions in the TRNC.

The TRNC President is referred to simply as the "Turkish Cypriot Leader" by the Cyprus Government, the EU and the United Nations. (It is however interesting to note that under the 1960 Constitution of Cyprus, the Leader of the Turkish Cypriots is regarded as the Vice-President of the Republic of Cyprus with wide veto powers, but this status has not been acknowledged by the Cypriot government since December 1963. Due to this stance, the TRNC refuses any official recognition of the Cyprus Government, calling it the "Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus", and referring to its President as the "Greek Cypriot Leader". Turkey backs this position).

After Cyprus became a member of European Union, only the south part of island participated in the Customs Union of EU. The North part of island is excluded from the Customs Union of EU. Though that, Green line regulations eased to trade between North Cyprus and EU.

Oil exploration in East Mediterranean became a problem between the administrations of the north side and south side in the Cyprus island since 2000. The EU member Greece supports the south part whereas EU-candidate Turkey supports the north side.

North Cyprus

Negotiations between both Cypriot communities have been complicated by the accession of the Republic of Cyprus to the European Union in 2004. The TRNC views the EU accession as illegal as they had not been consulted (as the 1960 constitution stipulates), and that the Cyprus Government does not represent the Turkish Cypriot populace. Legally, the EU regulations cover the whole island, but in practice, only the southern portion of the island enjoys the benefits of EU membership.

The Cyprus Government have used their EU position to veto[citation needed] promised aid packages from the EU to the TRNC, and are using their membership to add pressure on Turkey to end their support for the TRNC. This is being viewed in an increasingly negative way by countries such as Britain and the United States, though Turkey's non-recognition of the Republic of Cyprus despite its signing of the customs union between itself and the EU is an additional bone of contention.

Legally, the EU continues to consider Northern Cyprus as EU territory under foreign military occupation and thus indefinitely exempt from EU legislation until a settlement has been reached. The number of seats assigned to Cyprus in the European Parliament (6 seats) is based on the population of the entire island, despite the fact that the residents of Northern Cyprus currently cannot participate in the election process.[citation needed] Unlike the 1960 constitution where Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots were voting separately their members in the Cypriot Parliament, until the solution of the Cyprus Problem, because of the current status quo, the Turkish Cypriot voters can vote only together with Greek Cypriots for Cypriot Members of the European Parliament. In the last European Parliament elections, 97 Turkish Cypriots voted. There is no support as yet for admitting two Cypriot member states into the EU.

United Nations

In 1983, the United Nations issued two Security Council resolutions calling the TRNC's UDI illegitimate and calling upon the other UN member nations not to recognize it. The policy of the UN is to reunify both communities under a federal structure. The TRNC calls the UN action hypocritical, given their recognition of Bangladesh in 1972 after it broke off from Pakistan. The United Nations still maintains a United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) along the Green Line since 1963. The existence of UNFICYP in Cyprus is due to the consent of only the Greek Cypriot administration in the Cyprus island. Turkey and Turkish Cypriot side reject the ignorance of permission of Turkish Cypriot side, and state that the permission and consent of Turkish Cyprus must be taken as well in existence of UNFICYP .[3]

Turkey

In 2005, moves were made by TRNC to regulate Turkish migrants. This was in reaction to employment shortages and an increase in crime. This is the first major area of disagreement between TRNC and Turkey, which wants to preserve the Turkish majority demographic status quo through continued ethnic Turkish migration.

In late 2006, the Turkish military objected to President Talat's decision to remove a footbridge located on the Turkish side of the Ledra Street Barricade. President Talat made it clear that the decision to demolish the footbridge was the sole prerogative of the TRNC Government.

