Do the Turkish Cypriot leadership, or even the Turkish Cypriots themselves, truly want to reach a solution to reunite the island or not?
ANDREAS C CHRYSAFIS
4 July 2014
It looks as if darker clouds are on the way. The present Cyprus talks are turning out to be a fiasco and may soon collapse unless Ankara’s mouthpiece Mr Eroglu starts to think what is best for his people and not what is best for his political party and Turkey. As Greek Cypriots we have been waiting to see some kind of sign as a gesture of goodwill from that side but we have seen none; not even a small one. Yet we have done our best to accommodate and the question arises; do the Turkish Cypriot leadership, or even the Turkish Cypriots themselves, truly want to reach a solution to reunite the island or not?
At the present, the climate is conducive to consider putting a stop to the pseudo negotiations or even close the crossings if necessary, until a more positive climate develops. It is time to put a stop to a failed policy aimed to pacify Turkey, the Western Powers; the European Union; the United Nations and all others except Cyprus and it citizens. One should never forget that Turkey invaded Cyprus and occupied 40 per cent of the island by force and to also never, ever underestimate Turkey’s motives for maintaining 40,000 strong military troops on the island.
There is, however, a bigger problem on the horizon that may affect Cyprus – the brutal insurgence of the ISIS fundamental Sunni militants in Iraq set on a jihad. Those fanatics have shown no respect for human life and make Al-Qaida look like saints. The blind devotion of these barbarian killers driven by unheard-of brutality, torture, decapitations, rape and intimidation has enabled them to capture 50 per cent of Iraq in just a few days time.
ISIS is no less than a new human virus that spreads death all around and no-one is safe as long as they are around – Syria may be their next target.
If that happens, Cyprus – given its geographical proximity – has good reason to worry, especially with the presence of over three-hundred thousand Anatolian Turks living in the occupied part of Cyprus. What is more worrisome, Turkey’s prime minister Mr Erdogan and his government are devoted Sunnis and it’s no wonder the occupied area of Cyprus is inundated with mosques everywhere. But those who should worry most are the 80,000 Turkish Cypriots who may soon vanish if they fail to act to protect their Cypriot heritage.
Historically Cyprus has never encountered such a worrying demographic scenario before. There are a lot of fanatic Muslim fundamentalists lying low in the Turkish occupied part of the island and they could be triggered off by current events in the area. That would certainly pose an additional but a most serious threat for the survival of Cyprus as an independent state.
The sooner Cypriots on both sides of the divide get their act together and demand (insist) from their politicians a solution to reunite the island by removing the settlers including the Turkish army from Cypriot soil, the sooner Cyprus will be in a position and be free to face the new threats of the day. Meanwhile, to remain vigilant and take precautions or preventative measures will be a wise move.
Andreas C Chrysafis is an author of three books, a writer of the Vanishing Cyprus Series, an activist for human rights and an artist.