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Cyprus Table of Contents




"Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" Office of the Prime Minister, Nicosia
Courtesy Office of the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus," Washington

The Turkish Cypriot government gradually evolved after 1963. In 1975 and again in 1983, major changes were made to develop a national identity and the institutions of statehood, despite the government's dependence on Turkey and lack of recognition by the world community.

The political evolution of the Turkish Cypriot government complicated the search for a settlement. Greek Cypriots held that the institutional changes since 1974 were illegitimate and artificial and could be reversed for the sake of a settlement. Although Turkish Cypriots maintained that these changes need not impede creation of a federal republic and that some of them could be nullified if replaced by acceptable alternatives, it was increasingly clear that the new institutions were becoming rooted in Turkish Cypriot society. In addition, the de facto autonomy that Turkish Cypriots had become accustomed to would be difficult to dismantle.

Thus, the situation on the ground in the north shaped and narrowed the possible outcomes in the talks. Although Turkish Cypriot politics were the politics of a small and fragile entity dependent on an outside patron, the prospects for fundamental change in the government of Cyprus may depend more on the community in the north than on the better known and more politically stable Greek Cypriot society.

Data as of January 1991