UN to Cyprus: Turkey seeks complete control over the breakaway north

NICOSIA (Cyprus) -- Cyprus will file a complaint to the United Nations about Turkey's financial assistance agreement with breakaway Turkish Cypriots.

UN to Cyprus: Turkey seeks complete control over the breakaway north

NICOSIA (Cyprus) -- Cyprus will file a complaint to the United Nations about Turkey's financial assistance agreement with breakaway Turkish Cypriots. This demonstrates Ankara’s "complete control" of them, the president the ethnically split island nation stated Monday.

Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said to state broadcaster CyBC he would include in his protest letter Turkey's decision to designate the Turkish Cypriots’ main airport as a domestic route. This effectively makes it a Turkish one.

Many liberal Turkish Cypriots worry that the airport designation and the financial deal are clear signals that Turkey's President Recep Takyip Erdogan is looking to annexe northern Cyprus.

Anastasiades stated that she would file a new complaint with the United Nations regarding the airport, which is in essence being integrated and considered a Turkish one. "Secondly, the (financial), protocol clearly shows Ankara's total control over the Turkish Cypriots."

According to Turkish officials, the designation is intended to reduce the cost of flights from and to northern Cyprus.

Nearly a decade ago, Turkish Cypriots declared their independence in the northern third of the island nation. This was nearly ten years after Turkey invaded the country in 1974 in a coup led by supporters union with Greece. Only Turkey recognizes the independence of the Turkish Cypriots. Over nearly 50 years, numerous rounds of U.N.-facilitated negotiations to reunify Cyprus in a federation consisting of Greek and Turkish speaking sectors has failed.

Turkish Cypriots are furious at a refusal by Greek Cypriots to share equitably power in federated Cyprus. The Turkish Cypriots are feared by the Greek Cypriots' insistence on Turkish military intervention rights, a permanent Turkish troop presence, and veto power over the minority Turkish Cypriots.

Ankara and Ersin Tatar, a hardline Turkish Cypriot leader, cite the failure of peace talks. They claim that the only way to end the deadlock now is through an agreement based on two sovereign countries -- something the Greek Cypriots deny as a formalization permanent partition of the Mediterranean island.

The financial agreement is causing a lot of anger among Turkish Cypriots. This year's grants and loans total about 240m euros, which represents about a third annual revenue.

The north has been dependent on Turkish economic assistance for many years. However, United Cyprus Now claims that this agreement compels Turkish Cypriots, according to the peace group United Cyprus Now, to implement measures restricting freedom speech. This deal allows Turkish citizens to purchase more property and gives more power to religious authorities.

The group stated that these measures "represent a direct threat the will, identity and culture, way of living, heritage, and will of Turkish Cypriots."

Tufan Erhurman, the leader of the leftist Republican Turkish Party, called the agreement a "protocol to abandon the will" of Turkish Cypriots in their ability to govern themselves.

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