Michalis Firillas, a columnist with the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, has a timely article here, which reminds us that any progress to finding a ‘solution’ to the Cyprus problem is largely dependent on confronting Turkey’s malevolent strategic interests on the island and more widely in the Eastern Mediterranean and Balkans; and as such acknowledges that Turkey will likely prove to be the most significant obstacle in this current round of Cyprus settlement negotiations. The idea that the Turkish Cypriots have the authority to independently negotiate the future of Cyprus with the Greek Cypriots, Firillas correctly points out, is fanciful.
Below is a sample of what Firillas writes:
‘Ankara is actively working to delegitimize the Republic of Cyprus, whose establishment it backed, whose constitutional status quo it claimed to seek to restore by its invasion, and whose territorial integrity it guarantees (at least on paper). Similarly, Ankara has consistently and aggressively Turkified the Turkish Cypriot community, by an infusion of tens of thousands of immigrants from mainland Turkey. How then is it possible to negotiate solely on the bicommunal level, ignoring the dominant role that Ankara plays on behalf of the Turkish Cypriots, as well as at their expense?’