A showdown/game/maneuver/crisis on Cyprus was an expected, or rather, an inevitable development between Turkey and the European Union.
The Greek Cypriot side of the island will assume the rotating presidency of the EU in July 2012. Turkey does not recognize or have contact with the Greek Cypriots. The EU and the Greek Cypriots were planning to pressure Turkey into taking steps on Cyprus during the presidency. However, in a deal breaker in this anticipated scenario, Ankara was the first to join in the game in such a decisive and clear manner that it now has the power to lay down the rules.
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu sent the first signal when he suggested the speeding up of negotiations in Cyprus and holding a referendum on the island in January 2012. He made his move recently while EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Füle was in Ankara, and he directed attention towards Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s visit to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC). Even before setting out for the trip, Erdoğan declared Turkey’s stance in much stronger and clearer terms.
“We will not be contacting the Greek Cypriots during the term of their presidency. No Turkey-EU contact will take place for six months,” the prime minister said.