Northern Cyprus

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Northern Cyprus. It's in the north of Cyprus.
Flag of the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus.

The Turkish Republic of North Cyprus is a near-completely unrecognized breakaway state on the island of Cyprus. It is somewhat independent, but it is a territory under Turkish Military occupation.[1] The TRNC is a de jure part of the Republic of Cyprus. The capitol of the breakaway state is Nicosia (or by the Turkish name Lefkoşa). As of 2023, the President is Mustafa Akıncı and the Prime Minister is Özkan Yorgancıoğlu.[2]

The conflict[edit]

Turbulent origins[edit]

Before the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus in 1960, there was an ethnic conflict between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. The Greek Cypriots wanted unification with Greece while the Turkish Cypriots wanted to join Turkey. Instead, the United Kingdom offered each side complete independence. The compromise of independence was accepted. When independence was granted, a constitutional crisis quickly took place as neither Greek Cypriots nor Turkish Cypriots could hold office.[3]

With the already present ethnic tensions and the dispute in governance, the fragile powder keg exploded when the military dictatorship in Greece launched a coup that overthrew the Cypriot government with the goal of annexation or, as ethnic Greeks called it, Enosis (Greek: "Union"). The Turkish Cypriots and the government of Turkey were not happy about that. In 1974 hostilities between the Greeks and Turks exploded. By 1983, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was born as a puppet state under an ongoing military occupation.[4]

Current situation[edit]

Since the occupation of Cyprus began back in the 1970s, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 541 which declared North Cyprus as a territory under Turkish occupation. The breakaway state is not considered legal under international law.[5] Between de jure Cyprus and the separatist region is a buffer region maintained by UN peace keeping forces. People traveling between regions have to go through checkpoints due to the ongoing conflict.[6]


The only country on Earth to actually recognize the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus as a sovereign state is the occupying power of Turkey. All other countries recognize North Cyprus as the territory of the Republic of Cyprus.[7]

The TRNC has a multi-party democratic government. Unlike some breakaway regions, there is a fairly high degree of civil liberties and independent media. Women even have a somewhat decent degree of representation in government. That said, minority rights and LGBTQ rights are lacking to a large degree.[8]

As the territorial dispute continues there have been attempts to resolve the mess. A majority of Greek Cypriots and even Turkish Cypriots support the reunification of the island under de jure Cyprus rule. However, with Turkey pulling the strings of the separatist government and the illegal transfer of settlers to the region, reunification doesn't seem likely any time soon as the Turkish government wants a two-state solution; regardless of what locals want.[9] The only reason that Turkey wants a two-state solution is most likely so that the TRNC could be annexed much like Ukrainian territories were illegally annexed by Russia.[10]

The TRNC is noted to have a record of some authoritarianism. Despite having a fairly decent record of press freedom, there have been incidents where the occupying forces have obstructed the work of journalists. Police corruption is a huge issue as the law enforcement officers engage in brutality against unarmed civilians. The legal system in north Cyprus doesn't have much involving due process and prisoners are denied human rights. [11]


Due to the occupation and population exchange, the most commonly spoken language is the Cypriot dialect of the Turkish language. Wine is a commonly produced beverage thanks to the Mediterranean climate. Dance and theater are something that the people take pride in.[12] Thanks to consistent imperial takeovers by the Kingdom of Macedon, the Roman Empire and the Ottoman Empire there are significant cultural influences from all three of them. North Cyprus is also noted as having a lot of history museums as history is something that the people also take pride in.[13] In terms of religion, 98% of the population follows the Sunni branch of Islam. However there small Christian communities; mostly Anglican and Roman Catholic. Some Maronite communities exist as does the Bahá'í faith. The Cypriot Muslim community is fairly tolerant of other religions.[14]


The official currency of this separatist territory is the Turkish Lira, although the Euro and Pound Sterling are frequently used. Most private businesses are family-owned. Items produced are commonly metals, foods, alcohol, fixtures, textiles and clothing.[15] Although not officially a tax haven, the rich and powerful across the world will often start businesses in the region so they don't have to pay taxes on whatever is made. [16]

Organized crime[edit]

Thanks to the lack of recognition and the incompetence of the separatist officials, organized crime is a significant problem. Kidnapping, the drug trade, sex trafficking and mafia activity are the biggest issues.[17] Mafia groups have a stranglehold on nightclubs and casinos.[18] Women and girls are often kidnapped from other countries for use in prostitution. The breakaway region is becoming an increasing haven for criminal activity. Separatist officials are extremely corrupt and turn a blind eye human rights abuses by crime syndicates. Separatist officials are often in the pockets of crime syndicates. .[19]

See also[edit]


  1. Britannica, Retrieved on June 14, 2023.
  2. Northern Cyprus on Wikipedia, Retrieved on June 17, 2023.
  3. McGill University, Retrieved on June 16, 2023.
  4. Global Security, Retrieved on June 16, 2023.
  5. Cyprus Ministry of Foreign Affairs, June 17, 2023.
  6. BBC Country Profile, Retrieved on June 17, 2023.
  7. US State Department, Retrieved on June 17, 2023.
  8. Freedom House, Retrieved on June 17, 2023.
  9. Yahoo UK, June 17, 2023.
  10. Cyprus Mail, Retrieved on June 17, 2023.
  11. State Department Report, Retrieved on June 26, 2023.
  12. North Cyprus Archives, Retrieved on June 18, 2023.
  13. Cyprus Paradise, Retrieved on June 18, 2023.
  14. North Cyprus Online, Retrieved on June 18, 2023.
  15. Global Security, Retrieved on June 19, 2023.
  16. North Cyprus Company, Retrieved on June 26, 2023.
  17. Cyprus Mail, Retrieved on June 19, 2023.
  18. Bianet English, June 19, 2023.
  19. Meforum, Retrieved on September 12, ,2023.