October 2016 - another "deadline" for Cyprus ?
By Cchristian Heinze - 2016 09 05 (replacing draft of 09 03)

In these days of September, 2016, once again, pressure is concentrating on the Turkish Cypriots to agree on terms for a reunification of Cyprus. Contrary to sorts of interested propaganda, chances for a permanent peaceful settlement of the Cyprus conflict are slight for reasons following clearly from the history of the conflict and from the resulting circumstances.

At the end of British rule over the island in 1960, the Greek and Turkish Cpriots had agreed, with the concurrence of Greece and Turkey, on terms for their political cohabitation. They consisted mainly in provisions for Turkish participation in the government of the island and became embedded in a constitution and treaties as instruments for founding a "Republic of Cyprus" which had never existed before. It was, however, soon made abundantly clear by the Greek leadership, that they never intended to keep the terms of this arrangement, and that they would never abide by any such setup. To the contrary, they would never give up their fight for the hellenization of Cyprus. Lacking historical, political or other justification for their desire, the Greek Cypriots claimed sovereignty over their Turkish neighbours because of Greek majority in number and purported superiority of Greek nationality, culture and religion. To approach their goal, they set out from 1963 onwards, having declared their termination of the terms of cohabitation of 1960, to subjugate the Turks by armed violence and terror. The Greek assault, while failing its aim due to Turkish resistance, forced the Turkish Cypriots, whose dwellings had been scattered over the island, into enclaves made to resemble penitentiaries by Greek besiegement. An all out Greek coup, staged with military help from Greece in 1974, resulted in Turkey finally using its right of guarantee as stipulated in connection with the arrangement of 1960. Its troops ended bloodshed and oppression by separating the conflicting communities in a southern and a northern territory of the island. The sacrifices of life, health, welfare and decades of setback and hardship suffered by the Turkish Cypriots and their Turkish saviozrs in their defensive struggle and that was also inflicted, at their own initiative, on the Greek aggressors, was finally replaced by peace and self-determination for the people of Cyprus.

However, from 1963 onwards, the "family of nations", acting prominently through the USA-inspired United Nations and the European Union, has overlooked the deceit contained in the Greek enlistment of Turkish and international confidence in their signature to the arrangement of 1960. The family also disregarded the requirement for peace contained in the fundamental rule of "pacta sunt servanda" and, in particular, in the arrangement of 1960 boldly pushed aside by the Greek Cypriots. Thus mislead or deceiving itself, the "family of nations" has honoured the Greek fraud and violence by adjudicating to the Greek party, without even attempting a legal or political justification, the title to their sole legitimate sovereignty over the whole island. Thus encouraged, nothing else could be expected from the Greek party but to continue their efforts of making Cyprus Greek and to use all mans of harming the Turkish Cyriots wherever possible in order to force them into submission. The main instrument was the exclusion of the Turkish Cypriots from the family of nations, their discrimination as outlaws who are not entitled to the protection of equal citizenship and welfare through an internationally recognized State. This comprised the imposition by the family of nations of an embargo on the Turkish Cyriots prohibiting their international exchange of all sorts including traffic and economy. The condition for their return into that family until this day is their acceptance of conditions that would meet with Greek approval. Wishing to return, the Turks of Cyprus had no alternative but to "negotiate" these conditions for the last two generations. During this period, under the umbrella of international sympathy and help, the Greek Cypriots have become, although restricted to the south of the island, wealthy and happy, thanks also to the Greek admittance to the Euro-Zone achieved through another grave act of internatinal deceit. They have nothing to loose by a continuation of the status quo but the whole island to win by clinging to their usurped title of sovereignty. The Turkish Cypriots, for their part, have been and are since 1963 dependent for their existance on financial and military help from Turkey, and the wish of a great part of them to return to normality has, through the plight imposed upon them since 1963, become so desparate as to shut their eyes to the most likely consequences of submitting to terms of reunifiation that would enable their Greek neighbours to carry on with their efforts to reduce them to the status of unwanted guests in their homme country.

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Chances for agreement are reduced by the contrasting position of the parties concerning grave issues as those of effective protection of Turkish self-government, the size of their territory and the return of or compensation for property that has changed possession since 1974. No terms are as yet in sight that would promise a chance for acceptance by both sides. Under the prevailing circunstances, the conclusion of an agreement on reunification can hardly be reached without the Turkish party surrendering such a part of the territory controlled by them in the north of the island as would make it extremely difficult to defend any sort of autonomy against another Greek assault. Agreement cannot either be expected without a commitment to the withdrawal of Turkish troops within a short period of time. Any term arrived at in these respects will be the result of high pressure or strong authority applied by foreign powers, particularly by the United Nations and the European Union. Greek consent will further depend on such a setup of executive and judiciary power as will enable them to overcome, by repeating policies of the sort previously applied, to reduce the Turkish Cypriots again in the same manner, regardless of any "constitution", legislation or contracts in force. The family of nations has taught the Greeks of Cyprus that they can not only get away with such a policy but expect internatioanl support for it. It would constitute a grave mistake to underestimate their skill or determination to continue on convenient ocasions the behaviour that has proven so successful in the past and presence. In more detail, the following developments are to be expected after reunification on terms that could possibly be agreed upon under given conditions:

- Since the Turkish Cypriot community is considered illegitimate and denied any legal status as required for concluding treaties, hardly any power or legal instance can be envisaged that would be capable or willing to enforce provisions of an agreement on Greek-and-Turkish Cypriot communal relations in case of dispute or breach. A non-existing party cannot gain rights by contract. If in their interest, disputing parties would most likely make use of the pattern previously employed with reference to the agreements of 1960, contending that they are not binding due to the pressure under which they were concluded.

