Shouldn’t we be a bit realistic?
There’s panic in some circles. The U.N. Security Council has condemned it, while the EU started warning that it might reconsider the “positive agenda” and impose some sanctions on Turkey. Even Russia participated in the Security Council statement condemning Turkey. What else is there? America has warned, saying, “Take back the steps taken in Varosha, there will never be a two-state solution on Cyprus; go back to the bi-zonal federation option.”
The removal of a small area in Varosha from the military zone, the call for pre-1974 residents who wished to return to the region or take some other action related to their former property to apply to the Immovable Property Commission, left Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) “alone” in the world. Why? Because under the previous U.N. Security Council resolutions, the area might be rehabilitated only after it was placed under interim U.N. administration. Nonsense, who trusts the U.N.? Is there any case anywhere in the world where the U.N. undertook responsibility and delivered a successful outcome? Did the U.N. forces in Cyprus (UNFICYP), the mandate of which was extended again even without consulting the Turkish Cypriots, managed to end the bloodshed on Cyprus? Would it be possible to stop the Greek Cypriots’ genocidal attacks on Turks if Turkey did not intervene in 1974 after a Greece-engineered coup by the Greek Cypriots?
Those who claim with such actions Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots provoked being left in isolation of Turkish Cyprus. The person who might have such an opinion should think that since 1975 start of federation-aimed talks, the world has always embraced, supported and provided billions of dollars in aid to the Turkish Cypriot people because they sincerely, despite all obstructions from the Greek Cypriot side, demanded a persistently bi-zonal and bi-communal federal solution, but now they would be punished because they now out of the blue decided to seek a two-state solution. Or that the European Union had been willing to make Turkey a member all these years, but gave up offering Turkey membership because 3.5 percent of Varosha was taken out of the military zone and the former resident Greek Cypriots were told they might return or take some other action at the IPC.
Come on, as is said, there’s no pacifier for the baby who doesn’t cry. If you’re good, they’ll pat you in the back and utter you a few nice words, but they’ll go and reward the naughty one for calming him down.
Wrongly or true, in his July 20 Republican Assembly speech and subsequent Peace and Freedom Ceremony speech, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced that Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots were ready to pay for, if a bill was to be paid, to support the Turkish Cypriot state and promote a two-state settlement as Turks would not spent another 50 years in hopes that the Greek Cypriots one day may accept a bi-zonal and bi-communal federal settlement on Cyprus.
The new presidential complex and the parliament building Erdoğan promised will be the monuments of Turkey’s resolute position on Cyprus to support an independent Turkish Cypriot state under all conditions.
Some people, both in Cyprus and in the international arena, might not notice that no one has so far offered the Turkish Cypriots an end to their international isolation should they have dropped demanding a two-state settlement and return to the futile federal resolution option. After all, the EU was aware when it accepted the accession of Cyprus that there was an internal problem on the island. The U.N. was aware in 1964 when it recognized all-Greek government as “provisional” Cyprus government in violation of the founding agreements and the constitution of Cyprus. The EU made a mistake but that’s a mistake done, there cannot be a return. The U.N. made a mistake, but Security Council cannot rescind its resolution accepting it was wrong. But the Turkish Cypriots should respect all such wrong decisions and actions or face isolation. What isolation, gentlemen? Even Turkey cannot play soccer with Turkish Cypriot teams. The Turkish Cypriots must obtain either Cypriot or Turkish passports to travel abroad even for health or education reasons. What isolation indeed?
What sanctions will the EU impose on Turkey? Or won’t the EU accept Turkey’s admission? It’s a joke. Now, what’s the point of going in there with the promise that “We’re alone, we’ve been wronged” as if so many opportunities had been lost for these reasons?
But, think about a “calculated tension” option behind the developments. Read the Greek press, for example. In an increasingly panicked environment, the media has been highlighting Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades’ great failure at Crans-Montana in 2017, and since then, thanks to what it is stated that two-state settlement is beginning to be seen as the only solution. I think that was the goal. The Greek side and its supporters are forced to consider a new Cyprus process where at the talks a two-state solution will be on the menu on the table.
There’s a belief in some circles that the Turkish Cypriot state will never be recognized. It’s not impossible. I should say and underline that direct flights and commercial contacts with at least half a dozen countries are on the agenda as far as I know.