What is the Cyprus conflict and its
The Cyprus Problem was a problem of two conflicting
nations (Turkish and Greek), thus was a matter of two
opposing imaginations which emerged during the 1950s
and lasted until today.
In the mid-1950s, EOKA took up an armed struggle against
colonial rule in order to achieve union with Greece and in a
very short time this anticolonial struggle became popular
among the Greek Cypriot community under the leadership
of the Cypriot Orthodox Church
Turkish Cypriots it was a mere disaster since it aimed to
assimilate Turkish Cypriots inside the Greek nation and to
unite “the old Ottoman land” with Greece.
The international complications of the dispute stretch far
beyond the boundaries of the island of Cyprus itself and
involve the quarantor powers (Turkey, Greece, and
the United Kingdom alike), along with the United
States, the United Nations and the European Union.
Turkey’s Westernization Policies And European Membership
1959: Turkey applies for associate membership of EEC.
1963: Ankara Agreement signed, aiming to enter a customs union.
1987: Turkey applies for full EEC membership.
1995: Customs union founded between Turkey and the EU.
1997: Council declares Turkey eligible to become a member state.
2004: Council defines conditions for opening accession
2005: Negotiations formally opened.
Enlargement: The accession
Copenhagen Criteria (1993):
Political: rule of law, stable institutions, democracy, respect
for human rights.
Economic: functional market economy.
Legal: EU laws and practice. Adherence to the terms of a
political, economic and monetary union.
Joining the EU is a 3 stage process:
A country is offered a prospect of membership.
The country is given official candidate status.
Formal membership negotiations.
Turkey and European Union
- Long-term process with shifting attitudes from the EU towards a
full membership for Turkey.
- Applied for membership of the EEC in 1987 (association
agreement with EEC in 1963) and the accession negotiations
froze in 2006.
- Turkey has made great progress pursuing EU standards yet they
lack several important areas(commission progress report 2005).
- Why not Turkey?
Pros and preferences for a Turkish
membership in the EU
- The emergence of democracy and vibrant economy
(Enlargement Policy; the spread of liberal democratic ideas and market
- A reinforcement of Security.
(Maintaining security in the eastern Mediterranean, role model for
neighbouring Islamic states. May help to create security and stability in
the European continent. Geographical location).
Concerns and problems regarding a
full membership for Turkey
The conflict with Cyprus and Greece
Conditionality and criteria issues
Geographical and Cultural issues
Association partnership instead of full membership?
Attitudes towards Turkish
- Attitude among European citizens.
(Four factors which can explain attitudes: Economic
benefits, cultural differences, political ideology and the general attitudes
towards the EU).
- Perspectives of the Turkish elite.
(Opinions on membership. Political and cultural issues. Reflection on
rejection and future prospect. Cost and benefits. Any concerns?).
Statistic view of
the 27 member
states support for
- The countries who
are most supportive
are the two newest
- Among the countries
who are least
supportive we find
France and Austria.
Both countries are
likely to have
the Turkish accession.
One of the biggest obstacles of Turkey’s European
Membership Negotiations is the Cyprus Conflict
After the invasion of 1974, the relationship between
Turkey, Greece and European Union started to become
With the Greece’s membership to the European
Union in 1981, European Union proclaimed that
the Cyprus problem did not affect Greece’s
membership of European Union.
After Greece was a member of the EU, Turkey
knew the Union cannot be an impartial.
When Greece became a member of the
European Union in 1981, Cyprus gained an
important internal status for the EU
members and obtained lots of advantages
as being against Turkey’s accessions.
Cyprus and Turkey
to the EU has
and Turkey wanted
candidates of EU.
All previous membership negotiations of EU have
ended in full membership of EU, Turkey has the openended negotiation in many years. Cyprus issue is likely
to be more important block for not progress the
negotiations to next level.
The Greek influence always can be described as a
negative effect on Turkey’s membership to the
EU, because of its veto right.
Greeks believed that the EU always play a transformative
role in bilateral relations than to keep Turkey out of the
The Annan Plan was a UN’s proposal in order to find
resolution of the Cyprus conflict. The proposal
suggested to restructure the RoC as a "United Republic
of Cyprus” in 2004.
