Turkish Cypriot identity systematically eroded

The most likely path awaiting the Turkish Cypriot community seems to be assimilation and integration with Turkey, writes Turkish Cypriot freelance journalist Esra Aygin.

In the wake of the failed negotiations, there seems to be little prospect now for a federated Cyprus. Despite some sectors of the community saying that the Turkish Cypriots could protect their identity and culture by “cleaning their house”, many onlookers think that this is unlikely, Aygin writes.

Only a federal solution would enable Turkish Cypriots to protect their identity,” said International Relations Professor Ahmet Sozen.

The failure of the process means further demographic, economic, political, religious, social, and cultural alteration of the north. The Turkification and Islamisation of north Cyprus will – before long – be complete.”

Aygin points out that, alongside the continuing demographic change through the granting of dozens of Turkish Cypriot citizenships weekly, mushrooming hotels and casinos in the hands of Turkish investors, and increasing socio-cultural pressure, recent developments are of particular concern because they directly target the young people of the country.

Changes in the education curriculum in Turkey, which has eliminated Darwin’s theory of evolution and now includes creationism; reduced emphasis on Ataturk and teaching jihad, has alarmed Turkish Cypriots, as these changes will most likely be applied to schools in the north.

The high-school curriculum in the northern part of Cyprus is harmonised with Turkey and Turkish textbooks are used in schools to enable Turkish Cypriot students to take the Turkish university examinations.

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Cyprus Weekly

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