While ethnic kinship and perceived commonality of interests have ensured close relations between Turkish Cypriots and Turkey, the political ties between them have changed significantly over time. From a community that once dutifully followed Turkey’s lead in all matters of political significance – their relationship with Turkey being essentially one of client and patron – Turkish Cypriots have evolved into a community with a distinct political identity, its own democratic institutions, a well-developed sense of its own interests, and leaders who represent and articulate a Turkish-Cypriot point of view. Though heavily reliant on Turkish financial assistance and other forms of government-to government support, those leaders nevertheless display considerable confidence regarding their capacity to manage their own affairs. In consequence, Turkish-Cypriot relations with Turkey have grown progressively more complex and nuanced, and in certain respects more distant.
Northern Cyprus, TRNC, Turkish Cypriots, Turkey, identity, democratic consolidation, political parties, elections
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