Politics

'Federation model for Cyprus no longer an option'

Negotiation process aimed at reaching federal solution has ended, says expert

Fatih Hafiz Mehmet   | 05.04.2019
'Federation model for Cyprus no longer an option'

LEFKOSA, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

Negotiating for a federal model on the Cyprus issue is no longer an option, according to an expert on the long-divided island.

"I think the negotiation process aiming for a federal model has reached an end," Gozde Kilic Yasin, head of the Balkans and Cyprus Research Center at the 21st Century Turkey Institute, told Anadolu Agency.

Yasin said this was obvious from the way the sides left the table during the most recent negotiations in 2017, at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana.

She said at Crans-Montana, the issue of guarantees was expected to be discussed after agreement was reached on all other subjects.

However, Turkey was called to Crans-Montana to discuss security and the guarantees issue despite the lack of progress on even the issues of administration and power sharing.

"There were not even grounds for an agreement," she said.

"In any case, a federation model is not an option anymore," she stressed.

Yasin said it is clear that the Greek Cypriot side does not want to share sovereignty or prosperity with the Turkish Cypriots.

"A new way is needed. This will either be a confederation or two officially recognized separate states," she said.

In the case of the founding of a confederation, the first phase that will be realized is the two states on the island recognizing each other, Yasin said.

She added that part of the income from hydrocarbon resources, which is the common wealth of both communities on the island, can be used to finance the cost of a solution to the Cyprus issue.

‘No time to lose’

Mehmet Nesip Ogun, director of the Social Sciences Institute at the University of Mediterranean Karpasia, in Nicosia, the capital of Turkish Cyprus, also said that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) has long faced isolation and an embargo.

Ogun said the TRNC cannot engage in direct trade with any country and is barred from taking part in many international events due to Greek Cypriot objections.

He said after more than a half-century of negotiations without any results, new solution proposals must be considered by strategic groups of academics and other experts.

"Turkish Cypriots don’t have another 51 years to lose," Ogun stressed.

Following a coup aimed at annexing Cyprus for Greece, Ankara was forced to intervene on the island in 1974 as a guarantor power. In 1983, the TRNC was founded.

The decades since have seen several attempts to resolve the dispute, all of which ended in failure. The latest attempt, in which guarantor countries Turkey, Greece and the UK took part, ended in 2017 in Switzerland.

In 2004, a plan by then-UN Secretary General Kofi Annan was accepted by Turkish Cypriots but rejected by the Greek Cypriots in dual referendums held on both sides of the island.

Talks have focused on a federal model based on the political equality of the Turkish and Greek Cypriot sides, but Greek Cypriots’ rejection of such a solution, including the Annan plan, led to the emergence of other models.

In a recent report, current UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also said "new ideas" may be needed for a settlement on the island.

Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.