EMF Conference – The Strategic Role of Cyprus: Some Salient Lessons of History

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Dr. Klearchos Kyriakides – Director ERPIC Rule of Law & Democracy Program
EMF Conference 5-7 December 2016
Larnaca, Cyprus

The strategic role of Cyprus historically has been to serve the interests of two major powers: Turkey and the United Kingdom. As far as Turkey is concerned, the Island of Cyprus is an extension of the Anatolian Peninsula.

Turkish perception and strategy towards Cyprus over decades have been consistent. It is reflected in the proposed solution of the Cyprus problem, which, if implemented, will guarantee physical separation and segregation of Cypriots into two ethnically and religiously defined communities – a variation of the Ottoman millet system. Such a solution will allow placing a post-settlement Cyprus under the control of Turkey. For the British on the other hand, the Island of Cyprus has formed part of the UK’s efforts to contain or confront Russia.

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