Turkey

Turkey has at last stood up for itself regarding the Cypriot problem by proving that it is an issue of which the Greek side is responsible. Besides, let’s remind that the Turkish Cypriots voted ”Yes” to the Annan peace plan of the United Nations for the reunification of Cyprus, whereas the Greek Cypriots voted ”No”. The Greeks succeeded in holding Turkey responsible for that conflict because in the past Turkey was not in a position to explain its point of view, since on the one hand, there was no political stability, on the other hand, the terrorism of the PKK didn’t allow it to take care of its international image. Futhermore, the Cypriot issue was (and still is) subjectively dealt with by the EU media. In fact, the continuous anti-Turkey brainwashing of the media is famous. But those times are over. Although the Greek side still acts with impunity and disgracefully at the EU parliament, henceforth, it must face with a stable Turkey.

Günter Verheugen said in 2004 that he was betrayed by the Greek Cypriot government. Pat Cox and Chris Patten denounced the anti-reunification propaganda of the Greek Cypriot leaders, whom we must add the current Greek Cypriot president Mr Christofias. Mr Christofias, who objected to the Annan peace plan in 2004, and who besides sabotaged during two years the negotiations with the former Turkish Cypriot president Mehmet Ali Talat for the reunification of Cyprus.

If the Greek Cypriot citizens voted ”No” in 2004, it’s because their leaders washed their brain. A reminder: Angela Merkel said that it was a mistake to have accepted the Greek Cypriots as EU members.

The Greek Cypriot government distributed more than 5 000 mails to its civil servants in which it claimed that if the Annan peace plan was approved, loads of social benefits would be reassessed, and the tourism sector would be gravely affected.

So the whole Cyprus is european since 2004. And the issue of the refugees and of the compensation is from now on an issue of the EU. But what is the EU doing? Instead of helping the Turkish and Greek Cypriots to come to a solution it continues isolating the Turkish Cypriots by manipulating the Cypriot issue and the EU-Turkey negotiations at the EU parliament, with Mr Sarkozy and Ms Merkel at the top, of course.

It is objective to raise the problem of the compensation and of the return of the Greek Cypriot refugees in north Cyprus, but it is subjective and even too easy to sum up the Cypriot issue and the failure of the referendum in the Greek part in 2004 to that. That problem certainly was not pointed out in 2004 by the Greek leaders, since those last one lied to their population before the referendum by saying that the main obstacle for the reunification of the island is the presence of the Turkish soldiers in northern Cyprus.

Thus, we must stop justifying subjectively the categorical opposition of the Greek Cypriot leaders to the reunification of Cyprus by reminding that only half of the Greek Cypiots would have benefited of a return in north Cyprus. Because the big problem pointed out was well and truly the Turkish troups. But the Greek leaders are of bad faith, since this problem was already heralded as resolved in 2004: in fact, thanks to the Annan peace plan, the 35 000 Turkish soldiers would have left north Cyprus (only 650 would have remained). The Turkish Cypriots overwhelmingly voted ”Yes” to the Annan peace plan whereas the Greek Cypriots voted ”No”. But presumably the Turkish soldiers are not the true problem neither for the Greek cypriot leaders, otherwise they would have invited – and even convinced – their citizens to vote ”Yes” to the Annan peace plan (by the way, there are British military bases in south Cyprus, as well as Greek soldiers, but apparently that doesn’t seem to concern or disturb the Greek Cypriots or some politicians of the EU).

A Greek Cypriot journalist, Makarios Drusiotis, courageously said that it is the Greek side which doesn’t want of a solution at Cyprus, by underlining that the Turkish side was ready to withdraw its troops from northern Cyprus. On the other hand, some people love repeating that the problem of the refugees and of the compensation would be the true problem. What a way out. And several weeks ago, the former Greek Cypriot president Glafkos Klerides said that the Greek Cypriots should have accepted the Annan peace plan.

What is revealing is that the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot nationalists were, in the manner of the Greek Cypriot leaders, hostile to the Annan peace plan (let’s remember that some Turkish Cypriot nationalists exploded a bomb near the house of the former president Mehmet Ali Talat). But the Turkish side struggled against its nationalists and has firmly supported the Annan peace plan. But it is so easy to point one’s finger at the Turks, it has even become in fashion. Admittedly, that subject of the compensation and of the refugees is not resolved, but it can in no way allow someone to have an amnesia about the anti-peace propaganda of the Greek side regarding the Annan peace plan. Neither an amnesia about its unhealthy propaganda against Turkey’s EU membership perspective.

