I’ll open mine if you’ll open yours

planeThe south Cyprus and Turkey governments have been arguing about the opening of ports for countless years and always Turkey has said, “you go first” and south Cyprus, “it will mean recognition.” South Cyprus’ argument is weak if you realise that there is direct access to Taiwan’s ports and yet this does not give them recognition as a country. Most people feel that south Cyprus’ reasons are economic rather than political, they don’t want tourists to have easy access to the north as it might take trade away from them.

Turkey’s “you first” attitude seems to have an element of the macho in it, as  if opening their ports first would make them seem weak. But what if Turkey were to say, “let’s do it together” ? Let’s say, for example, there was a decision that on January 1st 2010 at 0900 GMT (or any agreed time zone) a flight left Larnaca bound for Ankara at the same time as a flight left from Ercan in north Cyprus bound for, say London Stansted. If Turkey were first to make this offer it would be a win-win situation for them; if the south Cyprus government agreed then direct flights from north Cyprus should then be a regular occurrence, if they refused then they would have turned down exactly what they said was one of the obstacles to Turkey’s EU entry.

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