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The impact of the Cyprus conflict on Turkey's EU accession process

Mari Avetisyan

vol. X(1)

Pages 48-61

Abstract: This study aims to analyze the impact of the Cyprus conflict on Turkey-EU relations while considering several factors: 1) the EU conditionality approach, 2) Turkish-Greek relations, 3) component problems of the Cyprus conflict 4) the recent developments in the Eastern Mediterranean and their impact on Turkey-EU relations. The main focus is on the documents and decisions of different bodies of the EU and how they link the Cyprus conflict to Turkey’s accession process and how Turkey reacts to them. For this purpose, a content analysis of documents, decisions, and protocols issued by the European Council and Commission and Progress Reports on Turkey is conducted. The conclusions drawn from the research are the following: 1) the Cyprus conflict and Turkey’s tense relations with Greece have negatively impacted and continue to impact Turkey-EU relations, 2) Turkey, to some extent, conformed to EU conditionality when it did not refer to the Cyprus conflict, 3) the problems of rights to ports/airports of Cyprus and the issues of property and IDPs shape the strained relations between Turkey and the EU, and finally 4) the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean concerning rights to hydrocarbons currently and in the near future will determine the geopolitical dynamics in the region.

Keywords: Turkey-EU relations, Cyprus conflict, Greece, conditionality, “TRNC”, accession.

Mari Avetisyan
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