Cyprus reunification could revive Turkey’s EU bid

Renewed dialogue between both sides of the Cyprus split has raised hopes for unity

The divided island of Cyprus is often considered one of the major hurdles in Turkey’s path toward joining the European Union, but the newfound optimism that surrounds the latest round of reunification negotiations could potentially provide a much-needed boost for Turkey’s bid to join the bloc – if it ends in success.

As ties between Turkey and Greece – both major backers of the opposing sides on the divided island – have drastically improved, and with both those countries increasingly caught up in their own troubles, there is little appetite left on the part of Greek and Turkish Cypriots to engage in a game of brinksmanship to try to eke out a more favourable deal.

According to Mensur Akgun, a professor and chair of the international relations department at Istanbul Kultur University, there is no doubt that Turkey’s path to the EU will be made smoother with a deal on Cyprus but he is also keen to point out that this doesn’t necessarily mean guaranteed EU membership for Turkey.

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