Ankara advocates for equal sovereignty rights of Turkish Cypriots

Ankara advocates for equal sovereignty rights of Turkish Cypriots
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A new Turkish pro-government think tank SETA analysis sheds light on the complicated dynamics between Turkish Cypriots, Turkey, and the UN in Cyprus.

By Nikolaos Stelgias

A new analysis by Mustafa Ugur Ekinci, an analyst with the Turkish pro-government think tank SETA, highlights the long-standing complexities surrounding the island of Cyprus from Ankara's perspective. The analysis focuses on the flashpoint on August 18, when the internationally unrecognized TRNC and the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus clashed over road construction near Pyla/Pile. This village symbolizes unity on the disputed island.
The article mentions that Pile stands out as a beacon of coexistence, the only village where Turks and Greeks have lived harmoniously since the 1974 war. However, the incident has become a lightning rod, with the internationally unrecognized TRNC and Turkey condemning the UN Secretary General's interference in the road's construction. The UN Security Council, on the other hand, has placed the blame squarely on the Turkish Cypriots.
According to the new SETA paper, the roots of this dispute lie in the broader geopolitical and historical context. The long-awaited road to facilitate crossings from Pile into the TRNC is at the heart of the disagreement. While the TRNC government remains deeply committed to the welfare of its people in Pile, even asserting its inalienable rights over the village, the construction of the 11.6-kilometer road has reignited tensions.
Ekinci's analysis delves into the nuanced positions of the various entities in this landscape. While the UN seeks to maintain the military status quo in Cyprus, its stance on unauthorized Greek Cypriot activities has often been lenient. This is evidenced by structures like the University of Central Lancashire Cyprus Campus, which operates without formal authorization.
Moreover, relations between the TRNC and UN agencies have been particularly frayed, with accusations of bias. If the situation escalates, it could lead to a confrontation between Turkey and the UN, especially if the road construction meets with Greek Cypriot opposition.
Ekinci stresses that the complications of the Cyprus issue date back to the 1960s, with the international community's recognition still skewed toward the island's sole internationally recognized government. Ekinci emphasizes the need to revisit past UN Security Council resolutions to correct this perception, adding that the road to realizing the equal sovereignty and status of the Turkish Cypriots is fraught with challenges.
However, despite these obstacles, Ekinci strongly believes in the need for relentless efforts to advocate for the rights, namely the equal sovereignty of Turkish Cypriots on global platforms. This, he argues, can only be achieved through calculated diplomatic maneuvers.