For Cyprus, Another Obstacle To Peace

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(Photo Credit: Cedricd’s Photostream)
International Crisis Group/Turkey/Cyprus Project Research Assistant Didem Akyel has a candid appraisal over at World Politics Review of the Turkish Cypriot elections earlier this month, which resulted in a victory for the hard-line candidate Dervis Eroglu.
This outcome – which is likely to unravel the tepid progress that the incumbent Turkish Cypriot President Mehmet Ali Talat had made with his Greek Cypriot counterparts – is exactly what observers were predicting would happen when I visited the island this past November.
From Akyel’s piece:

In a conciliatory speech after the elections, Eroglu promised not to walk away from negotiations with Greek Cypriots that have been ongoing since September 2008, as well as to stick to longstanding U.N. parameters and to “seek a solution based on the realities of the island.” Such a solution may be a long time coming, however, as Eroglu wants to re-examine all the issues that Talat and Greek Cypriot President Demetris Christofias have covered in the past two years. He is against some hard-fought, key convergences the two accomplished, such as cross-voting across ethnic lines, and has ruled out allowing Greek Cypriots to reclaim property in the north. Instead of supporting the “single sovereignty” basis for the negotiations, Eroglu is keen on “two sovereign peoples living in separate areas.” He has in the past promoted a “velvet divorce,” thus fueling worries that his real goal is an internationally recognized, independent Turkish Cypriot state.

For more on the election’s likely consequences, Akyel’s full analysis can be read here.
— Ben Katcher

Comments

12 comments on “For Cyprus, Another Obstacle To Peace

  1. nardine says:

    i just wanted to say hi
    soo hi hi hi hi hi hi

    Reply

  2. Mr.Murder says:

    So, helping get something done isn’t really getting something done. What else can nadine teach the world? When we will we ever learn?
    Nice to higlight the GOP track record of success in dealing with Iran, too. Well, if you count success as giving Israel’s enemies guns, Reagan won a gold medal.

    Reply

  3. nadine says:

    I can buy that, jd. Aaron Miller gave Carter quite a bit of credit on the Charlie Rose hour (well worth watching btw).
    Nonetheless, it is not correct to say that Carter “brought about” the Camp David accords, not if you imply that he strode into the conflict, parted the two sides, and by sheer will banged heads together and created a peace where there had been only war before, which is how Carter and Obama see it now, I believe (plus their various followers on TWN).
    Carter lucked out in having a real diplomatic breakthrough between the two parties occur on his watch. He deserves credit for midwiving the peace settlement; but he was not its mother or father.

    Reply

  4. jdledell says:

    “Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin brought about the Camp David accords”
    Nadine – I would give the majority of the credit to Sadat who took the initiative of arranging a historic visit to Jerusalem and an address to the Knesset to plea for peace. I was in Israel during this period and I know what a tremendous impact this had on Israelis.
    Nonetheless,the peace agreement almost did not happen. If talks had broken off at that point, it is doubtful that they could have been resurected for a long time. As you know Begin was resisting to the end on giving up Yamit as well as including the West Bank in any deal and that almost scuttled the talks.
    I think most observers recognize that it took the efforts of all THREE men to make this agreement happen. I know you dislike Carter but without his presence shuttling between Begin and Sadat cabins and his threats, peace would still be a pipe dream.

    Reply

  5. nadine says:

    “Carter brought about Camp David accords, you rube.”
    No, Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin brought about the Camp David accords, _you_ rube. Carter just brought some dough to sweeten the deal for Egypt and hitched a ride for the credit. Carter lucked out.
    “We’d be fortunate to see Obama gain similar result from some other paradigm of the conflict models there.”
    Fortunate indeed, since all Obama’s conflict models are upside down and backwards. That’s why they have led to failure and will lead to more failure.

    Reply

  6. Mr.Murder says:

    Iran was fumbled by republicans, dating back to the days of Ike.
    Carter brought about Camp David accords, you rube.
    We’d be fortunate to see Obama gain similar result from some other paradigm of the conflict models there.
    Bringing Turkey to the EU could do that, putting NATO into the MidEast via membership state, in essence.
    Perhaps doing so would require a vote on Cyprus recognition for the same. It could serve as a triangulation of Mediterranean interests with Greece and Turkey. Very complex, but something a person like Obama could grasp, and craft enough incentive for all sides to make it work.

