If it continues like this…

If it continues like this…

There cannot be anyone in northern Cyprus who does not demand a settlement. Settlement ideas might differ, but the status quo cannot be acceptable to anyone. Yet, there are some confused minds who see surrender to Greek Cypriots or becoming a part of Turkey as some sort of a resolution. No one should look for bad intentions behind such outbursts; they are just products of frustration produced by
the status quo.

The local election fewer in northern Cyprus has long turned into a presidential campaign, yet there are months before next February’s election with no candidates around. The left spectrum has started claiming Greek Cypriots stepped back from the “rotation of presidency” convergence of the Mehmet Ali Talat-Demetris Christofias period because incumbent President Derviş Eroğlu retracted from the “cross voting” that was also agreed upon. Of course, cross voting – under which Turkish Cypriots would have a 20 percent bearing effect on the Greek presidential vote and vice versa – was an issue in 2010, but it was a part of a package rejected by Greek Cypriots and thus went down the drain. While rotation of presidency was a principle agreed on in exchange for Talat agreeing to Christofias’ demand of “one state, one nationality and one sovereign.” Yet, it was because of the strong allergy of the Turkish Cypriot people to cross voting that Talat lost the presidential vote to Eroğlu.

Now, rehashing those old discussions with a claim that Anastasiades gave up rotation of presidency because Eroğlu rejected cross voting, sorry to say, is a big lie that cannot help any presidential ambition.

For some time, just because he was the leader of the sole Greek Cypriot party that supported the Annan Plan in 2004, everyone hoped with Anastasiades’ election, there would be a strong prospect of resolving the Cyprus problem. Yet, hiding behind the economic crisis he inherited from Christofias, Anastasiades evaded talks for more than nine months and when he agreed to return to the table, it took months to negotiate a joint statement.

The recent reception of EU ambassadors by Anastasiades has indeed helped decode him once again. What did he say to the EU ambassadors? In a flouting manner, he asked the envoys to tell their capitals they should stop telling Turkish Cypriots that the EU would accept whatever deal the two sides reach on the island. He said he would not agree to permanent derogations and Turkish Cypriots should be clearly told any deal must conform to the acquis communitaire. Enough? No, he further stressed in that meeting that like in many European countries, there was a majority and a minority in Cyprus and a deal should reflect that reality. Oh la la… Can you see the mindset? Indeed that statement is the summary of the Cyprus problem. The mentality that has always believed “the best Turk is a dead Turk” could not ever agree to give Turkish Cypriots more than minority rights. That was the problem in 1963.

That is the problem today. This is the “democrat, pro-settlement” Anastasiades of 2004… Obviously, this is an example of how power changes people.

However, as Norway’s PRIO agency revealed last week, a resolution to the Cyprus problem could bring peace and vast economic benefits to the two peoples, and beyond. After this week’s meeting with his Greek Cypriot counterpart Andreas Mavroyannis, Turkish Cypriot negotiator Kudret Özersay was rather pessimistic, yet trying to preserve his hope: “With this Greek Cypriot mentality and approach, we will have delays in resolving the Cyprus problem…”

Was there a schedule? What delay? Greek Cypriots are not interested at all in a Cyprus resolution; they are just stalling Turkish Cypriots and mocking the world, waiting for a frustrated Turkish Cypriot people surrender to their hegemony. They don’t want to see that with such attitudes they are just pushing for either a two-state resolution, or the north being swallowed by its affectionate “Motherland.”