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Cyprus The Quest for Recognition
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
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    Most Turkish Cypriot foreign policy efforts were focused on achieving recognition of the "TRNC" and explaining the Turkish Cypriot position on the settlement process. The "TRNC" had one Embassy, in Ankara, two consulates, in Istanbul and Mersin, and five representation missions, in London, Washington, New York, Brussels, and Islamabad. These missions did not have diplomatic status. In 1990 there were reports that additional missions might be opened in Abu Dhabi, Canada, Australia, Italy, and Germany.

    The Islamic nations were the key target of Turkish Cypriot recognition efforts. In wooing Islamic support, Turkish Cypriot officials emphasized the religious aspect of the Cyprus conflict and stressed the importance of Muslim solidarity. Meetings of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), in which Turkey played an increasingly active role in the 1980s, were an important focus for the "TRNC." The OIC passed several resolutions urging economic support and cultural contact with the Turkish Cypriots, but stopped short of embracing the recognition issue. Many Arab Islamic countries had ambivalent relations with Turkey, because of the legacy of the Ottoman Empire, and also because they wished to maintain good relations with the Republic of Cyprus, which served as a financial center and entrepĂ´t for Middle Eastern business activity. These reservations inhibited the "TRNC" in seeking to achieve its goals in the Islamic world. Among these countries, Pakistan, Jordan, and Bangladesh were considered the strongest supporters of the Turkish Cypriot cause.

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    The literature on Cyprus in the decade of the 1980s concentrated heavily on the intercommunal talks and UN efforts to achieve a settlement to the island's political dispute. There was little scholarly or journalistic coverage of the politics of the two communities, separate from the politics of the settlement question. Nonetheless, elections in the Republic of Cyprus and in the "TRNC" provided opportunities to examine more closely the players and the political dynamics in each community. One particularly useful journalistic account was the 1990 New Yorker article by Mary Ann Weaver, reviewing the evolution of views in both communities and describing vividly the political and diplomatic atmosphere on the island. Also of note is Robert McDonald's International Institute for Strategic Studies monograph The Problem of Cyprus published in 1989. Other major sources of information on settlement positions were official newsletters and fact sheets. The Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus in Washington published a monthly bulletin that carefully tracked government positions and occasionally featured information on domestic politics. The Washington office of the "TRNC" representative also distributed occasional fact sheets and position papers. Hearings and reports of the United States Congress were informative on the debate between Congress and the Executive over United States policy on Cyprus, and on United States perceptions of the status of settlement efforts. Such documents can be purchased from the United States Government Printing Office.

    Several books, including edited volumes of articles on Cyprus, were published in the 1980s, providing different perspectives on the situation and on prospects for a settlement. Cyprus in Transition, 1960-1985 was edited by John T.A. Koumoulides and published in England. It contains several retrospective articles mostly from the perspectives of outside players in Cypriot affairs: the United Kingdom, the United States, the United Nations, and others. The Canadian Institute for International Peace and Security published in 1991 a volume of articles from a workshop series on conflict resolution on Cyprus. The volume again reviews the positions of external players as well as Cypriots, and contains several useful chapters by Cypriots discussing confidence-building measures and cultural and sociological factors in settlement efforts. Tozun Bahcheli's Greek-Turkish Relations since 1955 also contains useful coverage of the Cyprus issue, in its foreign policy dimensions.

    Given the importance of legal and constitutional aspects in a settlement, lawyers and legal officials from both communities published books on these issues. Polyvio G. Polyviou's Cyprus-- In Search of a Constitution examines the legal and political aspects of the constitution that Greek Cypriots still support. Zaim M. Necatigil, the Attorney General of the "TRNC," published two books that provide the Turkish Cypriot perspective on these matters: The Cyprus Conflict: A Lawyers view (1981); and The Cyprus Question and the Turkish Position in International Law (1989).

    Data as of January 1991

    NOTE: The information regarding Cyprus on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Cyprus The Quest for Recognition information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Cyprus The Quest for Recognition should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.

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Revised 10-Nov-04
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