Amid all the bad news coming out of Europe these days, here’s something much more welcome: A top Turkish official is saying Cyprus is getting close to reunification. Reuters:
The island’s Greek and Turkish communities have lived apart since 1974, when Turkey invaded the north after a brief Greek-inspired coup. The seeds of partition were sown soon after independence from Britain in 1960.
“We are cautiously optimistic. We think we are closer than we have ever been before,” Emine Colak, foreign minister in the internationally unrecognized administration in the north, told Reuters in an interview.
“We don’t think the Cyprus problem has got easy – it hasn’t but we think we have a window of opportunity,” Colak said. “It is possible and it is desirable to get to at least the major part of the negotiations and the agreed text by May 2016.”
Turkey sees ending this conflict as an aid in its bid to join the European Union, but the question is whether the Turkish Cypriots will yield enough to satisfy the Greek Cypriots. Past agreements have failed because the Greeks were unhappy with the amount of control Turkey would still exercise over a unified country. It therefore gives pause that this latest report doesn’t quote any Greek officials.
But still, any talk of a reunified Cyprus is a ray of sunshine in a world that often seems only to be getting darker.