The History of Northern Cyprus
History has been distorted and maliciously engineered to demonise Turkish Cypriots. The common falsehood is that North Cyprus is to blame for the island’s split in 1974. The truth is that it happened long before…
The island of Cyprus is leased to Britain as part of its Empire.
The first elections take place. In a Council of 18 members, the Turkish Cypriots are only allocated three seats.
Oktovriana. Greek Cypriots tear down British flags and the Government House in the name of union with Greece - ‘Enosis’ - a proposal the Turkish Cypriots deeply fear.
A Consultative Assembly forms. Turkish Cypriots are allocated just seven seats out of 18. The Greek Cypriots blocks any law not advancing ‘Enosis’.
Makarios III becomes Archbishop of Cyprus, pledging to not rest until union with “Mother Greece” was achieved.
EOKA, a Greek Cypriot terrorist group forms. They carry out assassinations, bombings, and abductions of British officials and innocent Turkish and Greek Cypriots. Attempts at peace fail due to Greek Cypriot dissatisfaction that ‘Enosis’ was not being offered.
‘Enosis’ terrorists are exiled allowing for a solution - an independent, united Cyprus was created on 16 August 1960 with a new constitution.
The constitution states that the President must be Greek Cypriot, whilst the Vice President, Turkish Cypriot. A legislature would form - with more than double Greek Cypriot representation to Turkish Cypriots. Greece and Türkiye are allowed limited numbers of troops on the island - though Greece stations more.
Makarios III is elected President and attempts full integration of the communities against Turkish Cypriot wishes.
The Akritas Plan is devised by EOKA as a means to ethnically cleanse the island of Turkish Cypriots and achieve ‘Enosis’.
Makarios III makes 13 sweeping changes to the constitution designed to undermine and weaken Turkish Cypriots and give Greek Cypriots total power.
A Greek Cypriot terrorist campaign begins. 25,000 Turkish Cypriots are driven from their homes and forced into tiny enclaves. Their homes and mosques are destroyed. Twice as many Turkish Cypriots than Greek Cypriots are murdered.
Makarios III declares “either the whole of Cyprus will be united with Greece or it will be a holocaust… we shall reach the goal of Enosis, alive or dead.”
Türkiye abides by international advice and abstains from direct involvement. Yet, Greece invades Cyprus sending 20,000 more armed troops. Turkish Cypriots are outnumbered 30,000 to 5,000.
Greece is overthrown by a military coup, empowering EOKA to further attack Turkish Cypriot neighbourhoods.
Fearing a genocide, Türkiye issues an ultimatum that EOKA ends its terrorist activies and Greece removed illegal troops from the island of Cyprus.
‘Enosis’ fades in support. EOKA B, a successor to EOKA, forms to revive it with an additional aim to overthrow Makarios III.
A coup in Cyprus is ordered by Greece. EOKA terrorists are appointed to key positions of power. Turkish Cypriots are urged not to leave their homes as over 200 of them are slaughtered, including babies.
In a speech, even Makarios III admits “Greece has invaded Cyprus.”
Türkiye demands EOKA terrorists and the Greek military withdraw for both communities’ safety. This plea is ignored.
Türkiye has no choice but to use its UN-granted role as a guarantor power to legally intervene and stop the bloodshed. This saved the Turkish Cypriot people from genocide and 10,000 Greek Cypriot prisoners imprisoned as ‘enemies of the state’.
The two sides sign a Population Exchange Agreement, affirming that North Cyprus would be Turkish and South Cyprus Greek.
The British-USA-Canadian ABC Plan establishes the blueprint for a ‘bi-zonal, bi-communal’ federal model. This is formally adopted by the UN, but is rejected by Greek Cypriots.
Facing a Greek Cypriot administration that is unwilling to concede, the TRNC is created on 15th November. Its declaration of independence is underlined by a desire to live harmoniously with its Greek Cypriot neighbours.
The UN drafts a settlement agreement. The North “fully accepts”, even offering sizable concessions. The South refuses to sign.
As the EU announces Cyprus would be part of its enlargement plan, the European Court of Justice imposes restrictions on the export of goods from the TRNC into the bloc.
The Annan Plan to resolve the Cyprus issue is voted on by both the North and South in separate referenda.
The TRNC accepts it overwhelmingly. The South rejects it emphatically preferring the status quo where the Greek Cypriot administration enjoys recognition and trade with the world.
Were it accepted, the island would have reunited with a reformed constitution engineered to be fair to both sides.
UN and UK representatives respond saying “we must now act to end the isolation of northern Cyprus”... the TRNC “should not be penalised because the Greek Cypriots rejected the UN settlement plans."
Cyprus as a whole enters the EU - the TRNC remains under embargo.
The whole island is admitted to the Eurozone. The Euro is imposed as the official currency of the North.
Gas is discovered in waters surrounding the island.
Both sides agree that the status quo is unacceptable and that a settlement is mutually beneficial. Both agree a reunified, federal solution is optimal.
In Crans-Montana, power-sharing talks collapse owing to Greek Cypriot resistance. The TRNC is forced to pursue a two-state settlement.
Türkiye presents a UN proposal calling for joint use of Cypriot gas resources and collaboration in the search for gas off the island. The South rejects the proposal.
President Ersin Tatar is elected on a clear platform in favour of a cooperative relationship between two states on the island of Cyprus.
Almost half a century on, it is time for the global community, including the UK government, to recognise the TRNC for what it is: a sovereign, independent, democratic nation state.