Ankara’s new attempts to legitimize occupation and puppet regime in Cyprus

A conference next week in the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus will explore new models for solving the longstanding dispute over the divided island, according to Turkish media, is raising questions about where Turkey is heading with its occupation of the north part of the EU country.

Alternative models for a solution on Cyprus will be discussed at the “Eastern Mediterranean University” on April 1-3 in a conference titled “The Cyprus Issue: The Past, Present, and Future of Cyprus” in Lefkosia (Nicosia), which the entity recognized only by Turkey considers the capital.

More than 50 academics and experts from “various countries” (not mentioned) and research fields will discuss how the discovery of hydrocarbon reserves in the eastern Mediterranean could affect the Cyprus issue.

Also set to be discussed are the process of negotiation, political and social problems in the TRNC, as the Turks call the areas under occupation, and the representation of Turkish Cypriots in the international arena.

Papers presented at the conference will later be collected in a book to be published by Springer.

The conference will discuss the changing situation of Cyprus and evaluate new ideas for a solution, Hüseyin Gökçekuş, dean of the Civil Engineering Faculty at the TRNC’s Near East University, told Anadolu Agency.

“Solving the Cyprus dispute through a federation is impossible,” he said.

The conference will focus on new solution models such as “one island, two states,” he added.

Haluk Kabaalioğlu, a senior Turkish academic, said the idea of a bi-zonal and communal federation on Cyprus was actually raised long ago.

“Cyprus should be a confederation or a two-state solution, as EU institutions would have no guarantee of assurances in a bi-zonal and communal federation due to their supranational powers,” he said.

“Turkish Cypriots’ approval is needed for any confederation model,” he added.

“If the parties’ mutual trust of the parties is ensured or Turkey becomes a full member of the EU, then there could be a transformation from confederation to federation,” he said.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when after a coup Turkey found pretext for staging an invasion under the guise of guarantor power.

The island has seen a sporadic peace process in recent years, including the collapse of a 2017 initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece and the U.K.

The questions that arise pertain to why Turkey has abandoned former proposals for a federation and co-federation, citing an impasse cause mostly by Turkish intransigence on key issues such as the presence of occupation troops on an EU member state. This despite a host of condemnations by the UN since 1974.

By asking for new solutions from zero, Ankara is attempting to pass off some legitimacy to their puppets. The very attendance of foreign “scholars” at the planned event is in fact a tacit recognition of the Turkish-sponsored morph

In asking for two states, Ankara seems to be laying the groundwork for establishing its puppet as an actor in the field of hydrocarbon reserves in the eastern Med. At the same time, this conflicts with Ankara’s preposterous idea that islands, therefore Cyprus, do not have continental shelves and therefore their “possession” of an EEZ is questionable.  This idea, in effect, denies such fundamental rights to the UK, and a number of other island nations.

Ankara has painted itself into a corner through bellicose rhetoric and saber-rattling, as Erdogan has essentially been shut out from developments in the region, has become estranged with the West, and is facing an economy on the verge of collapse.