European Elections and their Impact on the Cyprus Issue: Populist Challenges and the Inclusion of Turkish Cypriots

Summary by News About Turkey (NAT):  The study "European Elections and their Implications for the Cyprus Issue: Populist Challenges and Turkish Cypriot Inclusion" discusses the results of the June 2024 European Parliamentary elections in the Republic of Cyprus and their broader implications. Key points include: Key Election Results and Political Shifts Broader Political Context Implications for Turkish Cypriots Political and…

THE KURDISH STRUGGLE IN IRAN: POWER DYNAMICS AND THE QUEST FOR AUTONOMY

Summary by News About Turkey (NAT):  The Clingendael article titled "The Kurdish Struggle in Iran: Power Dynamics and the Quest for Autonomy" delves into the ongoing fight for autonomy by the Iranian Kurds amidst the broader socio-political turmoil in the nation, particularly during the protests of 2022-2023. It explores the historical and contemporary state repression faced by the Kurdish people…

Erdoğan’s Clandestine Meetings and Political Stirrings in Turkey

Should a ‘political meaning’ be attributed to Tayyip Erdoğan’s mysterious two meetings? Yes. Could there be personal or humanitarian reasons? Maybe. You would understand which two meetings I am referring to. I will start with the second one. The surprise meeting at the Palace with Meral Akşener that made everyone ask, “What is happening?” Everything about the photo is a…

Weather
33°C
Istanbul
clear sky
34° _ 32°
32%
7 km/h
Sat
33 °C
Sun
33 °C
Mon
25 °C

Editor's Pick

THE MYTH OF ‘NEW TURKEY’: KEMALISM AND ERDOĞANISM AS TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has recently made a speech where he…

Politicians and Their Legacies

Journalists often equate Erdogan with Putin, Clinton with Blair, Reagan with Thatcher.…

Erdogan’s bad-faith recognition of the Native American Genocide

As the saying goes, “even a broken clock is right twice a…

Erdogan in Turkey: One last earthquake?

Erdogan should be no stranger to seismology. This is, after all, the…

Turkey and Germany in a Eurasian Perspective

The historical partnership between Germany and Turkey withstood many adverse tides, namely…

Selahattin Demirtas and the politics of fiction

On February 14, police in Ankara raided the homes of university students…

Turkish FM Hakan Fidan is accused of personally torturing a general at a secret detention centre in Ankara

The article on Nordic Monitor details accusations against Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan…

European Elections and their Impact on the Cyprus Issue: Populist Challenges and the Inclusion of Turkish Cypriots

Summary by News About Turkey (NAT):  The study "European Elections and their…

Leaked documents reveal Sweden’s secretive asylum policy for critics of Turkey’s Erdogan

The leaked documents obtained by Dagens ETC journalists reveal that Sweden has…

Turkey continues negotiations to potentially secure a cheaper deal for the purchase of F-16 fighter jets

Turkey is currently in discussions with the United States about a major…

Turkey introduces controversial bill targeting stray dogs

The ruling party in Turkey introduced a bill to parliament that aims…

Turkey has investigated over 700K people over Gülen links since staged coup attempt: minister

Turkish Justice Minister Yılmaz Tunç has provided details about the ongoing crackdown…

More than 40 NGOs point to systematic torture practices, impunity in Turkey for UN review

More than 40 civil society organizations (CSOs) have submitted reports to the…

Former Turkish justice minister Bekir Bozdağ got €400K in bribes to help me get out of prison: witness

A former justice minister of Turkey, Bekir Bozdağ, has been accused of…

Leaked documents reveal Sweden’s secretive asylum policy for critics of Turkey’s Erdogan

The leaked documents obtained by Dagens ETC journalists reveal that Sweden has…

Turkey has investigated over 700K people over Gülen links since staged coup attempt: minister

Turkish Justice Minister Yılmaz Tunç has provided details about the ongoing crackdown…

Turkey detains 72 people over alleged Gülen links

Turkish police have detained 72 people across 17 provinces over their alleged…

Turkey detains 44 people on alleged Gülen links

Turkish police have detained 44 people across the country over their alleged…

Former CIA Officer Slams Turkish Claims of U.S. Role in 2016 Coup Attempt as ‘Amateurish and Baseless’

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit the United States (US) on May…

Opposition party vice chair acknowledges systematic torture of Gülenists

Ahmet Zeki Üçok, vice chair of the nationalist opposition İYİ (Good) Party,…

ECtHR faults Turkey for conviction of teacher over Gulen links in landmark decision

The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on…

Film about Turkey’s purge victims cut from festival, drawing criticism

The organizing committee of the Golden Orange Film Festival in Turkey’s Antalya…

Man abducted from Tajikistan faces risk of torture, Turkish MP says

Opposition deputy and leading rights advocate Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu expressed concern on…

Documentary series sheds light on plight of child victims of Turkey’s purge

The Tenkil Museum, a civil initiative dedicated to sustaining the memory of…

Increase in torture complaints brought to the attention of the Parliament

Democracy and Progress (DEVA) Party Istanbul Deputy and Deputy Chairperson Mustafa Yeneroğlu…

Dr. Emre Turkut: ‘July 15 coup attempt transformed Turkey into a presidential autocracy’

: Dr. Emre Turkut, as a legal scholar and expert in international…

Elderly Bedridden Patient’s Death in Prison Sparks Outcry, İHD Expresses Concern

In a recent development, the Human Rights Association (İHD) has raised serious…

European Elections and their Impact on the Cyprus Issue: Populist Challenges and the Inclusion of Turkish Cypriots

