Prof. Dr. Ata ATUN
New Horizons in Cyprus Dispute
The Cyprus Peace Talks heading to nowhere nowadays.
Greek Cypriots willing and wishing to last the negotiations forever as they believe that one day the Turkish Cypriots get bored, give in and will accept to live under Greek yoke.
Of course due to the nature of politics the vice versa is also possible. The political, military, wealth and demographic balances may change and the region and the Greeks get bored and give.
During the past 50 years, on some very important issues and developments they stubbornly insisted on their one sided policy like a goat and lost the progress which would have carry them to a better position, rather than to regret later on.
In 1972, the President of the Turkish Cypriot Communal Chamber Mr. R. R. Denktash and Greek Cypriot Communal Chamber Mr. G. Klerides were mutually agreed on the amendment of the 1960 Republic of Cyprus Constitution, degrading the partnership rights in “Governance” of Turkish Cypriots but securing the lives of the Turkish Community on the island.
The agreement was fulfilling all the demands of President Makarios, the then leader of EOKA, in full. If it was also confirmed and accepted by the President Makarios and signed by the leaders of both sides, the partnership rights of the Turkish Cypriots on the Cyprus Republic would be lessen substantially.
The Republic of Cyprus would turn into a Greek Cypriots state, and the Greek Cypriots would promote to the sole governors of the republic. The Turkish Cypriots would downgrade from internationally recognized politically equal partner state to protected minority status, having little bit more rights comparing to Maronites, Armenians and Latins defined as “Minorities” in the 1960 Republic of Cyprus Constitution.
This mutual agreement between Klerides and Denktash, even though it was degrading the partnership rights and status of Turkish Cypriots and transforming them into a Protected Minority, was fully rejected and refused by the PresidentMakarios.
Mr. Glafkos Klerides in volume three of his memoirs, titled “My Deposition”, succinctly expresses why President Makarios refused to sign this mutual agreement, which would ward off the July 15, 1974 coupe organized by the Generals in power in Greece against him and the Turkish intervention after 5 days.
In his own words, the late Glafkos Clerides secured terms “based on a much improved constitution than the Zurich one, and on a unitary state…. We rejected it because it did not give us the maximum of our aims, i.e. Cyprus, a Greek Cypriot island ruled by a Greek Cypriot majority.”
The Greek Cypriot rejection was put very clearly by then Foreign Minister Sypros Kyprianou also. “I wish again to call on the Greek Cypriot people to be calmly on alert in order to prevent a nationally unacceptable solution. By this I mean either concealed or unconcealed federation, or condominium, double Enosis, or partition or a return to Zurich Agreements,” Clerides quoted Kyprianou as saying.
So the opportunity for a long lasting peace in the island was kicked off by the Great Greek Ideal of converting the island of Cyprus to a Solely Greek Cypriot island or an island belonging exclusively to Greek Cypriots and ruling it without sharing the governance with Turkish Cypriots, Maronites, Armenians and Latins.
Not after too long, only after two years, during the cease fire talks in Geneva after the Turkish intervention on 1974, the very first proposal Mr. Klerides put on the table was “we accept the terms of 1973 agreement”.
Of course it was too late. Nobody took into consideration this timeworn and impertinent proposal….
Greek Cypriots insisted on the same strategy of not sharing the island with the Turkish Cypriots and rejected the possible sustainable peace terms four more times till today…..