Cypriot’s Voice reviewed the current situation related with the Cyprus issues and concluded the following:
- The establishment and future challenges of Turkey
The new and interesting developments of economic and diplomatic turmoil in our region call for an in-depth discussion of Turkey’s political future.
The problems accumulated after the failed coup of 2016, causing the few remaining opposition voices in Turkey and the western analysts to express their concerns about the county’s turn to autocracy.
Taking into account the illiberal nature of democracy in Turkey we should not underestimate the possibility of a regime change which could create new complications for the Cyprus negotiations
- Co-existence under cross federal administration
The main issues involved in the cross federal administration of the future federal structure concern language and education first and foremost, along with security and economy.
English traditionally and conveniently used by Cypriots as a bridge language between the two communities. However, language in a Federal administration could cause a lot of misunderstandings and frustration in cases of emergency. This could lead to a kind of regression or loss of faith between the two communities. Learning both languages will naturally be achieved over time provided that aggressive and friendly bridging measures will be implemented from the outset both at Federal and State level.
Separate schooling systems would certainly be a big barrier for a Turkish Cypriot living under Greek Cypriot administration and vice versa.
The federal states would be obligated to provide schooling as is the case now for Turkish Cypriots who were born and brought up in the Republic.
This is especially poignant given the questionable way history is taught on both sides within the state school system.
The security of the one community must not be sacrificed or compromised for the other. Given the current experience of attacks this issue must be set as top priority both at Federal and State level in order to ensure that justice will operate promptly and effectively in order to persuade the citizens that they will be able to live without fear of unwarranted attacks over their ethnicity.
The immediate elements that will generate teething issues in economic life would be the gap in wages as well as prices in goods and services as it is currently experienced in fuel, medication and dental services. In time both communities will adjust to the new situation at a higher level of economic prosperity, as a general result of a settlement.
- The developments in the Cyprus negotiations
Cypriots’ Voice is highly concerned about the recently expressed ‘new approach’ proposals for the solution of the Cyprus Problem. Neither the “Evolutionary Solution” concept nor the “Loose Federation” idea are anything new and their airing at a time when the UN General Secretary is assessing the possibility of restarting the Intercommunal Talks can only damage such efforts. Neither concept is inherently negative, but the timing of the proposals can only point to an attempt at sabotaging the peace process.
Even more disruptive, is the proposal of Mr Anastasides to shift the basis of the talks and aim at a “Loose Federation”, instead of the agreed BBF. The transfer of authority to the constituent states that has already been agreed is extensive enough and it is doubtful that further transfers will facilitate in any way the progress of the talks. Coming from the Greek Cypriot side, the proposal can only mean unwillingness to share power with the Turkish Cypriots, something that guarantees the failure of any attempt to negotiate an agreement. Inevitably, any attempt to shift the basis of the talks away from BBF will lead to new tensions and further slide towards partition. Even a two-state solution will be hard to achieve and can only take place under conditions of extreme tension and dangers of hot conflict.
Trust between communities
The discussions of Nicos Anastasiades with Mevlut Cavusoglu constitute a regrettable blow to the authority of the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akkinci. Such meetings can be useful only if they discuss bilateral or security issues. The internal structure of the Federal Republic of Cyprus is a matter that can only be discussed between the two communities, and sidelining Mr. Akkinci is a very dangerous precedent. It is an affront both to Mr. Akkinci and the people fighting for a reunification of Cyprus as well as undermining the independence of the Turkish Cypriot community from Turkey.
The intercommunal talks
The impasse in the intercommunal talks is approaching a sensitive point. If no agreement is reached soon, new tensions will arise that will endanger peace on the island. The impending possibility of abolition the mandate for UNFICYP could create uncontrolled situations as underlined by the recent events in the buffer zone. Planned drilling for gas by the Republic of Cyprus could trigger new naval harassment by the Turkish Navy and almost certainly Turkish drilling in disputed waters.
- Cypriots’ Voice declaration
The scientific analysis of a chain of opinion polls carried out at both communities reveal that Cypriots are in consensus for a solution which will feature Bizonal Bicommunal Federation structures, political equality, one citizenship and common national borders without guarantees and the right of intervention by any foreign country.
Cypriots’ Voice calls upon the two leaders to resume immediately a meaningful dialogue on the basis of the Guterres Framework and reach an agreement for the implementation of a BBF and the formation of a Federal Republic of Cyprus with political equality and effective participation of the two communities, the elimination of guarantees and the withdrawal of foreign troops.
We also call upon the political parties and organisations in communities, civil society and personalities of the island to organise actions expressing their support to the solution of the Cyprus problem on the basis of Bizonal Bicommunal Federation and their rejection of any shift from this goal.
Communiqué No 35 – Cypriots’ Voice – 10/10/2018