CYPRUS: Greek Cypriot Politicians need to leave their fantasy world

CYPRUS MAIL
25.01.2015

Our View: Our politicians need to leave their fantasy world

Our View: Our politicians need to leave their fantasy world

DELUSIONS and myths have always been the currency of Cyprus political life, which took a divorce from reality from the day the Republic was established. Ever since, our politicians have been operating in a fantasy world of their own making, a world in which a tiny and powerless country (now also bankrupt) with the population of a mid-size town is a major political player, capable of imposing its own agenda on the world stage.

This may sound like the script for a political satire or a comedy show but in Cyprus it is for real and despite the catastrophes it has brought upon the country over the decades the delusions of grandeur and lack of a sense of perspective still reigns supreme. The politicians, urged on by a media suffering from the same delusions, make all types of pronouncements that are based on a series of irrational assumptions the main one being that all states are equal irrespective of their military and economic power.

No matter how many times this assumption has been as a fallacy by hard facts the politicians still adhere to it, as if the world had to operate in the way they imagine rather than in the way it does. Archbishop Makarios set the agenda when at the height of the Cold War he believed he could punish lack of US support for his brinkmanship, by strengthening relations with the Soviet Union and taking Cyprus into the Soviet-controlled Non-Aligned Movement, instead of NATO to which all guarantor countries belonged. Events of 1974 were the direct result of Makarios’ folly and his delusions of grandeur.

But nothing was learned and Cypriot leaders continued to grossly overestimate their power and ability to influence events. For instance, there was the fiasco of the S300 missiles, which cost the taxpayer in excess of 200 million pounds, when then President Clerides thought he would redress the imbalance of power with Turkey by deploying ballistic missiles. They were never deployed because the Turks had threatened to take them out if they had been. The Papadopoulos presidency believed it could achieve with diplomatic means what Clerides had failed to with military means. After deceiving our EU partners over the Annan plan, he tried to use membership of the Union to put pressure on Turkey, but achieved nothing.

There are countless examples of this folly and no matter how many times we were cut down to size, politicians still labour under the illusion that they can play international power games and impose their wishes on Turkey, the EU and rest of the international community. How many times in the last year have we heard Papadopoulos junior, Omirou and Lillikas calling for a new strategy in the national problem because the talks were futile? But would a new strategy make Cyprus a bigger and more powerful country that would be able to achieve the objectives of deluded politicians?

Whatever strategy we adopt Turkey would continue to have overwhelming military, economic and diplomatic superiority which are what count. It would carry on violating our EEZ, because we have no practical way of stopping its ships, and continue its military occupation of the north because we have no practical way kicking her troops out. This is the harsh reality – however unjust and unfair – that we should accept.

Nor will any third country help Cyprus defend its sovereign rights as the politicians have been claiming. In the last few months the above-mentioned party leaders have been arguing that we should strengthen relations with Russia as if this would make any difference to our extremely weak position. The latest folly is the proposal to offer Russia military facilities at a time when there is a major stand-off between Moscow and the West which included our EU partners. The idea that Russia would jeopardise its trade relations with Turkey, worth tens of billions of dollars per year and the potential of selling it vast quantities of natural gas, for the sake of helping Cyprus, is as unreal as the talk of the new strategy.

Our politicians need to leave the fantasy world they have been residing and in before they cause even more harm to the country. The only way of avoiding future instability and cashing in on what hydrocarbon deposits we may have is by returning to the talks and reaching an agreement with the Turks. The settlement might not be as just and fair as we would like, because in the world of reality and hard facts we are in a very weak position, which we do not have the power to change either now or in the foreseeable future.

Kufi Seydali  Kufi Seydali

Comment by John Mavro

An excellent CM view which perfectly describes the absolutely tragic, depressing and catastrophic state of affairs we find ourselves in.