‘Annan Plan’ to the two sides of the dispute, was as the
biggest opportunity for resolution.
UNITED KINGDOM’s Policies on
TURKEY’s EU Membership
UK’s Policies on Turkey’s EU
On 27 July 2010, David Cameron, Prime Minister of the
United Kingdom, during a visit to Turkey has promised to
"fight" for Turkey's membership of the European
Union, saying he is "angry" at the slow pace of negotiations.
He added that "a European Union without Turkey at its
heart is not stronger but weaker... not more secure but
less... not richer but poorer.
On 4 November 2009, David Miliband, the Foreign
Secretary of the United Kingdom, during a visit to Turkey
underlined the UK government's support for Turkey's bid
to join the European Union, saying: "I am very clear that
Turkish accession to the EU is important and will be of
huge benefit to both Turkey and the EU."
UK’s Policies on Turkey’s EU
Membership Cyprus Dispute
The Ottoman Empire leased the island of Cyprus to the
United Kingdom in 1878. The UK formally annexed Cyprus
as a British colony in 1914 at the outset of the Great War.
Britain maintained two sovereign military base areas on the
island of Cyprus after the country's independence in 1960,
after over 400 British men, women were killed by
As a result of the Nikos Sampson coup in Cyprus supported
by the military regime of Athens and the aggravation
of EOKA-B atrocities over the Turkish Cypriots from 19631974 Turkey intervened in the Northern part of the
Island in 1974, as a Guarantor Power. In 1983, Turkish
Cypriots declared the independent Turkish Republic of
Turkish Cypriots declared the independent Turkish
Republic of Northern Cyprus. The United Kingdom
does not recognise the TRNC which is only recognised
by Turkey. The UK is a signatory to the Treaty of
with Greece and Turkey concerning the independence
and status of Cyprus.
Briefly Historical Timeline
Greek Independence From Otoman Empire (1821)
The Greco-Turkish War (1897)
First Balkan War of (1912 to 1913)
First World War (1914 to 1918)
1913 Greco-Turkish War (1919–1922).
Balkan Pact (1934)
İstanbul Program (1955)
Cyprus Peace Operation (1974)
Greece’s Membership to The EC (1981)
Earthquake Diplomacy (1999)
Greece joined the EU as a full member in 1981. Since then Greece
which has used the EU institutions as organizational platform, has
aimed to use advantages about Aegean and Cyprus problems against
Turkey. Indeed, Greece has adopted the problems between Turkey to
EU platform as a European problem and it is their foreign policy
priority. Unity brought about by integration process in line with
policies of Maastricht, ‘ Common Foreign and Security Policy’ was
established and it made the transport of the bilateral problems of
Turkey and Greece, which has the support of using the advantages of
representing the EU institutitons and the European Parliement, has
managed to move Cyprus problem to the frame of EU – Turkey
Although it was declared that the candidate countries would
participate on equal terms in the enlargement process and the
accesion criteria would apply equally to every country, the Greek
side was shown concessions. More precisely it could be put
forward there is a contradiction between the EU’s poltical
strategy applied to the Cyprus problem and the principle put
forward by Union’s 1994 Essen Summit called ‘Good Neighborly
The priorit condition for the membership to the union
which was stated in the Essen Summit was that
candidate countries should solve the political
dissagreements with their neighbours and other
members of the EU before the membership process.
However, before solving the problems on the
island, South Cyprus was included as a full member of
the union under the name of the Republic of Cyprus.
This situation made Greece exteremly powerful and the
Cyprus problem stood in front of Turkey’s road to
membership as a bigger problem.
Although Greece and Cyprus voted ‘Yes’ for Turkey to
start negotiations with the EU in 2005, many key issues
remain unsolvable. Turkey has denied admission to Cypriot
ships to its territory, an obligation towards the EU with a
2006 deadline. The Turkish government refused that this
limit about Cypriot vessels was taken after the trade embargo
decision against the portion of Cyprus illegally occupied by
Turkey. In spite of UN and EU’xattempts to mediate, the issue
acceptance of the Ortodox Church of İstanbul and the role of
Ecumenical Patriarch are the other unfullfilled obligations.
Cyprus issue is stil the most important topic and it affects the
Turkey’s fullmembership in EU.