Thursday, December 23, 2010

Is meddling in Turkey's affairs fair play?

Turkey's present intransigence, coupled with her unpredicable & potentially explosive situation with her own 22+% Kurdish ethnic minority, may lead many more tCypriots to choose to leave from Cyprus, thus today's ratio of 90-10% of legal Cypriots to improve significantly more in favor of gCypriots during the next several years.

The cornerstone of Turkish (& tCypriot) arguments is two-fold
  1. they are equal as per 1960; and
  2. there is a de-facto division since 1974;

Let's consider both:

The EQUALITY tCypriots claim stems from the 1960 constitution alone. If there were no 1960 there would be no equality between the then 82% and 18% communities. Thus, if we choose to ignore 1960 then we must also ignore the "equality" clause of the agreement. But doing so leaves us with a Cypriot population with roughly a 90-10% split between its gCypriot and tCypriot populations. Surely one would not expect today's solution to grant "equality", other than at the individual level, to a 10% community.

The 1974 "intervention" would have been legal if its result was to reinstate the 1960 constitution, as was the reason stated by Turkey. Failing to do so Turkey finds herself accused in front of numerous international bodies continues, so far with minor consequences, and rightly so.

In terms of law, the Republic of Cyprus is the strongest she has ever been. In terms of realities, she must either give in by accepting Turkey's version of a solution or else the de-facto situation will continue & perhaps one day soon Turks from Turkey will be the majority on the island, if not already. So "normally", one would expect Cyprus to put aside her pride and capitulate to the extortion before the irreversible ethnic makeup alteration of Cyprus.

In Turkey's own problem with her Kurds, it is extremely interesting to note that when Turks or tCypriot posters are pushed in the corner their last line of defense is always the 1923 constitution, which did not entail the recognition of a community status for the Kurds. In effect, they say that had it not been for the LEGAL basis of the country then the Kurds, an ethnos of 16-18 million, or 22+% of Turkey's population, would deserve a community status not unlike the one T-Cypriots could/can enjoy as a result of 1960.

But isn’t the legal basis the fundamental argument of the gCypriots for safeguarding Cyprus’ constitution & arguing against the illegality of the status-quo?

I am afraid Cyprus is indeed running out of time. As such:

  • Cyprus must demand that Turkey abides by all UN resolutions that call upon her to remove her troops & reinstate legality together with the other two guarantor nations; the Cypriots had already agreed a solution back in 1974 on the 1960 basis of a unitary state with elements of local and communal self administration on issues of low level politics. They can do so again.

  • Cyprus must return the favor by meddling in Turkish internal affairs. The Kurds of Turkey are already pursuing self-segregation policies. In fact their leaders openly say that "We will review other experiences in the world & will try to reveal similarities and differences in comparison". What better basis for the solution to the Kurdish issue within the confines of the Turkish state than that which Turkey feels applicable in Cyprus. Cyprus must present Turkey's ideas in Cyprus as a possible solution to her very similar Kurdish question, thus enabling a discussion in Cypriot & Turkish societies to flourish about the principles that should govern solutions to problems that concern the relations between majority (circa 80%) and minority (circa 20%) communities in a country. Such will be the healthiest way forward for both Turkey, who has been unable to "solve" the Kurdish issue in all her 87-year existence, as well as Cyprus.

After all, if one nation has the right, even obligation, to meddle in Turkey's internal affairs without waiting first for an open invitation, that is the very nation in whose affairs Turkey has been involved unjustly, to be it mildly, over the last few decades. It is a risky one way-tunnel which must be studied carefully in conjunction with powerful allies so that the fierce reaction which will undoubtly result from Turkey can be contained.

As I hinted many times in the past, if we try to find a solution on today's facts then either capitulation to Turkish demands or alteration of Cyprus' ethnic makeup or both are the available scenarios. There is a strong need to alter the fundamentals of the equation to make it a more balanced one. Turkey's Kurdish situation presents itself as a golden opportunity which, if tackled properly, can result to the benefit of all the peoples involved and the region's propserity. Turkey, the power that possesses the key to both problems, must realize that applying similar principles to tackle these two issues is both right but inevitable as well.

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Turkey's Kurds & Cyprus' tCypriots

As either unitary state or federation solutions are discussed as replacements to Cyprus' 1960 and Turkey's 1923 unworkable constitutions, should we abide by "if a right is a right too many for Turkey's Kurdish community (circa 23% of population) then that right is a right too many for Cyprus' tCypriot community too (circa 15%), and vice versa." Is the adoption of this fair logic the catalyst to securing just solutions for both UN countries.