Political Crisis in the “Republic of Cyprus”. Confrontation between Greek and Turkish Negotiators

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Written by Andreas C Chrysafis; Originally appeared at Global Research

After the disaster at Crans–Montana an embarrassed negotiating Greek team returned like wet cats with their tails between their legs attempting to justify and spin their failure.

A tired president, influenced by his inner core of “advisors”and politicians flew back feeling dejected. They are now busy trying to convince Cypriots they are not giving up but would seek ways to restart the Bi-Zonal, Bi-Communal Federation talks (BBF). During a televised news conference the President agreed to continue the negotiations on a prerequisite and conviction that a “solution” is achievable with the Turks. What a damn idea!

Political Crisis in the “Republic of Cyprus”. Confrontation between Greek and Turkish Negotiators

Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Foreign Minister of Turkey in Saadabad Palace in Tehran, Iran (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Reality speaks louder than words. In Switzerland, the Greek team was entrapped by a much superior and shrewder negotiating team led by Mr. Mevlut Cavusoglu the Turkish foreign minister ­–­a cunning man who had a strategic plan in place and knew precisely what he was doing and where he was going in the interests of Turkey and not others.

Meanwhile throughout the talks, Akinci played the victim bride and hardly spoke. He was there as a flowerpot smelling the sweet scents of success. On the sly, he was actually one of the architects of Ankara’s conspiracy to fool everyone. He behaved splendidly, acting damp as instructed by allowing Cavusoglu to do all the talking in a game of deceit!

Only Nicos Kotzias the Greek Foreign Minister smelled the stench of Mevlut Cavusoglu’s devious intentions. Kotzias had the balls and the foresight to speak out against the Turkish Minister’s devious behaviour and dubious remarks; remarks spoken with a forked tongue – there was no love lost between the two!

The Anastasiades team seemed quite prepared to make further concessions in exchange fora negotiated BBF solution. In the spirit of goodwill the President ignored the danger signs written on the wall and failed miserably to anticipate (or refused to accept) the obvious. Over optimistic and gullible the Cyprus team continued trusting that Turkey would change its behaviour and act honorably.

Political Crisis in the “Republic of Cyprus”. Confrontation between Greek and Turkish Negotiators

Nikos Kotzias, Syriza politician and present Foreign Minister of Greece, in 2013. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

They dismissed the idea that a chameleon never reveals its true colours. Instead, they chose to behave as good Europeans and good Samaritans acting as obedient “good little boys and girls”. Everyone knows what happens to both! They ignore the one critical rule known to all – that shaking a hand with Turkey one soon discovers a couple of one’s fingers missing.

Meanwhile during the negotiations, not a single mention of the Republic of Cyprus was made. It was as if it never existed. For all intents and purposes the talks concentrated on establishing a New Cyprus between the “two communities” on a power-sharing formula of a non-existent mythological “federation”. It was as if Anastasiades had forgotten that the people elected him as the President of the Republic and not a “community leader” as the UN, the EU and others presented him in the interests of the negotiations as not to offend Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots.

What a bloody mess! Turkey – as predicted – never had any intention of negotiating seriously and its presence at Crans–Montana was nothing less than window dressing and a PR exercise, knowing the world would be watching. This was a calculated move to pave the way forward and ultimately take possession of the entire occupied area. Sultan Erdogan did not waste time announcing that:

“it’s too bad the Greek side did not want a settlement. Turkey will now proceed with its plans B and C for Cyprus.”

It is only a matter of time before the next bombshell will come! Who will stop Turkey then? Nobody did in 1974!

Cavusoglu meticulously applied the Turkish conspiracy at Crans–Montana to the latter.For days the Turkish foreign minister, with a smiling face, kept making spoken but vague promises ­­of Turkey’s “good intentions” for a solution (but never in writing) until he was ready for the good kill.

As it has turned out Cavusoglu and Akinci were there to retrieve as many concessions from the Greek side as possible! Exacerbated by the Turkish minister’s dishonorable and cunning attitude, the UN-Secretary pressed him to stop beating around the bush and put Ankara’s proposals on the table and in writing.It was then that Cavusoglu got offended and threw a tantrum including another bombshell half-hour before all collapsed.

He announced in not so many words that:“with or without an agreement, the Turkish troops will never be withdrawn from Cyprus” and neither would Turkey abandon“the right to intervene in the island”. If that was the Turkish position and red lines, then why go through the travesty of negotiating at all with such people?

