THE SOLUTION INHERENT IN THE NATURE OF THE CYPRUS DISPUTE - 16.03.2021
Blog No : 2021 / 15
17.03.2021
25 dk okuma

Tugay ULUÇEVİK*

 

Introduction

In reviewing the developments in the Eastern Mediterranean basin in terms of steady peace and security, we, at first glance, see that the island of Cyprus - which was described as a "boiling cauldron" or a "powder keg" in the periods of 1954-1960 and 1964-1974 - has turned into an island of calm and tranquility for the last 47 years after the summer of 1974.

The United Nations’ Peace Keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) stationed on the Island as of March 1964 with a strength of over five thousand failed in preventing the Greek Cypriot onslaughts from 1964 to 1974.

However, a quick perusal of the Reports of the United Nations’ Secretary-General (UNSG) to the Security Council (UNSC) after 1974 indicates that the UNSG regularly describes the military situation on the island as "calm" and that in his Report of 1999 states "it is fortunate for Cyprus to have the conflicts not resumed since 1974.”[1]

There are two main reasons for the prevailing calm and tranquility on the island without any military conflict whatsoever over the last 47 years:

Firstly, it is owing to the Peace Operation of Turkey in 1974 that the side on the Island with predominance in population and preponderance in military power has been dissuaded from using force against the other side.

Secondly, it is with the advent of the bizonal political geography consisting of two independent and sovereign states on the Island that the Cyprus dispute has, in effect, reached its, what I call, the “natural solution.”

Therefore, what is actually needed today is just the acknowledgement of this reality and the conclusion of an agreement between the parties on the said “natural solution.”

It goes without saying that the starting point in the search for a just and lasting settlement of any given international question through an institutionalized negotiating process must be the facts and the realities pertaining to the issue under discussion. This certainly is also true for the Cyprus dispute.

Whereas the negotiating process which was initiated in June 1968 under the auspices of the United Nations (UN) and then continued since 1975 within a new good offices mandate given to the UNSG by the UNSC, is based on the assumptions, not the realities.

The assumption taken as the starting point is that the “Republic of Cyprus”, established on the island in 1960, continued to exist in compliance with the relevant Treaties and the Constitution of the State. It is also assumed that the so called “government” which consisted of solely the Greek Cypriot ministers in contravention of the 1960 Constitution since December 1963, is the legitimate “Government” of the so called “Republic of Cyprus” purported to represent the Turkish Cypriot people on the Island as well.

 

The Facts of the Cyprus Issue

First of all, it is a historical fact that neither the Turkish Cypriot people nor Turkey are responsible for the emergence of the Cyprus dispute. The responsibility squarely lies on Greece and the Greek Cypriots.

The Cyprus dispute is the offspring of “megali idea”, a longstanding common goal for Greece and the Greek Cypriots, and of the historical obsessions emanating therefrom.

Secondly, the Cyprus dispute did not come about in 1974, as it is asserted by Greece and the Greek Cypriots. An item was included in the Agenda of the Ninth Session of the UN General Assembly on the Cyprus issue upon the request of Greece with the aim of achieving “enosis” through the application of the principle of “self-determination.”[2] Thus the situation in Cyprus has become an international issue since then.

Thirdly, the fact is that with the 1960 Treaties, a partnership State of ethnically distinct two co-founder peoples and of their communities was established in Cyprus based on political equality, which in terms of constitutional order, was in effect a functional federation. In this way, the “internal balance” of the solution was set up.

Likewise, the 1960 Treaties accorded equal rights and privileges both to Turkey and Greece in relation to the Republic of Cyprus with the purpose of forging the “external balance” of the solution.

Moreover, by the said Treaties, the United Kingdom too became a guarantor power in respect to the Republic of Cyprus and was entitled to retain two specified areas under her sovereignty as military bases.

