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T URKEY F OCUS P OLICY B RIEF

However, such efforts must be supported by a variety of players in order to broaden participation to include marginalised groups such as women and youth. As a member of the UN Gender Advisory Team said last week: “The concerns of women and youth in Cyprus cut across community lines”, we care about equal and fair representation, the same way we share the same worries for our future employment opportunities. It is time we demanded that this be reflected in a comprehensive path to a solution. There is also a generational dimension in seeking to overcome the past, and look to a future. The history is a long and painful one, rendering it difficult for many who lived through these turbulent times to reconcile or to overcome. Following independence from the British in 1960, and the breakdown of the power-sharing government, there was the inevitable outbreak of civil war in 1963. Greek attacks on Turkish areas allowed them to relocate Turks from the south of the island. By 1964, 60% of Turkish Cypriots lived in enclaves controlled by Turkish officers, and the UN had established a peacekeeping force, which remains there to this day. The passage of time is making it ever harder to reunify the island, divided politically since the Athens backed coup, which overthrew the president, Archbishop Makarios’s government and led to the Turkish intervention in 1974. Greek Cypriots living in the north then fled south, while the remaining Turkish Cypriots in the south fled to the north. After nearly four decades, the two sides remain far apart even on the meaning of the talks’ agreed goal, a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation. While there has long been peace, and relative freedom to interact since 2003, trade and visits between the two communities across the Green Line are decreasing. A lack of a settlement damages everyone’s interests and keeps frustrations high. A referendum on the Annan Plan was held in the Republic of Cyprus, and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on 24 April 2004. The two communities were asked whether they approved of the fifth revision of the United Nations proposal for reuniting the island, which had been divided since 1974. Whilst it was approved by 65% of Turkish Cypriots,

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Turkey Focus Policy Brief No: 2  

CYPRUS: IS PEACE EVER POSSIBLE? By Baroness Hussein-Ece OBE

Turkey Focus Policy Brief No: 2  

CYPRUS: IS PEACE EVER POSSIBLE? By Baroness Hussein-Ece OBE

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