Turkey is now using the distraction of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a cover to increase its likelihood of officially annexing Cyprus’s north. On April 14, a protocol was signed between Turkey and the illegal Turkish de facto regime that has been ruling occupied northern Cyprus. Although Turkey has already forcibly altered the demography of Cyprus through the ethnic cleansing campaign, the new protocol gives Turkish nationals even easier access to the region.
The protocol also stipulates the strengthening of the Religious Affairs Department in the area, as well as building religious complexes, such as mosques, and restoring Turkish-Islamic heritage sites. The protocol makes no secret of Turkey’s intention to annex the north. The introduction states, “the island of Cyprus has been a part of Anatolia politically and culturally since 1571.” 1571 is when the Ottoman Empire began occupying Cyprus.