From the CIAO Atlas Map of Middle East 

email icon Email this citation

Last Exit to Paradise? The EU, the Cyprus Conflict, and the Problematic 'Catalytic Effect'


Thomas Diez

Copenhagen Peace Research Institute

June 2000


Table of Contents


'Cyprus is small,' he said, 'and we are all friends, though very different'.
Lawrence Durrell, Bitter Lemons (1996/1957: 74)

1. Introduction 1

EU enlargement is a complicated and contested process. It involves major changes in the political and economic systems of applicant countries, not least of which is the renunciation of one's own formal sovereignty on an increasing variety of political issues. Enlargement also involves changes in the institutions of the EU itself. It thus has to be justified by those political actors promoting it. In the debate about the coming enlargement round, this justification has mostly been stabilisation of existing political structures (Friis and Murphy 1999). But this argument was linked to Eastern Europe, corresponding to the widespread image of the next enlargement round as an 'Eastern enlargement'. In Cyprus, the situation is different. In light of the divided status of the island, those promoting Cypriot membership have been justifying their move with stabilisation through political change.

When the EU officially opened membership negotiations with the Republic of Cyprus in March 1998, a widespread assumption in both EU and academic circles was that these negotiations would have a catalytic effect on the Cyprus conflict, helping to bring about a solution that has been more or less out of reach for the past decades. 2 Already in 1993, the Commission was 'convinced that the result of Cyprus's accession to the Community . . . would help bring the two communities on the island closer together' (European Commission 1993: 46.). In its Agenda 2000, the Commission envisioned "the Union . . . to play a positive role in bringing about a just and lasting settlement" (European Commission 1997: vol. I, part II, item IV). Similarly, the European Council concluded in 1997 that 'the accession of Cyprus should benefit all communities and help to bring about civil peace and reconciliation' (European Council 1997: 28.). Although in its latest evaluation report of October 1999, the Commission welcomes new initiatives by the UN to find a solution, it nonetheless reiterates that 'progress towards accession and towards a just and viable solution of the Cyprus problem will naturally reinforce each other' (European Commission 1999: B.1.4.).

On the island itself, too, the prevailing opinion was that 'under EC pressure, a federation would finally come.' (Church 1995: 17). The Cypriot government's official point of view is 'that the country's accession process can facilitate efforts of finding a solution to the political problem of Cyprus' (Government of the Republic of Cyprus 1999). Accordingly, the then Foreign Minister Kasoulides claimed in his speech at the opening of negotiations that the latter 'will act as a catalyst, inducing all sides to work for an early solution' (ibid.). And in the negotiation team the notion still prevails that there will be a catalytic effect because the EU structures provide the right framework for solving the Cyprus problem. 3

Clearly, membership would make the status quo on the island untenable (Kramer 1997: 16). Since 1974, the two major communities, Greek and Turkish Cypriots, have, a few exceptions aside, been largely separated in two different parts of the island. Moreover, since 1983 the population living north of the UN-monitored buffer zone is effectively under the government of the 'Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus' (TRNC). The latter has, until now, not been recognised by any other government but the Turkish, and several UN resolutions both in the Security Council and the General Assembly have condemned the formation of a secessionist state. 4 Thus, the status quo presents itself as follows: Seen from the perspective of international law, there exists only one Cypriot state founded in 1960, and the government of that state, although currently formed exclusively from Greek Cypriots, represents the whole of the island internationally. Practically, however, this government has no jurisdiction and administrative capabilities over the northern part.

EU membership of Cyprus is challenging this status quo for several reasons. From an EU perspective, it needs to be clarified within which borders the acquis communautaire embodying the formal and informal rules of the European polity is to be implemented. This has, of course, already been problematic for the Customs Union between the EU and Cyprus, in place since 1972. 5 But it is all the more so for the acquis in its entirety, given that it increasingly incorporates rules and norms about matters related to internal and external security. It is currently inconceivable how a fully fledged CFSP should develop with Cyprus as a full member and the conflict unsresolved (Axt 1999: 176). From the perspectives of the two communities, EU membership shifts the political balance on the island — while the recognised government sees it as enhancing their political and military security, Turkish Cypriot representatives have raised the concern that such a move represents 'enosis', i.e. unity with Greece, through the back door, at least as long as Turkey does not become a member simultaneously. 6 Last but not least, membership may alter the strategic environment of the Eastern Mediterranean to the extent that the EU's foreign policy and defence dimensions are strengthened in the coming years, with the formerly non-aligned Cyprus becoming part of a European security and defence identity, while NATO member Turkey may have to remain outside for the time being, although it will most probably get some observer status.

Given this challenge, it is quite likely indeed that the negotiations, which currently look set for eventual membership, will have a catalytic effect. The question, though, is what form this effect will take. At the extremes, two scenarios seem to be most salient. The optimistic one is that in the end, Cyprus will become an EU member in its entirety, and the Green Line and buffer zone will thus be dissolved as a de-facto state border. This scenario, of course, is the one that EU policy makers were originally hoping for. EU membership would then be the last exit from the road of conflict to the paradise that Cyprus represents in many (quasi-)imperial depictions. Natural beauty characterises this paradise. In its history, the two people were living peacefully together in their villages. It is this picture that was drawn, amongst others, in Lawrence Durrell's famous 'Bitter Lemons' from which the epitaph above is taken. But even for Durrell, the first miles on the road to conflict were already lying behind for Cyprus (Durrell 1996/1958). The pessimistic scenario is that membership will effectively mean membership of the South, and that both the drive of the current acquis to operate in a clearly delineated territory and the North's threatened reaction of integrating further with Turkey will lead to a reification of the de facto border. This would, in other words, intensify and encapsulate the bitterness of the lemons that Durrell wrote about, at least to those who still believe that the two communities can live together peacefully.

The argument of this paper is that unless there is either a fundamental overall change in the international subsystem of the Eastern Mediterranean, 7 or a change in EU policy, the pessimistic scenario will be the more likely one. Thus, I will argue that the various renditions of the catalytic effect popular with EU actors rest on problematic assumptions about the nature of the conflict and the actors involved. In the following section, I will first recapitulate the history of the conflict leading up to the membership application. In section three, I will then reconstruct various conceptualisations of the catalytic effect from the political debate, and identify the basic issues about which these conceptualisations have to make assumptions in order to make sense. This is followed by a critical examination of these assumptions. Finally, in section five I will explore alternatives for EU policy, before reassessing the potential catalytic effect in the conclusion.


2. The Cyprus Conflict

To provide a short summary of the history of the Cyprus conflict is easier said than done. In fact, there are many histories told, and even using the label 'conflict' will often be met by harsh reactions. Both in the academic literature and amongst politicians, the situation on the island is mostly referred to as the 'Cyprus problem.' 8 To the Turkish side, even the latter is inappropriate because they insist that the 'problem' was solved in 1974 (Bahcheli and Rizopoulos 1996: 34). 9

When using the label 'conflict' in this paper, I am following a sociological definition of 'conflict' as the incompatibility of subject positions (Efinger et al., 1988: 43; see also Galtung 1975: 78). In line with the discursive approach to follow, and in contrast to the objectivist approach of e.g. Galtung (1975:79) these subject positions have to be understood as articulated representations of a subject, and thus conflicts between them will not be 'latent' in the sense of present but not realised by the parties (see Efinger et al., 1988: 46-7). Instead, latent conflicts may be understood as non-activated incompatibilties, whereas in manifest conflicts these incompatibilities become part of the active representation of self and other. Even the latter, though, may take various forms. In the extreme, it may be characterised by mutual representations of the parties involved as an essential threat to one's identity and existence. This discursive process of representations has been called 'securitisation' (Wæver 1995; Buzan et al. 1998: 23-6). It usually precedes armed conflict because it legitimises the use of extraordinary measures, such as the resort to military means, by transfering a conflict into the realm of security.

Starting from such a definition, conflicts are most often not 'solved' when there is an agreement, unless at least one subject position changes fundamentally so that the incompatibility disappears. More likely, however, is that one finds a set of rules of how to deal with the incompatible subject positions, or to engage what is usually referred to as 'conflict management' (Efinger et al. 1988: 54-58; Galtung 1975: 82-85), thereby delegitimising the resort to arms. It follows that the major aim on the way to any such agreement has to be desecuritisation, i.e. to bring about a major shift in the representations of the conflict from the realm of security to the realm of 'normal political debate' (Wæver 1995).

The combination of a sociological understanding of conflict with securitisation theory differs from much of the existing contemporary literature on Cyprus, which often treats the issue as an ethnic problem with historically given identities, focuses on the role of international parties, or advocates partial positions or solutions. In contrast, the conceptualisation as a securitised conflict

In the light of these definitions, the Cyprus 'problem' may be characterised as a securitised conflict. Turkish and Greek Cypriot statements are dominated by representations of the other side as essentially threatening the existence of the respective community. The two sides are mostly engaging in a 'dangerous war of words' (Bahcheli and Rizopoulos 1996: 27). It will suffice to provide but two examples. Turkish Cypriot representatives point out that if there was no territorial separation of the two communities, there is a chance, as the events in former Yugoslavia show, that the events of the early sixties will be repeated, when EOKA, the radical movement fighting for enosis after the set-up of the Republic, committed atrocities on the Turkish Cypriot community. 10 The (Greek) Cypriot government for its part justified the (in the end averted) decision to purchase Russian S-300 missiles in 1997 by pointing out that the territorial integrity of the Republic is constantly under threat by the presence of 30 — 40,000 Turkish troops (Kramer 1997: 18).