(Furthermore, the Greek and Greek Cypriot leaders keep acting shamefully at the EU parliament: they play an unhealthy game in order to prevent the EU parliament from voting the lifting of the embargoes towards the Turkish Cypriots. We are in fact used to witnessing their despicable acts: Greece became a member of the EEC/EU in 1981, and since that date, it received nearly 100 billion euros from the EU. Thanks to these colossal funds Greece was able to develop itself. But while it was taking advantage of that financial support from the EU, Greece selfishly objected to Turkey’s EU candidacy. Moreover, for years the Turkish students couldn’t take part to the Erasmus programme because of the veto of some Greek politicians. And today, Greece and the Greek Cypriots, with the help of Mr Sarkozy and Ms Merkel, sabotage the negotiations between the EU and Turkey by sabotaging the negotiations between the Turkish and Greek Cypriots. They act as if the Turkish Cypriots voted “No” to the Annan peace plan in 2004. That’s outrageous. The Greek Cypriots have apparently become the new tool of several EU countries in order to sabotage Turkey’s EU membership. At first it was Greece (which became an EEC/EU member thanks to Valérie Giscard D’Estaing, an anti-Turkey man. In fact, the door of the EEC/EU was wide open to Greece by Mr D’Estaing, now it is closed to Turkey by Mr Sarkozy). Today it’s then the turn of the Greek Cypriots. And tomorrow, the turn of the Austrians?).

Lastly, we must underline that the political parties the new democracy and the pasok in Greee supported in 2004 the Annan peace plan for the reunification of Cyprus. So, does the solution suggested by the Turkish side and Kofi Annan regarding the compensation and the return of the Greek Cypriot refugees in northern Cyprus really explain the “No” propaganda of the Greek Cypriot leaders?

Let’s remind that the Greek Cypriots don’t consider the Turkish Cypriots as Cypriot citizens. And the Greek Cypriots make everything possible so that the Turkish Cypriots remain second class citizens, by objecting actively at the EU parliament, with Greece, Mr Sarkozy and Ms Merkel, to the lifting of the embargoes inflicted on the Turkish Cypriots. Some EU politicians said that they were filled with consternation by the behaviour of some Greek Cypriot politicians at the EU parliament: ”A behaviour worthy of politicians of the third world countries”.

Isolating the Turkish Cypriots is the favourite sport of the Greek Cypriot leaders. In the same way Greece isolated the Turkish students with the Erasmus programme or objected to Turkey’s EU candidacy. If the Greek Cypriot leaders (as well as the very influential religious leaders) washed the brain of their citizens so that the ”No” won overwhelmingly in 2004, it’s also because they knew that they were anyway going to be members of the EU. Moreover, they have a better standard of living compared with the Turkish Cypriots, who are isolated from the world. So why approve the reunification of Cyprus? It is exactly that mentality that predominates them. But the Greek Cypriots want to hold Turkey responsible for the failure of the reunification. Nevertheless, they won’t succeed.

What happened in 1974 wasn’t a military invasion but a – legal – military intervention by Turkey. It was an intervention for peace. Last year at the EU parliament, while Sweden ran the EU presidency, some Greek or Greek Cypriot politicians spoke to Carl Bildt by attacking Turkey about Cyprus, and Carl Bildt answered to them that the Turks intervened at Cyprus because the Turkish Cypriots were being killed. The Greeks didn’t answer because they didn’t know what to answer. Why? Because they didn’t expect Mr Bildt to give such a response. Why? Because the anti-Turkey politicians are used to not facing with objective stances regarding Turkey.

Moreover, the Cypriot issue didn’t begin in 1974, as the Greek Cypriots like claiming it. That intervention of 1974 aimed at bringing peace in Cyprus. In short, instead of concentrating on the problems created by the membership of the Greek Cypriots, the EU blocks 8 chapters of the EU-Turkey negotiations, because Turkey doesn’t authorize the Greek Cypriot ships and planes to enter its territory. Why doesn’t Turkey implement the Customs Union to the Greek Cypriots? Well Turkey repeats that it will open its ports and airports to the Greek Cypriots as soon as the EU keeps its promise made on april 2004 to trade directly with the Turkish Cypriots. In other words, when the EU lifts the embargoes towards the Turkish Cypriots (besides, Turkey underlined that it will not mean that it recognizes the Greek Cypriot government. In fact, Turkey said that it will recognize the Greek Cypriot government only when a solution is found with the Turkish Cypriots).

