Action, not slogans, needed
Instead of slogans like “two-state solution” or “we’ve broken the mold,” it’s high time to talk about meaningful policies, practices and actions in short.
If the Turkish public is to be enlightened about the Cyprus issue, the right way to achieve that ought to be to talk to diplomatic reporters. Of course, we can’t say anything about President Ersin Tatar’s preference but it would have been great if at least one of the journalist friends who attended the meeting could have asked what he meant by a “two-state solution,” urging him to explain the strategy he envisioned to reach to such a solution with the Greeks. Like what was that great achievement at Varosha? Wasn’t the beach already open for controlled entry? Now there’s a more liberal practice, that’s all. Has the military status been terminated? No, not yet…
As I said, we can’t interfere with the president’s preferences. But for example, wouldn’t it be nice if he explained why a “two-state solution” ought to be within the European Union? What does President Tatar really say about that? He probably knows perfectly well that no solution plan that does not foresee a future within the EU, except for a small minority, will not receive approval from the Turkish Cypriot people.
It would be nice to tell the opposition who have been constantly asking him, “What have you done since October 18th?” and in the meantime explain to the Turkish public what great steps have been taken to consolidate the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) since he took office.
Surely all kinds of contacts with the Turkish media are useful. The Cyprus issue has gradually fallen off the agenda of the Turkish people and has only turned into an emotional obsession. It would be useful to have, as intense as possible, contacts with the Turkish media, whether with political reporters and diplomacy reporters or writers and newspaper executives.
Especially during this difficult period, the importance of Turkey’s protective and savior role for the Turkish Cypriot people has become more visible. If the Cyprus issue is resolved, and even if there is no problem, it is vital that the Turkish Cypriot people have a solid supporter like Turkey. Thus, not only for Turkey’s interests, for Turkish Cypriots’ wellbeing as well, there is a need for Turkey’s firm support.
There is no need to say the importance of water provided to the island with a suspended pipeline. Likewise, although some scarcity-minded friends oppose it today, connecting northern Cyprus to the Turkish grid will open a new era. When the ongoing pandemic is left behind, tourism will be revived, and the need for both water and electricity will increase. With or without a solution, this is how it will develop.
In the Cyprus solution process, which has been ongoing at intervals since 1968, an informal process may begin at the beginning of March, and perhaps officially a new process may begin after a while. The U.N. secretary-general, Britain’s foreign secretary and the U.N. representatives are negotiating ideas with the two sides on the island, Turkey and Greece. Unfortunately, at all these contacts -- as if federation aimed talks did not collapse repeatedly since 1977 because of Greek Cypriot refusal to share the island, government and sovereignty with the Turkish Cypriots -- there is again emphasis for a “bizonal, bicommunal federation.” Shouldn’t Turkey and the TRNC be able to explain to the international community that wanting a federation was no less than refusing a solution? Shouldn’t Turkey and TRNC explain not only the Turkish media but also the international media how many rounds of inconclusive talks have been held since 1977 and that all these talks failed because of the Greek Cypriot refusal to share the island, sovereignty and administration with the Turkish Cypriots?
For example, if the mandate of the U.N. peace force is extended only with the consent of the Greeks without even getting the opinion of the Turkish Cypriot side, shouldn’t TRNC inform the U.N. that they are not accredited in North Cyprus?
Let’s put the slogans aside and move forward with meaningful actions on the ground...