Something new in Cyprus, really?

Something new in Cyprus, really?

Almost everything is just the same, if not worse, since the collapse of the Cyprus talks process in Crans Montana in July 2017.

Indeed, nothing has drastically improved since the start of the Cyprus problem, when Greek Cypriot genocidal attacks on Turkish Cypriots were carried out. As the late Greek Cypriot leader Glafkos Clerides wrote in his “My Disposition,” the Greek Cypriots’ aim has always been to make Cyprus a totally Greek island and annex it to Greece, while Turkish Cypriots have stood determined to resist and to fight back – when necessary – to preserve their political equality and partnership in the governance of Cyprus.

Indeed, repeated rounds of Cyprus talks since they started at a Beirut hotel back in 1968 have all failed to produce a resolution because of the Greek Cypriot greed in not accepting a partnership status and political equality of Turkish Cypriots. They have insisted on seeing them as a community that deserves nothing more than some autonomous rights as a privileged minority.

Thus, if someone starts talking about the probability of “something new and promising that is going to happen” on Cyprus, and if indeed there has not been any significant progress, but on the contrary there has been substantive regression in many areas, the probable comment possible on such a remark can be “total nonsense.”

That was what I said having heard the remark of Prodromos Prodromu, the Greek Cypriot government spokesman, that he expected “good developments” that might “facilitate the entire process.” Prodromu was last in the news with a confirmation that President Nikos Anastasiades has replaced the rotation of presidency – an issue on which the two sides agreed long ago but Greek Cypriots never really officially admitted it – with the rotation of the prime ministry and introduction of a parliamentary democracy instead of the existing presidential governance.

Put everything aside, the suggestion to have a Greek Cypriot president all the time and a rotation of prime ministry between the two people of the island, with a Turk serving one term and a Greek two, negates the principle of political equality and provides a permanent Greek character for the state as the president shall always be Greek, according to Anastasiades. It was very much like a really bad joke.

Why then have Prodromu and his boss Anastasiades lately been delivering messages of a breakthrough in Cyprus peacemaking despite the deadlock in talks and failure of attempts to resume the process?

Obviously, the aim of the Greek Cypriot side is multifaceted. The first and foremost aim is to prevent U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres come up with a Cyprus report stressing that as was shown with the efforts of his temporary adviser to Cyprus, Jane Holl Lute, that prospect of a Cyprus federal deal is not possible.

Time has come to produce some new ideas, including a two-state resolution. Two, there is no longer a need for the continued presence of the United Nations Peace Force (UNFICYP) on Cyprus. Three, giving off an impression and creating a perception in the global society that the Cyprus talks might resume tomorrow, will provide legitimacy to unilateral hydrocarbon activities in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

The only new thing, if indeed can be done, might be such a statement from Guterres.

Yusuf Kanlı,