Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Written Evidence

Further written evidence from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, President's Office



  Turks and Turkish Cypriots have not yet realized the critical significance of public relations and propaganda. Greek Cypriots and Greeks, on the other hand, are experts in the use of propaganda and lobbying. Although propaganda and lobbying are legitimate, cheating is, to say the least, unethical.

  Unfortunately, even the European Union has allowed itself to be misled by the "unethical" propaganda machine of the Greek Cypriot side.

  Addressing the European Parliament on 21 April 2004, EU Enlargement Commissioner Gu­nter Verheugen, for example, recalled that in 1999 the then Greek Cypriot government had promised to do everything possible to secure a settlement in return for which the EU would not make a Cyprus solution a prerequisite for accession. An angry and disappointed Mr Verheugen stated to the European Parliament that:

    "What Mr Papadopoulos said after the negotiations in Switzerland is the rejection of that notion and I must draw the conclusion from his words that the government of the Republic of Cyprus opposes the international settlement and proposes the rejection of the Plan. I am going to be very undiplomatic now. I feel cheated by the Greek Cypriot government"

  It is unfortunately a fact that in conflict situations the near-irresistible temptation is to focus on surface symptoms, to simplify the task and to search for the fastest way out. In resolving conflict, however, we need to shift the focus beyond the surface approach of treating symptoms to a deeper level where the addressing of the underlying causes of the conflict is possible. Short-term pain relief should not be confused with long-term cure.

  Coming back to the Cyprus question, we need to go beyond the easily available propaganda material and dig out underlying objective facts and causes. The Cyprus conflict is not, for example, the result " . . . of a military invasion and continued occupation of part of the territory of a sovereign state" as the Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos chose to present it in his 23 September 2004 statement at the General Debate of the 59th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. Neither did the conflict start because the Turkish Cypriot people, an equal partner of the 1960 partnership Republic of Cyprus, agitated to secede from that Republic.

  If "occupation" is the root cause of the Cyprus issue, this is in fact the 41-year-old continued occupation of the seat of government of the once bi-communal partnership Republic of Cyprus by the Greek Cypriot partner since 1963. It is because of this occupation and the resultant conflict between the two equal partners that we have had UN peace-keeping forces in the island since 1964. The selective ignoring by Mr Papadopoulos of the period from 1963 to 1974, together with the reasons for the intervention of Turkey on 20 July 1974, cannot, of course, be attributed to amnesia. The withholding and even denial of certain "selected" facts is rather a devious attempt to obscure the underlying cause of the Cyprus issue in full knowledge of the dictum that cure is directly linked to cause. In other words, the Greek Cypriot side is attempting a cure for Cyprus that will not be based on their hijacking of the 1960 partnership Republic.

  Returning back to the Greek Cypriot claim that the Cyprus conflict is the result of a military invasion and continued occupation, there is no resolution of the United Nations Security Council which describes the legitimate and justified intervention of Turkey in 1974 as "aggression", "invasion" or "occupation". In fact, in a dramatic statement before the Security Council on 19 July 1974, Archbishop Makarios, the Greek Cypriot President at the time, openly accused Greece, not Turkey, of invading and occupying Cyprus on 15 July 1974. It was this invasion and occupation in order to realize immediate Enosis (union of Cyprus with Greece) and the violation of the state of affairs established by the 1960 Constitution and Treaties that led to the intervention of Turkey in accordance with its rights and obligations under the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee.

  On the claim that it was the Turkish Cypriot side which agitated to secede from the partnership Republic, Archbishop Makarios, the then Greek Cypriot President of the 1960 partnership Republic, is on record for repeatedly confessing that the Greek Cypriot struggle and aspiration in Cyprus was the realization of Enosis. In a statement to The Times on 9 April 1963, eight months before the hijacking of the partnership State, he said, for example, that:

    "The union of Cyprus with Greece is an aspiration always cherished within the hearts of all Greek Cypriots. It is impossible to put an end to this aspiration by establishing a Republic."

  When the Security Council resolved to send peacekeeping troops to the Island, the mandate of these troops (UNFICYP) as stipulated in resolution 186 (1964) was to prevent a recurrence of the fighting and to contribute to the maintenance and restoration of law and order and a return to normal conditions.

  Immediately following the endorsement of this resolution in the Security Council, the Turkish Cypriot side applied to the UN Secretary-General to use his best efforts to restore law and order and help return to normal conditions by upholding the 1960 constitutional order. The then Secretary-General turned this request down and replied to the Turkish Cypriot side that this was not the intention of the Security Council in adopting resolution 186[69]

  The admittance in resolution 186 that normal conditions did not exist and the refusal to restore the constitutional order in Cyprus are proof that the 1960 partnership institutions were incapable of functioning as set out in the 1960 Constitution thus making that Republic legally void as of December 1963[70]

  In yet another attempt, the Turkish Cypriot Parliamentarians who requested the help of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) to return to the partnership Parliament in July 1965 were told by the then Greek Cypriot President of the House of Representatives Glafkos Clerides that they could only do so provided they recognized the Greek Cypriot Government as the Cyprus Government, that they accepted all the laws enacted by the House of Representatives in their absence, and agreed to abolish Article 78 of the Constitution concerning separate majorities[71] When the Turkish Cypriot Parliamentarians refused to accept these humiliating conditions, they were instantly blamed by the Greek Cypriot side with withdrawing from the legitimate government. Turkish Cypriot political leaders of the time have repeatedly said that it was this final betrayal that triggered the chain of events, which led to the division of the Island and the emergence of two separate Governments.

