Turkey News

Revealing Analysis: The UN Is Not Impartial In Cyprus

The UN has historically backed projects that benefit humanitarian efforts. Unfortunately, the UN has decided to block efforts to build necessary infrastructure for the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The reason might be due to historical bias and political gain.

Northern Cyprus Flag © NVM Design / shutterstock.com

October 16, 2023 03:00 EDT

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) wants to build a road, something that would appear to be an uncontroversial decision. The Pile–Yiğitler road project would provide better access to the town of Pile and improve upon and replace the existing dirt road without infringing on the territory of the Sovereign British Areas. Goods such as food, medicine and freshwater have struggled to reach Turkish Cypriot parts of the town for over 25 years. This new road is a humanitarian project that would enable the smooth flow of essential goods into Pile. 

The UN would typically be expected to support such a worthwhile endeavor. Indeed, when Greek Cypriots planned and built roads to Pile, the UN never criticized, restricted, or blocked them. However, when Turkish Cypriots wish to build roads or infrastructure – the UN has taken action immediately.

Suddenly, numerous new UN instruments are contravening the standard customs and processes of the TRNC. The UN has lost its impartiality in Cyprus and is applying different standards regarding its decisions involving Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots.

Inconsistent UN Actions

The TRNC has never hesitated to open up discussions with the UN and its southern neighbors, especially when the well-being of its citizens can be improved – something that the Pile-Yiğitler road project would unquestionably achieve. Yet, at every turn, the goodwill and good faith attempts of Turkish Cypriots have not been reciprocated.

Pile is the only town in the buffer zone with both Greek and Turkish Cypriots. However, only Turkish Cypriot residents face constant checkpoints and restrictions when entering or leaving their homes. They are desperate for reasonable access into their village from the TRNC to finally have proper access to their humanitarian needs.

Since establishing the buffer zone, two new roads have been built from the Greek side into Pile. The Greek authorities even built a university and theater in the buffer zone. However, when the Turkish Cypriot authorities tried to build a single road, the full force of the UN’s might came down.

How can this double standard continue to be applied by the UN? Do they not see that this clearly violates their neutrality and demonstrates a clear and enduring bias? Turning a blind eye to Greek Cypriot projects and then blocking a Turkish Cypriot humanitarian endeavor is frankly outrageous.

This is a dangerous situation to be in. By minimizing Greek Cypriot restrictions and applying full restrictions to Turkish Cypriots, the UN is essentially removing any possibility of Turkish Cypriots living in Pile. Indeed, Turkish Cypriots have increasingly been forced to leave their homes as living in Pile becomes untenable without free access to healthcare, education and food.

It feels like a deliberate strategy to turn the only joint village in the buffer zone – one in a strategically important location – into a Greek Cypriot community. The UN is not to be trusted because it refuses to respect and honor its agreements with our government.

[Lane Gibson edited this piece.]

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.


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