Greek-Turkish Relations and the Cyprus Dispute: Impact on Turkey-EU Scenarios

Greek-Turkish relations have come under significant strain in the last couple of years and are likely to remain difficult in the long-run there seems to be little appetite in both sides of the Aegean for a substantive discussion and subsequent negotiation for the full normalization of Greek-Turkish relations as both sides are either faced with pressing domestic priorities or with important external challenges and have no intention of spending precious political and diplomatic capital for the resolution of bilateral problems, at least in the immediate future. A Cyprus settlement has been extremely difficult to achieve over the past (almost) half a century and there is rather limited optimism that the situation will change in the near future. The sad truth is that three of the four parties to the conflict are relatively content with the status quo, or at least insufficiently unhappy with it to make the painful and risky compromises an agreement would warrant. Particularly for a large part of the Greek Cypriot community, the status quo appears to be preferable to a federal peace agreement which is being perceived as problematic, especially regarding security provisions. Therefore, the most probable scenario is ‘business as usual/muddling through’ akin to the “conflictual cooperation” scenario identified in other workstreams.

Details: 
Cologne, University of Cologne, December 2018, 38 p.
Attachments: 
Issue: 
Online Paper 27
Publication date: 
21/02/2019

1. Brief Historical Overview
2. The Cyprus Problem
Drivers on the Cyprus Problem
2.1. Inter-Communities Relations (Clashes vs. Co-existence)
2.2. Public Opinion
2.3. Resources (potential discovery of additional hydrocarbon deposits in the region)
2.4. Greek-Turkish Relations
2.5. Third Parties’ Role (US, Russia)
2.6. Middle East Conflicts
2.7. Military Balance in Cyprus
2.8. Turkey’s relations with NATO (the possibility of deterioration)
3. The Conflict Scenario
3.1. The end of the bizonal, bicommunal federal solution in Cyprus
3.2. Creeping annexation
4. Cooperation Scenario
4.1 Divergences and Possible Roadmaps
4.2 Assessing the Cooperation Scenario
5. Convergence Scenario
6. Greek-Turkish Relations

6.1 Drivers
6.2 The Conflict Scenario
Different Understandings and the Limited Prospects for Convergence
The Complex Defense Angle
Chronic Divergences and Miscommunications
6.3 The Cooperation Scenario
6.4 The Convergence Scenario
6.5 Wildcards and Alternative Drivers
7. The Way Forward
7.1 The Cyprus problem
7.2 Greek-Turkish relations
7.3 Recommendations
References
About the Authors

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