  In spite of all these facts, the Greek Cypriot side has been successfully hiding behind what is called the "state of necessity"[72] argument and facade since December 1963. Putting aside the role of the Greek Cypriot side in creating the abnormal situation of 1963, the Greek Cypriot refusal to go into a new partnership with Turkish Cypriots and their preference in the 24 April 2004 referendum to maintain "abnormal conditions" unquestionably deprives them from using the "state of necessity" argument[73] any longer, together with the argument that the so-called "Republic of Cyprus" is the legal government of the whole island.


  Greek Cypriot politicians and officials frequently resort to the tactic of distorting facts in order to make more effective and to dramatize their unethical propaganda attempt. I will give three examples of such distortions.

  a.  In his letter to the UN Secretary-General of 7 June 2004, Tassos Papadopoulos claimed that there are "119,000 . . . illegally implanted Turkish settlers" in North Cyprus. Putting aside the discussion about the unacceptable nature of the choice of the word "settlers", Mr Papadopoulos argued later on in the same letter that the final version of the UN Plan would have allowed for the entirety of the "settlers" to remain in Cyprus. This amounts to a gross distortion of the facts in the Plan which limited to 45,000 those who could acquire Cypriot citizenship from each side other than those persons who held Cypriot citizenship on 31 December 1963, their descendants and the spouses of such descendants.

  b.  In his interview with the Dubai based Khaleej Times on 4 September 2004 Mr Papadopoulos openly claimed in response to a question that no Turkish Cypriots were killed between 1963 and 1974. The comment of Loucas G. Charalambous, a prominent Greek Cypriot journalist to this lie was "Does the President suffer memory loss?". In his opinion column in the Greek Cypriot English language daily Cyprus Mail of 12 September 2004, Mr Charalambous wrote:

    "We should resist the temptation to laugh at this response by the President. I will just remind you that during this period (1963-19 74), there were bloody clashes in Mansoura-Tylliria, in Leka-Ambelikou, in Trypimeni, in Arsos, in Man, and in Kophinou-Ayios Theodoros.

    In Kophinou alone, UNFICYP had counted 22 corpses of Turkish Cypriots by 10 am on 15 November (1967) as was reported by Brigadier Michael Harbottle in his book The Impartial Soldier I do not think there is anyone who would consider it wrong to describe the President's claim that no Turkish Cypriots were killed as a blatant lie."

  c.  Tassos Papadopoulos wrote to the UN Secretary-General on 7 June 2004 that he once more wanted to "emphatically reiterate" the commitment of the Greek Cypriot people, as well as himself, . . . . to the solution of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation". He repeated this commitment in his statement to the General Debate of the 59th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations on 23 September 2004. But in the same statement Mr Papadopoulos also repeated that the resolution of the land and property issues had to respect the right of return of refugees. Similarly, in his letter of 7 June 2004 to the UN Secretary-General, Mr Papadopoulos insisted that . . . the Plan includes a number of pre-conditions for reinstatement of properties, which limits substantially the exercise of the right of Greek Cypriots to reinstatement".

  Mr Papadopoulos's insistence on the right of return and the reinstatement of properties makes mockery out of the principle of bi-zonality, which is an established pillar for settlement in Cyprus, and which Mr Papadopoulos says he is committed to respect. Obviously, Mr Papadopoulos cannot support both bi-zonality and full respect of the right of return of refugees. If he really supports bi-zonality he has to put aside pretences and must start preparing his people to accept restrictions on the right to return in order to facilitate bi-zonality.


A.  The functionality argument

  In his letter of 7 June 2004 to the UN Secretary-General, MrPapadopoulos stressed that functionality covers all the areas of the operation of the state including federal legislation and its practical application, the Central Bank, fiscal and monetary policy, the curtailing of the various transitional periods, the administrative structure and functioning of the federal government, the decision-making process at all levels, and the territorial aspect. Mr Papadopoulos described the objective of functionality as ensuring the viability and smooth operation of the solution.

  But, functionality, viability and smooth functioning vary depending on the agreed model of governance. The modalities for smooth functioning and decision-making, for example, vary in the case of a unitary state as compared to the case of a bicommunal partnership/federal state. In the case of the latter, in order to respect and cater for the interests and political equality of the partners, representation and decision-making arrangements cannot allow for one of the parties to dominate or subordinate the other if what is required is the smooth functioning and viability of the partnership.

  No doubt all the requirements for a smooth functioning partnership cannot be legislated and invariably require the building-up of a partnership culture and mutual trust. Partnerships also require strong common interests and interdependence, which, together, will act to hold the partnership together. With the asymmetry that has been allowed to grow in the political and economic powers of the two parties in Cyprus since 1963, coupled with the continuing Greek/Greek Cypriot obsession that Cyprus is part of the Hellenic world and the insistence to patch the Turkish Cypriot people into the Greek Cypriot usurped "Republic of Cyprus", I do not think that the essentials are currently in place for a viable, smooth functioning and sustainable partnership. There is no doubt that under the functionality argument Greek Cypriot political leaders are trying to introduce majoritarian decision-making and governance arrangements instead of exploring alternative partnership consensus-building mechanisms.

  In fact, such mechanisms were explored in the course of the Technical Committee meetings on cooperation agreements and the federal laws. On the subject of the Cooperation Agreement on European Union Relations, which aimed at regulating policy formulation, decision-making, representation and legal actions concerning European Union Relations which fall exclusively or predominantly into an area of competence of the constituent states, the formula included in the UN Secretary-General's Plan foresaw the establishment of a coordination group composed of four representatives, two hailing from each constituent state. The group would try to reach decisions by consensus. If consensus could not be achieved, decisions would be reached by special majority which would include at least one member hailing from each constituent state. Unfortunately, even this arrangement, which applied to functions that fall exclusively or predominantly into an area of competence of the constituent states on which they could not be overruled, was not acceptable to Mr Papadopoulos.

