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Northern Cypriots prefer two-state formula 16 mars 2009

Posted by Acturca in South East Europe / Europe du Sud-Est.
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Angus Reid Global Monitor (Canada)

March 16, 2009

Most people in Northern Cyprus continue to believe that the best way to approach the division with Greek Cyprus is by having two states co-existing side by side, according to a poll by KADEM. 63 per cent of respondents in the Turkish side of the island prefer the two-state formula, down two points since January 2007.

Conversely, 17 per cent of respondents support the unification of Cyprus into a federation.

Relations between the Greek majority and the Turkish minority in Cyprus have been frayed since 1974, when a Greek-sponsored attempt to seize the government was met by military intervention from Turkey. In the skirmish, the Turks gained control of almost two-fifths of the island, which in 1983 declared itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The Turkish government has never acknowledged the Greek Cypriot administration. More than 30,000 Turkish soldiers occupy the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

Northern Cyprus held a presidential election in April 2005, which resulted in a victory for Republican Turkish Party (CTP) candidate Mehmet Ali Talat. In his acceptance speech, Talat declared: « I want to give my hand to the Greek Cypriot people and the Greek Cypriot leadership for peace, to find a solution to our problem and reunify our island. »

The president in Northern Cyprus is regarded as the leader of the Turkish community in the island, and acts as chief negotiator in talks with the United Nations (UN) and other international organizations.

In February 2008, Dimitris Christofias—a member of the Progressive Party of the Working People (AKEL)—won a presidential run-off vote with 53.37 per cent of the vote in Greek Cyprus. One of Christofias’ main campaign promises was to resume peace talks with Turkish Cyprus. In March 2008, Christofias and Turkish Cypriot president Mehmet Ali Talat agreed to restart reunification talks.

Last month, Talat attended the funeral of Christofias’s father-in-law in Greek Cyprus. Christofias declared: « Deaths have brought us together at a mosque—now at a church. (…) I hope Greek and Turkish Cypriots will soon be able to come together for the joys of everyday life. »

Polling Data

Do you support a two-state formula for Cyprus, or would you prefer a federated solution?

…………………………………………Feb. 2009                     Jan. 2007

Two-state formula                          63%                                   65%

Federated solution                          17%                                   20%

Not sure                                          20%                                  15%

Source: KADEM
Methodology: Interviews to 1,400 adults in Northern Cyprus, conducted in February 2009. No margin of error was provided.

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