Two conclusions can be drawn from this discussion: First, if there is to be a positive catalytic effect from EU membership negotiations, the latter should help to bring about a process of desecuritisation. This should thus be the yardstick for evaluating peacemaking efforts. Second, the two securitisations summarised above indicate the differences in conceptualising the history of Cyprus, resulting in a clash of subject positions. What, then, are the two main representations of history?

In the official Greek and Greek Cypriot representation, Cyprus is a Greek island. It was colonised by Mycaneans around 1500 BC, and although it has been nearly constantly under 'foreign' rule since the arrival of the Lusignans in 1191, it has ever since 'remained a centre of Greek culture,' although with 'some specific characteristics' (Republic of Cyprus 1998a: 9). Accordingly, Hellenic mythology is stressed, presenting Cyprus as the 'island of Aphrodite and its civilisation' — implicitly, the European civilisation (Republic of Cyprus 1998b: 3). 11 Cyprus's chief negotiator with the EU, George Vassiliou, has reportedly even characterised Cyprus's EU membership as the 'only way to secure the future of Hellenism'. 12 While plates in Nicosia's Cyprus Museum acknowledge that the first settlers most likely came from Anatolia, the Greek settlements in antiquity are not presented as an invasion, the Ottoman conquest of 1571, by contrast, is — as the 'First Turkish Invasion.' It is the 'second Turkish invasion' of 1974, then, that forms the crucial starting point for Cyprus's most recent history from this perspective (see Dodd 1999: 10). This invasion has caused ethnic cleansing in the North, both through atrocities on the Greek population and enforced migration (Republic of Cyprus 1998b: 11). Since then, Turkey effectively controls the North, to the detriment also of Turkish Cypriots who are increasingly becoming a minority even where they are living now, due to the large scale settlement of Anatolian settlers (Bahcheli and Rizopoulos 1996: 36). Since all attempts at conflict resolution broke down, Cyprus's placement in the EU will, if nothing else, bring enhanced political and military security to the island. Not only is Cyprus from this perspective an economically strong candidate which since 1972, already has a customs union with the EU; it is also, as the above history shows, essentially European. 13

Not surprisingly, the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot story differs considerably, with 'most recent history' beginning much earlier than 1974 (Coughlan 1992: 26). Here, the island is presented as being inhabited by two equal communities who both have lived there for decades and thus have a right to continue to do so (Turkish Republic 1998: 1). Furthermore, its geographic position places it squarely in Turkey's interest sphere. In fact, when Greece pushed Cypriot independence on the UN agenda in the mid-1950s, the Turkish representative in the UN's Political Committee, for 'historic, ethnic, economic and geographical reasons' found Cyprus clearly to be 'part of the Anatolian region' (Esche 1990: 105). 14 The Turkish operation of 1974, correspondingly, was not an invasion but an intervention or 'peace operation' to ensure the safety of the Turkish Cypriot population in a situation of a military coup towards enosis (Mirbagheri 1998: 99). 15 The latter was only the end of a long chain of events after independence in 1960, in which the Greek Cypriot side has repeatedly shown its unwillingness to put the constitution to work and to halt the atrocities committed against Turkish Cypriots in the early 1960s (Olgun 1998: 38). Eventually, the only viable option for Turkish Cypriots was to form their own state and insisting on their political equality (Ministry of Fore <30> May 16 12:54:58 afpd[28038]).


3. Conceptualising the Catalyst Effect

Against the background of these differing histories, there were plenty of attempts to bring the two sides together and work towards desecuritisation, all of which failed. 16 Most prominent in these efforts were the United Nations. As the most recent advanced proposition before EU membership negotiations led Turkish Cypriots to terminate all negotiations, Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali in 1992 presented the so-called 'Set of Ideas' as a reformulation of an earlier UN proposal. In all of these UN-sponsored talks since the late 1970s, the core of a possible solution is a 'bicommunal' and 'bizonal' federation. Amongst other issues such as property rights, freedom of movement, etc. — all of which are crucial issues when it comes to EU membership because they form an essential part of the acquis —, the central question is how, in such an arrangement, the two 'zones' would be defined and relate to each other, and which powers the federal authority would have. Here, the notions of the two sides differ widely: While the official government tends towards a federal solution modelled after the 1960 constitution, the Turkish Cypriot representatives have recently made it explicit that what they want is a confederation with equal status for both sides and a weak federal authority (Mirbagheri 1998: 123-4). 17

These positions led to a stalemate, and both sides seemed to prefer the status quo to any of the alternatives in which they would both lose: the Greek Cypriots were likely to lose their legal claim to be the government of the whole island; the Turkish Cypriots their quasi-sovereignty over the North. It was in this sense that the UN peacekeeping, by securing the status quo, actually also contributed to its prolongation (Richmond 1998). EU membership was, in contrast, likely to challenge the status quo without, however, explicitly putting the latter into question within the UN fora. By ensuring the political support of the EU, Cypriot politicians reasoned, it will strengthen its position and thus win even if the Turkish Cypriot government reacted harshly. 18 More openly proclaimed, however, was that membership, as we have seen in the introduction, would change the coordinates of the conflict and thereby work as a catalyst towards conflict resolution (Bahcheli and Rizopoulos 1996: 31). But the exact workings of such a catalytic function were far from clear. In fact, several versions of it were put forward:

The first and original one was what I will label the 'carrot catalyst'. In this scenario, the Turkish Cypriot representatives would eventually agree to participate in the EU membership negotiations because they could see the benefits emanating from such membership. These benefits were first and foremost economic, closing the currently growing gap of economic development between the North and the South. Membership would, for instance, remove the current de-facto ban of Turkish Cypriot products from the customs union (unless, of course, they take the route via Turkey). Furthermore, the tourist industry would benefit enormously from acquiring a legal status. Beyond these economic arguments, there would be legal benefits providing societal security for Turkish Cypriots because of minority rights and democracy being part of the acquis. 19 Thus, the fear of renewed discrimination, or worse, atrocities against Turkish Cypriots could be counteracted. In other words, this position assumes that 'cohabitation without mutual mistrust and fear appears to be conceivable only in the larger context of the EU' (Kramer 1997: 27). The carrot catalyst was widely articulated by Greeks, the Cyprus government and EU officials. Although the Turkish reaction so far has not fulfilled these expectations, there are still hopes that sooner or later the attraction of economic benefits would be too strong to resist. Possibly this would take place after EU membership of effectively only the South, akin to the 'magnet theory' once formulated by German Social Democrat leader Kurt Schumacher for the German case (see Herbst 1989: 50). This 'German solution' is today a widespread reconceptualisation of the carrot catalyst effect, 20 although the time horison is much smaller than in the German case: 'One to two years after accession,' as one interviewee remarked, 'the problem will be settled.' 21

A second version of the catalytic mechanism may be adequately labelled'stick catalyst.' This conceptualisation has gained in prominence since it became clear that Turkish Cypriots would not participate in the membership negotiations, and it is mostly argued by Greek Cypriots. 22 In their view, a firm commitment to eventual Cypriot EU membership would demand increased pressure on Turkey to work not only for a solution but also enhanced internal democratisation. This would show to Turkey that it cannot determine the fate of the island, and that pursuing a hard line in the Cyprus question would place it even further at the sidelines of European integration.

Some European officials and member state representatives, in contrast, were following the idea of membership negotiations acting as a 'subversion catalyst.' 23 For them, pressure was to be put predominantly on the Greek Cypriot government. After all, it was them over whom one had a leverage at this particular point in time. The idea was thus to use technical issues of membership negotiations about the implementation of the acquis to soften the policy of the government vis-á-vis Turkey and the Northern part of the island. As an example, the lifting of the trade ban on Turkish goods by the Cypriot government was cited, which was obviously not in line with the customs union the EU has with Turkey. In that way, the negotiations could 'provide some stimulus for the government of Cyprus to make moves that encourage links between the two halves'. 24 Such moves could then be legitimised by technical requirements posed by the EU, and would not have to be presented as giving in to the Turkish Cypriot position. Furthermore, by removing the issue from the open public debate, there is a possibility at least not to increase securitisation efforts because the latter presuppose that there is a recipient audience whose identity is reified by the invocation of an essential threat. Once this audience is lacking, and technical matters are on the table, a more pragmatic stance might settle in. This approach, of course, represents a variation of the classic 'community method' in which functional cooperation in seemingly technical matters helps to overcome political divides.

