Two Steps Forward, Three Steps Back: The Problems of a Divided Cyprus Will Not Go Away despite a Groundswell of Public Opinion, Especially in the North, That the 29-Year Breech Must Now Be Healed. (Cyprus)

By Keay, Justin | The Middle East, April 2003 | Go to article overview

Two Steps Forward, Three Steps Back: The Problems of a Divided Cyprus Will Not Go Away despite a Groundswell of Public Opinion, Especially in the North, That the 29-Year Breech Must Now Be Healed. (Cyprus)


Keay, Justin, The Middle East


Harold Wilson once remarked that a week is a long time in politics. These days, on Cyprus's political scene, a week can seems like an eternity.

As voters in the south headed off to the polls to elect a new president--replacing Glafcos Clerides with Tassos Papadopoulos--speculation continued about whether Greek and Turkish Cypriots will be able to agree to resolve the 29-year division of the island. And still, despite the personal intervention of the UN's Secretary General Kofi Annan who travelled to Nicosia in late February there is no, obvious answer.

In late January, hopes were running high that a settlement was imminent, as pressure built on a reluctant Rauf Denktash, leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, to sign the peace plan presented by Kofi Annan. Large-scale demonstrations in northern Nicosia--one comprising some 70,000 people, or more than one third of the north's population according to a local Reuters journalist--led many to assume that his time-honoured policy of endless but unyielding negotiation was unsustainable. The fact that Washington and the European Union were pushing Turkey towards a solution--with Brussels indicating that Ankara's Cyprus policy would be a key factor in determining its suitability for eventual accession to the EU--also seemed to suggest that Denktash's procrastination could not be continued. Indeed, when Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's ruling AKP leader, went public with his belief that Denktash's personalisation of the Cyprus issue was unsustainable, many observers started writing the latter's political obituary.

Yet a few weeks later, things look as if they are back to square one. Denktash's public appearances, far from suggesting a man under pressure instead confirm that this veteran figure feels very much back in control of events again. In interviews with the Turkish media the 79 year-old internationally unrecognised president of the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" suggested that if Ankara wanted him to step aside he would do so, but he saw absolutely no signs that this was the case.

"The military and key elements within the Ankara establishment seem to have closed ranks behind Denktash once again," says James Ker-Lindsay, head of the Nicosia-based Civilitas consultancy. Pointing to recent statements from four leading figures within the Turkish military, he says there are growing signs that it is prepared to tough it out with Erdogan and his apparent desire to ease Denktash out and sign the Annan peace plan. Using phrases such as "blood has been spilled for Cyprus" and "we cannot sell out Cyprus for EU membership," the Army is making clear its growing hostility to the plan.

The ongoing showdown between the US and Iraq has also benefited Denktash. Erdogan--and Turkey's military--may not see eye to eye over Cyprus but they are united in agreeing that the issue cannot distract them from a possible threat to the country's eastern borders by a belligerent Baghdad. Extraordinary scenes, when Turkey asked NATO to invoke Article Four in the face of French, German and Belgian hostility to the notion, completely preoccupied Erdogan--who is still struggling to find a parliamentary seat so he can formally assume the premiership from Abdullah Gul.

"Denktash appears to have grown even more stubborn in recent days, bolstered by his growing support in Ankara," believes Lindsay, who says even senior members of the AKP seem to have swung behind him.

With time running out for a solution, Denktash's opponents in the north believe he is deliberately holding out for the impossible--recognition of the 1974 invasion as a legitimate act and of the "TRNC" as a de jure legal state, not to mention Turkish membership of the EU. The hope is either that the status quo will be maintained or that north Cyprus will be absorbed fully into Turkey. With the Turkish military maintaining that the territory is strategically vital and should not be conceded without some major concession from the south or the EU, even those who have always protested their optimism about an eventual decision are starting to believe continued deadlock is the only possible outcome--at least whilst Denktash remains. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Two Steps Forward, Three Steps Back: The Problems of a Divided Cyprus Will Not Go Away despite a Groundswell of Public Opinion, Especially in the North, That the 29-Year Breech Must Now Be Healed. (Cyprus)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.