Friday, 27 January 2012

Cyprus talks: Catastrofias strikes again

Cyprus’ president Dimitris Christofias certainly lived up to his nickname of ‘Catastrofias’ at the summit just held in New York with the UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon and the leader of the Turkish occupation regime, Dervis Eroglu, aimed, allegedly, at paving the way for a Cyprus settlement, talks for which, in the latest phase, have been going on for four years.

Christofias said before he went to New York that he would not agree to a timetable or road map for the talks, nor would he accept an international conference being called to finalise any deal on the Cyprus problem before there is an agreement on the internal aspects of a settlement.

Both the roadmap and international conference ideas are Turkey’s. An expedited process with a roadmap and a clear end point would allow Turkey to stifle the talks and bring about their curtailment without agreement, after which Turkey would be able to declare that reunification is no longer possible and that the ‘TRNC’ must now be recognised; while Turkey’s demand for an international conference – similar to Burgenstock in 2004 – is made in the belief that at such a conference the Greek side will have to accept another Annan plan or otherwise find itself branded intransigent, which would, again, provide Turkey with the excuse to say reunification is not feasible and recognition for the pseudo-state must follow.

So, how did Christofias do in his mission to convince the UN secretary general not to announce a timetable for the process or an international conference? Well, in what can only be described as a debacle, the president came away from the summit having consented – wittingly or unwittingly – to both a timetable/roadmap and an international conference.

Thus, Ban announced that for the next two months, there will be an attempt to achieve what has not been achieved in the last four years of talks – namely, agreement on the internal aspects of the Cyprus problem, mostly to do with property, citizenship (i.e. the Turkish settlers) and governance; and that, in consultation with the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides, the UN secretary general’s special representative on the island, Alexander Downer, will then recommend or not the holding of an international conference, to put the finishing touches to a Cyprus settlement.

Now, Christofias is pretending that an international conference – the end game – will only be activated with the agreement of the Greek Cypriot side, after it’s satisfied that the internal aspects of the Cyprus problem have been resolved.

But he’s fooling no one. It’s clear that the UN bureaucracy, backed by the UK and the US on the Security Council, likes the Turkish idea of an expedited process aimed at closing the Cyprus problem once and for all, and in which case it’s easy to predict what’s going to happen next.

The Turkish side will continue to put forward proposals unacceptable to the Greek side; and that when Christofias tells Downer that there has been no agreement on internal issues and he can’t consent to an international conference, Downer will tell him: well, that means I’ll have to tell the secretary general and the Security Council that there is no longer any point in this procedure; or he will say to Christofias: my judgement is that there has been sufficient progress and that an international conference is justified.

Christofias will then be faced with the dilemma of accepting that the talks have collapsed – leaving Turkey to pursue recognition of the pseudo-state; or he will have to go along with an international conference, in which Cyprus will be up against Turkey, the UK, US, EU and UN, as they try to tie up the Cyprus problem with another Annan plan, Greek Cypriot resistance to which will be met with threats of ending the UN’s involvement in Cyprus – including the withdrawal of the UN peacekeepers from the island – and the upgrading of the occupation regime.


Anonymous said...

Sadly even with the cooling of relations with Israel and Turkey, Turkey is firmly in the anglo-american sphere and we are not quite. Any proposed settlement will always favour turkey.

Cyprus will either have to wait out the american empire. Which could go in the next few decades, maybe quicker if they lose the international reserve currency status for the dollar. Or cut their losses and build a wall. Get whatever they can get be it ten percent more of the land back. Build the wall and veto EU entry. But they must not give an inch and must not agree to live together with the turks. Hold out forever never allow for a common country.


Anonymous said...

I don't really get this threat that United Nations will leave Cyprus if no solution is found - won't that just mean that buffer zone will return to Republic of Cyprus? Worse case scenario is the Turks try and nab a bit more, but then surely that would lead to an actual shooting war between the Turks and Cypriots/Greeks and maybe(hopefully) the Israelis & Russians and it would directly be the UNs fault. I don't find that threat credible.


John Akritas said...

From what I can gather, in the UN Security Council it's Britain – rather than the US – which has been pushing hardest for an international conference and threatening the withdrawal of UN peacekeepers. It seems to me that Britain and Turkey are in somewhat of a hurry to 'solve' the Cyprus problem – and we must remember that for Britain and Turkey 'solving' the Cyprus problem means abolishing the Republic of Cyprus – before Cyprus gets too far with this Greece-Cyprus-Israel axis in the Eastern Mediterranean, which would squeeze out the UK and Turkey, and too far with gas exploration and exploitation, which will significantly enhance the sovereignty and independence of the Republic of Cyprus.