Obviously, the different catalytic effects are not mutually exclusive. Nonetheless, they identify three different paths of how membership negotiations or eventual membership may positively influence the Cyprus conflict and contribute to its desecuritisation. It is too early to tell whether any of these positive effects will in the end materialise, but a first assessment clearly points into a negative direction. Developments since the membership application was submitted have involved more intense securitisation rather than desecuritisation (see Nugent 1997: 69). Denktaº and his ministers have not only refused to take part in the negotiations; together with the Turkish government they also threatened to take any steps towards Turkey that the Greek Cypriots take towards the EU (and thereby, the argument goes, towards Greece). 25 Thus, in response to the Luxembourg European Council, Turkey and the TRNC published an association agreement aiming at 'integration between the two countries in the economic and financial fields' and 'partial integration in matters of security, defence and foreign policy matters'. 26 Although, given the current stage of the TRNC's integration into Turkey through a common currency, military affairs, citisenship rights, etc., such a threat may seem hardly effective, the workings of securitisation are nonetheless clearly at play here: EU membership is constructed as an existential threat to the Turkish Cypriot community's identity 27 and would thus justify the extraordinary means of deeper integration withTurkey.

On the other hand, there may have been a beneficial effect on the Greek Cypriot side. In early 1999, the government cancelled its plans to acquire S300 missiles from Russia. The missiles were purchased anyway, but stationed on Crete instead of Cyprus. Whether this move strategically makes much of a difference is one issue, in particular given the Joint Defence Doctrine in place between Greece and Cyprus since March 1995. More important, however, was its symbolic value, with the government now appearing in a less bellicose light. It is clear that with the S300 issue on the table, membership negotiations would have hardened. France, Germany, Italy, and The Netherlands had already used the CFSP chapter of the negotiations to voice their concern over membership without a solution. 28 But this pressure was neither delivered in the functional manner the subversion catalyst proposes, nor was it the only pressure exerted — noone in NATO, for instance, was particularly fond of the idea of having Russian missiles directed against a NATO member.

In other words, for the time being it seems that the catalytic effect has not yet set in. Worse, many observers now agree that it is unlikely that it will set in in the near future. 29 Why should this be the case?


4. Problematic Assumptions

My argument is that the various renditions of the catalytic effect rest on one or a combination of the following assumptions. These are problematic first because they do not match the conflict conceptualisations of the actors involved, whose behavior accordingly undermines the expected catalytic effect. Secondly, these assumptions represent the conflict in terms that are prone to lead to further securitisation rather than desecuritisation. Six assumptions shall be scrutinised in more detail below: (1) the conceptualisation of the EU as a third party; (2) the overriding prominence given to economic rationality, and the prevalence of economic over societal security in particular; (3) the treatment of identities as fixed; (4) the notion of a paradise history of the island; (5) the dominance of statism; and (6) the inadequate integration of the international context.

(1) The EU as a Third Party

In the carrot and subversion catalysts in particular, the EU is constructed as an actor standing outside the conflict and helping to bring about a solution. It is here that the objectifying representation of the 'Cyprus problem' is most problematic. If the conflictual nature of the issue in the terms outlined above was recognised, it would immediately be obvious that the EU is no outside actor, but part of the conflict, and that the problem-solving attitude accordingly is misplaced. This should of course already be visible without the semantic change proposed. It takes no special effort to see that at least two EU members have been and are directly involved in Cyprus: Greece through its supposed ethnic link to the island's population and the political relevance of enosis; the UK through its colonial past and its military bases. Furthermore, by virtue of the Customs Union and the acceptance of Cyprus as a membership candidate, the EU as a whole has taken sides with a particular party in the conflict, and stands accused of privileging Greek over Turkish interests (Brewin 1999: 155-6; Gordon 1998: 43; Kramer 1997: 25). This is not necessarily to argue that it should have acted differently, but simply to say that given this setting, the EU is not the third party to the conflict that it may like to be.

There is, however, a second level to this issue which is not so readily visible. As we have seen, Cypriot identity is constructed as naturally European, and Cyprus as the cradle of European civilisation. In his inaugural address to the (Greek) Cypriot House of Representatives in February 1998, President Glafkos Clerides put this representation in most clear terms: 'Cyprus must belong, and naturally belongs, where its history, geography, civilisation and social values have destined it to be: in united Europe'. 30 This is not just an isolated statement; it is a characterisation of Cyprus that runs through all official documentation, and is mirrored both in interviews with politicians as well as civil society representatives on the island. Furthermore, it is reflected in the European Commission's avis on Cypriot EU membership, which constructs Cyprus as being 'located . . . at the very fount of European culture and civilisation' and having 'beyond all doubt [a] European identity and character'. 31 The representation of Cyprus as being European has to be seen in contrast to the representation of Turkey as becoming European. Both in Turkey's self-construction since the late Ottoman empire, in particular since Atatürk's Westernisation efforts, and in outside perceptions, Turkey's relation to Europe has been represented in ambivalent terms: historically partly in, partly out, it is always on its way to Europe, but without belonging there 'naturally.' 32 The representation of Cyprus as European places the conflict indisputably in the European realm. It comes to no surprise that many Greeks and Greek Cypriots, although they otherwise support the problem-solving attitude, disagree with the objection that membership would import a conflict into the EU. To their mind, the conflict is a European one in the first place, and thus the ignorance displayed by the EU earlier was not sustainable.

The representation of Cyprus and the conflict as European is thus wedded to a particular subject position within the conflict, which the notion of a problem to be solved from outside does not convey. This inherent involvement of the EU in the conflict tends to undermine attempts of desecuritisation, since whatever move the EU or representatives of its member states make, it will easily be securitised in turn. Whenever voices from within the EU suggest that Cyprus' membership should be conditional on a previous settlement, Greek and Greek Cypriot officials counter that these voices give Turkey a veto over Cypriot membership, thereby threatening the autonomy of Cypriot and European decision-making, denying Cyprus its 'natural' place of belonging, and justifying Greece's counter-threat to veto the Eastern enlargement. As long as membership negotiations proceed undisturbed, Turkish and Turkish Cypriot representatives complain that they are denied the recognition as an equal partner, that given Greek but not Turkish EU membership, Cyprus' accession equals enosis through the back door and a violation of the 1959 London and Zurich agreements preparing the ground for Cyprus' independence, and that thus they will proceed with preparations for further integration of the TRNC into Turkey.

Furthermore, the involvement of the EU in the conflict through the Greek Cypriot identity representation also undermines the legal benefits proposed in the carrot catalyst. While legally, Turkish Cypriot minority rights would be better protected within the Union framework (although Turkish Cypriots do not conceive of themselves as a minority), and thus one could expect descecuritisation in the field of societal security, the nexus Greek Cypriot / European in connection with the Greek /Greek Cypriot prevalence over Turkish Cypriots in EU institutions leads to a problematisation of the underlying, day-to-day acceptance of Turkish Cypriots as equal. In other words, while there may be legal mechanisms preventing state discrimination, the cultural representation is conceptualised as marginalising Turkish Cypriots in realms that are not necessarily to be settled in courts. Again, it is not decisive for the argument to be made here whether this is or is not a 'correct' prediction. Rather, we can note that the assumption of the EU as an outside actor is not shared by Turkish and Turkish Cypriot officials, and in some aspects not even by Greek Cypriots, and that this leads to enhanced securitisation rather than desecuritisation.

(2) Economic Rationality

A central assumption in both the carrot and the subversion catalyst is that Turkish Cypriots eventually will decide about their future predominantly on the basis of economic benefits. One analyst summarised this position neatly: 'The integration of the two economies and the potential held out by membership in the European Economic Community for a unified Cyprus is considerable indeed. [... T]hose who seek to bring about some form of federation in Cyprus would do well to emphasise the material benefits and downplay the political costs of a settlement.' (Coughlan 1992: 36) In other words, human decision-making is conceptualised as a process in which economic rationality prevails, and the provision of individual economic security is seen as preempting political or societal security concerns. This should lead to a Turkish Cypriot willingness to participate in membership negotiations at some point, because of both the access to the European market and the financial assistance that is to be expected from the EU's Regional and Structural Funds. There is also the assumption that Cyprus' membership bid was 'driven by economic considerations' and that 'political and security issues' were 'secondary' (Redmond and Pace 1996: 432). This argumentation is problematic for two reasons.

First, even if we accept for a moment that economic rationality overrides other concerns, it is not quite clear how economic rationality would play out in the concrete case. For one, the struggle over economic benefits is a popular explanation for intercommunal conflict: If economic rationality prevails, it may well work to reinforce group boundaries if that increases the benefits for a specific group (Patterson 1975). Although the government now pledges to use EU financial assistance for the North if it decides to join in, Turkish Cypriots have pointed out that this is no guarantee for the future. Instead, the issue of Greek Cypriot property rights in the North looms large in the background. Besides, economic gains would actually be maximised by an international recognition of the TRNC, and possible subsequent EU membership. 34 Although at least the latter prospect seems rather dim, the argument is clear: Economic life in the North is harsh, but acceptable due to Turkish assistance; the best gains would come from an opening of the TRNC market to trade and tourism due to international recognition, in which case the inflow of money would serve the North alone.

