The Conference ‘The Left and the Cyprus Problem’ is already in its third year. Its organisers aspire to bring together the various strands of the Cypriot Left, to exchange views and ideas at both the analytical and policy level.
Judging from the participation and quality of presentations, the results of the Conference have been immensely successful, encouraging us to organise this event annually. Examining the historical, social, theoretical, cultural and political backgrounds through which the saga of the Cyprus conflict unfolds, speakers have given us the opportunity to listen to different aspects and different approaches to the Cyprus problem and the struggle for its resolution.
In 2018 the Cyprus problem seems to have reached a new impasse with possible grave consequences. Changes on the ground are eroding the established thinking about a future solution and, unless a new initiative reverses the widening gap between the two communities, the nature Cyprus problem is bound to change dramatically. In the North, Turkey’s influence – whether economic, political, cultural or demographic – is becoming more and more dominant, threatening to overwhelm a weakening attempt of Turkish Cypriots to retain their independence. In the South, years of frustration have led to weakening ties with the North and partition, once Denktash’s dream, is increasingly becoming a legitimate discussion subject.
Meanwhile, world affairs seem to be leaning towards war. The Middle East is in the grip of a vicious proxy war between the great powers, led by increasingly authoritarian and irrational leaders. It may still fan out that the Cyprus problem should be the least of our worries.
This critical situation has been reflected in the proposals received for the presentations in the 2018 Conference. We expect that this will further develop the dialogue inside the Left and contribute to the formulation of more effective policies to tackle the Cyprus problem within the developing world crisis.