No compromise

Once again, Turkey’s military leadership has stated that it is not prepared to change its «dogma» which allows it to use northern Cyprus as a means of avoiding Turkish isolation in the Anatolia region. This was made clear earlier this week by Turkey’s armed forces chief, who stressed the reasons why Ankara cannot accept the Annan plan. Alongside this is Turkey’s refusal to participate in another Greek-Turkish summit focusing on a guarantors’ pact for Cyprus. But it seems that even now, Turkey’s military leaders do not want to see the essence of the Cyprus problem any differently than they have done in the past. Even though there is genuine international pressure for determining a solution (however patchy it may be), even though Turkey’s behavior is partly connected to its bid to eventually join the European Union, even though Athens has an intense desire to achieve «closure» on the Cyprus issue, Ankara is not prepared to compromise. It evidently still regards as extremely valuable the gains it made from its invasion of the island in 1974 and from its unilateral declaration of an independent Turkish state in its north. That is not to say that the politics of the current situation are easy for Turkey. But its military leadership is showing that it prefers to take a few risks before it is obliged to change its stance in the next phase of developments. This does not herald a political triumph for Turkey, but it certainly makes the job of the Greek government harder…

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