    Reply

  7. nadine says:

    From today’s Politico:

    Reply

  8. sosad says:

    Hi Nadine. The turkish north cyprus has been denied direct trade with any other country than turkey. There are no direct flights, all flights have to land in turkey, appprox 40 miles between coastlines and is so stupid. International law is compiled more by people who can bully, suits their friends or get their own way rather than looking to each sides rights. I agree with you about Israel, a country and a people I admire and I do feel they are continually ostracised even though they always try to turn the other cheek when being cintinually provoked. The world is not a fair place.In fact, I no longer understand what fair means

    Reply

  9. nadine says:

    sosad, I am perfectly willing to concede that the situation was not that simple and Turkey had legitimate concerns for the safety of Turkish Cypriots. Israel had legitimate concerns in 1967 too; they were responded to Jordan opening an artillery barrage on Jerusalem.
    Nonetheless, Turkey did invade Cyprus and ethnically clear the northern half of Greeks. (Unlike Israel, which did not ethnically clear the West Bank and Gaza in 1967). I’m just pointing out that NOBODY calls the Turkish inhabitants of Cyprus “settlers” or moans about how they are an apartheid state that is breaking the Geneva Conventions or “international law,” or how they have to evacuate every last Turk from Cyprus before negotiations can begin.
    We hear none of that in Cyprus, where everybody seems quite willing to concede that peace can only be made on the basis of Greeks and Turks staying where they are now.
    I am just pointing out the utter hypocrisy of the Israel-bashers, who have one reason after another for why it’s fair to judge Israel by a completely different standard than any other country in the world, esp. Israel’s enemies, for whom they always have an excuse.

    Reply

  10. nadine says:

    sosad, I am perfectly willing to concede that the situation was not that simple and Turkey had legitimate concerns for the safety of Turkish Cypriots.
    Nonetheless, Turkey did invade Cyprus and ethnically clear the northern half of Greeks. (Unlike Israel, which did not ethnically clear the West Bank and Gaza in 1967). I’m just pointing out that NOBODY calls the Turkish inhabitants of Cyprus “settlers” or moans about how they are an apartheid state that is breaking the Geneva Conventions or “international law,” or how they have to evacuate every last Turk from Cyprus before negotiations can begin.
    We hear none of that in Cyprus, where everybody seems quite willing to concede that peace can only be made on the basis of Greeks and Turks staying where they are now.
    I am just pointing out the utter hypocrisy of the Israel-bashers, who have one reason after another for why it’s fair to judge Israel by a completely different standard than any other country in the world, esp. Israel’s enemies, for whom they always have an excuse.

    Reply

  11. sosad says:

    You could say the same applies to both sides of the island as both sides have accepted turkish and greek settlers or immigrants or whatever you wish to call them.
    It has been promulgated that the actual republic of Cyprus ceased to exist when Makarios changed the ideals it was based upon to give the greek citizens overiding rights to the exclusion of the Turkish Cypriots so who threw the first stone. Turkey became involved to protect its citizens and now we have the present day mess.
    So Nadine, if you believe the state of cyprus was still operating in its original format after Makarios changed the rules then you may be right but the explanation is not as simple as you might like it to be

    Reply

  12. nadine says:

    “Turks who have been migrating from Turkey over the past decades also mostly backed Eroglu, serving as a reminder to all that the longer it takes to get to a referendum on an eventual settlement, the more of the island’s original inhabitants will have been replaced by immigrants with little interest in Cypriot reunification. ”
    Somebody is really going to have to explain to me why Turks who came from Turkey to settle in Northern Cyprus after the Turkish invasion are “immigrants” and not “settlers”. Remind me, Cyprus was an internationally recognized state before Turkey invaded it in 1974, wasn’t it? How come we never hear about how the Geneva Conventions make the Turkish settlements illegal like we hear incessantly about Israeli settlements in the West Bank?
    Only difference I can see is that the Turkish invasion was aggressive, not defensive like the 1967 Israeli repulse of the Jordanian attack; and the West Bank, unlike northern Cyprus, doesn’t legally belong to any other country. But that should make the Turkish settlements more illegal than the Israeli ones, and it doesn’t seem to work that way.
    But Turkey is a big Muslim country who doesn’t give a shit about what anyone says, so there’s your explanation.
    And that, my friends, is what so called “international law” really turns on these days.

    Reply

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