Nicosia Uncut – Episode 43: Sleepwalking towards destruction – civil society is resisting (17/11/2022)

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Turkish Cypriots marching against 'külliye' (campus with the new palace, assembly buildings and a mosque). The banners read: No külliye but hospital and no külliye but school.

In this episode of Nicosia Uncut, Andromachi Sophocleous and Kemal Baykallı criticize the political establishments on both sides of the divide and highlight the efforts of the civil society to resist partition. Political establishments on the both sides of the divide fail to address the division of the country while the forces of status quo are deepening the divide. Civil society and citizen initiatives are working tirelessly, albeit in limited capacity, to work to bring people together across the divide. The Turkish Cypriot leadership, now fully aligned with the Turkish government, is unpleasantly consistent in their rhetoric and actions…

Continue ReadingNicosia Uncut – Episode 43: Sleepwalking towards destruction – civil society is resisting (17/11/2022)

Nicosia Uncut – Episode 42: Presidential race with no politics (3/10/2022)

In this episode of Nicosia Uncut, Andromachi Sophocleous and Kemal Baykalli shed a critical light on the presidential race in Republic of Cyprus: seems like the political programs are not the main pillars of this elections. A rather superficial race on slogans, characters and personalities, the candidates, save for exceptions, do not offer tangible political programs to the voters. The US has lifted the arms embargo on Cyprus and this created further tensions in the area which is witnessing harsh exchanges between the politicians in Turkey and Greece. Turkey continues to exert pressure to design politics in the Turkish Cypriot political life and this creates further reactions among the opposition circles.

Continue ReadingNicosia Uncut – Episode 42: Presidential race with no politics (3/10/2022)

Nicosia Uncut – Episode 41: Battle over the records of failed talks (14/8/2022)

It is now crystal clear that solution of the Cyprus problem was actually within the reach during 2016 and 2017 summits, it took five years for the Greek Cypriot politics to question the Greek Cypriot leadership's share of responsibility in the failure. While the establishment is fighting the last ditch battle to save Anastasiades and his team from any responsibility by throwing leaked minutes one after another to support their line of interpretation, every new statement from the negotiation team members, every leaked document prove otherwise. In this episode of Nicosia Uncut, Andromachi Sophocleous and Kemal Baykallı question how the leading mainstream media organ is acting like a mouthpiece and a shield instead of carrying out their journalistic duties. While the battle over the records of failed talks is far from over, no presidential candidate seem to offer a realistic strategy on how to resume the talks to solve the Cyprus problem. On the other side of the divide Tatar is under fire, once more, for attending the ceremony of the fifth Islamic Games, taking place in Turkey, while the Turkish Cypriot athletes were not allowed to compete.

Continue ReadingNicosia Uncut – Episode 41: Battle over the records of failed talks (14/8/2022)

Nicosia Uncut – Episode 40: Presidential race gearing up; yet another UN representative under attack (26/7/2022)

After a summer brake, Nicosia Uncut is back with the latest political developments in Cyprus. Three leading presidential candidates participated in the first debate on PIK, Cyprus state channel, discussing their perspectives on the Cyprus problem. All three candidates, namely DISY leader Averof Neofytou, AKEL's candidate former negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis and former Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Christodoulides, have been the main figures in current President Anastasides' administration. On the other hand, the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres have sent out his 6-monthly report on UNFICYP and UN Good Offices in Cyprus to the UN Security Council. The content triggered attacks on Colin Stewart, UN chief in Cyprus, by pro-government media. Andromachi Sophocleous and Kemal Baykalli discuss the political developments on both sides of the divide on the island.

Continue ReadingNicosia Uncut – Episode 40: Presidential race gearing up; yet another UN representative under attack (26/7/2022)

Nicosia Uncut – Episode 39: RoC elections – three candidates of the establishment (16/5/2022)

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Artwork by George Gavriel

Legacy of Anastasiades seems to be dominating the political scene in Cyprus in the coming term as well. Early favorites of the Presidential race, DISY's Neophytou, currently independent Christodoules and AKEL's potential candidate Mavroyiannis have been the aces of Anastasiades' team during his rule. In this episode of Nicosia Uncut, Andromachi Sophocleous and Kemal Baykallı shed a critical light on the system that fails to generate strong alternative candidates backed by the leading political parties in Cyprus. The latest meltdown of institutions and the system in the Turkish Cypriot political was also discussed.

