Former special representative for the TRNC president and leader of the Toparlaniyoruz Movement (meaning: we are getting it together), Kudret Ozersay, in a recent interview expressed strong criticism of the current political system that exists in the TRNC and is demanding change. The movement he represents is a“social movement” using networking websites Facebook and Twitter calling for political change.
Ozersay stated that the powers exercised by the president are influenced by the military authorities, stating that “article 10” of the constitution, makes the political state an extraordinary one as the police are bound to the army.
Article 10 of the TRNC constitution states that:
“Police are responsible for law enforcement. The chief of police reports to a Turkish Cypriot “general,” who is nominally under the supervision of the “Prime Ministry,” holding the “security portfolio.” The police and security forces are ultimately under the operational command of the Turkish military, however, per transitional article 10 of the “TRNC constitution,” which “temporarily” cedes responsibility for public security and defense to Turkey”
He added that he did not find the reference to an 18 month time limit, proposed by President Eroglu, to reach a solution to the Cyprus problem very meaningful; that not only did there need to be a time limit but also an understanding of what would happen if there was no resolution.
Ozersay claimed that both sides have explored all avenues leading to a solution within the current format and argued for a new process which required everyone to “think outside the box“.
He also said that the relationship between the TRNC and Turkey was not a healthy one. However, this relationship could be improved by mutual agreement and altering the defining lines of that relationship. Ozersay feels that mainland Turkey’s influence owes less to the will of Ankara and more to the consent of TRNC politicians who are not truly representing the will of the people.
He called for a new agreement similar to the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) existing between NATO and the forces of its member states thus establishing the fact that legal and actual authority belongs to the TRNC. This arrangement would then make irrelevant the argument for the need for Turkish mainland troops to be present in the TRNC to act as guarantors.
Ozersay has been quoted as saying that that he was, “committed to a one-state solution and it was “not helpful” to speculate about the possibility of the “Taiwanisation” of Cyprus – whereby the so-called TRNC simply goes around the world seeking diplomatic recognition“.
Dr. Kudret Ozersay is an Associate Professor at EMU, Department of International Relations. He has published a variety of books and numerous articles on the legal and political aspects of the Cyprus problem and relations with Turkey.