Reimagining Reunification in Cyprus: Towards a Human-Centered Approach to Negotiation and Peacebuilding on a Divided Island.

Shane Hensinger Professor Timothy Sisk – Civil Wars and International Responses II Josef Korbel School of International Studies – University of Denver


Reimagining Reunification in Cyprus: Towards a Human-Centered Approach to Negotiation and Peacebuilding on a Divided Island. .......................................................... 1 Executive Summary............................................................................................................. 4 Recommendations .............................................................................................................. 7 To the Republic of Cyprus ........................................................................................... 7 To the Turkish Cypriot Government: .......................................................................... 8 To the Government of Turkey: ................................................................................... 9 To the Government of Britain:.................................................................................. 10 To the Government of Greece:................................................................................. 10 To the European Union:............................................................................................ 11 To the United Nations:.............................................................................................. 11 Conflict Dynamics - Introduction ...................................................................................... 12 History............................................................................................................................... 13 British Rule .................................................................................................................... 13 Independence ............................................................................................................... 16 Post- Independence ...................................................................................................... 18 The Invasion of “Attila.”................................................................................................ 20 Visual Representation of the Decline of Bicommunal Villages in Cyprus..................... 22 Afterward ...................................................................................................................... 22 Peacemaking and Peacebuilding Strategies ..................................................................... 23 Environment.................................................................................................................. 24 Sports ............................................................................................................................ 26 Women’s Issues ............................................................................................................ 27 Educational Exchanges.................................................................................................. 28 Negotiation Dynamics - Introduction ............................................................................... 29 Negotiation ....................................................................................................................... 30 Bargaining Framework.................................................................................................. 30 Greek-Cypriot Bargaining Position................................................................................ 32 Turkish-Cypriot Bargaining Position.............................................................................. 33 Turkish, Greek and United States Negotiating Positions.............................................. 34 History of the Negotiating Process ................................................................................... 35 The Vienna Talks 1975 - 1977 ....................................................................................... 36 Factors Contributing to Failure of the Vienna Talks and Subsequent Rounds of Negotiations.................................................................................................................. 37 The Annan Plan ................................................................................................................. 40 The European Union ..................................................................................................... 40 Turkish-Cypriots ............................................................................................................ 41 Turkey ........................................................................................................................... 42 Greek-Cypriots .............................................................................................................. 43 The Final Annan Plan (Annan V) ................................................................................... 44 The Defeat of the Annan Plan........................................................................................... 45 The Way Forward.......................................................................................................... 46


Peacebuilding in Cyprus................................................................................................ 48 Sequencing the Institutions of the Annan Plan ........................................................ 48 Peacekeeping in Perpetuity? – Drawing Down UNFICYP ......................................... 49 Peacebuilding on Cyprus - Introduction ........................................................................... 51 Horizontal Inequalities in Cyprus...................................................................................... 52 Text Box 1.................................................................................................................. 53 Table 1....................................................................................................................... 55 Table 2....................................................................................................................... 57 Table 3....................................................................................................................... 58 European Court of Human Rights Decision of March 2010.............................................. 58 Analysis of ECHR Decision................................................................................................. 60 Key Finding................................................................................................................ 61 Key Finding................................................................................................................ 62 Greek Cypriot Reaction to ECHR Ruling............................................................................ 62 Addressing Vertical Dilemmas on Both Sides of the Island .............................................. 64 Peacebuilding Conclusion ................................................................................................. 67 Report Conclusion............................................................................................................. 71 Appendix ........................................................................................................................... 73 Biblography ....................................................................................................................... 75


Executive Summary
The Cyprus conflict represents one of the most intractable and protracted conflict situations in the world today, rivaling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for length and complexity it remains a seemingly intractable problem for the global community and in particular for the United Nations and the European Union; the former of which is charged with maintaining peace on Cyprus and the latter which admitted a divided Cyprus as a full member in 2004 and now finds itself, somewhat unwillingly, as a party to a conflict which previously had been viewed as existing on the periphery of Europe but now, thanks to the growth of the European project, rests at its heart.

The conflict involves not only the two antagonists – the ethnic Turk and ethnic Greek populations on the island but also their protectors in Turkey and Greece respectively, who, along with Britain, were given roles as “guarantors” under 1960 Treaty of Guarantee. In addition the United Nations peacekeeping force on the island, UNFICYP, has since 1963 has been tasked with keeping peace between the two sides and since 1974 with enforcing a ceasefire between Turkey and the government of the Republic of Cyprus. As a player trusted by both sides in Cyprus UNFICYP plays a key role within this report – which recommends a “reimagining” of UNFICYP’s role, utilizing the trust it has built on Cyprus as a key part of building a new path forward to peace.


Even prior to the Turkish invasion in 1974 which led to the partition of the island, the two majority communities on Cyprus, ethnic Greek and ethnic Turkish, had led parallel existences with little social interaction and wide disparities in income and education. Endless rounds of negotiations between the two parties have led to high level accords and even, in 2004, an agreed upon peace plan (the Annan plan) but the failure of the Greek Cypriot side to rally both elite and mass opinion to the side of reunification led to its defeat and the subsequent entry of Cyprus as a divided island to the European Union. This in turn resulted in growing embitterment on the part of the north, which felt its cooperation and acceptance of the plan had led not to greater rewards but to a mounting sense of stagnation and strangulation as their self-declared state, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) continued to suffer under an international embargo and sanctions.

A growing threat exists where both sides will become accustomed and accepting of the “Taiwanization” of the north – a commonly used term which refers to a quasi-statehood below the level of official acceptance by the international community. This is not an ephemeral worry; polling data indicates acceptance of partition is increasingly viewed as an acceptable alternative by both communities. Distrust between the two sides has always been a major problem and is at the root of either side’s inability to imagine a new way forward. Key recommendations within this report for mitigating the issue of trust and separation include utilizing the non-political ties which bind all people together – sports and the environment, to begin the process of building a sense of


Cypriot community separate from ethnic identity and ameliorating the decades of mistrust between the two communities.

Partly in response to the lack of progress on reunification as well as the lack of inducements and rewards on the part of the international community, last month the Turkish Cypriot side of the island elected a hard-line, nationalist president, Dervis Eroglu, to replace their previous, pro-settlement leader – Mehmet Ali Talat. The consequences of the election are as yet unknown but the position of Eroglu in talks with the Republic of Cyprus is well known – no compromise on the key issue of the recognition of the right of Turkish Cypriots to their own state.

Eroglu’s position, in combination with the stalling of EU-Turkish accession talks by the Republic of Cyprus, spells trouble for the future of Cyprus as well as Turkey’s relationship with the EU – the two of which are mutually and inseparably intertwined. Turkey is increasingly losing patience with the European Union on both Cyprus and other issues and believes it may never be offered membership while its client state, the TRNC, sees no future within a Greek-dominated EU-member Cyprus. The situation on Cyprus is frozen and requires creative, new approaches to both in order to “thaw” and “freshen” negotiation and peacebuilding dynamics on both halves of the divided island, with the European Union and the United Nations both playing key roles – building off their respective positions as a long-time guarantor of peace on the divided island and as the main economic and diplomatic forum within the European theater.


The recommendations arising from this report seek to utilize the two communities on both sides of the island in a “bottom-up” approach to peacebuilding – a humancentered approach which seeks to reimagine the conflict outside of round after round of negotiations between high-level elites on both sides of the island. This, together with incentives for the north and reassurances for the south on both the cost and benefits of reunification, are designed to slowly warm this frozen conflict, as well as to refresh it by moving around current obstacles to peace and reunification in hopes of building a strong momentum towards a permanent solution. The mitigation of horizontal inequalities, which were present on Cyprus long before the Turkish invasion, is designed to decrease their role in the continuation of the conflict while building increasingly strong economic ties between the two sides – which can only serve to remind both communities of the benefits of peace and of economic reintegration.

To the Republic of Cyprus:
1. Utilize the desire of many Turkish Cypriots to end to their international isolation to the advantage of both sides of the island by actively seeking to involve their civic groups in negotiations and in communicating the position of the Republic of Cyprus on reunification to the Turkish Cypriot population at-large. The


government of the Republic of Cyprus claims to represent the entire island as well as both populations – its actions should reflect these aspirations. 2. Implement cross-border initiatives of a non-political nature, such as sports and educational exchanges. Doing so does not imply recognition of the TRNC as a separate state. Rather it recognized the needs of Turkish Cypriot citizens as human beings and encourages them to establish greater ties with the Republic of Cyprus. It also shows the world that the government remains committed to reunification and not arbitrary punishment of its citizens in the north. 3. Offer to work with the north in implementing the acquis communautaire in
preparation for the eventual reunification of the two sides of the island. The Republic of Cyprus would also benefit by beginning this process now so it will not act as an impediment to reunification or increasing economic ties in the future.

4. End the government’s opposition to the Immovable Property Commission (IPC)
recognized in the recent European Court of Human Rights ruling as a just solution to the issue of outstanding property claims in the north. The government does not have to endorse the decision but by utilizing the commission it can remove a major source of tension and sorrow between the two communities and at no cost to itself. Continuing resistance to the IPC could result in much larger costs to the Republic of Cyprus in the future. Recognize the value of the IPC and allow citizens to make their own choices in the matter.

To the Turkish Cypriot Government:


1. Encourage Turkey to drop its opposition to allowing full movement of Greek Cypriot ships, aircraft and goods in and out of Turkish ports-of-entry. Doing so will remove a major irritant between the two parties and encourage the government of the Republic of Cyprus that the Turkish Cypriot community is not automatically endorsing the Turkish position on every issue and thus is acting as good-faith partner in negotiations. 2. Immediately begin a census of all properties in the north to determine rightful ownership and freeze construction on any disputed property currently until this issue is resolved. The unresolved status of property ownership in the north is an enormous drain on the ability of both sides of the island to come to a conclusion on reunification. If necessary a commission composed of equal numbers of Turkish and Greek Cypriots with an additional EU or NATO member to break an impasse could be composed to assist with this process. 3. Discuss seriously the idea of allowing resettlement of Varosha under jointadministration with policing powers carried out by the United Nations or another agreed-upon force.

To the Government of Turkey:
1. Immediately lift the prohibition on ships, aircraft and goods from the Republic of Cyprus entering Turkish ports-of-entry. This should be done without preconditions as a sign of Turkish willingness to compromise in key issues.


2. Being the process of a withdrawal of a small number of Turkish soldiers from the north. This need be only a token number and is designed, again, to show movement in Turkey’s positions. 3. Prohibit any further settlement of Turkish nationals in the north. This is a major issue for both the Turkish and Greek populations of the island and is illegal under international law. The status of those already in Cyprus can be negotiated in a final agreement but continuing settlement must end, immediately.

To the Government of Britain:
1. British sovereign bases occupy prime portions of Cyprus, areas which could be partly or entirely returned to Cyprus upon a successful reunification treaty between the two sides of the island. Reexamine the role of the bases and their necessity to British national security.

To the Government of Greece:
1. Encourage greater flexibility from the government of the Republic of Cyprus on negotiating issues involving reunification. The interests of Greece and Cyprus are not always mutually inclusive and encouraging this falsity has resulted in a hardening of positions on both sides of the island.


