The abandonment of plans for a Cyprus settlement combined with the fact that Turkey is distancing itself from the EU with Erdogan's tougher stance are swiftly moving toward a final divorce that will not be smooth.
There is a spectre haunting Cyprus.
It is the spectre of the establishment in perpetuity of two states - which is to say the end of the goal of over four decades of basing a Cyprus settlement on the creation of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation - through the final partition of the island.
There are a number of indications of this. Turkey’s provocative and illegal actions in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Republic of Cyprus aim to create a de facto situation which neither Nicosia nor Athens can overturn with their demarches, and which the EU cannot avert with resounding condemnations.
On the other hand, the declarations of the Turkish-Cypriot administration that it will open the fenced-off ghost city of Famagusta to experts is reminiscent of the late Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash’s sudden decision in 2003 to open the crossings between free Cyprus and the Turkish-occupied north.
The idea of opening up the city has charmed businessmen who are close to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan - and who are already doing business in the occupied territories - as they dream of turning Varosha, the abandoned southern portion of the city, into a gamblers’ heaven, a new Las Vegas.
The argument that perpetuation of the status quo on Cyprus benefits the Greek-Cypriot side or at least will not change the geopolitical realities is collapsing due to the gas and oil deposits discovered in the Eastern Mediterranean and Turkey’s insistence that they must be exploited in concert with Ankara.
The abandonment of plans for a Cyprus settlement combined with the fact that Turkey is distancing itself from the EU with the tougher stance of the Erdogan regime are swiftly moving toward a final divorce that will not be smooth.
Moderate voices on all sides are ever more being drowned out by those of opponents of any compromise.
The world, however, and even more so Cyprus, cannot endure another wall.