An important convergence was reached in the Cyprus negotiations regarding the structure of the new state to be established, writes Editor in Chief of Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis, Basarn Duzgun. He notes that this is President Akinci’s biggest success in the negotiations:
“Do you know what this success is? Put simply, it means that all the current citizens of the TRNC will be citizens of the new state that will be established. I am saying this as a person who knows very well about all the fights, the bargaining and the backstage crises that took place during the Annan Plan negotiations, regarding what would happen with the people of Turkish origin. The number of people of Turkish origin that would be transferred to the new state was 50 thousand. And this number created a lot of debate. The agreement reached now, and I am talking about an agreement because Anastasiades has accepted it as well, is a very good solution. But I have trouble understating why some circles reacted despite this”, Dusgun writes.
The columnist goes on and writes that Mete Hatay, who is a researcher and writer for Polis magazine, gives a very good answer to these issues on his Facebook page. According to Hatay’s post, after a decision taken by the TRNC Assembly, Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leadership decided from 1975-79 to transfer people from Turkey as workers, in order to increase the population number from 116,000 to 200,000. Over a period of four years, 35,000 Turkish, mostly villagers, who did not own any land, were transferred to the island. However, 12,000 of them returned to Turkey because they were not able to adapt to their new lifestyle. Those who remained on the island were given Greek Cypriot land and houses and were granted TRNC citizenship. They received title deeds after 1994.
Hatay also writes that currently, there are around 350,000 people in the TRNC of whom 150,000 are Turkish Cypriots. The remaining 200,000 are Turks and foreigners. He also notes that the latter number includes 75,000 students, 40,000 foreign workers, 25,000 soldiers, and 5,000 family members of military staff, other people who were granted TRNC citizenship and tourists.