Over two years ago, following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, Turkish Cypriots unilaterally declared the northern 36 per cent of the island a "Turkisn Federated State".
Over two years ago, following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, Turkish Cypriots unilaterally declared the northern 36 per cent of the island a "Turkisn Federated State". The new nation has not received international recognition -- and has been fighting a losing battle against severe economic problems.
The latest move towards a reconciliation between the Greek and Turkish Communities took place in London on Tuesday (10 May), when President Carter of tem United States, met both the Turkish Prime Minister, Mr. Suleyman Demirel, and the Greek Prime Minister, Mr. Constantin Karamanlis. President Carter said after the talks he was confident that difficulties with Turkey over Cyprus would soon be settled and hoped the future would bring a unified Cyprus.
One of the area's main sources of income was tourism. Once again tourists, many of them from Turkey, are visiting the island. However, their numbers are far lower than in the years before the Turkish invasion in July 1974.
In Nicosia, divided into Turkish and Greek halves, city life in back to normal. It has taken large amounts of aid, mainly form Turkey, to achieve this. Turkey had been putting the equivalent of about 15 million pounds sterling (25.6 million U.S. dollars) into the economy but started cutting down almost a year ago, telling The Turkish Cypriots it was time their economic performance started improving.
The demarcation line between Turkish and Greek Cyprus is guarded by a United Nations peacekeeping force. Despite tensions, the Turkish Cypriots are optimistic about their future. Expansion is going ahead, like the extension of Ercan airport to handle a larger flow of cargo and passenger planes.
Much remains to be done in the way of reclamation. For example, the Zephyros Hotel in the northern port city of Kyrenia was almost totally demolished in the bitter fighting of 1974, when troops fought from house to house to achieve their ends.
At Ayios Georgios village about two miles (about 3 kms) west of Kyrenia, there is a cemetery for those who died fighting for the Turkish Cypriot cause -- some of whom to this day are unknown. Nearby there isa military museum of captured equipment used by Greek Cypriot forces. International diplomatic moves are underway to bring about a reconciliation between the divided communities. But whatever the outcome, Cyprus will have a legacy form the war lasting for many years. One aspect of this has been the continued haphazard planting of landmines on both sides of the demarcation line. As memory fades concerning their location injuries and deaths among the farmers in the area will increase.
Citrus fruit is a major Cypriot export. Despite increased sales last year the Turkish sector's trade deficit increased by 170 percent compared with 1975. Turkey was the main export market for the sector, but has been replaced by Britain.