With one major exception: the writer is being extremely charitable, almost naive, to refer to the protagonists of these disasters as “politicians”. Since this term implies some degree of intelligence and thinking ability.
A better description for these corrupt idiots would that of a “curse”.
Successive curses, not imposed upon us by anyone, but brought upon by our immaturity, moral bankruptcy and ultimately infinite stupidity.
Since we never learn from our mistakes, from the 1950’s onward, and keep electing these stupid, anachronistic and narrow minded nationalistic peasants into power. Who then dutifully perpetuate the disasters of their predecessors as if this is our only way forward.
And perhaps there maybe a hidden agenda in their muddled, delusional and non-visionary thinking. Lunacy in reality.
Which is nothing more than to bring about a two state solution. To establish an ethnically cleansed, church approved “Hellenistic” nation which is totally isolated from our perceived perpetual enemies, the Turks- be it TCs or mainland Turks.
And given their inherent dishonesty, cowardice and aversion to taking responsibility for their actions, they wish to “achieve” this final destruction not thrugh their direct actions but by having it imposed upon them by the international community. Thus achieving their goal without “political cost” to themselves.
There cannot be any other explanation for their irrational, delusional and dishonest behavior.
And most tragic of all is that they are very close to achieving their goal. De jure partition.
Without any land adjustments, concessions from the other side or compensation. And to hell with the 200,000 or so refugees created by these same “politicians” and their cowardly actions.
Some simple advice to our alleged “president”. Acknowledge reality, accept we are in an extremely weak position and unconditionally return to these “negotiations”. And negotiate a loose federation in exchange for land adjustments. We may then gain something.
For if he does not, in 2018 little Nicholas, as the latest addition to this long list of curses will achieve his “vision”.
When the international community recognizes two states- without any land adjustments or gains for our side.
It is as obvious and clear as that to all thinking individuals with some common sense.
Which given his “performance” so far, clearly excludes the idiot that passes as our “president” who much prefers to travel the world and stay away as much as he can from this dysfunctional, cursed banana republic to avoid confronting the numerous problems facing us.
We do have the ” leaders” we deserve. Since we always put them into these positions where they have brought us untold destruction and even death.

 

Comment by Ozay Mehmet

Delighted to see this as Op-Ed article…summarizing comments and views of some of us in these pages, in exact words…Fantasy-world, myths….It shows that, at least the editors, are reading our comments.
The important point, of course, is your call for Mr. A to return to the negotiating table, unconditionally, soonest and make the best deal possible with the Turks…About the only thing I disagree in the article is your implication that it will be a “bad” or “humiliating” deal because of the weakness of GC side.
On the contrary I believe it will be honorable and fair deal because the Turks, especially Ankara, is driven by realism…not vengeance. Both sides, Turks and Greeks, have never before needed each other more….owing to regional and global conflicts…
Lets hope your wise words will be heeded…without delay.

The essence of a GC-TC deal, brokered thru Eide, must be Land-for-Peace….TCs to return 5%+ [ including Varosha/Maras] in return for 50-50 ownership of a brand new United Cuprus…or Agreed Loose Confederation, legitimizing the existing two-states, both within EU, with an agreed border adjustment.

Davutoglu: you can’t do what you want with the gas

US Vice President Joe Biden and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu

TURKISH Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said yesterday that hydrocarbons could not be used as a weapon by anyone, adding that if Greek Cypriots unilaterally continued to claim Cyprus’ natural resources for themselves, Turkey would reciprocate on behalf of the Turkish Cypriots.

Addressing the Atlantic Council summit in Istanbul, the Turkish Premier said there must be a settlement immediately, arguing that if negotiations stall the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots should form a joint committee to manage Cyprus’ natural gas reserves.

“In Cyprus, if everyone agrees that natural resources around the island belong to the entire island and use these resources in a shared vision towards peace, everyone stands to gain,” he said.

“If [the Greek Cypriots] are seeking to offer these resources, to which Turkish Cypriots also have a right, to international markets unilaterally, then by the same right we will conduct research in the same area along with the Turkish Cypriots,” he added.

Davutoglu said that if the two sides sit together and negotiate with a will to reunite the island as soon as possible, Cyprus would become a country on the rise.

“In such a case, the happiest of countries will be Turkey,” he said.

