Right now, the members of the Greek Cypriot negotiating team for Cyprob are scratching their heads, trying to figure out what happened as Mustafa Akinci, the Turkish Cypriot leader, has backtracked from positions agreed with Nicos Anastasiades last July. They know – and they say it – that Akinci is not a naive man. On the contrary, he is a seasoned politician who knows the problem inside out. At the moment there is no explanation as to why Akinci appears to have changed tack. You hear many different views depending on who you talk to. I have spoken to various people in government…Some are convinced that the Turkish Cypriot leader finally understood that Ankara has first say in many aspects of the problem. Others point out that he hasn’t got a party behind him to promote and support progressive policies on Cyprob. These are valid arguments, but I think Mustafa Akinci, by being at the helm of his community and having to deal with his own hardliners, realised that one needs to be extremely courageous to make headway and break taboos on Cyprob.
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