Turkish Cypriot Identity Facing Existential Threat

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Thursday, 16 June 2022

Following the outrage expressed by journalists, unionists and NGOs against the recently proposed amendments to freedom of speech laws, the government capitulated slightly by saying that they were badly drawn up and that they would be revised.

In an opinion piece by Barçın Yinac of Yeniduzen, she asks if North or South Cyprus is the greater threat to Turkish Cypriot identity.

She writes the following: “Having destroyed three governments in three months on the island, Ankara finally found the prime minister it was looking for. The first action of the new government was to bring to the Parliament the legislative amendments that criminalise comments that would disturb the “peace” between Turkey and the TRNC. The enthusiasm of Ankara, which wants to export the repressive regime in Turkey to the TRNC, has got into its stride for now. The TRNC government seems to have pushed back for now, after the reaction of the representatives of civil society with strong democratic reflexes on the island”.

Yinac goes on to say:

But just as there is an existential struggle for those who see democracy and secularism as indispensable in Turkey, a similar struggle is waged by the Turkish Cypriots. And for now; they seem to be more successful than us, at least in terms of civil society.

“Of course, when it comes to Cyprus, you may think that they are fighting against the Greeks. However, at the moment, the most important threat to the democratic and secular identity of TRNC citizens comes from Turkey”.

She concludes by saying that in one sentence, the AK party wants to export the repressive regime it has imposed in Turkey into the TRNC as well.


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