But Mr Sarkozy and Ms Merkel want to take advantage of that situation. They aim at sabotaging the voting of the lifting of the embargoes at the EU parliament in order to freeze completely the EU-Turkey negotiations. But at the same time they disgracefully sabotage the peace at Cyprus. It’s scandalous. They are irresponsible. Let’s remember that Elmar Brok, a close politician to Ms Merkel, said: ”We will do whatever the greek Cypriots ask us”. Isn’t that appalling? Because of that behaviour, the Greek Cypriots feel more untouchable regarding the Cypriot issue. And that’s why they don’t show any willingness to find a solution with the Turkish Cypriots. Elmar Brok, Ms Merkel and Mr Sarkozy have no conscience. That behaviour is also synonymous with racism. As Mehmet Ali Talat said it a few months ago.

So, is it really only because of the Greek Cypriots and of Greece that the EU doesn’t manage to keep its promise? Are they so powerful to dictate what the EU must do? Let’s remind that Spain said a few months ago that it could hardly open one chapter of the EU-Turkey negotiations because of France, Germany, Greece and the greek Cypriots. Spain added: ”Turkey is victim of discriminations from the EU”.

The Greek Cypriots block 6 chapters of which the one of energy. Mr Sarkozy subjectively blocks 5 chapters of the negotiations, because these chapters are crucial: in fact if the EU commission opens them it will be very difficult to prevent Turkey’s EU membership. But how does Mr Sarkozy officially justify that blocking? That blocking goes against the principles of the EU. The EU has lost a colossal credibility because of Mr Sarkozy.

As for the EU, it blocks 8 chapters because of the refusal of Turkey to extend the customs union to the Greek Cypriots.

The politicians of the EU who object to Turkey’s EU membership are certainly satisfied and hope that the situation in Cyprus won’t change.

Some European experts and diplomats said that France and Germany (as well as Austria and Greece) hide themselves behind the Greek Cypriots to sabotage the EU-Turkey negotiations.

For instance, Danilo Türk, the president of Slovenia, said: “Technical issues should not be unnecessarily politicized”.

Today the EU tells Turkey: “You must resolve your issue with the Greek Cypriots if you want the negotiations to continue“. That is scandalous. Why didn’t the EU expect the same thing from the Greek Cypriots before they did join the EU in 2004? Is that justice?

Something else, why did the EU make the Greek Cypriots members of the EU whereas the laws of the EU stipulate that no country can be a member of the EU if one country has frontier disputes? Is not that Greek Cypriot membership in contradiction with international law? Juridically and politically, the EU is in an awkward situation. And that is an euphemism.

Many people complaint about the EU’s unfairness regarding the EU membership of the Greek Cypriots. In fact, the geographical argument which many EU politicians, media and citizens repeat ludicrously in order to object to the EU membership of Turkey makes no sense. In fact, since these anti-Turkey people claim that Turkey is not in Europe, why have taken the Greek Cypriots within the EU? Let’s emphasize this: are the Greek Cypriots in Europe?

Mr Sarkozy and Ms Merkel (and their vassals of the UMP and of the CSU-CDU, as well as many media) ought to show us where Cyprus is on this map. They ought to tell us if Cyprus is in Europe. And what about Iceland?

Turkey is victim of double standards from the EU: although the whole EU stated in 1999 at Helsinki that Turkey would become a full EU member and that it would be treated as every previous EU candidate, today we can note that it is far from being the case. To begin with, before the decision to open the EU-Turkey negotiations was taken in 2004, it was underlined that it will take longer, compared with the previous candidates, to close a chapter with Turkey. Then, as if it was not enough, many chapters are subjectively blocked. Thus, Turkey does face with double standards on all fronts (and let’s not forget to add the continuous lynching and brainwashing of numerous european journalists and media against Turkey, only then the indigestible anti-Turkey cocktail becomes perfect).

Eventually, the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey proved that they want the reunification of Cyprus: the Turkish Cypriots voted ”Yes” at the referendum for the reunification of Cyprus. But the Greek Cypriots voted ”No”. The whole world is a witness. Do Greece and the Greek Cypriots really want Cyprus to reunify?
Given the insistence of the Greek side to display hostility and bad faith at the EU parliament, the probable scenario is the following one: if the Greek Cypriots confirm their reluctance to not come off a solution with the Turkish Cypriots, north Cyprus will be officially recognized by many countries.
I do support the reunification of Cyprus because it would represent a great peace lesson for the whole world. It would be a great example of peace which would help other countries to build a better future for their citizens. There’s no time to lose.
Will the EU free itself from Mr Sarkozy and Ms Merkel in order to play at last its role which is to advocate and maintain the peace? With Cyprus, the EU proved that it is incompetent. But it also proves it by remaining an onlooker about what Israel does towards the Palestinians. So how will the EU be able to provide credible solutions to the next problems of our planet if it is not even able to resolve these two subjects (although what the Palestinians live is much worse than what the Turkish Cypriots endure)?
The EU which I dream of is certainly not that one. Neither the one which Robert Schuman and Jean Monnet dreamed of.

