The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) will head to the polls on Sunday, in a parliamentary election that has failed to stir enthusiasm among a largely disillusioned electorate. Elections in the internationally unrecognised entity are typically dominated by the long-running dispute of Cyprus, a Mediterranean island split between Turkish Cypriots in the north and Greek Cypriots in the south. With a solution to the problem, however, not in sight, campaign discussions this time have largely centred around TNRC’s enduring issues: corruption, nepotism, citizenships distributed to Turkish nationals and Ankara’s grip on the pseudo-state.
The TRNC, which has a functioning parliament and state institutions, is recognised only by Turkey since it unilaterally declared independence in 1983, breaking away from the Republic of Cyprus.
Cyprus had been practically divided since 1974, when Turkey militarily intervened on the island in response to a brief Greek-inspired coup. Ankara said it acted in line with a treaty of guarantee signed in 1960 when the Republic of Cyprus was founded.