x

Society

Troubled Turkey Sets Off Jitters Over Cyprus Unity Talks

A failed coup in Turkey and an imposed State of Emergency has raised worries that hopes to reunify Cyprus will be lost.

With Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan distracted by the military-led attempt to overthrow him, diplomats and political leaders are anxious that the Cyprus talks will be set aside or marginalized.

Turkey provides military and financial support to the northern third of the island it has unlawfully occupied since invading in 1974 and where it keeps a standing army of some 30,000 troops.

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and his Turkish peer, Mustafa Akinci, have been talking for a year and there was optimism in some quarters a deal could be reached by the end of the year despite some setbacks.

In a feature report, the Reuters news service outlined the reasons for the growing anxiety and the timetable being upended.

Diplomats have previously said the current round of peace talks is the best chance in generations for ending a conflict that has become a perpetual irritant between NATO allies Greece and Turkey, and an obstacle to Turkey joining the European Union.

“Nobody actually knows if it will have an effect,” one official close to the unity talks told the news agency. “But it is overshadowing negotiations … There are elements that are big unknowns.”

Erdogan had the last word on what his country’s stance will be for the negotiations, not Akinci, another wild card.

“We are talking about a system that will make all Cypriot citizens safe,” said Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kassoulides. “In such a system there is no room for treaties of guarantee or the presence of Turkish troops,” he told reporters in Athens.

Under a treaty which granted the former British colony independence in 1960, Britain, Greece and Turkey have intervention powers to restore constitutional order.

Among others, Ankara needs to agree to a pullout of Turkish troops, adjusting military-controlled boundaries between the north and south and writing off an estimated 17 billion euros ($18.8 billion) it considers as Turkish Cypriot debt to Ankara.

“If they don’t write that off there is no way there can be a settlement,” said the official.

James Ker-Lindsay at the London School of Economics said Turkey’s crisis should be an alarm bell for both sides to find a resolution fast.

“Its a wake-up call for both sides…it doesn’t appear like Turkey has any anchor to the West anymore. All the logic, seen from the outside, is that they (Cypriots) should get a solution, get a solution now,” he told Reuters.

RELATED

NICOSIA - Cyprus became one of the first countries to adopt the EU whistleblowing directive – a month after the deadline – the measure protecting them from retaliation and not required to first report to police or the Attorney-General The Parliament approved the required directive by a vote of 49-1, although whistleblower groups said the bloc didn't go far enough to ensure that people reporting wrongdoing don't face punitive measures, including being fired.

Top Stories

Church

BOSTON – The Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria in its recent meeting dealt with the ecclesiastical coup perpetrated by the Patriarchate of Moscow in its canonical jurisdiction, calling it an “immoral invasion and intrusion.

Church

NEW YORK - Some 21 years after it was destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States that brought down the Twin Towers in New York City, the new St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church rising in its place is among the most eagerly awaited architectural openings of 2022.

Events

STATEN ISLAND, NY – For yet another year, the community of Holy Trinity-St Nicholas in Staten Island honored couples celebrating 50+ years of marriage with a modest ceremony held at the church immediately following the Divine Liturgy on January 16.

Video

Greece: Heavy Snowfall is Expected on Monday, Schools to Remain Closed in Attica (Vid)

ATHENS - Schools of all levels of education will remain closed throughout Attica on Monday and Tuesday, January 24-25, due to extreme weather conditions.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.