Columnist Basaran Duzgun writing for Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Havadis’ wonders whether the TRNC and Turkey’s share a “secret target” to increase the population living in North Cyprus to 700 thousands. Duzgun writes, inter alia, the following referring to the population:
“Pressure from Ankara which asks ‘why you do not grant citizenships’ is not a secret. The governments have always been subject to these pressures. Moreover, the topic of citizenship was brought onto the agenda even during meetings in which financial issues were discussed. It is alleged that the most laconic sentence on this issue was uttered by Tugrul Turkes, former Deputy Prime Minister responsible for Cypriot Affairs. It is rumoured that he has said that ‘whenever we hold a meeting regarding Cyprus, the president [of the republic] starts talking by saying what happened with the citizenships’.
There was a deep-state policy based on ultra-nationalism in the past within the framework of the conquering mentality, saying ‘let us increase the TRNC population to 700 thousands, let us create a population equal to the Greek Cypriots’.
When [President] Recep Tayyip Erdogan had said that ‘we are a government which disregards any kind of nationalism’, we thought that this ultra-nationalist deep-state project was thrown onto the dumping site of history. It seems that we were mistaken. Now citizenships are fearlessly being distributed. It is said that the target is 40 thousand new citizens by the end of this year. Of course, this will continue into the next year. Is 700 thousands still a secret target?