Everyone at the conference was utterly shocked by Cavusoglu’s revelation on the two most important and critical issues of the negotiations. They finally recognized that Turkey never meant a single word spoken at the negotiating table but rather was playing for time in a shameful Ottoman game of political deception.

After ten days and a 15-hour session of non-stop negotiations UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced at 3am that he was

“deeply sorry to inform that despite very strong commitment and the engagement of all parties…the conference on Cyprus was closed without an agreement being reached” and then he went on to wish the “best for all the Cypriots in north and south Cyprus”.  

As a seasoned diplomat, the UN Secretary-General stopped short of actually blaming Turkey for the collapse of the UN conference but ironically, he went on to admit the presence of two separate states– North and South Cyprus! Those words could now end up becoming an established term of a permanent partition of Cyprus under occupation.

As for the President and his team, reality had suddenly dawned on them! How could they be so wrong about their Turkish Cypriot compatriots after so many years of negotiations with them? They recognized that Akinci was not the well-meaning man Anastasiades had befriended and he helped to elevate his status to presidential prominence – albeit unofficial. After two years the on-off negotiations between the two “friends” finally came to an inglorious end and they went their ways. No one but Turkey is any the wiser for what the future holds!

In such a situation, people with a sense of dignity often resign as a matter of honour for failing their duty. No matter how one sweetens the end result, the Anastasiades team has been outsmarted by Turkey’s well-thought strategy forged before their arrival in Switzerland! There are no greys in negotiations but simply “failure”or “success” and the talks in Switzerland have failed for the third time in the past six months. That’s not a sign of success but a sign of political incompetence!

The honourable thing to do now is for the President to resign in a dignified manner. Mr. Anastasiades should step down and call for immediate elections. He should also consider firing en-masse his advisors and party hacks for cultivating an over-optimistic climate, misleading the public and failing to anticipate Turkey’s next move.

There is one problem – Cyprus never had a strategic long-term counter-attack plan in place. When it comes to the Cyprus issue, policies are always changed for political convenience each time a new President is elected and that’s the problem!

In the absence of powerful independent Think Tanks the results are always the same – dismal and catastrophic to say the least! That’s what has been happening in Cyprus – the dependency on inglorious politicians of a politicocracy without merit but nepotism.

Drawing from past experiences the UN conference at Crans–Montana should never have started – the talks were doomed to fail from the very start. Why did the President insist so strongly? People will never know for real. One does not make up a flippant strategy and committing the nation to becoming hostage to political incompetence.

What now?

Crans–Montana may well turn out to be a blessing – at least the Republic of Cyprus has not been decimated to accommodate Turkey’s grandiose geopolitical plans. In fact the UN-Secretary General saved the Republic and that’s the positive side of it all.

No matter how disappointed the President and his party – including the leftists may feel – the collapse should be considered as an optimistic step forward and not negative. As a politician, Anastasiades and his inner clan faced a similar leadership challenge during his UN Annan Plan pet project; the electorate rejected it outright in a referendum!

Thankfully the Republic has been protected this time around but the President’s leadership is in question.

The Cyprus government will now be impelled to forge a new foreign policy by recognizing that the existing one has been a shambles. Out of the ashes of the Crans–Montana fiasco, one thing has become clear; the Turkish Cypriots must decide if they want to be a part of the Cyprus Republic, or be a part of Turkey. They certainly cannot have it both ways. Enjoy EU privileges the Republic has to offer and at the same time demanding union with a third country and military occupier of their homeland.

Political Crisis in the “Republic of Cyprus”. Confrontation between Greek and Turkish NegotiatorsThe Turkish Cypriots can either work together with the Greek Cypriots for the unification of Cyprus by refusing outright political integration with Ankara – like the Greek did with Athens – or they can join Turkey ruled by Sultan Erdogan; a dictator who has recently imprisoned over 150.000 innocent Turks.The recent imprisonment of a Turkish Cypriot Mufti in Turkey on trumped up changes clearly shows that no one is safe with Erdogan in control.

In fact, the 120.000 Turkish Cypriots living in the occupied area face a real threat of extinction from nationalists, illegal settlers (450.000) and ISIS “sleeper” terrorist units lodged in their midst. Unless the Turkish Cypriots pick up the Greek Cypriots’ olive branch of friendship and reconciliation,their community is doomed.

Time for serious action!

