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YUSUF KANLI > Another Christmas, different conditions

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The Cyprus problem, as we have been talking about, started on a cold Christmas day, precisely on Dec. 21, 1963, with Greek Cypriot hordes attacking Turkish Cypriots with the intention of annihilating them all within 24 hours. This sad event, a product of the failed Akritas plan signed by “Commander Diegenis,” as was reported by the Greek Cypriot media a while later, was the “Bloody Christmas.” The 1963 and consequent attacks of the Greek Cypriot hordes failed to cleanse the island of the Turkish Cypriot element. Frustrated with pertinent failures, the colonels of Greece instigated a coup to oust the Makarios government and achieve Enosis, annexation of the island to Greece. The coup triggered the Turkish intervention that not only saved Turtkish Cypriots, but brought a swift end to the coup administration on the Greek Cypriot side, as well as that of the colonels of Athens.

Now it is again Christmas time. Different winds are blowing on the island. It is as if the long sought peace might be finally discernible. After three months of off and on negotiations, the Turkish Cypriot side gave their formal “yes” to a “compromise text” to be released after a leaders’ summit, if they ever come together, which is expected to usher a fast-track negotiations process for a quick fix to a half-century old Cyprus problem.

During a one-day trip to the island, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu used all his “persuasion capabilities” on President Derviş Eroğlu to accept “single sovereignty” of the federation that might be created on the island. Convening a meeting of party leaders in the presence of Davutoğlu veteran Eroğlu produced a rare national consensus policy, “The dissoluble federation to be established will have single sovereignty emanating equally from Turkish and Greek Cypriots…” That was of course a remarkable concession to the Greek Cypriot side, who were insisting so much on the “single sovereignty” issue while at the same time a lesson in democracy to Turkey… The president had mandate from Parliament; there was a government with a comfortable parliamentary majority, but still on an existential decision, the president deemed it necessary to consult and get consent from the opposition as well.

Of course, it is still too early to say the 2013 Christmas might fix the problem created in the 1963 Christmas as Greek Cypriots still have not made up their answer to the latest text sent to them through the United Nations. Secondly, even if they accept and President Nikos Anastasiades agrees to talks with President Eroğlu, if agreement on a statement to be released at the end of such a first meeting took three months, how long would it take to provide a resolution to the Cyprus problem?

Turkish Cypriot officials and Turkish Foreign Ministry friends appeared to be rather optimistic. Since in the three months of talks regarding the statement to be released after leaders’ summit many outstanding issues were indeed discussed and since (even though Greek Cypriots refuse to own now) there is a U.N. document summarizing convergences achieved during the past many years of talks, if both sides hold talks with political will finishing a deal and going to separate simultaneous referenda in March or April next year might be possible.

The U.N. special envoy Alexander Downer, who returned from the airport and cancelled his Christmas vacation, reportedly agreed to a meeting with Davutoğlu at the Turkish ambassador’s residence that this Christmas might indeed be a turning point for the building of Cyprus peace…Will it indeed? Will it be possible for Greek Cypriots to agree to share power with Turkish Cypriots; accept that Cyprus is common and equal house of two peoples?

*Moments after this article was penned, Greek Cypriot government spokesman Hristo Stilianidis disclosed their rejection of the talks, saying there was no need to start a process doomed to collapse. Greek Cypriots insist Turkish Cypriots should drop their demand for partnership in sovereignty of the island.

December/16/2013

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kibrisli TURK

12/20/2013 10:58:52 AM

The card of "single-soverignty" acceptance was played well by TC's who called the GC bluff knowing well their addiction to 100% control of the island has not changed since 50 years ago when they began the bloody executions of TC's from the island...now ceremoniously they have rejected Peace & Union again...surely this is it, the UN/EU/USA can see GC intransigence clearly & understand that 2-states is only solution...Davutoglu please take this to UN & seek TRNC recognition...!

Murat

12/18/2013 2:29:02 AM

Why talk of resolutions, though clearly Greeks have not kept up with sprit of any. Why not talk about a UN plan Greeks rejected whole heartedly? If TCs are not interested in giving up their freedoms and gains as a nation which has cost them and Turkey so deadly, what do Greeks want to do? Put a gun to their heads and force them to accept what is unacceptable to them? Is there any doubt if TSK were not there that is exactly what would happen?

Baris

12/17/2013 7:43:24 PM

Thessalonian, this is what Papadopoulos told GCs: "Shall we do away with our internationally recognised state exactly at the very moment it strengthens its political weight with its accession to the European Union?". I believe that mentality still dominates. Do you believe the GCs will do away with their internationally recognised state and accept a bi-zonal bi-communal federation, sharing power with the TCs, especially after the Aphrodite Gas?

Thessalonian

12/17/2013 4:32:47 PM

Baris, I have read and am well aware of all UNSC resolutions issued regarding the Cyprob in great detail, with due diligence and absence of personal bias. What really stands out as a sore thumb, is Turkey's non-compliance and perpetual voting against the said resolutions. Furthermore, what you stated above is an opinion and not a fact. Subsequently, the status of the content of my previous post remains factual. Regards

Baris

12/17/2013 1:29:06 PM

Thessalonian: "there are no UN resolutions which the Greek Cypriots are not willing to implement and or comply with". I disagree. The GCs are not willing to implement the bi-zonal, bi-communal federation which the UN Resolutions call for. They want to incorporate the TCs as minorities within a unitary Cyprus, despite saying they agree to the bi-zonal, bi-communal federation. This has been the main reason for the status quo.

Chris Green

12/17/2013 11:06:12 AM

Thessalonian: Quite right, I am pro-Turkey although not especially so of the incumbent government. I am very much pro Turkish Cypriot and the beleaguered situation they have been burdened with thanks to attempts by Greek Cyps (Greeks too) to eradicate them as a race. Matter of interest, I am pro-Syrian and Iranian people too, but for entirely different reasons. UN resolutions have all been geared to suit the Greek polemic. The basic right of fairness has never been extended to Turkish Cypriots.

dennis kavaz

12/17/2013 2:49:58 AM

The late Mr Denktas confirmed that the G Cs has treaded the T Cs as if they were none Cypriots; he also affirmed that the G C he encountered at the various meetings most were EOKA members & their enthusiasms were zero he explained; he also avowed that he and his team were looked upon as if they did not had any rights; yeah folks it’s a wonder “even today” ” if the G Cs & Church have an idea, nor do they “care” the turmoil they have inflict upon both Cypriots?

Thessalonian

12/17/2013 1:40:29 AM

@Another View. Even though I can't speak on Mr. Green's behalf, I am willing to hazard the opinion that he will not answer your question because he loves Turkey. My justification for the latter is based on the fact that there are no UN resolutions which the Greek Cypriots are not willing to implement and or comply with. On the other hand, Turkey is the one who stands to loose out with regards to her best interests by complying and or implementing UN resolutions pertainning to the Cyprob. Regards

Brian Irlanda

12/16/2013 7:45:14 PM

I do not understand why so much effort is being put into a plan to bring two sides together that obviously feel better being apart from each other. It does not make sense.

Chris Green

12/16/2013 6:52:58 PM

Greek Cypriot (dark-side) leader Nicos Anastasiades has stated that if Greek Cyprus' preconditions are not met, starting negotiations with the Turkish Cypriots to solve the dispute on the east Mediterranean island of Cyprus will be out of the question.GC politicians have also criticized UN Special Envoy to Cyprus Alexander Downer for meeting with Davutoğlu on Saturday at the Turkish Embassy in Lefkoşa, where he took the Turkish Cypriots' new proposal to convey to the Greek Cypriot side.
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