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Time for Resolution and Solidarity

Time for Resolution and Solidarity

We are at the foothold of a time where resolute decisions must be made to be implemented in solidarity. It is imperative that we realize the sensitivity of the situation, evaluate new solutions and produce policy frameworks accordingly.

Unfortunately, the office of the Presidency is at peril. What we need at the helm is someone who is fully aware of the delicacy of the current situation, who can exert confidence in people, and someone who, rather than trying to appease the Greeks, believes in the rights and interests of their own people to guarantee the safety of their future. The government in power, unaware of its flexibility, is swimming in a sea of incompetency.

That being said, the people of Turkish Cyprus are wasting time in small details instead of debating on more important subjects such as early elections and government alternatives. We’ve recently witnessed, on the 35th anniversary of TRNC, a pointless public debate about why we sought independence in the first place. There were talks about the evening of November 14, 1983 when deputies were summoned to the Presidential Palace for a dinner where intentions were declared and put to vote, who voted for which side, how the TRNC was established by a majority, and who, in the face of this new era, felt disillusioned. Some people remembered how, at the time, it was thought that the sole reason of existence for TRNC was that Rauf Denktas could serve another term after he reached the two-term limit. Others reminisced about how Turgut Ozal was lucky to have TRNC’s Declaration of Independence fall into his lap.

What can be gained from anti-Denktas dichotomy, years after his death? Who cares who were upset that evening 35 years ago? It would be one thing if those who were against TRNC then are politicians today. But even then, there is no need for it to be the main topic in Cyprus today.

The point is, TRNC is real and it has been a reality for the last 35 years. IT doesn’t matter who is for or against it, and it doesn’t even matter if people travel to the Greek side on TRNC’s anniversary. In case there is a permanent solution for Cyprus in the future, TRNC will be a player in that solution and it will continue to play part in the island’s future. No matter how hard the Greeks (and the Turks who side with the Greek side) try, they will not be ale to bring down TRNC.

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Happy 35th Anniversary Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. I would like to extend out thanks and appreciations for Dr. Fazil Kucuk, Rauf R. Denktas, Burhan Nalbantoglu, Kemal Tanrisevdi, Danis Karabelen, Ismail Tansu, and of course, Mehmet Ertugruloglu, as well as all the martyrs and veterans who have sacrificed so much for the cause.

Surely there are conjectural problems within TRNC such as cost of living, administrative failures, inefficacies, messed-up priorities, waste of resources, and similar shortcomings. Turkish Cypriots face a barrel of problems everyday: from juggernauts at universities, and prostitution to unplowed fields, failing infrastructures, and produce prices. Despite some pundits’ assertion that most of TRNC’s economic problems would be solved if they start using Euro rather than the Lira, it has been made abundantly clear that the only way to achieve economic and fiscal success is by undergoing a radical structural change, a financial transformation and becoming a self-sufficient economy.

The Republic has already come a long way from the days of per capita income of $150 to today. There are problems, sure, but tomorrow will be better than today -just as today is better than yesterday.

The Cyprus problem is at a critical joint. There are secret negotiations taking place behind closed doors. AKEL (Progressive Party of Working People) Chairman Andros Kiprianu will be visiting Ankara this week. His party, despite seemingly supporting the Nikos Anastasiades government, is actually the main opposition party. He will hold talks with politicians, and later on he will be speaking at a think-tank. A peculiar incident! In other news, Exxon Mobil is getting ready to stat drilling in the 10th parcel between Cyprus and Egypt. Ankara is upset at this. Turkey has already warned Exxon Mobil about the possible consequences from such an action, and have issued a warning to Greek Cypriots advising them against any unilateral action in the region. Turkey’s declaration that they will start exploration within TRNC’s continental shelf is, therefore, very important. Though we can’t be sure how serious Turkey is when they talk about sanctions against international private companies taking place in the Greek scheme, but if they act on it, it will surely be a more effective step than involving the military.

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It’s such a nice coincidence(!) that at the same time we learn that the Exxon-Mobil effort will take 3 months, we also hear about UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres speaking about a new 3-month process that wil involve the Guterres framework from Crans Montana resolutions.

We must not be wasting any time in pointless arguments about why TRNC was established in the first place. There are important things happening. And whatever is happening, it is happening behind closed doors, by hiding what’s going on from Turkish public, giving them nothing but small breadcrumbs about equal rights and security. But the fact is the Greek side have not moved an inch from their position. The Greeks are for no army, no guarantees and no sharing of power.

TRNC Parliament, should, perhaps, put the Cyprus problem on their agenda and do it soon, and debate President Mustafa Akinci’s authority as a negotiator.

We are in urgent need of a resolution and solidarity. We must stop wasting time on trifle issues, and focus on the big picture.


About The Author

Yusuf Kanli

Born in Cyprus in 1959, Yusuf Kanlı is a graduate of the English Language and Literature Department of the Faculty of Letters of the Ankara University. He started journalism with the Turkish Daily News in 1978. Until he briefly left the paper in 1985 (for military service in Northern Cyprus) he served as diplomatic correspondent, assistant foreign news editor and assistant editor. During this period he was as well one of the two co-authors of an annual reference book on Turkey, “Turkey Almanac”. After completing his military service he returned the Daily News as assistant editor. In 1989 he became executive editor and also started writing daily opinion articles. He continued to be one of the co-authors of the “Turkey Almanac” annual reference book. In February 1993, over differences with the publisher on editorial policy, he quit the paper and joined the Anatolia News Agency (AA) as deputy foreign news chief. He stayed with the Anatolia News Agency until September 1995. In this period, he covered the Armenia-Azerbaijan war over Nogorno-Karabagh, covered developments in the post-independence Central Asian republics. Because of his refusal as the duty editor to run a manipulated news story demanded by the then lady prime minister of the country, he was fired from the AA, a development that Kanlı considers as his “medal of honor” in the profession. On his return to the Daily News for a third time in October 1995, he first became an editor at large but soon assumed the responsibility of electronic publishing and established Turkey’s first daily updated English language news web site, the TDN Online on May 19, 1996 (now In January 1997, he became executive editor of the Daily News for a second time and stayed in that post until he was appointed as editor-in-chief in June 2004. In February 2007, he quit all executive duties and became a contract columnist of the newspaper. He has been also writing weekly articles in Turkish for a variety of newspapers and news portals in Northern Cyprus. He is a former chairperson and the honorary chairperson of Diplomacy Correspondents Association (DMD) of Turkey, an active member of Association of Foreign Policy Council, a member of the executive board and vice chairperson of the Association of Journalists and coordinator of the Press for Freedom project, which has been monitoring and reporting on press and freedom of expression issues in Turkey since 2013. He has been a member of several associations and foundations, mostly established by Turkish Cypriots living in Turkey or abroad. He is married to Dr. Aydan Kanlı and has one daughter, Cansu. He has Turkish, Turkish Cypriot and Cypriot triple nationality.

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