Good Fences Make Good Neighbours:
Cyprus issue has always been on the agenda of UN, on and off, since 1968. Latest UN plan named as Comprehensive Settlement Plan was offered in 2002. Its seperate simultaneous referanda were held on 24 April 2004, when the two communities in Cyprus were asked to vote in a referendum over a UN-plan for the re-unification of Cyprus. It was finalized and submitted to the two sides on 31 March.The plan was approved in the Turkish Cypriot referandum by 65% of the votes whereas 76% of the Greek Cypriot people rejected the plan. The main target was to reach viable and comprehensive solution on the island. But, the result, as well known now, was an expected failure. In fact, the efforts of Kofi Annan, which failed to reach an agreement, did not bring the solution regarding the island`s situation. It can be asked whether UN plan was well balanced or not? The Greek Cypriots found the UN plan not well balanced. Whereas UN Security Council resolution numbered 1475 (2003) gives the full support to the Secretary General’s carefully balanced plan.
Of course, conflict between the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots can not be accepted only regarding its security issue. But, we should ask: “Why Annan plan did not bring any comprehensive solution for the both sides?” Can we argue that it depends on the main security concerns regarding the Annan plan?
Clearly, referring to the results of the Annan plan referenda it was seen that the Greek Cypriots regarded their security needs as being not adequately addressed in the fifth version of the Annan plan. At the same time, the overwhelming majority of the Turkish Cypriots voted positively. Such an outcome assumes that the Greek Cypriot security concerns were not satisfied. On the other hand, it can be concluded that by responding positively the Turkish Cypriots considered their security concerns in the fifth Annan plan text being at least sufficient. That is only one sample analysis in accordance with the Annan plan referenda results. Why Annan plan was refused by the Greek Cypriots and accepted by the Turkish Cypriots? What do the Greek Cypriots want? Such issues need more focus on their subjects.
Undoubtedly, the strong rejection of the Annan plan on the 24 April 2004 showed that the Greek Cypriots were unwilling to accept new partnership on the island or to agree upon longer support of federation as well as of many international efforts since 1968 despite the various UN Security Council resolutions. To understand this stance of the Greek Cypriots there must be made a focus on the security concerns of the both sides, which still provides the barriers for viable solution.
Fautsman in his research pointed out the main psychological barriers on security:
“Especially, From the Greek side, core security issues are safeguards against the partition of the island, the presence of Turkish troops, demilitarisation and the right of Turkish intervention based on the Treaty of Guarantee. Issues where the security element is one predominant feature are safeguards for the implementation of the agreement, the presence of Turkish settlers and the possible permanent flow of Turkish immigrants, and limitations of sovereignty in the context of the European Security and Defence Policy. The main security demands of the Turkish side deal with the exclusion of the unification of the island with Greece, the guarantee of political equality, the permanent presence of Turkish troops and preservation of the Treaty of Guarantee. Issues where the security element does play an important role are the return of The Greek Cypriot refugees and threats deriving from the economic and numeric superiority of the The Greek Cypriot community. On an unofficial level, there is also the fear of domination of mainland Turkey over the domestic affairs of the The Turkish Cypriot community”. (Fautsmann, 1999)
All concerns of both sides show that there are barriers to create comprehensive solution for the island. The best way for the stability and peace in the island is to accept main concerns of the island. True diognasis should be put accurately. For us there is no government of Republic of Cyprus. The government in the South represents the Greek Cypriots, the government in the North represents the Turkish Cypriots. So, the Greek Cypriots are not representing the Turkish Cypriots under the “ROC”. This reality can not be ignored.
Even today, Mr. Mustafa Akıncı, the Turkish Cypriot President, tries to reach a viable solution in a goodwill for the federal union but the Greek Cypriot leader, Mr.Nichos Anastasiades, on the contrary still has not accepted the rotating presidency, primary law satus of the new possible federal state and other statements. This provokes the ruminations on one idiom which questions whether a leopard can change its spots or not? It is obvious that nothing has changed. In this respect, we know that good fences make good neighnours. For that, the time has come for accepting the Turkish Cypriot sovereign rights….
by Emete GÖZÜGÜZELLİ
GAU Political Science Faculty/PHD(Std)