Crucially, behind this discussion is the question of economic rationality of and benefits for whom? The carrot and subversion catalyst start from a universal economic rationality of the individual; the counterclaims raised above from a group-based economic rationality. Taking the latter as the starting point indicates that economic security does not dominate societal security, but that both are intertwined. While the carrot and subversion catalyst privilege economic security, securitisations by Turkish Cypriot actors focus on political and societal security (Gordon 1998: 44; Larrabee 1998: 26). To them, the diverging opinions about the insitutional solution to the conflict are not just organisational but about 'stem[ming] the tide of rising Greek ethnocentrism in the future' and preserving the possibilities to express their identities (Bolukbasi 1995: 461), which to official Turkish Cypriot representatives seems to be possible in a loose confederation at best (Axt 1999: 192).

It is true that in many instances, individual security plays an important role at first sight — guaranteeing for personal integrity in the light of previous atrocities, or the right to regain lost property or keep one's current property figure high on the agenda of any talks. But as in the case of economic security, these concerns are couched in societal terms, and are thus inseparable from societal securitisations. In the case of the missing persons, for instance, the Turkish government is accused of 'the most heinous crimes against humanity.' A Greek Cypriot brochure demands 'the full restoration and respect of the basic and fundamental human rights of the missing persons and their relatives' (Pancyprian Committee 1997: 7-8). But this individual dimension is heavily conflated with identity issues in a shift from focussing on civilians to 'these missing Greek Cypriots' who 'were arrested by the Turkish army and/or by Turkish Cypriots' (ibid.: 5). 35 Similarly, the 'dark Christmas' of 1963 is remembered in the North not as a crime against individuals, but as an attack with the aim of 'exterminating all of the Turkish Cypriots' (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus 1998: 3).

The mismatch of economic and societal conflict conceptualisations makes desecuritisation unlikely. As we shall see in the discussion of the following assumption of fixed identities, this is not to unproblematically accept the existence of a Turkish Cypriot community. It is, however, to point out that this identity is continuously reconstructed by securitisations of both societal and economic nature. A caveat to this argument may be that the provision of economic security may undermine other security concerns. After all, this seems to be the experience of European integration itself. Could this not be also expected in the Cypriot case? The (skeptical) answer to that question lies in the neglect of context that it entails. European integration started off from a situation in which nationalism was discredited in the first place, and overcoming the nation-state had become a prime objective. The integration process may have stabilised the process of peace, but on the other hand the invocation of history has served as well to stabilise European integration (Wæver 1998: 90). This context is missing in Cyprus. One should also add that integration has not led to the disappearance of societal securitisations; in many respects these have recently rather been intensified (Wæver and Kelstrup 1993).

(3) Fixed Identities

Whenever we deal with 'ethnic' conflict, a central problematic assumption is that of fixed identities. Policy-making processes often presuppose identifiable actors, and so all three catalyst conceptualisations in one way or another treat the Greek/Turkish Cypriot divide as a given, even if, as in the carrot catalyst, this goes along with an assumption of individual rather than group economic rationality. At issue is a triple problem of representation:

A first issue is whether one should accept those who style themselves as their respective group's representatives as such. This is particularly problematic if their democratic legitimacy is questionable (as in the case of most liberation movements, such as the PKK, or EOKA, for that matter). The latter may be said in cases where the political system, for historic or other reasons, is dominated by a specific person or party, as in the case of Denktaº in the TRNC. It is on this level that most doubts about representation are being raised: Is Denktaº speaking in the name of Turkish Cypriots, Turks, or Turkish mainland settlers in Cyprus? Even if he is the former, is he not wedded too much to a specific historic period the time of which has passed? And although the political system in Northern Cyprus is based on elections, there are claims that there are some clouds over its democratic credentials. 36 As in all similar cases, however, one does not see any credible alternative to accepting the representational claim; worse, some of the opposition politicians in Northern Cyprus, such as the current prime minister, Derviþ Eroðlu of the National Unity Party (UBP), seem to be even stronger hardliners than Denktaº. 37

On a deeper level, the question arises whether one should accept a particular representation of a group's identity. All such identities are inherently contested, and their representations necessarily have to exclude or marginalise certain historical and cultural traits while privileging others. One example has already been indicated above: The representation of Greek Cypriots as European, and the focus on the classic Hellenic inheritance is in tension with the Byzantine tradition, and with various aspects of daily life in Nicosia and other places showing the long-standing influence of Middle Eastern culture — from the Haloumi sandwiches to the kebab joints. 38 These obvious commonalities with a Turkish Cypriot culture, in turn, put some doubt on the difference that is opened up by their representatives, similar to the tensions within Hellenism from the founding of the Greek nation state until today (see Herzfeld 1987).

On a third level, one may finally ask whether we should accept the existence of the group in question as such. The borders of any such group are as much contested as its identity (in fact, both are interdependent), and thus need continuously be reconstructed. This is one crucial function of securitisations: By presenting a group as essentially threatened and thereby as preexistent, they actually serve to recreate it. In other words, it is through securitisations that a group's borders get stabilised (Wæver 1997: 328-331). 39 Thus, while today it seems widely accepted that there are two distinct people on the island, this image can only be upheld through a history of particular securitising narratives presenting the identity of these groups as distinct. Meanwhile, a marginalised counter-narrative, constructing a Cypriot community, does exist — and relies in turn on securitisations of its own, as the following example, taken from the bicommunal magazine 'Hade', suggests: 'The Cypriot identity will be fed from the struggle of independence which will be waged against the intervening influences of Turkey and Greece and this will hasten its formation and development.' (An 1999: 67).

(4) Paradise History

As mentioned in the introduction, the assumption of a 'paradise history' — that Greek and Turkish Cypriots used to live together peacefully, that they were 'different but friends' — is widespread, not only within EU circles, but also in the literature that sees the blame for the conflict to rest largely on the side of international powers (see Hitchens 1997[orig. 1984]). For none of the catalysts, this is an essential assumption, although in the case of the stick catalyst, the focus on Turkey indicates that one would see less of a problem if only the Turkish Cypriots could decide for themselves. In all of them, however, any reconciliation process would be assisted by a recollection of this past.

To some extent, the Paradise History assumption is correcting the one of Fixed Identities in that it shows that although borders between the communities existed, they were not always as impermeable as they are now. But the Paradise History is too good to be true. Although the two communities have lived side by side without major clashes for long, there were nonetheless clear boundaries between them. Intermarriage, for instance, was next to non-existent (Dodd 1999: 3; Polat 1999: 8). Furthermore, British colonial policy fuelled antagonisms, for instance by making prefered use of Turkish Cypriots in the police force after EOKA started its violent struggle (Anderson 1993). By this time, the power distribution on the island had already been openly challenged, and it was clear that this challenge consisted in identity reconstruction through securitisation, with counter-securitisations following en suite. With the two different historical narratives outlined above being reproduced from schoolbooks to television programs, it is no surprise that most people on the island today identify themselves first as Greeks and Turks, and only second, if at all, as Cypriots (Axt 1999: 188-9).

The combined effect of these two assumptions is that while group identities are accepted as they are now, peaceful coexistence is relegated to the past in a somewhat quasi-imperial nostalgia. But such a nostalgia avoids the pressing issue of how current securitisations may be undermined rather than to confront it. What would be needed instead is a recognition that there exists a discourse reproducing conflicting subject positions without taking these subject positions themselves for granted.

(5) Statism

A fifth problematic assumption shared by all three conceptualisations of the catalytic effect, and in fact by most actors involved, is that of statism. This is reflected on the one hand in the undisputed recognition of the Greek Cypriot government as the only legitimate government in Cyprus, on the other hand, however, by according the Denktaº administration, to the extent that it is recognised as the representative of Turkish Cypriots, a quasi-governmental status. The effect is again one of marginalising nongovernmental actors involved in intercommunal projects disliked by both 'governments,' thereby limiting the means of altering the conflict coordinates, and eventually also limiting the imagination of possible scenarios for settlement.

Underlying the EU's statist approach is, of course, its embeddedness in the UN discourse, where the Greek Cypriot government is recognised as the only legitimate one, and where non-state actors have no right of access. Even the UN efforts at mediation themselves, it has been argued, have been hampered by this 'language of the negotiations [that] has revolved around the issues of security related to statehood and sovereignty' (Richmond 1998: 227; xix). Ironically, it was exactly because of this statist discourse that the legitimacy of raising the issue of Cypriot independence in the 1950s was contested (Stefanidis 1999). International law thus limits the room for man¦vre on the EU's side, even if EU members wanted to engage with Turkish Cypriots more actively. This is not to say that the EU is completely bound by UN Security Council decisions. But if some member states wanted, for instance, a change of direction in these decisions, the EU member Greece could always refer to an established practice of international law that the others were about to violate.

This is problematic to the extent that the EU thereby provides the stage for both the Greek Cypriot government and the Denktaº quasi-government to reproduce their securitisations, which in turn center around statehood and sovereignty — the government warning not to recognise a Turkish Cypriot state even in private interaction (Constantinou and Papadakis 1999); the latter demanding to be recognised not as a minority but as equals in their state, as 'a sovereign people by themselves' (Bolukbasi 1995: 469). In other words, much like the Fixed Identities problem, Statism tends to strengthen singular representations of Greek and Turkish Cypriots that may in fact be contested.

