Turkey's economic crisis puts Cyprus talks in limbo
Turkey's deepening economic and political crisis has put stalled Cyprus peace talks in limbo, said Greek Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides on Thursday, February 22.
Clerides said he thought the UN and the international community was biding its time until the situation in Turkey became clearer before fixing a definite date to resume talks.
"I don't think mediators are now making any efforts. The issue is in the hands of the UN secretary general who is probably weighing up the situation in Turkey," Clerides told reporters.
A sixth round of UN-sponsored talks was scheduled for late January in Geneva. Talks were postponed after Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash refused to attend unless his breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was recognized as an independent state.
"If the crisis in Turkey is prolonged, it will adversely affect the Cyprus issue, because it will be difficult for the Turkish government to take any decisions," said Clerides.
The Greek Cypriot leader said possible intervention by the Turkish military to resolve the crisis could have serious consequences for the divided island. "If there is an early resolution of the crisis through an intervention by the military, the result may again be negative for Cyprus", he said.
He said the uncertainty over who is really in charge in Ankara is delaying any renewed initiative by the US and Britain to break the current deadlock.
The Turkish lira dived by 30.5 percent Thursday, as a result of an unprecedented political row over corruption between Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and President Ahmet Necdet Sezer. — (AFP, Nicosia)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)