To the European Union:
1. Work with the Turkish side of Cyprus to begin the lengthy process of implementing the acquis communautaire while at the same time offering
inducements to Turkey in the form of additional EU trade preferences.

To the United Nations:
1. Transform the role of UNFICYP from one of peacekeeping to one of peacebuilding by
utilizing the force, which has the trust of both sides in Cyprus, into one which works to bring the two communities together through structured activities and peacebuilding exercises and trips to each side of the island. Current examples of this approach include meetings between businesses on both sides of the island. Consider expanding this approach to additional civic and educational organizations.

2. Create a plan to sequence some of the local institutions of governance envisioned in the
Annan plan to Varosha and the areas near Varosha in order to show both sides that cogovernance has a future in Cyprus. This plan could then be submitted to a vote in the areas recommended for attempts a joint-governance and resettlement.


Conflict Dynamics - Introduction
The conflict in Cyprus resulting in the Turkish invasion of the island in 1974 and stalemating in the subsequent partition and frozen dynamics which exist today, represents in many ways the latest conflict between the Greek and Turkish states or a “significant part of the larger GrecoTurkish issue with a thousand year history” (Yelmaz 35). Both the Greek-Turkish war of 1920 and the Lausanne Treaty of 1923 ensured that both Greece and Turkey have “unmixed” their populations to a degree quite remarkable considering the multiethnic nature of each state prior to these events. Cyprus is the last territory where large numbers of ethnic Cypriot Greeks and ethnic Cypriot Turks once lived together and where Greece and Turkey still have major roles to play in resolving (or prolonging) conflict between the two communities. A major, unresolved irritant in relations between the two states is Cyprus and the problems of that island have followed a path which closely parallels that of each respective community’s “benefactors” in Greece and Turkey.

The dynamics of conflict in Cyprus between the ethnic Turkish community and the ethnic Greek community have been heavily influenced by the fact that each community is watched over and “guaranteed” by an outside power – Greece takes a paternal interest in the Greek community and Turkey does the same with the Turkish community (the title of this project refers to what Turks refer to as “Motherland and Babyland,” “Motherland” being Turkey and “Babyland” being Cyprus). This arrangement, guaranteed by the 1960 Constitution of Cyprus, has resulted in the two communities following the same dynamic their ethnic kin in Turkey and Greece have


followed in relation to one another – namely the “interpretation of present events through the mental representation of past traumas, as well as glories” (Yelmaz 35).

The challenge then is to wean each community away from this dynamic and encourage the development of a Cypriot identity separate from reliance on the ethnic or religious identity of either of the guarantors of Cyprus’s two major communities. In this report as well as the ones following it we will make specific recommendations to assist in peacebuilding and peacemaking measures which we hope will build the confidence of both communities in one another and in the Cypriot state outside of its current reliance on the “guarantor” powers of Turkey and Greece.

There is significant disagreement as to relations between the two communities before the British assumed control of Cyprus in 1878. Greek Cypriot writers tend to mention the 1832 execution of the Cypriot Orthodox archbishop and clergy by the Ottoman Empire for alleged sympathies with those seeking independence for Greeks (Yelmas 39). But in the period after the British took control of Cyprus it can generally be agreed that “Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot nationalism and intercommunal distrust intensified in series of steps or “rachets.”” (Kaufmann 209).

British Rule


The British “allowed the communities to set up separate school systems, both of which imported teachers from the respective mainlands who taught children to see themselves as “Greek” or “Turkish, not “Cypriot.” History in each community, from well before the possibility of Cypriot independence until today, has represented its own people as consistently heroic and the other as consistently barbaric” (Kaufman 209).

This account is supported by Greek Cypriot writer Yiannis Papadakis who writes that in school in Cyprus he learned “the Turks were nomads, people with no civilization, people of the horse and the sword, descendants of the Mongols, infidels, people of no real religion. People of the Koran, Muslim fanatics… Every important date in our history as Greeks bespoke our encounters with Turkish barbarism. And I was a product of that history” (Papadakis 6-9).

Turkish teachers came to Cyprus bearing the new ideologies of “Kemalism” from Turkey’s new secular ruler – Ataturk. Ataturk had switched the communal, Islamist vision of the former Ottoman rulers to his new Turkish-based Kemalist ideology, which emphasized nationalism as the binding force of Turkish identity – abandoning allegiance to the caliphate, which Ataturk abolished in 1924. “By identifying with Ataturk’s vision of Turkish nationalism, the Turks of Cyprus were also asserting their sense of separate identity from their Greek Cypriot neighbors” (Yelmaz 43).

Language was also a source of separation on the island with few Greek Cypriots speaking Turkish but approximately 40% of Turkish Cypriots speaking Greek. As the two communities began their process of self-segregation less and less members of the “other” community learned their


neighbor’s language - meaning contacts between the two became increasingly limited (Fisher 309).

Strengthened by the acquired knowledge that each respective community was in the “right” and the other in the “wrong” both communities began the process of gradual separation from one another and greater identification with their ethnic/religious kin in the “mother/fatherland.”

For Greek Cypriots this took the form of enosis (union) with the Greek state. In 1912 and 1931 there were pro-enosis riots in Cyprus. These were followed by a growing sense of Turkish Cypriot nationalism which led to demands for taksim (partition) of the island.

After WWII the anti-colonialist wave which swept much of the world also reached Cyprus. In 1955 EOKA (National Organization of Cypriot Fighters) was formed to fight the British for Cypriot independence. EOKA was also closely identified with the cause of enosis and the Orthodox church and was exclusively Greek – thus encouraging another, exclusively Turkish organization called TMT (Turkish Defense Organization) to form which further divided the two communities. Distrust built further because TMT aligned itself with British colonialists and engaged in “limited intercommunal fighting with the Greek Cypriots until a ceasefire was implemented in 1958” (Fisher 310). This trend of separate structures and institutions for each community also manifested itself in politics as well – with no cross-community parties or movements competing for both Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot votes before independence or after (Kaufmann 210).

The period between 1891 and 1931 saw the unmixing of previously ethnically-mixed villages in Cyprus, from 43% to 36%.



Cyprus gained independence in 1960 following the armed struggle for independence waged by EOKA since 1955. Under the 1960 constitution power was to be shared between a Greek Cypriot president and a Turkish Cypriot vice-president who was given veto power. The 1960 constitution was remarkably complex and created a power-sharing system which allowed the Turkish Cypriot population a larger share of seats in the legislature (30%), civil service (30%), army (40%) and police (30%) than their share of the population at that time, which was estimated to be around 20% of the total of Cyprus (Kaufmann 210). The constitution also “incorporated the guarantee treaty between Cyprus, Greece, Turkey and Britain” which outlawed enosis and taksim and allowed Greece, Turkey or Britain to take steps to unilaterally remedy a breach of the treaty. Finally the constitution separated Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot voters into separate ethnic rolls which further institutionalized ethnic separation and prevented the development of crosscommunity candidates from emerging at all. “This meant that Greek Cypriots could only vote for Greek Cypriot candidates and Turkish Cypriots could only vote for Turkish Cypriot candidates. Political parties with candidates of different ethnic affiliation could not stand for elections” (Jarstad 28).

This complex document, designed with what the negotiators thought were the best interests of both communities at heart, instead held the seeds of the destruction of bicommunal existence on Cyprus. The president of Cyprus at the time, Archbishop Markarios, never supported the constitution and insisted it wouldn’t be binding on Greek Cypriots after independence (Kaufmann 210). The constitution “institutionalized ethno-communalism, because it failed to take into account “the psychological and sociological fact that the power-protection system”


increased “suspicions, antagonism and conflict between the communities because of the discriminations and uncertainties involved.” “The sectarian and divisive provisions of the 1960 arrangement constituted the seeds that led to its collapse three years later” (Michael 26).

The consocialistic model of power sharing as laid out in the 1960 Cypriot constitution was a failure for the reasons stated above and because it did nothing to encourage consensus between competing factions within the government (Large & Sisk 100). Of course there existed no ability in Cyprus to field an integrative approach to governance because there existed no cross-community political parties, societies or institutions. The Cypriot constitution of 1960 cemented this state of affairs and did nothing to ameliorate it.

The “birth” of Cyprus as an independent state more closely resembled that of an arranged marriage neither party wanted – with both parties in love with different suitors who hovered at the edge of the wedding yet refused to say “I object” when asked. “Independence” wasn’t wanted by the vast majority of Greek Cypriots, who desired enosis with Greece, nor by the Turkish Cypriots, who saw independence as a stalking horse for enosis by the Greek Cypriots. The mood of the new state was bleak, “there were no festivals, no ringing of church bells, no parades, no dancing people in the streets of Cyprus celebrating independence” (Yelmaz 55). The mood of the people of Cyprus was predictive –the years ahead wouldn’t hold much joy or celebration for either Greek or Turkish Cypriots.

By independence in 1960 the proportion of ethnically-mixed villages in Cyprus had declined from 36% in 1931 to 18% (Kaufmann 210).


Post- Independence
The constitutional arrangement quickly proved unworkable because “both identity groups remained adversarial… with each seeking to gain advantages within the new arrangements” (Fisher 310). “None of it functioned – except one provision that permitted Greece and Turkey to maintain several hundred troops on the island, who became trainers and commanders of the nationalist militias in both communities” (Kaufman 210). The 1960 constitution froze the situation and provided an unworkable framework in which to resolve issues of dispute – which neither party was willing to do. Both sides adhered strictly to their ethnic identity and no mechanisms were put in place to foster even the beginning of a Cypriot identity separate from ethnicity. Statements from both Greek and Turkish Cypriots contributed to this sense of ethnic exclusion, with Makarios saying when first elected president in 1959 that “For the first time in centuries, the government of the island passes into Greek hands” and Turkish Cypriot leaders saying they couldn’t be “tools of Turkey” because they were part of Turkey (Yelmaz 58-59).

In addition the agreement was dependent on stable power relations between the two sides and the other parties to the agreement (Greece, Turkey and Britain). When one side felt the power relations had shifted it could simply abandon the agreement or seek to change it unilaterally – as Makarios did later. Power relations can shift because of changing military capacities, demography or, as in the case of Cyprus, international actors (Jarstad 21).

In 1963 after Makarios unilaterally threatened to change the constitution the two sides embarked “on a hostile and protracted process of separation and segregation” (Fisher 310). Intercommunal violence broke out “shortly before Christmas 1963” when British forces left their sovereign bases and intervened to halt the violence – establishing the “Green Line” which still


divides Nicosia today (Souter 662). They were followed by the deployment of a United Nations peacekeeping force (UNFICYP), which remains in Cyprus. In 1964 Turkey threatened to intervene in Cyprus but after strong warnings from the United States used only air power in support of its Turkish brethren instead (United States 1).

The outcome of Makarios’s rejection of the constitution and the following intercommunal violence was a large number of internally displaced persons (IDP), mainly Turkish Cypriots, who coalesced into a series of small fortified “enclaves run by the community’s political leaders” (Souter 662). These enclaves occupied less than 3% of Cyprus’s total land area but held almost 18% of its population. Movement to and from the enclaves was restricted and those inside felt powerless and fearful of attacks by Greek Cypriots.

