In the early morning of July 7, 2017, another round of negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations on the so called Cyprus “problem” has ended in Switzerland. Some are trying to understand why. Others, however, have ostensibly entered the “blame game” and/or misinformation, unjustly pointing the finger to the government of the Republic of Cyprus, because, allegedly, it did not make the necessary concessions, so as to satisfy Turkish demands. For those who are trying to understand why, I am arguing, hereinafter, that none should have expected these negotiations (or any previous) to succeed. They were doomed to fail for three reasons, which constitute the fallacies of the so-called Cyprus “problem”.
The first fallacy is that international actors, international organizations, diplomats, and analysts are trying to understand first and deal then with a “problem”, and not with a case of pure and brutal military invasion perpetrated by Turkey in 1974 and still preserved illegally until today. This is where all starts and all ends: in the thought dominating (our) minds that we are to deal with a “problem” and not with a flagrant violation of almost all fundamental principals of the United Nations Charter and a series of non implemented compulsory decisions of the Security Council.
In fact, Turkey still maintains some 40.000 heavily armed troops on the island, presenting since 1974 an every day threat for the very existence of what is left territorially of the Republic of Cyprus, making us wonder how the Republic of Cyprus’ citizens – EU citizens since 2004 – and its economy may endure such a situation. Turkey, as demonstrated in the negotiations, has not the intention to withdraw its occupation forces from the island (BBC 2017). Most important, even if those troops were to be reduced, Turkey was adamantly against abandoning the status of the guarantor power, contrary to the intention of the other two guarantors (the U.K. and Greece).
Why? The official narrative says in order to guarantee the rights and the security of the Turkish Cypriots (TRTWORLD 2017). Obviously, this is neither the real nor a convincing reason, as Turkey, given its record of human rights, cannot guarantee the rule of law, especially in an EU country. The real motive is the expansionist policy of Turkey, and its tactic to exercise through Cyprus pressure on the Republic, on Greece, on the EU, and more broadly, on the West.
It is clear that Turkey does not want to contribute to “solving” the problem. And this is the second fallacy committed by those who consider Turkey well-intentioned to solve the Cyprus “problem” under the rule of the AKP Party and of Erdogan, and given Turkey’s current and favorable general and regional distribution of power. Read more…