The Eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus leapt into the headlines with the landing of a hijacked EgyptAir plane. It will soon make headlines again as the US and the UN move to end the 42-year division of that country, through its capital city of Nicosia, by 40,000 Turkish troops. These negotiations will have significant ramifications for the region and the U.S.
Turkey is headed in a dangerous direction, toward a corrupt, authoritarian state. The country needs an Arab Spring of sorts, but within the democratic process. An electoral revolution, not a street putsch. The use of the rule of law to end an illiberal government. The ballot box must make political power accountable.
VIENNA -- The success of the mainly Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party in capturing 13 percent of the vote in the recent election -- a total well above the party's core constituency -- should boost the Kurds' confidence and ease the way ahead in the peace process. But the far-right Nationalist Movement Party performed strongly in the election, capturing 16 percent of the vote, probably owing largely to popular opposition to the opening to the Kurds.
The recent deal between Cyprus and Russia may seemingly have no real short-term impact on the EU or Russia's politics in the Balkans. But it is in fact part of Russia's grand design to bypass the sanctions, stabilize and increase its foreign expansion in the EU, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East.