- Whether or on whatever the majority of people of Cyprus agree or not in the near future, there is no sign for a chance of Greek acceptance of cohabitation with Turks on an equal footing. To the contrary, the revival of nationalism currently visible throughout Europe is amplified by the recent Greek problems with the EU in connection with its over-indebtedness which extend to Cyprus. Most likely, the Cypriots will, in a reunited Cyprus, embark on competition in all ways of life and particularly in the economic sector which will be soaked with national ambition. The efforts will be particularly stringent on the part of minorities on both that did not vote for reunification on the conditions agreed by their leadership under pressure. The separation of both communities for two generations has pushed the practical problems of cohabitation in the background of individial minds with a tendency of distortng realities. The Turkish community is weakend by the duration of their isolation, defamation, setback and embargo suffered since 1963 and the resulting backlog of their standards in some quarters compared to those prevailing on the Greek side. The Greeks could succeed in making use of their commercial advancement with results discouraging their Turkish competitors. Resentment may accumulate until it culminates in strong reaction.

Upon reunification, everyone will concentrate on making the best of legal chances provided by the agreements, which raise more questions than they resolve.They will try to enhance their competitive position by relying on details contained in the many pages of the agreement on reunification. These details, resulting from strongly contrasting interests and compromise, will in many cases be subject to different interpretation and therefore to endless dispute. Neutral resolutions of evolving conflicts and particularly such as would truly satisfy contesting parties will be difficult to find. The Greek and Turkish Courts will be under pressure from their respective communities and jurisprudence by European Courts of Law will be likely to suffer from remoteness to the problems involved.

- Turkey is occupied for the time being with developments at home and in its mainland neighbourhood that make the Cyprus issue appear of minor importance. On the other hand, saving the means hereunto needed for the support of the Turkish Cypriot Republic and of a military base on the island would be welcomed by Turkey. Depending on the role which Turkey, in days to come, will play - be it in the turmoil or return to normality of the region, its poltical position or national self esteem may change and revive its interest in Cyprus. Religious progress could play an additional role. Finding out that a Turkish party has been pulled over the table once more in an agreement to be concluded in 2016 or soon after not only by the Greek party but also by "the West", the reaction is likely to deepen the rift between some of the islamic countries and the West particularly in the context of the regional turmoil and turn out to the disadvantage of European and even US interests, adding to existing dangers for peace.

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It remains difficult to find logic in the policy of USA, the UN and Europe of supporting Greek usurpation by overlooking or dissimulating all these obvious aspects of the Cyprus conflict, while no imagnable substantial interest of their own is detectable that could possibly motivate their Cyprus policy. The difficulty is augmentef by looking at the price for this policy in terms of the costs of diplomatic and UN-ressources accumulated since 1963 and, mor important, in terms of alienating some islamic countries and undermining the UN and Western authority as protectors and skilful, able or well-meaning objective promoters of international reason, confidence, justice, or peace. The difficulty becomes even greater through the obvious existence of alternative policies promising a long-term peaceful settlement. One lies in recognition of their spearate States which would motivate the Greek and Turkish Cypriots to embark immediately on common projects in their true mutual interest instead of gold-digging of two opposed national and religious communities in hundreds of pages of unwanted agreements on purported legal solutions of their most important conflicts to be expected from their enforced cohabitation. The parties could be expected to convince themselves that any military engagement on the island would have become obsolete.

Should however fate in fact enforce premature unification instead of recognition of two States, fatal consequences of an agreement of the sort envisaged relies could probably be avoided by a "settlement" based on the following on conditions:

- a delimitation of Greek and Turkish territories of the island without major relocation of population or transfer of possession of real estate relative to the status quo,

- provisions for supreme executive and judicial power by Greek and Turkish Cypriots respectively not only by agreement but in fact over these territories, and

- an agreement on a Turkish right of intervention in case of an encroachment on the Territorial partition and the supreme powers mentioned and on the establishment of an equilibrium of military power in the island (including reserve-manpower and weaponry) by stationing of Turkish troops until discontinued with the full agreement of the Turks of Cyprus anf of Turkey but not before the year of 2030.

Under these conditions, irreparable harm must not necessarily be expected to arise from trying out the viability of kinds of agreed rules of cohabitation including introdution of the EU acquis communautaire with its freedom of movement in the whole isoland as well as arrangements for restitution of property or compensation. Unfortunately, the parties seem to be far away from agreeing on such terms. Without them, however, the prospects for a "reunited" island would very much resemble those of a ship on the high seas.


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