The Cyprus Conflict and European Security

  • Prof. Dr. Kıvanç Ulusoy
    Professor of Political Science at Istanbul University
Foreign Policy & International Relations

The Cyprus Conflict and European Security

The EU has been involved in the Cyprus problem and the power struggle in the Eastern Mediterranean since the Greek accession to the Union in 1981. The admission of Greece changed the Turkish-Greek balance in favor of Greece, ‘Europeanizing’ its bilateral problems with Turkey, including the Cyprus conflict. Greece has been able to present its national interest as the EU interest and national foreign policy as EU policy. The EU has accepted the priorities of a member state – Greece - as its own priorities. As a result of Greek membership, the EU followed an opaque strategy, preferring to remain silent on Turkey’s membership, while some member states opposed it. After the Cold War, in addition to the adversarial Greek position, the Cyprus conflict framed the parameters of Turkey-EU relations. Turkey (1987) and Cyprus (1990) almost simultaneously applied for membership. In response, Turkey’s strategy has been set by a number of factors. Turkey allowed the foundation of a quasi-independent Turkish enclave in the North of the island, which subsequently declared independence as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) in 1983. As the only country officially recognizing the TRNC, despite the stances of the UN and the EU, Turkey has refused to accept any direct relationship between the solution of the Cyprus conflict and its relations with the EU.

Turkey accepts the UN as the sole platform to discuss the Cyprus problem. The UN has been the central platform of peace talks between the parties since their inception from the 1960s onwards.[1] For Turkey, as Greece is a member state, the EU is not an appropriate platform of conflict resolution. Turkey refused to trade concessions in the Cyprus conflict for progress in accession negotiations. Before the Cyprus application to the EU, Turkey saw that a solution could be achieved through agreeing with a deal with Greece that also encompassed other issues in the Aegean. Turkey perceived not only the EU’s involvement in Cyprus, but also its disputes with Greece as a threat to its strategic interests in the Eastern Mediterranean. Even the membership of Greece and Turkey in NATO in response to Soviet aggression in the Eastern Mediterranean did not contribute much in the improvement of their relations for decades, as it involved a conflict with highly nationalist resonance and the governments acting under heavy public pressure.[2]

In May 2004, despite fierce opposition from Turkey and with the Turkish Cypriot side accepting the latest UN plan for a resolution, the so-called Annan Plan, with an overwhelming majority, the Republic of Cyprus became an EU member representing the whole island. For Turkey, this was unacceptable because of the nature of the conflict on the island involving countries including the UK, the third guaranteeing power of the Cyprus constitution of 1960. For Turkey. Cyprus’s accession to the EU also seriously undermined the strategic power relations in the Eastern Mediterranean established during the early stages of the Cold War with a delicate balance between Greece and Turkey under the NATO umbrella. The invariable strategic importance of Cyprus due to its geographical location, which was growing with the discovery of hydrocarbon reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean, seems to take precedence over political changes for all actors in the Cyprus conflict. The Annan Plan, considered as the most comprehensive Plan for a solution, indicated that the local balance of power in the Eastern Mediterranean was more critical than the ability of an external actor - the EU - to the maintenance of that balance. Contrary to the argument that the EU accession process of both Turkey and the Republic of Cyprus would be a catalyst for solution, the EU’s involvement with the conflict seems to have made it more complicated and pushed it to a new stasis.[3] This development is important to any attempt to assess the differences between Turkey and the EU regarding the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP).

The Cyprus conflict has become an increasingly urgent security issue for both NATO and the EU.[4] Negotiations have been going for decades for a comprehensive settlement that would allow the Turkish and Greek communities to live peacefully on the island. The EU involvement accelerated by the Annan Plan was expected to reshape community identities and elite interest within a wider European framework.[5] The result was the opposite. After the collapse of the Plan with the Greek Cypriots’ rejection, the moderate Turkish Cypriots endorsing the Plan and the Turkish government under the Justice and Development Party (AKP) defending it against the ‘security circles’ were greatly disappointed. As a result of the failure of this UN-led effort to comprehensively settle the conflict, Turkish public opinion both in Cyprus and Turkey lost confidence in the EU, which was not able to break the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriots, though it expected Turkey to start withdrawing its military from the island.[6]

