Must Cyprus resign itself to the status quo?

After three days, the Cyprus talks in Geneva have ended without any results. There was not enough common ground between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot sides even for a formal start to new negotiations, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said. Despite the lack of progress he said he wanted to make a new attempt at talks in the near future. The press is at a loss.

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Phileleftheros (CY) /

Nicosia needs an efficient strategy

Nicosia is too passive, Phileleftheros contends:

“The Turks make a claim, and the Greek Cypriot side runs to put out the fire. ... There is still no policy to free the Cypriot Turks from Turkey so that they can operate as citizens of the common state of the Republic of Cyprus. If the leaders of the Greek Cypriot side dogmatically insist on an ineffective policy with divisive features, the next step will lead directly into the Turkish trap. ... A change of policy is needed with the aim of ending the occupation, liberating the island and establishing a functioning democratic state.”

Liberal (GR) /

Ankara only wants division

The failure of this meeting was predictable, writes Kostas Ifantis, professor of international relations at Panteion University in Athens, in Liberal:

“It was the most likely scenario, and the UN secretary-general knew that. For this reason, the meeting was informal. ... Everyone knew the Turkish position, no one has the alibi of ignorance. The Turkish side clearly expressed its positions the day it succeeded in electing Ersin Tatar in the occupied territories through open intervention. For Ankara, there can be no solution except on the basis of a plan that clearly leads to division: two sovereign states 'united' only by the geographical borders of the island.”

Cyprus Mail (CY) /

Non-existent common ground

The Greek Cypriot newspaper Cyprus Mail has no hope of a good outcome after the meeting:

“[Ankara] will stick to its demand for two states, on the grounds that all efforts to agree a bizonal bicommunal federation were doomed, and nothing will happen. With the two-state demand, Turkey has eliminated the basis for talks ... The common ground Guterres and his team will be looking for no longer exists and Geneva showed this. It could be that the Geneva meeting was the final chapter in the Cyprus peace process bringing to an end six decades of fruitless negotiations. The UN, despite what Guterres said, will not be looking for the non-existent common ground indefinitely.”

Kıbrıs Postası (CY) /

Tatar trying to sell defeat as victory

How can this inconclusive meeting be sold as a victory? grumbles columnist Gökhan Altıner in the northern Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs Postası:

“Do you know what annoys me most? That President Tatar and his team repeatedly issued statements and talked of a 'historic day'. Please tell me what's so historic about this day? Are you happy that you, as the Turkish side, introduced a proposal for the recognition of Northern Cyprus and had it documented when it was clear that no one would accept it? ... Unbelievable!”

taz, die tageszeitung (DE) /

Little hope of unity

The frozen conflict has become a permanent state, the taz analyses:

“Each side insists on its national narrative that it is the victim of the other. ...There have long been two parallel societies on Cyprus that have little in common with each other. Anyone younger than 50 has never known anything other than two groups living completely separately. Pragmatists may therefore argue that this reality should also be politically recognised and the status quo consolidated. That would be a victory of nationalist thinking over the idea of mutual solidarity. And it would be an admission that reason has no chance in Cyprus.”

Hürriyet Daily News (TR) /

At least talks are underway again

Anything is better than no negotiations at all, Hürriyet Daily News points out:

“Resuming the talks for the first time since 2017 is a positive development in itself. The two communities of the island, the Greek and the Turkish Cypriots, can now come together again with the guarantors - the United Kingdom, Greece and Turkey - under the auspices of the U.N. Talking is better than the alternative. It is also good for ending the frustration of the Turkish Cypriots, who live in limbo, hoping for reunification for decades now.”