Saturday, January 15, 2011

Turkey's real aims in Cyprus & the inescapable comparison with her own Kurdish community's demands

The opening of the port of Famagusta under the EU is a no brainer. Except for Turkey. Why? Because Turkey's ultimate goal has nothing to do with bringing the two communities together.

Turkey's goal is to achieve a federation with clear geographical regions as a replacement/ nullification of the Republic of Cyprus, so that at a future time, given a manufactured or convenient pretext, much like the 1974 one, to promote the intermediate independence of a state which will have in the mean time acquired legally defined boundaries.

Such "state", much more manageable than Turkey with its multitude of problems, would be eligible to enter the EU, thereby offering Turkey indirectly all the rights of EU membership but none of the responsibilities. If unable to achieve EU entry it would develop into a Turkish province over time.

Why should the Republic of Cyprus ever agree to anyhting that might jeopardize its very existence, i.e. 1960?

In Turkey's own problem with her Kurds, it is extremely interesting to note that when Turks or hardline T-Cypriot posters are pushed in the corner their last line of defense is always the 1923 constitution of Turkey, 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 Turkish state then the Kurds, an ethnos of 16-18 million or 22+% of Turkey's population, would deserve community status, not unlike the one T-Cypriots could/can enjoy as a result of the 1960 agreements, much more than today's vague "cultural rights for the Kurds" discussion in Turkish politics.

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

I am afraid the comparison is simply inescapable for Turkey. If a 10% minority deserves equality & a federation then so does a 22+% minority community of Turkey, a whopping 20 million of population. A problem unabated in its 88th year!

The logic is the following:

If a right is a right too much for the Kurds of Turkey then a similar right is also a right too much for the Turkish Cypriots in Cyprus, and vice versa. Cypriots must press this in every forum and in front of every international interlocutor!

The comparison between Turkey's Kurdish problem and Cyprus' Turkish problem can very well be the catalyst everyone is looking for the solution to both.

The illegal status quo of the so called "TRNC", the occupied north of Cyprus, that ostensibly suits Turkey will steadily and progressively assume unprecedented cost proportions, both political as well as financial. The "de-jure" fantasies Turkey and T-Cypriots entertain are nothing more than just that: fantasies, of a Turkish foreign policy that is both out of touch with the world's realities as well as unable to properly assess Turkey's true weight in the overall scheme of things! 

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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.