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EMU and İstanbul Sabahattin Zaim University Organizes “Talking the Cyprus Issue Together” Conference

EMU and İstanbul Sabahattin Zaim University Organizes “Talking the Cyprus Issue Together” Conference

Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) Business and Economics Faculty, Political Science and International Relations Department and Cyprus Policy Center (CPC) organized a conference titled “Talking the Cyprus Issue Together” in cooperation with İstanbul Sabahattin Zaim University Political Science and International Relations Department and Center for Local and Regional Policies. Turkish and Greek debaters also attended the online event which was held in four sessions. The current status and the future of the Cyprus issue, maritime disputes, international law, international security and energy were discussed during the conference.

Speaking during the third session of the conference, EMU Political Science and International Relations Department Head and CPC Chair Prof. Dr. Ahmet Sözen mentioned that when we look at the traditional structure of the Turkish Cypriot community, sociologically right-wing and center-right-wing parties have the support of the majority. Adding that the right parties support the two-state solution in Cyprus, the left parties generally support the bi-communal, bi-zonal federal solution, Prof. Dr. Sözen drew attention to the fact that the Annan Plan proved that among those who voted for the right-wing parties in the general elections, there were also those who supported the federal solution. Pointing to the results of the surveys they carried out with their Greek colleagues, Prof. Dr. Sözen stated that if there were a referendum tomorrow, more than 60% of Turkish Cypriots would go and vote for a bi-communal bi-zonal federation, and the key point here is what kind of security and power-sharing arrangement will be made.

Prof. Dr. Ahmet Sözen also delivered a speech during the final panel and pointed out that the main purpose of the conference is to discuss the Cyprus issue together, as well as to conduct the discussion platforms that have been held behind closed doors for the last 30 years, this time in front of everyone with internet access. Expressing the importance of everyone having access to all panels, Prof. Dr. Sözen mentioned that he believes they have achieved this goal, and that they brought the two negotiators together in an open environment, not behind closed doors, so that the negotiation positions of the two sides could be understood much better.