Cyprus Problem | Happy 10th Birthday Checkpoint!

Cyprus Problem | Happy 10th Birthday Checkpoint!Cyprus Problem | Happy 10th Birthday Checkpoint!

On 23d April, the Cyprus checkpoint will have been open exactly 10 years. Contrary to expectations, there was no bloodshed then and for the first time in nearly 30 years Greek Cypriots were able to see how Turkish Cypriots were living. Again, contrary to expectation, they were not living in poverty.

This opening of the crossing was supposed to be in preparation for a positive Cypriot vote supporting the Annan Plan, rejected by Greek Cypriots but accepted by Turkish Cypriots a year later. Now, rather than living side-by-side, Cypriots only shop side-by-side. Beyond that, few expect a united Cyprus to ever become a possibility.

As to the future of the crossings, that’s anyone’s guess. The instability in the south could become a breeding ground for nationalism and, as long as the north is embargoed, closing the crossing could be seen as a spiteful step to try to force them to share in the south’s suffering. But it could also spur the international community to drop the embargo on the north and allow them to join the much less popular, than 2004, Euro Club. Makes you shiver thinking about it, doesn’t it.

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