Universal Postal Union

The Universal Postal Union does not recognize TRNC as a separate entity and, as such, all mail addressed to the TRNC will be returned to the sender as 'undeliverable', TRNC-bound mail has to be routed through Turkey first (mail must be addressed to Mersin 10, TURKEY). However, the TRNC postage stamps — unlike postage stamps from Rhodesia between 1965–80 — are recognized.[citation needed]

Outlook

Despite the TRNC's lack of international diplomatic recognition, sympathy for the Turkish Cypriot people has increased since their support for reunification in the failed 2004 referendum on the Annan Plan. Some observers believe that with the continued chipping away of the embargo, the TRNC could end up with a political status similar to that of the Republic of China (which has diplomatic relations with only 23 states, but otherwise no barriers to trade, tourism, and sport and de facto relations with most countries in the world in the form of "economic and cultural" offices). Other observers doubt that this will ever be possible given the complicated international law and human rights issues involved. In any case under international law all states are obliged to abide with the UN Security Council resolutions (550, 541), though a loophole in those resolutions (phrased calls upon rather than directs nations not to recognize TRNC) means that the final decision on recognition rests with individual states.[citation needed]

The TRNC fully supports Turkey's bid to join the European Union. As part of this bid, Turkey recently signed a protocol extending its customs union to the new EU members, including the Republic of Cyprus, which Turkey does not recognise. Turkey made sure this was not tantamount to recognition with the inclusion of a declaration, stipulating their continued policy of non-recognition of what they describe as the "Greek Cypriot administration of Southern Cyprus" until a settlement is reached. This declaration is not accepted by the EU which did not accept this statement as forming part of the acquit and expects Turkey to fully abide to its obligations against the Republic of Cyprus. The TRNC views any move by the EU to force Turkish recognition of the Republic of Cyprus as an effort to cut them off from their base of support. Turkey has pledged not to abandon the TRNC, but the upcoming negotiations with the EU will put this pledge sorely to the test.

On February 18, 2008, the President of the TRNC congratulated the people of Kosovo on their new-found independence, in direct opposition to the Republic of Cyprus, which rejects Kosovo's UDI,[4] but not Turkey, which was the fifth country to recognise Kosovo.[5] However, presidential spokesman Hasan Ercakica stated that the TRNC was not preparing to officially recognize Kosovo.[6].
On 2 September 2008, the Russian Ambassador to Turkey announced that if Turkey recognized the Georgian breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Russia would recognize TRNC as an independent country.[7]

International organizational membership

The TRNC is an observer member of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference under the name Turkish Cypriot State.

See also

References

  1. ^ REGNUM news agency press release
  2. ^ "Ambassador: 'Russia shall recognise the TRNC right after Turkey recognizes South Ossetia '". Famagust Gazette. 2008-009-02. http://www.famagusta-gazette.com/default.asp?sourceid=&smenu=69&twindow=Default&mad=No&sdetail=5041&wpage=1&skeyword=&sidate=&ccat=&ccatm=&restate=&restatus=&reoption=&retype=&repmin=&repmax=&rebed=&rebath=&subname=&pform=&sc=2350&hn=famagusta-gazette&he=.com. Retrieved 2008-09-02. 
  3. ^ Baki Ilkin (Ambassador of Turkey to UNSC): "UNFICYP must operate in the Cyprus island with the permission and consent of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot sides. However, since 1964, only the administration in the Greek side of Cyprus is regarded as the government and taken its conforming. Turkish Cyprus registers its objection to this attitude of United Nations each time."
  4. ^ "Kosovo recognized by Northern Cyprus: "No people can be forced to live under the rule of another"". Tiraspol Times. 2008-02-18. http://www.tiraspoltimes.com/news/kosovo_recognized_by_northern_cyprus_no_people_can_be_forced_to_live_under_the_rule_of_another.html. Retrieved 2008-02-20. 
  5. ^ "Statement of H.E. Mr. Ali Babacan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey, Regarding the Recognition of Kosovo by Turkey". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey. 2008-02-18. http://www.mfa.gov.tr/statement-of-h_e_-mr_-ali-babacan_-minister-of-foreign-affairs-of-the-republic--of-turkey_-regarding-the-recognition-of-kosovo.en.mfa. Retrieved 2008-05-08. 
  6. ^ "Ercakica on the recognition of Kosovos independence". Anatolia News Agency. 2008-02-19. http://www.hri.org/news/cyprus/tcpr/2008/08-02-20.tcpr.html#01. Retrieved 2008-02-21. 
  7. ^ "Ambassador:Russia shall recognise the TRNC right after Turkey recognizes South Ossetia". Famagusta Gazette. 2008-09-02. http://www.famagusta-gazette.com/print_this_story.asp?smenu=69&sdetail=5041. 

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