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CrisisWatch Cyprus

Unchanged Situation

Cypriot President and Turkish Cypriot leader held first talks since Feb, as Turkey’s drilling for hydrocarbons off Cypriot coast continued to fuel tension between countries. Cypriot President Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı met informally 9 Aug; in joint statement, leaders said they were ready to hold tripartite meeting with UN Sec-Gen Guterres in Sept to plan resumption of talks. Cypriot govt 16 Aug said it was not willing to engage with Ankara’s “rhetoric of tension”. Turkish energy minister Fatih Dönmez, Turkish Cypriot “PM” Tatar and “Minister of Economy and Energy” Hasan Taçoy 6 Aug visited Turkey’s Yavuz drilling vessel in Bay of Famagusta off Cyprus’s eastern shore to highlight their efforts to protect “rights and interest of Turkey and [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus]”. Dönmez same day said Yavuz and Fatih vessels were continuing to drill in Finike-1 and Karpaz-1 wells, adding that Turkey would deploy third seismic exploration vessel Oruç Reis to eastern Mediterranean by end of Aug. Oruç Reis departed from Istanbul 28 Aug en route to Mersin Taşucu Port on Turkey’s southern shore adjacent to Cyprus. U.S. State Department 20 Aug said Yavuz’s activities were “unlawful” and called on Turkey to remove it from Cypriot Economic Exclusive Zone. Anastasides 9 Aug rejected Turkish claim of rights over resources in East Med and any joint committee on natural resources.

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Divided Cyprus: Coming to Terms on an Imperfect Reality

To avoid another failed effort at federal reunification in the new round of Cyprus negotiations, all sides should break old taboos and discuss all possible options, including independence for Turkish Cypriots within the European Union.

Also available in Türkçe, Ελληνικά
Op-Ed / Europe & Central Asia

New Hope for Peace in Cyprus

Originally published in The Majalla

Leveraging Resolution

Originally published in IP Journal