chapter  7
13 Pages

The Cyprus stalemate

Opportunities for peace and lessons from Turkish-Bulgarian ethnic relations
WithNeophytos Loizides, Muzaffer Kutlay

This chapter provides an alternative to the mainstream narratives of the Cyprus problem, departing from conventional accounts of its intractability to emphasize the potential for conflict resolution. It utilizes a new term, 'proto-consociationalism’', to define the early stages of cooperation and consensus in the Cyprus peace process. The chapter argues that in its management of the Turkish minority Bulgaria is an appropriate comparative fit and has the potential to provide inspiration in Cyprus and across the region. It presents a set of important lessons from post–Zhivkov Bulgaria to support the positive realignment of Turkish foreign policy in a reunited Cyprus and identify the most effective neighborhood policies leading in this direction. The chapter also provides insights into peace-making in the island by identifying a set of conflict resolution breakthroughs, including the Nicosia sewage system, Cultural Heritage Committee and the Committee of Missing Persons, and proposes a series of steps to get past the current stalemate and reincentivize the peace talks.