Fazil Kucuk

Fazil Kucuk

Cypriot Turkish-speaking politician
Date of Birth: 14.03.1906
Country: Great Britain

Biography of Fazil Kucuk

Fazil Kucuk was a Cypriot Turkish politician and the leader of the Turkish Cypriots in their struggle for independence from Britain. He was also the first Vice President of Cyprus. Born into a peasant family in a suburb of Nicosia, Kucuk received his education at the Higher Turkish School in Nicosia and went on to study medicine at universities in Istanbul, Lausanne, and Paris. After completing his studies in 1937, he returned to his homeland and started practicing medicine in the capital. However, in 1941, he founded and became the chief editor of the newspaper "Halkın Sesi" (Voice of the People), which became the voice of the Turkish Cypriot community. Due to its nationalist leanings, the newspaper was banned by the British authorities until 1942.

In 1943, Kucuk became one of the founders of the organization "KATAK" (Association of the Turkish Minority of Cyprus), but soon after, he organized the "Turkish Cypriot Party of National Union" due to a conflict with its members. He became the leader of the Turkish community on the island, leading the armed struggle of the Turks against the EOKA, a terrorist organization formed by the TMT. In 1955, the "Cyprus Turkish Party" was founded, advocating for "taksim," the reunification of the island with Turkey.

At the London and Zurich conferences in 1959, Kucuk represented the Turkish community and signed an agreement with the Greek leader Makarios on power-sharing between the communities and the declaration of an independent Cyprus. On December 3, 1959, he was elected as the Vice President of the country, representing the smaller Turkish community according to the constitution, and took office on August 16, 1960. However, after Makarios' attempts to amend the constitution in 1963 and the beginning of ethnic violence, Kucuk abstained from fulfilling his duties and on December 21, 1963, he led the "General Committee of Turkish Cypriots." From 1967, he led the "Temporary Turkish Administration of Cyprus," which oversaw the Turkish community and engaged in armed actions against representatives of the Greek administration.

On February 18, 1973, a year before the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, Kucuk resigned due to health reasons and handed over the post to Rauf Denktash. He continued his journalistic activities. In 1984, one year after the declaration of independence of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, he passed away at Westminster Hospital in London.