Summary by News About Turkey (NAT):  The study "European Elections and their Implications for the Cyprus Issue: Populist Challenges and Turkish Cypriot Inclusion" discusses the results of the June 2024 European Parliamentary elections in the Republic of Cyprus and their broader implications. Key points include: Key Election Results and Political Shifts Broader Political Context Implications for Turkish Cypriots Political and Social Challenges Conclusion The 2024 European Parliamentary elections in Cyprus reflect significant political shifts, with the rise of new political actors like Fidias Panayiotou and the ongoing challenges faced by Turkish Cypriots in achieving political representation and integration within the EU. These developments underscore the need for inclusive dialogue and proactive measures to address the unique challenges of Cyprus. Read the full analyses below: Read more below. European Elections and their Implications for the Cyprus Issue One of the big surprises of the June 2024 European Parliamentary elections occurred in the Republic of Cyprus, where a 24-year-old YouTuber and social media influencer, Fidias Panayiotou, won a seat running as an independent having secured over 19 per­cent of the vote. Whereas the vast majority of polls had predicted the rise of the radi­cal right National People’s Front Party (ELAM) in Cyprus along with other far-right parties in Europe, Panayiotou’s victory and overall vote tally was unforeseen. His win came at the expense of the left-wing Progressive Party of the Working People (AKEL), dashing the hopes for the re-election of Turkish Cypriot MEP Niyazi Kızılyürek, whose 2019 election to the European Parliament was seen as a milestone for bi-communal relations in divided Cyprus. Kızılyürek’s defeat highlights the persistent difficulties in achieving greater political integration and representation for Turkish Cypriots with­in the EU framework. This underscores the urgent need for inclusive dialogue, eco­nomic integration, and proactive measures to address Cyprus’s unique challenges, aiming to foster a more cooperative and resilient future for the island. Despite significant gains for far-right parties in France and Germany in the June 2024 European Parliament elections, European Union Commission President Ursula von der Leyen declared victory on behalf of the European People’s Party group (EPP), main­taining that the “centre is holding.” The results from the Republic of Cyprus (RoC), which has a total of six seats allocated in the European Parliament, superficially sup­port her claim, as the centre-right Democratic Rally (DISY) successfully defended its two seats in the European Parliament for the EPP, securing 24.78 percent of the vote, given the small number of seats allocated to Cyprus. Echoing von der Leyen, Annita Demetriou, President of the RoC House of Representatives and President of DISY, celebrated the party’s first-place finish in the European elections, emphasising its resilience having recovered from a 2023 presidential elections crisis and a potential split. Although DISY secured top spot, its ratings significantly dropped compared to previous European elections (29.02 percent) and the 2021 parliamentary elections (27.8 percent). In the municipal elections held concurrently with the European Parliament elections, the results were dire for DISY. The party lost strongholds like Nicosia and failed to secure mayoral victories in Limassol and Larnaca. The overall picture was further compli­cated by the rise of ‘anti-politics’, where 24‑year-old independent social media influ­encer, Fidias Panayiotou, won a seat as an independent, coming within four percent­age points of overtaking DISY. Panayiotou’s success came at the expense of the Progressive Party of the Working People (AKEL), despite opinion poll data sug­gesting that AKEL would retain its two MEPs. AKEL’s loss of one of its two seats ended any hopes for the re-election of Niyazi Kızılyürek, the Turkish Cypriot MEP elected in 2019. The result puts a dent in efforts to kickstart stalled peace talks regarding the Cyprus issue. It also raises questions regarding the EU’s overall strat­egy for integrating the Turkish Cypriot community. The pre-elections landscape Public dissatisfaction with the current gov­ern­ment and internal party conflicts com­plicated predictions for the 2024 European Parliament elections. Immigration had become a key issue, particularly due to per­ceived EU failures in implementing a uni­fied policy supporting frontline states like Cyprus. President Nikos Christodoulides’ government, supported by a coalition in­cluding the Democratic Party (DIKO) and the EDEK Socialist Party (EDEK), was sensi­tive to these parties’ relative decline, with potential implications for the coalition’s stability and the government’s mandate. The main concern was the potential impact of the National People’s Front Party (ELAM) securing representation in the Euro­pean Parliament, building on its RoC par­lia­ment seats. Any progress by ELAM in form­ing a broader opposition alliance with DISY could destabilise Christodoulides’ coalition. ELAM’s anti-migration stance introduced a challenging dynamic into Cyprus’s tradi­tional political landscape. At the EU level, ELAM joins the European and Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), including Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy, over the Identity and Democracy (ID) group. Given the overall European elections results, the political dialogue between Ursula von der Leyen and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni may also affect EPP-ECR relations within the European Parliament, as von der Leyen seeks re-election as Euro­pean Commission president. This alignment, along with ELAM’s efforts to distance itself from the Greek neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party, was seen as a strategy to buffer against potential bans or exclusions from future coalitions. Potential alliances, whether formal or issue-based, both within Cyprus and at the European level, could amplify ELAM’s in­flu­ence and enable it to advocate for policies aligned with its anti-immigration and potentially Eurosceptic stance. Such devel­opments could further complicate the EU’s efforts to implement cohesive and inclusive policies, particularly in areas related to migration and asylum. In the context of the Cyprus issue, this could certainly impact the already complex relations between the EU and Turkey. Before the 2024 European Parliamentary elections, EU leaders focused on increasing voter turnout and addressing the rise of far-right parties. In April 2024, European Par­lia­ment President Roberta Metsola visited Cyprus, warning voters “not to take the EU for granted” and urged citizens to vote and support the EU’s role in civil rights and democracy. She also highlighted recent EU accomplishments, including a new asylum and migration deal. Metsola’s visit coincided with a surge in Syrian refugees arriving from Lebanon. In May, European Com­mis­sion President von der…