Will Turkey’s Erdogan let Cyprus unite?

Three days ago, The Duran contributor Andrew Korybko wrote an excellent piece focusing on the latest round of Cypriot reunification talks, which seek to resolve the island’s near 43 year division.

To get a better understanding for what’s at stake we highly recommend reading Andrew’s post linked here.

The Cyprus problem encompasses many moving parts…an illegal Turkish invasion and occupation, recent large oil and gas reserves discovered off Cypriot shores, and geo-political power players angling for a strong presence in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea.

Following Andrew’s article, editor-in-chief Alexander Mercouris and director Alex Christoforou exchanged some more thoughts on the Cyprus reunification post…we wanted to share the impromptu email exchange around what Andrew Korybko rightly calls, “an important, yet under-analyzed, issue right now.”

Alexander Mercouris: On the subject of the current talks, the Greek Cypriots I know are at the moment evenly divided about them. Half think something may come out of them; the other half are totally skeptical and doubt anything will. The survey is completely unscientific but for what it’s worth attitudes amongst those Cypriots I know seem to be dividing on Left/Right lines, with Leftists skeptical and Rightists more positive.

Alex Christoforou: I personally hope for a solution because this may be Cyprus’ last chance, but obviously we cannot agree to just any solution. Turkish troops leaving the island is a deal breaker, they must go, and having guarantor powers is also something that is simply not practical or desirable.

These issues however can be solved, but…

My take is that Erdogan will not make a move on this until he is declared “sultan” of Turkey in April. The solution lives and dies with Erdogan. Until then I think they will keep a positive momentum spin going on the negotiation process.

Andrew Korybko:Interesting prediction, I agree — it makes sense that he’ll take a move after he finally consolidates his power just like he’s always wanted. Another Cypriot who I’ve spoken to told me that
many people are worn out and tired, and that they’re becoming desperate for a solution that importantly offers them some amount of financial compensation for their stolen properties. With this in mind,
do you think that a ‘bad deal’ which has this attractive element added to it might pass in a referendum?

Alex Christoforou: Yes I am 99% sure it will pass referendum, if the condition that Turkish troops leave and that the three powers (UK, Greece, Turkey) are not guarantor states, then this will easily pass a referendum.

People want money, and if a deal is struck, Cyprus will offer amazing opportunities for growth. New tourist cities will be built from nothing on some of the best beaches in the world…it will be big. Long term, a bad deal could be toxic, but short term, Cypriots will make out big time.

Also remember that the young (millennial) Greek and Turkish Cypriot generation are very friendly towards each other, with little to no recollection of an invasion and partition. They just want a better future within the island.

The Duran readers, sound off in the comments section below, and let us know what you think will happen in the reunification talks between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot sides. We are getting close to a deal, that if passed, could reshape the region for decades to come.

Full disclosure, Alexander Mercouris is of Greek origin and Alex Christoforou is Greek Cypriot. It would be great to hear a Turkish and Turkish Cypriot viewpoint in the comments sections.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.

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