BBC/National Army MuseumMoscow and Cyprus are still negotiating terms of a potential bailout.
Most will hail the crisis’s receding if a deal is reached.
But for Turkey, seeing Cyprus and Russia growing even closer together could revive age-old hostilities between Moscow and Istanbul.
Depending on how far back you want to go, the love between the two was first lost upon Mehmed II’s sacking of Constantinople — capital of Christian Orthodoxy — in 1453.
Then came the Crimean war in the 1850s, which pitted Russia against the Ottoman Empire (as well as France and Britain) over the rights of Christians in the Middle East.
And during the Cold War, Turkey became a staunch ally of the U.S.
Relations have improved more recently, especially under President Medvedev.
But the conflict that engulfed Cyprus in the ’70s — which saw Turkey invade the island to prevent it from coming under Orthodox Greece’s influence — has never actually ended.
To this day, a small enclave calls itself “The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” and is recognised by Turkey (though they’re the only ones who do so). As recently as 2001, Turkey was threatening to annex the north if Cyprus joined the EU.
But that kind of move will not likely sit well in Istabul.
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