YESTERDAY marked 30 years since the unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) by the Turkish Cypriots, with students in the government-controlled areas leaving their schools and universities to protest against the establishment of the ‘TRNC’.
On November 15, 1983, the Turkish Cypriots and the Turkish government unilaterally declared an entity in the north called the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), which to this day is recognised only by Turkey.
Government spokesman Christos Stylianides said the ‘TRNC’ was the culmination of Turkey’s efforts to legitimise its 1974 invasion and occupation of the north of the island, condemning the 30-year-old move.
The government “will continue working to solve the Cyprus problem, reunify our country and our people in the framework of a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality, for a single-power state with one citizenship and a unified identity abroad,” Stylianides said. It was an almost-obligatory statement made along the same lines every year.
With the Cyprus problem unresolved, the ‘TRNC’ maintains in effective control of the north and regulates the entity’s governance alongside Turkey.
Across the government-controlled areas, students waving Cypriot and Greek flags, protested against the UDI, while a number of student organisations, political parties and government officials issued statements calling for an end to occupation.