(6) Inadequate Integration of the International Context

There is a final problem that is ignored in the carrot and subversion catalyst, but is the starting point of the stick catalyst: the international connectedness of the conflict within the security framework of the Eastern Meditarrenean, and the Greco-Turkish conflict in particular. With the island located only 65 kilometers from the Southern coast of Turkey, its geostrategic importance for Turkey can hardly be denied, although with the military technology available today, such purely geographic distances continue to lose in importance. Accordingly, any Turkish politician will readily admit that Turkey's military presence on the island is only in part for the security of the Turkish Cypriots. Equally important, it is to secure the country's southern coastline as its 'only secure supply line'. It is thus impossible to allow the island to become 'hostile territory', which means: under sole Greek control. 40 Given the geostrategic importance of the island, membership without Turkey's agreement would mean, in the words of Neil Nugent (1997: 59), 'to act unilaterally on what Turkey regards as one of its "core interests"'

Consequentially, for those arguing the case of the stick catalyst in particular, the TRNC is nothing else than a puppet regime in the hands of Turkish strategic interests, and thus the problem is to be solved through Turkey rather than within the Cypriot context. 41 On the other hand, the Denktaº government is not a mere puppet regime of Turkey. Instead, Denktaº himself has considerable influence over Turkish domestic politics, for instance through his usage of media channels. 42 Both actors thus seem to be more independent than one purely being dependent on the other. But the major point remains that any effort to affect the behaviour of Turkish Cypriot representatives needs to take Turkey into account.

This linkage has wider ramifications. As a NATO member, Turkey has continuously been regarded as crucial for the alliance by the United States in particular (Nugent 1997: 60-62). The US were thus all along in favour of Turkish EU membership (Buzan and Diez 1999), and would find a clash between Turkey and the EU over Cyprus even more dangerous for the alliance than the previous rebuttals of Turkey's accession applications. But also within the EU, there is a growing awareness that Turkish candidate status and desecuritisation in Cyprus are linked, although this linkage may be conceptualised in various ways, making one the precondition of the other.

The point of this discussion is that the focus on intercommunal pressures and incentives in the carrot and subversion catalysts neglects the Turkish interest in the island, while the stick catalyst draws a too simple picture of a one-sided Turkish influence. Similarly, the linkage between Greeks and Greek Cypriots, although at least as complex as the one between Turks and Turkish Cypriots, and accordingly Greco-Turkish relations in general, need to be taken account. In other words, securitisations on the island are intertwined with securitisations in the Eastern Meditarranean in general, making the search for desecuritisation ever more difficult. Given the state of securitisation on the island itself as outlined above, a sustained Greco-Turkish rapproachment will provide a platform on which the two parties can work out a solution, but it cannot provide the formula itself. Thus, while it is important to take the international context into consideration, it would be wrong to put all the blame on it.


5. Possible Alternatives

Many observers have pointed out that in the history of the Cyprus conflict, the intervention of outside powers, whether with good or bad intentions, has usually not helped much (Hitchens 1997; Richmond 1998). The problems identified above with the EU's approach to Cypriot membership and the latter's supposed catalytic effect for a conflict resolution lead to the conclusion that the EU's involvement may well have a similar fate. As the discussion above suggests, it is likely to lead to new or intensified forms of securitisation in some respects, and to sustained securitisation in others. Similar to the suggestion made by others before (e.g. Bahcheli and Rizopoulos 1996: 34-5), and taking up the above caveat about the importance of the international context, I believe that a possible way to find a way out of the current situation has to start from the dominating discourses on the island. A potentially beneficial involvement needs to take these discourses serious without treating them as unalterable, and it needs to identify appropriate local actors that are already engaged in bringing about change. These actors are, by and large, not to be found among official state and quasi-state representatives, but among social movements engaged in intercommunal contacts. 43

Such contacts are much more plentiful than the dominant securitising discourses would have us believe. There is, however, also a strong notion of two different sorts of contacts believed to be of different value by participants. 44 On the one hand, there are those meetings initiated by international actors such as the UN or the various foundations, predominantly Fulbright. These meetings often take place in Ledra Palace, the former luxury hotel in Nicosia that now serves as the UN building within the buffer zone. On the other hand, there are a number of grassroots activities, most of which are also sponsored by outside actors, but proposed by those involved themselves. In contrast to the offical surroundings of Ledra Palace, these meetings often take place in the mixed village of Pyla/Pile, also located in the buffer zone at the edge of Britain's Dhekelia base near Famagusta.

Both sorts of intercommunal activities have the potential to contribute to desecuritisation and confidence building. Those organised by outside actors have the advantage that they bring together people who otherwise would not necessarily meet. But their up-down approach clearly carries the risk that participants do not identify with their aims, and do not take such meetings seriously. The advantage of grassroots activities is that they take up convictions already present within civil society, and try to foster and spread them. The regular meetings of trade unionists may be counted amongst them, but also less traditional activities such as the bicommunal magazine 'Hade', the Peace Centre in Nicosia, or a group of academics from both sides trying to set up common research projects. 45

The EU has in the past supported some intercommunal activities. It did, for instance, finance the Nicosia's integrated sewage system, part of the Nicosia 'Master Plan' agreed upon by the two majors. 46 Such projects do not only take up inititiatives from 'below', they also correspond with the functional approach underlying the EU's own historical experience and the subversion catalyst, and have been considered successful instances of mutual trust-building (Richmond 1998: 234). Another element of the Master Plan, however, shows the limitations of the current approach. On both sides there is now a pedestrian zone, financed as an intercommunal project. But in fact the pedestrian zone was built by workers on their own side of the Green Line, which still divides the two parts of the city. Seen from the vantage point presented here, it thus does not serve as a common symbol for both communities, but rather visualises the effect that the international state system and the problems of sovereign representations outlined above have on intercommunal projects.

It is also true that the EU does provide material to promote Turkish Cypriot participation in the membership negotiations through one of the leading dissidents in the northern part, Alpay Durduran. 47 But this support, adding to the Greek Cypriot's information website on the aim and development of membership negotiations, 48 does not really help intercommunal grassroots activities, which, accepting the argument in this paper, may be a condition for a successful EU membership influence on the conflict. Rather, they are mostly attempts to bring about a change of Turkish Cypriot attitudes within the carrot catalyst conception.

The strengthening of intercommunal grassroot activities starts from a different vantage point than the conceptualisations of the catalytic effect outlined in section 2. It does not characterise the Cyprus conflict as a problem solvable through outside intervention, but recognises that whatever the international coordinates, a settlement must be found through the desecuritisation of the discourse on the island itself. Thus, it identifies alternative voices that bear the potential to subvert the dominant narratives of two sides that cannot live together. But as argued above, it would also be wrong to ignore these narratives in favour of a paradise conception of Cypriot history. Thus, they need to be taken serious, and there may be other ways of desecuritisation than by alternative voices inside.

This possibility lies in efforts to withdraw the basis of securitisation attempts. The subversion catalyst comes closest to this; and the settlement of the S-300 issue may indicate that there has been some success from such an approach. A more radical move, however, would go some way towards the recognition of the TRNC. At a minimum, this would involve the ending of the de facto trade embargo. Although this cannot be extensively elaborated here, the reasoning behind this is simple. It is an illusion to believe that the dominant identity constructions are not shared by large parts of the people. The trade embargo, however, allows political leaders in the North to continuously reify these identities through counter-securitisations (the trade embargo itself is legitimised by securitisation). To remove this platform would thus contribute to desecuritisation. While such a move at first may look like an acceptance of dominant representations, it may eventually rather serve to undermine them by allowing more space for alternative voices in the absence of a resource for securitisation. 49

Is such a scenario likely? The answer is no, and the reason for this is to be found within the problematic assumptions of the catalytic effect. As the latter, these alternatives neglect that the EU is no outside actor to the conflict. Thus, it is hard to see how it would support forces within the Republic of Cyprus trying to build a counter-narrative of Cypriot identity that is not shared by those in power, and it is equally hard to see how the EU could get to a policy that would change the status of the two communities in the direction outlined in the last two paragraphs. The success of the EU's supranational intervention thus hinges on a change of its own part, Greece, and its relations to Turkey. Although Greco-Turkish relations have improved substantially during 1999, it is yet too early to predict whether this would enable both governments to also take up the issue of Cyprus, thus eventually providing the platform mentioned above. And although the EU seems to have had some influence on the Cypriot government through Greece in the S-300 crisis, one can hardly expect a fast change of hearts given the role that the Cyprus question plays in domestic politics (Adamson 2000).


6. Conclusion

My argument in this paper has been that, all other things being equal, the conceptualisation of the effect of EU membership negotiations as a positive catalyst on the Cyprus conflict is misguided because of a series of flawed assumptions on which such a catalytic effect may rest. If the EU was to make a positive contribution, it would have to more actively support intercommunal grassroot activities, combined with a renewed approach towards the Northern part, withdrawing the grounds on which politicians perform securitisations and thus continuously reify identities. Given the EU's own involvement in the conflict, however, this is unlikely to happen. The most likely scenario thus seems to be the pessimistic one in which legally the whole of Cyprus, factually however only the South is taken up as a member, with the North driven even more towards Turkey. Thus, membership negotiations will serve as a catalyst, but as one towards permanent division (Gordon 1998: 44).

