October 5, 2009
Regarding ‘Turkey accession and Cyprus‘:
I would like to commend you on EurActiv. I receive its daily communications and consider it one of my main sources of information on daily developments in the EU and its ties to the rest of the world.
I am also writing because I think the entry on Cyprus, albeit concise and telegraphic (something which I appreciate as an editor in a newspaper) is missing both facts and is misleading.
For example, I think it is highly problematic to refer to the Republic of Cyprus as “the Greek Cypriot state”. As a Cypriot I reject that definition, as does the EU, the UN, and the international community at large, including the Council of Europe. It suggests that the division is legal, and that the TRNC [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus] is a legal entity. Moreover, it contributes to a further entrenchment of the notion of two states, of equal standing and legitimacy, being in place on the island.
Also, the Annan Plan did not propose a “loose confederation”. In fact that was one of the criticisms of the Greek Cypriots: that while it was purporting to offer a federal system, it was creating a confederal system.
There are other issues, including the 1963 fighting, the schism in the government caused by the withdrawal of the Turkish Cypriots from the partnership, the bi-communal negotiations of the early 1970s, and reasons for the 1974 coup and the subsequent Turkish intervention – which resulted in the occupation of northern Cyprus, the eviction of its Greek-Cypriot inhabitants, the transfer of Turkish Cypriots to the north and continued violations of fundamental international law and rights of all Cypriots.
I would hope that you will not come to see this message as another Greek-Cypriot rant. But I believe that history is important and though 400-500 word pieces cannot be expected to cover it all, nuances leave indelible messages in the minds of readers. I would be more than happy to offer a rewriting of some of these pieces, for your evaluation and possible use.
I remain a thankful and avid reader of EurActiv.
Haaretz / International Herald TribuneAuthor : Letters to the EurActiv editor