The land of great-hearted people
Society28 November 2018, 17:44 1105
As you get off the plane a man is surrounded by a native aura. Smiling positive faces, as if you were previously familiar with them. The island that wholly covered by the sea, neat houses and roads are a pure delight. Turkish Cypriots speak in Ottoman Turkish language, while they have their own sweet-sounding dialects. In a word, this controversial island located in the Mediterranean Sea is perfect for relaxation. Tourism and education fields are major revenues of Northern Cyprus. Hotels built along the Mediterranean Sea enlarge opportunities for attracting tourists. The number of tourists soars year by year. Thus, the number of tourists coming to the island has exceeded a million in 2018. We have ourselves witnessed the tourist flow in Lefkosha and Gazimagusa cities. Around 60% of tourists come from Turkey and 34% from European countries (England, Germany and Poland, etc.).
Currently, capacity of hotels in North Cyprus is about 25 thousands people, but this figure will reach 40,000 in the near future. The local government plans to achieve 2 million tourist target in 2021. The principal drawback in the development of tourism is the absence of direct flights to Cyprus except for Turkey. As the dispute with Greek side still remains unresolved, so recognition of Northern Cyprus by the international community could not have been accomplished yet.
Fruitless negotiations for 50 years
Cyprus have remained a controversial and conflicting region since its liberation from the English colony in 1960. The common state, founded by the Greeks and Turkish Cypriots living on the island survived for three years.Thus, after a while the Greek side tried to dominate through suppressing the Turkish Cypriots. As a result, the deprived Cypriots started struggling to protect themselves, their possessions on the island. The processes resulted in bloody events. Turkey salvaged Turkish Cypriots and became their protector.
Then, the UN peacekeepers were involved in the region. In 1968, peace talks between the Greek and Turkish communities of the island began under the mediation of the United Nations. Notwithsatnding that over 50 years have elapsed since then, but no results can be achieved via negotiations. Officials from the Turkish part of the island say that over lack of constructiveness of the Greek side the negotiations are fruitless.
During the meeting with foreign journalists visiting the island, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Kudret Ozersay spoke about the details of negotiations process as an official represented in the delegation carrying out negotiations with the Greek side. He noted that from the very beginning the negotiations have been conducted on the model of the federative state to be established under the equal rights of Greek and Turkish sides. As well as, the solution to be found must be appropriate both to the island's two communities and international forces in the region. Nevertheless, a suitible solution option could not have been achieved yet. For the last 50 years, as a frozen conflict the Cyprus issue has been waiting for its solution. Since 1963, the world community has recognized the Greek Cypriot government as a representative of the island.
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was founded by the Turkish side of the island in 1983 and no foreign country has recognized it except for Turkey, that is the biggest drawback for the Turkish side.
The minister said from the very first day they had held sincere talks on the model of representing two nations in a federal state. Even in 2004, a referendum was held in both sides on a settlement plan prepared under the mediation of the UN representative . While the Turkish community of the island said "yes" to this plan, the Greek community opposed the plan and said "no". In a report made after the referendum, the UN representative noted that the Greek side was not ready to divide powers of the island administration.
Gas fields causing tensionK. Ozersay says that whatever is on the island, including the hydrocarbon reserves, should be considered as a joint resources of Greek and Turkish sides and should be used together.Regretfully, the Greek side does not want to admit this fact. For example, they are attempting to work with other countries on the gas reserves found on the island, and keep the Turkish side away from this. However, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus considers that it is a very unfair position which will aggravate the situation on the island.
As mentioned above, the issue, which is currently on the agenda of Cyprus and causes tension, is related to gas reserves discovered on the island. The Greek side wants to work on its own with Israel, Egypt and other countries. However, speaking on behalf of the Turkish side and its defender, Turkey stated that they would not not allow it to happen. K.Ozersay says this issue is a good example of the sharing of powers. But the Greek side does not seem ready for it. "The Greeks say we have found, produced gas and today sell independentlyş Moreover, we may talk with you only if there is a solution to the problem," he said.
While talking to journalists President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Mustafa Akinci stressed that they are not in favor of the fruitless negotiations extending to eternity. The Turkish side is seriously concerned about keeping the Turkish side out of gas negotiations by the Greeks: "The UN report also notes that minority, majority concepts are unacceptable. Each federal subject must have equal rights. We want equal rights, "the president pointed out. Reaching an agreement on the future of the island would be very crucial for the security of both communities, the European Union, Turkey and the region as a whole." he added.
According to M. Akıncı, adoption of a Greek Cypriot as a state representing the whole island to the EU was a big mistake. As a continuation of this, they want to work by their own on the island's gas fields.
Fragile borders dividing the island
There is a fragile border between the Greek and Turkish parts of the island. Citizens of the Greek side can freely enter to the Turkish side and vice versa. But foreign citizens from the third countries who visit Turkish side of the island are considered to have come from the "occupied lands" by Greeks and are not allowed to enter to Southern Cyprus.
Turkish Cypriots eagerly learn their history and never forget about the tragic events in the 1960s. For example, Barbarian Museum was established in the center of Lefkosha, the capital city. The museum was created in a small house, where all members of the family who are actively participated in struggle for liberation of Cyprus were burned. The museum rooms feature photos displaying horror at that time. Mass graves in Gazimagusa, that was a scene of great heroism and atrocities during the liberation struggle, are also preserved.
Despite all the difficulties, Northern Cyprus, the Turkish land celebrates the 35th anniversary of its independence. On this occasion a solemn military parade was held in Lefkosha on November 15. The show by "Turkish Hawks" was welcomed with special enthusiasm. In spite of difficulties Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus created as a result of the struggle and heroism steps confidently. Day by day it grows, develops, and waits for the day when the truth to be recognized by all.
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