The backlash caused by the collapse of the Annan Plan also had serious repercussions on European security, as Turkey’s position vis-à-vis the Cyprus conflict slid back to its traditional parameters defined by hard security terms. For some time, the EU authorities claimed that the Cyprus conflict prevented the formation of a new European security identity that would come into being through harmonization of the relations between NATO and the EU.[7] Turkey considered the Cyprus conflict to be a first-degree security issue. This became more so after the Annan Plan, when Turkey was almost excluded from a surprise security initiative in its own neighborhood. In 1997, when Cyprus announced its intention to purchase S-300 anti-aircraft missiles from Russia capable of attacking Turkish warplanes over Turkish mainland, Kramer claimed that ‘failure to reach a settlement could lead to disruption of the strategic pattern in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean region, with serious consequences for Europe’s future security’.[8]

The latest developments within the framework of European security from the late 1990s onwards and the new Eastern Mediterranean geopolitics pushed the Cyprus conflict beyond the traditional paradigm of a search for a solution that would allow the peaceful coexistence of the island’s two ethnic communities. In particular, exclusion from the EU’s strategic policies led Turkey to perceive the Cyprus issue as a matter of ‘hard security’. Considering the changes taking place in the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey’s presence in Cyprus stands out.[9] According to the Turkish government’s latest statements, the Cyprus issue at its present stage is a keystone issue for Turkey’s presence in the Eastern Mediterranean. The AKP government views its ability to hold a hegemonic position in the regional balance as crucial.[10] A series of developments, including the collapse of the Annan Plan, the discovery of hydrocarbons, the Arab Spring and the Syrian civil war, transformed Eastern Mediterranean geopolitics. This pushed Turkey to revise its strategy into growing penetration in the MENA region that some named a “neo-Ottoman” foreign policy.[11]

This has been obvious for some time, as the debates between Turkey and the EU within the framework of European defense policies show. Turkey started to follow an uncompromising line after the Annan Plan failed to bring a balanced solution to the Cyprus conflict. Ehrhardt claimed the EU had a hard time devising a role for Turkey in the CFSP.[12] Leaving aside complex political and economic dimensions of Turkey’s relations with the EU, this particular problem was actually a technical one: how the relations of non-EU NATO members with this structure would be.[13] In 1999, Iceland and Norway, along with Turkey, were European allies that became NATO members while opting not to become members of the EU. This largely technical problem gained an extraordinary political significance in the early 2000 with Turkey’s possible EU accession.[14] The long-term perspective of EU membership offered to Turkey by the EU made the negotiations in this respect extremely difficult.[15] In 2005, when the EU underlined the ‘open-ended’ nature of Turkey’s accession negotiations, the question of how to incorporate the country into the European security architecture became even more difficult given that the question touched on the cores of Turkey’s state power and regional geopolitical interests. These issues were further politicized by Cyprus’ accession to EU membership in 2004.

The use of NATO capacity for European security was already a complicated matter, involving the transfer of security burdens to European forces. Turkey’s main concern arose from its exclusion from the European-wide security structure as the new security relations could limit NATO’s role in regional security in the Eastern Mediterranean. Turkey expected the following: regular participation in the EU’s military institutions, meetings and advisory platforms; full and equal participation in the decision-making processes and practices of EU operations where NATO facilities were used; and an optional full and equal participation in EU operations that did not use NATO facilities.[16] While Turkey trusted its position within NATO, it did not trust Greece and Cyprus. Even after the realization of the Customs Union with the EU in 1995, the perceived unfair treatment of Turkey compared to East European candidates made Ankara’s elites more suspicious about the EU’s plan and they pursued an increasingly uncompromising stance regarding developments within the ESDP.[17] As in the WEU (a separate body from the EU), Turkey, sensitive to the issue of non-EU countries’ positions on the ESDP, demanded to sit at the table where European security is discussed and underlined the following three points: first, the ESDP was envisaged as a continuation of the WEU, where European security was set in the past; second, the advantageous position of non-EU NATO members could continue within the new structure; and third, the involvement of third actors in the ESDP should be formulated within the framework of principles adopted at the NATO Summit in Washington in 1999.[18]

