In such a situation, people with a sense of dignity often resign as a matter of honor for failing their duty. No matter how one sweetens the end result, the Anastasiades team has been outsmarted by Turkey’s well-thought strategy forged before their arrival in Switzerland! There are no greys in negotiations but simply “failure” or “success” and the talks in Switzerland have failed for the third time in the past six months. That’s not a sign of success but a sign of political incompetence!
The honorable thing to do now is for the President to resign in a dignified manner. Mr. Anastasiades should step down and call for immediate elections. He should also consider firing en-masse his advisors and party hacks for cultivating an over-optimistic climate, misleading the public and failing to anticipate Turkey’s next move.
There is one problem — Cyprus never had a strategic long-term counter-attack plan in place. When it comes to the Cyprus issue, policies are always changed for political convenience each time a new President is elected and that’s the problem.
In the absence of powerful independent Think Tanks the results are always the same – dismal and catastrophic to say the least! That’s what has been happening in Cyprus – the dependency on inglorious politicians of a politicocracy without merit but nepotism.
Drawing from past experiences the UN conference at Crans–Montana should never have started – the talks were doomed to fail from the very start. Why did the President insist so strongly? People will never know for real. One does not make up a flippant strategy and committing the nation to becoming hostage to political incompetence.
Crans–Montana may well turn out to be a blessing – at least the Republic of Cyprus has not been decimated to accommodate Turkey’s grandiose geopolitical plans. In fact the UN-Secretary General saved the Republic and that’s the positive side of it all.
No matter how disappointed the President and his party — including how the leftists may feel — the collapse should be considered as an optimistic step forward and not negative. As a politician, Anastasiades and his inner clan faced a similar leadership challenge during his UN Annan Plan pet project; the electorate rejected it outright in a referendum!
Thankfully the Republic has been protected this time around but the President’s leadership is in question.
The Cyprus government will now be impelled to forge a new foreign policy by recognizing that the existing one has been a shambles. Out of the ashes of the Crans–Montana fiasco, one thing has become clear; the Turkish Cypriots must decide if they want to be a part of the Cyprus Republic, or be a part of Turkey. They certainly cannot have it both ways. Enjoy EU privileges the Republic has to offer and at the same time demanding union with a third country and military occupier of their homeland.
The Turkish Cypriots can either work together with the Greek Cypriots for the unification of Cyprus by refusing outright political integration with Ankara — like the Greeks did with Athens — or they can join Turkey ruled by Sultan Erdogan; a dictator who has recently imprisoned over 150,000 innocent Turks. The recent imprisonment of a Turkish Cypriot Mufti in Turkey on trumped up changes clearly shows that no one is safe with Erdogan in control.
In fact, the 120,000 Turkish Cypriots living in the occupied area face a real threat of extinction from nationalists, illegal settlers (450.000) and ISIS “sleeper” terrorist units lodged in their midst. Unless the Turkish Cypriots pick up the Greek Cypriots’ olive branch of friendship and reconciliation, their community is doomed.
Time for serious action!
Under the current developments radical decisions need to be applied and a dynamic new foreign policy put in place immediately. After years of negotiations, the old policies have proven wrong and failed big time. A Revolution of the Mind is critical if the Republic is to start exerting serious political and economic pressure against Turkey but also against the TC elite and supporters of the status quo.
As a start, the government must shut all crossings to stop the movement of people, goods and services between the two sectors; drop the BBF idea and seek out ways within the perimeters of the UN and work with the Turkish Cypriots for another type of solution; stop outsiders and tour operators using the Republic’s airports transporting thousands of tourists to the occupied area; revoke all EU passports and Cypriot citizenship including privileges now enjoyed by TCs living in the occupied area; ensure that EU funding and taxpayers money stops flawing in the occupied area; make it abundantly clear that the Republic is an integral part of the European Union and can no longer be taken advantage of; put a string of EU and Cypriot flag banners along the crossings to remind everyone — friends and foes — that the Republic is a vital part of the EU and not a place of political abuse or convenience; punish severely those that break the laws conducting business and illegal activities including smuggling between the two sectors; stop all medical privileges, welfare benefits and other dispensations to TCs that live in the occupied area but who take advantage of what the Republic has to offer them; stop providing free services to Turkish sectors and isolate politically the pseudo-regime that represents Turkey’s interests and not the interests of the Turkish Cypriots.
Certainly the Cyprus government knows on how to apply a strong offensive strategy rather than to continue the current placating policy. Faced with a decisive strong Cyprus government, Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots may start to “Think out of the Box” and negotiate honorably. If not, the status quo will continue for years to come but without the Turkish Cypriot community.
There is a long road ahead full of obstacles but it is the only homeland Greek and Turkish Cypriots have. One hopes they will not abandon it to the whims of Turkey’s brute force but choose reconciliation as a way forward and reunite the island democratically under one-man-one-vote on the basis of UN/EU Human Rights and in respect of Rule of Law and not Rule of Man.
May common sense prevail and bring peace to this strife-torn island that everyone wants a piece of its entrails.
Author’s Note: After so many years of writing over 400 articles about the social, political and economic issues related to Cyprus this is the last and final article by the writer on the subject.