  In an article published in the 29 August 2004 issue of the Sunday Mail, Greek Cypriot political analyst Nicos A Pittas pointed out that:

    "On our side, the hard line successors to Makarios, who of course are more Catholic than the Pope, pay lip service to federalism but in reality insist on a government structure that is essentially unitary and gives control to the majority Greek Cypriot community in the event of a deadlock. It is exactly the same issue that brought down the Zurich and London Agreements in 1963 and which continues today under its contemporary guise . . . It is not the flaws of the Annan Plan that are the problem. It is the leadership of our governing coalition that is collectively responsible for the continuation of the Cyprus stalemate . . . If our leaders were truly committed to a federal settlement any practical problems could be surmounted through negotiations after the establishment of the United Cyprus Republic . . . That in fact is the nature and essence of federalism: that it needs to be constantly nurtured and renewed in each generation by the communities that comprise the federation.

    The reality is that no solution or constitution will be perfect".

B.  Security Needs of the Greek Cypriot Side:

  Although Cyprus has never been under Greek rule, Greeks and Greek Cypriots historically (even mythologically) count Cyprus as an integral part of the Hellenic world. It is this belief that has led to the violent collapse of the 1960 partnership state. Because this historic belief is institutionalized in Greek culture (myths, the Church, schools) it is hard to ignore it. Over a period of ten years between 1963-1974 no amount of diplomacy succeeded to change this belief and to halt the forceful marginalization of Turkish Cypriots and their deprival from their constitutional and treaty rights. Turkey was forced into intervening in Cyprus in 1974 in order to fulfill an obligation under the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee because the state of affairs created by the 1960 Constitution was continuously violated. In spite of the security protection provided to Turkish Cypriots by the presence of the Turkish army, which has been the sole deterrent for the reoccurrence of violence on the island since 1974, the violation of the 1960 state of affairs is continuing and has over the years led to a chain of events and the emergence of new conditions which have found expression in guideline agreements (1977 and 1979) between the two sides (bi-zonality, bi-communality, federalism). But because the Greek Cypriot side is still obsessed with Hellenism and wishes to maintain the political and economic advantages it has unjustly acquired since 1963, there is no eagerness on their side to step down from their advantageous position and share power with their equal ex-partner in the context of a new comprehensive partnership settlement package.

  In spite of the fact that the Turkish army continues to be the one and only security cover for Turkish Cypriots, and, the fact that the Secretary-General's Plan required the substantial reduction of these forces over the initial but very critical seven year period (allowing for both Turkish and Greek contingents not to exceed 6,000 all ranks until 2011), to be followed by a further reduction to a symbolic 650 by the European Union accession of Turkey, or following 2018 (whichever is sooner), both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot majority (through the referenda of 24 April 2004) supported the Secretary-General's Plan. The Plan even contained a provision which provided for a three-yearly review after 2018 with the objective of total withdrawal (Article 8,l,b iii of the Foundation Agreement).

  All these did not suffice to satisfy Mr Papadopoulos, who, in his all or nothing approach, wrote to the UN Secretary-General on 7 June 2004 that Greek Cypriot concerns regarding "the crucial issue of security, were to a great extent, ignored". He pointed out in the letter that they . . . still have serious security concerns as a result of the presence of Turkish occupation troops and Turkish overall behaviour". Mr Papadopoulos claimed that the Plan meant that Turkish troops would remain on the island indefinitely.

  The underlying logic and calculation behind this "all or nothing" stance of Mr Papadopoulos can be traced to his pre-referenda address of 7 April 2004, in which he also called upon the Greek Cypriot people to give a resounding "no" reply to the UN Secretary-General's Plan:

    "What will be the consequences if the people vote no at the referendum? If the sovereign people with their vote reject the Plan, within a week the Republic of Cyprus will become a full and equal EU member. We will achieve a strategic goal that we have jointly set to upgrade and politically armor the Republic of Cyprus . . . The view that this will be the last initiative for a Cyprus solution constitutes dogmatism and indicates ignorance of the rule of international policy . . .On the contrary, I am saying that the pressure for a solution will be bigger . . . Turkey's accession course will also continue, thus Ankara will be under continuous evaluation for the adoption and implementation of the acquis communautaire, and Cyprus will be one on of the evaluators."

  The position of Mr Papadopoulos is therefore that they are so strongly positioned vis-a-vis the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey that they can afford to completely ignore the legitimate concerns and interests of Turkish Cypriots (including security), as well as the 1960 Treaty rights of Turkey (while the Treaty rights of Britain remain intact). They also conclude on the basis of their calculation that time is working in their favour, therefore, they can afford to wait indefinitely until "total victory" is secured.

  This line of thinking, coupled with the vision and obsession of a Hellenic Cyprus, does not leave much room for give-and-take, compromise and a sustainable win-win settlement, or stability, in Cyprus. We need to understand that there cannot be a fair and sustainable settlement in Cyprus that would be based on the political equality of the two sides so long as the Greek Cypriot side is allowed to unilaterally realize all its objectives and so long as the Turkish Cypriot side is made to be seen to be subordinate to Greek Cypriot authority.

  In any case, on the subject of security, we must not allow the Greek Cypriot side to forget that it is the refusal of the UN Secretary-General's Plan by them that has prevented settlement in Cyprus thus halting the kick-starting of the process of demilitarization on the terms of the Plan. Mr Papadopoulos should not now be allowed to complain about the presence of Turkish troops on the island.

C.   The Question of "Turkish Mainland Settlers"

  This issue has at least three very important dimensions—political, economic and humanitarian.

  On the political front, by using the politically loaded word "settler" regarding Turkish mainlanders residing and working in North Cyprus and by challenging the capacity of Turkish Cypriot authorities to grant "citizenship", the Greek Cypriot side is, on the one hand, trying to register the claim that it is only their authorities who can grant citizenship, and on the other, that "Turks" are not welcome in Cyprus.

