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  The Cyprus conflict

  19 Debates

On 15 July 1974, Cypriot officers, supported by the Greek military junta, staged a coup against the democratically elected government in Nicosia with the aim of making Cyprus part of Greece. Turkey then occupied the northern part of the island, invoking its right to intervene as the protecting power of the Turkish Cypriots. That the occupation of the north continues to this day, long after those who staged the coup were overthrown, is as much of a violation of international law as the coup itself.

UN Blue Helmets were attacked near Pyla/Pile in Cyprus on Friday. UN vehicles were pushed aside by bulldozers and a group of peacekeepers were reportedly manhandled by Turkish Cypriot security forces. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNZ), which is not recognised internationally, wants to build a road leading to the village of Pyla/Pile, which is partially inhabited by Turkish Cypriots. However, the road would run through the UN-administered Green Line buffer zone in which the village is also partially located.

A fierce controversy has flared up in Cyprus after Suleiman Ulutsai - the elected mayor in the occupied city of Famagusta - was invited to an anti-occupation event in the neighbouring town of Deryneia. After protests from Cypriot Greek parties and other public voices, Ulutsai cancelled his participation at the event, which takes place on the anniversary of the conquest of Famagusta by the Turkish army in 1974.

Despite numerous attempts to reunite Cyprus, which has been divided since 1974, little progress has been made on the issue. In late September UN Secretary-General António Guterres invited the leaders of the Republic of Cyprus and the Republic of Northern Cyprus (which is only recognised by Turkey) to lunch in an attempt to revive reunification talks. Commentators examine the reasons for the stalemate.

Turkish President Erdoğan has visited Varosha in occupied Northern Cyprus to mark the anniversary of the invasion by Turkish troops in 1974. The coastal district from which the Greek Cypriots fled during the invasion is now a ghost town and a symbol of the division of Cyprus. But despite international criticism, Erdoğan is pressing ahead with plans to reopen it.

The UN is currently looking into whether new talks on the reunification of Cyprus, which has been divided since 1974, are currently feasible. In addition a conference is in planning at which the guarantor powers Turkey, Greece and Britain will also sit at the table. Cypriot media doubt that either side is willing or able to reconcile the Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

Erdoğan has called for a permanent two-state solution for Cyprus. "There are two peoples and two separate states in Cyprus," he said during a visit to Nicosia and the coastal district of Varosha. So far, efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus question have revolved around a reunification between the two separate parts of the island.

At the UN General Assembly due to take place at the end of the month in New York, Greece and the Republic of Cyprus want to push for a relaunch of negotiations on the Cyprus conflict. According to media reports, the formation of a loose federation is under discussion to achieve the island's reunification. Under this arrangement the central government would have limited powers. Cypriot commentators are divided over the idea.

The Republic of Cyprus is currently discussing the use of buildings left empty after the Turkish occupation of the north of the island in 1974 and the expulsion of Turkish Cypriots from the south. Originally the buildings were meant to accommodate Greek Cypriots expelled from the north, but current figures show that many others also had their fingers in the real estate pie. Cyprus's media are outraged.

After the failure of talks on reuniting the island, the Turkish Cypriot leadership has decided to open up several villages in the occupied north of the island for the return of former inhabitants who fled after the occupation by Turkish troops in 1974.

The negotiations for the reunification of Cyprus, which were widely regarded as the most promising talks to date, have collapsed after two years. The media in the countries concerned react with a corresponding sense of disillusionment.

The UN has announced that significant progress has been made in the talks for the reunification of Cyprus, which has been divided since 1974. The talks are to resume on November 20 in Geneva. Hardliners on the Greek Cypriot side will block an agreement, some commentators believe. Others call for more optimism.

Hopes for the reunification of Cyprus still have a chance of coming true. The President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades and the leader of the Turkish Cypriots Mustafa Akıncı have agreed to resume their talks in January. Commentators call on both sides to show a willingness to compromise.

The negotiations on the reunification of Cyprus have been postponed until next week. The guarantor powers Greece, Turkey and the UK joined the talks for the first time on Thursday. Europe needs a reunified Cyprus, commentators stress and call for more transparency in the negotiations.

A decision by the parliament of the Republic of Cyprus has sparked a dispute between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot negotiators and led to a suspension of their talks. The parliament had ruled that the country's schools will in future commemorate the vote in favour of Enosis with which the Greek Cypriots voted to be incorporated into the Greek state in 1950. Is the process of coming to terms with the past getting in the way of peace?

The UN special advisor on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide, has said he sees good chances of the suspended talks on the reunification of the island being resumed by the end of March. The press of the countries involved in the talks is less optimistic that the conflict can ever be resolved.

New tensions threaten to undo all the progress made since 2016 in the talks on the reunification of Cyprus. The row over the exploitation of fossil resources in the Mediterranean has intensified in recent weeks and now the Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and the Greek foreign minister have complained about UN Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide. What are the real causes behind the row?

UN special advisor Espen Barth Eide has broken off the Cyprus talks for the time being on the grounds that the chief negotiators on both sides have been unable to agree on the formalities of a summit on the reunification of the island, which has been divided since 1974. Both sides are shirking responsibility, commentators write, but they still hope a solution can be found.

At the end of June the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots resumed their peace talks in the Swiss municipality of Crans-Montana under the auspices of the United Nations. The media of the countries concerned examine the chances of success in what could be the last opportunity for years to come to see the island reunified.