Jean Monnet Centre of ExcellenceCENTER FOR EUROPEAN STUDIES

The Change in Cyprus in the Context of the Process of Europeanization



While in the Cold War era, the island of Cyprus had been considered as having a strategic importance in terms of balance of power between the East and the West as well between Turkey and Greece, in the post-Cold War era it has emerged as one of the key determinants of the future of Turkey-EU relations as both Turkey and Greek Cypriots applied for full membership to the European Union.

This project aims to develop not only a new conceptual framework but also depending on this a new periodization for the developments since 2002. A brief survey of literature on this subject will show that the basic approach which has been adopted can be characterised as state-centred, focusing on the power struggles in a regional context. While the social, economic and cultural aspects of the problem seem to have been largely ignored, the potential contributions of social, economic and political actors in Turkey and the TRNC to the resolution of the conflict have been generally overlooked.

However, the impact of the economic and political developments in Turkey upon the local social and economic actors in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, as well as the changes and continuities in their perceptions of and/or propositions for the Cyprus problem need to be evaluated. In addition, it is believed that the analysis of the Cyprus problem within the conceptual framework of Europeanization, will allow to account for the ways in which both traditional actors’ - in other words, the nation-states - and the influential social and economic actors approached the problem and advocated specific proposals for the resolution of the problems encountered.


It is believed that the Cyprus Problem will continue to play a significant role in the evolution of the Turkey-EU relations. In this context, the project aims to fill an important gap in the existing social scientific studies on Cyprus Island in general, and about Turkich Cypriot polity and community in particular. It is also believed; the Center for European Studies will be making a modest contribution to the comparative research methodology in the political and social studies at the international level to the extent that it achieves the objectives of the project. The academic products that would ensue from the analyis of the information and data that will be collected on the basis of the in-depth interviews and the comprehensive field study which will be undertaken will subsequently be presented in the workshops that will be organized with the participation of the national and international academics and opinion leaders.

Keywords: Europeanization, European Union, Island of Cyprus, Turkey, TRNC, social and political actors


Prof. Dr. Ali Gitmez

Assist. Prof. Dr. Galip Yalman

Dr. Kivanc Ulusoy

Dr. Cigdem Ustun