Tributes have been paid to a British political scientist, author and staunch supporter of the Turkish Cypriot people, who has died aged 93.
Professor Clement Dodd was an expert on Turkish politics and the Cyprus issue and published a number of books about Cyprus during his career including The Cyprus Imbroglio, Disaccord on Cyprus: The UN Plan and After and his last book The History and Politics of the Cyprus Conflict published in 2010.
Born in Chester in the UK in 1926, he studied Turkish and Farsi at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, according to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Information Office.
He became a professor of politics at the age of 44 at Hull University and was a visiting professor to Turkey’s Middle East Technical University, Bilkent University and Boğaziçi University.
Offering her “deepest condolences” Ambassador Oya Tuncalı, the TRNC’s representative in London, expressed her “profound grief” over the “passing of eminent political scientist and renowned academician” Dodd.
“Professor Dodd’s writings on Cyprus for the Bulletin of the British Association for Turkish Area Studies, as well as his extensive research and books on the Cyprus question, have been an outstanding record of historical events and will continue to be an excellent resource for future studies and teachings,” she said in a statement to T-VINE.
“[He] was a true supporter and committed friend of the Turkish Cypriot people and we are very grateful for the many contributions he has made to the above-mentioned fields throughout his career.”
Osman Ertuğ, a former Cyprus talks negotiator and presidential spokesman, said Prof Dodd’s name was “well-known in the TRNC as a valued friend of the Turkish Cypriots”.
“He wrote books, gave lectures and expressed views that support the point of view of the Turkish Cypriot people,” Mr Ertuğ said.
“With his death, the Turkish Cypriots have lost a true friend and a strong, respected voice in the international arena.
TRNC Ambassador Oya Tuncalı called Prof. Clement Dodd a “true supporter of the Turkish Cypriot people” whose extensive research and books on the Cyprus question…will continue to be an excellent resource for future studies”
“Yet the work he left behind will live on, as we continue to benefit from it in our continuing struggle for the recognition of our legitimate rights and our sovereign equal status. May he rest in peace.”
Writing exclusively for T-VINE Ergün Olgun, also a former presidential aide, said he first met Prof Dodd in 1992 when Mr Olgun was a lecturer at the TRNC’s Eastern Mediterranean University.
“He wanted to put together and edit a book on North Cyprus and offered me to write an overview chapter on the economy and a chapter on ‘sectoral’ analysis,” he recalled.
“These two chapters were published, together with 11 others and his conclusions, in his well-known The Political, Social and Economic Development of Northern Cyprus book in 1993.
“My contacts and friendship with Clem grew particularly after I became the Political and Research Adviser to the TRNC Presidency in 1993, and this friendship extended to our wives Nesta and Netice.
“Clem had a strong sense of justice and fair play and was very disturbed by the unfair way Turkish Cypriots were treated, by both the Greek Cypriots and the international community, after the usurpation of the bi-communal partnership Republic of Cyprus by the Greek Cypriot partner in 1963.
“He therefore started to research and write extensively about the Cyprus imbroglio and published many articles, booklets and books, all subtly touching upon the injustice being done to the Turkish Cypriot people.”
In 2017, Prof Dodd told former TRNC Presidential aide Ergün Olgun: “A federal solution seems beyond possibility now. If I were a Turkish Cypriot, I would not vote for such a solution.”
In his article Mr Olgun reveals that in July 2017, following the collapse in Switzerland of talks for a federal solution for Cyprus, Prof Dodd wrote to him predicting that “in the future a Turkish Cypriot plan will come forward for a two-state solution”.
“A federal solution seems beyond possibility now,” Prof Dodd told Mr Olgun at the time. “If I were a Turkish Cypriot, I would not vote for such a solution.”
Prof Dodd, who once owned a home in Lapta in North Cyprus, suffered a major blow in October 2017 when Nesta, his wife of 66 years, passed away following a “long struggle with cancer”, Mr Olgun said.
“It was on 19 August, 2019, that I received the sad message from his son Nigel that Clem had died on 18 August after deciding to come off his [kidney] dialysis treatment as his general health had deteriorated to the point where he could no longer actively pursue his academic interests,” Mr Olgun continued.
“Friendship and dedication know no boundaries. The loss of someone dear to us is never easy. While Clem is no longer physically with us, I hope all the cherished memories that his family has of Clem will bring light to his family during this dark time.
“As for Turkish Cypriots, we will never forget the sincere support we received from Clem in our justified struggle against domination.”
An obituary published by the UK’s Guardian newspaper and written by Prof Dodd’s daughter Hilary Menhennet, said that her father had been “one of the most respected commentators on Cypriot affairs in the UK”.
She added: “Clement had become increasingly interested in Cyprus, partly inspired by a sense that the Turkish Cypriots had had a rough deal at the hands of the United Nations.”
Prof Dodd’s funeral took place on 2 September, the TRNC’s Information Office said.
He is survived by his three children, Rosemary, Nigel and Hilary, eight grandchildren and a great-grandchild.