By Ozan Serdaroğlu (vol. 8, no. 13 of the Turkey Analyst)
Seven months after Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades withdrew from the peace talks, attempts to reunify Cyprus are again underway with greater optimism following the election of Mustafa Akıncı as the new leader of Turkish Cypriots. The Greek Cypriot side continues to enlarge its diplomatic capacities and develops a new regional context where Turkey is left with fewer options. Eastern Mediterranean geopolitics together with the more assertive, independent-minded stance of Turkish Cypriots in favor of “reunification” mean that Turkey faces the most delicate stage of its engagement in Cyprus since 1974.
By Stephen Blank (vol. 5, no. 1 of the Turkey Analyst)
New tension is brewing between Turkey and Cyprus after Cyprus’ and Israel’s enormous gas finds in the Eastern Mediterranean in 2010-11 and Turkey’s extremely negative reaction to those finds. Turkey can be embroiled with a conflict, not only with Cyprus, its European backers and Israel, but with Russia as well. The Cyprus energy conflict demonstrates the urgency of making progress on the tangled issue of Cyprus’ future and the relationships among its two ethnoreligous groups and of fully integrating Turkey into Europe.
By Gareth H. Jenkins (vol. 4, no.1 of the Turkey Analyst)
On December 31, 2010, Belgium’s six month presidency of the EU closed without any chapters in Turkey’s membership negotiations being opened. It was the first time an EU presidency had been concluded without the opening of any chapters since Turkey’s accession process was launched in October 2005. Although at least one chapter is expected to be opened during the first half of 2011, it is becoming increasingly difficult to sustain the impression that the accession process is still alive, much less that there is any realistic prospect of Turkey joining the EU in the foreseeable future.
By Gareth H. Jenkins (vol. 3, no. 2 of the Turkey Analyst)
Time appears to be running out for a successful conclusion of the latest UN-sponsored negotiations to reunite the divided island of Cyprus. Although representatives of the two communities began intensified talks on January 11, 2010, the impending presidential elections in the Turkish Cypriot north of the island are expected to force a break in the negotiating process. More ominously, if – as currently seems likely – the incumbent Mehmet Ali Talat is replaced by the more hawkish Dervis Eroğlu, the prospects of a settlement are likely to recede considerably.
By the Editors (vol. 1, no. 4 of the Turkey Analyst)
In December 2006, citing Turkey’s refusal to extend its customs union to Cyprus, EU Foreign Ministers suspended talks on eight of the thirty-five negotiation chapters in Turkey’s accession negotiations. But the importance of Cyprus has been overblown: Cyprus was only the superficial reason for the ‘slowdown’ decision. Both parties to the accession talks in fact needed to gain time and tend to internal matters. What does the current Turkish turmoil imply for the Cyprus issue and the broader future of Turkey’s EU accession negotiations?
The Turkey Analyst is a publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Joint Center, designed to bring authoritative analysis and news on the rapidly developing domestic and foreign policy issues in Turkey. It includes topical analysis, as well as a summary of the Turkish media debate.