“It is difficult to overestimate the magnitude of the 1964 crisis for the Turkish Cypriot community. This was a seminal event for them. The Greek Cypriots failed to comprehend the significance of the 1964 crisis in the Turkish Cypriot narrative. Their inability to to grasp the centrality of this “chosen trauma” only compounded the “mistrust factor” in any prospective endeavor toward coexistence and reunification. Cast in bereaved language, the 1964-1974 trial would underline all future negotiating predispositions for the Turkish Cypriots” (Michael 27). After the events of 1964 “the remainder of the 1960s and the early 1970s saw continuing hostility and increasing segregation between the two communities, punctuated by intermittent crises sparking Turkish involvement and repeated calls for enosis by nationalist elements in the Greek-Cypriot community” (Fisher 310).


The events of 1964 represent a “chosen trauma” by the Turkish Cypriots – an event which has gathered in their historical memory and has become mythologized by the group. Each group accuses the other of refusing to understand or acknowledge its suffering and then mythologizes a particular period of suffering, “Once a terrible event in a group’s history becomes a chosen trauma, the truth about it does not really matter” (Yelmaz 10). “One of the biggest problems is that people tend to forget what the others suffered and remember only their own sufferings. We went through difficult times in 1963 but Greek Cypriots never mention these. But Greek Cypriots went through difficult times in 1974. But the Cyprus problem did not start in 1974” (Papadakis 109).

By 1970 the percentage of ethnically-mixed villages in Cyprus had fallen to less than 10% (Fisher 310).

The Invasion of “Attila.”
Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus in July 1974 is the event which led to the partition of the island and the forced displacement of over 250,000 Greek Cypriots. For Greek Cypriots this event, hailed as “liberation” by Turkish Cypriots, was as traumatizing as the 1964 crisis and subsequent exile to small enclaves was to the Turkish Cypriots.

In response to a coup engineered in Athens by the right-wing junta then in power and led by Cypriot Nikos Sampson, characterized as “an extremely violent man… well-known for his hatred of Turks” who once advocated “cleansing the island of the stench of Turks,” Turkey began a twopart invasion designed to “establish facts on the ground.” (Webb & Groom 85, Kaufmann 214).


The first part of the invasion, on July 20th, was followed by ethnic cleansing of Cypriot Turks from Greek-held areas almost immediately (Kaufmann 214). On August 14th, following the end of talks in Geneva between the four guarantor powers designed to seek a settlement to the previous round of fighting, Turkey attacked again and pushed inwards from the beachheads it had established, causing greater displacement of people, both Greek Cypriots heading south (away from the Turkish invasion) and Turkish Cypriots heading north (towards the occupied areas) and eventually occupying almost 37% of the island (Yilmaz 65). For Greek Cypriots the events of 1974 leading up to the invasion of Turkey, constitute their own “chosen trauma” in the same manner the events between 1964 and 1974 mean to the Cypriot Turkish population.

The toll on the people of Cyprus was fierce. 4000 Greek soldiers and Cypriots were killed as well as 2000 Turkish soldiers. The Turkish army “committed rapes and killed women and children” (Kaufmann 215). Over 1500 people today are still considered “disappeared” by their families. Almost no Turkish Cypriots remained in the south of Cyprus while less than 10,000 Greek Cypriots remained in the north – many of whom would be later placed under great pressure to leave. Subsequent agreements allowed a UN-supervised population exchange which further reduced the mixed communities in each state. Today less than 300 Greek Cypriots remain in the Turkish-occupied areas of Cyprus, mainly in the remote Karpas Peninsula. Figures on the number of Turkish Cypriots in the south – the internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus, are unavailable but it is thought less than 1000 chose to stay behind.

Each side has its own narrative for every significant event which has occurred in the history of Cyprus. “The year 1974 perpetuated the image of the “unspeakable” Turk as Orthodox


Hellenism’s eternal enemy, out to expel them from their ancestral homeland, in a melancholic fatalism colored by betrayal, defeat and loss. Conversely 1974 is heralded as a “peace operation” and celebrated by Turkish Cypriots as “an antidote to Greek Cypriot oppression” (Michael 32). Neither side appears willing to acknowledge the other’s narrative – not accept but acknowledge. The principle of “the ego of victimization” doesn’t allow empathy for one’s compatriot’s pain – when one suffers then the other must suffer in return (Yilmaz 66).

Visual Representation of the Decline of Bicommunal Villages in Cyprus


The conflict in Cyprus has been stalemated since 1974. Contrary to the low-level ethnic violence which occupied the island from between 1955 and 1974 there have been very few incidents since the Turkish invasion – primarily or wholly because the two populations are unmixed now to the point where very, very few Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots still live in close proximity to one another.


Because this project is broken into two parts – conflict and escalation analysis followed by peacemaking analysis at a later date, we will not go any further into the history of the conflict as the conflict has remained essentially frozen since 1974.

Peacemaking and Peacebuilding Strategies

The conflict in Cyprus is complex and clouded with issues of ethnic nationalism, discrimination (and fear of discrimination), the use of enemy images to stereotype the “other” as barbaric and less than human, the over-involvement of guarantor powers Greece and Turkey in their coreligionists affairs which has resulted in a stunted and nearly non-existent Cypriot identity and a decades-long enforced separation which has allowed all of these elements and more to harden together until each side is almost incapable of moving from its rehearsed role and seeing halfway to the other’s position. The adoption of chosen traumas, chosen glories, the egoism of victimization and hard-held religious and ethnic identities by both sides in the dispute present a dizzyingly complex problem from which to embark on successful peacemaking and peacebuilding strategies.

Yet there are areas of agreement which can be approached as cross-border efforts and which do not require huge sacrifices on either side. These areas can then be used as confidence-building measures to draw the two sides closer to one another and to work towards building a Cypriot identity free of reliance on religious or nationalistic shibboleths. Several of the issues (women and the environment) recommended here for cross-community cooperation are mentioned as


“instrumental in confidence building and in establishing a settlement that can be acceptable to the larger population” in other research, particularly in those dealing with conflict in Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Aceh (Strand 187).

The European Union (EU) has taken the initiative in some of these areas but unfortunately in the EU, where the Republic of Cyprus is a full member and the north and Turkey are not, “Greek Cypriots… have eagerly used all the levers available to them to pursue what they see as their national interest and need for justice” (ICG 3). If opportunities for building cross-border cooperation are stymied in the EU then countries should make the decision to pursue these opportunities unilaterally – as Britain and the United States appear to be doing in certain areas – including the ones mentioned below.

Environment Sports Women’s Issues Educational Exchanges


Cyprus occupies a unique spot in the Mediterranean and features a huge number of species, plant and animal, which aren’t located elsewhere. In addition Cyprus serves as a nesting location for numerous rare sea turtles which have actually rebounded in number since the Turkish invasion due to the low number of tourists known to visit the Turkish-occupied north. As writer


Alan Weisman wrote when visiting abandoned Varosha, “At night, the darkened beachfront, free of moonlight bathers, crawls with nesting loggerhead and green sea turtles” (Weisman 97).

The resurgence of the natural environment into the void left by humans can be a comforting and uniting factor if managed well. The Environment and Security Initiative (ENVSEC), a project formed between the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Development Programe (UNDP) could serve as a framework within which to develop a process for cross-border cooperation on issues of mutual concern between the two parts of Cyprus today (United Nations 25).

A main issue sure to arise is that the Republic of Cyprus doesn’t want to provide legitimacy to the Turkish-occupied north, which declared independence in 1983. But the environment is an issue which doesn’t respect artificial boundaries across land, air or sea. Tackling issues of joint concern between both communities, issues like ensuring sea turtles have clean beaches on which to nest, the status of Cyprus’s native donkey population or discussing ways to mitigate the effects of a dropping water table can be approached as joint-initiatives, if necessary done outside the framework of government-to-government contacts through NGOs or multilateral organizations.

The water issue, in particular, has been mentioned as having the potential to “function both as a unifier promoting collaboration between entities at different levels and scales but also an irritant worsening already bad relations” (Strand 191). Using Cyprus’s dropping water table as


“an opportunity to ensure structure dialogue with groups in the two communities” could be enormously valuable in building ties between the two groups (Strand 192).


Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus is not an internationally-recognized state so it does not have the right to participate in sporting events outside of Turkey. Forming joint sports teams between the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish-occupied north could form a valuable source of crossborder attachment and appreciation. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) has a football team which, because of the TRNC’s disputed status, cannot play in international FIFA tournaments. A team from Cyprus playing together, perhaps under a jointly agreed upon symbol, would act to bring the two sides together in a way they haven’t been for decades.

The Olympics are designed to bring the world’s states together in peace and harmony, united under the Olympic banner and committed to the ancient ideals of sportsmanship. Because the TRNC isn’t a recognized state it has no Olympic committee, any athlete who wanted to participate would be forced to get a Turkish passport and compete under the flag of Turkey. And the Republic of Cyprus up to this point has never won a metal in the Olympics – winter or summer. Approaching the Olympic committee in the south to accept and train athletes from the north, who could perhaps compete under a neutral banner until reunification was achieved (in the same manner as Taiwan) could serve as a visible and successful example of cooperation across the divide. If objections were to arise bringing the issue of Greece’s adoption of ethnic Greek minorities from the Pontus (Paraskevi Patoulidou) and Albania (Pyrros Dimas) to compete


for Greece in the Olympics (each who won a gold metal) could serve as an important reminder of the role athletes from the TRNC could play in the Olympics on behalf of all Cypriots.

Women’s Issues

Reams of data show us that the less participation of women in government and society the more repressive and warlike a state turns out to be. Disenfranchising half of one’s population is a road to ruin whereas enfranchising women can act as a locus for advancement and prosperity.

Recognizing the valuable role women can play in peacebuilding the United Nations Security Council passed resolution 1325 in 2000, which called for broader participation for women in conflict resolution and “that involve women in all the implementation mechanisms of the peace agreements” (Strand 188).

Because “in conflict societies, the ‘national problem’ historically dominates downplays social issues, including women’s issues” too often the concerns of women and their ideas for resolving conflict have been downplayed or ignored (Hadjiipavlou 238). Women are enlisted in the conflict as “sacrificing mothers” who “internalize their ethnic and national duty roles in safeguarding the nation” (Hadjiipavlou 238). As such they “are denied their right to be full participants in the peace process” on both sides. “In the last 30 years of official negotiations, no Cypriot women has ever been appointed a member of the negotiating team” (Hadjiipavlou 238). Because Cyprus is seen as a patriarchal culture this is accepted as normal but even within societies viewed as patriarchal women still have opinions and unique perspectives – and their


absence from the political discourse is neither healthy nor wise for government, society or for women themselves.

The UNDP has funded (2006 – 2008) a $30,000,000 project in Cyprus based on mainstreaming women’s participation in peacemaking efforts on the island (UNDP). A report is expected soon on its results but a greater effort must be made to bind women from the Republic of Cyprus and the TRNC together in cross-border groups discussing issues of concern to women. As the UNDP has taken a lead role so far it could continue to do so – or delegate additional responsibilities to gender-based NGOs eager to help build the process of peacebuilding forward (Georgiadu 1).

