Earlier this summer, Cyprus again attracted the attention of Europe by restarting talks on the ‘Cyprus Problem’, following the election of the new and pro-solution Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci. But, while the Cyprus problem is one of the most talked about conflicts in the EU, Turkish Cypriots themselves remain a story untold. The community in the northern part of Cyprus puts the spotlight on one of the most peculiar stories in Europe today: states, which are not exactly states.
Europe contains many states whose declared independence is not internationally recognised, including Kosovo, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Nagorno-Karabakh and Transnistria. Further afield, Palestine, Western Sahara, Somaliland and Taiwan are also not fully recognised. The Ukraine crisis also saw the self-declaration of states in Luhansk and Donetsk. Yet, the self-declared Turkish Republic of northern Cyprus (TRNC) is the unrecognised state that has come closest to the EU – in fact, northern Cyprus is, on paper, EU territory.
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