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Pay Attention to Cyprus!

The Patriotic Party (Turkey) Chairman Doğu Perinçek analyzes the ongoing negotiations between Turkish and Greek Cypriots on the unification of Cyprus

Doğu Perinçek

Cyprus is no doubt an integral part of the Turkish geopolitics. At the same time, the Island is an important base in the Eastern Mediterranean for the Eurasian forces. Eastern Mediterranean has always been the fighting scene of the sovereign forces since the early ages. Cyprus has became more important with the opening of the Suez Canal and the discovery of hydrocarbon resources. Today, the eastern Mediterranean is the key strategic pressure point of the power struggle in the Western Asia. Cyprus is a strategic territory in this region. Discovery of the new natural gas and oil deposits in this region has carried Cyprus's strategic importance to an indispensable point.

Turkey's vital position in Cyprus

Turkey can not give up on Cyprus for both strategic and economic reasons. To ensure the safety of lives and property of the Turkish Cypriots is one of the main duties of the Motherland Turkey. Turkey can not leave the future of its compatriots in Cyprus to the mercy of the US, EU and the Greeks. Moreover, even if there is not a single Turk lives on it, Turkey can not remain unresponsive to Cyprus which is located in the heart of its hinterland. Turkey as an important country in its region with a deep-rooted imperial tradition can not sit back and watch the developments that will confine itself to the mainland. Turkey's transportation routes in the Aegean Sea would possibly face some serious threats in case of a crisis or conflict. In this case, Turkey will only be able to breath through its southern ports. If Cyprus is abandoned, Turkey can not use this strategic area and can possibly experience an economic meltdown immediately. Those who previously attempted to establish a terrorist state in our border with Syria, now turned to open a new front. The imperialist attack which aims at Turkey through the Cyprus Island must be assessed very carefully.

Turkey's red lines in Cyprus

Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and Turkey have pursued a traditional negotiation strategy in the Cyprus issue up to this time. These two states built 'a national barrier of no compromise' around the three major principles and these principles were declared to the public by the spokes of the Turkish government from time to time.

The first and the most important of these principles is the "effective and de-facto guarantee of Turkey". Here, the simplest compromise will result in the loss of Cyprus.

The second principle is the "political equality" and the last one is the "absolute bi-zonality" in terms of both territory and population.

Concessions to be made in these areas would destroy the federal state structure in real terms. The Turkish Cypriots would become a minority in the Island and then face serious security threats.

Ominous developments in Cyprus

While the guarantee of Turkey in Cyprus is of vital importance, those who should actually defend the TRNC says, "Security is not a taboo; it is arguable!" What does this mean? They sat down on the negotiation table at the very beginning with a message of surrender. On the other hand, the 'principle of bi-zonality' was eliminated with the territorial and population regulations which are alleged to be accepted by the Turkish Cypriot delegation. Also, the guarantees such as the 'rotating presidency' which ensures the political equality of the Turkish Cypriots was not accepted by the Greek Cypriot side. When the negotiation process is carefully examined, it turns out that the peace talks fuel the internal conflict more than establishing the peace.

Turkey should exert its influence

The representatives of the TRNC delegation do not exercise due diligence in fulfilling their obligations regarding the decisions taken in the Turkish Parliament and the basic principles of the Government of Turkey concerning the Cyprus issue. Despite all of the concessions made by the Turkish side, the Greek side has withdrawn from the negotiation table.

It is no doubt an unexpected development that a new negotiation session will start but this time on the map of Cyprus between 9-11 January 2017 in Geneva with the pressure of particularly the US and the EU. According to some off-the-record remarks, the TRNC delegation considers this development as a 'good news' and this is no doubt an ominous development on its own. The intention behind the planned quinary session with the participation of guarantor countries (Turkey, UK, Greece) along with the main negotiating parties on January 12, 2017 is quite obvious.

The Western countries' stance on the failed coup attempt in July 15 and the recent negative decisions of the EU about Turkey are cautionary for us. To expect the Western world to act fairly on Cyprus issue contains some meanings far beyond being simpleton. For this reason, the Turkish Parliament should put this issue on its agenda quickly and evaluate the inside story of the negotiations in all aspects. We have to remind the responsibilities of the Turkish government to protect its traditional principles in the Cyprus issue.

Turkey and the TRNC, which received the support of the Eurasian forces will soon establish a political balance which protects also the rights of the Greeks and brings fair and lasting conditions to ensure a consistent peace approach.

Therefore, the upcoming days, weeks and months should be utilized very carefully.  

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