Europe and the states which are not exactly states


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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