One Cyprus?

A Deal Is Close, But Not Certain

President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades (L) and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci (R) at a bicommunal event, July 2015.  Yiannis Kourtoglu / Reuters

At the end of this month, the island of Cyprus is scheduled to undergo another division, adding to its long history of intercommunal splits. At 4 AM on October 31, the southern, Greek side of the island will set its clocks back by one hour in accordance with European winter time. Yet for the first time ever, on the other side of the UN-patrolled buffer zone dividing the south from the Turkish-majority north, time will stay the same. There, in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), the breakaway state recognized only by Turkey, clocks will align with those in Ankara instead, following the Turkish government’s recent decision to abolish daylight saving time.   

This new fracture underscores Ankara’s increasing hold over daily life in the north. It also suggests that, despite official optimism that current negotiations will lead to a settlement of the decades-long Cyprus problem, there are strong forces

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