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Why Israel Should Recognize the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

Israel must respond to its Western neighbor's recognition of Palestinian statehood.
A border crossing between the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

A border crossing between the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Photo Credit: Nicholas Hodder

The Republic of Cyprus has decided to upgrade the Palestinian delegation to Cyprus in order to make it an “embassy.” The Republic of Cyprus did this despite the fact that they are opposed to other countries recognizing the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, also known as Northern Cyprus, which comprises the north eastern portion of the Island and desires recognition as a state.

Article 1 of the Montevideo Convention states that for an entity to be a state under international law it must possess: a permanent population; a defined territory; a government; and the capacity to enter into relations with other states. Presently, Northern Cyprus meets all of these criteria. They have a permanent Turkish Cypriot population that makes up the majority of the population in Northern Cyprus, with an effective united government ruling over this territory and they furthermore have the ability to enter into relations with other states, if only the international community was receptive to them.

Contrast that with the Palestinians who are divided between Fatah in Judea and Samaria and Hamas in Gaza. Israel also controls 60 percent of Judea and Samaria, as well as Jerusalem, which Palestinians claim as their capital. The Palestinians thus neither have a defined territory or government. Furthermore, with a great part of the Palestinian’s “refugee” population living in exile and Jewish communities scattered throughout areas that the Palestinians claim for a state (with Jews making up the majority of the population in what is known as “Area C”), it is questionable whether the Palestinians possess a permanent population as well.

The Turkish Cypriot cause is also one that Israelis should sympathize with. The London and Zurich Agreements of 1959 proclaimed that the island of Cyprus was supposed to be a partnership between the Turkish and Greek Cypriot communities. The Greek Cypriots violated this agreement in an attempt to unite the island with Greece, in order to deny the Turkish Cypriots political equality (just as the Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world were against permitting Israel to exist under any borders). During 11 years of bloodshed, 103 Turkish Cypriot villages were destroyed. By the Turkish Intervention of 1974, the junta government of Cyprus had demonstrated genocidal ambitions against the Turkish Cypriots. As Nicos Sampson, then ruler of Cyprus, himself declared, “Had Turkey not intervened I not only would have declared Enosis (unification with Greece) but I would have annihilated the Turks in Cyprus.” That mirrors similar and continuing statements from Palestinians.

Since then, the Turkish Cypriots, like the Israelis, have been attempting to reach a peace agreement. Very much like the Israelis, the Turkish Cypriots have not had much luck in this regard. Under the most recent peace proposal, the U.N.-backed Annan Plan, 65 percent of the Turkish Cypriot population accepted while 76 percent of the Greek Cypriot population rejected the peace agreement. The Greek Cypriots have since remained intransigent in their positions – an intransigence Israel has similarly felt from the Arabs.

Regardless of the justice of the Turkish Cypriot’s cause, as of last November, 131 countries have recognized the fictitious “State of Palestine” – despite the fact the Palestinian’s seeking of such a status without Israeli agreement violates the Oslo Accords – and the Israeli government has yet to take punitive action against any of them. If Israel recognizes the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, it would send a strong message to all states that have elements that seek to secede and form separate states, that they too will face the consequences.

The Cyprus issue is also considered a top priority in Turkish foreign policy. Recognizing the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, has the potential to significantly lesson the hostility between Israel and Turkey, despite the fact that the Islamist AKP is in power, without Israel having to issue any apology for the Mavi Marmara affair or making any other concessions to the AKP leadership. This could be good for regional stability and would lesson Israel’s isolation within the Islamic world.

Such a move might also enable Israel to build relations with the Turkish Cypriot nation, which is significantly more secular than the AKP government in Turkey and thus is not inherently hostile towards Israel. Israel could enjoy a similar relationship with the Turkish Cypriots that Israel presently enjoys with Azerbaijan, offering Israel many business and tourism opportunities.

About the Author: Rachel Avraham is a news editor and political analyst for Jerusalem Online News, the English language internet edition of Israel's Channel 2 News. She completed her masters degree in Middle Eastern Studies at Ben-Gurion University. The subject of her MA thesis was: "Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings in the American, Israeli and Arab media."

