Turkey

Let’s remember that the EU promised the lifting of the embargoes to the turkish Cypriots on april 2004. Besides, the turkish Cypriots voted “Yes” for Kofi Annan’s peace plan, whereas the greek Cypriots voted “No”. Despite the “Yes” of the turkish side, the European Union hasn’t lifted the embargoes. Why? Because the greek Cypriots seem to veto that lifting, with the support of some politicians of the EU who don’t want Turkey to be an EU member….such as Mr Sarkozy.

But that insane situation will not continue. Thanks to the new power of the EU parliament (created by the treaty of Lisbon), the greek Cypriots will not be able to use their veto anymore. So the EU parliament will most probably vote “Yes” for the lifting of these embargoes, and the EU will stand at last to its commitment.

That means that the greek Cypriots have lost. Why? Because on the one hand, they will have at last to show some willingness in order to find a fair solution with the turkish Cypriots regarding the reunification of Cyprus. On the other hand, they will stop sabotaging the negotiations between Turkey and the EU by saying that Turkey doesn’t open its ports and airports to them (Mr Sarkozy has lost too since he supports the propaganda of the greek Cypriots in order to block 8 chapters of the negotiations between the EU and Turkey. Mr Sarkozy must be very worried indeed because he will not be able to justify the bocking of these 8 crucial chapters anymore. A reminder: in order to prevent Turkey from becoming an EU member, Mr Sarkozy doesn’t make any pressure to the greek side so that no meaningful improvement is made in Cyprus, thence enabling him to sabotage the negotiations between the EU and Turkey by blocking the 8 key chapters).

In fact the greek Cypriots (and their friend Mr Sarkozy) have suffered a heavy defeat: let’s remember that the EU repeats that Turkey must open its ports and airports to the greek Cypriots. But Turkey repeats that it will do so as soon as the EU lifts the embargoes toward the turkish Cypriots. Since the EU parliament will most probably vote “Yes” for that lifting next june, Turkey will open its ports and airports to the greek Cypriots. Therefore the 8 chapters of the negotiations will have to be unblocked by Mr Sarkozy.

We can really foresee a solution in Cyprus. The reunification of the island is on the horizon,

not only because the turkish Cypriots will no longer be isolated, but also because the greek Cypriots will have to proceed the negotiations with a quite different way than they were used to doing with their systematic “No, it’s not possible” policy. In other words the greek Cypriots will not feel untouchable anymore.

Nevertheless, Turkey underlined in 2004 that by opening its ports and airports to the greek Cypriots, that will not amount to the recognition of the greek cypriot government. Turkey also emphasized that it will recognize the greek cypriot government only when an enduring solution is found with the turkish Cypriots.

Well Greece is angry because the EU will vote for the lifting of the embargoes. Greece said many times that it can’t interfere in the decisions of the greek cypriot government, however today it protests against the new power of the EU parliament that will block the veto of the greek Cypriots and lift the embargoes.

So the Greeks (and the greek Cypriots) seem to be bothered and angry. The greek Cypriots will not be able to use their veto anymore, and the turkish Cypriots will be able to trade directly with the EU, so what? The greek Cypriots are in fact used to considering the turkish Cypriots as citizens of second class. I understand that they must be very upset.

It is a scandal that Greece intervenes today and behaves negatively regarding the new perspective in Cyprus. I don’t understand the reaction of Greece. Turkey and the turkish Cypriots have been discussing the lifting of the embargoes with the EU since 2004. But the greek cypriot government didn’t want to make any progress regarding that issue for 6 years, and during that time Greece repeated several times that it can’t influence the greek cypriot governement. But after 6 years of silence, Greece decides to intervene today and says that it will be at the side of the greek Cypriots at the EU parliament. Furthermore, Greece criticises the european commision and says that it is of bad faith, actually it is Greece which is of bad faith. And Greece can say or do whatever it wants, it will not prevent the EU parliament from lifting the embargoes.

The greek Cypriots and the Greeks will not fool anyone anymore, neither Turkey nor the EU.

The turkish Cypriots will trade directly, then Turkey will authorize the greek Cypriots to have access to its ports and airports, and last but not least, the negotiations between the EU and Turkey will be unblocked.

Everybody wins (except the politicians who object to Turkey’s EU membership). Aren’t these perspectives positive? Why being agressive and not support peace? Let’s be optimistic.

Regards,

Cem

PS. A reminder

I quote: “According to the scenario floated in Ankara, Greek Cypriots have plans to put the ball in Turkey’s court, anticipating that pro-reunification President Talat will be defeated in the April presidential elections in the north and that he will be replaced by a more hawkish candidate who will drag the reunification talks into a deadlock. Under the plan, that situation would make the Turkish side pay the price of a failure and complicate Turkey’s European Union process, while showing the Greek Cypriots as the party that pushed hard for a settlement but failed to do so due to the attitude adopted by the Turkish side.”

The greek cypriot government succeeded in slowing the negotiations process with the turkish Cypriots, but that ridiculous and twisted plan will not occur. Because the whole world already knows the situation in Cyprus. It does know the lack of willingness of the greek cypriot government about a rapid solution regarding the reunification of the island. It also knows the mistakes and the subjective stance of the European Union, and the insane plan of some politicians of the EU regarding both the negotiations between the turkish and greek Cypriots and the negotiations between Turkey and the EU. The whole world knows that the greek cypriot government made the propaganda of the “No” in 2004 regarding Kofi Annan’s peace plan for the reunification of Cyprus. Moreover, Mr Günter Verheugen was angry and said that the greek cypriot government betrayed him.

Lastly, the world does know that the greek cypriot government takes advantage of its EU membership in order to sabotage the negotiations for the reunification of the island.

Well the turkish Cypriots are quite disappointed and angry at their president Mehmet Ali Talat. Why? Because he lost credibility (the EU lost credibility too). Why? Because he told them in 2004 that the embargoes would be lifted, and that’s what he was told by the EU. But although the turkish Cypriots voted “Yes” at the referendum in order to support the Annan peace plan, nothing’s changed: the EU hasn’t lifted the embargoes toward them for six years.

So Mehmet Ali Talat may pay the price by losing the next election, and the EU will be responsible for that. If Mr Talat loses, not only both the turkish and greek cypriot citizens will lose, but also the world will lose (the reunification of Cyprus would be a great example and a great lesson of peace for the whole world). Therefore, if Mr Eroğlu wins that election and that he doesn’t really contribute to the reunification of Cyprus (like the greek cypriot government did by deciding to slow the negotiations process for the reunification for several years), in other words if the negotiations are frozen, the greek cypriot government and the EU will be clearly responsible.

Eventually, I do hope that Mehmet Ali Talat will win that election. He does want peace, he always strongly supported the reunification of Cyprus. Mehmet Ali Talat is a sensible and excellent politician. He deserves to win again. Moreover, he is a very good and nice person. Here is an article in turkish published on NTVMSNBC which deals with him and his opinion regarding the peace process. The turkish Cypriots are quite

disappointed, but they ought to trust and still support their wonderful president Mehmet Ali Talat.

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