Zenon Stavrinides


Is there any realistic hope that the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities may still manifest the desire and political will to negotiate and eventually achieve a mutually acceptable settlement to the long-festering Cyprus problem, obtain the endorsement of the governments of Greece and Turkey as well as the United Nations, and proceed to forge together a common future? The two communities have been following divergent paths since 1974, if not 1963. The Republic of Cyprus is now going full steam ahead with the European Union accession talks and is doing all it can to harmonise its legislation, economic and administrative systems and trading practices with those of the EU. 'The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus', whether or not it is referred to in inverted commas or in an ironic tone of voice, exists in complete independence from the Republic of Cyprus (but of course is completely dependent on Turkey) and works to promote ever closer political and economic links with Turkey, so that if the Republic of Cyprus joins the EU before there is a settlement, the TRNC will become to all intents and purposes a province of Turkey. Is there no hope of arresting this drift towards cementing the division of Cyprus into two hostile lands and peoples, in effect the Cyprus-based branches of Hellenism and the Turkish nation?