T“I was alive only because I had a Turkish passport,” tells Lazar Russo in Arnold Reisman’s Shoah: Turkey, the US and the UK. Lazar Russo was living in France when the Nazis occupied it. As with the other Jews, it was impossible for him to leave the country. However, remaining meant certain extermination. Only after the Turkish Consulate in Paris offered him a passport could he escape. He went to Turkey. It was an unusual move from a foreign country those days.
Despite repeated calls and promises, Turkish Cypriots live in economic, political and humanitarian isolation. This paper tries to address one aspect of it and elaborates on the legal basis of these isolationist practices imposed on one side of the island. It challenges the international legal validity of the de facto sanctions. Furthermore, it claims that lifting economic isolation will also serve as a confidence building tool between Greek and Turkish Cypriots as well as between Turkey and the Republic of Cyprus represented by the Greek Cypriots since such an act will lead to Turkey’s reciprocation and the normalization of relations with the Republic of Cyprus. It also argues that neither the UN, nor the EU has ever imposed any sanctions on Turkish Cypriots and the policy of isolation, as such, has only been practiced by the Greek Cypriots and the Greeks. This paper intends to clarify the distinction between sanctions and non-recognition. It also highlights the promises made by the EU to the Turkish Cypriots, in particular, the one made on April 26, 2004, when the Council of the EU proclaimed its commitment to end the isolation of the Turkish Cypriot community.