The “Strategic Concept” published after the Washington Summit agreed on NATO-WEU co-operation within the EU-NATO co-operation framework. Underlining the EU’s decisions to strengthen its security and defense, the Concepted stated that ‘this process will have implications for the entire Alliance, and all European Allies should be involved in it, building on arrangements developed by NATO and the WEU. The development of a common foreign and security policy (CFSP) includes the progressive framing of a common defense policy.’[19]  In addition to the ‘Article V’ commitments,[20] the fact that the ‘Petersburg tasks’ - a range of non-traditional missions - were most likely to be performed on the European periphery, especially the Balkans, was of great significance for Turkey. [21] The incorporation of the WEU’s Petersburg tasks into the EU Treaty were the key steps taken in this context. Apart from Europe’s southern periphery, NATO’s Mediterranean dialogue involving Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Israel and Jordan showed an increasing focus on the Eastern Mediterranean. Both underlined NATO’s planning scenarios involving contingencies in Turkey’s neighborhood, involving Turkey itself. As Lesser notes, ‘fundamentally, the European movement toward a common foreign and security policy and a more independently European defense capability requires judgements about who is “in” and what is to be defended’. Beyond questions about potential threats to geographical Europe, these provisions are of supreme importance for Turkey’s place in the Euro-Atlantic system.[22]

As it concerns a key security issue conceptualized in a cohesive manner within the Strategic Concept, the US paid special attention to Turkey’s possible inclusion in the European security identity and the resolution of the Cyprus conflict through the latest UN settlement plan.[23] Turkey was concerned about the conflict gaining an open European dimension with Cyprus’ EU membership. When viewed in the context of European security, there was an inherent relationship between Turkey’s accession negotiations, the Cyprus conflict and the ESDP. Turkey wanted to have a say in the determination, planning and implementation of the operational strategy in any EU operation that would require the use of NATO military capabilities and would affect Turkey’s interests in a geographically close areas.[24] For this reason, between 1999 and 2002, Turkey blocked the ‘Berlin Plus’ Agreements between the EU and NATO - giving the EU assured access to NATO machinery in the event of NATO not deciding to mount an operation and the EU deciding to do so. Turkey, like other associate members, had a special place within the WEU structure.[25] She expected this status to be maintained in the ESDP too.[26]

Therefore, as a member of NATO, Turkey demanded a special place in the new European security architecture. At the EU’s Helsinki Summit in 1999, when the WEU was replaced by the ESDP, Turkey, expecting to be a member of the EU soon, aimed to use its veto in NATO to secure an arrangement governing its relationship with the ESDP. The EU, with its decisions at the Nice Summit in December 2000, outlined its intent to give Turkey a limited role in decision and implementation levels in the operations it might be part of. The EU suggested that Turkey could take a limited role in operations through deployment its military capabilities in operations in which EU capacities were used. However, Brussels was against granting Turkey a veto power in the military sphere as it was not an EU member state. Turkey’s participation in EU operations without the use of NATO facilities would depend on the approval of the EU Council.[27] In response, Turkey asked for the exclusion of Cyprus from the ESDP. In an assessment of Turkey’s suggested solution to this imbroglio, and reflecting the mood in Europe about Turkey’s membership prospect on the eve of the Eastern enlargement of the Union, Hannay states that ‘the idea that a country which was going to be in the European Union (Cyprus) should be excluded from ESDP, while a country that was not necessarily even going to be a member (Turkey) should be given a privileged position within ESDP, did not make a lot of political sense’.[28]

As a result, Turkey was excluded from the decision-making level due to NATO and the EU being unable to coordinate on the Cyprus problem. Due to Greek pressure, Turkey’s contribution was accepted only at the operational planning stage.[29] The US, Britain and Turkey met in Ankara on 21 April 2001 to discuss security concerns and adopted an agreement entitled the ‘Ankara Document’. The meeting took place in the context of US efforts to improve NATO-ESDP functionality at a time when Cyprus’ EU membership and Turkey’s candidacy were also being discussed. The result was a complicated formula that envisaged EU operations needing NATO’s approval to benefit from NATO’s capabilities. In return, the EU would defer to Turkey’s priorities if military operations took place in Turkey’s neighborhood. Also, the EU would not intervene in conflicts between EU member states and non-EU but NATO member states. In such a case, it was stressed that a likely European force would not be able to operate in the Eastern Mediterranean. In the context of relations between NATO and the ESDP, this partial solution to the problem revealed exceptional US pressure on Turkey to help solve the Cyprus problem.[30] However, Greece blocked the agreement’s ratification at the EU Summit in Laeken on 14 December 2001, thereby ensuring that the EU failed to take over the NATO mission in Macedonia under ‘Berlin Plus’ while Greece remained unconvinced about the compromise involving Turkey. [31]