Educational Exchanges

Because of the international isolation of the TRNC students from the statelet often have to procure Turkish passports to study abroad and are only allowed to study in Cyprus once they obtain a Republic of Cyprus passport. Creating an exchange mechanism whereby students of both the Republic of Cyprus and the TRNC could study on each side of the dividing line would be enormously beneficial in breaking down the negative stereotypes each community holds of the other. A more immediate impact would be a growing number of citizens of each ethnic group with the ability to speak the language of the other. It would also lift some of the sense of siege which the Turkish Cypriot community feels under and encourage greater ties between the two educational communities.


The next portion of this report will move on to the negotiation dynamics present in the decades of face-to-face talks between parties involved in the Cyprus dispute but primarily focusing on talks between the Greek-Cypriots and the Turkish-Cypriots overseen by the UN SecretaryGeneral’s special representative on Cyprus.

Negotiation Dynamics - Introduction
This report will present an analysis of the negotiating strategies of the Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot sides in the Cyprus conflict since the Turkish invasion of 1974. The focus will be in particular on the negotiation processes involved in the formulation the Annan plan in 2004 and how both sides’ bargaining positions have evolved (or devolved) since negotiations on reunification and a constitutional settlement began after the Turkish invasion in 1974. This project will be relying heavily on the processes laid out by Timothy Sisk in “Bargaining with Bullets,” focusing on the prenegotiation and negotiation processes between the two sides and the theoretical concept of “ripeness” as applied to the Cyprus situation after the invasion of Turkey in 1974 and preceding EU accession in 2004, while looking to the applicability of the ripeness concept to current negotiations preceding elections in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in mid-April 20101.


Sisk’s work is strongly applicable in the sense that he outlines a powerful case for “Peacemaking with Power” and negotiations leading to the building of effective and durable power-sharing institutions, both of which resonate strongly in the case of Cyprus. Intertwined in Sisk’s recommendations is the issue of bringing peace to warring parties, which is slightly less applicable to Cyprus due to the cessation of intercommunal violence more than ¼ of a century ago. The major issues in Cyprus have morphed from those centered around security in the traditional sense to those centered around the type of consociational model and confidence buildings measures (CBMs) necessary to convince both communities to accept a final agreement.


The final piece will be analyzing the negotiation process for its applicability and inducements towards the building of peace – in particular looking at the institutions imagined in the Annan plan. Specific policy recommendations will be offered towards the goal of peacebuilding in Cyprus based on the models offered by the Annan plan. A particular focus will be on Sisk’s idea of “sequencing”, but from a constitutional perspective, the various institutions of the Annan plan to different parts of the island, both Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot, which were more supportive of the Annan plan in the referendum of 2004 in an attempt to demonstrate the potential effectiveness and unity-enhancing role these institutions might play.

Bargaining Framework
The framework within which negotiations between the two sides in Cyprus have been conducted has been set by UN, in particular by a number of UN Security Council (UNSC) and General Assembly resolutions. The Secretary-General of the UN has been assigned by the Security Council as a “monitor” of the talks under UNSC Resolution 353. UNSC Resolutions 359, 360, 364, 365 and 367 further established and then strengthened the Secretary-General’s role and that of the UN in the conflict.


General Assembly Resolution 3212 (XXIX) in November 1974 “officially endorsed the preliminary intercommunal talks as the main negotiating model for resolving the Cyprus problem” as well as affirming a number of key points (Michael 46).2 As General Assembly resolutions are declarations without force of international law the UNSC passed Resolution 367 affirming the General Assembly resolution which “established intercommunal talks as the sole legitimate negotiating process and confirmed the Secretary-General as convener and facilitator of this process” (Michael 47).3

The bargaining framework put in place by the UN guaranteed the primacy of the organization and the Secretary-General in negotiations and locked-in the role of intercommunal talks as the sole bargaining framework which would be utilized going forward. By recognizing the territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus, mandating that all refugees be allowed to return to their homes and urging the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Cyprus the UN also endorsed a number of elements in the GreekCypriot bargaining position, which had the effect of ensuring that the Turkish-Cypriot side would always be operating from a “legitimacy deficit” in the eyes of the


GA Resolution 3212, in part : 1. Calls upon all states to respect the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and non-alignment of the Republic of Cyprus and to refrain from all acts and interventions directed against it; 2. Urges the speedy withdrawal of all foreign armed forces and foreign military presence and personnel from the Republic of Cyprus and the cessation of all foreign interference in its affairs; 5. . Considers that all the refugees should return to their homes in safety and calls upon the parties concerned to undertake urgent measures to that end;


UNSC Resolution 367: “Requests the Secretary General accordingly to undertake a new mission of good offices and to that end to convene the two parties under new agreed procedures and to place himself personally at their disposal, so that the resumption, the intensification and the progress of comprehensive negotiations, carried out in a reciprocal spirit of understanding and of moderation under his personal auspices and with his direction as appropriate, might thereby be facilitated (United Nations).


international community and would contribute to a perception of the balance of power between the two sides.

Greek-Cypriot Bargaining Position
The bargaining position of the two parties directly involved in the Cyprus conflict, the Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot sides, was each informed by the events of 1974, when Turkey invaded the island in response to a coup engineered by the junta in Greece. Following this series of events the Greek-Cypriot government, in conjunction with Greece, laid out its positions, which came to be known as “the Athens doctrine” (Michael 39). The doctrine is as follows:

1. The government of the Republic of Cyprus as the sole, legal government of Cyprus 2. Support for a multiregional, bicommunal federation 3. The area comprising Turkish Cyprus should be equivalent to their share of the population or in any case not exceed 25% of the population 4. The right of return of all refugees to their homes and property before the Turkish invasion. 5. The right of property and freedom of movement of the population. 6. The removal of all foreign troops from Cyprus The issue of international recognition of the government of the Republic of Cyprus is extremely important from an analytical framework in looking at the balance of power in the conflict. The Republic of Cyprus’ recognition by the international community as well as its membership in multilateral institutions like the United Nations and (eventually) the European Union has resulted in an asymmetrical balance of power between the two 32

sides (Schiff 390). Looking at the issue while applying Timothy Sisk’s perspective on “fluctuating stalemate” illustrates the fact of the Republic of Cyprus’s international legitimacy, endorsement of three of its bargaining position and its membership in international organizations has resulted in a situation where the Republic of Cyprus is always ascendant against the Turkish-Cypriot side. This has resulted in a “polarizing condition, perpetuating conflict and not leading to avenues for resolution.” (Sisk 43).

Turkish-Cypriot Bargaining Position
In sharp contrast to the position of the Greek-Cypriot side the Turkish-Cypriots regarded the Turkish invasion in 1974 as legal under Turkey’s guarantor powers. Their negotiation conditions reflected this reality and also their belief that the Republic of Cyprus as established under the 1960 constitution was no longer valid. The position of the TurkishCypriot side was in large part an attempt to lock in their gains since 1974 and consisted of the following:

1. The maintenance of the ethnic homogeneity of northern Cyprus. 2. The continuation of the Turkish military presence in northern Cyprus and the role of Turkey as a military guarantor. 3. The support for a bicommunal and biregional state. 4. The rejection of a unified or multiregional state as proposed by the GreekCypriot side. As mentioned in the sections on the negotiating framework and the Greek-Cypriot position the Turkish bargaining position was affected by a lack of international legitimacy. The Turkish Cypriots operated under a strict international embargo which impacted every area of life in Turkish Cyprus including the ability to travel abroad, to


participate in international sports competitions, receive international loans and many other restrictions. None of the Turkish-Cypriot bargaining positions were legitimized by the international community and it received no international backing other than that of the Turkish government. During most of the negotiation phrase leading up to the Annan plan the Turkish-Cypriot side was punished with a number of coercive measures and offered almost no non-coercive ones, a balance of which is necessary “to induce the parties to accept the settlement plan (Sisk 39).

This isolation would negatively affect the psyche of the Turkish-Cypriot side, causing an imbalance in the perception of the symmetry of power between the two sides, and would contribute to a position of defiance on the part of the Turkish-Cypriots which was indirectly responsible for the declaration of independence of the TRNC in 1983.4 Additionally “the Greek Cypriot economic and political embargo, aimed at preventing recognition of the Turkish Cypriot ‘state,’ only compounded the ideology of separateness,” which did not bode well for peacebuilding efforts during the negotiation process (Michael 42).

Turkish, Greek and United States Negotiating Positions

I am not endorsing the declaration of independence on the part of the TRNC but I am stating that their isolation and the lack of incentives extended to the Turkish Cypriots caused a hardening of their negotiating position which led to the independence declaration.



The Turkish and Greek states, as guarantor powers under the 1960 Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus, also had a place at the negotiating table where their positions adhered closely to those of their ethnic kin in Cyprus.

Greece followed the slogan “Cyprus Decides and Greece Follows” while Turkey adopted a paternalistic approach towards the Turkish Cypriot state. The Turkish Republic was heavily involved in the governance and subsidization of the Turkish-Cypriot state from the point of its invasion in 1974 onward.

The US has been characterized as “the most important non-primary player in the dispute (Michael 65).US strategy in the conflict was primarily concerned with keeping Cyprus out of the Soviet orbit and maintaining peace between NATO allies Greece and Turkey. US policy has also been influenced by the role of the politically important GreekAmerican political lobby in the United States. The US, since the failure of the Nimetz proposals in 1978, has tended to play a background role to that of the UNSG.

History of the Negotiating Process
The Cyprus conflict has experienced a lengthy negotiation process composed of multiparty mediation held under the auspices of the United Nations Secretary General (UNSG). These efforts have included representatives of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides and at times the guarantor powers of Turkey & Greece as well as secondary powers like the United States. In this section I will focus on the major negotiating efforts


in Cyprus including the talks mediated by UNSG Kurt Waldheim which resulted in high level agreements and then focus on the only agreement to have ever been submitted to both sides in the conflict for ratification – the Annan agreement.

The Vienna Talks 1975 - 1977
The “Vienna Talks” held between the two sides under the auspices of the UNSG and the bargaining framework laid out by UNSC Resolution 367 comprised several rounds of negotiations from 1975 – 1977 and collapsed upon the death of Cypriot President Markarios, after which new negotiations took place under different monikers.

The Vienna talks were plagued by a lack of convergent interests and expectations on all sides. One side would come to the table with a proposal on governance and the other would respond with proposals on territoriality. The UN was hampered by the distrust of the Turkish-Cypriot side, which was angered at numerous UN resolutions affirming its opponent’s negotiating points and thus couldn’t act as a “powerful peacemaker.” The Greek-Cypriot side had successfully internationalized the issue and knew it was in an ascendant position vis-à-vis the Turkish side.

While several “High Level agreements” were negotiated over the years of negotiation they all suffered from ambiguity on terms, in particular the use of “bicommunal” as a reference point. There was a point of agreement in 1978 on the issue which was seen as a major concession by the Greek side when it acknowledged that there would be


separate control by each community of different parts of the island. This concession could be interpreted as a “ripe” moment.

