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YUSUF KANLI > Two states on Cyprus

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The continued deadlock in the Cyprus peacemaking process and uncompromising preconditions of the Greek Cypriots to kick off what they already claim to be doomed to fail the new round of inter-communal talks point at one highly probable culmination: The “de facto” becoming the “de jure.” That is the two-state reality on the land becoming the eventual resolution of the Cyprus problem with both states accorded international recognition.

The Greek Cypriot insistence to write the end product of the talk process beforehand and declaring it as a joint statement from the two leaders after their first meeting and thus providing a road map to the new process is not going anywhere. Almost four months were spent with aloof discussions and immense Turkish Cypriot and international energy was spent to satisfy the caprice of Nikos Anastasiades so that he might agree to the resumption of the process from where the process was left by his predecessor Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dr. Derviş Eroğlu.

Well, perhaps it was wrong for Turkish Cypriots to halt talks when Greek Cypriots assumed the rotating European Union presidency in July 2012, but was it not the Turkish site that reaffirmed in a written letter to the U.N. secretary-general moments after Eroğlu took over presidency from Mehmet Ali Talat? Did not Eroğlu, well under pressure of Ankara and the international community, agree to walk a road laid down by his predecessor and which he indeed bitterly criticized during the campaign? He was known to be an “anti-settlement” hardliner; he proved his statesmanship by succumbing to the reality of continuity in the governance principle and continuing a process outlined by his predecessor, yes with great pain. Was not Anastasiades the “pro-settlement” Greek Cypriot leader? Was not he the one who supported the Annan plan of 2004? Why he has been trying to evade talks ever since he came to power in February last year?

More and more Greek Cypriot intellectuals are commenting that the “bi-zonal, bi-communal federal settlement” target and the concept of “inter-communal talks under the auspices of the U.N. secretary-general” have become out of date. For example, in a recent editorial Alithia newspaper claimed the current framework of talks did not help a settlement but contributed to the consolidation of the results of the “Turkish occupation” and thus, it was high time for it be abandoned. The paper charged that as the Cyprus problem evolved and changed over time, the process ought to be changed as well; otherwise even if it was resumed it was doomed to collapse again.

A bitter compromise settlement on Cyprus requires the existence of political will and responsible politics that will guide people to accept such painful compromises for the sake of a common better future for the two peoples on their joint homeland. In the absence of will, on either, side to create a federation, insisting on establishing one is of course futile, as we have been experiencing in Cyprus since federation jargon entered the semantics of the process in late 1970s. Greek Cypriots want a federal arrangement that will help them buyout the poor Turkish Cypriot north, while Turkish Cypriots insist on a web of preemptive framework be embedded in any agreement that will not let Greek Cypriots achieve any sort of osmosis or convert the new federation into a Greek Cypriot hegemony over Turkish Cypriots.

Now, not only Turkish Cypriots, international observers have started talking of the need of a “velvet divorce” and the two states of the island making a “divorce agreement” and uniting in the EU.

January/08/2014

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