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Has Erdogan started a journey of no return in Cyprus?

Unless he is playing a game of brinkmanship to force the Greek Cypriots into a settlement, Erdogan’s tough moves in the Cyprus conflict are raising the specter of Turkey’s eventual annexation of Northern Cyprus.
Supporters lift flags of Turkey and the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
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Having exhausted the yields of his Syrian, Libyan and Eastern Mediterranean ventures, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has turned to long-divided Cyprus for the nationalist fuel he needs in domestic politics. Back in 2004, Erdogan backed the so-called Annan Plan to reunify the island, but now he is forging ahead in an opposite lane, advocating a two-state solution in defiance of the long-standing settlement parameters in the conflict.

Accompanied by a large delegation, Erdogan visited the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) July 19-20 to mark the 47th anniversary of Turkey’s 1974 military intervention, which followed a Greek Cypriot coup aimed at uniting Cyprus with Greece and has left the island divided ever since. “No matter if 47 years or 147 years or 247 years pass, the Turkish Cypriot people will never back down from their independence,” Erdogan declared in Nicosia in reference to the TRNC, which only Ankara recognizes.

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