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 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.

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

Decode Cyprus – Episode 3: Drawing parallels between Ukraine and Cyprus (8/3/2022)

Two journalists from Cyprus, decode Cyprus! In this third episode, Esra Aygın & Lefteris Adilinis discuss the Cypriot reactions to the war in Ukraine, draw parallels between both countries and investigate the Russian involvement in the Cypriot politics. What are the similarities and differences between the two examples? Can we really talk about a principles approach of Russia when it comes to the Cyprus problem? What was the reaction of the Russian Ambassador to a possible NATO protection for a solution in Cyprus? Cypriots must draw their own conclusions.

Continue ReadingDecode Cyprus – Episode 3: Drawing parallels between Ukraine and Cyprus (8/3/2022)

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

Read more about the article Nicosia Uncut – Episode 35: RoC’s U-turn from sanctions to CBMs (17/2/2022)
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…

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

Nicosia Uncut – Episode 32: Cyprus problem: What do the leaked UN minutes tell us? (3/12/2021)

In this special episode of Nicosia Uncut, Andromachi Sophocleous and Kemal Baykallı discuss and analyse the content, context and the implications of the leaked UN minutes with the delegations on the last day (6 July 2017) of the Cyprus conference in Crans Montana which ended without any agreement. Also known as "Crash Montana", the failure effectively ended the efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus problem, leading to a blame game between the sides since then. The leaked UN minutes, as collected on this episode page - www.islandtalks.fm , demonstrated how the chapter on security and guarantees was the main source of disagreement in an environment heavily fortified with mistrust. The leaked documents also shed some light on the role of the UN and the EU in the latest talks.

Continue ReadingNicosia Uncut – Episode 32: Cyprus problem: What do the leaked UN minutes tell us? (3/12/2021)

Nicosia Uncut – Episode 30: More elections, more tensions (14/10/2021)

Summer is over and all sides are now focused on upcoming elections on both parts of the divide in Cyprus and in Turkey. Turkish Cypriot minority coalition finally collapsed the day after this episode was recorded. Both Turkey and the Republic of Cyprus have presidential elections in 2023 and the tension around the waters of Cyprus is likely to rise again. Turkey put its diplomatic skills at test on multiple fronts but the prospects for Turkish-American and Turkish-Russian relations do not look very promising. In the meantime, both communities are feeling the economic effects of the pandemic, Turkish Cypriots…

Continue ReadingNicosia Uncut – Episode 30: More elections, more tensions (14/10/2021)

Nicosia Uncut – Episode 29: Back to the 1960 constitutional order? Really? (2/9/2021)

Anastasiades invited the Turkish Cypriots back to the 1960 constitutional order as a response to Tatar's statements in a never-ending tit-for-tat blame game. This caught everybody by surprise, including his own cabinet members. In this episode of Nicosia Uncut, Andromachi Sophocleous and Kemal Baykallı discuss the latest in Cyprus politics with a particular focus on the upcoming elections on both sides of the divide.

Continue ReadingNicosia Uncut – Episode 29: Back to the 1960 constitutional order? Really? (2/9/2021)

Nicosia Uncut – Episode 20: EU Council conclusions, US-TR relations, carrots & sticks (27/3/2021)

Podcasting from both sides of the divide in Nicosia-Cyprus, Andromachi Sophocleous & Kemal Baykallı are producing the popular politics podcast - Nicosia Uncut. In this episode, they discuss the conclusions of the latest EU Council meeting and provide a background in the global and regional politics. While the new US Administration is trying to restore the American foreign policy around containing Russia, Turkish-American relations are likely to face various tests including the one in the East Med. Europeans are still lacking a coherent and unified foreign policy, a gap that might be filled by post-Trump USA. Cyprus, however, is still a chip in the bigger game. As the date for the informal 5+1 summit on Cyprus is fast approaching, Nicosia Uncut producers discuss various scenarios for the meeting that will take place between 27-29 April in Geneva.

Continue ReadingNicosia Uncut – Episode 20: EU Council conclusions, US-TR relations, carrots & sticks (27/3/2021)