Suing for Sovereignty: Property, Territory and EU's Cyprus Problem

Report – external series

Hatay, Mete & Rebecca Bryant (2009) Suing for Sovereignty: Property, Territory and EU's Cyprus Problem. Global Political Trends Center Policy Brief. Istanbul: Global Political Trends Center.

This article explores the actual and potential effects of recent European legal judgments on ongoing reunification negotiations in Cyprus. In particular, we argue that the European Union’s failure to formulate a policy regarding the position of Turkish Cypriots in Europe has had increasingly negative consequences both for negotiations between the island’s leaders and for relations between the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities. The EU has chosen to ignore the suspension of constitutional order in the Republic of Cyprus, in the process refusing to acknowledge the legal and political effects of the RoC’s EU entry on Turkish Cypriots. We use a recent European Court of Justice judgment to illustrate the substantive effects of this hands-off approach, showing how the political use of transnational courts threatens to undermine what many have called the island’s “last chance” at reunification.

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