A ripe moment, as discussed by Sisk, usually occurs during the process of prenegotiation and is “a high-risk strategy, as the opposing party may seize upon a sign of conciliation as weakness and, rather than responding with a reciprocal act of conciliation, may “defect” or escalate in order to take advantage of the perception of weakness” (Sisk 46). There was no further concession on the part of the Turkish-Cypriot side which was symbolic of the lack of a convergence of interests between the two sides that plagued the negotiations during all of their iterations.

Factors Contributing to Failure of the Vienna Talks and Subsequent Rounds of Negotiations
From an analytical framework on negotiation the following appear as the lead causes of the failure of the Vienna Talks and the subsequent rounds of negotiations leading to the Annan plan. These factors are not listed in any particular order.

1. Asymmetrical balance of power between the two sides leading to a fluctuating stalemate. 2. Lack of credible third-party guarantees. 3. Lack of “ripe moment” (convergent expectations) leading to meaningful concessions from both sides. 4. Failure to employ “peacemaking with power” on behalf of the mediator. The perception of security from each side’s perspective was radically different. Each party also saw its “sphere of power” differently and resented the power of the other,


but as time would move on each party’s “sphere” would grow or shrink proportionally to the other and actions such as UN resolutions buttressing the Greek-Cypriot side (which was a deliberate and strategically important attempt by the Republic of Cyprus to “internationalize” the situation) further added to each side’s perception of the balance of power in the situation (Michael 75). As illustrated in the section on the Greek-Cypriot bargaining position this situation has resulted in an asymmetrical balance of power which led to a fluctuating stalemate and deadlock in negotiations.

Throughout the history of the Vienna talks and through subsequent rounds of negotiations another critical element was missing – the lack of third-party guarantees necessary to assist both sides in bridging the security dilemma which existed between them. “Credible enforcement” is a necessary component of a functional peace agreement and in the case of Cyprus neither party was prepared to accept the guarantees the UN offered as “credible.” No additional third-party with the necessary standing amongst the two sides then stepped forward, leaving this critical element unfulfilled.

Talks between the two sides were also hampered by the lack of a “mediator with power,” as Sisk calls it. The United Nations did not have the ability to offer a package of non-coercive and coercive inducements to both sides. Because the UN was operating under specific UNSC resolutions which had recognized a number of the bargaining positions of the Greek-Cypriots its ability to act as a “powerful peacemaker… with the


[ability] to exercise strategic strength in leveraging the parties into peace” was limited by the self-imposed conditions under which it operated (Sisk 156). As talks were mandated to be conducted under the auspices of the UN, a body which repeatedly passed resolutions the Turkish-Cypriot side felt were in opposition to their negotiating position, this created a situation where the Turkish-Cypriot side would increasingly come to view the UN as a not a partial mediator but one biased in favor of the GreekCypriots. Whether this is true or not is unimportant, for what matters most in the negotiating process are the perceptions of both sides.

All of the factors discussed in this section are critical to the success of any peacemaking effort. The appearance of any one of them is troubling; the appearance of four would make it extremely difficult to achieve meaningful progress in negotiations and are directly responsible for the failure of the Vienna talks. Because none of them were successfully ameliorated they have also played a role in the failure of subsequent negotiations up to the Annan plan.

Fact Point 1

In 1983, in response to a UNGA assembly which demanded the withdrawal of all Turkish troops from the island, the return of refugees to their homes and which called on all states to assist the government of the Republic of Cyprus to exercise “its full and effective control over the entire territory of Cyprus,” the Turkish-Cypriots declared the independence of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). No country other than Turkey recognized the TRNC and today Turkey remains the only country to have done so.


The Annan Plan
The Annan Plan as submitted to the voters of Cyprus in April of 2004 was a product of prenegotiation and negotiation from 2002 – 2004, but its creation through negotiation was a product of the convergence of a number of different interests of primary and onprimary actors to the Cyprus situation. The plan can be considered the product of a “ripe moment” which was catalyzed by the decision of UNSG Kofi Annan to approach negotiations from a different perspective and attempt to ameliorate the factors discussed earlier which had led to the failure of other negotiation rounds in the past. Specifically Annan would attempt a four-pronged linkage approach to the new round of negotiations (Michael 169).

1. Annan intended to “utilize the membership applications of both Cyprus and Turkey [to the EU] as a catalyst” for settlement/membership. 2. “Enlist the active support of the main external parties to the issue – the United States and Britain.” 3. “Lock in the support of the motherlands – Greece and Turkey.” 4. “Use these pathways to alter the entrenched positions of the two communities.” Another significant factor in the negotiations was the ability of the UNSG to unilaterally impose conditions in any of the areas of the eventual agreement in the event of the two sides to find a path forward. This was unique in that it prevented either party from acting as the role of “spoiler.”

The European Union
The European Union (EU) began membership negotiations with the Republic of Cyprus in 1990. This fact was viewed negatively by the Turkish-Cypriot leadership led by


longtime President Rauf Denktash, because it once again reinforced their perception of asymmetry in balance of power and the always ascendant status of the Greek-Cypriot side in international legitimacy.

The decision of the European Union in 2002 to drop conditionally as a requirement for Cypriot membership “allowed the Republic of Cyprus to feel free of significant constraints and act upon its own interests in the negotiations” (Schiff 406). “The EU created a sense of crisis of impending sanctions that were directed at a single party – Turkey and the Turkish-Cypriots – while Greek Cypriots were under strictly verbal pressure that was unaccompanied by any explicit theme” (Schiff 406). The EU lacked any meaningful ability to act as a “peacemaker with power” and was largely relegated to the sidelines of the negotiations

The position of the Turkish-Cypriots had changed from the earlier rounds of negotiations (Vienna) due to a convergence of a number of factors within and outside the TRNC.

1. Change in internal political dynamics/Mass & elite support for peace - Rauf Denktash’s political position was threatened due to rising economic and political discord within the TRNC. The decades of international isolation imposed on the TRNC had led to a decline in living standards amongst the Turkish-Cypriot population caused inflation and a high emigration rate and there was growing resentment to the influx of settlers from Anatolia and the continuing meddling in the affairs of the TRNC by the Turkish state (see table below).


2. The “win-set” of the TRNC changed between the rounds of negotiations after the Turkish invasion to the beginning of the negotiations on the Annan plan because “the prospect of imminent EU citizenship seemed to represent a better prospect for their future than continuing on with the existing state of affairs” (Schiff 396). 3. Support of Elites - Parliamentary elections in Dec, 2003 brought to power in the TRNC the opposition bloc, led by Mehmet Ali Talat. The new government declared it would “work to achieve a unification agreement, which would ultimately be decided in a referendum (Schiff 397). 4. Changing attitude of external ally/actor (Turkey) – the guarantors, protectors and subsidizers of the TRNC, had changed with the advent of the AKP government (discussed below) The Turkish-Cypriot side appeared motivated by the fact an agreement held “greater benefits… than they would achieve by abrogating negotiations” and returning to the status quo (Sisk 55).

Per capita income in the north and south of Cyprus, 2004 (US$1,000s) 2

Nominal North 8.1 South 19.4 Ratio (north/south 42 as a percentage) Source: World Bank (2006)

World Bank Atlas 7.2 17.6 41

PPP Corrected 14.8 22.3 66

Turkey’s desire to see a settlement achieved in Cyprus was motivated by its own desires to join the European Union and by the fact that the new AKP government, elected in November 2002, saw its own political fortunes as linked to European Union membership, which it knew was highly unlikely in the event a divided Cyprus was admitted to the EU with Turkish troops considered as occupiers in the north.


During negotiation over the Annan plan – through all of its iterations, Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan “made it quite clear he would not be tolerating a rejectionist policy on the part of Denktash (Asmussen 7). Denktash was now boxed in – were he to choose to defy Turkey he would have to resign in which case Mehmet Ali Talat would take over as President.


Contrasting starkly to the changes in the position of the TRNC and Turkey the GreekCypriot side felt its position was assured by its guaranteed admission to the European Union regardless of whether a unification agreement was reached or not. Despite knowing its membership was a fait accompli the Greek-Cypriot side came under “considerable pressure from the US, UN, the EU and Greece” to reach a settlement before May 1st (Schiff 399).

There also did not exist within the Republic of Cyprus the same groundswell of either mass or grassroots support for negotiations and settlement which existed in the TRNC – which can be attributed to the fact that the populace of the Republic of Cyprus had seen itself as ascendant for a number of years and their assured admission to the European Union was the ultimate guarantee of that ascendancy. The Greek-Cypriot side felt “it could not be worse off than in the case of an agreement which failed to protect its interests” (Schiff 401). 43

The bargaining position of the Greek-Cypriot side was not motivated by the same combination of external and internal factors that have been shown to be present in the TRNC and Turkey. There existed no convergence of interests within the Republic of Cyprus on negotiation and for settlement.

The Final Annan Plan (Annan V)
The Final Annan plan was a complex and lengthy document with five appendices and nine annexes covering matters ranging from federal government, constitutional law and federal laws, property rights, reconciliation commissions and the “coming into being” of a new state of affairs. For the sake of expediency the focus here will be on the constitutional arrangements of the document under the envisioned “United Cyprus Republic” (UCR).

The Annan plan was a model of consociational power sharing. It allowed a minority veto on “matters of importance to the group,” defined proportionality as the basis for governance and allowed for substantial group autonomy (Sisk 57). It defined structures and institutions which would allow for the sequenced return of refugees, guaranteeing that for 19 years the ethnic balance of power in the different sections of Cyprus would not be impacted. It ensured adequate compensation for those who lost land and/or housing and also ensured that the process would not result in expulsions of either side from dwellings they occupied currently (Annan Plan for Cyprus).


The Defeat of the Annan Plan
There was no implementation of the Annan plan because it was defeated in a referendum in April 2004. It was approved by a majority of 64.9% on the Turkish Cypriot side but was defeated resoundingly on the Greek Cypriot side by a majority of 75.8%.

The plan suffered from a number of defects in the eyes of both sides but was supported on the Turkish side by a majority of the political establishment and by the consensus of Turkish Cypriots that the plan represented the best deal they were going to get.

The Greek Cypriot side had a different perspective and different realities. A majority of the political establishment (the elites) of the Republic of Cyprus, led by Papadopulous, urged a “No” vote. This judgment was based on the perception amongst the Greek Cypriot population that they had already given up enough (they had, after all, lost over 1/3 of their island to Turkish military occupation for almost 20 years at the time of the vote) and that the agreement in no way represented their ascendant position as a member of the European Union. This attitude can be encapsulated by Papdopoulos’ statement that he “did not receive a State… to deliver a ‘Community’” (Michael 180).

A “ripe moment” requires a convergence of expectations “by all sides” to be successful (Sisk 46). The entry of Cyprus to the EU, the change in the political scene of the TRNC and outside pressure were all seen as a prime motivating factor for all sides which


would induce the “ripe moment” necessary to bring the conflict to a conclusion. Sadly this did not take into account the fact that for the Greek Cypriot side there did not exist that “convergence of expectations.” There was certainly a convergence of expectation of every other side – from Turkey, from the EU, from the Turkish Cypriots, Greece, the UN and the United States. But the Greek Cypriot side, due to its advantaged bargaining position and guaranteed entry to the EU, never had that moment of convergence critical to creating an inducement to settlement.

