North Cyprus, VAT, Loizidou


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ARTICLES Short papers on topical news matters concerning North Cyprus Properties.  
20 June 2007 Stress in the Workplace  
12 May 2007 North Cyprus Property - Is it Safe to Buy ?  
17 February 2007 Iraq - Strategic Options  
9 February 2007 Make Money on Property Purchase by Stage Payments  
4 January 2007 Tony Blair - Turkey, the EU and Cyprus  
16 December 2006 EU and Turkey  
12 December 2006 ECHR and the North Cyprus Property Commission  
25 November 2006 Cyprus Border Crossing Dangers  
20 August 2006 Jewels of the World goes bankrupt  
1 August 2006 The Orams Case and Cherie Blair  
2 April 2006 TRNC Property Commission  
20 March 2006 Do any Greeks want to return to North Cyprus ?  
12 March 2006 Prime Minister gives guarantee to British homeowners in North Cyprus  
16 February 2006 Turkish Cypriot has property returned in Greek Republic of Cyprus  
8 June 2005 Relations between US and Turkey  
14 February 2005 Will Turkey Join the EU, and the implications for North Cyprus  
18 December 2004 The Rise in VAT from 5 to 15%, and back to 5% again.  


TRNC Property Commission



Posted 2 April 2006

The TRNC Immovable Property Commission has now come into being. It was set up in response to the Myra Xenides-Arestis case at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). The court ruled that Turkey had to establish a properly constituted body to deal with such claims.

Under the TRNC legislation which established the Commission, any dispossessed Greek Cypriot can apply for compensation, exchange or restitution. The latter option being the novel element.

Restitution, under the Annan Plan for the reunification of Cyprus, could only take place under strict conditions, and this is mirrored in the new arrangenents. The TRNC has had to perform a delicate balancing act. On the one hand, it needs to demonstrate to the ECHR that restitution is a real possibility, whilst, on the other, it wishes to reassure property purchasers that their homes are secure.

Restitution is possible in respect of properties or land without TRNC title deeds, which are not being used by a 'current user' and which do not pose a threat to national security.

If a property or land has a TRNC title deed, then restitution will only become a possibility after a solution to the Cyprus problem, that is, the reunification of the island. However, restitution will only be possible for properties or land which have not been 'improved' and whose value is comparable to that in 1974.

If return is not possible, Greeks will be offered either compensation or exchange with land abandoned by Turksih Cypriots in the South. All compensation will be paid by the Commission, drawing on funding from Turkey, and nobody who has the security of a TRNC title deed will be required to make a contribution.

There are apparently over 1,000 cases pending at the ECHR which now should be heard by the Property Commission.

The matter remains controversial. Some political parties in the North have attacked the commission on the basis that it undermines the TRNC constitution. The reaction of the government of the Greek Republic of Cyprus is awaited. It will be difficult for the Greek government to complain that the Commission is flawed or unsatisfactory unless Greeks bring claims to the Commission. Whether any significant numbers of Greeks will avail themselves of this facility remains an open question. There is a significant campaign underway in the South to boycott the Property Commission.

The good news for owners or prospective purchasers of North Cyprus Property is that their home is safe, and, in the unlikely event of a successful compensation claim, all costs will be met by Turkey.

12 December 2006 - latest news on the North Cyprus Property Commission

Article Copyright - Leslie Hardy Top




Do any Greeks want to return to North Cyprus ?



Posted 20 March 2006

“We have been shouting and protesting for 30 years because the Turkish Cypriots have been building on our property. But the legitimate government (of the Greek Republic of Cyprus) gave us money to build houses on the properties of the Turkish Cypriots. And at the time they lied to us, telling us that they had given us state land. This was what was written on the documents we signed.”

These words were uttered by a frustrated citizen in a television news story about a noisy protest held last Tuesday in Polemidia (South Cyprus) by hundreds of displaced persons who had built houses on plots given to them by the Spyros Kyprianou government in South Cyprus some 30 years ago.

