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Cyprus and the Organization of Islamic Conferences

AIDE MEMOIRE

Cyprus Question at the OIC
  • The Turkish Cypriot community of Cyprus became an OIC “observer community” in 1979 under the name “Turkish Muslim community of Cyprus”. However, under the pretext of using the name envisaged in the Annan Plan (i.e. “Turkish Cypriot constituent state of the United Cyprus Republic”), the 31st OIC Meeting of Foreign Ministers which met in Istanbul (June 2004), decided that the Turkish Cypriot Community will participate in the OIC meetings under the name envisaged in the Anan Plan.
  • The name “Turkish Cypriot constituent state of the United Cyprus Republic” was used in the Annan Plan not in abstracto but within the wider context of a comprehensive settlement plan. It was not a stand-alone term to be used selectively for enhancing the political status of the so-called “TRNC”. Furthermore, following the non adoption of the plan (April 2004), neither the envisaged “United Cyprus Republic” nor its “constituent states” have come into existence and in fact both are considered, along with the plan itself, as null and void.
  • During the informal Ministerial Meeting of the OIC, on the sidelines of the 59th UN General Assembly, on 28th September 2004, the Turkish Cypriot community participated and since then continues to participate under the name “Turkish Cypriot State” which is a substantial variation from the name envisaged in the Annan Plan.
  • Apart from that, the OIC documents on Cyprus since 2004, among other things, urge member states to strengthen effective solidarity with the Turkish Muslim people of Cyprus and with a view to helping them overcome the so-called isolation which allegedly has been imposed upon them, to increase and expand their relations in all fields (direct transport, trade, tourism, culture, information, investment and sports).
  • Both the name used and the above provisions of the OIC documents run counter to UNSC resolutions and in particular resolutions 541(1983) and 550(1984) which condemn the proclamation of a separate state in the occupied part of Cyprus and call upon all states not to recognize and not to cooperate or assist in any way the secessionist entity.
  • On April 2nd, 2005 the then so-called “deputy minister and minister of foreign affairs” of the secessionist entity, Serdar Denktash, visited the headquarters of the OIC in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for the first time, where he met with the new Secretary General of the OIC, Turkish national Dr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu.
  • During the 3rd Extraordinary Islamic Summit in Mecca (7-8/12/2005) the “Turkish Muslim Community of Cyprus” was allowed to be represented as the “Turkish Cypriot State”, in violation of the aforementioned UNSC resolutions.
  • The General Secretariat of the OIC arbitrarily issued a press release on 25 January 2006, by which the OIC welcomed and expressed support for a “new Turkish initiative on the Cyprus issue”, without any prior decision or guidance from the member states and without seeking the views of the country concerned, the Republic of Cyprus.
  • A delegation headed by the Deputy Secretary of the Organization arrived in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus through illegal ports of entry and had contacts with “officials “of the so-called “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” (27/3/2006), reportedly in order to assist the economic development of the secessionist entity in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus. Such visit was not only arbitrary but it violated both international and Republic of Cyprus laws.
  • During the 4th Conference of the OIC Parliamentary Union (Istanbul, 10-13/4/2006), the members decided that the “Turkish Cypriot Muslim community” will participated in the future activities of the Union as a ''Cyprus Turkish State''.
  • On the 22 January 2007, a delegation headed by the so called “deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs of the TRNC” Turgay Avci met with the OIC Secretary General in Jeddah. A press release issued by the OIC Secretariat used unacceptable terminology promoting the secessionist entity in violation of mandatory resolutions of the UNSC.
  • According to a press release issued by the OIC General Secretariat, the SG visited (19-20 February) the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus through the illegal and closed ports of entry, under the pretext of OIC efforts to lift the so-called “isolation” of the Turkish Cypriot community. During his visit, Dr. Ihsanoglu met with representatives of the so-called “Government of the TRNC” and urged once more the OIC member states to cooperate with the Turkish Cypriot “people” in the name of Islamic solidarity and in conformity with the OIC relevant resolutions.
  • All the documents relating to the Cyprus Question adopted by the OIC Ministerial Meetings since 2004 are replete of distortions and inaccuracies and have been extremely harmful to Cyprus, by marking an unacceptable turn in the traditional approach by the OIC on the situation in Cyprus.
  • It should be borne in mind that similar decisions and actions have had undesirable implications with regard to the relations both between the OIC and Cyprus and between the OIC and the EU, as demonstrated by the cancellation of the EU-OIC Joint Forum which was scheduled to take place in October 2004 in Istanbul.
  • Turkish troops are still occupying illegally 36.4% of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus in violation of numerous UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal and for the respect of the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and unity of the Republic of Cyprus, a member state of the UN and since 1 May 2004 also an EU member state. The secessionist entity illegally proclaimed in the occupied part of Cyprus continues to be rejected as null and void by the international community, with the sole exception of Turkey. All the other member states of the UN fully comply with UN Security Council Resolutions 541(1983) and 550(1984) which called upon all States no to recognize any Cypriot State other than the Republic of Cyprus. The aforesaid resolutions along with other relevant UN resolutions form the basis for a just and viable solution of the Cyprus problem.
  • In the forthcoming 34th Ministerial Meeting of the OIC to be held in Islamabad, Pakistan, on 15-17 May 2007, the Government of the Republic of Cyprus wishes to remind the OIC member states that the adoption of OIC resolutions on Cyprus, which are contrary to the relevant UN resolutions, encourage Turkish intransigence and assist partitionist policies pursued by Turkey through the upgrading of the status of the Turkish Cypriot community.
  • In this context, members are specifically urged to reject any reference to a “Turkish Cypriot state” in the official documents of OIC and any mention of establishing “formal and informal” relations with the said illegal secessionist entity, by placing a written reservation on the OIC resolution pertaining to Cyprus to be adopted by the forthcoming 34th Ministerial meeting of the OIC. Otherwise, a dangerous precedent will be created with unforeseen consequences for all member states with multiethnic, multi-cultural and multi-religious societies.


22 February 2007




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