In addition the guarantee by the European Union of accession regardless of whether peace was reached on the island or not robbed the EU of the ability to induce a mutually-hurting stalemate. When the European Union dropped conditionality as a condition for Cypriot accession it should have “undertaken the process of socializing the Cypriot political elite to realize the post-nation character of the Union” (Kaymak and Vural 88). In this the EU failed entirely, with most of its initial focus on convincing the Turkish-Cypriot side to pass the plan.

Fact Point 2

Primary reasons for failure of Annan plan in Referendum Lack of elite support which translated into lack of mass support within the Republic of Cyprus. Lack of convergence of interests within the Republic of Cyprus. Failure to use cooperate-reward, defect-punishment approach on the part of the UN or EU in reference to the Republic of Cyprus.

The Way Forward


Peacemaking efforts continue in Cyprus today and are motivated by the fact that a procompromise Greek President, Demetris Christofias, was elected in 2008. With the ascendance of Mehmet Ali Talat to the presidency of the TRNC in 2005 there could be a convergence of expectations on both sides that was lacking during the negotiation process leading up to the defeat of the Annan plan in 2004. In particular the issue of a lack of support from the elite and masses in The Republic of Cyprus may be impacted by the fact that the head of their state is in support of peacemaking efforts.

Without an agreement soon, before new presidential election in the TRNC in April 2010, the prospects for peace look grim in Cyprus. The political situation in the TRNC doesn’t look positive for the re-election of pro-Annan agreement president Talat. There exists today a dangerous situation on Cyprus where both sides have become increasingly accepting of partition – what can be referred to as the “Taiwanization” of Cyprus. Especially alarming is the fact that it is “the youngest segments of both communities that would vote “no” in the largest numbers in any referendum on the UN-mediated settlement plan: (ICG 7). The failure of the global community to live up to its promises in regards to the TRNC – the promise of aid and additional recognition if they passed the Annan plan, has been blocked in many cases by the intransigence of the Republic of Cyprus. This has led to a lessening of support from within both the elites and larger public in the TRNC and jeopardized the future passage of any peace plan in the north of the island.


Peacebuilding in Cyprus
Sequencing the Institutions of the Annan Plan


Greek-Cypriot Famagusta

In the wake of the failure of the Annan plan there exists a chance to work towards peacebuilding efforts in the hopes of creating institutions spanning both sides of the island. The Annan plan was far more heavily supported in the enclaved Famagusta area of the Republic of Cyprus than in any other district (see map above). This seems to be because “individuals in this district would have been strongly and directly affected by the Annan Plan, given that within three months they would have regained the capital city of their district, and the whole region would have been upgraded economically, socially and culturally” (Lordos 24).


Negotiators could look to the results of the 2004 referendum on a district by district basis and seek to apply a set of the institutions on a local level in the Famagusta district as well as an equally-populated, adjacent portion of the TRNC which had supported the agreement as well. This experiment could act as a “test tube” to implement, under strict observation by both parties, certain portions of the agreement, such as a jointly-elected district/city government and the return of Varosha, or part of Varosha to the control of those who fled the area in 1974, which could then operate under joint-administration as a condition of its return. These CBMs could demonstrate (hopefully) the effectiveness and relevance to daily life of the Annan plan and contribute to acceptance of the plan on both sides.

The residents of the Famagusta district saw tangible benefits from the passage of the Annan plan and accordingly they supported it in larger numbers than anywhere else. This same situation applied in the TRNC as well. The key then is to convince the rest of the elites and the masses of the Greek Cypriot side of the tangible benefits from a new peace agreement. Only by doing so will any new agreement receive approval on both sides of the divided island.

Peacekeeping in Perpetuity? – Drawing Down UNFICYP
The United Nations peacekeeping force in Cyprus has been in place since 1964 and tasked with the maintenance of its current functions since 1974. It currently consists of 1,052 personnel of which 941 are peacekeeping troops. It is routinely reauthorized 49

every six months by the UNSC and currently is budgeted for $54.41 million on a yearly basis – of that amount 1/3 is paid by Cyprus and $6 million by Greece (UNFICYP).

There exists on Cyprus today a situation which no longer requires a UN peacekeeping force at the level UNFICYP maintains. The presence of the troops is no longer required to maintain peace but are acting to enforce the situation of partition on the island which risks becoming permanent the longer the Greek-Cypriot public feels it is not in its interest to approve a solution to the Cyprus problem. The force can be reduced in a gradual manner in order to not upset the security situation but which may act as a catalyst in inducing a ripe moment in negotiations.


Peacebuilding on Cyprus - Introduction
The case of the Cyprus conflict differs radically from many other “conflicts” which are analyzed using post-conflict analysis because, unlike conflicts in states such as Sri Lanka and El Salvador, the conflict in Cyprus is a frozen conflict which has devolved into a situation where two populations, Greek and Turkish Cypriot, live in separate states – one recognized internationally, the other a pariah state with no international recognition other than that of its patron – Turkey. The two states are almost completely mono-ethnic and their existence represent the end result of the use of population exchanges as a method of halting, if not ending, conflict based on religion or ethnicity.

When analyzing the Cyprus conflict’s peacebuilding phase we are therefore left with a situation which defies the neat analysis applied to other conflicts. Today a situation like the one is Cyprus exists nowhere in the world (excepting perhaps Abkhazia and South Ossetia). The Cyprus conflict is not an active, on-going conflict involving hostilities, it is not a conflict ended by the military victory of one side or by a peace treaty acceptable to both sides. Because the conflict has lasted so long (since 1963 and in its most modern iteration, since the Turkish invasion of 1974) it has become not only a frozen conflict but one which is also stale5 – lacking in new ideas, energy and initiatives engendered to bring about a permanent solution to the problems underlying the situation. Analyzing the conflict, therefore, proves difficult within the context of contemporary peacebuilding models such as those used by the World Bank, the United Nations or other multilateral institutions.


The delineation of “stale” vs. “frozen” will be elaborated on in greater detail later in the report.


This report will identify and analyze horizontal inequalities and vertical dilemmas present in the Cyprus conflict. Following the identification and analysis portions suggestions will then be offered for remediation of horizontal inequalities as well as vertical dilemmas. In keeping with the restricted nature of the analysis the report will try and focus on the human security and international political economy dimensions of the Cyprus conflict and in particular focus on the issue of property rights and ownership on both sides of the divided island. This report will focus, in particular, on the European Court of Human Rights’ recent decision on property rights within Cyprus and explore the ability of the decision to act as a “warming agent” on the conflict – leading to the settlement of long outstanding issues which have kept the conflict frozen for decades up until today.

Horizontal Inequalities in Cyprus
When the Turkish army began its invasion and subsequent partition of Cyprus in 1974 the island had only experienced, at that point, a little longer than one decade of independence. But much like the partition and frozen conflict that were to follow the independence of Cyprus was also afflicted with frozen dynamics, both horizontal and vertical.

The period after the 1960 independence declaration was supposed to usher in an era of consocialistic governance and peace between the two constituent communities on Cyprus. Instead, because the Turkish Cypriot community exercised their minority veto so consistently the Cypriot government made a conscious choice to remove minority protections in the constitution in favor of majority rule (Zink 594).


This decision acted to lock into place the horizontal inequalities which pre-existed independence. Almost every dimension Frances Stewart references in “Policies Towards Horizontal Inequalities in Post-Conflict Resolution” were present in both pre and post independence Cyprus – including the areas of participation in government and the army and police, the issue of land holdings and income disparity, the use of resources and both private and public unemployment. Turkish Cypriots were underrepresented in all of these spheres and in some weren’t represented at all – namely participation in the government, especially after the abrogation of the 1960 constitution (Stewart 6).

Text Box 1
Horizontal inequalities are more likely to lead to conflict when: • They’re durable. • They widen over time. • Boundaries between groups are “relatively impermeable.” • When groups are cohesive enough for collective action to emerge. • When leaders are not coopted into the ruling system and are instead marginalized. • When the government is irresponsive or violently repressive. Source: Stewart 4.

The invasion of Turkey acted to separate the two sides of the islands in a partition enforced by UN peacekeeping forces with one side of the island recognized as the legal ‘Republic of Cyprus’ and the other seen as a pseudo-state, a blank spot on the island of Cyprus occupied by Turkish forces and completely cut off from the legally-recognized Republic of Cyprus (Theophanous 55). Horizontal inequalities which were present on Cyprus were then magnified by the situation – with one side availing itself of its legal recognition to develop a modern, European welfare state while the other, unable to gain access to the same resources as their neighbor to the south, relied heavily on Turkey for support and also on a number of shady enterprises such as


gambling, off-shore banking and more overtly illegal activities like the use of northern Cyprus as a transshipment point for human trafficking and drug and gun-running (Cyprus).

The TRNC is often referred to as a “sleepy” state which due to an ECHR ruling in 1994 which forbade exports from the unrecognized state, was forced to find other means of income. Yet this synopsis is incorrect – the Turkish community in Cyprus has long been alienated, even before the invasion of Cyprus by Turkey in 1974. As Bryant and Hatay established, the most recent iteration is but a continuation of the long-term horizontal inequalities between the two states (6).

The two community’s perceptions of horizontal inequalities, in particular the economic disparities between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, speaks to the importance of these issues in contributing to and prolonging the conflict between the two sides of the island. A recent poll conducted in Cyprus amongst both communities indicated that 58% of Greek Cypriots and 67% of Turkish Cypriots agreed that social and economic inequalities have contributed to the creation and perpetuation of the conflict (Hadjipavlou 26). The higher percentage of Turkish Cypriots agreeing indicated the less privileged position of the Turkish Cypriot community before the conflict began – as well as the continuation of that status after the Turkish invasion in 1974.

The cessation of hostilities between two or more parties is supposed to be marked by peace milestones. These include the following:

• • • • •

Cessation of hostilities and violence Signing of peace agreements Inception of demobilization, disarmament and reintegration Return of Refugees Establishment of the foundations for a functioning state


• •

Initiation of reconciliation and societal integration Startup of economic recovery.

Source: (Collier et al. 6)

Table 1
Action Cessation of hostilities and violence Signing of peace agreement Inception of demobilization, disarmament and reintegration Return of refugees Establishment of the foundations of a functioning state Turkish/Greek Cypriot Implementation? Yes, Ceasefire signed End Result Ceasefire remains in place today. No active hostilities since 1975 Frozen conflict No demobilization, no disarmament and no reintegration between either side in Cyprus. Both sides are now nearly monoethnic states. Horizontal inequalities (HI) based around economic assets, incomes and employment and social aspects strengthened. The two sides remain separated by a great distance. HIs remain strong between the two sides.

No, attempted but failed No

No – exchange of refugees Yes – separately. Both sides developed separate states, locking in the inequalities which existed before the 1974 Turkish invasion No, some small private efforts but no official efforts. In Greek Cyprus – Yes. In Turkish Cyprus – No.