He called for the immediate return to the negotiations, which were interrupted last month when President Nicos Anastasiades withdrew in protest when the Turkish seismic vessel’s Barbaros began conducting exploratory research in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

'Sanki kaynak onlara aitmiş gibi...'

“The Greek Cypriots can’t claim that the Eastern Mediterranean is an area closed to Turks and Turkish Cypriots and conduct research wherever they want,” he asserted.

This doesn’t happen in politics, nor in matters of international energy reserves, he added.

He argued that Turkey is the easiest destination for the natural gas to be unearthed from the areas around Cyprus.

“Turkey is also the international market easiest to open,” he said.

“Therefore, no one should use energy as a weapon. If [the Greek Cypriots] were to say that they will impose the peace they want on the other side through control of the gas, then that will be the greatest blow to the Cyprus problem negotiations. Let us use energy as a tool for peace.”

 

Remarking on the transport of water from Turkey to Cyprus, Davutoglu said that Turkey’s plan was to share it with Greek Cypriots.

“But while we were thinking of sharing our water with the whole island, one side can’t claim the natural resources, which belong to the whole island, for itself,” he said.

He added that in the coming days he would be visiting Athens “to share these prospects with the Greek government.”

In his speech, US Vice President Joe Biden said Eastern Mediterranean countries should cooperate, and energy offers a tool for promoting regional stability, security and prosperity, citing the example of Baltic countries to illustrate the potential gains for the region.

According to Eric Gehman, Assistant Director for Publications and Communications at the Atlantic Council , Biden stressed the need for Europe to prioritise energy security with the help of their allies and friends. “[Russian President Vladimir] Putin uses energy as a weapon,” he said, to undermine the security of neighbouring countries.

Only by diversifying supplies and improving transport networks across the country could Europe curb Russia’s abuses, said Biden. “Now, now, now is the time to act… What’s happening in Ukraine only serves to underscore this.”

Biden pointed to the eastern Mediterranean as a critical strategic resource for bolstering Europe’s energy security. The development of the Southern Corridor and new projects in Turkey and Cyprus could make the region into a key hub for European energy markets that Biden called a “major asset.”

Biden credited the Baltics for the work they have already done to reduce their dependence on Russian oil, praising a new Lithuanian gas interconnector aptly named “The Independence.” He called the Baltics’ efforts a model for the rest of Europe.

Biden concluded his remarks by pressing the European Commission to act quickly to identify and support key infrastructure projects that will accelerate European energy independence. “Energy can and should serve as a tool for cooperation, for stability, for security, and prosperity,” he said.

The Cyprus problem was also on the agenda of a meeting Biden had on Friday with Davutoglu.
“Vice President Joe Biden met with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to discuss the fight against ISIL in Iraq and Syria, the Cyprus settlement talks, and energy security,” the US State Department said in a statement. Biden was expected to meet Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan later yesterday within whom he would also discuss Cyprus.

Turkish Cypriot Energy Minister Hakan Dinçyürek (R) poses for photos with Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız. AA photo

Turkish Cypriot Energy Minister Hakan Dinçyürek (R) poses for photos with Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız. AA photo

 

Meanwhile Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said the Barbaros would like complete its surveys by the beginning of next month. Turkey had issued a NAVTEX for surveys from October 20 to December 30. Yildiz said the Barbaros had a planned survey area of 2,700 kilometres. “If the weather is good, it will finish by early December,” he was quoted as saying.

Kufi Seydali  Küfi Seydali

 

Greece should bet on Turkish semi-democracy rather than Egyptian dictatorship

 

I was planning to write a follow up to the latest article I wrote about Turkish-Greek cultural cooperation, which I learned had been translated and published on a number of Greek websites. However, the recent cool winds blowing in the Mediterranean changed the focus of this article.

The discovery of gas in the Mediterranean had raised hopes that diplomatic work to find a solution to the Cyprus problem could be sped up. Unfortunately, it has become an additional obstruction for settlement efforts.

Following attempts to start drilling in 2011 and 2013, both of which triggered a reaction from Turkey, Greek Cyprus once more decided to try its luck in late October, by starting exploration activities just as talks were continuing between the two communities.