As discussed above, Turkey perceived the issue of NATO-ESDP relationship as a leverage for progress in the EU accession negotiations. In that respect, the ‘Ankara Document’ was of critical significance in its timing.[32] Its final version was reintroduced by the UK to the EU negotiating table at a critical juncture, when the EU opened the way for Turkey’s accession talks at the Copenhagen Summit in December 2002, just three days before the NATO-EU strategic partnership was announced. This text stressed that the ESDP could not be used against a NATO member state and would not harm Turkey’s vital interests, thereby excluded Cyprus along with Malta from the ESDP.[33] In response to further guarantees securing its interests in the region, Ankara lifted the veto on the EU’s use of NATO’s capacity.[34] Therefore, ‘Berlin Plus’ was only made possible through making political concessions to Turkey, given that there was nothing to be gained by allowing the ESDP complications with other negotiations taking place both at the UN level for a Cyprus settlement and at the EU level to complete Cyprus’ accession.[35]

In the negotiations within the framework of the ‘Berlin Plus’ that took place on the eve of the Copenhagen Summit in 2002, Turkey, accusing the EU of not fulfilling its commitments, showed that it couldn’t make concessions on issues seen as critical security concerns.[36] In terms of cooperation between EU and NATO, ‘Berlin Plus’ paved the way for NATO to move out of the Balkans while also enabling the ESDP to complete operations in effect as of 2003. In late March 2003, the EU-led operation ‘Concordia’ took over the NATO-led ‘Allied Harmony’ mission in Macedonia. With Turkey’s veto, EU-NATO cooperation was limited to the ‘Berlin Plus’ operations. At NATO’s İstanbul Summit in June 2004, Turkey also agreed to contribute to the EU’s military and police missions in Bosnia (EUFOR/ALTHEA) and the Kosovo mission (EULEX).

The sensitive situation in NATO-ESDP relations stemming from the Cyprus conflict was exacerbated by the Republic’s accession to the EU. If there could be a settlement before EU accession, there would not be a problem as the Turkish Cypriots would have a say in the Republic’s foreign policy. Turkey was also concerned with Greek Cypriots’ militarily ambitions. Hannay states that ‘these concerns were complicated by the Greek Cypriots (and to some extent Greeks too) at every turn treating ESDP as if it involved a commitment to the territorial defense of its members (which it did not, most of them being members of NATO which already provided that guarantee, and with the Petersburg tasks having nothing to do with the defense of EU member states)’.[37] Hannay argued that the Greek Cypriots ignored the urging of EU members to make any declarations of practical and operational support for the ESDP solely based on the hypothesis of a demilitarized Cyprus, which in effect assumed a settlement and admission to the EU of a reunited island. In the post-2004 period, the EU failed to keep its promise of including Turkey in the advisory mechanism of the ESDP in exchange for lifting its veto in 2002.

As a result, Cyprus vetoed Turkey’s accession to the European Defense Agency. In 2007, negotiations on Turkey’s participation in the planning process of ESDP operations failed due to French and Greek opposition to giving institutional privileges to the non-EU countries. Turkey responded in kind to the EU’s negative attitude and blocked the flow of security intelligence information to non- NATO countries that had not signed security treaties with NATO or were not members of the Partnership for Peace program. Turkey demanded this in the ‘Ankara Document’ and excluded Cyprus from the security information sharing processes. Problems with respect to NATO-EU co-operation within the framework of ESDP civilian missions continued to the extent that the latter was not fully functioning. The EU demanded that Turkey align itself with the EU’s position regarding the Wassenaar Treaty on Arms Exports and the Principles of Conduct and Dual-use Materials. The EU claimed that because of Turkey’s position, it wasn’t possible for Cyprus to participate in operations against terrorism or to prevent weapons of mass destruction.[38]

