Conflict Resolution and the “Cyprus Question” Hala Sultan Tekke, one of the most sacred Muslim sites The Parthenon in Athens, Greece Content: Conflict Resolution and the Cyprus Question Timing: Spring 2012 Course Load: The course will be a six-credit offering and will have two distinct components. There will be an in-class portion to be offered on campus at Niagara University from January through early May (one meeting per month). This will be followed by the field based component, in Cyprus and Greece, from May 16-30. Note: Graduation is May 13. Partner: For the travel component Niagara University has partnered with Global Learning Semesters, who will plan the itinerary and in-country meetings. Number of Students: Twenty students will be selected from an applicant pool to participate in the course. Application Process: Application includes essays, letters of recommendation, evaluation of academic performance Applicants for the course will be required to write an essay on a challenging cross-cultural experience in their life and to explain how they dealt with it and what they learned from the experience. Students accepted into the course will be required to submit all relevant forms including, but not limited to, Medical/Liability forms, Statement of Liabilities and Responsibilities, and Financial Aid Office documents. They will also make a $1000 deposit upon acceptance into the program to hold their place in the course. Due by November 15, 2011 GLS has offered study abroad opportunities in Cyprus for many years; they are the most experienced and largest study abroad provider in the country. Their program opportunities include international relations, international accounting, animal science, health science, geology, business, and a general immersion program. Their connection to the University of Nicosia lends credibility to their organization, and provides facilities and resources that will benefit our students. GLS student housing in Nicosia is high-quality. The apartmentstyle dorm rooms, which hold 4+ students, are equipped with kitchen facilities. Students will be impressed with the quality of the accommodations. They are not in the center of the city but transportation is accessible. While in Greece, students will stay in the Hotel Amalia. This small, Greek-owned hotel is reasonably priced and located adjacent to Parliament Square. It is minutes from the Parthenon, the Agora, the Olympiad, and is across the street from the National Gardens. Given its central location, and the historical significance of the surroundings, it is an ideal base for a short stay in Athens. …is an introduction to conflict resolution, peacemaking, community building, and dispute management. Students will be introduced to community development theory, conflict theory, principles of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) strategies (such as negotiation, arbitration, adjudication, conciliation, and mediation), and the application of these concepts to the historical ethno-political conflict involving Cyprus, Turkey, and Greece. We will examine the role of the European Union in facilitating peace, as well as the failures and successes of the peace process. Through this course, students should be able to: Explain the major theories within the political science subfield of conflict resolution; Write essay examinations that demonstrate proficiency in explaining the concepts inherent in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR); Conduct research (collect and analyze data) that demonstrates an understanding of the theories of conflict resolution as they relate to international politics; Explain how countries differ in their political orientation, and offer an explanation for why and how these variations occur Cyprus remains forcibly divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied forty percent of the country’s sovereign territory. The separation of Northern Cyprus—which is not recognized by international bodies as an official state— has had major geographic, political, economic, and social implications. The United Nations has adopted a series of resolutions condemning Turkey’s aggression against Cyprus with little to no effect. The European Commission and the European Court of Human Rights have cited Turkey for gross and systematic violations of human rights in Cyprus, again with little to no effect. Turkish Cypriots have become isolated from the international community and are deprived of government services and other benefits available to all Cypriot citizens and members of the European Union—to which Cyprus (but not Northern Cyprus) belongs. The “Cyprus Question,” as the invasion and subsequent occupation have been dubbed, is an ideal case for examining conflict resolution. Cypriots, the European Union bodies, and the United Nations have argued that reunification of Cyprus is the only solution to the problem. Turkey rejects such a solution. Because of ethnic and political divides, reconciliation and reintegration are mutually advantageous but unlikely. Separatist tendencies have been fueled by Turkey, who continues to use European Union membership as a bargaining chip for resolving the conflict. In the current situation, Turkey controls and occupies nearly forty percent of the territory of the island of Cyprus. Economic conditions are much worse in the North than in the South because of political and economic embargoes. Although travel is permitted across the UNcontrolled buffer zone, no trade or economic exchange is allowed. In short, unless conflict resolution processes are effective, there is no end in sight to the division of the country and no answer to the “Cyprus Question.” Its geopolitical position has tremendous historical importance. It is at the crossroads of Europe and the Middle East. As the easternmost country in the Mediterranean, Cyprus has been crucial for controlling access to the Suez Canal and sea trade. Cyprus has been controlled by the Egyptians, Mycenaeans, Phoenicians, Assyrians, Persians, Ptolemies, Romans, Byzantines, Crusaders, Franks, Venetians, Turks, and British. The colonial legacies persist into modern day and the culture is uniquely diverse because of these influences. As a member of the European Union, Cyprus will assume the presidency in 2012. As a result, funds from the European Union are pouring into the country for improvement of infrastructure and development efforts. As the capital city, Nicosia will serve as the “home base” for our students in Cyprus. The city is surrounded by Venetian walls dating from the 15th century, and is divided down the center since the invasion and occupation by Turkish troops in 1974. As a result, there are many teachable opportunities about protracted conflict, politics and policies, ethno-political divides, and cultural differences. GLS housing is a short taxi ride from downtown and is accessible on bus routes. It is possible to reach all parts of the country in approximately an hour’s drive from Nicosia. http://www.globalsemesters.com/Cyprus.html Students will have the opportunity to meet with government officials from the Republic of Cyprus and Northern Cyprus. They will visit the United Nations facilities and discuss peacekeeping with specialists. They will meet with representatives from the US Embassy, the European Union offices, and from various non-governmental organizations. Students will attend lectures by professors from the University of Nicosia who are experts in the “Cyprus Question.” Dr. Andreas Theophanous, Professor of Political Economy and Director of the Cyprus Center for European and International Affairs at the University of Nicosia has agreed to meet with the students to discuss current events in Cyprus. This includes Cyprus’ role as President of the European Union in 2012. Because Greece is a key actor in the “Cyprus Question,” students will visit Greece as part of their itinerary. A visit to the Parthenon and the newly established Parthenon Museum will enable students to appreciate the historical significance of the countries they are visiting. They will also be exposed to a major metropolitan center that has a very different feel and look from what they will experience in Cyprus.