In the fourth place, I would like to emphasize the fact that the Island was partitioned in December 1963, not in 1974. As a matter of fact, the line which historically represents the division on the Island was drawn in 1964, but not in 1974. In view of the intense Greek Cypriot onslaughts early 1964 and pending the arrival of UNFICYP, a provisional peace force was constituted under the command of the British Major General Peter Young. That Force was composed of the contingents from Turkey and Greece already stationed in the Island under the 1960 Treaties and the soldiers assigned from the British Sovereign Bases. During the operations, General Young had to drawn up a cease-fire line on a map using a green pencil. That line later has become known as the "Green Line".[3]

Fifthly, history tells us that Greece, after her failure to attain the intended results on the way to "enosis" through political initiatives at successive sessions of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) between 1954-1958, resorted to force to achieve her goals in Cyprus. The Greek Cypriot EOKA terrorist gang, supported by Greece and put under the command of the Greek officers, launched the “ethnic cleansing” campaign against the Turkish Cypriot people, thus committing crimes which have gone down in the recent history as the “bloody Christmas/Noel”.

Out of their long-cherished aspiration for “enosis”, the Greek Cypriots and Greece have had no scruples in disrupting the constitutional order of the Cyprus "equal partnership" State established in 1960.

Andreas Papandreou, one of the former Prime Ministers of Greece, discloses in his book entitled “Democracy At Gunpoint” that his father, the then Prime Minister George Papandreou, succeeded in the implementation of the agreement with Makarios on the introduction of twenty thousand fully equipped soldiers with their huge scale of arms to Cyprus through a clandestine operation carried out in the first half of 1964.[4]

Thereupon, the Cyprus issue was included in the agenda of the UNSC at the end of December 1963.[5]

The Greek Cypriot National Guard Army, in complicity with the considerable number of troops from Greece, serving covertly therewith under the command of the Greek General Grivas, attacked the Turkish Cypriot people with heavy weapons in November 1967 in a further effort to pave the way to “enosis”. 29 of our kinsmen were massacred in that charge.[6]

It is worth mentioning in this connection that the oath Archbishop Makarios took at his investiture ceremony after his re-election in 1973 as “the President” of the defunct “Republic of Cyprus” was not in conformity with the 1960 Constitution. He, instead of reading the wording inscribed in the Constitution which says; “I do solemnly affirm faith to, and respect for, the Constitution and the laws made thereunder, the preservation of the independence and the territorial integrity, of the Republic of Cyprus”, chose to swear in by saying "faith to and respect for the Laws the Republic Of Cyprus in force for the time being.” He continued by saying “I will exercise the functions of the Office of the President of the Republic in accordance with them."[7]

The sixth fact is that Greece and the Greek Cypriots have persistently and relentlessly spent collaborative efforts to totally eradicate the Turkish-Islamic presence on the Island. To that effect, after December 1963, they campaigned under the slogan of “coffin or suitcase” to forcibly oblige the Turkish Cypriot people to choose between “death or exile”. [8] They did not even hesitate to impose a harsh “economic blockade” on the areas of the Island where Turkish Cypriots were concentrated.

The UNSG described in his September 1964 Report the conditions in which the Turkish Cypriot people was compelled to live in those days on the Island as “veritable siege.” The UNSG stated in the said Report that “the Government of Cyprus seeks to force a potential solution by economic pressure as a substitute for military action.”[9]

Seventhly, mention must be made of the fact that Greece engineered a coup d’état in Cyprus on 15 July 1974 and attempted to declare “enosis”. The then Greek Cypriot Leader Makarios, in his address to the UNSC in New York on 19 July, described what transpired on the Island in the following terms:

“…It is clearly an invasion from outside, in flagrant violation of the independence and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus. The so-called coup was the work of the Greek officers staffing and commanding the National Guard. I must also underline the fact that the Greek contingent, composed of 950 officers and men stationed in Cyprus by virtue of the Treaty of Alliance, played a predominant role in this aggressive affair against Cyprus…”[10]

The attempted declaration of “enosis” was aborted by the Cyprus Peace Operation of Turkey of 20 July 1974 carried out under the terms of the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee.

