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New York Diplomacy on Cyprus #CyprusTalks

New York Diplomacy on Cyprus <a class="hashtagger" href="https://sigmaturkey.com/tag/cyprustalks/">#CyprusTalks</a>

Apart from intercommunal talks, Greek Cypriot leaders, particularly the current one — Nikos Anastasiades — have been categorically against coming together with the Turkish Cypriot leader on grounds that such developments might “elevate the status” of the Turkish Cypriot state.

Every few years, U.N. officials and international mediators work to make best use of each opportunity to bring together the two communal leaders of Cyprus with the U.N.’s secretary-general. And each time Greek Cypriots deliver a very strong “No,” unless the event was designed to be strictly separate from the U.N. general assembly’s process.

Now, it appears that some things have changed. The Greek Cypriot leadership has been sending diplomatic as well as covert messages through the media that Anastasiades might be “prepared to accept” an invitation to come together with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı. What for? To discuss how the Cyprustalks process could be rehashed, or resumed from where they collapsed at Crans-Montana more than a year ago.

It was interesting to read in the Greek Cypriot media why the U.N.’s General Assembly meetings in New York might offer a great opportunity for a “trilateral meeting” between Anastasiades, Akıncı and Guterres, which would be a “landmark” move for peacemaking on Cyprus. Peacemaking? Of course, there has been confusion over that word. It is often misused instead of “settlement” or “Cyprus accord” because the intercommunal violence that started in 1963 with Greek Cypriot attacks on Turkish Cypriots abruptly stopped after the 1974 Turkish intervention. What’s missing is to replace the 1974 “ceasefire” declaration with a proper agreement concluding the intercommunal talks process that started back in 1968.

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The Greek Cypriot official news agency went even a step forward after reporting that Anastasiades would accept a meeting on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly if the secretary-general makes such an invitation because the Greek Cypriot leader was “always ready” for dialogue.

Interestingly enough, these revelations of the Greek Cypriot leadership came immediately after a statement from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who made clear that since the previous Cyprus talks collapsed time has come to seek a “different settlement” on the island. Obviously what Erdoğan was stressing on, although beating around the bush, was the understanding in Ankara that because of Greek Cypriot disinterest, a federal solution could not be achieved on Cyprus. If a federation that does not entail political equality of the two people, rotation of presidency, Turkey’s continued guarantor status, including the right to unilateral intervention, cannot be established because of Greek Cypriot disinterest, time ought to come to seek some other ways, including two states in the EU.

Erdoğan, Akıncı and Anastasiades will be in New York for the U.N. General Assembly meeting where the secretary-general is also expected to separately meet with all three, as well as the Greek prime minister, and inform them about the report prepared by his provisional Cyprus advisor Jane Holl Lute after a tour of Turkey, Greece and the two parts of Cyprus last month. Lute was exploring probability of the resumption of talks.

While Akıncı has been maintaining that he would not want to be the Turkish Cypriot leader who buried the federation prospect, Ankara and most Turkish Cypriot political parties agree that “federation is dead and buried; it is now time to talk about different things.”

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New York diplomacy, as it appears, will be as exciting as ever.

Originally published in http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/opinion/yusuf-kanli/new-york-diplomacy-on-cyprus-135511

About The Author

Yusuf Kanli

Born in Cyprus in 1959, Yusuf Kanlı is a graduate of the English Language and Literature Department of the Faculty of Letters of the Ankara University. He started journalism with the Turkish Daily News in 1978. Until he briefly left the paper in 1985 (for military service in Northern Cyprus) he served as diplomatic correspondent, assistant foreign news editor and assistant editor. During this period he was as well one of the two co-authors of an annual reference book on Turkey, “Turkey Almanac”. After completing his military service he returned the Daily News as assistant editor. In 1989 he became executive editor and also started writing daily opinion articles. He continued to be one of the co-authors of the “Turkey Almanac” annual reference book. In February 1993, over differences with the publisher on editorial policy, he quit the paper and joined the Anatolia News Agency (AA) as deputy foreign news chief. He stayed with the Anatolia News Agency until September 1995. In this period, he covered the Armenia-Azerbaijan war over Nogorno-Karabagh, covered developments in the post-independence Central Asian republics. Because of his refusal as the duty editor to run a manipulated news story demanded by the then lady prime minister of the country, he was fired from the AA, a development that Kanlı considers as his “medal of honor” in the profession. On his return to the Daily News for a third time in October 1995, he first became an editor at large but soon assumed the responsibility of electronic publishing and established Turkey’s first daily updated English language news web site, the TDN Online on May 19, 1996 (now www.hurriyetdailynews.com). In January 1997, he became executive editor of the Daily News for a second time and stayed in that post until he was appointed as editor-in-chief in June 2004. In February 2007, he quit all executive duties and became a contract columnist of the newspaper. He has been also writing weekly articles in Turkish for a variety of newspapers and news portals in Northern Cyprus. He is a former chairperson and the honorary chairperson of Diplomacy Correspondents Association (DMD) of Turkey, an active member of Association of Foreign Policy Council, a member of the executive board and vice chairperson of the Association of Journalists and coordinator of the Press for Freedom project, which has been monitoring and reporting on press and freedom of expression issues in Turkey since 2013. He has been a member of several associations and foundations, mostly established by Turkish Cypriots living in Turkey or abroad. He is married to Dr. Aydan Kanlı and has one daughter, Cansu. He has Turkish, Turkish Cypriot and Cypriot triple nationality.

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