Cyprus Dispute

Very briefly,

Cyprus has been divided for a long time, and while countries all around the world recognise Republic of Cyprus as the legitimate representative of the Cypriots and the de jure ruler of the island, the northern portion of the island has been under the military occupation of Turkey for a long time now.

The de facto government of this portion is called the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, and this country is only recognised by Turkey, and it recognises only Turkey. Turkey acts a sugar daddy to her.

Annan Plans (I-V) has all failed and an agreement isn’t to be reached in the foreseeable future, due to security concerns the Greeks on the island have.

What should be done to solve this dispute, which would greatly improve Turkish-Greco/Greek relations and moreover would increase the chances of Turkey being a part of the EU (although she never will with AKP as the ruling party).

Do you think there is a rational solution? Why do you think this dispute, which has been a long-standing one, has little-to-no media coverage? Do you think the necessary steps taken by Kofi Annan was neglected by his successors? Propose a plan!

Edit: No need to put extensive historical information since most people on this site probably knows about the relations between Turks and Greeks…

The chances of this being solved anytime soon are slim. The reason: the discovery of plentiful offshore natural gas reserves in the Med.

Greece, non-Turkish Cyprus, and Israel are heavily invested in exploiting these reserves. Turkey wants its share, and its claim to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus gives in an “in” - albeit, not one recognized by anyone else.

Some authors are hopeful - that, with so much money at stake, all parties will get together to solve the “Cypus problem” once and for all:

I am not so hopeful. Relations between Israel and Turkey have been terrible for the last few years, and I think the fact that they are both eyeing this financial prize - with Israel going so far as to sign a formal military alliance with Cyprus - is part of the reason.

One thing is for sure - with Europe’s current problems with gas-supplying Russia, a new source of natural gas on Europe’s doorstep - should it be made operational - will shift the hell out of foreign relations.

An EU perspective as of April, 2014:

You’ve got the tail wagging the dog. Relations between Greece and Turkey will have to improve first and that will create a setting in which the Cyprus dispute can be resolved.

[insert your own buggery joke here]

It doesn’t get much media attention because (thank goodness) there isn’t fighting going on.

(Drat. I shouldn’t have said that. Some idiot will now open fire, hoping it will get his political cause elevated to world-wide public attention.)

I’ll echo this post.

It is true that there is currently a lack of dramatic violence, but IMO this situation is actually more significant than (say) the situation in Gaza, even if its significance isn’t widely recognized as yet.

Should the development of ofshore gas proceed, allegedly there is enough there to supply Europe for 20 years - and that is just currently proven reserves.

although I have not much visited the Cyprus since 10 years, it seems to me you are making this over dramatic. There has not been any serious violence since the 1990s and now since 2003 by the Turkish side and then ascension to the EU that forced the Greek side to remove the restrictions it placed on its citizens, the movement between the two sides is not hard.

It seems to me it is the old guards of both the local chypriotes - Greek and Turk - who are the barrier to a resolution, not the Greece nor the Turkey. It was my experience that it was those who each refused to admit the crimes the other mutually committed between the local communities and each wanted the reparations only from the other side without wanting to admit their own bloody hands in the seizing of the others or the expelling of the others (greek on turk, turk on greek).

This helps nothing and hurts debate. Don’t do it again.

You’re not wrong, but as the hostility has thus far lasted nearly two centuries, is there any particular reason to hope it will improve soon?

This is a nationalist mythology and not history. The relations of the orthodox and the turks were not bad over all of the two centuries. Ottoman rule often seemed better than rule by the Latins - that is the roman catholics - as rulers who consistently oppressed the orthodoxes and tried to convert and suppress their church.

It is the romantic nationalisms of the late 19th century which made a myth around this and created the pan-european civilisation narratives where before it was the hostility of the orthodoxes and the catholics that was more primary.

There is no reason that as in the past, the current political interest can not remake the historical narrative. The idea of hostilities or friendships that are immutable over centuries is a false one.

I think the real issue is that the driver of events in Cyprus is not the Cypriot communities themselves (whatever their historical or nationalistic narratives), but increasingly the economic and political decisions of outsiders.

This has been true since the Greek Junta/Turkish invasion, and is only going to be more significant, now that Cyprus is, effectively, sitting on (or rather near) an economic treasure.

There is no reason to think this. it is the local communities themselves that have each their irredentiste claims and lack of respect for the other sides losses, each only looks to its narrow view.

It is only the local concerns and the local hatreds that will cause any blockage, not the historical partners who will all find it more convenient for a solution to arrive. The outsides, they are a pretext for local disputes.

Not that I’m aware of. The hostility between Greece and Turkey managed to last through both World War II and the Cold War, when you’d think the two countries might have grown closer in the face of bigger problems.