Greece on Cypriot negotiations (1992)

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset , Queen's University Belfast (available online at http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/CentrefortheStudyofEthnicConflict/TeachingResearch/Datasets/Greek-TurkishNegotiationsandCrises1983-2003/#d.en.173636

Given the nature of the Cyprus problem, any failed attempt to settle the issue increases the chance for future confrontation. Greece is worried about prolonging the current situation, while Turkey, and particularly President Özal, is concerned about facing international sanctions because of Turkey’s prolonged occupation of northern Cyprus. Moreover, Greece is blocking any move toward closer integration with Europe until Turkey makes concessions on Cyprus. [i] In November 1992, a major round of Cyprus negotiations fails in New York. UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghali blames the Turkish Cypriot side for the failure of the bicommunal negotiations.[ii] For the period 11/1/1992 – 12/1/1992, Lexis/Nexis provides 36 results for terms “Cyprus” and “Negotiations” (full text search under European News Sources). The failure of the negotiations results in the withdrawal of Canadian peacekeepers.

Case Study Features:

Indistinguishability of Offensive vs. Defensive Action: 1

This element is present in many aspects of the Cyprus negotiations. Greek Cypriots look into an agreement that would give their 200,000 refugees the right to return to the North. The Turkish side, however, considers this position anathema, and as threatening to its security. This and similar issues are documented in UN reports on the Cyprus negotiations.[iii]

Effectiveness of offense versus the defense :  0

Greece does not have an offensive advantage with respect to Turkey. Greece is also pre-occupied with the Macedonian question.

Domestic Challenge: 1

The Mitsotakis government has only a marginal majority in the parliament, making it extremely vulnerable to outside pressure from nationalist groupings and the opposition. The chances for parliamentary defection are high.

Enduring Ethnic Rivalries: 1

There are enduring rivalries with Turkey, resulting from the crises in Cyprus, Thrace, and the Aegean.

Confrontational Policies: 0

The Greek government supports the negotiations.

[i] Alan Cowell, “Turkey Puts on a New Face and Sidles Up to Europe More Coyly”, The New York Times, August 30, 1992, p.10.

[ii] “Cyprus president in re-election bid, slams Turkish proposal”, Agence France Presse, November 27, 1992.

[iii] Martin Marris, “U.N. Force in Cyprus Shrinks as Peace Efforts Founder”, The Associated Press, June 14, 1993.