It should be emphasised that the purpose of this article is not to dwell on the legal and political situation in Northern Cyprus, let alone to speculate on future scenarios on these very sensitive issues.
The aim is to highlight the potential that the Turkish Cypriot community has and the contribution it could make at European and international level, especially in the medical-scientific and research fields. (Application of Cyprus to the European Union and Cyprus problem on JSTOR).
To achieve this goal, the European Commission has started to implement an aid programme for the Turkish Cypriot community, Regulation (EC) No 389/2006. In particular, the EU, through this programme, aims to promote the economic and social development of the Turkish Cypriot community.
In particular, this institution would like to integrate the island economically and culturally, to improve contacts between the two sides of Cyprus and the latter, to allocate funds to support projects of the Turkish Cypriot people, especially those related to education and training of young people, to bring this community closer to the EU, through information and contacts between the citizens of the two realities.
As Olli Rehn, European Commissioner for Enlargement, said: “I welcome today’s decision to allow us to implement concrete projects that bring the Turkish Cypriot community closer to Europe.”
In addition, he added that: “It is another step of the EU towards ending the isolation of this community“.
In the light of the above, it is appropriate to focus on one of the most important aspects of this project: university higher education and research.
The European Union has realised that the Turkish Cypriot community is slowly emerging in the field of medicine, science and research and could become a cultural centre where students from different parts of the world, especially from Europe, come to start and/or continue their studies and where they will also have the possibility to specialise in disciplines, such as genetics, pharmacology and dentistry, which are more complex and difficult to access in Europe.
This is due to the fact that the various North Cypriot universities, in particular the Near East University (NEU ), and the research centres in this area are cultivating a legitimate aspiration to participate in funding for research and development, particularly in the fields of chemistry, physics and pharmacology and the fight against rare genetic diseases, with the aim of achieving a common goal, namely to contribute to the well-being of the world by training young, capable and competent graduates.
Therefore, the establishment of this collaboration between the European and North Cypriot scientific communities is extremely important, as it would lead to the promotion of the universality of knowledge. Knowledge that goes beyond complex geopolitical scenarios, and which would initiate a union of the various scientific communities to combat serious humanitarian emergencies, of which Covid19 is a concrete example.
In this regard, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has also taken note of the potential of the North Cypriot community in the field of medical training and scientific research. Faced with this, in fact, it has implemented a series of initiatives, such as the allocation of economic funding and the opening of a dialogue to obtain a European passport for North Cypriots, to help this reality to continue its process of development in the medical-scientific field and to create the basis for the dissemination of its knowledge with the rest of the world, facilitating socio-cultural exchanges between the different communities.
Consequently, these principles of brotherhood and medical-scientific universality, which are also the basis of the open discussion between the European Biotechnology Society, EBTNA, the MAGI Group society and the Albert Schweitzer Association, must be cultivated and continued over time.
It is the European Union that, together with the World Health Organisation (WHO), must continue to ensure dialogue between the different communities and lay the foundations for new scenarios for the future.
Dr.ssa Valentina Medeghini