A scream in pain

A scream in pain

Social media is a great platform. Would it be possible just a few years ago to see a Greek Cypriot leader lamenting to opposition parties accusing him of rendering his people some sort of a minority by accepting the principle of political equality and agreeing to share key posts with Turkish Cypriots in some organs of the future Cypriot federation? Or would it be possible to see the Turkish Cypriot leader accusing the two coalition government parties of not having confidence in the president and thus hurting the Cyprus talks process? Or would it perhaps be possible for the opposition parties in either Turkish or Greek Cyprus to engage in heated discussions with their leaders and politicians with “the other side” through social media platforms?

Will the Cyprus talks put a full stop to almost 50 years of a search for a mutually acceptable power-sharing scheme and finally lead to a resolution on the eastern Mediterranean island? It is believed that this will be the last chance for a negotiated bi-zonal, bi-communal federal resolution on the island. Really? Is the past 50 years of intercommunal talks not full of failed similar initiatives and negotiation processes? If there is a problem, if all parties to that problem consider it as an unacceptable status quo, what will be the meaning of a failed process other than discreet diplomacy, international big actors playing the game of leverages once again and kicking off yet another process along almost the very same lines of the many other similar collapsed exercises?

Attacks on Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades by his political adversaries indicate that though he benefitted a lot from the Turkish Cypriot leader, “strong advocate of surrender” and “empathy man” Mustafa Akıncı, in improving almost all aspects of the failed 2004 U.N.-brokered Annan peace plan, by agreeing to give Turkish Cypriots a degree of political equality, he failed to achieve the goal. What goal? To make Turkish Cypriots accept second-class citizenship, making it some sort of serf status and a minority with some limited rights.

Did Akıncı not accept Greek Cypriot demands to increase the percentage of the shoreline under their control by giving self-rule, cantonal status to some Greek villages on the Karpasia peninsula? Did he not agree to hand back Morphou (Güzelyurt)? Did he not say yes to Greek demands to abrogate the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee and of Alliance, root out Turkey from the island and limit Turkey’s guarantee to an “ineffective” and rhetorical guarantee limited to the Turkish Cypriot quarter of the new federation? Did Akıncı not surrender to Greek Cypriot demands to oust Turkey and put a full stop to its interests in the eastern Mediterranean through such moves?

While Anastasiades must be congratulated by Greek Cypriot parties for benefitting from a surrender-minded Turkish Cypriot leader and pulling off so many key advances that Greek Cypriots could not even dream of for the past 50 years, he came under attack because he agreed to the limited political equality of the two peoples on the island in some key federal positions. Apart from ELAM and such fascist formations dreaming of drinking Turkish blood, that is the mentality which underlines the impossibility of sustainability any deal on the island. When and if next time a few idiots decide to play an adventurous game, ambush a mountain village in the middle of the night and massacre all the men within few hours, who will safeguard Turkish Cypriots? Obviously, such things cannot happen in our age, particularly with the island having an EU umbrella. Well, really? Would anyone volunteer to be a Turkish Cypriot on Cyprus without Turkey’s effective and physical guarantee for the whole island, including the federal boundary of the two founding states?

These were very much like the questions Democrat Party leader and Deputy Prime Minister Serdar Denktaş asked Akıncı on social media yesterday. Obviously, as Denktaş said, Turkish Cypriots have no other option but to believe that their president is honest and trustworthy. Yet, what the president has been shyly saying and what the Greek Cypriot leader has been bellowing at ceremonies commemorating EOKA terrorists – the people who tried to apply genocidal extermination plans on the Turkish Cypriots – and what the Greek Cypriot media – with leaks from Anastasiades and his team – have been reporting reflect two different worlds. Akıncı has been refuting whatever Anastasiades says publicly or what have been reported in the Greek Cypriot media about the talks.

For example, Anastasiades has been saying that all the deficiencies of the 2004 Annan Plan were improved; the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee and of Alliance was scrapped; no Turkish soldier will be left on the island; the 1960 Constitution will be corrected (to meet Greek Cypriot demands); unrestricted and unhindered freedoms for everyone on all of Cyprus will be agreed… Does Akıncı believe in what Anastasiades has been saying? Are these what he and Anastasiades agreed on behind closed doors?

Will Turkish Cypriots buy such an unconditional surrender and invitation to serfdom presented as a federal resolution?