Continue ReadingNicosia Uncut – Episode 39: RoC elections – three candidates of the establishment (16/5/2022)

Nicosia Uncut – Episode 38: Turkey firms its grip on Turkish Cypriot politics (3/5/2022)

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UBP leader Dr. Faiz Sucuoğlu

In this episode of Nicosia Uncut Andromachi Sophocleous and Kemal Baykallı discuss how Turkey is firming its grip in the Turkish Cypriot politics as the right-wing coalition of UBP leader Dr Faiz Sucuoğlu collapses yet again due to his apparent fall-out with cabinet members supported by Turkey's AKP leadership. True, this is not the first time Turkey is interfering in the Turkish Cypriot politics but the extend in which Turkey's AKP leadership is involved in deciding the cabinet names is rather new. In the Greek Cypriot politics, opposition AKEL is still trying to decide on its candidate as the…

Continue ReadingNicosia Uncut – Episode 38: Turkey firms its grip on Turkish Cypriot politics (3/5/2022)

Nicosia Uncut – Episode 37: Discussing effectiveness of the UN in Cyprus with Dr.Alexandra Novosseloff (15/4/2022)

In this episode of Nicosia Uncut, Andromachi Sophocleous and Kemal Baykallı host Dr.Alexandra Novosseloff, the author of the EPON report titled "Assessing the Effectiveness of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force (UNFICYP) and the Office of the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Cyprus (OSASG)". What does the report entail? What kind of work does the UN do behind the scenes to prevent crisis to occur? What are the relations between the conflict-prevention and peacemaking in the Cypriot context? How does the "fear of recognition" affect the work of the UN?

Continue ReadingNicosia Uncut – Episode 37: Discussing effectiveness of the UN in Cyprus with Dr.Alexandra Novosseloff (15/4/2022)

Nicosia Uncut – Episode 36: War in Ukraine and the lessons for Cypriots (10/3/2022)

Difficult times for Ukraine and for the world peace in general! While Russia's attack on Ukraine continues to create a humanitarian tragedy in the heart of Europe, there are lessons for Cypriots who are living in frozen conflict on the island. In this episode of Nicosia Uncut, Andromachi Sophocleous and Kemal Baykallı discusses how the war in Ukraine must teach the Cypriots the need to end their own conflict since they have been living on a powder keg for many decades. Harsh statements by the Russian Ambassador in Nicosia, upon the decision of the Republic of Cyprus to close its airspace as this is also a common decision of the EU, created a resentment among various circles. Anastasiades government, however, is trying to go below the radar instead of taking a determined position against the Russian invasion.

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Nicosia Uncut – Episode 35: RoC’s U-turn from sanctions to CBMs (17/2/2022)

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Handover ceremony of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the newly-appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Ioannis Kasoulides, by the outgoing Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Nikos Christodoulides. (Photo by CNA)

Since the collapse of the talks in Crans Montana, Anastasiades government has dedicated all its foreign policy capital in isolating Turkey through various diplomatic tools. Apart from a number of regional agreements (which were highlighted with tantamount ceremonies), the Republic of Cyprus has used its EU membership to push, unsuccessfully, for European sanctions against Turkey. The Greek Cypriot mainstream media did not hesitate to portray such "glorious diplomatic victories" on their front pages, radio and TV stations were filled with strategic experts praising government's strategic steps in the international arena. It seems that all went down the drain after…

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Nicosia Uncut – Episode 34: Cyprus: The land of pipe dreams (14/1/2022)

Cyprus is the land of impossible fantasies. One side thinks that the international community is now ready to accept a "two-state solution" in Cyprus, the other tries to play a global chess-game with a non-feasible, unrealistic "East Med Pipeline Project", something which was doomed to fail from the beginning. In this episode of Nicosia Uncut, Andromachi Sophocleous and Kemal Baykalli discuss how the East Med Pipeline Project has falsely been promoted as a diplomatic success story for the internal consumption by the Greek Cypriot politicians. In the local scene, we have the elections mood in the air: The Turkish…

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