Some reporters underestimate the memory and the knowledge οf their readers. Amanda Paul, for example [a journalist for AKP's mouthpiece, Today's Zaman], has come up with the unfounded, arbitrary statement that during the intercommunal talks "Greek Cypriots have been going at a slower pace than the Turkish Cypriots want".
It was known, right from the start, that this round of talks, was doomed, since Eroglu himself, immediately after his election to the position of the so called "President of TRNC" stated that, the Turkish side wouldn't be the first one to walk away from the negotiating table, but by his own stance, he intended to force Christofias to withdraw, first. He did not succeed in his endeavour to drive Christofias away from the negotiating table. The Turks may have been, indeed, anxious to see President Christofias move away from the negotiating table at a fast pace and possibly the fact that he did not was very annoying to them.
The question is, what was Eroglu hoping to achieve? His target had, obviously, been the convening of a conference of the so called guarantor powers, which would, somehow, enforce "a solution". [My note: the conference has another equally important purpose for Turkey and Eroglu, to equate the Turkish Cypriot community to the Republic of Cyprus]
Prior to Eroglu's assumptiom of power, his predecessor, Mehmet Ali Talat, and President Christofias, had agreed an understanding that "Nothing would considered as agreed at the talks, unless everything had been agreed". Under this precondition, it was envisaged that, a conference will be convened, when the internal aspects of the Cyprus problem would have been resolved at the talks, or any outstanding differences, narrowed down to a point, where an agreement would appear within reach.
The UN Secretary General and his Special Representative, have done their utmost to give the impression of sufficient progress at the talks in order to facilitate the convening of a conference. This was possible since the question of what constituted a "narrowing down on differences" was a matter of conjecture. Such statements, likely to be interpreted in any manner one desires, are what the British call constructive ambiguities. Almost invariably, "constructive ambiguities" spell disaster in the end.
In the final analysis, taking into consideration the participants to such a conference, ie Greece, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities and the UN Secretary-General, or his Special Representative for Cyprus, it would be like playing a cardgame, using a marked deck of cards.
First there would be the Greek Cypriot position at the conference. No doubt, Greece would uphold the position of the Greek Cypriots at any such conference. The stance of the other participants leaves no room for optimism that it could be impartial. It would be naive, of course, to refer to any Turkish Cypriot position, since, under the circumstances, the term "Turkish Cypriots" has become synonymous with "Turkey", since, in effect, it is nothing more than a veil term covering the Anatolian Turkish settlers and the Turkish Occupation force, who by far exceed any remnants of the actual Turkish Cypriot community.
Regarding the other participants to a conference it should be said that:
[a] The UK, for a start, had always been pro-Turkish. Its stance had been proven repeatedly, over decades, at every opportune moment. The infamous and ill-fated Annan Plan in 2004, was nothing more than the brain product of the British FO, through the notorious Lord Hannay , UK special representative for Cyprus. The said plan, was a glorification of division, segreggation, racial discrimination, legitimisation of the fait accomplis of the Turkish invasion, not to mention also an attempt to introduce an indirect recognition of British territorial waters into an overall "solution" arrangement and, all these, in the name of "reuniting" the island. (The attempt to claim a portion of the Cypriot territorial waters on behalf of the UK, in the 2004 Annan Plan, can be explained, in hindsight, in terms of the natural gas reserves located in the sea, in 2011. The existence of this undersea wealth had, of course, been known for decades).
[b] The UN Special Representative, at the time, associated with the deliberations for the Annan Plan, or the current Representative, for that matter, had never demonstrated the impartiality this post demands, but chose, instead, to align themselves with the positions of the British FO.
[c] The last two Secretary-Generals of UN, possibly lacking leadership or initiative, seemed to be going in the direction their respective Special Representative guided them. The only UN body left with some degree of credibility, was the Security Council and that, only because some individual members do not have a preconceived ideas that the final solution to the Cyprus problem should be pro-Turkey, and hence they can act impartially [My note: also because they cannot afford to see precedents set of cutting up independent UN nations in pieces for the benefit of minorities, of which China and Russia have plenty within their borders].
At this point, it is worth analysing Turkish policy on resolving bilateral differences with any neighbour behind closed doors, or at best in a conference with participants of Turkey's choice. Anyone, of course, could argue that since the Turkish side wants a conference, the statement about "seeking solutions behind closed doors" is wrong. The type of conference the Turkish side wants, however, is worse than trying to "solve" the problem behind closed doors, because it endeavours to give a cover of legitimacy to sheer gunboat diplomacy. In fact, this brings to memory a similar conference, back in February 1959, in London for "resolving" the very Cyprus problem. Obviously, the Turkish side cherishes sweet memories from that particular conference, and why shouldn't it? That is the reason it has such an ardent desire to repeat a similar conference now.
Click here to see the comment and associated discussion in Facebook.
Click here for Amanda Paul's article that prompted the above response by Charalambos Constantinides.