Thank you, Anastasiades
In a conversation years ago, the late Osman Örek said he was told by Glafkos Clerides on the steps of the House of Representatives that “If you accept the constitutional amendments, that’s fine. We’ll let you into parliament. If you don’t agree, either go yourself, or I’ll send you at gunpoint.”
Clerides was the speaker of the House of Representatives at the time and Örek was defense minister in the partnership state of the Republic of Cyprus, which was an effective federation. The constitutional changes in question were nothing more than a package that would convert the Republic of Cyprus to a Greek Cypriot state and reduce the status of the Turkish Cypriots to a privileged minority. The amendments were adopted only by Greek votes after the Turkish Cypriots were expelled from parliament, and, thus, the Republic of Cyprus was occupied by the Greek Cypriots, in violation of the constitution and founding treaties. The invasion of the seat of government of the Republic of Cyprus was endorsed by the U.N. Security Council on March 4, 1964, under the so-called “necessity clause,” and in private talks with Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side it was stressed that “the partnership government will be restored as soon as possible.” Restoration was never achieved and the U.N. force dispatched to the island under the March 4, 1964 resolution did its best to enforce the “occupation” of the seat of government, as if Turkish Cypriot resistance to the occupation was a terrorist action.
This is the most important reason why the Cyprus problem could not be resolved since that date. While the Greek Cypriots demand the acceptance by Turkish Cypriots and Turkey of their occupation of government and the Cyprus Republic and its byproducts, they also see Turkey’s intervention in 1974 as an occupation and want it and its end results eliminated. Brazen? Shameless brazenness in its crudest form.
If there was an occupation in Cyprus, it was carried out by the Greek Cypriots with the genocidal tactics to take over the government and state bodies of the Republic of Cyprus, kicking out their Turkish Cypriot co-partners.
It may seem like a paradox, but as much as the Republic of Cyprus belongs to the Greek Cypriots, even if its government and organs are under occupation of Greeks, it equally belongs to the Turkish Cypriots. Obtaining a passport of the Republic of Cyprus is the right of Turkish Cypriots under the 1960 constitution and founding agreements, and just because they received that document does not mean that they have approved the occupation.
The fact that the Republic of Cyprus has been occupied by the Greeks for 58 years has not eliminated these rights. Likewise, the presence of a separate Turkish Cypriot state, which is unfortunately not yet internationally recognized and is considered “non-existent” by the U.N., cannot spoil this situation. If they have the opportunity to travel with the certificate of their own state, it will be possible for the Turkish Cypriots to recognize far easily the fact that Cyprus Republic unfortunately has long ago became just a Greek Cypriot state.
The decision of Greek leader Nikos Anastasiades not to “renew” the passports of President Ersin Tatar, Prime Minister Ersan Saner and 11 ministers in response to the decisions taken regarding the partial opening to resettlement of Varosha is as much a new manifestation of the disease of seeing Turkish Cypriots as second-class citizens as it is arbitrary. If it were not for the disease of seeing Turkish Cypriots as a second class minority, a fatigue occasionally displayed by the European Union as well, after the Republic of Cyprus joined the EU on 1 May 2004, for example, the Turkish language would have been included among the EU languages as according to the Constitution of Cyprus, the official language is not only Greek, but also Turkish and English. In this respect, the EU has put a premium on thuggery.
The passport of the Republic of Cyprus is also an EU travel document. Preventing Turkish Cypriots from obtaining an EU passport is a violation of a constitutional right, and the fact that this is done with an arbitrary understanding that ignored the constitution should show the EU and the world public what a hostile and discriminatory approach towards Turkish Cypriots exist among Greek rulers. It is not possible for the Turkish Cypriots to reach a federal solution with such a discriminatory, arbitrary and tyrannical approach. Equal sovereignty, respect for the principles of political equality are essential for a solution. These developments make a two-state solution within the EU the only possible way.
Maybe by revoking the passports of 13 Turkish Cypriot politicians, the Anastasiades administration reminded the international community of what the real occupation mentality and hatred towards “the other” is.