  In essence, through this position, the Greek Cypriot side is trying to establish the point that even in the absence of a settlement and partnership institutions Greek Cypriot authorities are solely and "divinely" authorized, on behalf of both sides, to issue "firmans" on the citizenship issue. In doing so, they of course feel entitled to make as many Greeks, Russians, Pontian Greeks etc "citizens of Cyprus" without asking Turkish Cypriots, and, as such, do not consider these deeds as acts that disturb the demographic balance on the island.

  On the economic front, because Turkish Cypriots are the undesirable other (challenge to the Hellenic character of Cyprus, uninvited guests, even "sub-humans") and must be "hurt" further with embargoes and isolation so that they will eventually succumb to Greek Cypriot wishes, they must not have a vibrant economy. Turkish workers and manpower significantly contribute to the economy of North Cyprus, therefore, every argument and tool must be used to make their stay in Cyprus "illegitimate". While the very vibrant construction sector in North Cyprus is totally dependent on Turkish construction workers, the agricultural and tourism sectors depend largely on human recourses from Turkey. The Turkish Cypriot economy would collapse completely without the Turkish workforce, the presence of which has now become an integral part of its economic infrastructure. Per capita income in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is now calculated to have reached 7,500 US Dollars—a rise of approximately 50% over a period of two years.

  Unfortunately, the current Greek Cypriot leadership is guided by the type of archaic reasoning and logic outlined above instead of looking upon the island as a regional, European and a global opportunity for the two partners and co-owners, where each side would use its assets, roots and influence in both the West and the East to maximize returns for the whole of Cyprus thus making the island a "partnership of civilizations" model for the rest of the world.

  Nicos A Pittas, a Greek Cypriot political analyst writing for the Cyprus Mail, had the following comments in his article of 29 August 2004 regarding settlers:

    "He (Mit Papadopoulos) also wails that the Annan Plan allows some settlers, a lot of settlers, maybe even all the settlers to stay. So What? If Cyprus needs something almost as much as water, it is cheap labour. . . We already import tens of thousands of foreign workers from all over the world to do our dirty work, so what is so awful if some of them are Turks? In any case given that we are now in the EU and someday probably so will Turkey with resulting mobility rights throughout the EU including Cyprus, what is so catastrophic with permitting 50,000 Turks, most of whom have lived on Cyprus for most of their lives, to stay?

  Currently, Greek Cypriot authorities are using all of their powers and influence in the EU to undermine an EU Commission proposal for direct trade between North Cyprus and the EU in yet another attempt to subordinate the Turkish Cypriot side and its economy to Greek Cypriot rule.

  On the humanitarian front, the attitude and position of the Greek Cypriot side regarding the citizens of an EU candidate country, which they humiliatingly describe as "Turkish mainland settlers", is discriminatory and de-humanizing to say the least.

  In a study released in late 2003, the British Helsinki Human Rights Group criticized the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe for stating in a report that it published on 24 June 2003 that settlers in Northern Cyprus are coming from Anatolia "one of the least developed regions of Turkey" whose "customs and traditions differ significantly from those present in Cyprus". The British Helsinki Human Rights Group study pointed out that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Report "expresses the kind of racist sentiments supposedly deplored by the Council of Europe"[74]

D.   The Claim that the UN Secretary-General's Plan Was "Not the Product of Negotiation Nor Did It Constitute an Agreed Solution Between The Parties"

  The question that needs to be answered here is whether the UN provided the necessary frame-work where ample opportunity was given for negotiation and agreement to take place, or whether the Greek Cypriot side preferred to be seen to be negotiating—while putting all the blame on the Turkish Cypriot side—in order to prevent the realization of a partnership settlement based on the principles of bizonality and political equality. A study of the developments between late 2003 and 24 April 2004 reveal without doubt that the Greek Cypriot side in fact refrained from negotiation with the objective of preventing the realization of a partnership settlement and that they are now merely inventing excuses to cover up their hidden agenda.

  In December 2003, Tassos Papadopoulos sent a letter to the UN SecretaryGeneral calling for the resumption of substantive negotiations on the basis of his Plan. When the Secretary-General met Mr Papadopoulos in Brussels on 29 January 2004, Mr Papadopoulos reiterated his call, stressing categorically, that he sought a solution before 1 May 2004. He reassured the Secretary-General that he did not seek "40 or 50" changes to the Plan, and that all the changes he would seek would be within the parameters of the Plan[75]

  After getting similar signs from the Turkish Cypriot side, Turkey and Greece, the UN Secretary-General invited the parties to New York on 4 February 2004 to begin negotiations on 10 February 2004. Following intensive negotiations, the two sides reached agreement on 13 February 2004 on a three-phase process leading to separate simultaneous referenda on a finalized Plan before 1 May 2004. The three-phases were:

  Phase I: The parties would seek to agree on changes and to complete the Plan in all respects by 22 March 2004 in Cyprus.

  Phase II: In the absence of an agreement in Phase I, the Secretary-General would convene a meeting of the two sides—with the participation of Turkey and Greece, in order for them to lend their collaboration in a concentrated effort to agree on a finalized text to be submitted to referenda on the basis of the Secretary-General's Plan.

  Phase III: As a final resort, in the event of a continuing and persistent deadlock, the parties invited the Secretary-General to use his discretion to finalize the text to be submitted to referenda on the basis of the Secretary-General's Plan.

  When the negotiations re-convened in Cyprus on 19 February 2004, Mr Papadopoulos insisted that all federal laws, constitutional laws and cooperation agreements (all 131 of them) had to be completed by 22 March 2004 for the Plan to be considered complete. More than 250 Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot technical experts worked day and night to finalize these legal texts, about 90% of which was finalized by 22 March 2004 with some differences remaining between the parties on the remaining 10%.

