A veteran academic, politician and human rights activist, Baskın Oran, is a professor of political science and international relations at Ankara University.
He has written key books on Turkey’s foreign policy and important studies on the history of ethnic and religious groups in Turkey.
On Thursday, he wrote an article about Turkey’s annexation attempts in northern Cyprus for Artı Gerçek.
A translation of the article is given below:
Congratulations on our second “undeclared annexation” after Northern Syria: The Erdoğan Republic of Northern Cyprus
The one-man regime that is currently planning an operation in Syria with the absurd claim that “we can’t wait for them to attack us”, has proceeded with an undeclared annexation of northern Syria. We do not know how long this will last, but it is a well-known situation.
However, there is another situation in Turkey which is not so well known. President Erdoğan is carrying out an “undeclared annexation” of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, through which we Turks have satisfied our need for greatness. Instead of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), the Erdoğan Republic of Northern Cyprus is being created.
His method is simple: bring into the government of the TRNC people who have no other political base than Ankara. This is a model that has been meticulously implemented in TRNC policy since October 2020:
a) Instead of Mustafa Akıncı, who seeks a bi-communal and bi-zonal federation solution, Ersin Tatar is elected president as a “man of Turkey”, on the votes of Turkish citizens [who were moved to North Cyprus] (like the Syrians who became citizens in Turkey).
b) Someone who has been loyal to Erdoğan is identified and Ersin Tatar appoints him Prime Minister. This person is then appointed president of the party. Cypriot journalist Hasan Kahvecioğlu claims that this act by Turkey is a fait accompli.
Let’s give a brief example. Faiz Sucuoğlu, whom President Erdoğan does not like, is initially prevented from becoming Prime Minister. Then, after obtaining the most votes, he was appointed, but was forced to resign three times in three months. He eventually quits and is replaced by Ünal Üstel, who will be appointed on May 12, 2022. Üstel got only 575 votes against Sucuoğlu’s 2,706 votes at the previous National Unity Party (UBP) congress, the most largest party in the country, placing it fifth. of the five candidates, and he was not even a candidate at the last congress.
Experienced Cypriot journalist Metin Münir, who took a two-year break while studying at Mülkiye – the Faculty of Politics and Civil Service – and also worked as a mujahideen, writes: “Erdogan is now doing to Turkish Cypriots what the army did to him and the religious parties. After describing what was done in Sucuoğlu, he says:
“What can be seen upon closer examination is Ankara’s desire to change the political and legal order of the TRNC to one similar to that of Turkey. It is an order in which the executive is sovereign and arbitrary, there is no judicial independence, the media is under the control of the executive and the people are under the yoke of religion. For this, UBP must be completely taken over. Then he will proceed with an undeclared annexation and the TRNC will effectively become a province of Turkey.
Let’s investigate the “Economic and Financial Cooperation Agreement” signed in Ankara on April 14, 2022, it says: “The “Cooperation Framework Document of the Republic of Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” in Annex-1 is taken as a basis in the implementation and execution of this agreement. Let’s read this Appendix 1. I will write my comments in parentheses next to the articles:
“Religious services will be performed more effectively in an institutional setting, under one roof, within the legal entity of the state.” (Turkey’s Religious Affairs Presidency will be cloned into the TRNC.)
“Besides union activities, unions will be prevented from engaging in political and ideological activities that go beyond their founding purpose. Collective agreements will automatically be rearranged after the expiry of the deadline. (Shut up employees and imprison them if they don’t.)
“The rules regarding the right to hold meetings and demonstrations will be regulated, and the interior ministries of the two states will be responsible for them.” (Those who take to the streets to protest rights restrictions will be jailed, and Turkey’s Interior Ministry will also be allowed to do so.)
“The experience and know-how of the press publicity agency will be transferred to the TRNC and the press legislation, including the media support system, will be updated and strengthened.” (No official announcement will be published in the opposition press.)
“The use of the national currency – the Turkish lira – and national payment systems will be extended”. (However, Turkey has always exported inflation to the TRNC through the use of the Turkish lira. Moreover, the opposition on the island constantly repeats: we must switch to a stable currency and get rid of the destructive effects Turkish Lira.)
“Restrictions on the acquisition of property will be reduced. The conditions for naturalization will be facilitated” (For whom? Turkish citizens? Syrians? Qataris?)
“RTNC’s electricity sector will be restructured.” (Government-owned generation and distribution will now be outsourced to private companies, leading to permanent increases in electricity prices.)
“The country’s mining potential will be assessed and integrated into the economy. (The mining companies that dug into Turkey’s production areas and drove the villagers crazy will now be digging into the island.)
“[Turkey] will contribute to the work to be carried out on the port infrastructures of the TRNC. (The remaining ports will also be privatized.)
“Mobile communication between the two countries will be maintained without interruption and wage differences will be eliminated.” (Internet will become more expensive in TRNC.)
“Concrete and effective cooperation will be ensured in the field of internal security of the TRNC. (The Turkish Embassy in Nicosia will be fully responsible for the administration of the TRNC.)
“Third country, civil society and social media disinformation efforts against Turkey will be eliminated.” (Those who write, draw, speak or write about the pressures in Turkey will be imprisoned, just like in Turkey.)
Could this cloning attempt succeed on the island? Münir writes: “The face of the Turkish Cypriot people, no matter which party they vote for, is turned towards the West. Over 110,000 [Turkish Cypriots] have a European identity, close to the whole of the adult population.
Let me put it more bluntly:
1) I only trust President Erdoğan to bring the Turkish Republic back to normal, because he has taken excesses to extremes that have become an immunization for our country. Political Islam, once fondly remembered by some, is now gone forever.
2) I trust the British influence, which began in 1878, especially when the Diyanet [directorate of religious affairs] is evidenced, that efforts to transform the TRNC into the KKEC will fail. Because imperialism has two faces: a) It squeezes an orange; b) It brings human rights. (For example, England completely abolished the tradition of suttee, i.e. the burning of the wife with the dead husband in India.)