Resolving the Cyprus Conflict through EU Enlargement Process
in Irfan Kaya Ulger & Ertan Efegil, eds., Kibris Meselesi: Bugunu ve Yarini (Ankara: H. D. Yayincilik Matbaacilik Tanitim, 2001), pp 51-57
An extraneous factor can sometime be more instrumental in resolving a conflict than any bi-communal effort made from within or through international supervision. Since the 1963 breakup of the Cyprus Republic, the Turkish and Greek communities of Cyprus have been living under separate administrations. They have distrusted and misperceived each other, thereby making it difficult for successive UN conflict resolution efforts to succeed in the last four decades. Both have tended to interpret traumatic events of 1963-74 differently, blaming each other for their cause. However, with the European Union enlargement bid for Cyprus, there has indeed emerged a possibility of bridging the diverging perceptions of the two ethnically and religiously different communities by involving them equally in the EU accession and integration process. If the Turkish Cypriots are also made a part of the EU accession process, as the Greeks already are, they might develop an equal stake in entering the EU fold, simply because it amounts to greater economic prosperity, social mobility and political liberty. Thus, by geographically expanding the frontiers of Europe and spreading European values of democracy, human rights and respect for law, it could be possible to converge peculiar interests and aspirations of the conflicting communities in a lingering conflict zone such as Cyprus. Full Text