  In the political negotiations, the Greek Cypriot side kept producing papers on their demands while the Turkish Cypriot side was busy trying to produce counter proposals that would address the interests and needs of both sides. The Secretary-General wrote in his report of 28 May 2004 to the Security Council that:

    " . . . .. The Turkish Cypriot side was generally prepared to engage on Greek Cypriot proposals and to discuss matters on a realistic basis, and sought to make counter-offers and compromise proposals".

  Unfortunately, although the Technical Committees succeeded to achieve much of their task, progress was not possible at the political level and the Secretary-General had to move to Phase II of the process.

  Accordingly, when on 24 March 2004 the Secretary-General's Advisor Alvaro de Soto proposed an opening meeting of the two sides, with Greece and Turkey present in Bürgenstock, Switzerland, in order to lend their collaboration, the Greek Cypriot side indicated that it did not wish to meet in this format in spite of the fact that it had accepted this arrangement in New York on 13 February 2004. This undermined the whole purpose of Phase II of the agreed plan to move the process forward and no progress was therefore possible in spite of all the bridging proposals of the Secretary-General and the efforts of friendly countries.

  The Secretary-General was therefore forced into moving to Phase III of the process and at close to midnight on 31 March 2004 he presented the two sides a finalized Plan, as per the agreement of 13 February 2004, which included further improvements beyond those already suggested by him in his bridging proposals.

  On his return to Cyprus, Mr Papadopoulos delivered an emotional address to Greek Cypriots on 7 April 2004 calling upon them to give a resounding "no" reply to the Secretary-General's Plan, while using the state machinery to make sure that the Greek Cypriot referendum result would be negative.

  After confirming categorically to EU officials and to the Secretary-General in their Brussels meeting on 29 January 2004 that he sought a solution before the accession of "Cyprus" to the EU (before 1 May 2004), Mr Papadopoulos was bold enough to call on the Greek Cypriot people to wait till after their membership of the EU when, he said, they will have more leverage against Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots in realizing their objective of further upgrading and politically armouring the Greek Cypriot "Republic of Cyprus". Mr Papadopoulos in fact made several unofficial attempts both in Cyprus and in Bürgenstock to delay negotiations and agreement till after 1 May 2004 thus proving his insincerity about agreement by 1 May


  Following all of these, on 23 September 2004 Mr Papadopoulos had the face to claim at the General Debate of the 59th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations that ". . .Despite the hard work invested in the process by all involved the end product of this effort was judged to be inadequate and it fell short of minimum expectations for a settlement for Greek Cypriots . . . Firstly (because) the Annan Plan was not the product of negotiation nor did it constitute an agreed solution between the parties".

  To sum up, in view of the adverse conditions surrounding the UN negotiation process, the 24 April 2004 referenda results were virtually a foregone conclusion. Especially with the acceptance of the Greek Cypriot Government of Cyprus by the EU as the sole interlocutor for "Cyprus" and the removal of the condition foreseen in the 1992 UN Set of Ideas that EU membership would follow a settlement between the two sides, there was no need left for the Greek Cypriot side to reach a partnership settlement since they could realise all of their objectives, including EU membership under the claim that they represent the whole island, unilaterally, while the hands of the Turkish Cypriot side were tied under embargoes and political isolation. The failure of the United Nations to prepare the ground for meaningful and fair negotiations and to level the playing field in a way that would respect the equal legitimacy of the two sides also contributed to this result. Partnerships require a "glue" factor to hold the partners together. Professor Tozun Bahçeli of King's University College, Canada, pointed out at a conference at the Eastern Mediterranean University, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, on 29 April, 2004 that the partnership option was attractive to the Greek Cypriot side so long as a two state solution was a real possibility.

  Under the influence of misinformation and the push of Greece within the EU, and without regard to the rule of law and the root causes of the Cyprus conflict, the Turkish side was effectively treated by the EU as the villain seeking secession from the legitimate Greek Cypriot Government of Cyprus, while the Greek Cypriots were treated as the victims. The consequence of these false perceptions and assumptions immunised the Greek Cypriot side from suffering any consequences for their intransigence. If the pursuance of a zero-sum strategy entails no consequences there is naturally no incentive to settle for less. This point was confirmed in the emotional pre-referenda address of the Greek Cypriot Leader Tassos Papadopoulos in which he went as far as saying that he had been entrusted an internationally recognised Republic and that he was not going to reduce it to the status of a community.


  New facts and a new state of affairs have emerged in Cyprus as a result of the referenda of 24 April 2004. The international community cannot now ignore the changing paradigms in Cyprus, which call for the development of new policies and strategies to match the new needs.

  Among the elements of the new facts and the new state of affairs could be listed the following:

    —  The two peoples of the Island are qualified to, and are capable of exercising their separate inherent constitutive powers as we have seen in the recent referenda.

    —  In exercising their equal constitutive powers, each party represented itself and no other.

    —  The Turkish Cypriot side supported the Secretary-General's Plan, which foresaw a bi-zonal, bi-national partnership, by a majority of 6,500, while the Greek Cypriot side refused the partnership plan by a majority of 7,600. This result has made the Secretary-General's Plan null and void[76]

    —  The Greek Cypriot vision of a Greek Cypriot-dominated Cyprus has not changed. Accordingly, the Greek Cypriot side is continuing to resort to every means and argument in order to undermine the principles of bizonality, bi-communality and political equality that are the agreed pillars of a new partnership settlement. In this regard, the emotional pre-referenda address of Tassos Papadopoulos was in essence a challenge against bizonality, political equality and the "virgin birth" approach under the guise of "functionality"; and against the Treaties of Guarantee and of Alliance under the guise of "security".