Initiation of reconciliation and societal integration Startup of economic recovery

In the Cyprus conflict these seven peace milestones never fully developed and only three were partly implemented between the two sides (Greek and Turkish Cypriots). A peace agreement wasn’t signed – a cease-fire agreement was. Refugees weren’t returned – they were exchanged between the two sides of the islands – creating monoethnic states on each side of the Green Line and additional massive displacement of both Greek and Turkish Cypriots. And each state began to set up its own administrative and statebuilding tools on each side of the island – further increasing the distance between the two sides.


Because of the pseudo-state status of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) reliable statistics on its economic performance are difficult to come by. Nonetheless data does exist which shows wide variances between the two sides of the divided island in GDP growth, public vs. private sector employment and unemployment rates (Theophanous 28). The skewed economic situation in Cyprus has preserved and exacerbated the horizontal inequalities present before and after independence and the Turkish invasion in 1974. While the Republic of Cyprus is well integrated into the European and global economies the TRNC remains locked out of both and heavily dependent on Turkey for trade and budgetary support.6

Much of what is seen on Cyprus today is also seen in other core-periphery conflicts within the European theater – specifically the conflict in the north of Ireland which was solved with the Good Friday Peace Agreement of 1998 (Zink 583). While the Republic of Cyprus through its international recognition and membership in the European Union has been drawn into the core of Europe its northern part – the TRNC, remains (along with Turkey) on the periphery. The old horizontal inequalities pre-dating the Turkish invasion remain. Actors in the conflict on both sides of the island have interests which are threatened by the possibility of peace and many have become defenders of the status quo.

Thus the question must be – how can these horizontal inequalities be remediated within the context of peacebuilding based on a European perspective and utilizing the resources of the main actor in the region: the European Union? It is a fact that the European Union’s body of law


Much has been made of the TRNC’s high growth rates during the early part of the decade, which averaged 10% per year compared to the Greek Cypriot state, which was closer to 2.6%. The TRNC’s figures are misleading because they were mostly the product of a building boom predicated on illegal expropriation of Greek Cypriot properties in the north. Much like the rest of the world the TRNC is now experiencing a deep recession brought on by a bust in property values.


and regulations which all members must adapt, the acquis communautaire, is applicable to all of Cyprus but has been suspended in the TRNC (Nathan Associates 9). From the point of view of the ease of application of law the European theater must be the one which takes precedence in the amelioration of the conflict in Cyprus (Mavrommatis 14). A recent decision by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on property rights within the TRNC will be focused on in this paper as a valuable tool towards the resolution of the issue of property rights on both sides of the island – this is one of the most key issues in attempting to bring about a settlement between the two sides and one where both sides, as of now, have the widest divergence in expectations of what a peace agreement can and will achieve. The issue of landownership, in particular the ambiguous status of property rights in the TRNC is also one of the greatest horizontal inequalities present in Cyprus. Perceptions regarding property rights immediately after the defeat of the Annan plan in 2004 and continuing through today are critical in deciding how to approach this issue.

Table 2
Perceptions in April 2004 North South Scope for perceptions to evolve North South

Perceived Fear of effect on disruption from property movements settlement Source (Wilson 266)

Negative view Improved prospects on credibility with local remedy of proposed deal

This remains a major (and now tougher) hurdle.

The table above is provided to show the perceptions and scope for perceptions to evolve around the issue of property settlement or restitution.


The matrix below, created by the United States State Department, provides a useful tool for focusing more intently on the issue of property rights as a symptom and means of remediating horizontal inequalities.

Table 3
Initial Response Evaluate existing laws pertaining to land rights, registration of the property, and collateralization of movable and immovable property. Take immediate steps where needed to establish process to resolve property issues. Transformation Establish procedure to resolve property rights for land and subterranean resources. Draft laws and codes to establish or strengthen property rights including customary or traditional concepts where appropriate. Establish process to reconcile and address claims of expropriations. Adopt appropriate laws regulations and codes. Fostering Sustainability Ensure equitable implementation of laws, regulations and codes.

Source: US State Department

Utilizing this matrix the report will next focus on the European Court of Human Rights decision in March 2010 which will be used as a major focus for remediation of horizontal inequalities based around property rights in Cyprus.

European Court of Human Rights Decision of March 2010
Demopoulos vs. Turkey Application nos. 46113/99, 3843/02, 13751/0, 13466/03, 10200/04, 14163/04. 19993/04 and 21819/04, European Court of Human Rights, April 2010 decided the


matter of a number of property claims by Greek Cypriots. I intend to examine this ruling in detail and use its legal reasoning and the structures it put in place as a base from which to examine and compel settlement of outstanding land claims in Cyprus – the outstanding status of which has contributed to horizontal inequalities and the lack of human security on the island.

At issue in the case was the matter of the status of properties left behind by Greek Cypriot refugees who had fled the north of the island in advance of invading forces from Turkey in 1974. Members of the Greek Cypriot community had brought the case forward in hopes of being awarded compensation from the court – whose decisions cannot be appealed and which are binding on its members, which include 47 states (including Turkey and Cyprus) which are members of the Council of Europe.

All of the applicants in this case were claimants of immovable property in the TRNC. All brought forward their claims because they felt the domestic remedies provided by the TRNC did not provide an effective remedy for their claims. Their specific claims were offered under Article 8 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms which states the following:

1. Everyone has the right to respect for his home. 2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except in accordance with the law is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country.

The court, after walking through the particulars of the case and referencing past judgments, issued its ruling.


The following is a broad overview of the court’s ruling and focuses on key issues germane to the focus of this report: • The court found that the claimants had failed to avail themselves of a suitable domestic remedy for their claims – which is the Immovable Property Commission (IPC).

The IPC is a body established by an act of the TRNC parliament. It is composed of 7 members, two of which are required to be non-citizens or residents of either the TRNC, the Republic of Cyprus, Greece, Britain or Turkey. It has the power to order compensation and as of November, 2009 had awarded over 47 million Euros in compensation and adjudicated 361, 493 square meters of property (ECHR 9).

What marked this decision as so momentous in the issue of the mitigation of horizontal inequalities relating to property in Cyprus is that for the first time in the history of the court hearing cases on the subject it ruled that an effective legal remedy now existed and that the claimants should avail themselves of that remedy before coming to the ECHR for remedy. The court’s reasoning is as follows:

• •

• •

“The Court cannot emphasize enough that it is not a court of first instance.” “In the present applications, some thirty-five years have elapsed since the applicants lost possession of property in northern Cyprus in 1974. Generations have passed. The local population has not remained static.” “Accepting the functional reality of remedies is not tantamount to holding that Turkey wields internationally-recognized sovereignty over Cyprus…” “The Court considers that there is an effective remedy for their [the claimants] provided under the auspices of the respondent government. The court finds that the [IPC] provides an accessible and effective framework of redress in respect of complaints about interference with the property owned by Greek Cypriots.” “For these reasons the Court decides unanimously to join the applications; and declares by a majority the applications inadmissible.”

Analysis of ECHR Decision


By ruling that the TRNC had established a suitable and in the court’s estimation, impartial method of adjudicating property claims in the TRNC the court had firmly set barriers around an issue which previously had appeared open-ended and whose insolvability had plagued the Cyprus issue from 1974 onwards. As shown from polling data the issue of horizontal inequalities, including property, has been shown to be of strong concern to both communities. The GreekCypriot community in particular has indicated that it out of a list of 11 possible challenges to peace in Cyprus the 3rd most indicated answer is “poverty of the Turkish community overburdening the Greek Cypriot community” (Georgiades 580).

Key Finding
The decision of the ECHR should therefore be cast as a major part of the solution to the issue of poverty in the north by finally solving the outstanding issues of property claims (proper ownership of land and immovable property being a necessary perquisite for any capital-based economy) and removing a barrier to growth in the north as well as forcing the full financial responsibility for payment of property claims in the north directly onto the TRNC and Turkey.

It is not only Greek Cypriots who are impacted by the ambiguous state of property in the north. Turkish Cypriots are also well aware of the difficulties the ambiguous situation of the TRNC represents: Annan Planı'nın Kıbrıs sorununa çözüm getirmesi beklenirken, arazi parçaları gibi gayrımenkul mülkler ile diğer gayrımenkul mülk konuları daha da karmaşık ve içinden çıkılması hayli zor bir hale gelmiştir. Bu sebepten ötürü, Kıbrıs'taki sorunlar adada yaşayan vatandaşlar için de oldukça karmaşık bir görünüm kazanmıştır. Also because of the Annan Plan failed, which was supposed to resolve the Cyprus issue, the real estate properties such as a parcel of land, and the other real estate property issues get complicated and obscured in Cyprus. The reasons for this are the problems in Cyprus, which are too complicated actually for the citizens (translated from Turkish by report author) (Tefik 142).


The issue of property therefore now has the potential to be transformed within the minds of both communities, moving from one which was previously static to one which is now dynamic, from one which was previously viewed as a possible costly hindrance on the south and whose solution could act as a catalyst for solving the overall problem of the division of Cyprus, only one aspect of which is horizontal inequalities (Berutti 27).

Key Finding
For the north the decision can act to resolve the ambiguities over property which have plagued domestic and international ownership for so long. The frozen dynamics of Cyprus, which includes a lack of support from elites on both sides of the island for a comprehensive settlement, could be warmed by the utilization of the decision to provide movement forward in negotiations.

Greek Cypriot Reaction to ECHR Ruling
While originally caught off-guard by the ECHR decision the government of the Republic of Cyprus seems have settled on an position of urging its citizens to ignore the ruling and asking them not to apply to the IPC for remediation of their cases.

“The government does not favour seeking recourse to the so-called commission, especially now during the negotiations,” government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou said. “The property issue will not be solved in the courts; it will be solved on the negotiating table.”


Stefanou said the ECHR decision did not take away any of the political and legal arguments supporting the Greek Cypriot positions concerning the property issue that were submitted in the negotiations (Cyprus Mail). Yet the government of the Republic of Cyprus failed to mention that the IPC in the TRNC is not open-ended. The commission has expiration date – November 2011. While the government’s position is that its citizens should not avail themselves of the remedies the IPC offered, it has not (nor could it – legally) prevented its citizens from doing so. The statement also represents the continued manipulation of the desire of refugees to return to their homes. This occurs from within the political elites on both sides of the island and is itself a refusal to accept the reality of framework documents and high-level agreements since 1977, which all state that the return of every refugee to their property is impossible (Hadjipavlou 67).7

As the Department of State essential tasks matrix shows the issue of property rights can be transformed through establishing procedures, laws, codes and processes designed to establish the principles of egalitarianism and justice in dealing with the issue. The IPC commission meets these standards and thus fulfills this role in alleviating horizontal inequalities in Cyprus related to property claims. The issue, therefore, is moved from the sphere of the political (dealing with claims through the negotiation and bargaining process – as in the Annan plan) to that of the judicial (ameliorating the issue through the use of the IPC). Polling data has long shown that the issue of cost in reintegrating the poorer north is an issue with a large amount of importance to voters in the south. If the government of the Republic of Cyprus is truly serious about reunification the vehicle the IPC provides would enable it to move down that path with next-tono risk to the prosperity of the south.


