Protracted Occupation That Leads to de facto State Creation: The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, An International Legal Evaluation


The history of Cyprus is replete with foreign invasions and occupation. Modern history has Great Britain in control over the island, betwixt a long-term period of antagonism and hostility over the island’s control between Greece and Turkey.  Greek Cypriots have for many years sought enosis, or union with Greece, while the minority Turkish community’s ethnic community goal has been taksim (partition) between the two ethnic groups.  A crucial temporal dividing point came in 1974 when following a coup d’etat against the Greek Cypriot leadership leading to some instability which was then followed by a Turkish military invasion in order to protect the island’s Turkish population. Once order was restored and with Ankara’s backing, the Turkish Cypriots created the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.  Because of the manner in which the political action occurred, only Turkey provided diplomatic recognition, thus bringing up the legal issue of non-recognition and a discussion of the use of force to achieve a political objective.


Keywords: Cyprus, Greek foreign policy, International law, Occupation, Turkish foreign policy, Turkish republic, de facto state, northern Cyprus

Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 30-64 (Download PDF)

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