(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