CYPRUS IS THE HOME OF TWO NATIONS NOT ONE

Prof. Dr. Ata ATUN

 
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 11 Haziran 2007 Saat : 5:32


 

In August 1960 a partnership state between Turkish and Greek Cypriots was set up in accordance with the international agreements signed by the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot sides, as well as the Turkish, Greek and British governments.

However, in 1963, only three and a half years later, the Turkish Cypriots were ousted by brutal force from all organs of this infant re-public by their Greek Cypriot partners in clear breach of the founding agreements, treaties and the Constitution.

The claim thereafter put forth by the Greek Cypriots to represent the “Republic of Cyprus” has been illegal, and has not been recognized by Turkey.

Then a grave period, stretching from 1963 to 1974, took place on the island; a time that was more than a nightmare for Turkish Cypriots.

The 1974 operation by Greece to annex the island, in contraven-tion of Cyprus Treaty of Guarantee, dated 16 Aug 1960, Article II, through a coup attempt, was blocked by Turkey, in accordance with the aforementioned 1960 Treaty of Guarantee.

Consequently, Turkish Cypriots set up their own republic, while continuing the search for reconciliation.

The decision of the EU to start negotiations with the Greek Cy-priot administration for the accession of “Cyprus,” without the consent of Turkish Cypriots and in disregard of the negotiations under the auspices of the UN secretary-general, further complicated the situation.

Despite the absence of a settlement, the European Council in Copenhagen approved the EU membership of “Cyprus,” based on the unilateral application of the Greek Cypriot administration.

Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) ar-gued that the Greek Cypriot side had no authority to negotiate on be-half of the whole island and that this accession would be in contraven-tion of the relevant provisions of the 1959-1960 treaties on Cyprus, and thus constituted a violation of international law.

The said treaties prohibit Cyprus from joining any international organization of which both Turkey and Greece are not members.

Cyprus is the home of two nations and there exist two democrat-ically organized states in the island.

The Turkish side always supported the efforts carried out under the good offices mission of the UN secretary-general towards finding a just and viable settlement to the Cyprus issue.

However, the Greek Cypriot side rejected the 1985-86 draft framework agreements, the UN sponsored set of ideas of 1992, the package of confidence building measures of 1994 and more recently the comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, the Annan plan, in April 2004.

Turkey and the KKTC have always believed that only a sincere and constructive approach, which also takes into account the vital interests of the both sides, could produce a just, lasting and viable settlement in Cyprus.

With this understanding toward the end of 2003 the Turkish side took yet another initiative to re-launch the negotiation process.

The Annan plan was the result of this initiative and was put to separate and simultaneous referenda on April 24 in both parts of the island.

The Greek Cypriot people and the Turkish Cypriot people have thus exercised their inherent constituent powers.

While the Greek Cypriots overwhelmingly rejected it (75.83 per-cent against), the Turkish Cypriot people approved the settlement plan by a clear majority (64.91 percent in favor), despite the significant sa-crifices that it entailed for them.

Greek Cypriot leader Mr. Tassos Papadopoulos delivered a tele-vised speech, several hours before the referenda, urging his people to cast a resounding “no” to the plan.

The leaders of the Greek Cypriots not only opposed the plan, but at the same time conducted a very strong and active state-run “no” campaign.

Thus against the repeated calls of the international community, the Greek Cypriot people were directed to a “no” vote by their leaders.

It has been now three years since the referenda, a new situation had arisen in the island.

It has been once again confirmed that the Greek Cypriots have no authority to represent the whole of Cyprus or the Turkish Cypriots and they have no intentions for a fair-minded and sustainable agreement to settle the Cyprus dispute, once and for all.

Consequently, partition now seems to be the best solution for the island, as belief also held by 28 percent of the Greek Cypriots, accord-ing to the public poll held in southern Cyprus by Noverna during the last weeks of March 2007. This figure is now around 65 percent in the North.

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