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71 Responses to “Why Israel Should Recognize the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”

  1. Constantine Alexandrou says:

    You cannot just say that since we are Greek we conform to what Greece does and how they are identified. That is such a grossly insignificant link, we are not a part of NATO so you cannot try associate us with another country to make us fall under such terms. And most importantly we are not Greek we are Cypriot, how very ignorant of you. The term Greek Cypriot was created by the British Empire to divide us with the Turkish Cypriots, furthermore in our language we have never referred to ourselves as such. We are independent from Greece, so is our identification on a political and social level. By trying to support this “western” name for us by using another author from the Jewish Press only shows both of you are wrong.

    I am not here to argue the history of that area with you, I was making a contrast which was correct and also why I did not include in my last comment any notion that the Palestinians identified themselves as a nation or of a separate nationality. So your whole paragraph is irrelevant. What I argued is that there was a cohesive unit of people, of the same origins living in a functioning society, UNLIKE the Turkish Cypriots. Secondly I was not referring to the Jewish people themselves in terms of refugees I was talking about the State of Israel and its conduct between other states. I am very aware of the history of the Jewish people, and my best friend is Jewish, as well as identifying himself as national of Israel so I am far from having a negative disposition towards Israel.

    Your facts are not simply true, what you said is like me saying what I have said is 100 percent true based on the Harry Potter books. There are many British parliamentary groups who lobby for a Palestinian state so if I started fishing through their reports I am certain I will find facts from it which you would disagree with, it is all biased and skewed. You would not call these groups legitimate and neither would I say it for the one you used, it is like saying everything statement or “fact” a politician says is true, which is not the case, very often. The UN did contradict you and you twisted its words to argue your point which I saw right through. It says that in 109 villages, “houses” were destroyed, NOT that “109 villages were destroyed” like you said. You lied and it is very apparent. I did not just pick one report that disagreed with you, as a student of law, I have access to many official-peer-reviewed and published articles by credible sources that disagree with you. You clearly do not know what all the requirements are, you only mentioned four supposed ones, you provide no sources unlike me, you just mentioned these people that you know apparently (which I do not believe for one second) to support your arguments. I am objectively the more credible here…

  2. Constantine Alexandrou says:

    …You cannot actually name these protocols nor international law and the only one you did use was a treaty that has no binding effect on anyone apart from the states that agreed it, and this one still contradicted you! The reason I did not apply the criteria to Palestinians is because I am not here to argue on behalf of them I am here to disprove all the lies that you have said in support of the Turkish Cypriots for which I have achieved very easily. Actual international law stipulates that you cannot achieve statehood if you are founded upon international crimes and belligerent occupation, through the Geneva Conventions, nor can an occupying power “deport or transfer parts of its own population into the territories it occupies." All of which applies to the “TRNC” and therefore it falls at the first hurdle of becoming a state, and that is why it is not represented at the UN and yet the Palestinians are. So your statement that it is more of a state than Palestine is clearly not true because even the UN disagrees.

    I genuinely hope that you do not respond because disproving your continuous lies is becoming tedious, for which I have very much proved they are. This is probably the main reason why you will abstain, because you literally have no more lies to respond with, because you can no longer stand with the ones I have already disparaged. I did not speak to you in a polite manner because the whole point of this article, as you have admitted, was to antagonise the Republic of Cyprus which is not very polite at all so you are treated as how you treat others.

  3. Jews don't have particular feelings about Greeks. This is delusional.

  4. Momo Moha says:

    add me skyipe ramirami12320

  5. Ali Kamil says:

    Some Turkish cypriots were force to move three times
    from there homes some four.1958,1963,1967and 1974

  6. Ali Kamil says:

    Emily whic statement of hers is wrong

  7. Ali Kamil says:

    well done Rachel

  8. Ali Kamil says:

    Turkish cypriots had to evacuate 103 villages in 11 years.

  9. Savvas Papadopoulos says:

    I wouldn't expect less from an "author" that actually works and gets paid from the Turkish government…simply pathetic…

  10. Demka Lukic says:

    Jews don't like anyone but themselves. Should they seemingly " like" others you know that they will suck them dry at one or another.

    Your people make me sick!

    Arrogant pricks.

  11. Demka Lukic says:

    " one stage "

Comments are closed.

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