Michális S. Michael and Yücel Vural’s edited volume of Cyprus and the Roadmap for Peace: A Critical Interrogation of the Conflict has its roots in a peace project awarded in 2014 by the Istanbul-based Journalists and Writers Foundation. Therefore, the book is a product of a research project and a conflict resolution initiative, and accordingly has descriptive and analytical characteristics. Michael and Vural bring together twenty-one authors –academicians, politicians, and journalists– to produce a theoretical, empirical, and normative study about the ongoing Cyprus dispute.
The book consists of five parts and nineteen chapters. The first two chapters establish the discursive lens of the book. The editors define the logic, structure, and innovation of the book in the first chapter. In the second chapter, Michael and Hadjipavlou, approach the Cyprus conflict within the framework of a conflict resolution perspective. After indicating the place of the Cyprus dispute in the conflict resolution literature, they investigate the impact of citizen-level diplomacy between communities, a factor which has been overlooked by analysts, diplomats, and policymakers.
The second part of the book focuses on the historical and geographical narrative of the conflict from both the Turkish and Greek perspectives. Altuğ Günal and Nikos Moudouros seek to explain the significance of Cyprus for Turkish foreign policy with respect to its historical, geographical, and economic dimensions in consecutive chapters. In the fifth chapter, Yücel Vural, Sertaç Sonan, and Michális Michael offer an analysis for the Turkish Cypriot dilemma, as it struggles to deal with both Turkey and Greek Cypriots at the same time. The last chapter of this part explains the historical role of Greece in the Cyprus dispute. After clarifying the perceptions and misperceptions of Greece in the Cyprus peace process, Alexis Heraclides suggests a more constructive role for Greece.
The third part of the book explores the new roles and engagements of the Cyprus conflict. In the seventh chapter, Başak Ekenoğlu and Neophytos Lozides interrogate the Cyprus dispute by bringing together three interrelated aspects of the conflict, which they elaborate as the refugee, settler/immigrant, and diaspora questions. They discuss the vulnerabilities of the population movements that need to be addressed through a group-specific human rights framework. The next chapters concentrate on the role of the United Nations (UN), and the European Union (EU), in terms of their conflict resolution capabilities. Ahmet Sözen, Constantinos Adamides, and Michalis Kontos discuss the two distinct mandates of the UN as peacekeeping and peacemaking in Cyprus. Sözen argues that the role of the UN in the Cyprus dispute could be improved by producing a comprehensive solution and transforming the peacekeeping force and the Good Offices of it into an updated mission. In the eighth chapter, Adamides and Kontos delve into the impact of the UN on the conflict resolution in Cyprus in respect to Greek Cypriot perceptions. Similarly, the next two chapters deal with the role and limits of the EU in the Cyprus conflict. While George Christou addresses the issue from the standpoint of a Greek Cypriot, Erhan İçener approaches it from a Turkish perspective.
The fourth part of the book exemplifies the main objective of the volume, which is to produce a ‘dialogical interaction.’ In this part, Michael, Vural, and Özejder seek to construct and synthesize two binary strategies for both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots in two different chapters. In addition to the formal governmental positions, the authors introduce some alternative and oppositional viewpoints on some diverging issues such as federalism, security and guarantees, and territorial adjustments.
The last part of the book reflects the positions of the prominent voices of the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots within the context of the 2015-2017 peace talks undertaken in Crans-Montana. In six different chapters, George Vassiliou, Dimitris Christofias, and Yiannakis Omerou’s perspectives for the Greek side, and Mehmet Ali Talat, Derviş Eroğlu, and Aysu Basri Akter’s opinions for the Turkish side, are gathered from their statements and responses to questions about the disputed matters.
The Cyprus problem, which is one of the most significant problems that the twenty-first century inherited from the previous one, has a history of more than sixty years. In this context, Cyprus and the Roadmap for Peace: A Critical Interrogation of the Conflict offers a comprehensive historical, theoretical, and normative explanation of the conflict in five complementary parts. In addition, each independent chapter of the book deals directly with its own topics. Hence, there is no chapter that contains any needless or long historical/theoretical framework that may distract readers.
The editors of the book are very careful about approaching the issues of the ongoing conflict in an objective manner. Every part of the book is organized to include the views of every relevant party to the conflict. Moreover, irrespective of its historical, theoretical, or normative character, almost every chapter concludes with a policy recommendation about the future prospects of the conflict. For this reason, the book is not only an excellent and through description of the conflict, but a significant contribution to the conflict resolution literature.