It's also worth remembering that the UN Security Council – which will decide on whether the talks have a future or not and on whether the UN troops should pull out of Cyprus or not – doesn't just consist of the UK and the US, but also France, Russia and China. The last three are quite sympathetic to us, but not as staunch in their support as the UK and US are for Turkey.

Anonymous said...

Focus on the despicable anthellina Lord Hannay in London and his minions at the UN ..he is directing all this from London very actively in collaboration with the Turks and Downer..
He is the "architect" of Annan and the planned turkification of Cyprus in the ongoing talks..
Now, why HM Government are actively,obsessively, frantically and maliciously collaborating with Turkey to dissolve the Republic of Cyprus , establish , as a first stage, a banana republic of two constituent states, accumulate over a million epikous , reduce the Greek majority into a minority and then take over the whole of the neither discussed nor mentioned nor known in the British media let alone public. Why does the UK government , secret services and disturbed mandarins of the foreign office conspiring with Turkey and elements of the State Department to expel Hellenism from its historic roots for over 3,000 years? By what right?
The time has come for the psychopath Hannay, Prendergast , and the rest to be exposed in the British and world media in a rigorous and systematic manner...
They pose an existentialist threat to Hellenism in its roots in Cyprus, Aegean and mainland Greece.
As Davotouglou insists Turkey needs Cyprus for its strategic interests. And he has the Cyclades in his clear aims, plus Thrace..he is also gunning for the Turkish "minority " in Bulgaria ..i could go on..
In so far as Cyprus is concerned ,
it is an Anglo- Turkish plan , not simply a set of Turkish proposals at Green Tree..
However, the UK will be severely embarassed if it has to explain why it wants to destroy another EU member or another Commonwealth member. Why it wants to destroy Hellenism on Cyprus. Why it wants to deliver Cyprus to Turkey.

Personally , Hannay and his ilk must be identified as misellines , hostile and dangerous individuals..and Greek should shake hands, talk, call, email, engage in any interaction with the said gentleman..i regard contact with this man as treason. Yet he comes and goes and dominates debates i the Commons with MPs and Lords on anything regarding Cyprus and interacts with countless Greeks.
In the same way he attended seminars in Hydra with the leading greek academics and researchers, the advisors to George Papandeou..all those providing policy advice on the Annan plan and working towards it acceptance by the Greeks in Cyprus..these people are traitors.

Are there any Greeks left who will fight for our rights..stand up to these very dangerous individuals who studied classic, hate Greeks and want them to accept domination by the Neottomans..??
Enough is enough..

The Antidalarus said...

Not a very nice portrait of the mysterious evil Lord Hannay: collaboration, conspiracy, domination, determined to expel, systematic threats... Reading between the lines, I'd say you don't like him.

I don't know him though - should I?
Has anybody got some nice links pointing to Hannay in action?

John Akritas said...

Hannay was the architect of the Annan plan, which would have abolished the Republic of Cyprus and essentially turned the island into a Turkish protectorate, so he has form. Since Greek Cypriots rejected the plan, he hasn't hesitated to berate them for not choosing suicide and he has continued to speak of the virtues of Annan.

However, Anonymous exaggerates his influence – I don't know if Hannay is continuing to advise the British government on Cyprus, I rather doubt it; besides which, Britain's policy is not evil or driven by an innate anti-hellenism; rather, it's motivated by perceived self-interest, principally, a desire to hold on to the sovereign bases on the island and to Britain's diminishing influence in the Eastern Mediterranean. I also believe that British policy in Cyprus – particularly in relation to the Conservatives – is driven by revenge for the EOKA war.

Here's a clip of Hannay arguing that Cyprus should be more supportive of Turkey's EU process; agree to recognition of the pseudo-state; and accept the Annan plan, with a few minor adjustments. In other words, here's Hannay arguing that Cypriots should submit to Turkey.

Anonymous said...

Know thy enemy.
Hannay IS the UK on Cyprus. And he directs the UN process with his close friends moving the strings of the hapless Ban.He has never stopped.

I am aware of the perceived British interests in the region which ofcourse have guided policy on Cyprus and have followed them closely since my direct experience of such policies in the 50's and 60's. Hence I agree with much of what you say.

tis Diasporas

Anonymous said...

