Turkish Cypriots are lucky
Hopes are high nowadays among Turkish Cypriot “federalists” and in international circles wishing to impose a “federal settlement” on Cyprus. The expectation is that separate meetings of the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot leaders with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will lead to the resumption of the Cyprus intercommunal talks that have repeatedly failed to provide the island some sort of a “federal” resolution over the past half century.
Mustafa Akıncı does not want to become the Turkish Cypriot leader that has buried the “federation option.” That is what he has been saying behind closed doors since the latest round of talks that have culminated to a five-party exercise as Crans-Montana collapsed over repeated Greek Cypriot disinterest in a power-sharing deal. It was he who was frustrated after the Crans-Montana collapse declared with a stern face that his generation failed to bring about a federal resolution, but somehow changed his mind and decided to give Greek Cypriots once more chance. Why? No one has an idea as there has not been any change since Crans-Montana in the Greek Cypriot position that might indicate the prospect of a federal resolution.
It is high time, of course, to consider some other options, including a velvet divorce, the “two states in the EU” or a loose confederation of two states. Yet, Akıncı made an appeal to the Turkish Cypriot “silent masses” last week to form a united front because the Cyprus issue was once again heading to a very important junction. Apparently, no one among the Turkish Cypriot romantic leftists are fed up with expecting that Greek Cypriots will one day recognize the political equality of the two people on the island and agree to a bizonal and bicommunal power-sharing deal.
However, the Greek Cypriot side has always been straight forward on some issues, particularly in regards to who is the owner of the island. Kofi Annan has passed away. He will be remembered with the failed Annan plan of 2004 as well as with his Russia-killed report on how the plan collapsed because of Greek Cypriot antagonism. Also, Annan will be remembered with his famous sentence: The relationship between the two communities of Cyprus is not one of majority and minority but of two communities sharing the same homeland. Indeed, when and if the Greek Cypriots understand the magical power of that sentence, they will go through a mental transformation to accept the reality embedded in that sentence.
In recent interviews with both local newspapers in Nicosia as well as a news agency in Athens, Greek Cypriot chief negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis reaffirmed that contrary to what Akıncı has said, the so-called unwritten “Guterres ideas” verbally presented to the two sides during the Crans-Montana round of talks might constitute a framework to resolve the Cyprus problem. Whereas, while opening that Pandora’s box and giving Greek Cypriots a hope that their intransigence might pay off this time as well, Akıncı had said the Guterres proposal should serve as the basis of the agreement. What were those ideas? Everyone has a different interpretation.
Akıncı, a romantic federalist all his political life, could so far not understand why Greek Cypriots never ever repented to what they did before 1974 and kept on repeating their determination to never accept the legitimization of the “Turkish invasion, occupation and the results.” However, genocidal Greek Cypriot attacks between 1963-1974, the 1974 coup and the ensuing Turkish intervention are all parts of the common past that have produced the present-day reality of Cyprus.
If Greek Cypriots hope to achieve a settlement under which all pre-1974 residents will return to Northern Cyprus—killing the principle of bicommunality—or all pre-1974 Greek Cypriot property rights will be restored—killing the principle of bizonality—with or without an Akıncı in Northern Cyprus, that cannot happen.
Despite Akıncı, the Turkish Cypriots are lucky that there is such high greed on the Greek Cypriot side. Otherwise, with Akıncı-type leaders they might be condemned to the destiny of Cretan Turks: Extinction.