On Monday the United Nations was able to have the Greek Cypriot leader and Turkish Cypriot leader meet in Switzerland to begin a settlement agreement over the disputed Mediterranean island of Cyprus.
Cyprus is 78% Greek Orthodox Christian and 18% Turkish Muslim. There are also a few minority groups such as Maronites, Latins, and Gypsies. However the main reason there is still conflict in Cyprus is because the southern 2/3 portion of Cyprus is run by an internationally recognized government called the Republic of Cyprus. The remaining 1/3 of Cyprus is governed by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is only recognized by Turkey.
This divide in Cyprus was created after WWI and the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Once the British had control of what was once the Ottoman Empire, Greeks and Turks living in Cyprus at the time were not in favor of being controlled by the British. The Greeks wanted to live under Turkish rule as a sovereign Greek nation-state, and the Turks wanted to partition the island one side Greece one side Turkey.
In the late 1950s, a guerrilla group rebelled against Britain and in the end Cyprus became an independent state with a Greek as President and a Turk as Vice President.
Since then Greece and Turkey’s governments have been feuding over Cyprus with both wanting either full control or partitioning the island into two different nation-states.
There have been several peace talks before between the two nations, however many believe that this could be one of the more effective of them. The reason for this is because both the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders are fairly new in office. Furthermore, Greece has more urgent matters on their agenda such as dealing with a lingering economic crisis and the Syrian refugee crisis. Turkey’s President Mr. Erdogan does not seem invested at all in Cyprus. This means that there is hope for a more neutral and peaceful talks between Greece and Turkey. Hopefully there can be a permanent solution for Cyprus this time around.
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