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Since the occupation of Northern Cyprus by Turkey from 1974 to date, Northern Cyprus has been inhabited by over 100 thousand Turks from the territory of the Republic of Turkey. Turkish immigrants were first brought to the island from Anatolia (Asian part of Turkey) in the context of occupation in October 1974 on the pretext that they would work at hotels and gardens abandoned by Greek Cypriots. This practice was further extended to the provision of houses and plots of land to those who wished to settle in the territory of the so-called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. (http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200405/cmselect/cmfaff/113/113we33.htm)

Despite statements that such groups of Turkish settlers moved to Cyprus “on their own initiative”, laws and policies adopted by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus generally encouraged such population movement.(The Demographic Structure of Cyprus, Report of Alfons Cuco, Committee on Migration, Refugees and Demography to the Parliamentary Assembly of Europe ¶ 74, Doc. No. 6589, Apr. 27, 1992, [http://goo.gl/doY370]; «The Turkish government has invested in numerous infrastructure projects, building schools and hospitals. In summary, as a result of Turkish aid the standard of living in Northern Cyprus reached a higher level than in mainland Turkey», p. 8. [http://goo.gl/LqAspl]) For example, in 1981 the TRNC adopted amendments to Law No 3/1975. Under this Law, the Republic granted citizenship to those who resided in the territory of the TRNC for at least one year; or had made or could make a significant contribution to the economy, social and cultural spheres or to the development of external relations and raising standards of education; or to whom the TRNC wished to grant citizenship for its own reasons.(The Demographic Structure of Cyprus, Report of Alfons Cuco, Committee on Migration, Refugees and Demography to the Parliamentary Assembly of Europe ¶ 96, Doc. No. 6589, Apr. 27, 1992, [http://goo.gl/doY370].)

The ease with which it was possible for Turks to obtain citizenship in the TRNC, became a serious problem because Turkish settlers gained voting rights with possibility of forming further political associations. Between 1974 and 2004, Turkey spent nearly 3.07 billion USD on the development of the TRNC.(S. Sonan, From Bankruptcy to Unification and EU Membership? The Political Economy of Post-Nationalist Transformation in Northern Cyprus 4 (RAMSES Working Paper 9/07, 2007).

Turkey’s policy of colonization in the occupied territories was confirmed and condemned by various international organizations. Thus, the UN Security Council in its Resolution 541 of 18 November 1983 called upon “all States not to recognize any Cypriot State other than the Republic of Cyprus“.(http://www.refworld.org/docid/3b00f16528.html) Moreover, Resolution 550 of 11 May 1984 it called upon states “not to facilitate or in any way assist “the so called TRNC“.(http://www.refworld.org/docid/3b00f15b24.html) The UN General Assembly in its Resolution 37/253 of 16 May 1983 called upon all parties to refrain from actions that change the demographic structure of Cyprus.(http://www.un.org/documents/ga/res/37/a37r253.html)

The Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe also condemned Turkey’s policy in its Recommendation 1197, adopted on 7 October 1992. Furthermore, on 2 May 2003 a report was published by its Rapporteur of the Committee on Immigration and Demography, leading the PACE to adopt Recommendation No 1608/24/6/2003. This recommendation once again confirmed the fact that the demographic structure of Cyprus has been continuously modified since the de facto partitioning of the island in 1974, due to the deliberate policies of the Turkish Cypriot administration and Turkey, as well as Turkey’s covert colonization of the northern part of the island.(http://www.cyprusnet.com/content.php?article_id=2881&subject=standalone)

 

 

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