ΦΩΝΗ ΚΥΠΡΙΩΝ – KIBRISLILARIN SESİ – CYPRIOTS’ VOICE
COMMUNIQUÉ no. 44 – APRIL 2023
The bi-communal platform CYPRIOTS’ VOICE having met in a symposium considered the current situation of concerned issues and concluded the following:
- Cyprus, Cypriots, and the “motherlands”
The conservative administration at both ends is attached to a divisive spirit, with the Greek Cypriots turning towards Athens and the Turkish Cypriots turning towards Ankara, whereas, on the other hand, among the people, a current of mutual understanding, cooperation, and desire for peace, prevails to a significant extent. Neither the Greek Cypriots nor the Turkish Cypriots, in a significant majority, according to the polls, can identify themselves with the conservatist circles and the far-right elements with neo-Nazism mentality, who support the division of the island and cultivate enmity among the people.
Time has come to realize that the solution to a large extent depends on us ourselves. To achieve this, we must realize that our country is Cyprus, and its center is Nicosia. Cyprus as an independent country must have friendly relations with both Greece and Turkey but not depend on or controlled by them.
- Developments in Turkey due to forthcoming elections
The forthcoming elections in Turkey will have an impact on the island mainly because of the dependence of the administration in north Cyprus on Turkish foreign policy vis a vis her claims in easter Mediterranean. An electoral victory of Erdogan does not seem probable according to current political balances, however it cannot be excluded. Although the overall policy over Cyprus is not expected to vary considerably by any new government in Turkey, the social impact over Northern Cyprus may be affected positively by a new secular regime. Corruption, which is an endemic phenomenon in Cyprus, extending close ties with the state mafia in Turkey along with other centres of equivalent activity, may change operators in line with the winners of the elections in Turkey.
- The political impact in the south over the recent elections
The recent presidential elections in the south marked a new era in Greek Cypriot politics. The new government consist of a team of mostly non-political administrators who are exposed to the nationalistic influence of the electoral powers which supported Christodoulides i.e., the church, parties of “the centre”, and the far-right nationalists. The ideological stream among the people is still evolving by the result but also by the impetus of the parameters involved such as social media handling, leadership crisis and political fatigue that manoeuvred the followers of the systemic parties in the presidential elections.
The developments in the wider geopolitics stemming from the Russian invasion in Ukraine and the associated proxy war between Russia and the West as well the impact of the recent earthquake politics between Turkey and Greece will inevitably freeze the importance of the Cyprus issue to a low-level diplomatic activity in the international political landscape. Cypriots must realize that we must take up our future and device common bicommunal programmes for cooperation targeting peace and reconciliation by understanding and supporting each other, undertaking a common struggle for the unification of our country under our own state structure of Bizonal Bicommunal Federation.
- The opening of crossing points
The crossing “Gates” from and to the north are very important for the people in terms of their social and economic life. As much as the people come together, this helps to develop trust among themselves, paves the way to the solution of obstacles towards a negotiated Cyprus settlement and helps to ensure harmony in a future united country. Although we are not in favour of “passing holes” – we prefer complete demolition of the border line, for the time being we will have to bear these crossing points. However, crossing of either pedestrians or cars is extremely time-consuming due to the bureaucratic formalities, and the inadequate number of crossing points. Cypriots’ Voice is calling upon the authorities of both sides to come together and agree upon implementation of arrangements that can facilitate crossing of Cypriot citizens within their own country. Opening of more crossing points along with automation of monitoring can be easily installed. Particularly the opening of the Famagusta Gate crossing is now mature, and it can no more delay. We are committed to assist both mayors of Nicosia to work together for the successful conclusion of this already promised issue.
- Going forward
It is now clear that a Cyprus settlement will not be “donated” by any international entity. The Government of the Republic of Cyprus must undertake initiatives to develop the political climate for a negotiated settlement by giving positive solutions to pending issues such as:
- citizenship for Turkish Cypriot children born in mixed marriages,
- cooperation in environmental and renewable energy projects,
- developing closer economic ties by revising the Green Line regulations,
- establishment of joint healthcare partnerships,
- reforming the education system according to the needs of a bicommunal state,
- approaching the outstanding issues in the negotiations for security, political equality, rotating presidency and the territorial issue.
Cypriots’ Voice is committed to activism in keeping alive the hope among our compatriots for a negotiated settlement of the Cyprus problem within the framework of the UN resolutions and the achieved convergencies of the intercommunal talks for the prevalence of a Bizonal Bicommunal Federation to secure peaceful future of all Cypriots and set a paradigm for the neighbouring peoples.