Utah Series in Middle East Studies
This interdisciplinary study discusses the development, economics, and politics of North Cyprus, a divided state since 1960 when sovereignty was surrendered by the British to both Greek and Turkish Cypriots. Mehmet works to demonstrate that, as a microstate with an area of just 3,442 square kilometers, North Cyprus possesses certain inherent comparative economic advantages in the service sectors that enable it to be sustainable in today's rapidly globalizing and competitive economic world.
Mehmet bases his arguments for the potential sustainability of North Cyprus on the concept of economic rationalism, in which participating parties work to optimize their own self-interest. In an ethnic conflict like that of North Cyprus, the logic of optimization demands a rational, free, and objective balancing of competing interests to reach an agreed solution. The economic rationalist approach sharply contrasts with the highly emotional political, historical, cultural, and legal approaches that have thus far dominated the study and discussion of the Cyprus problem, approaches that have largely resulted in a protracted conflict.
While recognizing the negative forces of ethnic tension and the very real possibility of a continued divided Cyprus state, Sustainability of Microstates nevertheless remains hopeful, designed to unleash the forces of convergence that may be deduced from economic rationalism, and unwavering in its conviction of the ultimate sustainability of North Cyprus.