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Moving Beyond Conflict Prevention to Reconciliation: Tackling Greek-Turkish Hostility
Moving Beyond Conflict Prevention to Reconciliation: Tackling Greek-Turkish Hostility
By M. James Wilkinson
Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict, 1999, 48 pp
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The world has become accustomed to Greek-Turkish tensions, marked by periodic confrontations but stopping short of conflict with the help of outside intervention. The issues of Cyprus, divided since 1974, and control of the sea and air lanes in the Aegean have generated most of the notable incidents. Is Greek-Turkish reconciliation possible, or should we expect more of the same? Wilkinson, who served as U.S. special coordinator for Cyprus in the 1980s, leans toward the latter but does not counsel complacency. Although outsiders cannot impose a solution, the United States, the EU, and NATO can provide a series of modest steps that may jolt the parties "off the pedestals on which they have stood for so long with such absolute morality." The United States, Wilkinson adds in a subtle slap, can at least make all parties realize what they must do to enjoy American support -- provided they are convinced that Washington means what it says. An able, succinct survey of the historical background and the issues involved, ending with realistically limited policy recommendations.