Last but least, in the eighth place, the fact substantiated by the developments relating to the Cyprus dispute hitherto is that neither the Turkish Cypriots nor Turkey are responsible for the lack of settlement on the 67 years-old Cyprus dispute politically through negotiations.

During the intercommunal talks, conducted under the auspices of the UNSG from June 1968 to mid-1974, the goal pursued by the Turkish Cypriot side was to acquire a local autonomy within a political geography where they lived intermingled with the Greek Cypriots. Greece and the Greek Cypriot side, obsessed with "enosis", rejected this demand.

Against the background of the geographic and political setup that emerged on the Island in the aftermath of the developments which took place in 1974, the UNSC adopted a position providing for the bi-communal and bi-zonal federal solution of the Cyprus dispute.

The Turkish Cypriot side with the encouragement and the active support of Turkey has taken up a positive stand on the UNSC’s approach. Whereas the Greek Cypriot side has adopted an uncompromising intransigent attitude and deployed procrastinating and dilatory tactics throughout the negotiating process.

The annals of the UN testify several instances when the negotiating process aimed at the federal solution of the Cyprus dispute has been undermined by the Greek Cypriot side in the 1980-1983, 1985-1986, 1992-1994 periods.[11]

The following quotation from the Report of the UNSG on 1992[12] is very much revealing about the Greek Cypriots’ perception of the relations with the Turkish Cypriot people:

“On the Greek Cypriot side, there is a widespread reluctance to have anything to do with the Turkish Cypriot side in current circumstances. Recently, for example, a small number of private Greek Cypriot participants in a worthy bicommunal endeavour to foster fresh and practical thinking were made the victims of a campaign of questioning and vilification in the Greek Cypriot press, a campaign that can only be described as paranoid and in which a great proportion of the Greek Cypriot political establishment joined…”

Mr. Nicos Rolandis, one of the former Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Greek Cypriot Administration, is on the record in the international press with his many articles and statements admitting that all the peace moves to settle the Cyprus issue have been aborted by the Greek Cypriot side. In an interview to the daily Politis in 2006, he said; “the train does not often come to the station. When it arrived, we let the train depart. We have refused to get on the train seven times since 1974.”[13]

 

The Annan Plan and the Frustration of the International Community

In April 2004, the entire world witnessed the collapse of the full-fledged negotiating process based on the Plan associated with the name of the then UNSG Kofi Annan who tabled it in agreement with all the parties concerned of the Cyprus dispute and with the unreserved backing of the UNSC.

The plan provided for the comprehensive solution of the Cyprus dispute within the framework of a federal structure which was “modelled on the status and relationship of Switzerland, its federal government, and its cantons.”[14]

That initiative indisputably was the most popular and full-fledged one in the history of the search for a comprehensive and final settlement of the issue. It drew the widest possible attention from and received the support of a broad cross-section of the international community.

It was the first time that the two peoples of the Island, Turkish and Greek Cypriot alike, were directly and separately asked to express their will on a comprehensive solution.

The voluminous Treaty which was drafted in the course of a long and arduous negotiating process, involving all the parties concerned, could not enter into force due to its rejection by the Greek Cypriot people by a margin of three to one at the separate and simultaneous referenda held in the two independent states on the Island on 24 April 2004. Whereas the Turkish Cypriot people approved the Treaty by a margin of two to one.

 

Referendum on the Annan Plan - a Litmus Test

The referendum was a litmus test in ascertaining the real intentions of the Greek Cypriots. It has definitely been established in front of the international community that the Greek Cypriots are not only against a bi-communal and bi-zonal federal set up in the Island, but they also do not want at all a political final settlement on the issue.

They must be so much happy with the status quo on the Island that they opted for its continuation. Their repeated utterances to and calls for a “federal solution” are just an attempt to hoodwink the international community into believing that they are the party ready to compromise on a federal solution.

