Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Beware Turks having visions

I've translated into English below an article from the Greek National Pride website regarding a lecture given by Rauf Denktash – the butcher of Cyprus, who for four decades was leader of the Turk minority on the island – on the European Court of Justice ruling in the Orams case. (See here and here, for background). Denktash – who reflects the ultranationalist views of the Turkish deep state, in which he is significantly implicated – argues four things.

1. That the British government should seek to prevent the UK Court of Appeal from implementing the ECJ ruling on the grounds that it is against public policy, i.e. the ruling torpedoes the current Talat-Christofias negotiations, which Britain supports.

2. That Talat should suspend talks with Christofias, until the Greek Cypriot side agrees to a settlement on the property issue based on compulsory compensation and exchange.

3. That now EU citizens will be discouraged from buying property in occupied Cyprus, Turks from Turkey should be persuaded to take their place. This would also have the advantage, in Denktash's words, of 'making Cyprus more Turkish'.

4. Turkey should stop making concessions on Cyprus in the vain expectation that the EU will let it join its ranks and, instead, reinvigorate its policy of seeking recognition of the occupation regime and a settlement based on two sovereign states.

Now, as I've stated previously, I think it extremely unlikely that the British government will interfere with the judicial process in this country at the behest of Turkey, so Denktash's hope of overturning the Orams ruling in this way will probably be in vain.

As for the rest of Denktash's arguments – which amount to Turkey abandoning not only the Cyprus negotiations but also its EU ambitions – they are also unlikely to be heeded by the current Turkish government. Denktash's minority view is interesting, however, inasmuch as it reflects the deep state's alternative foreign policy to that currently being pursued by the AK party.

And, parenthetically, regarding the AK party's foreign policy, I read this today from Turk president Abdullah Gul: 'Our vision is this: when the Cyprus problem is solved, we have very good intentions for the creation of a separate union within the EU, consisting of the Eastern Mediterranean, the entire Cyprus, Turkey and Greece.'

What? It's not the first time I've read Gul express this (nightmare) 'vision' of a union between Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, but I've not been able to find any detailed references to it. I certainly don't recall any Greek mention of this union. Whose vision is this union, then? Is it Turkey's alone? Is it something that has been discussed with the Greek side? At what level? With whom? Is it something Greece is cooking up with the Turks behind Cyprus' back – again? What does it all entail, and so on and so on?

Rauf Denktash, Cyprus' bad demon
Speaking at the so-called Near East University in occupied Nicosia regarding the decision of the European Court of Justice in the case of Apostolides vs. The Orams, the former leader of the Turkish Cypriots Rauf Denktash stressed that the Turkish Cypriot side has the chance to change the ruling to its advantage.

Denktash said that although EU legislation stipulates that the ruling must be applied in all EU countries, this can be overridden if the ruling does not comply with the public policy interests of a specific country. Thus, Britain, according to Denktash, has a policy of supporting negotiations between Greek and Turkish Cypriots and could argue that the Orams ruling wrecks this policy.


Denktash also said that he has written to the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat and stressed to him that he should halt the negotiations and call on Christofias to discuss the property issue on the basis of exchange and compensation.

Denktash also proposed that Turks should buy property in the occupied areas 'in order to make Cyprus more Turkish'.

Referring to Turkey-EU relations, Denktash said that the EU will never open its doors to Turkey, even if Turkey sacrifices Cyprus. Denktash said that Turkey's right to station troops in Cyprus is based on the 1960 Cyprus constitution and that this right cannot be bargained away.

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