A delegation of parliamentarians from the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus have officially attended the 146th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) that is being hosted in Bahrain’s capital Manama.
The Secretary Generals of the four political parties sitting in the TRNC Parliament, MPs Oğuzhan Hasipoğlu (National Unity Party – UBP), Asim Akansoy (Republican Turkish Party – CTP), Serhat Akpınar (Democratic Party – DP) and Talip Atalay (Rebirth Party – YDP), all travelled to the Gulf for the five-day event, which kicked off on Saturday 11 March.
One of the IPU sessions on the opening day was a roundtable discussion on Cyprus, allowing the TRNC parliamentarians to meet their Greek Cypriot peers, MPs Alexandra Attalides, Christiana Erotokritou and Marinos Mousiouttas.
The Cypriot politicians took part in a two-hour discussion in English called ‘Group of Facilitators on Cyprus’. The closed session was moderated by Belgian MP Samuel Cogolati, Italian MP Lia Quartapelle and Swiss MP Laurent Wehrli on behalf of the IPU. The TRNC’s Bahrain Representative, Umut Koldaş, was also present at the meeting.
Posting on his Facebook page after the Cyprus discussion, Oğuzhan Hasipoğlu wrote: “Although we have different opinions in the context of a comprehensive solution, we have expressed common views on the issues of fighting earthquake and fighting climate change and continuing these discussions in Cyprus.”
The Turkish Cypriot delegation also met with parliamentarians from Azerbaijan, Pakistan and the host country Bahrain.
The TRNC was one of 132 states, which sent delegates from their national assemblies to Bahrain for the IPU Assembly, which meets twice yearly.
About the IPU
In existence since the late nineteenth century, the IPU brings together representatives of national parliaments from around the world to discuss common issues such as “peace, democracy, human rights, gender equality, youth empowerment, climate action and sustainable development through political dialogue, cooperation and parliamentary action.”
The global body has grown significantly and today has 178 members from 193 internationally recognised states. It also has 14 associate members, with assembly representatives from blocs such as the European Parliament.
Other international bodies, such as the World Trade Organization, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic States (TURKPA) are among 70 organisations granted permanent observer status at the IPU.
Although the TRNC is not a part of the IPU, as a participant at the 146th session, the country’s flag was displayed in Bahrain, and its delegation had the opportunity to meet with other politicians from around the world.
Main image, top, (L-R): TRNC MPs Oğuzhan Hasipoğlu, Serhat Akpınar, and Talip Atalay in Manama, Bahrain, for the 146th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, March 2023. Photo via Twitter