Cyprus and Its People: Nation, Identity, and Experience in an Unimaginable Community, 1955-1997

By Vangelis Calotychos | Go to book overview

7 An Outline of a Plan Toward a Comprehensive Settlement of the Greek-Turkish Dispute

Theodore A. Couloumbis and Louis J. Klarevas1

At the heart of the Cyprus problem is a difference between Greeks and Turks. Even though Cyprus is an independent country, the question of Cyprus is almost never addressed without some reference to Greece and Turkey. For that matter, hardly ever are Greek-Turkish relations discussed without raising the Cyprus issue. The prospects for peace in Cyprus are related to the prospects for reconciliation between Greece and Turkey, and vice-versa.

This article, employing a concentric levels of analysis approach, is designed to focus on the prospects for tension reduction and, ultimately, reconciliation in the chronic adversarial relationship characterizing Greece and Turkey. Realizing that developments at the national level (i.e., Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus) are deeply affected by alternative futures at the regional (i.e., European and Mediterranean) and global levels of analysis, we are presenting, in a sequence ranging from cautious optimism to unqualified pessimism, three scenarios of post-Cold War developments entitled "Tolerable," "Undesirable," and "Catastrophic."2

Our article concludes with the presentation of a set of proposals regarding tension-reduction in Greek-Turkish relations which, we believe, have a good chance of materializing provided an approximation of the Tolerable scenario continues to remain in place in the foreseeable future. Alternatively, we postulate that the chances of reconciliation between Greece and Turkey and peace on the island of Cyprus are dramatically diminished as the world moves from the Tolerable to the Undesirable, and even worst, to the Catastrophic scenarios.

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