ΦΩΝΗ ΚΥΠΡΙΩΝ – KIBRISLILARIN SESİ – CYPRIOTS’ VOICE
The bi-communal forum “CYPRIOTS’ VOICE” discussed the present situation in Cyprus and concluded as follows:
- Once more the Cyprus Question seems to be coming to a standstill, exposing the never ending and meaningless blame game. This is regrettable because in reality a great deal of the issues making up the Cyprus Problem – arguably 80% has already been agreed.The whole effort should therefore be kept alive until after the next presidential election in the Republic of Cyprus, allowing for a fresh launching of the talks.
- We call upon the UN to keep the process alive seeking for a sealed documentation of the agreed issues. We also call upon all political leaders of the two communities, to firmly and without moving backward pursue the only feasible solution, that of the bizonal, bicommunal federation.
- Although the impression is given by both negotiating teams that the Cyprus Problem remains intractable, the fact remains that an honest compromise is still feasible.
- Turkey recently, even though not officially, announced a Plan ‘B’, to be applied in the case of no solution by 1 July 2012. This entails the opening of the closed off part of Famagusta under Turkish Cypriot administration; another effort to get recognition of the TRNC by the Islamic Conference countries and the simultaneous change of name from TRNC to the Turkish Cypriot State, or alternatively the annexation of the northern part of our country by Turkey.
- These thoughts are totally unacceptable to all Cypriots but should also alert the EU, as the northern part of Cyprus is legally part and parcel of the EU. All progressive Cypriots should raise our voice against this plan, which will not only create new faits accomplis but also pose more obstacles in the road to peace and, what is more, will signify the end of the Turkish Cypriot community as an independent entity.
- The Turkish Cypriot Community should be included in the EU Customs Union. This could promote economic integration within the island and facilitate a sustainable, federal solution. The ports in north Cyprus should be opened to the international traffic under the EU supervision. This formula will entail the concurrent opening of ports and airspace of Turkey to Cyprus thus improving Turkey – EU negotiations process and normalize Turkey-Cyprus relations.
- Referring to Varosha in particular, it should be handed over to the UN as clearly stated in the relevant Security Council resolution. With the assistance of the EU, this will not only allow its inhabitants to return but, with the proper planning and vision, could turn the town into a model of synergy and coexistence.
- Referring to the European Union, we believe it needs to come to grips with its obligations to Turkish Cypriots and to the northern part of Cyprus as well. As it is well known, although the whole of Cyprus joined the EU, the EU acquis was temporarily suspended in the north, which is effectively under Turkish rule. This not only allows a persistent Turkification of the north but also deprives Turkish Cypriots sharing European values and institutions.
- We call upon the EU to actively pursue a role, whereby Turkish Cypriots can identify with EU, precisely as their compatriots in the south.
- The launching in 2007 of an increased effort to unveil the fate of both Greek and Turkish Cypriot missing persons was one of the few positive developments that marked the recent history of our country.We call upon all officials and other people involved, to end this deplorable situation, whatever the reasons, and to resume the identification of the remains of the missing persons immediately.
- Contrary to this, for more than a year developments have led to the present stalemate which is utterly undesirable, causing unnecessary additional grief to the relatives of the missing persons.
- The discovery of hydrocarbon reserves in the southern offshore of Cyprus, if properly handled, could in time enhance substantially the standard of living of both communities. Moreover, it could enhance the chances of a prompt solution of the Cyprus Problem, to the benefit of both communities, Turkey, the EU and other surrounding countries.
- As for the inland drilling on the northern part of Cyprus, it may well be a continuation of the Piri Reis sensationalism but should not be dismissed too lightly. Indeed, if successful, it could not only bring about serious political complications but bearing in mind the size of Cyprus, concomitant environmental repercussions which should not be underestimated.
- The contemplated project for an oil depot in the Karpasia area is not only environmentally unacceptable but also devoid of any evidence of economic benefit for the local community. We call upon the authorities and the international community to block the implementation of such an unacceptable adventure.
Cypriots’ Voice 20/05/2012 – Communiqué no 20