Northern Cyprus

Turning a little less to Turkey

Published on 29 July 2013 at 15:21

A “new political scene” emerged from the polls in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on July 28, comments the leading Cypriot daily O Phileleftheros. The northern part of the island, occupied by Turkey since 1974 and officially recognised as Turkish only by Ankara itself and Azerbaijan, has just held early parliamentary elections. The Republican Turkish Party (social democrats) won with 38.4 per cent of the vote, ahead of the conservative National Unity Party (27.3 per cent), the incumbents previously backed by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The question of the island’s reunification was not a campaign issue, reported Politis in the run-up to the election. Amid the current context of ongoing crisis, the main issue was the economic plan for the 2013–2015 period that is to be signed with the Turkish government.

The 65,000 Turkish Cypriots and 107,803 mainland Turkish settlers on the island who are eligible to vote went to the polls hoping the ongoing economic crisis in the EU would bring the two groups governing the island to the negotiating table, explains Adevărul.

In a long feature article, the Romanian daily notes: “Cypriots believe that, apart from the commercial beauty [of its tourist sites], the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, as its inhabitants call it, is non-existent for the international community.” The author of the article adds that the resident shopkeepers’ smiles are “guaranteed only if you wave European currency at them”, especially in the wake of the Turkish lira’s steady decline against the euro.

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