There are two possibilities on the way to prevent this worst-case scenario, both of which have to do with a change in the international subsystem of the Eastern Mediterranean. The recent Greco-Turkish rapproachment may lead to a rethinking of either side's Cyprus policy, and thus drain some of the resources on which both sides are currently building. Crucially, such an rapproachment would not necessarily remove securitisations from the conflict itself, but it would provide the EU with the possibility to increase its support to intercommunal grassroot activities. The other possibility is Turkish EU membership. If both Cyprus and Turkey became a member of the EU, Turkey's strategic interest would be fundamentally altered. 50 The provision of the fundamental freedoms within the acquis communautaire would then take full force and undermine any sort of border between the two sides, an effect that the acquis, as shown above, will not have in case of a de facto membership of the island's Southern part only. Thus, the Cyprus conflict may not disappear (so Olgun 1998:42), but it may be effectively managed.

This latter scenario may sound attractive, but it has its own problems. Turkey is still considered far away from membership, even though it was accorded candidate status during the Helskinki European Council in December 1999. Furthermore, it is not clear whether there may not be good reasons to find an alternative form of relation between Turkey and the EU. Contrary to a widespread assumption, a Turkey closely associated with the EU may contribute more to stability in the region than a Turkey as a member (Buzan and Diez 1999). And thirdly, traditional 'pro-Western' forces within Turkey have over the past years become increasingly sceptical of EU membership, not the least because this may undermine their own power status which rests on an autocratic, top-down approach to modernisation (Jung 1998).

Before the Corfu decision, the most widespread opinion in the EU itself was that Cyprus' membership should presuppose a solution on the island (Redmond and Pace 1996: 433). This line of reasoning since has changed to promoting EU membership's own contribution to a solution. From the perspective presented in this paper, this change was unfortunate. While many see membership as the last exit to paradise from the road towards eternal division on which the Cyprus convoy has been driving for so long, it rather seems that such an exit does not exist. Instead, the negotiations themselves may reinforce existing patterns of securitisation within the Cyprus conflict.



Adamson, Fiona B. (2000): 'Democratisation and the Domestic Sources of Foreign Policy: Turkey in the 1974 Cyprus Crisis', Political Science Quarterly, forthcoming.

An, Ahmet Djavit (1999): 'An Overview of the Researches on the Identity of the Turkish Cypriots', Hade, No. 2 (June 1999), 65-67.

Anderson, David M. (1993): 'Policing and Communal Conflict: The Cyprus Emergency, 1954-60,' Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 21, no. 3, 177-207.

Axt, Heinz-Jürgen (1999): 'The Island of Cyprus and the European Union,' in Clemens H. Dodd (ed.), Cyprus: The Need for New Perspectives (London: Eothen Press), 174-194.

Bahcheli, Tozun; Rizopoulos, Nicholas X. (1996): 'The Cyprus Impasse: What Next?,' World Policy Journal 13, no. 4, 27-39.

Bolukbasi, Suha (1995): 'Boutros-Gahli's CyprusInitiative in 1992: Why Did It Fail?', Middle Eastern Studies 31, no. 3, 460-482.

Brewin, Christopher (1999): 'Turkey, Greece and the European Union,' in Clemens H. Dodd (ed.), Cyprus: The Need for New Perspectives (London: Eothen Press), 148-173.

Buzan, Barry; Diez, Thomas (1999): 'The European Union and Turkey,' Survival 41, no. 1, 41-57.

Buzan, Barry; Wæver, Ole; de Wilde, Jaap (1998): Security: A New Framework for Analysis (Boulder, Col.: Lynne Rienner).

Campbell, David (1992): Writing Security: U.S. Foreign Policy and the Politics of Identity (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press).

Church, Michael (1995): 'The Republic the World Forgot', Spectator 275, no. 8733 (25 November 1995), 16-17.

Constantinou, Costas; Papadakis, Yiannis (1999): The Cypriot State(s) in Situ: Cross-Ethnic Contact and the Discourse of Recognition, paper presented at the workshop 'Catalyst to Where? The EU and the Cyprus Conflict', Copenhagen, 3-4 December 1999.

Coughlan, Reed (1992): 'The Cyprus Problem: Perspectives from both Sides of the Green Line,' Ethnic Studies Report 10, no. 1, 25-36.

Demetriades, Lellos (1999): 'The Nicosia Masterplan', Journal of Mediterranean Studies 8, no. 2 (in press).

Diez, Thomas (2000): Subversion Through Recognition: How Borders May Undermine Themselves. Paper in preparation.

Dodd, Clemens H. (1999): 'A Historical Overview,' in Clemens H. Dodd (ed.), Cyprus: The Need for New Perspectives (London: Eothen Press), 1-15.

Durrell, Lawrence (1996/1958): Bitter Lemons, New York: Marlowe & Co.

Efinger, Manfred; Rittberger, Volker; Zürn, Michael (1988): Internationale Regime in den Ost-West-Beziehungen: Ein Beitrag zur Erforschung der friedlichen Behandlung internationaler Konflikte (Frankfurt/M.: Haag+Herchen).

Esche, Matthias (1990): 'A History of Greek-Turkish Relations,' in: Ahmet Evin and Geoffrey Denton (eds.), Turkey and the European Community (Opladen: Leske + Budrich), 101-116.

European Commission (1993): 'Commission Opinion on the Application by the Republic of Cyprus for Membership', reprinted in Press and Information Office of the Republic of Cyprus (ed.), 1998, European Stand on the Cyprus Problem, Nicosia: PIO, 102-104.

European Commission (1997): For a Stronger and Wider Union: Agenda 2000, DOC 97/6, (15/11/99).

European Commission (1999): Regular Report from the Commission on Progress towards Accession: Cyprus — October 13, 1999, IP/99/751, (15/11/99).

European Council (1997): Luxembourg European Council, 12 and 13 December 1997: Presidency Conclusions, (15/11/99).

Friis, Lykke; Murphy, Anna (1999): 'The European Union and Central and Eastern Europe: Governance and Boundaries', Journal of Common Market Studies 37, no. 2, 211-232.

Galtung, Johan (1975): 'Peace Thinking', in: Johan Galtung, Essays in Peace Researh, Vol. 1: Peace: Research, Education, Action (Copenhagen: Christian Ejlers), 76-108.

Gordon, Philip H. (1998): 'Storms in the Med Blow towards Europe', The World Today, February 1998, 42-44.

Herbst, Ludolf (1989): Option für den Westen: Vom Marshallplan bis zum deutsch-französischen Vertrag (München: dtv).

Herzfeld, Michael (1987): Anthropology through the Looking Glass: Critical Ethnography in the Margins of Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).

Hitchens, Christopher (1997): Hostage to History: Cyprus from the Ottomans to Kissinger; third edition (London: Verso).

IKME — Sociopolitical Studies Foundation (1998): Cyprus after a Solution: A Scientific Workshop. Contributions and conclusions of a workshop held in Brussels on 30 and 31 October 1998 (Nicosia: IKME).

Jung, Dietrich (1998): 'Wie europäisch ist die Türkei?', Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik, 43, no. 4, 410-414.

Kazan, I"l Wæver, Ole (1994): 'Tyrkiet mellem Europa og europæisering,' Internasjonal Politik 52, no. 2, 139-174.

Kramer, Heinz (1997): 'The Cyprus Problem and European Security,' Survival 39, no. 3, 16-32.

Larrabee, F. Stephen (1998): 'The EU Needs to Rethink its Cyprus Policy,'Survival 40, no. 3, 25-29.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey (1999a): Cyprus: 7 Questions, 7 Answers (Ankara: MFA).

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey (1999b): Cyprus: Documents 1997-1998 (Ankara: MFA)

Mirbagheri, Farid (1998): Cyprus and International Peacemaking (London: Hurst).

Nicolaïdis, Kalypso (1998): 'Exploring Second-Best Solutions for Cyprus,' Survival 40, no. 3, 30-34.

Nugent, Neill (1997): 'Cyprus and the European Union: A Particularly Difficult Membership Application,' Mediterranean Politics 2, no. 3, 53-75.

Olgun, Ergün (1998): 'Recognising Two States in Cyprus Would Facilitate Co-existence and Stability,' Survival 40, no. 3, 35-42.

Pancyprian Committee of Parents and Relatives of Undeclared Prisoners of War and Missing Persons (1997): The Case of the Cypriots Missing since the Turkish Invasion (Nicosia: The Pancyprian Committee).

Patterson, Orlando (1975): 'Context and Choice in Ethnic Allegiance: A Theoretical Framework and Carribean Case Study,' in Nathan Glazer and Daniel P. Moynihan (eds.), Ethnicity: Theory and Experience (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press), pp.305-349.

Polat, Necati (1999): Self-Determination, Violence, Modernity: The Turkish Cypriot Case, paper presented at the workshop 'Catalyst to Where? The EU and the Cyprus Conflict', Copenhagen, 3-4 December 1999.

Prodromou, Elizabeth H. (1998): 'Reintegrating Cyprus: The Need for a New Approach,' Survival 40, no. 3, 5-24.

Redmond, John; Pace, Roderick (1996): 'European Security in the 1990s and Beyond: The Implications of the Accession of Cyprus and Malta to the European Union', Contemporary Security Policy 17, no. 3, 430-450.

Republic of Cyprus (1998a): The Republic of Cyprus: An Overview (Nicosia: Press and Information Office).

Republic of Cyprus (1998b): Cyprus: No Man Is an Island (Nicosia: Press and Information Office).

Republic of Cyprus (1998c): European Stand on the Cyprus Problem (Nicosia: Press and Information Office)

Republic of Cyprus (1999): Cyprus-EU Relations, htm (15/11/99).

Richmond, Oliver P. (1998): Mediating in Cyprus: The Cypriot Communities and the United Nations (London: Frank Cass).

Stavridis, Stelios (1999): 'Double Standards, Ethics and Democratic Principles in Foreign Policy: The European Union and the Cyprus Problem,' Mediterranean Politics 4, no. 1, 95-112.

Stavrinides, Zenon (1999): 'Greek Cypriot Perceptions,' in Clemens H. Dodd (ed.), Cyprus: The Need for New Perspectives (London: Eothen Press), 54-96.

Stefanidis, Ioannis D. (1999): Isle of Discord: Nationalism, Imperialism and the Making of the Cyprus Problem (London: Hurst).

Turkish Republic (1998): Background of the Cyprus Problem (Ankara: Directorate General of Press and Information).

Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (1998): Never Again: On the 35th anniversary, the Turkish Cypriot People have not forgotten the Greek-Cypriot Atrocities (Lefkoºa: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Defence, Public Relations Department).

Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (n.d.): "There cannot be a solution to the problem of Cyprus that would return the situation to what it was before 1974" (Lefkoºa: Public Information Office)

Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (n.d.): Milli Mücadele Müzesi — The Museum of National Struggle (Lefkoºa: Public Relations Department).

Varnava, Pantelis (1997): The Common Labour Struggles of Greek and Turkish-Cypriots (Events Through History) (Nicosia: PEO).

Walker, R.B.J. (1993): Inside/Outside: International Relations as Political Theory (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).

Wæver, Ole (1995): 'Securitisation and Desecuritisation', in Ronnie D. Lipschutz (ed.), On Security (New York: Columbia University Press), 46-86.

Wæver, Ole (1997): Concepts of Security (Copenhagen: Copenhagen Political Studies Press).

Wæver,Ole (1998): 'Insecurity, Security, and Asecurity in the West European Non-War Community', in Emanuel Adler and Michael Barnett (eds.), Security Communities (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 69-118.

Wæver Ole; Kelstrup, Morten (1993): 'Europe and Its Nations: Political and Cultural Identities,' in Ole Wæver et al., Identity, Migration and the New Security Agenda in Europe (London: Pinter), pp. 62-92.



Note 1:  During my research, Costas Constantinou, Necati Polat, Oliver Richmond and a long list of Greek, Turkish and Cypriot colleagues have been of invaluable assistance and inspiration. I am also indebted to Barry Buzan, Lene Hansen, Pertti Joenniemi, Dietrich Jung, I"l Kazan, Andrea Liese, Bjørn Møller, Gearóid Ó Thuatail, Ole Wæver and the participants of the workshop 'Catalyst to Where? The EU and the Cyprus Conflict', COPRI, 3-4 December 1999, for comments on earlier drafts. Needless to say that all responsibility for this paper rests with the author. Research has been supported by a grant from Carlsbergfondet, which is gratefully acknowledged. Address of author: Copenhagen Peace Research Institute, Fredericiagade 18, DK-1310 Copenhagen K, Denmark, Tel. ++45-33455066, Fax. ++45-33455060, E-mail, homepage Back.

Note 2:  See also Nugent 1997: 55. From the academic literature, see e.g. Stavridis (1999: 107) who takes the accession negotiations to be a 'one-off opportunity' for the island. Back.

Note 3:  Costas Paschalis, Coordinator within the Office of the Head of the Negotiating Team for the Accession of Cyprus to EU, Personal Interview, Nicosia, 2 July 1999. Similarly, the Greek government is convinced that 'the island's future accession could act as a catalyst', see the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic at (last accessed on 25 November 1999).  Back.

Note 4:  See, for instance, General Assembly Resolution 37/253, 13 May 1983 (before the actual declaration of the TRNC); Security Council Resolution 541, 18 November 1983. Back.

Note 5:  In The Queen v. Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food ex parte S.P. Anastasiou (Pissouri) Ltd. And Others, the European Court of Justice ruled authorities in the North cannot, as was the practice recognised by the Commission before, issue certificates on the origins of products or produce physosanitary documentation. The Court ruled that since these processes need to rely on full mutual confidence, they can only be carried out by the recognised authorities, in this case of the Republic of Cyprus (ECJ C-432/92; decision [1994] ECR I-3087). In other words, there needs to be clarity about who controls movements of goods within the EU; if such clarity cannot be provided, the territory in question falls de facto outside the EU. Back.

Note 6:  Costas Apostolides, Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Cyprus, Head of Office for the Study of the Cyprus Problem, Personal Interview, Nicosia, 5 July 1999; Turkish Daily News, 2 September 1995, quoted in Bolukbasi 1995: 470. Back.

Note 7:   Recent Greco-Turkish rapproachment makes such a development more likely, but still far from certain; see the discussion in section 5 and the conclusion. Back.

Note 8:  A brief glance at the references of this paper will suffice to illustrate this point. Back.

Note 9:  'Ecevit: "The Cyprus problem no longer exists, it has been solved"', TRNC Press and Information Office, 3 May 1999, Ref. 23/99. As for the official Greek side, once could suspect that the term 'conflict' is avoided in order not to upgrade the status of Turkish Cypriots; more likely, however, 'problem' is a translation from Greek that incidentally serves this purpose; Zenon Stavrinides, Personal Interview, Leeds, 21 December 99. Back.

Note :10  Özer Koray, Representative of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus to the EU, Personal Interview, Brussels, 20 April 1999; Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey 1999a: 18. An information pamphlet distributed by the TRNC-PIO after US President Clinton's remark that 'there cannot be a solution to the problem of Cyprus that would return the situation to what it was before 1974', made during a visit of Turkish Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit to Washington DC in October 1999, presents the events of late 1963/64 and 1974 as barbarism on the side of Greek Cypriots, and asks: 'What has changed since then?' (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, n.d.: 2). The events of 1963/4 themselves are kept alive in such brochures as one with the title 'Never Again' (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus 1998). As for the events in former Yugoslavia, the Greek side also uses the Kosovo-analogy, but for the purpose of blaming the international community for not having reacted to the Turkish invasion, see 'Cyprus Also Seeks Action: 25 Years of Turkish Occupation', (8/12/99). Back.

Note :11  The same brochure from which the quote about the Aphrodite's island is taken, states that 'Cyprus shares with the members of the European Community, a common history and a common civilisation' (Republic of Cyprus 1998b: 16). Back.

Note :12  'Vassiliou on Cyprus EU accession course, Greece's EMU prospects', Athens News Agency, 13 March  Back.

Note :13  For a good overview of the Greek Cypriot conflict perception and views on possible solutions, see Stavrinides 1999.  Back.

Note :14  See Stefanidis 1998: 207-228 for the Turkey's reaction to enosis and internationalisation strategies in 1950-55 more generally. Back.

Note :15  The following extract from Lefkoºa's Museum of National Struggle brochure is indicative of this: 'Upon leaving the museum, the visitors will feel the air of freedom and peace breathed by the Turkish Cypriot people who did not lose their hope despite the migrations, mass-murders and economic and political pressure imposed on them by the Greek Cypriots during the eleven years from 1963 to 1974; a hope which materialised with the 1974 Peace Operation, a result of the protection and support given by the motherland Turkey.' (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus n.d.: 5). Back.

Note :16  See the overviews in Mirbagheri 1998 and Richmond 1998. Back.

Note :17  See Denktash's 'Confederation Proposal', 'Proposal for a lasting solution in Cyprus', Lefkoºa, 31 August 1998. Back.

Note :18  See Vassos Lyssarides, President, EDEK, Personal Interview, Nicosia, 1 July 99; Antonis Paschalides, Vice President, Eurodemocratic Renewal, Personal Interview, Nicosia, 2 July 99. Back.

Note :19  Martin Harvey, Member of the Commission Task Force for Enlargement, Personal Interview, Brussels, 22 April 1999. Back.

