Low Hopes in Cyprus

Progress But No Promise of a Reunification Deal

Indeed, 54 years have passed since this green line first divided the Cypriot capital. In 1963, intercommunal violence broke out between the island’s Greek Cypriot majority and Turkish Cypriot minority, threatening the country’s stability and bringing UN peacekeepers to the island. Tensions continued, however, eventually culminating in a Greek-backed coup d’état in 1974 that sought to join Cyprus to Greece. In response, Turkey invaded and captured the north, leading to the de facto division of the island. Over four decades of uneasy peace followed, punctuated by efforts to bring about reunification.In recent years, however, relations between Greek and Turkish Cypriots have warmed. In the spring of 2015, peace talks resumed and a wave of optimism swept across Cyprus. Observers and residents alike hoped that after decades of failed neogitiations, the north and south might finally have a chance of reuniting. And during the talks on Saturday, a spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued an optimistic statement, saying, “A clear understanding emerged…that might lead to a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus.”