In the same report, a woman, who was visibly angry, said: “We were fooled. They brought us here, gave us land belonging to the Turkish Cypriots and, through a life of hard toil, we built our houses on it, married, brought up our children and now they are telling us to leave and that they will give us a plot somewhere else. In other words, we have to start from the beginning again. We will never leave. We will stay here and if they dare, they can come and kick us out.”

Similar sentiments were expressed by several other protesters. These outcries are important because they expose, in the most damning way, the absurdity of the official policy of the Greek Republic of Cyprus which has been followed in the post-1974 years and heavily promoted by sucessive governments, the media and the church.
The policy is encapsulated by the slogan, ‘All refugees will return to their homes’.

The slogan about the “right of all refugees to return to their homes”, with which all politicians have been bombarding the Greek Cypriot public for more than 30 years is a myth that is now in danger of collapse, as the words of the refugees mentioned above show.

It is becoming apparant to all that, 32 years after the displacement of sections of the population, almost none of the refugees want to return to their 'homes' – that is, property and land in North Cyprus in the event of a federal settlement.

There are three main reasons for this.
First, in the 32 years that have passed almost half the refugees have died.
Second, those who were children in 1974 have now married and settled down in the South, where they have their homes and jobs.
Third, a large number of them have settled down in the government refugee estates or in Turkish Cypriot properties, as in the case of the protesters in Polemidia.

The irony of this is that many Greeks voted 'No' in the 2004 referendum on whether Cyprus should be re-united because they feared that a 'Yes' vote would mean that they would be uprooted a second time and sent back to North Cyprus.

This shows quite clearly the insurmountable problems associated with any policy of forcibly removing families from land and homes they have occupied for 30 years and sending them to what would be an essentially alien environment.

The protest demonstrates, if any demonstration were needed, that Greek Cypriots who are living on Turkish Cypriot land in the South wish to remain there and do not want to be removed, should be Greek Republic of Cyprus government embark on a policy of returning land to displaced Turkish Cypriots. Needless to say, the same situation is found in North Cyprus where land and housing, vacated by Greeks, was given to Turkish Cypriots and settlers from the mainland of Turkey post 1974.

The danger of the longstanding impasse between the governments of the North and South is the very possibility of this scenario becoming a reality. Turkish Cypriot refugee Arif Mustafa is set to return to his property in the South, although this does not appear to involve the eviction of any current Greek occupier. See Article.

Although it is technically possible for Greeks to return to property in the North, this is likely to be take place in a limited number of cases. For example, where the land in question is vacant agricultural land, or in the case of a property, it remains 'unimproved'. This means that little or no spending has been made on the property since 1974. Properties constructed since 1974, including those for British buyers will be immune from restitution, and are therefore completely safe.

Article Copyright - Leslie Hardy Top




Prime Minister gives guarantee to British homeowners in North Cyprus



Posted 12 March 2006

British families who have bought houses or land in Northern Cyprus were told yesterday that their investments were secure, even if Greek Republic of Cyprus courts ruled that their property was 'stolen' from Greek owners during the 1974 division of the island.

Ferdi Soyer, the prime minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
gave a "state guarantee" that their ownership could not be successfully challenged.
The political stand-off between the Greek and Turkish sides of Cyprus would ensure
that Greek court claims were not enforced, he said.

On a visit to London, Mr Soyer said: "There is no chance that they will lose their property. The British people who buy a house or who want to take land in north Cyprus should not be afraid: everything is under our state guarantee."
Up to 2,000 Britons are thought to have invested in attractively priced property in the Turkish north of the island.

