Want to find out about Greece Turkey CBM? Read on to find out how Europe is still haunted by the Greece Turkey conflict and the impact of Greece Turkey CBM on regional peace...
In recent years Greece has witnessed a paradigm shift in its policies towards Turkey. What were once known as conditional sanctions have now been redrafted in much politer language and are known as conditional rewards. The long-standing conflict between Athens, Nicosia and Ankara has taken its toll on the European continent.
The conditional rewards are based on certain conditions which would lead to the elimination of Greece objecting to Turkey entering into the European Union. The main condition is that Turkey would have to meet the European Union’s Copenhagen criteria and also work out a successful settlement of the withdrawal of its troops and forces from Northern Cyprus as well as settling this long-standing Aegean dispute. As a result of accepting these conditions, Greece would withdraw its objection thereby giving permission to Turkey to join a coveted position in the European Union.
However Cyprus is already part of the European Union as of 2004. This was made possible after Greece pushed for its membership by cajoling European Union leaders into accepting the entry of Cyprus into the union without a peace settlement in the island that has been battered by war for decades. Unfortunately, this bipartisan attitude has not gone down well with most of the European Union members and of course Turkey.
Five Years Down the Road of Greece Turkey CBM Efforts
Unfortunately skepticism against Turkey still has a negative impact on all the European countries who are part of the European Union specially Austria, Germany and France. It has so far led to a rejection of Turkey’s entry into the European Union.
This is because most of them fear that if Turkey is allowed to join the European Union without fulfilling the prior conditions then it will become more hard-lined in its attitude towards maintaining its hold on Cyprus. Apart from this it will not work towards resolving the Aegean conflict in line with the requirements of Greece.
The greatest danger will be the establishment of Turkish forces on a permanent basis in northern Cyprus. If Turkey actually gets membership in the European Union then Greece fears that the occupied territories will become permanent properties of Turkish forces. This is the main reason why Greece Turkey CBM has been initiated. Cyprus requires a quick settlement which will allow the island to reunite.
The island is currently divided into Greek Cypriots in the South and Turkish Cypriots in the North. Greek Cypriots who have been marginalized by Turkey would appreciate a return of their properties and all the occupied territories or to be compensated for their loss.
Similarly, after the Turkish troops withdraw from the north of the island then Turkish Cypriots should also be allowed to move back to their homes in the southern region of the island.
With Turkish violations by military aircraft and the continuous fear throughout the region, there’s a great deal of tension. With Greece Turkey confidence building measures there could be peace on the island, which would result in an economic boom for both countries, both of which are highly dependent on tourism.