Letter to the Clerk of the Committee from
the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, President's Office
I hope the Committee's inquiry and contacts
in Cyprus went well. There is of course no substitute for face-to-face
contact with the concerned parties. It was nice to meet the Committee
members (those who travelled to Cyprus) and you during your visit
to President Rauf R. Denktash.
After reading through the uncorrected transcripts
of the questions asked by Committee members and the oral evidence
provided by Dr. Christopher Brewin, Dr. Philippos Savvides, Lord
Hannay of Chiswick and Mr Ozdem Sanberk, and especially after
listening to the questions and comments of the Committee members
during the meeting with the President, I thought several points
needed further clarification which, due to the lack of time in
your meeting with the President, I was not able to express. Let
me point out that I have been a member of the Turkish Cypriot
negotiating team since 1994, was the Coordinator of the Turkish
Cypriot Technical Committees during the negotiation and finalization
of the so-called Annan Plan and took part in the four-party "attempt"
to finalize the comprehensive settlement plan in Bürgenstock.
I trust you will bring these clarifications
and points to the attention of the Foreign Affairs Committee members.
1. According to the uncorrected transcript
of the meeting of the FAC of 2 November 2004, Sir John Stanley
asked Lord Hannay "We have knocked out of the hands of
the UN the single most important negotiation card which was EU
membership and why do you believe that somewhere down the line
there might come a sufficient combination of pressures on the
Greek Cypriot Government to, in your own phrase, engage in a realistic
way in negotiations?"
I do not think Lord Hannay provided a satisfactory
answer to this question. Sir John Stanley was trying to explore
what the sources of pressure could be to induce the Greek Cypriot
Government to ". . . engage in a realistic way in negotiations"
after knocking out of the hand of the UN the single most important
negotiation card, which was EU membership.
Based on my experience, I can say with confidence
that a "sufficiently strong combination of pressures"
on the Greek Cypriot Government would be the following:
Facilitate direct international services
and traffic to Turkish Cypriot ports and airports.
Facilitate direct trade between North
Cyprus and EU member countries.
In view of the overwhelming public
refusal by the Greek Cypriot side of the partnership option, start
discussing the recognition of the TRNC as the next possible alternative
to a negotiated partnership settlement.
In the past, the partnership option looked favourable
to the Greek Cypriot side when the recognition of the TRNC looked
likely. I am sure that the same will happen this time and they
will engage, under the new circumstances, in future negotiations
in a realistic way.
In addition to inducing the Greek Cypriot side
to engage, the putting into practice of the above-mentioned suggestions
would help bridge the economic and political gap between the two
sides, help level the playing-field for "fairer" negotiations
and, as a consequence, make the realization of a partnership between
the two parties more likely.
2. Using its weight in Brussels, the Greek
Cypriot side is now insisting that Turkey has to recognize the
"Republic of Cyprus" if its accession negotiations are
to start and if its EU membership process is to go ahead.
This "insistence" of the Greek Cypriot
side is a recipe for disaster and would make the Cyprus question
even more insoluble. My reasons in reaching this conclusion are
The 1959 Zurich and London Agreements
provided for bi-national independence for Cyprus resting on the
political equality and administrative partnership of the two communities
who were given full autonomy in what were strictly defined as
communal affairs. These guidelines were enshrined in the 1960
Constitution and the state of affairs thus created was guaranteed
by Turkey, Greece and Britain under the Treaties of Guarantee
and of Alliance.
Since the destruction of the 1960
partnership state in 1963 by the Greek Cypriot partner and the
usurpation of its title through violence and through unilateral
changes to the unchangeable provisions of its Constitution, the
Republic of Cyprus has become a Greek Cypriot state.
The 1959 Agreements, the 1960 Constitution,
the 1977 and 1979 High Level Agreements and all UN initiated plans
for Cyprus (including the latest Annan Plan) prohibit any one
side to claim or exercise authority or jurisdiction over the other.
This has also historically been the reality on the ground in Cyprus.
In translating these facts and legal
requirements into the process of coming into being of a possible
new partnership state, Secretary-General Kofi Annan concluded
that the settlement needed to provide elements of continuity for
both sides into the new state of affairs, and also that the settlement
needed to be the source of legitimacy for all matters in the future.
This approach constituted the foundation of the Annan Plan.
This approach naturally rules out
the possibility of the one hundred% Greek Cypriot "Republic
of Cyprus" being the sole source of legitimacy and continuity
for a possible future partnership.
All of these facts, together with the
fact that in the absence of a legitimate joint authority neither
the Greek Cypriot people nor the Turkish Cypriot people can claim
authority or jurisdiction over the other, constitute the reasons
why the Turkish Cypriot people and Turkey have refused to accept
the Greek Cypriot-usurped "Republic of Cyprus" as the
legitimate authority for the whole island.
The Greek Cypriot ploy now is to
use their unjustly acquired advantageous position in Brussels,
and through exploitation of the EU preoccupation of the Turkish
government, to realize what they have failed to achieve in 1963
But like the 1963 and 1974 ploys, this
cannot succeed and cannot bring peace, stability and settlement
to Cyprus because it rests yet again on the forced deprival of
the Turkish Cypriot people of their political equality and of
what the UN Secretary-General has named the separate and equal
"inherent constitutive power" of the two sides.
The Greek Cypriot insistence that
Turkey should recognize the "Republic of Cyprus" as
the legitimate authority for the whole of Cyprus, therefore, is
a challenge to the basis of the 1959 Agreements, the 1960 Constitution,
the 1977 and 1979 High Level Agreements, all UN settlement plans
for Cyprus (including the latest Annan Plan) and, most important
of all, the historic realities on the ground.
In any case, Turkey cannot recognize
the 100% Greek Cypriot "Republic of Cyprus" as the sole
legitimate authority for the whole of the island, because this
violates its commitment under the Treaty of Guarantee which obliges
it to protect the state of affairs of 1960, which, in turn, is
based on the equal political rights and "inherent constitutive
power" of the Turkish Cypriot people.
The above-stated are the reasons
why the said Greek Cypriot insistence is a recipe for disaster
and will not serve the purposes of peace, stability and sustainable
settlement in Cyprus and in the region.
3. No doubt, the Cyprus question needs to
be resolved as early as possible for peace and stability on the
island and in the region. This is also necessary for the enhanced
role of the EU in the Eastern Mediterranean after the latest wave
of enlargement, and for the smooth membership process of Turkey.
To achieve this in a win-win manner, and especially
in view of the proven Turkish Cypriot / Turkish commitment to
a new bi-zonal partnership settlement based on the political equality
of its two constituents, a new game plan is required that will
include the new dynamic and catalytically factors outlined in
paragraph 1 above.
M. Erugn Olgun
12 November 2004