Best regards,

Cem

PS. Here is an article in Turkish from ABhaber regarding an interview with Mr Marco Perduca. This is the translation of the article (published a few months ago):

“Italian senator Marco Perduca: “The mistakes made by the European Union in Cyprus are unacceptable”

Italian senator Marco Perduca said that the mistakes made by the European Union in Cyprus are unacceptable. A member of the radical party, senator Perduca drew the attention on the fact that although the Turkish Cypriots voted “Yes” to the Annan plan of the United Nations, they are still subjected to the embargoes, and the EU remains an onlooker. He added that whichever the way the Cypriot problem is looked at, the EU is in the most absolute mistake.

Senator Marco Perduca has commented on the later events to the presidential election in the Turkish republic of northern Cyprus to ABhaber:

”At first we must thank a lot Mr Talat. We must now have a quick look at the agenda of the new Turkish Cypriot government and of the president of the republic Mr Eroğlu. It then becomes apparent that Mr Eroğlu adopted a good behaviour regarding the negotiations. It is a positive step. The negotiations will start in the coming days.

That the decisions for the lifting of the embargoes (inflicted to the Turkish Cypriots) are still discussed in the EU is unacceptable. It is the credibility of the EU and the confidence that it inspires that are in question. We can’t pursue the EU-Turkey negotiations while at the same time block the lifting of the embargoes towards the Turkish Cypriots. That’s not possible.

We must vote the lifting of the embargoes. That lifting would be beneficial for the (EU-Turkey) negotiations. The blocking of the Greek Cypriots is purely political.

Turkey must certainly open its ports to them, and anyway nobody in the EU protest against that. But the embargoes towards the Turkish Cypriots must immediately stop. There are some countries of the EU which hided themselves behind the Greek Cypriots in order to sabotage Turkey’s EU membership perspective, but in reality they have been harmful to the EU.

In spite of their promise, they keep imposing the embargoes to the Turkish Cypriots, though who accepted the peace plan of the UN, whereas they made the Greek Cypriots members of the EU despite their refusal of that peace plan. The EU is not able to provide an explanation to that. We must put an end at this game.

The Turkish Cypriots need a new and strong political approach. So that the Turkish Cypriots can be saved from the embargoes and can be granted their rights as citizens of the EU (recognition of the Turkish language as an official language of the EU, and two Turkish cypriots representatives must take up office at the EU parliament), Mr Eroğlu has to bring together the members of the European parliament.””

PPS. Last july, another Italian politician drew the attention on the fact that the Greek and Greek Cypriot politicians deal with nothing else but Turkey, adding that this situation has really to be the subject of a sociological study. Very good suggestion. (The Greeks need an ennemy to justify their existence and the colossal purchases of weapons and submarines to France and Germany).

PPPS. If the Greek side keeps showing no interest in finding a solution with the Turkish side, north Cyprus will be officially recognized by many countries. That was emphasized by two important Turkish politicians who have always strived for peace: last year by Ahmet Davutoğlu, and more recently by Cemil Çiçek. They didn’t use these words but that was their message. Thus, the Greek side (and the EU) know very well what will happen if they don’t support a solution at Cyprus: the world will be more divided than it is today. And tensions will deepen. Will they take their responsability in case of a failure?

If the reunification of Cyprus fails, the EU and the Greek side will be responsible for that (and if the EU-Turkey negotiations are totally blocked, it will be the fault of the EU too), because the EU hasn’t done any pressure to the Greek side so that a solution is found. Whereas the Turkish side has shown a strong willingness for a solution in Cyprus.

Well the EU didn’t act for the peace between the Greek and the Turkish sides (and it still doesn’t act). Mehmet Ali Talat lost the presidential election because of the EU. In fact, Mr Talat promised the Turkish Cypriots that the embargoes would be lifted in 2004. He promised that because that’s what was promised by the EU. But the EU didn’t lift these embargoes. Thus the Turkish Cypriots punished Mr Talat. Mr Talat lost the presidential election in northern Cyprus because he was the hostage of the EU.

Thus, the EU is responsible for that unhealthy and disgraceful situation. But did not the EU know that the EU membership of the Greek Cypriots would be a huge problem for Turkey’s European perspective and membership?

Last but not least, what will the EU do? Will the union desert Turkey and let the Greek side prevent Turkey from being an EU member (by claiming that it is the Greek side which sabotages Turkey’s EU path), or will it support Turkey’s EU membership perspective and regain a bit of credibility by recollecting its signatures of 1963, 1999 and 2004? I’m looking forward to seeing how the EU will behave.

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