This essay analyzes the views of the governments of Greece and Cyprus towards the question of Turkish membership in the European Union.
Bilateral Framework Agreement with Cyprus
Specifically, it shows that fundamental differences have emerged in the way in which the two perceive the benefits of Turkish engagement with the EU. For Greece, Turkish accession is seen as a transformative process. For the Greek Cypriots, the process of Turkish accession is viewed as a form of leverage. Moreover, and contrary to the prevailing view in certain quarters, there is no evidence of Greek collusion in Greek Cypriot thinking. Indeed, the ability of the Greek government to influence the Greek Cypriot leadership is rather limited.
Similarly, thanks go to the anonymous reviewer who provided a number of helpful suggestions on the later draft. There is an extensive literature on the Aegean and Cyprus issues.
It should also be pointed out that the Turkish position is that the army was created in response to Greek efforts to militarize the islands of the eastern Aegean. Ioannis N. For a view of the changes as they were seen at the time, see A.
Welcome to Northern Cyprus – autonomous entity of the European Union
The Greek position is in large part a direct result of its own experience of military rule, —74, which has left a lasting legacy of mistrust and hostility towards military personnel who appear to play a political role. A poll in October showed that 50 percent of Greeks opposed the start of membership talks with Turkey. For a review of wider Greek attitudes towards Turkey, see Ahmet O.
A poll taken in May showed that 64 percent of Greek Cypriots approved of his performance as president.
This was a view that was often expressed to the author during his time spent living on the island, most notably from October until December As one prominent Greek Cypriot academic explained to the author, the continuation of the status quo is not the worst outcome for the Greek Cypriots. The reunification of Cyprus under the terms put forward in the Annan Plan would have been the very worst possible result for the Greek Cypriots. Indeed, as he saw it, it would have been even worse than formal partition. The lowest levels of opposition were registered in Spain 23 percent , Portugal 30 percent , and Poland 31 percent.
The Policies of Greece and Cyprus towards Turkey’s EU Accession: Turkish Studies: Vol 8, No 1
The poll revealed that 67 percent of Turkish Cypriots were in favor of Turkish membership and 15 percent were opposed to Turkish membership. As pointed out, this level of support was higher than in Turkey, where the poll revealed that support for EU membership had fallen to 54 percent, with 22 percent opposed. Interestingly, Cyprus and Greece were the only two countries where a majority of respondents 52 percent and 50 percent, respectively argued that reconciliation and cooperation with neighbors was a main challenge for the Balkan countries and Turkey on the road to European Union membership.
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The overall EU average was 31 percent. In Turkey, only 14 percent thought that it was a main challenge. This is a form of behavior that has no direct translation in English. Naturally, this is an extremely controversial view.
However, it cannot be discounted as a possible underlying explanation for Greek Cypriot policy towards Turkey. While the transformative power of the EU is certainly an important element, the process is also shaped by recognition of mutual regional concerns. Skip to Main Content.
Cyprus, which amply fulfils the political and economic membership criteria, has a special political situation: part of its territory is illegally occupied by a third country, Turkey, and has unilaterally declared itself to be an independent republic. It enjoys no international recognition - the peace process is at a standstill. The opening of negotiations could act as a stimulus to a settlement of the problem. This is the view of the European Union institutions, which encourage a peaceful solution, as well as participation by the northern part of the island in the accession process, which should benefit the whole island.
The official accession process has been underway since 31 March Screening of various chapters - 31 in total - of the acquis communautaire has been going on since April with Cyprus and the other first-wave applicant countries. It has been possible to arrive at joint negotiating positions in a number of sectors.