Strategic National/Ethnic Identity Constructions: The Northern Cyprus Case

Akfirat S. A., ÖNER ÖZKAN B.

BILIG, no.52, pp.1-32, 2010 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Journal Name: BILIG
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-32
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The present documentary study investigates how political parties in Northern Cyprus define the national/ethnic identity of Turkish Cypriots in the service of their own collective projects within the context of Cyprus' unification (the unification of Turkish and Greek Cypriots under the roof of United Cyprus vs. keeping the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus/TRNC independent). For this purpose, all the official documents of the two political parties, namely Turkish Republican Party (CTP) and National Unity Party (UBP), published between 2000-2005 were collected; those which were related with the Cyprus problem were chosen and analyzed through the Structural Analysis of Group Arguments technique in the light of Social Identity/Self Categorization theories. The findings support the notion that social groups are constructed strategically by particular members. UBP defines the community living in Northern Cyprus in line with the project of keeping TRNC alive as an inextricable part of the Turkish nation. On the other hand, CTP tries to differentiate the same community from Turkey and Turkish people, in accordance with the project of united Cyprus. Besides group definitions, the findings also reveal that these two political parties construct the issues of 'problem', 'solution', 'threat/interest' and 'European Union' in the service of their own kinds of collective projects.