Turgay Avci, the deputy prime minister and
foreign minister of TRNC, talks to Riz Khan

In the summer of 1974, the island of Cyprus experienced a series of events which divided that tiny country between ethnic Greeks in the south and ethnic Turks in the north. Nine years later the northern third of the country proclaimed itself a separate state – the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

In 2004 a push was made to unify the country prior to the island's accession into the EU. A referendum was held with Turkish Cypriots in the north approving of unification and Greek Cypriots in the south overwhelmingly opposing unification.

Today only those in southern Cyprus enjoy the benefits and protections of EU membership while those in the north remain politically isolated - recognised only by Turkey on which they depend for economic, political and military support. 

On Tuesday's Riz Khan we speak to Turgay Avci, the deputy prime minister and foreign minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, and ask him why, after more than 30 years, the island remains as politically divided as ever and when, if ever, it will be time for Turkey to withdraw its troops.

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You can watch Riz Khan at 1900GMT, with repeats at 0000GMT, 0500GMT, and 0930GMT.

This episode of Riz Khan aired on Tuesday November 13, 2007

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