Viewing british policy as driven by innate anti-hellenism would be very stupid and dangerous. There are issues though that can be discussed on this topic another time. For example , there are times when perceived british geostrategic interests may coincide, and be actively pursued as such,with turning Cyprus into a Turkish protectorate even if this leads to destruction or eventual demise of hellenism on the island.Similarly there may be times where where Great Britain may perceive that its interests lie in a close alliance with Turkey commercially , militarily and strategically , hence support Turkish expansionism in the Aegean, Thrace, Bulgaria, Fyrom and beyond as Davoutoglou has been publicly stating for over 12 years and very recently in his address to Turkish ambassadors.

Turkey now views Cyprus and Greece right now as within its sphere of influence and wants hellenism to simply submit to this view. Unfortunately there were many Greeks in the mainland an in Cyprus, who subscribe(d) to this view ..Turkey is too powerful..what do you want us to do..war ( as Akel and Dysi, often argue) ?


Anonymous said...

This is where Annan plan which is of British origins and construction comes in. However, we know that it was constructed in collaboration with
very shadowy US pro-Turkish officials , in the Bush administration.[ The latter is ofcourse another major issue which I will not go into now. Moreover, there have been dramatic shifts in US presence , interests and role in the region and in her relations with Turkey and its expansionist and leadership fantasies in the Arab and Muslim world. Yesterday though on Bloomberg the US National security advisor who served under three presidents in the period above and deals with Turkey and the region daily confirmed that there is a very close relationship between Erdogan and Obama, a very strong strategic and military collaboration between US and Turkey.]

The Anna plan construction and campaign began many years the era of Clerides and Vasilliou and foreign Minister Papandreou and was accompanied by a systematic effort to prepare the ground for its acceptance. Many universities in Greece and Cyprus were penetrated with research funding, trips to conferences , newspaper journalists , projects funded ( including Praxoulla's treatise on how Cyprus can meet the strategic aims of Turkey..still on her website), politicians etc. I am astonished at how many Greeks willingly participated and actively promoted the plans to deliver Cyprus to Turkey while preserving the British bases , and their NATO and American weapons including nuclear ).

Anonymous said...

Following the NO in 2004 and EU entry, the Annan- type efforts at the dissolution of the Republic of Cyprus did not end. You are right, the British never forgave EOKA and Papadopoulos in particular for scappering their plans. And Bush never forgave Karamanlis for not supporting his insistant pressure to push for a yes. So much so that the first thing he did when re-elected was to sign the recognition of FYROM as an act of revenge on the Greeks.

The machinations continued until people who were willing to support another version of a "solution" which was rejected in 2004 were in power in Greece and Cyprus....this has led us to the current situation with Catastrophias at GreenTree while Greece is facing economic and social catastrophy.

Hence I am not saying that the driving force of US and UK policy on Greece and Cyprus is based on anthellinismos. However , where the interests of Greeks in Greece and Cyprus obstruct what they perceive to be their geo-strategic interests in specific historical circumstances they have no hesitation in implementing them even if it may mean the eventual expulsion of Greeks from Cyprus or the expansion of Turkey into the Aegean. On the other hand this does not preclude the possibility that in the US State department and the British Foreign office there are groups of pro-Turkish officials and indeed,anthellines and mis-ellines. They exist and they are dangerous. Anybody who has lived in the UK for many years and has observed the British ruling elite knows this. the most dangerous are those who have studied classics in Oxbridge and have , for several reasons, a pathological antipathy to Greeks. Hannay is one of them. I am simply would the Israelis react if a British rabid anti-semite was coordinating activities and implementing plans in the UN and and with Israel's enemies which may present an existentialist threat to Israel.
We need to analyse , understand and respond to the Anglo Turkish machinations in the region.But we also need to identify both the British and Turkish , and Australian snakes , who actively work for our destruction as an ethic group and civilisation. How dare they ??? Does it not make you angry?

I want to ask three questions:

1. What are the drivers for the extremely close relationship that has been developing between Turkey and UK in the last decade or more..well beyond the traditional alliance between the two since the 1950s..what are the real roots. Something is going on. It has also have something to do with a Treaty between the two , where the Uk has promised something or is threatened by Turkey that it has to meet. Is there a Treaty of Ankara...i cannot find any details.

2. Why are the Turks , Downer, Eroglou and the British so confident,even careless ,in pushing forward their plans in the UN, Cyprus and the EU??? Why do they think they will get this through before 1st of July? What gives them this confidence..ofcourse they know they will get another what are they pushing in such a confident and exuberant manner ?