It is hard to imagine that the Greek Cypriot leadership was not expecting a reaction from Ankara. Indeed, Turkey sent the Barbaros Hayrettin Paşa scientific ship to carry out seismic surveys around the same area, which was declared an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) by Greek Cyprus, disputed by Turkey and Turkish Cyprus.

Our View: Realism needed on power of regional agreements

Antonis Samaras of Greece and Nicos Anastasiades of South Cyprus

Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades then announced that he would not attend the peace talks.

I would not be surprised if many Turkish decision-makers are convinced that the exploration activities were authorized by Anastasiades, specifically at this time, in order to trigger a reaction from Ankara that would give him an alibi to quit the negotiations, which Turks believe he was not incredibly enthusiastic about anyway.

Meanwhile, just as third party players, like the U.N. Secretary General’s representative, were trying to find a way out from the impasse, the leaders of Greece, Greek Cyprus and Egypt recently met in Cairo to pledge greater energy cooperation in the Middle East.

Ankara refrained from making an official statement about the summit, but let their naval forces commander made an announcement that there were more assertive rules of engagement in the Mediterranean.

Now we learn that the trilateral meeting in Cairo will be followed by a new trilateral meeting between Greek Cyprus, Greece and Israel. The time of that meeting is not yet set, but Anastasiades is due to visit Israel on Dec. 2. This visit was preceded by a visit to Nicosia last week of Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who lambasted Turkey for intruding on Greek Cyprus’ EEZ.

So the picture that comes around is like this: On the one side is Turkey, whose international standing is not exactly brilliant, and on the other an alliance of Israel, Egypt and Greek Cyprus, each of which have, for the time being at least, very hostile relations with Turkey.

As someone who has been highly critical of Turkey’s foreign policy course in the past, you might think I will talk about how the government’s erroneous policies have landed Turkey in such a situation in the East Mediterranean.

Nicos Anastasiade, Antonis Samaras and Abdel Fatah el-Sisi

Indeed, Turkey is partly responsible for the picture in which you can see Egypt’s former military leader, now President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi standing between Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Anastasiades.

I can understand Greek Cyprus’ futile effort to forge an alliance with Egypt and Israel up to a certain point, but Greece? Tension in the Aegean has never served Athens. The last decade is a testament to how Greece has benefited from engaging with Turkey.

Let’s suppose Turkey’s policy on the issue is totally wrong. Even so, is it the right course for Greece to go and pose together with a coup leader just to support Greek Cypriots? Does the Greek government seriously think an alliance with Israel and Egypt will frighten and deter Turkey? Couldn’t Greece surprise us and work as a silent mediator to defuse the tension?

Greece has more to benefit from cooperating with a semi-democracy like Turkey than a dictatorship like Egypt, or Israel, which is increasingly being isolated by the European Union.

In addition, Turkey may have temporary strains in its relations with Israel and Egypt, but the moment is there for normalization; both Tel Aviv and Cario have ties with Ankara that will always outweigh those with Greece and Greek Cyprus, as was rightly underlined in a comment published yesterday in the Cyprus Mail titled “Realism needed on the power of regional agreement.”

I am still optimistic that the Turkish-Greek reconciliation will stand strong against this new wave of tension.

It’s good to know that just as the foreign ministers of Greece, Greek Cyprus and Egypt were meeting in Nicosia to prepare for the Cairo summit, the Greeks were attending a Turkish film week in Athens. Meanwhile, just as the two countries’ naval officers issued statements over the weekend about new rules of engagement in the Mediterranean, Turks were attending the Athens marathon on Nov. 9. In addition, the Turkish economy minister and the Greek development minister will be attending a business forum this week in İzmir; while as Israel prepares to welcome Anastasiades on Dec. 2, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu is set to visit Athens on Dec. 4.

November/11/2014

BARÇIN YİNANÇ

[email protected]

Kufi Seydali  Kufi Seydali

UNITED WE WEEP, DIVIDED WE SLEEP

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DUMBBELLS (English slang for stupid fools)

DÜMBELEKLER (Turkish slang for stupid fools)

I sing what was lost and dread what was won,
I walk in a battle fought over again,
My king a lost king, and lost soldiers my men;
Feet to the Rising and Setting may run,
They always beat on the same small stone.