The Cyprus conflict entered a new phase in the post-2004 period. After the Greek Cypriots rejected the Annan Plan in April 2004 and Cyprus became an EU member, Turkey’s foreign policy gradually reverted to its traditional reflexes. Regarding the paralysis in Turkey-EU relations, despite the start of the negotiations on accession in 2005 and the Cyprus conflict, there are a number of reasons for this impasse, such as the new directions that the AKP government in foreign policy and the geopolitical changes in the Eastern Mediterranean as a result of the Arab Spring.[39] In the post-2004 period, Turkish foreign policy was dominated by a ‘moral’ discourse, brought by an increased ‘activism’ and ‘zero problem policy with neighbors’ approach. This ‘moral’ turn showed its effect on the Cyprus conflict as a return to traditional ‘hard power’ policies. However, renewed conflict between Turkey and the Republic of Cyprus showed itself in the debates about functioning of the ESDP.[40] The Cyprus conflict had a special importance in revealing the limits of the governing Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) rhetoric of ‘change’ in foreign policy followed since 2002. The Cyprus issue has never been an ordinary foreign policy issue. It had a clear impact in terms of nationalizing domestic politics which in turn narrowed the scope for governmental maneuvering. The policy change, summarized as the AKP’s ‘one step ahead’ strategy in the post-2004 period remained entirely at a rhetorical level. The government was not able to transform the basic parameters of Turkey’s foreign policy, and the tension with the EU was part of a slide to ‘moral’ dispositions in Turkish politics and foreign policy.[41]

This trend in Turkish foreign policy, described as a ‘shift of axis’, came with broader geopolitical changes in the Eastern Mediterranean as a result of great social and political upheavals from the “Arab Spring”. This showed itself particularly in Turkey’s policies towards Israel and Cyprus. In addition, Turkey also criticized the Israeli blockade on Gaza as immoral and inhumane made it clear that Syria’s internal conflict violated democratic norms. Turkey therefore risked military, political and economic relations with these two countries in the post-Arab Spring period for the sake of a ‘moral’ foreign policy. Diplomatic relations with both Israel and Syria were almost broken. Turkey supported the armed opposition and international intervention against the Assad regime in Syria[42]  and reduced its relations with the Netanyahu government in Israel to the lowest level[43] after the Israeli attack on Gaza in Summer 2014, following which the scant chances of an improvement in relations disappeared completely.

All this had serious implications on Turkey’s approach to the Cyprus conflict. In correspondence with the moral turn in foreign policy, the AKP government sharply criticized the EU over the isolation imposed on Turkish Cypriots as against human rights. As Turkey vetoed the proposal several times, it was not possible for Cyprus to become a NATO member. Turkey did not implement the Additional Protocol to extend the Customs Union to new member states, including Cyprus, a condition that was set when the accession talks with the EU began in December 2004.[44] The Cyprus conflict, at the core of strategic equilibrium in the Eastern Mediterranean, turned to an indispensable issue for Turkey’s strategic role in the region.

The Cyprus conflict, especially given the discovery of the new energy resources near the island, offers Turkey the only means of intervention in the strategic game staged in the Eastern Mediterranean. Using the Cyprus conflict, the AKP government has taken an opportunity to reassert its importance as an actor at the European stage. To conclude, it is arguable that the strategic significance of Cyprus remained constant as it has been redefined with respect to changes in regional geopolitics demarcated by new parameters in the Eastern Mediterranean after the Arab Spring and the discovery of hydrocarbon reserves offshore Cyprus.


This study focuses on the implications of the post-Cold War international politics on the Cyprus conflict. It argues that Cyprus’ accession to the EU in 2004 with East European countries is an integral part of the broader strategic objectives of the EU enlargement. This explains the smooth accession of Cyprus and the EU’s abandonment of the policy that ‘EU membership will not take place without a solution on the island’, followed in the early stages of negotiations. Further involving with the Cyprus problem and transforming regional geopolitics, the EU emerges as an actor in the Eastern Mediterranean. Beyond search for a solution of the problem, the present EU involvement has a slightly different character and is a result of Cyprus’s membership with implications on the security and defense relations in the region. Therefore, through the Cyprus case, the paper explores the impact of emerging European security identity in the Eastern Mediterranean, hitherto shaped within the NATO framework.


[1] Süha Bölükbaşı, ‘The Cyprus Dispute and the United Nations: Peaceful Non-settlement between 1954-1996’, (1998), 30, International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, pp. 411-434.

[2] Ronald Krebs, ‘Perverse Institutionalism: NATO and the Greco-Turkish conflict’, (1999), 53/2, International Organization, pp. 343-377.

