This project addresses one of the fundamental and controversial issues within both communities in Cyprus: how Turkish citizens have settled in northern Cyprus as part of Turkish state policy in the area since 1974, often on property owned by Greek Cypriots.
In the absence of a solution to the Cyprus issue, the flow of Turkish immigrants to the island continues, increasing the threat perceptions both among Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. Should a new round of unification negotiations begin, then the issue of the settlers and the Turkish immigrants will be difficult to solve.
Through the project, PRIO seeks to identify facts and figures and demystify the issue. The aim is to contribute to an informed debate on both sides.
Project Leader Mete Hatay published a report on the voting patterns of settlers in September 2005, the first thorough study ever on the political behaviour of this group, which caused substantial debate in Cyprus.
For 2007 further research will be undertaken on work migration in Cyprus, including identifying “push factors” for migration from Turkey. Research is also being done within this project on the history of Islam in Cyprus, as well as a survey of religiosity in Northern Cyprus.