Since the Turkish invasion of 1974, the Republic of Cyprus has been divided de facto. The north third of the Republic of Cyprus unilaterally declared the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus which de facto controls the northern one-third of Cyprus. The United Nations considers the TRNC to be legally invalid in its resolutions and calls for its withdrawal. The Government of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has remained a non-recognized entity (except by the Government of Turkey) since its UDI in 1983.
In 1974, following a coup by the Greek backed National Guard and the arrival of Turkish troops in response (claiming that their authority to do so was under the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee), the Turkish Cypriots formally set up their own institutions under the title Turkish Federated State of North Cyprus. In 1983, the Turkish Cypriots unilaterally declared independence as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). In 1985, they adopted a constitution and held elections--an arrangement thus far recognized by Turkey & Pakistan.
The TRNC held multi-party parliamentary elections in 1993, removing the long-ruling National Unity Party in favour of a coalition of the Democratic(DP) and Republican Turkish(CTP) parties. However, in August 1996, a new coalition was formed between the two main rightist parties, the National Unity Party and the Democratic Party, which stayed in power for the next eight years. In 2003, the CTP and DP formed a new government, placing CTP leader Mehmet Ali Talat as the new Prime Minister.
In 2005, Rauf Denktaş retired from the presidency. Talat won the Presidential Election, becoming the TRNC's second President. He resigned as Prime Minister, which was taken over by CTP Deputy Leader Ferdi Sabit Soyer.
UN-sponsored negotiations to develop institutional arrangements acceptable to both communities began in 1968; several sets of negotiations and other initiatives followed. Turkish Cypriots focused on bi-zonality, security guarantees, and political equality between the two communities. The Greek Cypriots however emphasized the rights of unrestricted population movement, recovery of property, resettlement, and the return of territory to their control. Turkish Cypriots favour a federation of two nearly autonomous societies living side by side with limited contact, and allowing Turkish migrants to stay, while Greek Cypriots envision a more integrated structure, and requiring the Turkish migrants to leave the island.
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan tried to present a compromise formula which would have enabled a federal state to be established on the island. While there were serious compromises made on both sides, neither the Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaderships were happy with the final plan. Nonetheless, it was decided to put the issue to the voters.
In 2004, the Annan Plan was supported in a referendum by two-thirds of the Turkish Cypriots voting. However, it was defeated by nearly three-quarters of the Greek Cypriots. Had the plan been accepted by both communities, the United Cyprus Republic would have resulted. However, the rejection by the Greek Cypriots meant that only they could benefit from all the privileges of EU membership. (Turkish Cypriots of genuine Cypriot extraction are able to apply for Republic of Cyprus passports.) This has started to change international attitudes towards the Turkish Cypriots as the Republic of Cyprus government still insists upon maintaining the international embargoes on the TRNC despite the results of the vote.
International organization participation: OIC (observer-state member)