The Report submitted to the Security Council by Kofi Annan, the then UNSG, to the UNSC after the referendum contains evaluations that should be recalled today on the Cyprus issue. Especially the following quotations should attentively be read, understood, and evaluated correctly:

This is what the UNSG had to say in the wake of the pretentious but foiled attempt to settle the then half-century-old Cyprus dispute:[15]

“…the settlement plan put to the two sides in the referenda represents a fair, viable and carefully balanced compromise… The rejection of such a plan by the Greek Cypriot electorate is a major setback. What was rejected was the solution itself rather than a mere blueprint… They may wish to reflect on the implications of the vote in the coming period. If they remain willing to resolve the Cyprus problem through a bicommunal, bizonal federation, this needs to be demonstrated… The sheer size of the “NO” vote raises even more fundamental questions. This is the first time that the Greek Cypriot public has been asked to vote on a bicommunal, bizonal federal solution of the Cyprus problem. Such a solution means not just two constituent states, but also political equality and the sharing of power. Yet the situation today is very different from that which existed in the 1970s, when the leaders of the two communities agreed to seek such a solution… Most of the dispossessed in the south, by hard work and enterprise, have carved out a prosperous livelihood, as have many others who are not originally from the north. While they strongly state their wish to reunify, many see in a settlement very little gain, and quite a lot of inconvenience and risk… If the Greek Cypriots are ready to share power and prosperity with the Turkish Cypriots in a federal structure based on political equality, this needs to be demonstrated, not just by word, but by action…”

The words I quoted above, I believe, carry lessons for the international community to learn regarding future efforts aimed at finding a just and lasting solution to the Cyprus issue.

The UNSG's assessment that “the situation at the time when the Annan Plan was presented was very different from what existed in the 1970s, when the leaders of the two communities agreed to seek a bi-communal and bi-zonal federal solution” is pertinent, making sense also in our day.

As a matter of fact, the general situation at present is all the more different both from what it was in 1970's and from that of the time when the Annan plan was put forward.

On the one hand, some of the federal states of Europe which all along have been shown as a model to the parties in Cyprus for the settlement of the issue were dissolved in early 1990s. Each of the peoples of those federal states opted for their own sovereignty and independence.

On the other hand, since the rejection of the Annan Plan by the Greek Cypriots a flurry of intense negotiations have taken place, including a five-party conference to iron out an agreement on a comprehensive final solution. Still, the final solution seems as elusive as ever.

 

The Greek Cypriots Yet to Show Their Will to Share Power and Prosperity

The Greek Cypriot side has adamantly not yet given any sign of readiness by their actions “to share power and prosperity with the Turkish Cypriots within a federal structure based on political equality.”

Instead, upon the termination of his tenure, the Greek Cypriot Leader Mr. Christofias boastingly stated in early 2013 that his administration "successfully struggled to keep the embargoes against the TRNC [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus] during his five-year rule and exerted every effort to convince the international community that Turkey is the intransigent party.”[16]

At the time, the efforts were underway to revive the inconclusive Geneva five-party Conference held early January 2017 the Greek Cypriot Parliament passed a law to introduce a commemoration in Greek Cypriot schools of the plebiscite on “enosis” held among the Greek Cypriots on the Island in 1950.[17]

The Greek Cypriots’ negative position, which is supported by Greece, on the equitable sharing of the natural resources with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), particularly the hydrocarbon reserves, in the Mediterranean also does not lend itself to any room for optimism whatsoever regarding the federal settlement in the Island.

 

Federation is not Possible

Consequently, it has become crystal clear that it would not be possible to establish a "federal solution" in Cyprus which the UNSC has been promoting for decades, but to no avail.

All the options that have been offered hitherto to the two sides for the solution of the dispute have been exhausted one by one in the course of the decades-long negotiating process, since they have not been in conformity with the facts of the Cyprus conflict and the realities on the Island. They have been all proposed in an effort to evade the solution inherent in the nature of the Cyprus dispute.

 

The Realities on the Island

Ever since 1974, there exists on the Island two separate political geographies, two independent and sovereign states thereon respectively, two distinct peoples and two democracies.

The fact that two separate referendums were held simultaneously in the two states on the Annan Plan on 24 April 2004 and that the two peoples were asked to express their will separately is the proof of this reality which the international community must come to terms with.

