TRNC History

History of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
In 1983 the Turkish controlled northern part of the island, was declared as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. However the UN Security Council announced in its resolution 541 the proclamation to be a violation of international law. Until now, Turkey is the only state that recognizes the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. In 2003, the border between the two parts of the country became for the first time transparent, as the opening of border crossings was declared on the 23rd April 2003 and for both ethnic groups it was possible to visits in the other part of the island. However, in 2004 the Annan reunification plan failed in a referendum through the rejection by the Greek part of Cyprus. Had the plan found acceptance in the southern part, the island would today be officially called the United Cyprus Republic of Cyprus. The Turkish-speaking counterpart in the northern part, now called the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, would be given the name of Turkish Cypriot State. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus would be dissolved. The current flags of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the flag of the southern part Cyprus representing by international law (the flag of the Republic was founded in 1960) the whole of the island, would have become history.

Due to the rejection of the Annan plan in the southern part, (76% of Greek Cypriots voted against the plan), Cyprus joint the EU on the 1st May 2004 as a divided country. 65% of the inhabitants of the northern part voted for the merger of the island. The Turkish Republic of Cyprus remains to this day an internationally unrecognized Republic and isolated, leading to serious political and economic consequences in the north.

On the 9 January 2007 in Nicosia, the Turkish Cypriots tore down the so called Lokmaci barricade, which since 1967 is the symbol of separation, as a “gesture of goodwill”. On the 8th of March 2007, Greek Cypriots demolished the barricade on the Greek side. During a meeting between the leaders of the Greek-speaking and Turkish-speaking ethnic groups, Dimitris Christofias and Mehmet Ali Talat on the 21st March 2008, both sides agreed on the immediate commencement of negotiations on the unification of the two parts of the Mediterranean island. Since the 23. April 2003 it is possible to cross, over several crossing points on the island, from one side to the other.

However, there is room for reconciliation in Cyprus. The situation on the island has changed in the past nine years. The economy of Republic of Cyprus has crippled, while to North Cyprus has improved greatly – the facts speak for themselves , the GDP per capita in TRNC tripled, currency stabilized and unemployment declined.

The tourism sector is visibly getting stronger – it has doubled in size. Furthermore, there is a rapidly expanding higher education system on the north part of the island, which brought up significant number of new Universities, who host more than 30,000 from all over the word.

Another major project that is expected to improve life in the Turkish-controlled part is the ongoing construction of water pipelines through the Mediterranean Sea. The project will begin to send water from Turkey’s south to North Cyprus, where a new storage and distribution net will end the fresh water shortage. Solving the historical water problem will not only breathe new life into agriculture, but is also expected to improve other areas of the economy.

TRNC changes end their impact on peace between South and North
It is obvious that today integration makes much more economic sense than it did in 2004, when the wealth disparity between TRNC and Republic of Cyprus was more than double what it is now. Reunification under a federal structure is surely easier to carry out when there is a thinner economic gap between the two polities and consequently less need for wealth-sharing in the short run. Additionally, reunification could come with economic benefits of its own.

Above and beyond, many events or organizations have been established and organized last years, such as leading ‘Peace it together’, which is a network of Civil Society Partners and which aim is to support the efforts of Cypriot civil society in peace building and reconciliation.