Cyprus. Greek Cypriots leader Glafkos Klerides and Turkish Cypriots Rauf Denktash negotiated on a number of occasions during the summer and autumn through a mediator on the future of the shared island. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan reported on November 9 that the parties had left the procedural issues behind and discussed crucial issues.
A rapprochement between the island’s two groups of Turkish Cypriots, who control northern Cyprus, and the Greek Cypriots, who control the southern part of the island, could be seen in April in connection with an appeal for bone marrow for two sick children, a Greek Cypriot and a Turkish Cypriot. The response from both Greek and Turkish Cypriots was overwhelming when it came to both children.
Denktash won the presidential election in the Turkish-controlled zone of Northern Cyprus on April 15, thus beginning his fourth five-year term as the area’s leader. Denktash got 43.7% of the vote in the first round, while the challenger, Prime Minister Derviş Eroğlu, got 30.1%. A second round of elections was planned, but Eroğlu withdrew his candidacy, after which Denktash was declared to have won the election.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER: Offers three letter and two letter abbreviations for the country of Cyprus. Also covers country profile such as geography, society and economy.
Negotiations on membership in the EU continued during the year. In November, the EU pointed to important structural reforms that had been implemented, including: VAT has been increased from 8 to 10% and the health care system is being reformed. But the EU also pointed to changes that remain, in particular reduced government intervention in the economy and improved border control.
Social meeting points must close
Pandemic restrictions are tightened. Bars, restaurants and shopping malls may close the gates as well as churches and leisure centers. The new measures will apply from 11 to 31 December.
Turkish President Erdoğan on a visit to the north
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is visiting northern Cyprus to celebrate the anniversary of the proclamation of the Turkish Cypriot Republic there in 1983. In a statement, Erdoğan insists that the Cyprus issue be resolved through the establishment of two equal states. He is also teasing the EU and the people of southern Cyprus by visiting the coastal town of Varosha, which has been evacuated and closed since the partition of the island in 1974 but which the Turkish Cypriots opened just before the presidential election in northern Cyprus in October. The fate of Varosha is a key issue in the attempts to reach a peace agreement between North and South. Erdoğan now says the Turkish Cypriots are the “rightful owners” of the city and offer compensation to the residents who were forced to leave property in the city when they fled to the south during the division.
Curfew in the fight against the pandemic
Authorities face curfews in the capital Nicosia and other cities between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. For bars, cafes and restaurants throughout the country, they must close no later than half past ten. The number of infections in Cyprus has so far been relatively low after a shutdown of society in the spring. From May, the authorities released the restrictions, but now they are tightening again as the spread of infection increased sharply in October. One week later, the tourist resorts of Limassol and Paphos will be closed down. At the end of the month, the curfew will be extended and extended to cover the entire country.
Meetings between the leaders from both sides
The President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades meets his opponent Ersin Tatar, who in October was elected President of the Turkish Cypriots in Northern Cyprus. Ersin, who advocates a two-state solution, then defeated incumbent President Mustafa Akıncı, who was open to reunification with southern Cyprus. The meeting between Anastasiades and Tatar was held at the UN envoy on the island and both Anastasiades and Tatar declared themselves positive about the UN’s attempt to hold an informal meeting about the island’s future. However, no concrete commitments were made. The dialogue on a peace agreement that previously took place between the parties under the auspices of the UN broke down in 2017.
According to COUNTRYAAH, the population of Cyprus in 2000 was 943,179, ranking number 155 in the world. The population growth rate was 1.980% yearly, and the population density was 102.0877 people per km2.