This statement was intended to reassure British homeowners that the TRNC would not contemplate the return of properties bought by British buyers to any dispossessed former Greek owner. The timing is significant as the outcome of the appeal by the Orams against an adverse order issued by a court in the Greek Republic of Cyprus is awaited. Ms Cherie Booth (Mrs Blair) is acting for the Orams

Article Copyright - Leslie Hardy Top



Turkish Cypriot has property returned in Greek Republic of Cyprus



Posted 16 February 2006

The reinstatement of Turkish Cypriot refugee Arif Mustafa to his property in Episkopi could soon be followed by the reinstatement of Greek Cypriots to their properties in the north, a top Turkish Cypriot legal source said yesterday.

The source said that within the next two weeks Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat would put forward a list of nominees from which seven members of the north's soon-to-be-established property commission will be formed.

The formation of the property commission stems from a European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling last December on the case of Myra Arestis, who lost her home in Varosha in 1974. While finding Turkey guilty of a continued violation of Arestis' rights to enjoy her property, it also granted Turkey and its subordinate local authority, the Turkish Cypriots, three months to come up with “genuine effective domestic remedies” for Arestis. Please see the link North Cyprus Property

By making the ruling, the ECHR effectively adjourned around 1,400 Greek Cypriot applications, pending a later decision on whether the Turkish Cypriot property commission truly fits the criteria spelled out by the ECHR.

The Turkish Cypriot side naturally greeted the ECRH decision with joy, but it remains to be seen whether it will be able to create a functioning and internationally acceptable property commission by March 22, when the three-month period comes to an end.

Lawyer representing Arestis, Achilleas Demetriades, expressed grave doubts yesterday that the north's authorities would be able to come up with a satisfactory formula.

“From what I saw in the press, I don't think it [the new law] is up to the standard required by the ECHR. They have a long way to go,” Demetriades told reportersl.

He asked how “redress” of Arestis' property could take place if Varosha continued to be walled off and under Turkish military occupation. He added that the north would also have to amend the controversial clause 159 of its constitution before the ECHR took other legal changes seriously. Clause 159 allowed the expropriation of all ‘abandoned' Greek Cypriot properties in the north. According to European legal norms, land cannot be expropriated on a basis of race or creed.
Nevertheless, Demetriades said he believed that if Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots did eventually manage to satisfy the ECHR, it “would be a great development for human rights” and could even act as a catalyst that triggers a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem.

He stressed, however, that no one should view the creation of a property commission in the north as “the evolution of the Turkish Cypriot legal system”, but more as an admittance by Turkey of its jurisdiction over the north.

He went as far as to say that by signalling its willingness to see the commission established, Turkey was expressing “de-recognition of the TRNC”.

The Turkish Cypriot legal source, however, yesterday insisted the commission would be a Turkish Cypriot, not Turkish, product and that preparations were running “ahead of schedule”.

Furthermore, “nearly all the bylaws and regulations of the new property law [that accompany the formation of the commission] are ready”.

He added that the two foreign legal experts the law stipulates must be on the panel had been selected.
“By March 22 we will be more than 100 per cent ready to deal with property claims”.

Once the commission and the amendments to Turkish Cypriot property law are complete, the source said, Turkey, “as the respondent state in the Arestis case” would be asked to present information on the case.

The legal source expressed confidence yesterday that the ECHR would be impressed by the changes in the north's property law, and that ultimately – if not immediately – the Turkish Cypriots would get the go-ahead to begin ruling on Greek Cypriot property claims.

“My feeling is that the court will not close the door to the remedy. It is likely they will ask for some amendments. As long as the court does not question the issue of domestic remedies, there will not be a problem. And this will mean the redirection of all 1,400 cases at the ECHR to the commission”.

Asked to comment on this week's groundbreaking ruling by the Greek Cypriot Supreme Court that Turkish Cypriot refugee Arif Mustafa is free to move back into the property he abandoned in 1974, the source said he viewed it as a “positive outcome for that individual” but that each case, whichever side of the Green Line it was heard on, would “be treated on its own merits”.

“Mustafa got restitution of his property. We will soon be able to do the same here,” he added.