Furthermore the manipulation of the expectations of refugees has been a powerful tool used by elites on both sides of the island to win elections. We see this in other frozen conflicts as well – Palestine and Western Sahara are two prime examples.


The final portion of the matrix is designed to create long-term objectives to achieve sustainability in post-conflict reconstruction. Strengthening the rule of law is a key portion of sustainability in post-conflict situations like that of Cyprus (United Nations 3). The recommendation in this report on the utilization of the IPC is designed with the short and medium-term interests of the situation in Cyprus in mind. Longer-term the requirements of the situation will include a more permanent and cohesive set of initiatives to strengthen the rule of law within the TNRC and align its legal system with that of the south and the European Union.

To accomplish this it is then recommended that the TRNC begin the process of adopting the European Union’s acquis communautaire (Melakopidis 191). When Cyprus was admitted to the European Union the acquis communautaire was suspended in the north. By beginning the process of adopting the acquis communautaire the TRNC will show it is serious about its future as a European Union member and signal to the south that the destiny of the two states is beginning to converge. The TRNC should also work to make sure the EU-Turkey Customs Union is implemented fully. The Customs Union has been held up by the refusal of Turkey to open its ports and airspace to Greek Cypriot ships and aircraft. The TRNC can act as a mediator in this dispute and signal its willingness to compromise by privately urging Turkey to follow through on its commitments to the European Union (Turk 105).

Addressing Vertical Dilemmas on Both Sides of the Island
Within Cyprus there has never been an elite-masses consensus on the issue of reunification. While horizontal inequalities have and continued to exist there also exist vertical dilemmas which must be mitigated for any successful strategy on reunification to be implemented successfully. As the defeat of the Annan plan showed us – without the support of elites the masses will not follow. Completely lacking in the 2004 referendum was a comprehensive


strategy for dealing with this issue – particularly within the Greek-Cypriot community where an almost entirely united front (excepting the trade unions and a few civic society-based actors) opposed the Annan plan with devastating consequences for the agreement. Actors in the TRNC were more varied in their responses but as the recent election of an anti-agreement president in the TRNC shows us the previously amenable position of Turkish Cypriots is in danger of changing for the worse.

In order to address the issue of vertical dilemmas in Cyprus it is recommended that two-track diplomacy be utilized in order to involve all elements of society in the process of conflict transformation (Sisk 245). Negotiations in Cyprus have traditionally followed the “top down” approach as seen below:

Source: Source: Hemmer, Garb, Philips and Graham.

The top-down approach as illustrated above has been destructive to attempts to bring both sides of the island together. In particular UNFICYP, the United Nations peacekeeping force on Cyprus, has acted as a guarantor of separation between the two communities (Fisher 261) when


in reality UNFICYP is probably the best-placed actor on the island to work to achieve the mitigation of vertical dilemmas because it is perceived as a neutral party and it already has a long record of working with elites on both sides of the island. The top-down approach has also enabled elites who may have an interest in perpetuating the frozen state of negotiations on the island.

The role of UNFICYP should be modified. The UN Security Council (UNSC), when next renewing the mission of UNFICYP, should change its mandate from one of peacekeeping to one of peacebuilding. UNFICYP already peripherally carries out peacebuilding activities in the Cyprus by bringing together both sides on issues relating to the dividing line – these meetings usually take place in Nicosia in the Ledra Palace Hotel. By broadening and strengthening its mandate the UNSC can act to utilize UNFICYP as a warming agent on the frozen conflict in Cyprus. After nearly 40 years on the island the United Nations should re-think the “peacekeeping in perpetuity” approach and move forward on the utilization of its mission to build and strengthen the mission of peace in Cyprus.


Source: Hemmer, Garb, Philips and Graham.

The image above is used to illustrate the role UNFICYP could play in negotiations between the two sides in Cyprus. By acting as a track two diplomacy organization UNFICYP could fulfill the role of warming agent in the frozen conflict. Possible other actors in this role could include the European Union or the Non-Aligned Movement. But because UNFICYP is viewed as a neutral agent by both sides it would be the ideal candidate for this role.

Peacebuilding Conclusion
If Cyprus at one point “lay at a crossroads,” those crossroads would have been reached in 2004 when the Annan plan laid out a future of federalism and unification or a future of partition. Cyprus today has moved from the crossroads of a choice of unification under a federalist approach to a growing acceptance of partition and separate status for both sides of the island – with the Greek Cypriots enjoying the fruits of international


recognition and EU membership while the Turkish side continues to struggle under an internationally-recognized travel and trade embargo.

Current peace talks benefit from the fact that both sides now are represented by elites who support negotiation. This could translate into greater appeal to the larger portion of both Greek and Turkish Cypriots, in particular the Greek-Cypriot side – which saw a combination of elite and mass opposition to the agreement in the last referendum. This may be the last chance for peace for many years to come and it requires an intense dedication on both parts to sell the idea of peace and not partition, with real and tangible benefits, to both sides of the island.

This report has recommended two courses of action on Cyprus in order to “unfreeze” or “warm” the frozen conflict. In addition Cyprus is characterized as not just a frozen conflict but one which “stale,” stale being the opposite of ripeness as articulated in the second part of this report. “Staleness” means that the conflict requires aggressive new approaches in order to inject energy into negotiations as well as the penumbra surrounding negotiations – the “aura” of citizen and civic society activity which surrounds any negotiation process. Staleness coupled with frozenness is an extremely dangerous combination because it means not only are negotiations surrounding the conflict trapped in a dead-end of repetitive policy recommendations and endless negotiations but that no new activity is taking place around and from within the society involving the negotiating parties. Examples of this include the Greek Cypriot refusal to accept the IPC as a solution to their long-held demand for justice on property rights or the previous


refusal of the Turkish Cypriots to engage in good-faith negotiations with the European Union unless they were treated as a state on equal footing with the south side of Cyprus.

By proposing the utilization of the IPC to mitigate the impact of long-term horizontal inequalities this report is recommending action, specifically the amelioration of the issue of property rights, which were a large factor in the defeat of the Annan plan in 2004. By acting on the issue of frozen dynamics in negotiations and utilizing UNFICYP to ameliorate the role of vertical dilemmas this report is proposing to create momentum forward with new agents and a “bottom up” approach to stalled negotiations and peacebuilding on the island.

Ameliorating and reversing the corrosive effects of staleness in frozen conflicts is difficult. Positions have hardened and generations have become locked into their view of the “other.” But peacebuilding requires risk and it demands initiative and creativity on the part of all parties. By seeking to unfreeze and ripen the conflict in order to push it more aggressively towards settlement the recommendations within this report are acting within the best traditions of peacemakers and peacebuilders. The long-frozen conflict in Cyprus demands creative, innovative and original thinking. Beginning with a campaign to convince Greek Cypriots to utilize the IPC and continuing with creating a multi-track approach to diplomacy using United Nations personnel already on the ground in Cyprus this report and its recommendations are moving beyond the stale rhetoric and actions of the past.

Utilizing the recommendations of Frances Stewart, which include political and/or economic entitlements designed to ameliorate the impact of long-standing horizontal inequalities on conflict situations, while at the same time avoiding the earlier mistakes of post-independence Cyprus, which saw the consocialistic arrangement become a source of conflict vs. a solution to


it, this report is designed to encourage a remediative approach to the horizontal inequalities through economic, specifically property rights, which have long plagued Cyprus.


Report Conclusion
It has been said many times that a certain event presents “the last best chance” for peace on Cyprus. In 2004 this was said about the Annan plan. It was said about the election of a prosettlement leader on both sides of the island as well. Certainly the actors can present either an enormous opportunity for peace or an incredible obstacle. But as has been demonstrated actors do not always make the difference – in the case of Cyprus the lack of popular will for reunification, at least in the south and now growing in the north, presents as big or bigger of a challenge to solving the issue of partition and creating a lasting and sustainable peace.

This report has offered a plethora of recommendations for moving around the obstacles of entrenched elite opinion in hopes of creating a groundswell of popular support, which has been particularly lacking in the south, for reunification. The report’s focus has been in particular on the issue of remediating the horizontal inequalities which plagued Cyprus long before its independence but which have grown increasingly vast since the Turkish invasion in 1974. As has been shown in the north of Ireland with the Good Friday Accord – ancient enmities fed by horizontal inequalities as well as vertical dilemmas do not have to remain as permanent features of any society. A ripe moment can come about due to internal or external pressure or a combination of both. In the case of Cyprus there has long been an enormous amount of external pressure for a settlement but what has often been overlooked has been the creation of mass support for reunification and perhaps more importantly – the creation of a positive and persuasive case for reunification.


It is hoped the recommendations offered here will spur this movement. That the case for reunification can be presented affirmatively – as a means of inducing movement in the stale dynamics of the island and in appealing to a broad cross-section of both sides of the island who long for an end to this conflict.


1. Chronology of Key Events 1960 – Cyprus gains independence from Britain. 1963 – Outbreak of violence between the two communities. 1974 – De facto division of the island into two seats. 1977, 1979 – Signing of the “High Level Agreements.” 1983 – Declaration of the establishment of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) by Rauf Denktash. 1998 – The Republic of Cyprus begins negotiations for accession into the UN. 1999 – Helsinki Summit: the EU decided that the resolution of the Cyprus conflict is not a preliminary condition for Cyprus’ entry into the EU in May 2004. November 2002 – Publication of the first version of the Annan plan. March 2003 – Hague Summit – failure of the parties discussions of the Annan Plan. Annan announces termination of his efforts. December 2003 – Papadopoulos sends a letter to the UN Secretary General requesting him to propose a new initiative. Late January – Early February 2004 – Turkish PM, Erdogan, meets with the UN Secretary General and US President Bush, and expresses Turkey’s willingness to respond positively to the Annan initiative. February 4, 2004 – Kofi Annan sends a letter to the leaders of both Cypriot communities, inviting them to New York to discuss a timetable for the resolution of the conflict. February 10–13, 2004 – The leaders meet in New York February 13, 2004 – The leaders agree to officially renew negotiations February 19-March 31, 2004 – The parties hold two rounds of talks in Nicosia and Birkenstock, Switzerland but fail to reach any new agreement. Annan uses his authority as an arbitrator and submits the proposal for referendum. April 24, 2004 – Greek Cypriots reject the Annan Plan with a 75.8% majority while a majority (64.9%) of the Turkish Cypriots approve the Plan. May 1, 2004 – Cyprus, represented by the government of the Republic of Cyprus, joins the European Union. 2006 – Talks restart between chief negotiators for late Greek Cypriot president Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot president Mehmet Ali Talat. December 2006 – European Council suspends eight of the chapters Turkey was negotiating for possible accession to the UN under pressure from Cypriot government


February 2008 – New Greek Cypriot president, Demetris Christofias, elected who is not associated with ethnic nationalism or the “No” campaign on the Annan referendum. March 2008 – Christofias and Talat meet and agree to new round of UN talks. April 2008 – New crossing point in Nicosia opened. May 2008 – Parameters agreed upon by two presidents – federation of two “constituent states” and “a single international personality.” July 2008 – Agreement reached on “single sovereignty and citizenship – a total of 22 technical agreements signed. September 2008 – Negotiations continue Source: Amira Schiff and the International Crisis Group


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