North Cyprus Properties, Prices

Cyprus - Will the Island ever be Reunited ?

North Cyprus Orams
8 May 2010
1 April 2010
21 January 2010
19 January 2010
13 November 2009
28 April 2009
20 March 2009
27 January 2009
20 September 2008
2 October 2007
13 September 2007
20 June 2007
8 September 2006
6 September 2006

Cyprus - Will the island ever be reunited ?
Demopoulos, Nezire and Orams
The Orams apply for Planning Permission to Demolish Property
Decision of the UK Court of Appeal
UK Court of Appeal

Ruling of the European Court of Justice
Cherie Blair and the Bounced Cheque from North Cyprus
Property Negotiations - Presidents Talat and Christofias
Submissions to the European Court of Justice
The Orams make a press release from their villa in Lapta
Technical Queries forwarded to the European Court of Justice
UK Court of Appeal - Lord Phillips
Full Report of the Ruling by Mr Justice Jack
Cherie Blair represents the Orams in London

Share our Fantasy

8 May 2010- Cyprus - Will the Island ever be Reunited ?

The island of Cyprus has been partitioned since 1974 when Turkey invaded and secured North Cyprus for the Turkish Cypriot community. There had been a long history of inter communal conflict, and the Greek Cypriot majority wished to achieve union with Greece. This prompted military action by Turkey.

In April 2004, both communities voted on the UN sponsored Annan Plan for the reunification of the island. The Turkish Cypriot vote was 65% in favour, but the plan was rejected by the Greek Cypriots with only a 24% vote in favour.

Despite this setback, in May 2004, the island of Cyprus was admitted to the European Union, although the recognised government was that of the Greek Cypriots in South Cyprus and there was no representation of the Turkish Cypriot community living in the North.

Turkey recognised the de facto Turkish Republic of Cyprus in 1983, as an administration in North Cyprus, although the TRNC has yet to be recognised by any other major country.

President Christofias

Leaders of the two communities have held regular talks since the 1980s, but the talks which commenced in September 2008 between Presidents Talat and Christofias are generally considered to have had the best prospects for a successful outcome. The two side met regularly, but, despite the smiles, very little progress was announced. The negotiations were ended in April 2010 when President Talat of the TRNC failed to be re-elected and was replaced by Dervis Eroglu.

The incoming TRNC president benefited from the disenchantment of the TRNC electorate towards the concessions which President Talat was believed to be making in an attempt to agree a reunification package. As his term of office moved towards its end, it is thought that his concessions became more significant. However, despite his accommodating approach, no agreement was reached. Moreover, no official communiqué was ever released which charted the progress of negotiations.


Ex- President Talat

President Talat was committed to seeking a settlement with the Greek Cypriots. His negotiating style was allegedly warm and amiable. However, his accommodating approach was perhaps misinterpreted by the other side as a sign of weakness.

Since the departure of Mehmet Talat from the scene, the Greek Cypriots have began to publicly criticise the stance of President Eroglu concerning the ‘Cyprus Problem' and in particular, his desire for the recognition of rights for the two separate communities.

Therefore, the window of opportunity for a reunification agreement appears to have closed, and both sides will inevitably resort to the acrimonious recriminations of previous years.


The way forward for the Turkish Cypriots is a difficult question. The Greek Cypriots rejected the independent Annan Plan, despite the fact that the plan offered them administration of land within the TRNC, notably the Karpaz region and the area around Guzelyurt. The Annan Plan also recommended the establishment of a body to deal with land rights relating the dispossessed persons.

Based on the assumption that President Talat offered further concessions, it is unclear as to what would satisfy the Greek Cypriot side, other than being the majority community and the rulers of a reunited island.

As the strategy of offering increasing concessions to the Greek Cypriots has failed, it would be useful for Turkey and the TRNC to consider alternative approaches. These could include –

Varosha or Maras Ghost Town

Firstly, the tourist quarter of Famagusta, referred to as Varosha by the Greek and Marash by the Turkish communities, has been mothballed by the Turkish army since 1974. This was prime real estate in 1974 and contains a number of high rise hotels, which have abandoned and show serious signs of decay. There is allegedly, a car dealership which contains a number of 1974 model cars, due to the fact that the owner had no time to move them as the Turkish army advanced.

The TRNC position is that Varosha/Marash will be reopened when a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus Problem has been agreed. As time goes on, this position will become untenable weaken and the state of property in the ‘ghost town' will continue to deteriorate if not crumble. An alternative policy would be to threaten the Greek Cypriots with the re-opening of Varosha and the sale or lease of plots of land to international investors or tourist operators.

Due to the pariah status of North Cyprus in most of the EU, it is unlikely that British or German companies would step forward. However, there are investors in Israel and the Gulf States who would welcome an opportunity to move into the ‘ghost town' and return it to its former glory as a beachfront playground enriched with nightlife, gambling and the usual accompaniments.


Turkish Army Tanks

Secondly, the Turkish army in North Cyprus , together with the Turkish Cypriot Security Force, numbers between 30,000 to 50,000 men, although estimates of manpower differ widely. These troops have very little to do and it was proposed that their numbers should be drastically reduced in the Annan Plan. The Greek Cypriots refer to them as an army of occupation, while the Turkish Cypriots view them as providing security.

The Turkish Army is a formidable fighting force. Turkey is a member of NATO and the US have made strenuous efforts to persuade Turkey to play an active role in the subjugation of Iraqi insurgents. The massing of Turkish troops at the border between North and South Cyprus would perhaps assist the Greek Cypriots to review their policy on reunification. There are several areas along the border where the boundary could be considered gray, and the TRNC could make a credible claim for additional territory.

Admittedly, this would be viewed as provocative, and it is a risky policy which is not for the faint hearted. However, it would bring into play the considerable resources of the Turkish army and perhaps engender an element of fear among those Greek Cypriots who live in border areas.


UK vs Iceland - Cod Wars

Thirdly, the seas around Cyprus may have oil reserves. In May 2009, the Greek Cypriot government announced that it would grant contracts for oil exploration. Since 2003, the Greek Cypriot administration has unilaterally delineated the sea boundaries between the island and its neighbours. This has continued despite repeated protests from Turkey. This dispute could now benefit by escalation from Turkey who have the means of enforcing a no shipping zone along the coastline of North Cyprus and then a naval blockade of South Cyprus as the dispute intensifies.

This would be reminiscent of the Cod Wars between the UK and Iceland during the 1970s. Ships engaged in oil exploration could be harassed and perhaps boarded by the Turkish Navy. Offending vessels could be towed back to Turkey and impounded


These possibilities provide a useful contrast to the policy of repeatedly granting concessions to the Greek Cypriots. The concessions by President Talat's team were allegedly so significant that the negotiating parties were sworn to secrecy lest their deliberations were leaked into the public domain.

Under the new President of the TRNC, it is clear that the framework for a negotiated settlement has changed and equally clear that both Greek and Turkish Cypriots have lost their best opportunity for a united Cyprus in living memory.

Copyright © Leslie Hardy – Kyrenia, Cyprus - 8 May 2010


Top Home