    —  The referenda results have shown without doubt that even after so many years of concentrated effort by the international community the Greek Cypriot side does not believe in partnership and does not respect the political equality of the Turkish Cypriot people. Since an imposed partnership is not an option, the onus is now on the UN and the international community to free the Turkish Cypriot side from the yoke of Greek Cypriots.

    —  The Greek Cypriot argument based on the "state of necessity" principle lost whatever ground it had since it has become obvious that it was, and is, the Greek Cypriot side that has been contributing to the continuation of the abnormal situation.

    —  It has now become obvious that what was the partnership "Republic of Cyprus" has in fact turned into the Greek Cypriot Republic of Cyprus in which the Turkish Cypriot people, as an equal corporate body, is no longer a partner or a party.

    —  It became clear that the intransigent side in Cyprus is not the Turkish Cypriot side and also that the Greek Cypriot side has no ground to hold the Turkish Cypriot side hostage under international isolation.

    —  It became evident that the absence of a level-playing field, and the one-sided conditionality applied by the European Union, have contributed to the intransigence of the Greek Cypriot side and have prevented the reaching of a negotiated settlement.

    —  It became visible that the Turkish Cypriot side has been subjected to injustice and discrimination since 1963.

    —  The Turkish Cypriot side and the international community lost more confidence in the Greek Cypriot side which failed to keep its promise that it would support the Secretary-General's Plan for a settlement by 1 May 2004 if its EU membership process was kept on track.

    —  It became obvious that it is in fact the Turkish Cypriot side that is confronted with real security and political threats and that needs more safeguards and guarantees against the Greek Cypriot side which is obsessed with the vision of dominating the island.

    —  The unilateral EU membership of the Greek Cypriot side has further strengthened their hand thus contributing to the asymmetry of power between the two sides and further undermining the chances of fair negotiation.

  These new circumstances and realities can now frustrate or act as a catalyst for opening the door for a new analysis and for new strategies/remedies. The international community, especially the United Nations and leading nations, can capitalise on this new opportunity to bring stability and sustainable resolution to Cyprus. No doubt this will require leadership and bold steps, among which could be the following:

    —  The international community to change the game plan and paradigms surrounding the Cyprus issue by levelling the playing field and empowering the equal status and legitimacy of the Turkish Cypriot polity. Turkish Cypriots should not be kept under international isolation for no fault of their own. There can be no movement on the Cyprus issue without creating a cost for the Greek Cypriot side.

    —  The international community to free the Turkish Cypriot people from subordination to the Greek Cypriot side by ending all economic, social and political embargoes that have been unjustly applied on them since 1963. The Turkish Cypriot side is expecting the international community to fulfil its commitment following the referenda results of 24 April 2004 that the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriot side would end and that all restrictions (embargoes) on North Cyprus would be removed. It is pertinent, in this regard, to recall some of the remarks made by international personalities and organizations:

          "I applaud the Turkish Cypriots who approved the plan notwithstanding the significant sacrifices that it entailed for many of them . . . (I) hope that ways will be found to ease the plight in which the people find themselves through no fault of their own." (UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, 24 April 2004.)

          "The Turkish Government displayed great courage. The Turkish Cypriots did, as well, on voting for it (Secretary-General's Plan). And so, I think there should be some benefits to the Turkish Cypriots for having voted `yes' for this Plan." (US Secretary of State Cohn Powell, interview with the press, 26 April 2004.)

          "Turkish Cypriots must not be punished because of this result . . . Now we have to end the isolation on the North. The (EU) Commission is ready to take various measures for that aim." (Gunther Verheugen, EU Enlargement Commissioner, 26 April 2004.)

          "I think it is important, as I indicated to the Prime Minister, that we end the Isolation of Northern Cyprus . . . We made it clear we must act now to end the isolation of Northern Cyprus. That means lifting the embargoes in respect to trade, in respect to air travel." (Tony Blair, Prime Minister of the UK, during his visit to Turkey, 18 May 2004.)

          "The International community and in particular the Council of Europe and the European Union cannot ignore or betray the expressed desire of the majority of Turkish Cypriots for greater openness and should take rapid and appropriate steps to encourage it. The Turkish Cypriots' international isolation must cease?" (The European Parliamentary Assembly Resolution no.1376(2004).

          "I would hope that the members of the Council can give a strong lead to all States to cooperate both bilaterally and in international bodies, to eliminate unnecessary restrictions and barriers that have the effect of isolating the Turkish Cypriots and impeding their development . . ." (The Secretary-General's Report on his Mission of Good Offices in Cyprus to the Security Council, 28 May 2004,8/2004/437, p.2).

    —  The United Nation to revisit the UN Security Council resolutions regarding Cyprus. This is necessary in view of the new state of affairs in order to ensure that the Turkish Cypriots are not subordinate to Greek Cypriots or their political authority and in order to ensure that they are not left in international isolation and deprived of their rights due to the Greek Cypriot rejection of the Secretary-General's partnership plan.

    —  European Institutions to look for ways to empower the Turkish Cypriot Administration as the authority that exercises effective control over North Cyprus. Protocol No 10 of the 2003 Act of Accession stipulated that the Greek Cypriot Administration does not exercise effective control over North Cyprus. In fact the 1960 Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus, and the state of affairs created thereof, does not allow either the Greek Cypriot community/partner or the Turkish Cypriot community/partner to exercise control or authority over the other, or to represent the other. Each community/partner elect their own representatives.

    —  The European Union to take all necessary steps to put an end to the unjustified embargoes and give effect to measures to connect the Turkish Cypriot people with the rest of the World. It must be remembered that part of the restrictions on Turkish Cypriots were dicated in the decisions of the European Court of Justice in the Anastasiou cases where the rationale stemmed from the lack of ability to cooperate with the Authorities in North Cyprus. Turkish Cypriots must have a closer and direct cooperation with European Union institutions and must not be deprived of the advantages conferred by EU Treaties.

