FEUTURE Online Paper No. 27

Greek-Turkish Relations and the Cyprus dispute: impact on Turkey-EU scenarios

Publication date:
Thanos Dokos; Nathalie Tocci; Anja Palm and Can Kasapoğlu

FEUTURE Online Paper No. 27 (2018)

Greek-Turkish relations have come under significant strain in the last couple of years and are likely to remain difficult in the long-run there seems to be little appetite in both sides of the Aegean for a substantive discussion and subsequent negotiation for the full normalization of Greek-Turkish rela-tions as both sides are either faced with pressing domestic priorities or with important external chal-lenges and have no intention of spending precious political and diplomatic capital for the resolution of bilateral problems, at least in the immediate future. A Cyprus settlement has been extremely diffi-cult to achieve over the past (almost) half a century and there is rather limited optimism that the situation will change in the near future. The sad truth is that three of the four parties to the conflict are relatively content with the status quo, or at least insufficiently unhappy with it to make the pain-ful and risky compromises an agreement would warrant. Particularly for a large part of the Greek Cypriot community, the status quo appears to be preferable to a federal peace agreement which is being perceived as problematic, especially regarding security provisions. Therefore, the most proba-ble scenario is ‘business as usual/muddling through’ akin to the “conflictual cooperation” scenario identified in other workstreams.