Great Britain is not the only peripheral island with an uncertain relationship with the European Union that faces an important election. In polite company this second island is called North Cyprus, writes Andrew Duff.
Andrew Duff was a Liberal Democrat MEP from 1999 to 2014.
The frontier of this quasi-state, which is recognised in international law only by Turkey, is the 1974 ceasefire etched by Turkish officers on the dining room table of the British High Commission in Nicosia. About 30,000 Turkish troops are still encamped in the TRNC. Trade and contact with the outside world is highly restricted. The economy is bust, and wholly reliant on bail-outs from the ‘motherland’. Despite its outstanding natural and cultural beauty, tourism is minimal. Brothels and casinos cater for the less classy punter. Thousands of Turkish Cypriots have emigrated, many to London. The unique Turkish Cypriot culture is at risk of dying. The ancient multi-cultural diversity of the Eastern Mediterranean, already threatened by Islamic fundamentalism on the mainland, faces termination in Cyprus.
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