Hydrocarbons Will Determine the Political Future of Cyprus
Since the collapse of the bi-communal arrangements of the Republic of Cyprus in 1963, the Turkish-Cypriot and Greek-Cypriot communities have been living and exercising authority on their respective territories separately. Negotiations since 1968 have proven “reunification” to be an elusive goal; nor has there been any sharing of assets or resources. Most recently, the maritime hydrocarbon-exploitation initiatives of the Greek Cypriots, who claim to have an exclusive right to manage the natural resources around the island, have added a new and alarming dimension to the Cyprus issue. The political future of the island and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean will now be determined by the choice of the Greek-Cypriot side between two options: accept the Turkish-Cypriot offer to share power as full political equals and jointly manage hydrocarbon exploitation as co-owner in all admissible areas; or ignore the Turkish-Cypriot and Turkish sides, and continue with unilateral exploitation.
2. Unilateralism as opposed to cooperation
3. Turkey’s position and international law