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 more, with the Turkish Lira continue to lose value against major currencies. At least, we have got our crossings back, Cypriots can now travel across the Green Line. Nicosia Uncut producers Andromachi Sophocleous and Kemal Baykallı, two Cypriots from both sides of the divide, shed a critical eye on the political developments in and around Cyprus.
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.
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.
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 communities. Click here for the full report.
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.
In this slightly extended and longer version of Nicosia Uncut, Andromachi Sophocleous and Kemal Baykallı explain how the internationals are now in the driving seat of the Cyprus solution process. Strategic power games in the Eastern Mediterranean as well as corruption scandals, mass protests, mismanagement and decreasing legitimacy of administrations on both sides of the divide are unfolding in parallel with the attempts to put the Cyprus solution process back on its track with the upcoming 5+1 conference that will take place in Geneva between 27-29 April 2021.
Cypriot journalists Esra Aygın and Yiorgos Kakouris, living and working in Lisbon and Brussels respectively, are bringing you dispatches from the alternate Cypriot universe. This week they are helping you to understand the latest street protests against the government and police brutality to the south of the division line and how power struggles within the leading right-wing Turkish Cypriot political party are affecting the domestic politics, leading to changes in the cabinet in the north.
Buffering hosts are coming up with some creative ideas on how to solve the Cyprus problem. One idea has something to do with the famous Buffer Zone of Cyprus - no wonder the podcast is called "buffering" Buffering podcast is brought to you by Yiorgos Kakouris and Esra Aygın, two Cypriot journalists who live and work in Brussels and Lisbon respectively.
Andromachi Sophocleous and Kemal Baykallı discuss Cyprus problem ahead of the informal 5+1 conference: expected strategy, basic assumptions, diplomatic leaks, involvement of the internationals, and how corruption is affecting the course of the peace process in Cyprus. Before 2004, the Cyprus solution process was mainly driven by the international community. Following the rejection of the Annan Plan, so-called "Cypriot-led process" was the name the game. Failure in Crans Montana effectively ended this period. Now, the international community and non-Cypriot actors are once more the main actors in the solution process. In order to converge positions, "constructive ambiguity" is employed as a tool. Will this save the day or are we about to find ourselves before yet another train crash? What was the EU's failure last summer, particularly during Borrell's visit? How did we react to that in our 4th episode which was aired on 3/7/2020? (Here is the link to our fourth episode: https://islandtalks.fm/podcast/nicosia-uncut-episode-4-questions-to-eu-ambassadors-on-borrells-visit-news-for-you-no-the-crossings-are-not-open-critical-thinking-is-not-for-our-students-3-7-2020/ )
Cypriot journalists Yiorgos Kakouris and Esra Aygın are bringing you dispatches from the alternate Cypriot universe. Trumpization of Cypriot politicians and public figures, Freudian comparison of temples' sizes, attack on journalists and media, arbitrary destruction of historical Nicosia house, never-ending Cyprus talks, and good old corruption in the island of Aphrodite.