[3] Thomas Diez, ‘Last exit to paradise? The European Union, the Cyprus conflict and the problematic ‘cathaliytic effect’, Thomas Diez (ed), The European Union and the Cyprus Conflict: Modern conflict, postmodern Union, (Manchester, Manchester University Press, 2002), pp. 139-162; Nathalie Tocci, ‘Cyprus and the EU: Catalysing crisis or settlement?’, (2002), 3/2, Turkish Studies, pp. 105-138; Nathalie Tocci and Tamara Kovziridze, ‘Cyprus’, in Bruno Coppieters Europeanization and Conflict Resolution: Case studies from the European periphery, (Gent, Academia Press, 2004), pp. 63-106.

[4] Sinem Akgül Açıkmeşe and Dimitrios Triantaphyllou, ‘The NATO-EU-Turkey trilogy: the impact of the Cyprus conundurum’, (2012), 12/4, Southeast European and Black Sea Studies, pp. 555-573.

[5] Nathalie Tocci, ‘The Cyprus question: Reshaping community identities and elite interests within a wider European framework’, (Brussels, Centre for European Policy Studies, 2000).

[6] Author’s interview in Brussels and Ankara, May and June 2006.

[7] Neil Nugent, ‘EU Enlargement and Cyprus’, (2000), 38/1, Journal of Common Market Studies, pp. 131-150.

[8] Heinz Kramer, ‘The Cyprus Problem and European Security’, (1997), 39/3, Survival, p. 16.

[9] Author’s interview at the foreign ministry in Ankara .

[10] Author’s interview in Istanbul and Ankara with key foreign policy experts.

[11] Faruk Yalvaç, ‘Strategic depth or hegemonic depth? A critical analysis of Turkey’s position in the world system’, (2012), 26/2, International Relations, pp. 165-180; Stephanos Constantinides, ‘Turkey: The emergence of a new foreign policy and the neo-Ottoman imperial model’, (1996), 24/2, Journal of Political and Military Sociology, pp. 323-334; Joshua Walker, ‘Reclaiming Turkey’s imperial past’, Ronald Linden et al., Turkey and its neighbors: Foreign relations in transition, (London, Lynne Rienner, 2012), pp. 13-34.

[12] Hans-Georg Ehrhardt, ‘What model for CFSP’, (2002), 55, Chaillot Papers (Paris, Institute for Strategic Studies).

[13] “European Defence: A proposal for White Paper”, Report of an independent Task Force, (Paris, Institute for Strategic Studies, 2004).

[14] Author’s interview in Berlin and Brussels with a series of EU experts in June-July 2005.

[15] Steve Wood and Wolfgang Quaisser, ‘Turkey’s road to the EU: political dynamics, strategic context and implications for Europe’, (2005), 10-3, European Foreign Affairs Review, pp. 147-173; Andrea Gates, ‘Negotiating Turkey’s accession: The Limitations of the current EU strategy’, (2005), 10 (3), European Foreign Affairs Review, pp. 381-397; Mehmet Uğur, ‘Open-ended membership prospect and commitment credibility: Explaining the deadlock in EU-Turkey accession negotiations’, (2010), 48-4, Journal of Common Market Studies, pp. 967-991.

[16] Author’s interviews in Ankara, May 2005.

[17] Harun Arıkan, Turkey and the EU: An Awkward candidate for EU membership?, (Aldershot, Ashgate, 2003), pp. 203-207; Asa Lundgren, ‘The Case of Turkey: Are some candidates more European than others?’, in Helen Sjursen (ed), Questioning EU enlargement: Europe in search of identity, (London, Routledge, 2006), pp. 121-141.

[18] Bill Park, ‘Turkey, Europe and ESDI: Inclusion or Exclusion’, (2000), 16/3, Defense Analysis, pp. 315-328; Miguel Medina-Abellan, ‘Turkey, the European Security and Defense Policy and Accession Negotiations’, CES Working Papers, Ankara.

[19] North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), The Alliance Strategic Concept, 21 April 1999, Washington.

[20] Article V committments refers to ‘collective defense’ wherein ‘an armed attack against one  or more  of NATO members shall be considered an attack against them all’.