Under the current developments radical decisions need to be applied and a dynamic new foreign policy put in place immediately. After years of negotiations, the old policies have proven wrong and failed big time. A Revolution of the Mind is critical if the Republic is to start exerting serious political and economic pressure against Turkey but also against the TC elite and supporters of the status quo.

As a start, the government must shut all crossings to stop the movement of people, goods and services between the two sectors; drop the BBF idea and seek out ways within the perimeters of the UN and work with the Turkish Cypriots for another type of solution; stop outsiders and tour operators using the Republic’s airports transporting thousands of tourists to the occupied area; revoke all EU passports and Cypriot citizenship including privileges now enjoyed by TCs living in the occupied area; ensure that EU funding and taxpayers money stops flawing in the occupied area; make it abundantly clear that the Republic is an integral part of the European Union and can no longer be taken advantage of; put a string of EU and Cypriot flag banners along the crossings to remind everyone – friends and foes – that the Republic is a vital part of the EU and not a place of political abuse or convenience; punish severely those that break the laws conducting business and illegal activities including smuggling between the two sectors; stop all medical privileges, welfare benefits and other dispensations to TCs that live in the occupied area but who take advantage of what the Republic has to offer them; stop providing free services to Turkish sectors and isolate politically the pseudo-regime that represents Turkey’s interests and not the interests of the Turkish Cypriots.

Certainly the Cyprus government knows on how to apply a strong offensive strategy rather than to continue the current placating policy. Faced with a decisive strong Cyprus government, Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots may start to “Think out of the Box” and negotiate honorably. If not, the status quo will continue for years to come but without the Turkish Cypriot community.

There is a long road ahead full of obstacles but it is the only homeland Greek and Turkish Cypriots have. One hopes they will not abandon it to the whims of Turkey’s brute force but choose reconciliation as a way forward and reunite the island democratically under one-man-one-vote on the basis of UN/EU Human Rights and in respect of Rule of Law and not Rule of Man.

May common sense prevail and bring peace to this strife-torn island that everyone want a piece of its entrails.

Author’s Note: After so many years of writing over 400 articles about the social, political and economic issues related to Cyprus this is the last and final article written by the writer on the subject.

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  • MeThinks

    Not my cup of tea, oddly however its on Sf queue

    Problem is Tuurkey not member of EU

  • Barba_Papa

    In the end Turkey is a nation of what? 80 million? Probably more. The Republic of Cyprus is a country of what? 250.000? 300.000 max? That’s the size of a medium large city. That does tend to breed a different kind of politicians then a country the size of Turkey. Most local politicians are no match whatsoever for national politicians, as local politics is usually nowhere near the snakepit that national politics are. And Ankara is an incredibly large and vicious snakepit.

    Really a case of David versus Goliath, and a simple slingshot won’t do. David has to be more sneaky, more devious, more cautious, and at least like a chess master 10 moves ahead of his opponent to at least stand a chance.

    • Skagos

      I am almost gonna feel honored to hear such words about our politicians despite the fact I detest Erdogan.

  • Skagos

    Meh. Not a really explanatory article. Greece literally reap what she sow back in the day.

    Let’s look at the events;

    1. We have a Cyprus living peacefully. Both Greek and Turkish Cypriots are happy with their lives.
    2. Regime of the Colonels(aka Greek military junta of 1967–74) takes the control of Greece.
    3. Sponsored by Loannidis, on 15 July 1974 a coup d’état on the island of Cyprus overthrew Archbishop Makarios III, the Cypriot president and installed a pro-Greece monster.
    4. Greek ELDYK Forces (Greek: ΕΛΔΥΚ) together with local Cypriot army started killing Turkish Cypriots on the island.
    5. Things came to a point of such brutality where hundreds of villages were razed by the Greece backed ELDYK Forces. This event is later on was named as “Bloody Christmas”.
    6. Eventually to protect the Turks in the island Turkey started a military operation BUT, it was halted when UN, US and UK interfered and tried to broker a deal between Turkey, Cyprus and Greece. During the negotiations Greece backed ELDYK Forces started the attacks again.
    7. Military operation resumed and eventually ended when Turkey reached lands populated by Greek Cypriots.

    Lesson to be learned; don’t try to orchestrate a military coup in another country unless you have the military power to back that coup.

    If you don’t, don’t fucking do it or the other side you pissed off may come and fuck you up together with lives of the all Cypriots in the island.

