The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (henceforth TRNC) has a long history of various ownerships and commands under many successful empires including the Arabs, the Byzantines, and the Persians etc.
This article will explore the history of Northern Cyprus and the reasons as to why it got itself independence from the Republic of Cyprus in 1983.
Reasons for Conquest
Militarily, the position of the former Northern Cyprus gave a strategic advantage to most militaries obsessed with occupying it.
The east of the area opened up to the Karpas Mountain Range which is still an important army settlement and defense area for the modern day TRNC.
To the north of the area lies Turkey, which was a major motivator in the drive for independence experienced by TRNC, and the remaining southeast portion goes on to provide a route to the Syrian Arab Republic and beyond.
The situation can be compared to table games: the more you spread out on the common landing area the more money you can create for yourself. Hence the loss of TRNC for the Republic of Cyprus was an extremely unfavorable one.
The drive to set out for independence began in 1974 after the end of the Greek and Turk war in which the Greek administration was driven out of the TRNC land by the joined forces of Turkey and Cyprus.
The following year, the TRNC land was declared to be a federally administered land of Turkey itself, which was condemned by the main Republic and the international community on the whole, including the United Nations.
When negotiations to revert the decision with the mainland failed for 8 years straight, it was decided that the time to go independent was ripe for TRNC, and it declared independence on the 15th of November, 1983.
There was a considerable landslide between the Greek and the Turkish Cypriots in the area, with the former being mainly against the decision of independence (76%) and the latter being in the proposition of it (65%).
The Years to Come
The hard-fought independence took its time in getting realized because the international community at first rejected the existence of an ‘excessive’ new state.
Attempts were made on global scales involving the three main stakeholders (Turkey, Cyprus, and TRNC) so that a mechanism for reintegration could be agreed upon.
These efforts were in vain because the government of Rauf in Turkey had the full support of the new Republic.
Official recognition of Northern Cyprus came about as a result of the good terms of Rauf with the European Union, which considered granted membership of the world’s strongest union to Cyprus as well in 2000, despite it being in shambles.
The membership of Northern Cyprus from the EU was temporarily suspended after the government of Rauf in Turkey ended, and even today efforts are being made by the national party in the Republic of Cyprus to work towards reintegration, but for now, Northern Cyprus is fully independent and a respectfully recognized entity in the world.
- Here’s a list of the pages that were used to compile this brief article about the history of Northen Cyprus: