Turkey’s European Aspirations and its Cyprus Dilemma
Turkey’s difficult process of negotiations with the European Union has been further complicated by the stalemate in Cyprus. Talks between the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat and his Greek Cypriot counterpart Demetris Hristofias have so far failed to produce a breakthrough. The presidential election in Turkish Cypriot-controlled northern Cyprus is set for April 18, and the likely victory of nationalist prime minister Derviş Eroğlu will significantly diminish prospects for a historic deal to resolve the island’s division.
To discuss the current state of Turkey-E.U. relations, with a special focus on recent developments in Cyprus, the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings hosted a briefing on April 1 with renowned author Hugh Pope. Since 2007, Mr. Pope has served as the Turkey/Cyprus project director for International Crisis Group. He was previously a foreign correspondent for 25 years, most recently spending a decade as Turkey, Middle East and Central Asia correspondent for The Wall Street Journal. His books include Turkey Unveiled: A History of Modern Turkey (1997), Sons of the Conquerors: the Rise of the Turkic World (2005), and Dining with al-Qaeda: Three Decades Exploring the Many Worlds of the Middle East (2010).
Brookings Turkey Project Director Ömer Taşpınar provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion. After the program, Mr. Pope took audience questions.