“Unpacking the Conflict in the Eastern Mediterranean”, Nathalie Tocci (IAI, Italy)

Since conflict has entrenched in Cyprus, the EU has turned its back on Turkey, while Ankara began inexorably sliding towards authoritarianism. There are dissonant views as to how these developments are connected. Should we be finger-pointing Turkey, and in particular President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s deepening authoritarian bent over the last decade or more? Does the original sin lie instead in the EU’s betrayed promises to Turkey and Northern Cyprus, when the EU backtracked on its promise of direct trade with Northern Cyprus after 2004 and began getting cold feet over Turkey’s EU membership when the ink on the opening of accession talks was not yet dry? 

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