Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Written Evidence

Further written evidence submitted by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, President's Office


  Sorry for replying late due to my absence from office. I am on leave of absence until 24 January 2005.

  I am enclosing a breakdown of the 2004 referendum results by district. Because we do not discriminate between our citizens (those eligible to vote or be elected), we do not keep separate statistics based on where voters were born.

  A survey was conducted, however, by a friend of mine (an academician) on the voting patterns of 28 villages and 12 quarters where over 90% of the residents acquired TRNC citizenship over the last 30 years. He found that only 45% of these voters supported the Annan Plan, in spite of the fact that the Turkish government strongly supported the UN Plan and encouraged TRNC citizens to support it also. This finding is corroborated by the referendum results I have enclosed because the Iskele district, which is mostly populated by citizens who have acquired citizenship over the last 30 years, had the lowest percentage of Yes votes.

  Having said the above let me also point out that Turkish workers and residents have significantly contributed to the economy of North Cyprus over the last 30 years. While the construction sector is totally dependant on Turkish construction workers, the agricultural and tourism sectors depend largely on human resources from Turkey. The Turkish Cypriot economy would collapse completely without the Turkish workforce, the presence of which has now become an integral part of its economic infrastructure. Per capita income in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has significantly increased over the last two years and is now calculated to have reached 7,500 US Dollars. TRNC citizenship laws allow those who have fulfilled legal requirements (which includes five years of permanent residency and a clean police record) to apply for and acquire TRNC citizenship.

  In a study released in late 2003, the British Helsinki Human Rights Group criticized the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe for stating in a report that it published on 24 June 2003 that settlers in Northern Cyprus are coming from Anatolia "one of the least developed regions of Turkey" whose "customs and traditions differ significantly from those present in Cyprus". The British Helsinki Human Rights Group study pointed out that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Report "expresses the kind of racist sentiments supposedly deplored by the Council of Europe".

  Nicos A. Pittas, a Greek Cypriot political analyst writing for the Cyprus Mail had the following comments in his article of 29 August 2004 regarding what Greek Cypriots call "settlers":

    "He (Mr Papadopoulos) also wails that the Annan Plan allows some settlers, a lot of settlers, maybe even all the settlers to stay. So What? If Cyprus needs something almost as much as water, it is cheap labour . . . We already import tens of thousands of foreign workers from all over the world to do our . . . work, so what is so awful if some of them are Turks? In any case given that we are now in the EU and someday probably so will Turkey with resulting mobility rights throughout the EU including Cyprus, what is so catastrophic with permitting 50,000 Turks, most of whom have lived on Cyprus for most of their lives, to stay?

  I hope and expect that the FAC will recommend the lifting of all restrictions on direct trade and travel to North Cyprus (including the opening of Ercan airport to international traffic) and the political empowerment of the Turkish Cypriot side to match its political equality.

  With best wishes for the New Year.

M. Ergu­n Olgun


12 January 2005

Districts"Yes" %
of vote
"No" %
of vote
Number of
"yes" votes
Number of
"No" notes
Lefkosa70.7429.26 26,90711,129
Magusa63.2336.77 19,87711,561
Girne63.0037.00 13,7448,072
Guzelyurt64.5535.45 10,6605,854
Iskele55.1444.86 6,5145,300
TRNC Total64.9635.04 77,70241,916

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