Referendum on Cyprus reunification possible in early 2016

A second referendum on the reunification of Cyprus could take place early next year, a Turkish government source has said.

“We are at the threshold of an important development,” said the source, who asked not to be named. “The two leaders have started to get into substantial issues. They are proceeding well and we hope the process will accelerate in autumn. There might be a new referendum in the early months of 2016, depending on developments”, the source added.

The source added that if the Greek Cypriot side stops claiming the island to be an “Hellenic island” and focuses on a “federation based on the equality of two constituents states, a solution could be reached very quickly. But even if not, the current status cannot continue for another 50 years,” the source said. “That is the mood in the UN as well. Then, the parties could sit and talk about a peaceful separation for two independent states”, the source stated.

Ankara has remained optimistic for now, believing that a solution could be near. “Such a development could improve Turkey’s relations with Greece and the EU as well,” the source said. “An obstacle and a pretext blocking Turkey’s relations with the West will be removed.”

Turkey also believes that a solution to the Cyprus problem could improve peace and economic cooperation in the entire Eastern Mediterranean with new sources of natural gas found offshore Cyprus and Israel.

The statement of the Turkish official came on the same day as the South’s President, Nicos Anastasiades told Reuters that “negotiations to settle the Cyprus division are beginning to show some progress”.


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