Cyprus, Nicosia

Historical figures of Northern Cyprus

Updated: 2 months ago

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, although recognized only by Turkey, has several prominent figures in its history directly associated with the formation of the state as we know it today.

You may have come across streets named after Fazıl Küçük or Rauf Denktaş. Many have heard of these statesmen, but they were not the only ones shaping the history of the modern TRNC.

Исторические личности Северного Кипра

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

The great founder of the modern Turkish Republic does not have a direct connection to the TRNC. However, many streets in Northern Cyprus are named in his honor. Additionally, holidays such as Atatürk Memorial Day, Youth and Sports Day, and Turkish Republic Day are widely celebrated in the northern part of the island.

Fazıl Küçük

He is the direct creator of the independent state of Turkish Cypriots. He fought for the island's independence from the United Kingdom. Prior to the ethnic conflicts, he served as the vice president of the unified Cyprus and leader of the Turkish community on the island. He also founded and led the General Committee of Turkish Cypriots and the Temporary Turkish Administration of Cyprus.

Rauf Raif Denktaş

He was the first President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus from 1983 to 2005. He was elected to this position four times. Before becoming the president of the TRNC, Rauf Denktaş held positions such as the Deputy Attorney General of Cyprus, Chairman of the Federation of Turkish Cypriot Associations, Chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Representatives, and President of the Turkish Federated State of Cyprus (before the TRNC). He was also one of the founders of the Turkish Resistance Organization.

Mehmet Zekâi Bayram

Mehmet Zekâi Bayram, the Chief Judge of Northern Cyprus, gained recognition for his successful work in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), where he was elected in Strasbourg in 1961. Judge Mehmet Zekâi Bayram also made a significant contribution to the struggle of Turkish Cypriots for independence.

Fazıl Önder

Fazıl Önder is not only a well-known Turkish Cypriot journalist and creator of revolutionary literature but also a fighter for peaceful coexistence between the two Cypriot communities. Ultimately, his anti-separatist stance led to his demise. He was killed by members of the militarized Turkish organization Türk Mukavemet Teşkilatı, founded by Rauf Denktaş.

Osman Ertuğ

Osman Ertuğ is an important political figure in the Turkish Cypriot state before establishing the TRNC. He also played a significant role in the movement for the independence of the entire island from the United Kingdom. In the Turkish Federated State of Cyprus (after the 1974 war), he held positions such as Minister of Defense, Vice President, Chairman of the Republican Assembly, and finally Prime Minister. Osman Ertuğ was also one of the creators of the TRNC constitution project.

Mustafa Chagatai

The third Prime Minister of the Turkish Federated State of Cyprus, as well as Minister of Finance, Social Affairs, and Health. It was under the premiership of Mustafa Chagatai that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) was established.

Fehmi Ercan

This name is familiar to anyone who has flown into Ercan Airport, named after this Turkish aviator and Air Force Major. He died on the night of July 20, 1974, during a missile attack by the Greek army and is considered a martyr and hero of the war for independence.

Cengiz Topel

Another Turkish pilot died in the war. However, it was not the 1974 war, but clashes that occurred 10 years earlier, during the initial ethnic conflicts of independent Cyprus. While diving towards a Greek ship, Cengiz Topel parachuted out but was captured and executed. Many streets and the state hospital between Lefke and Guzelyurt are named in his honor.

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