Article Copyright - Leslie Hardy Top






VAT increase to 15% and back down to 5%

Please also see questions in the
section of the
news portal



Posted 14 February 2005

The rise in VAT from 5 to 15% on sales of property to foreigners has attracted adverse comment, especially from those targeted by the tax. The tax rise appears to take effect from 1 January 2005.

The VAT rise was announced by the North Cyprus government as part of a package of VAT reform which was designed to move towards harmonisation of VAT across the north and south of Cyprus. This is part of a wider series of measures in preparation for EU entry by North Cyprus.

The loss of revenue to the North Cyprus government from the zero rating of VAT on foodstuffs, books and medical products is significant, and the aim was to recoup this loss at the expense of UK property buyers.


The increase in VAT should be viewed within the broader context of the government's desire to reduce the current level of construction activity in North Cyprus. A former initiative was the ill fated Leasehold Bill which was promoted in October 2004. The proposal was to limit foreign ownership to a 125 year lease, and thus deprive British buyers of freehold rights. In response to a wave of protest, the proposal was quietly abandoned.

The VAT increase addresses the same issue and will retard North Cyprus property sales to foreigners. However, it has the added attraction of providing the North Cyprus government with a substantial revenue stream.

Discrimination against foreigners is understandably unwelcome in the British community, the more so as the British make a major contribution to the impoverished economy of North Cyprus and have been effective lobbyists on behalf of North Cyprus.


I have been repeatedly asked whether an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) would provide a remedy for this injustice.

The landmark ECHR case was that of Loizidou vs Turkey.

Ms Loizidou is a Greek Cypriot who left her property in Kyrenia after the occupation of North Cyprus by the Turkish army. In 1989, she crossed the UN monitored buffer zone from the south to the north, accompanied by some 8,000 other Greek Cypriot women. Ms Loizidou was arrested by the Turkish army, and after some 12 hours, released to a UN representative.

In 1996 the ECHR ruled that the actions of Turkey violated her human rights. In 1998, the ECHR further ruled that Turkey should pay her 1.2 million euros in compensation for preventing her lawful access to her property in Kyrenia. Turkey has now made payment of this account.

It could be possible to mount a ‘class' action in respect of the VAT increase. The obstacle is the status of the Defendant. In the Loizidou case, the Defendant was Turkey. The Defendant argued that this was a dispute between Ms Loizidou and the government of North Cyprus. However, the defence was discredited by the presentation of photographs showing Ms Loizidou in the custody of Turkish soldiers and not the North Cyprus police.

Any proposed class action will have to address the problem that although Turkey is a signatory to the ECHR, the government of North Cyprus is not. As it is implausible to bring the action against Turkey, this is a formidable obstacle.


There is an impending election in North Cyprus, and no single party is likely to command an overall majority. The combined lobby of estate agents, building companies and British Residents may lead to the demise of the VAT increase. My personal opinion is that the government is more resolute with respect to the VAT increase than it was with regard to the Leasehold Bill.

In the fullness of time, it is highly unlikely that the discriminatory VAT regime will be sustained. The ‘foreigners' in question are mainly British buyers, and therefore EU citizens. As EU membership beckons, this measure is likely to become void. Several prominent Brits have already made representation to the UK government and the British Residents Society may well urge their members to write to UK MPs. If this pressure does not prevail, then a case could be submitted to the ECHR.


For many British buyers, the rise in VAT is especially unfair as they have already bought and occupy a property in North Cyprus.

The present system whereby foreigners need to gain permission to own a property from the North Cyprus government has resulted in a backlog of applications. For many, this process takes well over 12 months. In the meantime, they have paid for the property and moved in.

The payment of VAT is triggered when the UK buyer is ready to transfer the Title Deeds to his/her own name, and this can only be done when the purchaser is in receipt of government permission to buy.


