Cyprus. Negotiations in Geneva on the reunification of Cyprus continued between Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders Nicos Anastasiades and Mustafa Akıncı. According to Countryaah.com, UN chief Ant車nio Guterres said in January that there was hope for the future. However, a major stumbling block was the 30,000 Turkish soldiers on the island. These Anastasiades want to get rid of. However, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan says this “does not matter”. However, the Turkish president says that the Greek Cypriots can be allowed twice as many terms as the Turkish Cypriots on a joint presidential post.
At the end of May, negotiations were suspended and later resumed during the summer. However, as early as July, the negotiations broke down again, with great likelihood because unity could not be reached regarding the Turkish military presence in the country. It was in 1974 that Cyprus was invaded by Turkey and divided into two parts.
In June, four Swedish men in their 20s were arrested on suspicion of mistreatment by another Swedish in the resort of Ayia Napa. Another abuse occurred at the end of May; then four Swedish men were also involved in the abuse of a 19-year-old.
A new UN plan for reunification of the island was rejected by Northern Cypriot authorities in 1998. In the 1990s, the EU also became involved in the conflict. Cyprus applied for membership in the Union in 1990. The application led to the Turkish-Cypriot outbreak republic threatening integration in Turkey. Formal negotiations with the EU on membership began in 1998.
The application for EU membership accelerated diplomacy to unite the two parts. One of the reasons why the Turks were more positive about finding a solution was that Turkey also aspired to EU membership. In 2002, UN Secretary – General Kofi Annan presented a peace proposal – the “Annan Plan” – which both parties initially posed positively awaiting, but which also did not advance after opposition from Denktaş.
A major point of view in the north against the UN plan was that the Turkish-Cypriot-controlled part of the island would be reduced from 37 percent to 28.2 percent. The Turkish Cypriots then made up 11 percent of the island’s population. The proposal met with strong opposition in the leading political circles in both parts of the country, but increasing support among the population, not least in the north.
In January 2003, more than two-thirds of the Turkish-Cypriot population demonstrated in support of a reunion, and as pressure on Denktaş. Also from Turkey, the Turkish Cypriot president was put under pressure. Turkey’s later Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan endorsed the UN plan and wished to continue the negotiations, primarily for the sake of Turkey’s desire for EU membership, where a solution to the Cyprus conflict was seen as an imperative requirement.
In April 2003, Denktaş surprisingly eased the restrictions to cross the green line dividing the two parts of the country. In 2004, Kofi Annan presented a fifth and final version of its Cyprus plan, which proposed the creation of a federal, united republic between two states (cantons); a Greek-Cypriot in the south and a Turkish-Cypriot in the north, and with a central government, common flag and currency.
After the EU accepted Cyprus (in practice the Greek Cypriot side) as a new member, in April 2004 a referendum was held in Cyprus on the reunification of the two sides, voting for or against the so-called Annan Plan. The plan was put to a referendum in both parts of the country in April 2004. While 64.9 percent of voters in the north voted yes, in the south a large majority, 75.8 percent, voted against – and the plan was therefore rejected.
The EU had expected that the referendum would give a yes to reunification, so that a reunited Cyprus would enter the EU. The Greek Cypriot section was instead incorporated, but recognized as the authority of the entire island. Thus, the existing state of the north became officially a Turkish occupied EU territory.
The Turkish Cypriots were promised a reward for their support for the reunification plan in the form of a lifting of the economic boycott. This would make the Turkish Cypriots more independent of Turkey, thus facilitating a reunification process. However, this has not happened and the Turkish Cypriot community is struggling with a stagnant economy and emigration of young people. Cyprus was formally a member of the EU in May 2004, but membership includes de facto only the internationally recognized Republic.
The discovery of oil and gas resources outside Cyprus has again created tension, as the two sides disagree on the sovereignty over the oceans.