ANKARA: Who Would Gain What From A Solution In Cyprus?

Turkish Press
April 1 2004

Who Would Gain What From A Solution In Cyprus?
BYEGM: 4/1/2004

RADIKAL- While Ankara’s National Security Council is evaluating
recent development on Cyprus, other countries will hold similar
meetings. Therefore, it would be useful to summarize the expectations
of the parties involved.

The Greek part of Cyprus: This is the party least willing to reach a
solution by May 1. It has scored economic and political progress even
as its Turkish neighbor has stagnated under a political and economic
embargo. It is acting with the assurance of guaranteed European Union
membership. But due to its worries about the sovereignty of the
Turkish side and international pressure, it’s still at the table.

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC): Nicosia’s greatest
hope is to gain EU membership and international recognition without
harming bizonality and Turkey’s guarantees. TRNC President Rauf
Denktas’s current stance is negative. The government can be a winner
if it manages to convince its people to approve an agreement.

Greece: If no agreement is reached, the Greek part of the island will
become an EU member, and Athens will be keeping its promise to the
Greek Cypriots. But it would face heavier EU pressure and would be
held responsible for a division in Cyprus and excluding Turkey from
the Union. In addition, the unresolved situation in Cyprus would make
reaching a solution in the Aegean more difficult. This situation
contradicts Greece’s policies of removing any threat from the east
and cutting its defense expenditures.

Turkey: A just and permanent solution in Cyprus will benefit Turkey
in many ways. Firstly, it will remove a real obstacle to Turkey’s EU
membership. Secondly, Anakra will have proved it can work within
Europe’s culture of political pacts. Thirdly, Turkey will be able to
conduct its foreign policy more effectively. Better steps will be
taken in the Middle East, the Balkans and the Caucasus.

Britain: The third guarantor nation for Cyprus will feel better if a
unified Cyprus joins the EU. The Cyprus problem will then be part of
the Union. If these problems end with Turkey’s own membership, this
will mean security and stability in the eastern part of Europe.

The European Union: A solution in Cyprus will boost the arguments in
favor of Turkey’s EU membership. In this respect, Germany’s claim
that Turkey as a secular Muslim country implementing Western
democratic values would constitute a bridge to other Muslim countries
would be strengthened.

The United States: Washington has more than one expectation in
Cyprus. A solution in the eastern Mediterranean could be an example
for the conflicts in Israel-Palestine and Armenia-Azerbaijan. The
solution in Cyprus on land could be an example for the Azerbaijani
land that was invaded by Armenia [upper Karabagh]. The Armenian
diaspora in the US is the only obstacle to such a solution. A Cyprus
deal would help the US convince the Armenians.