It is overdue for the UNSC to show the foresight to apprehend that a solution based on an agreement cannot arise without the international recognition of the TRNC phenomenon. TRNC and Turkey together should accelerate the arising of this comprehension by unswervingly sticking to their declared goal of “two state solution on the basis of sovereign equality.”

The continuation of the search for a settlement without acknowledging the TRNC as a reality and the imposition of artificial solutions to the parties will inevitably result in the disruption of the existing sensitive balances on the island.

Thus, what is being done will not actually be a search for a settlement and peace, but will be a search for new serious problems and worries in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean at large.

 

The Liabilities of the UN and the EU

The UN Security Council and the EU should realize that time is overdue for them to recognize their own respective liabilities in the lack of a solution on the Cyprus dispute based on an agreement until this time.

In fact, the UNSC, by adopting the Resolution 186 of 4 March 1964, and the EU, by admitting the Greek Cypriot Administration under the name of “Cyprus” as full member before the Cyprus dispute is solved and Turkey’s EU membership is realized, have both done a great disservice to the cause of finding a just and lasting negotiated solution to the Cyrus dispute. By their erroneous and lopsided practices, both the UNSC and the EU have enabled the side in Cyprus who has created the dispute to have no need for a settlement and to not be bothered by the lack of a solution.

 

Conclusion

Let us not forget that Turkish Motherland and Blue Homeland together constitute an integrated whole.

There is no need to emphasize the importance of the Aegean Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean basin, and in this context, the Island of Cyprus for the security of both the Turkish Motherland and Blue Homeland.

The achievement of the solution inherent in the nature of the Cyprus dispute and in line with the realities on the Island undoubtedly will greatly contribute to the creation of a stable peace and security environment in the Eastern Mediterranean.

It is my fervent hope and wish that both Greece and the Greek Cypriot Administration would have the tenacity to realize before it is too late that their policies of exploitation of the lack of solution in the Cyprus issue against the interests of Turkey and that of the TRNC will not be beneficial for themselves in the long run, and that they at the same time realize the value of enjoying good neighborly relations with Turkey and the TRNC.

 

*Ambassador (R)

**Picture: Anadolu Agency

 


[1] Report of the UNSG On His Mission of Good Offices, 22 June 1999, S/1999/707, Para. 6, https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N99/184/25/pdf/N9918425.pdf?OpenElement

[2] UN General Assembly, Ninth Session Official Records, A/PV.477, 24 September 1954, Para. 209. Also see Report of the General Committee, A/2733, 23 September 1954, Item: 62, https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/NL5/402/24/pdf/NL540224.pdf?OpenElement ; https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N54/258/78/pdf/N5425878.pdf?OpenElement

[3]   Report Of The Secretary-General On the UN Operation In Cyprus, 10 September 1964, S/5950, Para. 31. “… the two areas are separated by a demarcation line. One such line, referred to as the ‘Green Line’, was established in Nicosia after the events of December 1963, and prior to the arrival of UNFICYP.”, https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N64/186/63/pdf/N6418663.pdf?OpenElement

[4] Andreas Papandreou, Democracy at Gunpoint: The Greek Front (Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1979), p.132. Relevant Turkish source: Semih Koray ve Mehmet Emin Yıldırım, Namlunun Ucundaki Demokrasi (Bilgi Yayınları, İkinci Basım, Ekim 1988), p.163-164. Also see: Report Of The Secretary-General On the UN Operation In Cyprus, 10 September 1964, S/5950, Para. 20, “…But the strength of the (Greek Cypriot) National Guard has increased from about 15,000 to an estimated total of 24,000. Included in this figure is an estimated 5,000 men who arrived in Cyprus presumably from Greece during the month of July 1964 through the port of Limassol…” ; Para. 41: “…during the month of July the (Greek Cypriot) Cyprus Government imported large amounts of arms and equipment which came in the main through Limassol Docks, In addition, an estimated 5,000 persome entered the island in the same way presumably from Greece. It is believed that the imports of arms and military equipment were in excess of 3,000 ton; of freight which left Limassol Docks in some 1,000 lorry-loads…”

