Turkey may annex northern Cyprus if the divided Mediterranean island can’t resolve a four-decade split through United Nations-led reunification talks, a government official told the Turkish Cypriot Kibris newspaper.
“All options are on the table,” Turkey’s European Union Affairs Minister Egemen Bagis told Kibris in an interview in London. Turkey hopes for reunification under a federal system or a two-state solution, Bagis said, adding that if those proposals fail, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus may be attached to Turkey, the only country that recognizes the breakaway state.
Cyprus has been divided since Turkey invaded the island in 1974 after a coup aimed at uniting it with Greece. The internationally recognized Greek Cypriot government takes over the rotating EU presidency in July.
Bagis told Kibris that Turkey won’t deal with a Cyprus-led EU presidency. Cypriots are blocking negotiations, Bagis said, adding that Turkey’s EU accession has been on hold for a year and a half, according to Kibris.