    So, kudos to retarded Greece for their retardness and kudos to Turkey for their sneakiness and cunningness.

    And kudos to the guy that wrote the article for poor guy knows nothing about geostrategy. Cyprus is a great way to access the Eastern Mediterranean sea. Turkey will never give up on its claim on the island. Espcially during a time where Israel is thinking of selling natural gas to Europe, bypassing Cyprus.

    • Bru

      in the West I have always been hearing a different story:
      that the Turks settled after the Turkish invasion and that before that the present Turkish part was populated by native ( Greek) Cypriots.

      I don’t know much about this issue but I mistrust the Turkish story for 2 reasons :
      – I saw credible documentary of the presence of churches before the invasion and of conversion into mosquees afterwards in the part occupied by Turkey
      – the official Turkish story re. the Armenian genocide…
      As you rightly pointed out Turkish government does not seem to have a tradition of honesty, so why should they be trusted ?

      I have no strong opinion and don t care much about this issue, these are my impressions

      • Skagos

        Historically speaking(I am not a historian but i take great interest in it and thus know alot).

        1. First of all, we, humans, or in a more scientific way, homo-saphiens, started spreading to world from Africa. Considering this fact, other than Africa we actually do not OWN any land. In time(in a veeeeeery long time), we spread around the world and invaded lands and called it ours. Cyprus is no excepteion to this.

        2. During the late Bronze Age the island experienced two waves of Greek settlement. The first wave consisted of Mycenaean Greek traders who started visiting Cyprus around 1400 BC. A major wave of Greek settlement is believed to have taken place following the Bronze Age collapse of Mycenaean Greece from 1100 to 1050 BC, with the island’s predominantly Greek character dating from this period.

        3. Then for a while island was ruled by Assyria, later on for a short time by Egypt then eventually fell to the rule of great Persia. Eventually came the Alexander The Great and took control of the island.

        4. After our dear friend Alex died Cyprus became part of the Hellenistic empire of Ptolemaic Egypt. It was during this period that the island was fully Hellenized. In 58 BC Cyprus was acquired by the Roman Republic. Roman Empire is gone, comes the Byzantines, Byzantines are the ones that brought Christanity(Hellenistic-Christian) to the island. Byzantine for a moment lost the island to Muslims attacking from Levant but assumed control later on.

        5. In 1191, England took control of the island. England sold the island to some guy I can’t remember, one thing led to other(i honestly can’t remember this part) and eventually Holy Roman Empire captured the island. Then Venice captured it(I KNOW, LEAVE THE ISLAND ALONE FFS :D )

        6.In 1570 Ottoman Empire captured the island from Venice. It is during this time people from Anatolia were brought to the island. Later on Ottoman Empire’s great decline began and they gave the island to Great Britain.

        7. Great Britain had a huge problem with the island. Greek Cypriots were seeking reunification with Greece and Turkish Cypriots with Ottoman Empire. Turkish Cyrpiots actually were okay with staying under British rule but fearing that Greek Cypriots may succeed with their unification idea, they also started wanting a reunification with Otto. Empire.

        8. G.B thought they must divide the island. Split it in two, give 1 part to Greece and rule the other part. This idea provoked both sides and both Turkey and Greece took a pro-partition stance and changed their national policy towards this aim. Great Britain actually let 2 underground military organisations(1 from Turkish Cypriots 1 from Greek Cypriots) be created under their supervision because it served their interest of partition.

        9. Amidst all of this, in 1960, Cyprus attained independence after the Zürich and London Agreement between the United Kingdom, Greece and Turkey. Government posts and public offices were allocated by ethnic quotas, giving the minority Turkish Cypriots a permanent veto, 30% in parliament and administration, and granting the three mother-states guarantor rights.

        10. The Greek Cypriot leadership believed that the rights given to Turkish Cypriots under the 1960 constitution were too extensive and designed the Akritas plan, which was aimed at reforming the constitution in favour of Greek Cypriots, persuading the international community about the correctness of the changes and violently subjugating Turkish Cypriots in a few days should they not accept the plan. Tensions were heightened when Cypriot President Archbishop Makarios III called for constitutional changes, which were rejected by Turkey and opposed by Turkish Cypriots.

        11. After this, for 3 years long, both sides lived quite peacefully. Even though there were tensions rising up here and there they were nothing big and didn’t cause any serious issue.