[5] S/5488 (Letter dated 26 December 1963 from the Permanent Representative of Cyprus addressed to the President of the Security Council), S/Agenda/1085 and S/PV.1085 (Security Council Official Records, Eighteenth Year, 1085th Meeting, 27 December 1963), https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/NL6/302/60/pdf/NL630260.pdf?OpenElement

[6] Special Report By The Secretary-General on Recent Developments In Cyprus, S/ 8248 of 16 November 1967 and Add. 1 to 9, https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N67/269/79/pdf/N6726979.pdf?OpenElement ; Report of the Secretary-General on the UN Operations in Cyprus, (For the period 13 June to 8 December 1967), S/8286 of 8 December 1967, https://documents.un.org/prod/ods.nsf/xpSearchResultsM.xsp

[7] Report by the UNSG on the UN operations in Cyprus, S/10940 of 31 May 1973, Para. 17, https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N73/112/43/pdf/N7311243.pdf?OpenElement

[8] Letter dated 15 November 1983 from the President of TRNC Mr. Rauf Denktaş to the UN  Secretary—General, A/38/586 and S/16148, https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N83/304/53/pdf/N8330453.pdf?OpenElement

[9] Report by the Secretary-General On The United Nations Operation In Cyprus, 10 September 1964, S/5950, Page: 63-64, Para. 222.

[10] Un Security Council Official Records, Twenty-Ninth Year, 1780 th Meeting, 19 July 1974, S/PV.1780, https://documents.un.org/prod/ods.nsf/xpSearchResultsM.xsp

[11] Report by the UNSG on the UN Operations in Cyprus, S/16858 of 12 December 1984, para, 50, 61, https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N84/330/31/pdf/N8433031.pdf?OpenElement  . The Times of  1 December 1984; Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 3 December 1984; Christian Science Monitor of 3 December 1984; The Wall Street Journal of 7 December 1984; The Economist of 8 December 1984; The Observer of 13 January 1985; The London Times of 17 January 1985; Washington Post of 21 January 1985; The New York Times of 21 January 1985 ; The Times of 21 January 1985; The Wall Street Journal of 24 January 1985; The Guardian of 25 January 1985; The Sunday Times of 27 January 1985; London Times of 2 March 1985.

[12] Report of the UNSG in connection with the UNSC’s Comprehensive Reassessment of the UN Operations in Cyprus, S/26777 of 22 June 1993, Para. 102 c, https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N93/646/27/img/N9364627.pdf?OpenElement

[14] Article 2/1 of the Foundation Agreement of the so-called ANNAN Plan.

[15] Report of the Secretary-General on his mission of good offices in Cyprus, S/2004/437 of 28 May 2004, https://undocs.org/S/2004/437

[16] ‘Ambargoların Yürürlükte Kalması İçin Mücadele Ettik’, TurkishNY, January 4, 2013,  http://www.turkishny.com/headline-news/2-headline-news/110492-ambargolarin-yururlukte-kalmasi-icin-mucadele-ettik

[17] “Press Release Regarding the Decision by the Greek Cypriot Parliament to introduce a commemoration in Schools of the 1950 Plebiscite on “Enosis”, No.47,  14 February 2017,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, http://www.mfa.gov.tr/no_47_-14-february-2017_-press-release-regarding-the-decision-by-the-greek-cypriot-parliament-to-introduce-a-commemoration-in-schools-of-the-1950-plebiscite-on-_enosis_.en.mfa ; Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations operation in Cyprus, S/2017/586 of 10 July 2017, http://www.securitycouncilreport.org/atf/cf/%7B65BFCF9B-6D27-4E9C-8CD3-CF6E4FF96FF9%7D/s_2017_586.pdf


© 2009-2020 Avrasya İncelemeleri Merkezi (AVİM) Tüm Hakları Saklıdır

 



Henüz Yorum Yapılmamış.