[21] In 1992, at Petersberg near Bonn, the WEU Council of Minsters agreed to strengthen the operational role of the WEU. This implied member states providing military units, under WEU authority, which could be employed for peace-keeping, humanitarian and rescue, and peacemaking operations (Petersberg tasks). At the NATO’s Brussels summit in January 1994, NATO endorsed the possibility of WEU relying on NATO assets for combined joint task force (CJTF). At the NATO’s ministerial meeting in Berlin in June 1996, it was decided to develo the European Security and Defense Identity within the Alliance. The political control of the Petersberg tasks was devolved to the EU in the Amsterdam treaty of 1997. See, Graham Avery, The Enlargement of the European Union, (Sheffield, Sheffield Academic Press, 1999), p. 173.

[22] Ian Lesser, ‘Turkey in a changing security environment’, (2000), 54/1, Journal of International Affairs, p. 197.

[23] James Wilkinson, ‘The Cyprus Problem: The Last Act’, in Morton Abramowitz (ed), The United States and Turkey: Allies in Need, (New York, The Century Foundation Press, 2003), pp. 173-205.

[24] Author’s interview in Ankara, May 2005

[25] For non European NATO members such as Turkey, Norway and Iceland, WEU offers associate membership. For the neutral or ex-neutral countries like Austria, Sweden, Finland and Ireland and DenmarkWEU offers observer status. All other EU member states are full members.

[26] Bill Park, ‘Turkey, Europe and ESDI: Inclusion or Exclusion’, (2000), 16/3, Defense Analysis, pp. 319-321.

[27] ‘Turkey Excluded from ESDP Decision Making in Nice’, Hurriyet Daily News, 12 Eylül 2000.

[28] David Hannay, Cyprus: The Search for a Solution, (London, I.B. Tauris, 2005), p. 118.

[29] Nathalie Tocci and Marc Heubeni, ‘Accommodating Turkey in ESDP’, (2001), 5, CEPS Policy Brief.

[30] Ilter Turkmen, ‘Dış Politikada Kritik Takvim’, Hürriyet (Turkish Daily), 12 May 2001.

[31] Judy Dempsey, ‘Greece blocks rapid reaction force plans’. Financial Times, 15 Aralık 2001; ‘The Laeken Summit. A Milestone for Europe’, EurActiv, 17 Aralık 2001.

[32] Atila Eralp, ‘Turkey and the EU in the post-Cold War Period’, Alan Makovsky and Sabri Sayarı (eds) Turkey’s New World: Changing Dynamics in Turkish Foreign Policy, (Washinngton D.C., Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 2000), pp. 173-188.

[33] European Council, Presidency Conclusions, 11-12 Aralık 2002, Kopenhag.

[34] Antonio Missiroli, ‘EU-NATO Cooperation in Crisis Management: No Turkish Delight for ESDP’, (2003), 23, Security Dialogue, pp. 9-26; Jean-Yves Haine, ‘ESDP and NATO’, Nicole Gnesoto (der) EU Security and Defense Policy-First Five Years (1999-2004), (Paris, EU Institute for Security Studies, 2004), pp. 131-144.

[35] Author’s interview in Ankara and Istanbul, May-June 2001.

[36] In-depth interviews with experts in Brussels and Ankara.

[37] David Hannay, Cyprus: The search for a solution, (London: I.B. Tauris, 2005), p. 117.

[38] European Commission, Turkey 2009 Progress Report, SEC (2009) 1334, 14.10. 2010, Brussels, p. 88; European Commission, Turkey 2010 Progress Report, SEC (2010) 1327, 9.11. 2010, Brussels, pp. 96-97; European Commission, Turkey 2011 Progress Report, SEC (2011) 1201, 12. 10. 2011, Brussels, pp. 107.

[39] Moshe Maoz, ‘The Arab Spring and the new geostrategic environment in the Middle East’, (2012), 14/4, Insight Turkey, pp. 13-23; Zaki Samy Elakawi, ‘The Geostrategic Consequences of the Arab Spring’,, 22 Kasım 2014.

[40] “NATO Chief urges EU to give Turkey security role”,, 3. Ekim 2010.

[41] Interviews with the AKP executives in Ankara and Istanbul.

[42] Erol Cebeci and Kadir Ustun, ‘The Syrian Quagmire: What’s holding Turkey back’, (2012), 14/2, Insight Turkey, pp. 13-22.

[43] Nimrod Goren, ‘Unfulfilled opportunity for reconciliation: Israel and Turkey’, (2012), 14/2, Insight Turkey, pp. 121-136.

[44] Interviews with academics in Ankara, Athens and Nicosia.

: 28-December-2021

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