The international community should be ready to discuss a confederation or a two-state solution for Cyprus, Professor Hüseyin Işıksal of Near East University has said.
Experts are unable to agree on a single strategy, following the failure of the Crans-Montana talks between Turkish Cyprus and Greek Cyprus in July. The inability to solve this long standing issue has given rise to the idea that it is time to implement a new model and put an end to the punishment of embargoes endured by the Turkish Cypriots.
“Işıksal said.Turkish Cypriots are under the bargain of harsh and unfair international isolation and embargoes. Paradoxically, the only alternative left for them is to accept Greek Cyprus’s inadmissible political demands and form a federation,
“The Cyprus negotiations are asymmetric in nature. The Greek Cypriot government represents a recognised EU member state and there is no pressure on them for settlement,” he contended. “I think that the time has come to discuss new alternatives and how Turkish Cyprus could break through this impasse.”
He stressed that the Turkish Cypriots cannot be held hostage endlessly to the Greek Cypriots, who use their EU member status as a trump card.
In July, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced that the Cyprus reunification talks to end four decades of conflict, had failed. The Greek Cypriot voters had also rejected the Annan plan for reunification in 2004 in a referendum.
Early in October, Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu said that Turkish Cyprus has two options to consider, “It is now time to start work to be recognised in the international community. Turkish Cypriots are also assessing a second option, which is establishing an autonomous state under Turkey similar to the France-Monaco and Britian-Gibraltar models.”
Questions are being asked in both Turkey and Turkish Cyprus as to whether Turkey and Turkish Cyprus will negotiate on implementing a France-Monaco model or step up efforts to make Turkish Cyprus recognised by the international community.
Dr. Mehmet Uğur Ekinci, a researcher at the Ankara-based Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) agreed.
“Since the negotiation talks failed, I expect that both Turkey and Turkish Cyprus to take new steps regarding the consolidation and international recognition of Turkish Cyprus,” Ekinci said.
Ekinci said that statements made by the Turkish Cypriot authorities reflect the waning belief that the Cyprus problem can be solved with the Greek Cypriots.
“Public opinion in Turkish Cyprus, regarding a joint resolution with Greek Cyprus, has been weakening gradually,” he said, adding that Greek Cyprus’s stance will further strengthen the legitimacy of Turkish Cyprus as the south has not approached the issue in a fair and steadfast manner.
Işıksal noted that he did not think the France-Monaco model would be acceptable since “It could lead to further problems for both Turkey and Turkish Cypriots,” he said. He suggested that the Taiwan or Kosovo models would be more suitable for Turkey.
“The international community should be ready to discuss a confederation or a two-state solution on the island,” he said.
Although the relationship between Turkey and North Cyprus is similar to that between France and Monaco in terms of the Turkish military’s role on Cyprus, shared currency and free trade, Ekinci said that there are two differences.
“There are two critical differences in relations between Turkey and Turkish Cyprus. Turkish Cyprus is not recognised by the international community and is in need of Turkey in an economic sense on the grounds of the embargoes that are imposed,” he asserted.
Işıksal said that the international community should be ready to discuss a confederation or a two-state solution on the island and Ekinci added that international parameters will determine the outcome.