There are allegations that Russia will soon launch direct flights to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and plans to open a consulate in Nicosia by the end of the year. Do these steps mean that Moscow will recognize the TRNC? Is it possible to 'recognition of Crimea against the recognition of the TRNC'?
Izvestia, one of the leading Russian newspapers, wrote in its news titled "Russia is preparing to start flights with Northern Cyprus", that Moscow will soon launch direct flights to the TRNC and will open a consulate in North Nicosia by the end of the year. In the news, which was based on two high-level sources speaking to the newspaper, it was stated that these steps taken by Moscow did not mean the recognition of the TRNC. Emphasizing that direct flights are not a decision taken by the Russian state, the sources stated that only a private Russian company will carry out these flights:
“The flight decision is the initiative of a private airline. This does not mean that Russia will recognize the TRNC diplomatically. Moscow's stance against the TRNC will remain the same."
AKP Chairman and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan answered journalists' questions in New York, where he was on the occasion of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, and said, "We would be pleased if Russia started direct flights to the TRNC."
The allegations were first made in the Milliyet newspaper on September 20. In the news signed by Fatma Gülçin Kabasakallı, it was stated that direct flights from Russia to the TRNC will start and that the first flight will be opened on November 15, and efforts are being made to prepare for the opening ceremony of the new Ercan Airport. It was reported in the news that President Erdoğan would also attend the opening.
The opening of a consulate is also on the agenda.
Besides direct flights, Moscow also plans to open a consulate in North Nicosia. A source with knowledge on the matter told Izvestiya that Moscow is considering possibilities and working on opening a consulate in the TRNC. However, stating that this step would not mean "diplomatic recognition of the TRNC", the source underlined that there are nearly 10 thousand Russian citizens living in the north of the island and that such a decision was taken to serve these people.
Example of “Taiwan” at the consulate
Citing the example of Taiwan, officials said that the name of the TRNC will not be mentioned in the consulate building they plan to open by the end of this year, and that the institution will be referred to as the "Russian consulate in North Nicosia".