Turkey and Russia could conclude a deal on Crimea in exchange for Moscow’s recognition of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) as an independent state. Hassan Unal, a professor at the Turkish University of Maltepe (Istanbul), said this in an interview with Lente.ru.
Unal suggested that Russia “lead the movement for the recognition of the republic” and explained that a united Cyprus could become a NATO member, which contradicts Russia’s interests. In his opinion, in exchange, Turkish airlines will be able to resume direct flights to Crimea, and the Turkish authorities will abandon the narrative that Crimea is part of Ukraine. Unal acknowledged that such a scenario may look unrealistic due to the existing rhetoric of both sides on the issues of Crimea and Cyprus. “But do not forget that politicians use rhetoric to then take a stronger position in the event of negotiations,” he said.
At the same time, the expert said that there is no need for Turkey to recognize Crimea as Russian territory. “Because he is already a part of Russia, and Russia will not necessarily ask Turkey to recognize this,” he explained. Unal added that Russia, too, does not need to immediately recognize the TRNC: it is enough not to interfere with other countries in its orbit and start direct trade with Northern Cyprus.
Crimea became part of Russia in March 2014 after a referendum. According to official data, the majority of the region’s residents who voted supported the annexation of Crimea to Russia. Turkey, like the Western countries, did not recognize the accession. While many politicians and other domestic figures are calling on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to recognize Crimea as Russian, Turkey’s official position continues to coincide with that of NATO allies. In addition, the Turkish authorities have repeatedly accused the Russian authorities of oppressing and oppressing the Crimean Tatars.
Cyprus was divided into North and South after the conflict between Turkish and Greek Cypriots in 1974. As a result of a military coup, the Greek army junta came to power on the island. However, Turkey took advantage of international law and invaded Cyprus, occupying the northern part of the island’s land. In 1975, the founding and independence of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was proclaimed.
The full text of the interview can be found here…