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Yücel Vural, Sertaç Sonan and Michális S. Michael

This chapter examines the dual relationship that the Turkish Cypriot community maintains with the two significant actors of the Cyprus dispute – namely Turkey and the Greek Cypriot community – and argues that the Turkish Cypriot community has been grappling with the dilemma of how to maintain its identity through this binary juxtaposition. Numerically, politically, economically and militarily weaker, as well as internationally isolated, the Turkish Cypriots have always viewed Ankara as its protector against Greek Cypriot hegemony. Yet, growing dependence on Turkey, as it has turned out, posed an equally severe existential threat on its identity, making reaching an accommodation with the Greek Cypriots an urgent necessity. The discrepancy created by the conflicting and insurmountable demands imposed by Turkey and the Greek Cypriots constitutes the very core of the Turkish Cypriot dilemma.