    —  The European Union and the Member States to establish direct contacts with North Cyprus. Strictly speaking, under the circumstances described in this paper, the emergence of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has been the result of necessity and, as such, recognition is the right of the state that emerged, resting on the free and democratic choice of the Turkish Cypriot people. But, this is not the issue here. The issue is that the Greek Cypriot side does not have the right to be the government of the Turkish Cypriots in North Cyprus and therefore, a formula has to be found to allow for direct contacts with, and equal opportunities to, the Turkish Cypriot polity, without subordinating it in any way to the Greek Cypriot polity. The non-recognition of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus should not therefore prevent direct contacts with the Turkish Cypriot side. In fact, in the case of Taiwan, the European Union had developed modalities through contacts at the "administrative level" to facilitate trade. Furthermore, the authenticity of North Cyprus documents could be checked by European Commission authorities and not by the Greek Cypriot Administration. The Council Regulation defining the terms under which the provisions of EU law will apply to the green line between the two sides in Cyprus is far from meeting the legitimate interests of the Turkish Cypriot side and the new realities on the island following the referenda on 24 April 2004. It is imperative that the direct trade and financial aid Regulations prepared by the EU Commission go through as proposed by the Commission.

        The European Union to provide technical assistance in upgrading Gazimagosa Port and help in preparing the ground so that newly furbished Ercan Airport could be opened for international traffic. All these could be done in full compliance with the related acquis with the proviso that this will not be used in any other way than for economic development of North Cyprus.

    —  The European Union should provide financial and technical assistance for the development of physical and social infra-structural projects, including projects in the electricity sector and a major skills development program to train qualified personnel for the tourism sector. The EU could also provide technical assistance to the Turkish Cypriot side in project preparation, undertaking, feasibility studies and application for aid from EU structural and regional funds. Turkish Cypriot citizens and Turkish Cypriot companies registered in North Cyprus should be able to tender for EU funded projects. Any assistance coming from the EU or from international funds should not be linked, directly or indirectly, to the outstanding property issue.

    —  The European Union to accept Turkish Cypriot certification to facilitate free movement of peoples and goods. The assistance of the EU to open direct mail, telephone and electronic links between North Cyprus and EU as well as the rest of the World will also provide a major step towards the ending of the isolation of the Turkish Cypriot people who have proven their readiness to be the part of the EU and the World.

    —  The European Union to open an Office in North Cyprus to facilitate direct relations. Such an Office should also provide technical assistance for harmonization with the acquis. It should also function as a Paying and Audit Agent to facilitate transfer of EU funds for the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot people.

  The Turkish Cypriot side could itself contribute to efforts to bring stability and resolution by doing, among other things, the following:

    —  Initiate a process, together with the European Union Commission, to harmonise the Turkish Cypriot legal, economic and political system with the European Union acquis.

    —  Reorganise its administrative and legal infrastructure in order to improve efficiency and compatibility with EU and international norms.

    —  Assist in combating illegal immigration, terrorism, drug trafficking and money laundering as well as other threats to public order and public/international security.

    —  Create effective domestic remedies in North Cyprus especially as regards issues relating to property and public order.

    —  Look forward to a new cooperative relationship with the Greek Cypriot side on all issues as two good neighbours and as the two co-owners of the Island.

    —  Make sure that the territory under its control continues not to be used for any subversive or terrorist activity against the Greek Cypriot side or any other neighbouring country.

    —  Work towards a customs union agreement with the Greek Cypriot side and with Turkey in parallel with its harmonisation process with the European Union.

    —  Remain committed to settling the outstanding property issue in a way that would satisfactorily compensate legitimate property owners.


  As also stated by the United Nations Secretary-General on several occasions, a balanced comprehensive settlement plan for Cyprus requires visionary and bold political leadership on both sides of the island, as well as in Turkey and Greece, all of which have to be in place at the same time and to actively engage in the resolution process with determination in order to secure the needed balanced compromises for settlement. They all have to work hard to convince their respective peoples of the needed compromises and the benefits of a partnership settlement. While the political leadership in Turkey, the Turkish Cypriot side and to some extent Greece demonstrated that they were ready to grasp the opportunity, the political leadership on the Greek Cypriot side remained in the grip of selfish ethno-nationalism in spite of a concentrated effort by the international community, including some heavy weights like the USA, the EU and Britain. With his track record as a leading nationalist, I do not think that the Greek Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos can now change his vision for a Greek Cypriot dominated Ilellenic Cyprus and can look upon the Turkish Cypriots as co-owners of the island and their equal partners in partnership.

  The sheer size of the Greek Cypriot "no" vote raises fundamental questions and has significant implications, considering that this was the first time that the Greek Cypriot public was being asked to vote on a bi-communal, bi-zonal partnership solution of the problem. The referenda results have shown without doubt that the outstanding majority of Greek Cypriots are calling into question many fundamental aspects of the Secretary-General's Plan, a culmination of decades of negotiation, including those provisions which translated the political equality of the Turkish Cypriot people into practical terms, bi-zonality, security arrangements and the virgin birth approach. The "virgin birth" design of the Plan allowed each side to maintain its position on how the new state of affairs would come into being since both sides rejected the sole continuity of the other. In his broadcast speech on 7 April 2004 before the referenda, Tassos Papadopoulos was very clear in his challenge to the complete philosophy and fundamental aspects of the Plan when he said:

    "We are asked to dissolve the Republic of Cyprus, the only security of our people, the only shield and guarantee of our historic physiognomy—to dissolve our internationally recognised state entity exactly at the very moment this is reinforced through our accession to the European Union I have received a state that was internationally recognised. I will not hand it over as a community, without the right to speak internationally. . .".

