Considering the role Turkey plays as an agent of peace (but not in all aspects given that national interests sometimes could affect its decision) if I would say; the position and interest of Turkey regarding the Cyprus dispute is one of great concern. Greece is not pleased with the Turkish occupation of the North of the Cyprus launched on 20th July 1974 and since then, Turkey is still present in most of the affairs of the North side. Now the big questions are; why is the conflict or issue yet to be solved? What is the big problem here? Does this issued also include any historical bitterness? Who is the difficult actor (Turkey or Greece) here?
Greek Cypriot are more in population about 77% while the Turkish Cypriot are 18% of the population of the entire Cyprus and 5% were made up of other minorities i.e. Armenians and Maronite as at four decades ago. Greece believe that the Island should belong to the Greek Cypriots and Turkey would not allow this, thus the Greek EOKA-B ...view middle of the document...
The “Zero problem policy” of Turkey is a move directed to its eastern neighbours, it uses this to intensify its influence and facilitate the eradication of conflicts imbedded in the region. Thus, Turkey focuses on peace building, balance between security and democracy and conflict management; to this end, Turkey tries to create peace with Greece which it had had long bitter history over several issues which also includes the Cyprus conflict, the peace is to be ensured through constructive diplomatic discourse. And rather than prioritizing its military power or sector due to the insecure or security complex neighbourhood, Turkey has in current times, prioritized its Civil-economic power.
Examining the structure and process of the Turkish – Balkan relations in theoretical perspectives over the years; in my understanding of IR theories, for the last two decades (1990s onwards) Turkey approaches the Balkans from various IR theoretical paths. It utilizes power and state centric approach at any given time or opportunity that arouses; this is a typical realist assumption of international politics.
On another closer view point, one can notice and analyse the liberal perspective of Turkish foreign policy towards its Balkan neighbours. This is seen in there economic relations to an extent and Turkey’s persistent pressure on NATO to enlarge to the whole of Balkans. However, in the same liberal perspective, there is room for protection of national interest which is the driving force for Turkey’s realistic domestic and international polity. This can be seen in the mediator role of Turkey and the quest to maintain its regional political influence amidst the EU, USA and Russia.
In the light of this and drawing to a conclusion, an understanding of Turkish political economy, foreign policy, historical ties and interest towards the Balkans have been portrayed and from my vast readings and analysis so far so good, it is apparent that the constructive involvement of Turkey in the security concern of Balkans has helped to stabilize the rather fragile and unstable security of these countries in their domestic and international polity despite Turkey’s limitations or challenges in some of the countries.