        12.Intercommunal violence erupted on 21 December 1963, when two Turkish Cypriots were killed at an incident involving the Greek Cypriot police. The violence resulted in the death of 364 Turkish and 174 Greek Cypriots, destruction of 109 Turkish Cypriot or mixed villages and displacement of 25,000–30,000 Turkish Cypriots. The crisis resulted in the end of the Turkish Cypriot involvement in the administration and their claiming(Greek Cypriot administration) that it had lost its legitimacy.

        13. Later on it is revealed that is intercommunal violence was planned by the Greece as a start of a policy that would unite Cyprus and Greece.

        You know what happened later on.

        And if you go to Cyprus, you will see the both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots speak a different tone of Greek and Turkish. You can clearly see that they have their own culture, quite different from both Turkey and Greece. The island should’ve been left alone when it gained its independence.

        That’s why when i say Greece reap what she sow, its quite correct.

        You must always remember this; there is not a single country in this world that will not take an oppurtunity for their national interests. Not even one! Put any country in Turkey’s or Greece’s place, they would do either the same thing or a similiar thing in a smarter or more stupid way.

    • Solomon Krupacek

      your info is the correct

    • Real Anti-Racist Action

      Yea, I know my history. Tiny Greece has been victimized over and very again.
      I remember when insecure Turks outlawed bells, ‘Bells’ BELLS!
      You got executed if you range or had a bell.
      Turks are the most backwards bigots on planet earth.

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      • Skagos

        Too much emotion. I don’t think one can have a rational argument with you. Although this topic isn’t really open to arguments since its quite factual.

    • Cyriak Papasissis

      A bunch of baloney , myths instead of facts. The coup against Makarios was orchestrated by the Colonels ‘ dictatorship in Greece , in collusion with the Americans and Kissinger. It happened on the 15th of July. The Turkish invasion , in collusion with the Americans and Kissinger , happened 5 days later on the 20th. Not a chance for your mythical large scale extermination of Turkish Cypriots. And there is no Christmas in the middle of summer, in the Northern Hemisphere. American officers acted as flight controllers , directing targeting and strikes by the Turkish AF. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Americans acted as well as pilots of the said AF. The former is pretty much a sure thing. The ELDYK forces you recall were one battalion strong , Greek nationals. The local Greek Cypriot army had Greek upper echelon officers , who were in the conspiracy together with their masters , the NATO Colonels in Athens. They received the orders from their American masters to melt away totally , and so they did. The invading Turkish army had an easy path to glory , since the only resistance was from small , disconnected units of Cypriots and Greeks , with low-ranking officers , below the captain’s rank. The Cypriot Republic’s army melted away leaderless , the same way the Iraqi army melted away from Mosul , and much of Iraq , up to the outskirts of Baghdad. Because that was the scenario to follow , the American Deep State had again directed the play .The island was needed for the ”security ” of Israel , as strategic depth and as an ”unsinkable aircraft carrier”. At the time Israel felt very comfortable with the Turkish Generals , who were the real power in Turkey , the country being a Democracy only in name. The Turkish Generals for example allowed Israel to use Turkish territorial waters and ports in 1968 to transfer EURATOM’s uranium 235 , whole 200 kilos of it , commandeered in a high-seas raid off Sardinia from a Belgium-bound ship , the ”Volendam” , and used presumably for the construction of Israel’s nuclear arsenal. Turkey has territorial claims on Iraq , Syria , Georgia , Greece , Cyprus , so there is no lack of proclivity to cause quarrels and confrontations. But they are paper tigers , a little bit of firm hand is the right medicine for Turkey’s self-aggrandizement. And their delusions of Ottoman Empire , second round.

      • Skagos

        Uhhh… Hopefully you can provide historical sources for your claims. Turks have been getting killed in the island. That is a fact. It is in the UN reports as well.

        Kissinger, collusion with Americans… I simply have no idea what you are talking about mate.

        Espcially the part where you claim Turkish army had an easy path to glory. An easy path? Are you insane? Turkey couldn’t advance for many days and supplies were a big issue. Planes didn’t even have fuel. Libya gave it to Turkey.

        You are obiviously no historian but some kind of nationalist, angry Greek i suppose? You have no deep knowledge about this issue. Probably read some random articles here and there.

        If you want to put the blame on someone, blame Greece. Not imaginary Turkish-American collosions.

  • MeThinks

    1191 A.D. Cyprus says alot