  This statement alone reveals the true intentions of Mr Papadopoulos and his supporters who have commanded the 76% majority. This fact alone entitles Turkish Cypriots to reconsider their position about entrusting their fate in Greek Cypriots, even in the context of a new bi-zonal partnership settlement. It is therefore time for both Turkish Cypriot authorities and the international community to start considering and promoting the "next best alternative" (BATNA)[77] for the Turkish Cypriot people, bearing in mind that the Turkish Cypriots cannot give up their distinct identity, political equality, the Treaties of Guarantee and of Alliance, and the needed bi-zonality which, together, are essential for their physical, political and economic survival and security. The existence of a strong Turkish Cypriot BATNA could also deter the Greek Cypriot side, as also pointed out by Prof. Tozun Bahçeli, from pursuing zero-sum strategies and could re-generate mutual interest in partnership based on real political equality.

  I would argue that the main reason for the failure of the repeated peacemaking initiatives in Cyprus could be traced to deficiencies in process design. The burden of this shortcoming cannot wholly be placed on the shoulder of the United Nations Secretary-General or his staff. Major international players, including the EU, have contributed to this failure and to the biased circumstances that conditioned the relations of the international community with the two sides. The ignoring of the rule of law regarding Cyprus also contributed to the deficiencies in the process design. For its part, the EU blatantly failed in benefiting from its catalytic capacity in Cyprus and accession was realised without a settlement and under the "time-bomb" claim that the Greek Cypriot administration represents the whole island. Overall, processes were initiated at times that did not match with the existence of a mutually perceived notion of deadlock (mutually hurting stalemate); enough attention was not paid to the need for a level and fair playing field (Turkish Cypriots had to negotiate under embargoes and the claim that the Greek Cypriot authorities represented the whole of Cyprus); windows of opportunity (like the EU membership of Cyprus) that could have equally induced the parties for settlement were mishandled; the root causes of the Cyprus issue were not adequately analysed and addressed; and so-called "confidence building measures" were put into practice that amounted to the dependence, and even subordination of the Turkish Cypriot side on the Greek Cypriot side (like the EU asking Turkish Cypriots to export their goods through Greek Cypriot ports) rather than promoting confidence-building through interdependence—an essential requirement of partnership.

  To re-open the door for settlement, I would therefore suggest as a starter that the shortcomings that have undermined the negotiation processes so far be remedied—starting with the lifting of all embargoes on North Cyprus, and, parallel to this the political empowerment of the Turkish Cypriot side as an equal party in Cyprus.

  As the UN Secretary-General has pointed out in his 28 May 2004 Report, the Greek Cypriot leadership is challenging the fundamental aspects of his bi-communal, bi-zonal partnership plan and there is no justification under these circumstances for isolating the Turkish Cypriots and impeding their development. The Greek Cypriots must be stopped from holding the Turkish Cypriot people their political and economic hostage.

  Finally, I would argue that we cannot develop policies and strategies regarding Cyprus in isolation of Turkey and Greece and the region as a whole. It will not suffice to contain or seemingly solve the problem of Cyprus without taking into account the realities of the island and of the volatile region Cyprus finds itself in between Europe and the Middle East, as well as, of course, the reality that Greek Cypriots have connections to Greece and Turkish Cypriots to Turkey. The partnership option of the two equal peoples still seems the best opportunity for Cyprus, but for this option to be realised we must make absolutely sure, in the spirit of partnership and for reasons of balance and sustainability, that neither side is subordinate to the other in the setting up of the partnership and in its functioning. The realisation of this vision will not be possible unless there is island-wide and international consensus on the magnitude and significance of what we are trying to achieve. This necessitates an appreciation of the island-wide, regional and global benefits that partnership between the two peoples and cultures of the island would bring. For the island, this would mean peace, security, stability, prosperity and synergy; at the regional and global level, it would mean the cooperation and partnership of two civilizations that some people have recently chosen to condemn to perpetual obscurity through the dogma called "clash of civilizations". Only an international community acting in unison has the political force to achieve this vision. But, in the meantime, the Turkish Cypriot people must be freed from being the hostages of the Greek Cypriot side and must be treated, as a polity, at par with the Greek Cypriot polity. Put differently, the Greek Cypriot side must be prevented from using its unjustly and illegitimately acquired weight in Brussels to further hurt its ex-equal partner, the Turkish Cypriot people, and to settle scores with its neighbour, Turkey.

M Ergun Olgun

4 October 2004

69   Paragraphs 218 and 219 of the UN Secretary-General's report of 10 September 1964 Back

70   On 4th July 1992, the EC Arbitration Commission found that the federal institutions of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) were incapable of functioning as originally designed in the Yugoslav Constitution and that the SFRY should therefore be considered to have dissolved and ceased to exist. The Arbitration Commission also found that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) could not be considered to be the continuity of the SFRY. Back

71   UN Secretary-General's report to the Security Council dated 29 July 1965, paragraphs 7-11. Back

72   Chrystomides, Kypros, The Republic of Cyprus: A Study in International Law (Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2000). Back

73   Dr. Kudret Ozersay, The Doctrine of State Necessity and the Republic of Cyprus (unpublished report). Back

74   "Bitter Lemons The Search for a Solution to the Cyprus Problem", British Helsinki Human Rights Group,, p 18 Back

75   UN Secretary-General's Report to the Security Council dated 28 May 2004, para 8. Back

76   The Comprehensive Settlement of the Cyprus Problem, 31 March 2004, Annex IX: Coming. Back

77   Fisher, Roger & William Ury, Getting to Yes, Negotiating an agreement without giving in (Arrow Business Books, 1996), pp 104-111. Back

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