Can a Two-State Solution Resolve The Cyprus Conflict?

Published October 27th, 2020 - 11:32 GMT
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan meets leader Ersin Tatar (Twitter)
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan meets leader Ersin Tatar (Twitter)
The last effort to reunify the two Cypriot sides collapsed in mid-2017.

The Turkish president has called for discussions on “a realistic proposal” toward a two-state solution for the divided island of Cyprus, saying the parameters of current talks on the issue are not sustainable.

“It must be understood that no result can be achieved under the current parameters following a negotiation process that has lasted more than half a century,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a press conference with Turkish Cypriot president Ersin Tatar in Ankara on Monday.

Erdogan said the approach of Greek Cypriots had impeded previous efforts to find a solution.

“At this stage, we believe starting talks on the basis of a federation will be a loss of time,” he said. “Therefore, we believe a two-state solution must now be brought to the table with a realistic proposal.”

Cyprus split into a Turkish Cypriot north and a Greek Cypriot south following a brief war back in 1974, which saw Turkey taking military action in response to a Greek military coup on the island. A self-proclaimed government in the north is only recognized by Turkey.

The last effort to reunify the two Cypriot sides collapsed in mid-2017.

Ankara has been saying that a two-state mechanism is needed to resolve the Cyprus issue while accusing the Greek Cypriot government of not engaging in dialog.

Tatar, who was elected last week by Turkish Cypriots in northern Cyprus, has also declared his support for separate sovereign administrations on the island.

Tatar emphasized that Turkish Cypriots wanted their own independent state. “The world should now respect the fight of Turkish Cypriots to live independently and honorably under its own roof,” he said after his victory. 

Meanwhile, Turkish Cyprus earlier this month partially reopened the beach town of Varosha, a fenced-off resort area abandoned in a no-man’s land since 1974, a move slammed by the US, Greece, and Greek Cypriots.

Moreover, Erdogan also announced that he would visit northern Cyprus on November 15, expressing his desire to enjoy a picnic in Varosha.

“I believe it would be beneficial to have a picnic there all together,” he said. “We are watching from our screens here, but we want to experience it in person. God willing, we will do that too.”

The Turkish president has inflamed tensions with Greece and the internationally-recognized Cyprus by sailing a seismic research vessel in disputed waters in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea since August.

This article has been adapted from its original source.     

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