3. What is the relationship between Annan plan, the "alleged EEZ" of the british bases,Hannay, Shell, Praxoulla, Downer, Turkey , the offshore gas in Cyprus and the energy consultancy firm based in London to which Downer and many others, including British and American secret service men who retire and join it?

4. Is Christofias colluding with Downer? seems yes.


Hermes said...

An interestnig article. I have always found the term Greek Cypriots distasteful. They are Greeks of Cyprus.

Anonymous said...

It is distasteful and false: unless I'm mistaken, a "Cypriot" has always been a "Greek," whilst a "Turk" on Cyprus has always simply known as a "Turk". You can take your guesses as to when that started to change…

John Akritas said...

Greek and Turkish Cypriot is a very recent term, which came in with the British, though it was one of the successes of Turkish nationalists like Denktash to turn Muslims in Cyprus – mostly Greek-speaking Muslims – from Muslims into Turks.

As for Greek Cypriots, they, as far as I can tell, always, in the modern period, always referred to themselves as 'Cypriots' – which implicitly meant Greeks of Cyprus – and to the Muslims as Turks, i.e. as non-Cypriots. This wasn't deliberate or political; just reflected Greek Cypriot consciousness that they were Cypriots and Turks on the island were something else, not Cypriot. Despite the fact that the terms Greek and Turkish Cypriot are now widely used on the island, this idea of Cypriots – i.e. the Greeks of Cyprus – and Turks – i.e. the Turks on the island – is still common parlance. In other words, Cypriots are Greek and they don't consider Turks on the island to be Cypriots.

Hermes said...

Precisely, Anonymous and John. Another unpleasant experience I have had recently which is related to this issue is Macedonia. I recently ate and danced at the Macedonian Club Alexander the Great. I told a friend later that I visited the Macedonian Club. He replied, "The Greek Macedonian Club, right?". I said no. The Macedonian Club, because when I refer to Macedonia it is only Greek.

Unfortunately, the clubhouse has, "Greek Macedonian Alexander the Great Club" on its signage. Hopefully, they do not mean there is another Macedonian Club of another ethnicity in which we need to differentiate ourselves from.

Anonymous said...

If a Cypriot is by definition a Greek and cannot be Turkish what place does the Turk have in a free Cyprus?

Can we ask Turks to renounce their ethnicity and to merely cling onto their religion as an expression of their identity?

Can a muslim be a Cypriot?

John Akritas said...

You ask: Can a muslim be a Cypriot?

But if we've already determined that to be a Cypriot is, essentially, to be Greek; then the question is can a Muslim be a Greek? You can answer that one.

More generally, it's only fair to say that, among a section of the Turkish minority in Cyprus, there has been a reawakening of a 'Cypriot' consciousness, the notion that they have a distinctive Cypriot identity and an affinity to Cyprus. This is not unusual. I'm sure the Turco-Cretans were similarly conflicted, between being Turks/Muslims and being Cretans. Of course, one of the reasons 300,000 Turkish settlers have been brought into Cyprus was to overwhelm any Cypriot consciousness the Turkish Cypriots may have felt. But this question of who the Turks in Cyprus really are is a matter for them. If they were to study Cyprus' history, for example, before the Ottoman conquest of 1571, are they interested? The history of Cyprus seems to me to be the history of the Greek people of the island and everywhere you go in Cyprus it is Greek culture and a continuous Greek presence that predominates. This must be quite alienating if you are a Turk. I can't imagine that they feel part of Cyprus' history and culture. But, again, that is something for them to work out.

John Akritas said...

And, of course, the fact that Cyprus is a Greek island – and it is a simple, undeniable fact – does not mean that Turkish Cypriots have to renounce their ethnicity or that they don't have rights. They have plenty of rights; although these rights don't extend, naturally, to terrorism, ethnic cleansing your neighbours, declaring an independent state and so on.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your thoughtful response. I agree in large part with your answers.

In the end there must be limits to the tolerance that can be extended to ethnic minorities by even the most multicultural states.

If an ethnic minority identifies its interests with a neighbouring nation that threatens the existence of the host nation, then it becomes a fifth column or "enemy aliens" and must be isolated from the polity.

However how does a free Cyprus gain the loyalty of its legitimate Turkish citizens? Can it be done without a re-definition of what it means to be a Cypriot? Can it be done at all?