Hopes for reunification marred as leaders fail to reach deal over Cyprus

Despite hopes for landmark UN backed peace agreement between Greek and Cypriot authorities, which hoped to bring forward discussions on territorial adjustments, power sharing and property rights; leaders recently left Switzerland without a deal. A peace deal is supported by civil society groups on both sides of  the border. Many had hoped an agreement would usher in a new era of better relations between the two communities and pave the way for a reunited federal island. While leaders failed to reach a formal agreement, many believe that the commencement of talks is a step in the right direction. Since independence in the 1960s, Cyprus has often found itself in political deadlock and even inter-communal violence between a predominantly Turkish North and majority Greek South. Both Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot civil society groups have vowed to keep mobilising their communities in favour of a peace deal in spite of institutional mistrust. 

Peaceful Assembly

In the context of the proposed peace deal, protests took place related to territorial disputes between the two authorities. On 16th October, residents of Morphou protested against the return of the town to Greek-Cypriot authorities under any peace deal. In a platform called, 'We do not give an inch of ground', local residents demonstrated in support of keeping the town under the Turkish-Cypriot authorities, and stated that if handed over to Greek-Cypriot authorities, they would become refugees. The protest is illustrative of the complex divide between communities and obstacles of mistrust that any peace deal must overcome. The protest occurred peacefully and without incident. 

Tags: protest