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…

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

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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Nicosia Uncut – Episode 33: TCs hit by currency, RoC’s illusions on EU sanctions collapsed (20/12/2021)

The Turkish Cypriot economy is badly hit following the meltdown of the Turkish lira. Being an import oriented economy based on services, economy in the north was already fragile due to the pandemic. The depreciation of the Turkish lira affected northern part of the island even more than Turkey since the slider at the volume of trade is almost maxed on the import side, whereas the Turkish Cypriot exports are almost non-existent. In this episode of Nicosia Uncut, Andromachi Sophocleous and Kemal Baykallı also talk about the EU's Green Line Regulation which regulates the crossing of people, goods and…

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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 31: Rivalries in UBP & DISY; Erdoğan’s deteriorating popularity (3/11/2021)

In this episode of Nicosia Uncut, Andromachi Sophocleous and Kemal Baykallı explore the reconciliation initiatives in Cyprus - Home for Cooperation, Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage in Cyprus, Cyprus Dialogue Forum, Famagusta Avenue Garage and The Base by Cyprusinno are few to name. In the local politics, Turkish Cypriot right wing UBP party had a leadership race, electing Dr.Faiz Sucuoğlu as the new leader of the party and the new PM until the early elections which is expected to take place in early 2022. 2023 presidential elections of RoC enhanced the rivalries within the Greek Cypriot right wing DISY party, some independents have already announced that they are running. Last but not least, the West is cautiously waiting for the 2023 elections in Turkey, and it seems that Erdoğan is finally losing steam according to the latest polls.

Continue ReadingNicosia Uncut – Episode 31: Rivalries in UBP & DISY; Erdoğan’s deteriorating popularity (3/11/2021)

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…

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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.

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Figure It – Episode 6: Halloumi/Hellim and the Green Line Regulation (20/5/2021)

In this sixth episode of Figure It, Sapienta Economics Director Fiona Mullen discusses the famous squeaky cheese of Cyprus, known as hellim in Turkish and halloumi in Greek, with the former president of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce and current MP with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), Fikri Toros. In April of this year the European Commission “registered Χαλλούμι/Halloumi/Hellim as a protected designation of origin (PDO)”. This means that only hellim/halloumi produced in Cyprus “according to the product specification” may now use the registered name. We also discuss the obstacles put in the way of the Green Line regulation (European Council Regulation 866/2004) and how these longstanding issues prevent intra-island trade form reaching its full potential.

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Nicosia Uncut – Episode 21: Special guest – Dr.Sertaç Sonan on their survey on political culture in northern Cyprus (6/4/2021)

Today's episode is special as Nicosia Uncut produers Andromachi Sophocleous and Kemal Baykallı are hosting Dr. Sertaç Sonan, one of the academics behind a survey titled: “Politics and Society in North Cyprus” and published by Friedrich Ebert Foundation. The report focused on the differences and similarities between native Turkish Cypriots and Turkish immigrants who came to the island after 1974, on issues such as identity perception, attitudes towards religion, democratic values, relations with Turkey and the Cyprus problem. Particularly the findings on tendencies towards a federal solution, unitary state and annexation sparked a wide range of reactions in both…

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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.

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