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Solve this if you can

OpinionsBy Gunduz Aktan

The majority of the media are arguing that in order for negotiations with the European Union to proceed without a hitch, the Cyprus issue needs to be resolved and in order for Greek Cypriots not to veto the start of negotiations, it needs to be resolved before Oct. 3, 2005. There are signs that the government agrees.

If we place such a time constraint on our efforts, we will be weakened against extreme demands made by Greek Cypriots. We will be encouraging them to constantly postpone the proceedings with the aim of extracting more from us. Our attitude will result in them presenting recognition as the shortest way to a solution. That’s why we shouldn’t consider Oct. 3 a date before which we need to agree on a solution. Moreover, no matter what we do, it is very hard to resolve the issue by then.
It appears that we will be waiting for a new initiative by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan. This means the reappraisal of the Annan plan to make amendments that will favor Greek Cypriots. Actually, the plan already favors Greek Cypriots. We would be deceiving ourselves to expect Greek Cypriots to withdraw their demand for a recognition-based solution, if the plan is negotiated once more. In other words, they will be utilizing their veto right to aim at the withdrawal of our military from the island, Turkish Cypriots being demoted to a status of a minority and the Greek Cypriot domination of the island.
Kofi Annan may refuse to insert articles favoring Greek Cypriots into the plan, citing the protection of the balance between two peoples, which was noted in the U.N. documents and was the basis of the plan itself. Moreover, it would be impossible for the Turkish government to make the people accept such a “solution.” It is probable for certain forces in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) to perceive such a solution as a sort of annihilation and react very vehemently, resulting in instability.
Are we going to sacrifice so much in order to appease the Greek Cypriot administration led by Tassos Papadopoulos, who rejected the plan proposed by the international community and approved by Turkish Cypriots? Additionally, the Dec. 17 European Union decision does not guarantee Turkey’s membership.

EU diplomats, both in Ankara and Brussels, openly say that there can be no solution with Papadopoulos in power. In other words, they admit that the proposals made by this individual cannot be accepted by the Turkish side. Under these conditions, wouldn’t it be wiser to postpone the efforts until after the Papadopoulos leadership ends?
Isn’t this person the person who personally participated in the killings of hundreds of Turks and their burial in mass graves in 1963 to achieve “enosis?” Didn’t this man prepare the Akrikas plan that aimed at the destruction of Turks who were imprisoned on 3 percent of the island? Isn’t he trying to achieve “enosis,” which he failed to secure through terrorism, by using the veto threat? Are we going to relegate the favorable parts of the Annan plan just to reward this criminal?
The most we can do is to push for the acceptance of the Annan plan in a second referendum. If he doesn’t use his veto power, he’ll feel like having failed to achieve his inhumane historic mission. Let him veto it, so that we all can see its effects in our region and to Turkish-Greek relations. Through this opportunity, we will also be able to see how much the EU wants to make us a member.

The submissive portion of the media has again started to talk about the “facts of life.” They argue that the Greek Cypriots are now on the table as an EU member, have the power to utilize their veto 62 times and how we can sacrifice Cyprus for the EU.
Foreign diplomacy aims to change the facts that run counter to national interests. It doesn’t define them as facts of life. The fact of life is that 800,000 Greek Cypriots cannot influence the fate of 70 million Turks. No Turkish government can succeed in explaining the opposite to the people.
For a solution, we can wait until the Papadopoulos government becomes a footnote of history. At most, we will lose a year.


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