Wellington Estates offer UK customers a tax planning option. As many UK buyers are nearing retirement age, Inheritance Tax Planning is an issue. UK Inheritance Tax is chargeable on the worldwide assets of UK residents, although there is no agreement in place for the exchange of information between the governments of North Cyprus and the UK. This is in distinction to the situation in Spain where the Spanish and UK authorities work closely together in an effort to maximise their tax revenues.

Wellington Estates offers a facility whereby the property of UK customers can be held in Trust, usually for the children of UK buyers.

1. The Trust is registered in North Cyprus and any transfer of property into the Trust is therefore exempt of VAT.

2. The Trust is configured so that the Trustee has no significant rights to the property as against the Beneficiary, that is, the nominated heir/s of the UK owner. This protects the UK owner should the Trustee become insolvent. Due to the importance of this point, the Trust Agreement should be drafted by an expert.

3. The Trust Agreement means that UK owners do not need to make a North Cyprus will in order to ensure that their property passes to their heir/s.


1. It should be emphasised that this facility was established as part of an Inheritance Tax Planning service and not as a device to avoid the payment of VAT.

2. When the property is taken out of Trust, and registered in the name of the beneficial owner, there could be a VAT liability. However, as this is likely to be at some time in the future when North Cyprus is part of the EU, it is highly unlikely that this charge would be based on a discriminatory regime.

3. For clients who wish to have an indemnity against any future charge, that is, have a guarantee that there will be no VAT to pay, Wellington have a scheme whereby an annual subscription charge provides an indemnity.

4. Although this scheme has been designed for Wellington Estate customers, it could be extended to other UK buyers in North Cyprus.

Article Copyright - Leslie Hardy Top

POSTSCRIPT - In May 2005, the TRNC government reduced the VAT rate back down to 5% again.



Will Turkey Join the EU ?

Posted on 18 December 2004

The EU has agreed to commence accession negotiations with Turkey.

Turkey faced significant opposition from other members in the accession discussions at Brussels, and a positive outcome was only achieved by the intervention of Messrs Blair and Schroder.

Mr Erdogan, Turkey's Prime Minister, was shocked by the discovery of an annexe in a document which amounted to a tacit recognition of the (Greek) Republic of Cyprus. This was clearly unacceptable, and for a while, there was a real danger that the talks would collapse.


1. The negotiations will commence in October 2005, under the chairmanship of Mr Blair. The British Prime Minister is probably the most positive senior statesman and, supported by Mr Bush, it is likely that the coming negotiations will be facilitated by his chairmanship.

2. There is serious opposition from a number of other member states, primarily Austria and France. Both these countries state that they will hold referenda on the issue.

3. The process of internal reform within Turkey will need to continue. The market oriented financial reforms are in themselves a major challenge. However, these will be overshadowed by issues of human rights concerning the emancipation of women, the treatment of Kurds, and reform of the police and justice system.

4. At present, it is envisaged that there will be a number of restrictions on Turkey, should it join the EU. These may include restrictions on the free movement of labour to other EU States, limits on EU subsidies, and exemption from the Common Agricultural Policy.

5. The unresolved status of Cyprus will continue to be a problem. The goodwill which the Turks enjoyed from the International Community in the aftermath of the overwhelming Turkish Cypriot ‘Yes' vote of April 2004 is waning due to the passage of time.


1. The chairmanship of Mr Blair will be of undoubted benefit to Turkey. Mr Blair views this matter within the strategic context of the War on Terror. Turkey is a secular and moderate Islamic state and will hopefully develop as a model for other countries to emulate. The inclusion of Turkey into the circle of ‘civilised' nations is a major objective of US foreign policy.

2. The opposition from France and Austria underlines the concern in all EU countries about the accession of a large, impoverished, muslim country. With a population of over 70 million, Turkey would be the most populous EU state. However, the specific concerns, as articulated by the politicians, are risible. France wants Turkey to recognise the Armenian Massacres which took place between 1895 and 1915, while Austria apparently wishes to make the Ottoman Siege of Vienna in 1683 an issue.