Willam Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

 

I read the news today, oh boy. Here’s what Reuters said:
“Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan has applied to Turkey’s constitutional court on Friday to challenge the alleged violation of his and his family’s rights by social media, a senior official in his office told Reuters.”

Isn’t it grand, this so-called rule of law. The prime minister is correct in his action. Long ago his family’s rights were well-established as were his. When the fox owns the chicken coop every day the menu-du-jour is chicken. We and the world know the quality of those who rule this sad country.

But who’s to argue? Not the sheep…if they whimper, they’re next. And besides, they’re well-bribed with food and coal and things magical from the bountiful Ankara sky. They have indeed learned to deeply love their Big Brother. They repay with their pathetic ballots. So, who? Perhaps young people who, like all young people everywhere, thought they had a future? Sorry. Enough of them have died and been maimed. Maimed by the prime minister who now frets about his and his family’s rights. Hah! So surely it will be the political opposition who once thought they had a patriotic responsibility, even a cause? No cause. No thought. No brains. No nothing. The military? The ones with the soundest, strongest emotional and ethical legacy? Nope. Folded up like a cheap suit. Hardly a whimper. Generals now bow their heads to thieving politicians. Cowardly submissive stuff like that makes one wonder if they ever received an education (and at taxpayer expense). Atatürk? Huh? Please, we must not speak aloud of such things. So who’s left to argue? Media? Ha! Sold-out. Universities? Ha! Ha! Expounding on pet obscurities, historical quirks, dead poets and deader laws and what once was and now will never be. There is no time left for history and literature and law and medicine and philosophy and too many more words. Speaking of which, what about writers? Well, who reads? The world is too much with all of us, and we are all too late.

So who will care? Care enough to act, to really act? To stand up and say that this is enough. That the people will no longer be governed by a corrupt political process. Nor by numbskull, repetitive political opposition parties nor by America’s CIA gangsters? Is that too much to ask?

It seems so. Time grows short. Another crooked election is coming, this one presidential. One way or another the same small people will throw the same big stones at us. Ah Turkey, the saddest country with the saddest people with the saddest stories. Always beating on, always being beaten. Ah, dear Turkey, Atatürk’s children deserved so much more. So did Atatürk.

James (Cem) Ryan
Istanbul
19 April 2014

 

“A slave is one who waits for someone to come and free him.”

Ezra Pound (1885-1972)

jefferson

 

 

Press Statement: The European Union on the agreement reached by the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders

MEMO
MEMO

Statement from the European Union on the agreement reached by the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders on a joint declaration and on the resumption of the negotiations

European Commission – MEMO/14/103   11/02/2014

 

Statement from the European Union on the agreement reached by the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders on a joint declaration and on the resumption of the negotiations

The President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, and the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, issued today the following statement:

The European Union welcomes the agreement announced today by the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders on a Joint Declaration, which lays a solid foundation for resumption of negotiations for a fair and viable comprehensive settlement of the long-standing Cyprus problem. This Joint Declaration should help them to swiftly address matters of substance and to achieve rapid results in the negotiations. President Barroso and President Van Rompuy congratulate and salute the courage the two leaders have shown in agreeing it.

At the time of accession of Cyprus, the European Union declared its readiness to accommodate the terms of a settlement in line with the principles on which the Union is founded. As previously announced, the European Commission is keen to play its part in supporting the negotiations, conducted under UN auspices and to offer all the support the parties and the UN find most useful. As the negotiations resume, President Barroso’s personal representative will contribute actively to the search for constructive solutions in compliance with the EU acquis to overcome outstanding problems. In parallel, the European Commission will also step up its efforts to help the Turkish Cypriot Community prepare for implementation of the acquis.

The European Union also supports the efforts to reach an agreement between the two parties on a package of Confidence-Building Measures which can help to create momentum towards a settlement to the benefit of Cypriot people. The European Union stands ready to look creatively at how to contribute to this objective in the prospects of a final settlement.