Note :20  For a discussion, see e.g. Axt 1999: 181-5 and 188. Interestingly, the German precedence is more positively mentioned in Athens, while Greek Cypriots are often aware of the many differences between these two cases. See, e.g., Constantine Zeppos, former ambassador to the UN and member Central Committee, Synaspismos, Personal Interview, Athens, 16 June 1999; N. Gerokostopulos, Desk for Greek-Turkish Relations, Foreign Ministry, Personal Interview, Athens, 16 June 1999; Andros Kyprianou, Member of Political Bureau, AKEL, Personal Interview, Nicosia, 1 July 1999; Riccos Erotocritou, MP, DISY, Personal Interview, Nicosia, 1 July 1999; Costas Paschalis, Coordinator within the Office of the Head of the Negotiating Team for the Accession of Cyprus to EU, Personal Interview, Nicosia, 2 July 1999. A positive view on the Cypriot side was pronounced by Costas Apostolides, Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Cyprus, Head of Office for the Study of the Cyprus Problem, Personal Interview, Nicosia, 5 July 1999. Back.

Note :21  George Christophidis, MP, Vice President, United Democrats, Personal Interview, Nicosia, 2 July 1999. Back.

Note :22  Stelios L. Theodoulou, Senior Councel of the Repubic of Cyprus, President, Pancyprian Association for Human Rights, Personal Interview, Nicosia, 30 June 1999; Michael Raphael, DISY, Personal Interview, Nicosia, 1 July 1999; George Christophidis, MP, Vice President, United Democrats, Personal Interview, Nicosia, 2 July 1999; Antonis Paschalides, Vice President, KEA (Eurodemocratic Renewal), Personal Interview, Nicosia, 2 July 1999; Chris Ph. Clerides, Vice President, New Horizons, Personal Interview, Nicosia, 2 July 1999; see also Prodromou 1998 and Stavridis 1999 from the academic debate. Back.

Note :23  The following is based on personal interviews in Brussels in April 1999. For reasons that should be obvious, the interviewees do not wish to be identified. Back.

Note :24  Quote from one interview. Interviewee does not wish to be identified. Back.

Note :25  Tahsin Ertuoruloolu, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defense, Personal Interview, Lefkoºa, 18 October 1999; Repat Çaolar, Director General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Defense, Personal Interview, Lefkoºa, 19 October 1999. See also'Joint Statement by the Republic of Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus', 20 July 1997, reprinted in Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey 1999b: 21-3. Back.

Note :26  Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Turkey and the Government of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on the establishment of an Association Council, Art. II, reprinted in Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey 1999b: 24-5; see also Nugent 1997: 67. Back.

Note :27  The Joint Declaration of Turkey and the TRNC of 20 January 1997, for instance, declares the 'Greek Cypriot side' to have 'no other interest than entering the European Union as a second Greek state and thus achieving an indirect integration with Greece', reprinted in Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey 1999b: 7-9. Ergün Olgun, Undersecretary to Denktaº, proclaimed: 'EU membership is threatening my existence!' (Personal Interview, Lefkoºa, 18 October 1999) Back.

Note :28  'EU Blow as Four Countries Insist on Solution First', Cyprus Mail, 10 November 98.  Back.

Note :29  This argument has been made, for instance, by Dodd 1999: 13, Gordon 1998: 42, Larrabee 1998: 25 and Prodromou 1998: 5. Back.

Note :30  quoted in Stavrinides 1999: 56; italics are mine. Back.

Note :31  Commission opintion on the application by the Republic of Cyprus for membership, Brussels, 30 June 1999, # 44, reprinted in Republic of Cyprus 1998c: 102-3. Back.

Note :32  An article in the Turkish Daily News that appeared while writing this paper illustrates this point. Its author writes that 'problematic issues such as the division of Cyprus are national causes for Turkey despite its desparate search for a European identity since the country emerged as a modern republic 75 years ago.' ('Turkey against Cyprus-bound EU candidacy', Turkish Daily News, 25 November 1999) For alternative paths increasingly discussed since the end of the Cold War, see Kazan and Wæver (1994) and Buzan and Diez (1999). None of these visions, in particular a more active policy towards a community of Turkic states in the Caucasus and Central Asia, however, has yet proved to be a credible alternative to European integration. Back.

Note :33  Özer Koray, Representative of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus to the EU, Personal Interview, Brussels, 20 April 1999. Back.

Note :34  On an internet intercommunal discussion list, a Turkish Cypriot was indicating this point when he suggested recognition of the TRNC and mutual contacts through toursim links, see the list archive at, message # 316 (15 July 1999). Back.

Note :35  This conflation becomes even more obvious if one considers that at least some of these missing persons are likely to have been killed not by the Turkish Army, but by the right-wing EOKA-B, an open secret in the South, which has recently come into the limelight when a group of US forensic experts identified a number of dead bodies in Southern Nicosian graves as persons included on the list of the missing,. See '126 crossed off the missing list', Cyprus Mail, 9 November 1999.  Back.

Note :36  These claims are raised, for instance, by Alpay Durduran, a former leader of the Communal Liberation Party and today a leading figure of the Patriotic Unity Movement, who won the presidential elections in 1981 but could not take office after one minor party withdrew its support, allegedly after Turkish intervention. Since then, Durduran's house has several times been attacked by unknown forces whom he suspects are working for the state. The minimal vote his party cast in the last elections (2.9%) he explains with these historical events: 'People don't think we can change anything.' (Personal Interview, Lefkoºa, 19 October 1999) Ahmet Cavit, another dissident in the North and Turkish Cypriot coordinator of the Movement for a Federal Independent Cyprus, points out that a substantial part of the electorate is economically dependent on the state (Personal Interview, Lefkoºa, 19 October 1999). Back.

Note :37  Nonetheless, many opposition forces, including those based in London would prefer Eroolu to Denktaº, since the former would be in a weaker position vis-á-vis Turkey, and would thus allow the Turkish government to save their face when compromising on Cyprus in order to obtain membership in the European Union. Yler Kylyç, Chairman, Republican Turkish Party — London Solidarity Association, Personal Interview, London, 17 December 1999. Back.

Note :38  There are, in fact, alternative constructions of Cypriot identity as more independent. This 'cyprocentric' as opposed to 'hellenocentric' view is mostly found within the communist party AKEL, see Stavrinides 1999: 62-8. Most often, identity constructions are some mix of these two tendencies, with Hellenocentrism dominating; but it should be pointed out that Cyprocentrism does not necessarily equal cultural opposition to Europe and classic Hellenism, but is often used to construct Cyprus as a more independent actor in international politics.  Back.

Note :39  This takes up a common reasoning in poststructuralist writing in International Relations Theory; see Campbell 1992 and Walker 1993 as two outstanding references. Back.

Note :40  Hayati Güven, Deputy Director General for Cyprus Affairs, MFA, Turkey, Personal Interview, Ankara, 11 October 99; Seyfi Taºhan, Chairman, Turkish Foreign Policy Institute, Personal Interview, Ankara, 12 October 99. Back.

Note :41  Michael Raphael, MP, DISY, Personal Interview, Nicosia, 1 July 99. Exemplary for this claim are the accusations that it is actually the Turkish government that decides on how to negotiate during UN talks, most recently during the proximity talks in New York in December 1999, see 'Ankara Pulling the Strings', Newswire, 7 December 1999, (7/12/99). Back.

Note :42  Fehmi Koru, Turkish Daily News and Yeni ªafak, Personal Interview, Ankara, 13 October 99. Back.

Note :43  For the clashes between such movements and official state representatives, see Constantinou and Papadakis 1999. Back.

Note :44  Antonia Theodosiou, Ecologists, Personal Interview, Nicosia, 2 July 99. Back.

Note :45  For the Trade Unions, see Varnava 1997 and IKME 1998. HADE's inaugurational issue (no. 0) was published in January 1998; the latest issue available at the point of writing this paper was No. 2 of June 1999. The Peace Centre was crucial in setting up a number of intercommunal workshops in the early 1990s; the information is from Maria Hadjipavlou, Personal Interview, Nicosia, 6 July 99. For academic contacts, see Constantinou and Papadakis 1999. Back.

Note :46  For information on the Master Plan, see Demetriades 1999. Back.

Note :47  Alpay Durduran, Patriotic Unity Movement, Personal Interview, Lefkoºa, 19 October 99. The PUM and AKEL have recently once more issued a common statement in which they 'reiterate their will to continue struggling against chauvinism, religious fanatism and prejudices for the promotion of rapproachment and trust between the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.' See 'Joint Declaration of AKEL and the Patriotic Unity Movement', Nicosia, 16 October 99. Back.

Note :48 (7/12/99) Back.

Note :49  This will be elaborated in Diez 2000. For a possible pressure towards quasi-recognition of the TRNC but the US government on the Greek Cypriots, see 'Cyprus: Talks about Talks', The Economist, 4 December 99, p. 33-4. At the time of writing, a proposal for a new UNSC resolution to prolong the UNFICYP mandate was also rumoured to have dropped the "clear reference to Cyprus as a single sovereignty". See 'Talks Still on Course', Newswire, 8 December 99, (8/12/99); 'Annan warns Athens on Cyprus', Turkish Daily News, 9 December 99. Back.

Note :50  Akarcaly Bülent, Vice President, ANAP, and President, Turkish Democracy Foundation (TDV), personal interview, Ankara, 12 October 99. Back.