3. The pace of internal reform within Turkey is more difficult to forecast. Recent opinion polls indicate that some 40% of Turkish males consider it acceptable to ‘punish women for transgressions' and some 45% of women admit to being beaten by their husbands. Even if one questions the reliability of such surveys, this remains an important issue throughout the muslim world.

4. The proposed restrictions on Turkish membership herald a two or three tier Europe. However, the outspoken and unashamed way in which other states discussed the proposals indicates a serious dilution of classical EU philosophy and may move the EU into unchartered territory.

5. Turkey will be required to recognise the (Greek) Republic of Cyprus at an early stage in the negotiations. However, it is expected that a form of words will be used in order to obfuscate the issue and satisfy the demands of both Turks and Greeks.


The euphoria after the pro unification vote of North Cyprus in April 2004 was dealt a blow when the (Greek) Republic of Cyprus joined the EU later in the year. Although the current news must be considered as positive, it does not mean that there will be a renewed Annan Plan initiative for the reunifcation of the island. The interchanges between the politicians of North and South Cyprus have reverted to the customary level of mutual suspicion and acrimonious bickering.

If and when Turkey does join the EU, it is difficult to see how the Cyprus problem can continue unresolved. However, the timescale for accession may be 5 years or more. Meanwhile, the current stalemate is set to continue, unless a major international player resolves to become involved.

The North Cyprus economy would benefit from a cooling off period after the frenzy of speculation in land over the last 2 years. Property prices will inevitably rise and eventually achieve parity with the South, but this process may take another 5 years. In the interim it would be useful for the North Cyprus authorities to reflect on the future direction of the economy and the property sector in particular.

Article Copyright - Leslie Hardy Top



Relations between
US and

Posted on 8 June 2005


Since Southern Cyprus joined the EU in May 2004, the momentum of the earlier part of the year towards reconciliation and political union between the north and south of Cyprus has stalled.

Many commentators suggest that the reason for this is the renewed intransigence of the Greeks in the south due to their status as the officially recognised government of Cyprus. The Greek strategy of attempting to use EU law and arrest warrants to thwart economic development in the north is consistent with this interpretation.

The UK will chair accession negotiations with Turkey in the autumn of 2005, and this should rekindle momentum towards a re-united Cyrus.

However, a significant and possibly crucial dimension is that of US relations with Turkey.


The war in Iraq has placed a severe strain on US and Turkey. Based on the fact that Turkey is a member of NATO, US military planners assumed that there would be two routes for the invasion of Iraq and the capture of Baghdad. One, from the South via Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and the second from the North via Turkey.

This assumption underlies the continuing misunderstanding of Turkey on the part of the US. The request for an invasion route to Iraq via Turkey was an extremely contentious issue, and it was naïve and simplistic for the US to make this assumption.

In practice, the vote of 1 March 2003 in the Turkish Parliament was well balanced – 264 voted in favour, 250 against, with 19 abstentions. As the motion required a simple majority of 267, then the margin was a mere 3 votes. However, this nicety was lost on many US policy makers from Donald Rumsfeld downwards who suggested that the lack of a second front prolonged the war and provided a safe haven for Iraqi troops who became insurgents in the inhospitable terrain of Northern Iraq.

There are others who make more extreme statements, claiming that Turkey should turn its eyes to the East and attempt to become a moderate leader of the Islamic world. This view may find resonance in certain parts of the EU, especially France, as shown by the recent referenda on the EU Constitution. This is mere fantasy. For most of the 20 th century Turkey has been a player in Europe and in recent times has transformed the economy based on free market principles. Turkey's application for EU membership is the natural conclusion of this process.

In the aftermath of the World Trade Center terrorist attack, many Muslims left the USA, and this included a number of Turks. Popular anti American sentiment in Turkey has been fuelled by US mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners and perceived insults to the Koran.


The Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Erdogan is making a number of visits to the USA during the forthcoming months. The first meeting with George Bush tales place on 8 June 2005.

The US agenda comprises -

1. The war in Iraq, which remains the major concern of the US. Since the start of the war, Turkey has made efforts to assist the US. This has included an offer to send 10,000 troops to Iraq for peacekeeping purposes, which was unfortunately rebutted by Iraqi Governing Council. Turkey has also sent an undisclosed number of troops to Afghanistan, again in a peacekeeping role. The main offer from Turkey will be increased and possibly unregulated use of the Incirlik airbase in South East Turkey, see Map. This will greatly assist US logistics in servicing troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

2. Turkey's relations with Syria are an ongoing concern of the US. The ejection of Syrian troops from the Lebanon was welcomed by the US and President Bush confirmed the ban on US exports to Syria in May for a further year. Syria is often included in the US list of ‘rogue states' and it is widely accepted in the US that Syria is a training base and access route for insurgents entering Iraq. While there is little information on the specific concerns of the US with respect to Turkey's relations with Syria, it should be noted that the Turkish border with Syria is the longest land border of Turkey. This is shown on the map. It would appear to be both prudent and pragmatic for Turkey to wish to maintain good relations with its neighbour.

The Turkish agenda comprises –

3. Turkey is extremely sensitive about the phenomena of Kurdish nationalism. The Kurds mainly reside in North Iraq and South East Turkey. This is perceived by many Kurds as an artificial boundary and there is a significant separatist Kurdish movement in both countries. The increase in guerrilla activity from Kurds against Turkish installations along the Turkey / Iraq border is a mounting concern. Turkey has been attempting to improve its human rights image as part of the pro EU reform programme and many alleged breaches are in respect of treatment of Kurds. While the US has branded the Kurdish Worker Party, PKK, as a terrorist organisation, the disinterest of the US military in the activities of the group in the north of Iraq has become a growing irritant to Turkey. This is reflected in opinion polls which show that over 70% of Turks regard the presence of PKK insurgents in north Iraq as the major obstacle to improved US / Turkey relations.

4. Turkey will reiterate its disappointment over the continuing isolation of North Cyprus despite the wave of positive statements in the aftermath of the April 2004 referendum in which Turkish Cypriots voted in favour of the Annan Plan to re-unite the island. Mr Erdogan will be encouraged by the recent direct flight of US businessmen into Ercan airport in North Cyprus, but will press for greater de facto recognition of the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus together with a package of trade and development.

5. Turkey will request the support of Mr Bush in the forthcoming negotiations concerned with Turkey's application for EU membership. The recent referenda outcomes in France and the Netherlands provide an unfortunate prelude to the accession negotiations. Tony Blair will lead these negotiations and the referenda outcomes will inevitably encourage him to tread cautiously. This may well result in an inconclusive outcome.


Mr Erdogan is due to meet with Mr Kofi Annan on 9 June. At this meeting they will review the ongoing low key diplomatic initiatives which are in progress between the two sides in the Cyprus problem. As there has been little definitive reporting on the progress of these negotiations, apart from the customary public bickering, it is difficult to assess the current state of affairs or indeed to establish whether a revised Annan Plan remains the basis for a possible settlement.

Mr Erdogan is due to make another visit in July 2005. This will comprise a number of speaking engagements and a conference at the University of Idaho.

In September he will chair the Turkish delegation at a UN General Assembly meeting.

Perhaps his happiest visit would have been to attend his daughter Esra Erdogan's doctoral graduation in Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. She previously read History at Indiana University. Unfortunately, for some reason, she will not be graduating this summer.


The customary map of Turkey shows the country on the eastern boundary of Europe, guarding the access to the Black Sea. The following map shows the border with Syria, Iraq and Iran, together with several former Soviet Republics.

Article Copyright - Leslie Hardy





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