Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s push to further reopen the abandoned resort of Varosha and demand the occupied part of Cyprus be recognized has led leading a leading American think tank analyst to urge the US to contain him.
“Given the UN’s inability to deter Turkish hostility, the United States will need to use more than multilateral means to impede Erdogan’s in Cyprus,” said Morgan Lorraine Vina, an adjunct fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, in an article published on RealClear World website this week.
“The Administration of US President Joe Biden should build a concerted strategy with the European Union, including coordinated sanctions, to push back against Erdogan’s belligerence in the Mediterranean,” said Vina, reported Kathimerini.
She had served as chief of staff to US Permanent Representative to the United Nations Nikki R. Haley during the Administration of Donald Trump, who aligned himself with Erdogan, further emboldening the Turkish leader.
She said the US should consider appointing a special envoy for the Eastern Mediterranean and strengthen cooperation with regional allies and partners, the UN has a Cyprus envoy – American diplomat Jane Holl Lute.
“UN peacekeepers in Cyprus are not a deterrent against Erdogan’s provocations, and the international community should stop pretending that they are,” Vina said, without explaining why she or Haley didn't make that demand earlier.
“The reality is that if the Turkish President were to attempt a further land grab in Cyprus, UNFICYP peacekeepers are not going to stop Turkish forces,” she said in reference to the UN mission in Cyprus.
“In the absence of credible international resistance, the Biden Administration should take the lead,” she said, after Trump didn't and said he considered Erdogan a friend and a “hell of a leader.”
Turkey unlawfully invaded Cyprus twice in 1974 and seized the northern third which it occupies and keeps a 35,000-strong standing army it says is needed to protect the Turkish-Cypriots.
Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades has asked the United Nations to intervene over Turkey's drilling for oil and gas in Cypriot waters but was ignored despite repeated entreaties.
Erdogan has given up on reunification and wants two states and permanent partition and for the UN and other countries to accept a self-declared Turkish republic on the occupied land there.
Turkish-Cypriot hardline leader Ersin Tatar, an Erdogan disciple, said he will make that call at the UN General Assembly opening in New York in September, an annual event where world leaders make speeches essentially ignored outside the building.