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 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)

Read more about the article Nicosia Uncut – Episode 38: Turkey firms its grip on Turkish Cypriot politics (3/5/2022)
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…

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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 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)

Buffering – Episode 11: Silently going crazy (23/2/2021)

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.

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Buffering – Episode 10: This is it. We solved it. (12/2/2021)

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.

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Nicosia Uncut – Episode 18: Could constructive ambiguity save or ruin the day? (9/2/2021)

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…

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