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Nicosia,
22 April, 2019
 
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Cyprus issue: not about virgin birth

After so many years of dialogue with the other side, we never actually had a conversation with ourselves

Michalis Tsikalas

Michalis Tsikalas

There are a few things that don’t exist in this world, much to our chagrin, and one of those things are magical solutions. No magic sticks or magician hats could make a solution to the Cyprus problem appear out of nowhere, that is, none that we would like or that would fit the bill or with which we would agree 100%.

Also, no case can be made in favour of a virgin birth especially when there is talk of two states, and more specifically, the kind of states where violent divisions feature front and centre and facts not only become complicated but also matter even more.

For many, it is a given that there can be no two states in Cyprus and that such an outcome cannot be acceptable. How so? Well, on the basis that one will be a de jure state and the other a de facto state, with the two of them having no contact between them.

So one cannot make the argument for virgin birth. But talking about it still today, let alone Turkey’s role in all of this, begs the question whether we are back in 2002 before the full accession of Cyprus into the EU and somehow the discussion was left open.

So let’s be clear, talking with Turkey is not a crime for me. Erdogan at the UN shaking hands with the President should not give someone a heart attack

But we are not back in the distant 2002 and so we have to see where we go from here without burying issues and sweeping problems under the rug.

First of all, let’s take a look at this amongst ourselves. If there is to be a solution to the Cyprus issue, we have to take a few steps back. This would be akin to betting on our rights, in other words we back down.

One of these steps back, without gauging them with precision over here, has to do with exclusive representation abroad as we currently know it. It is not an easy task to know what this entails exactly but if this is just an example out of many and they concern both communities.

I think what is lacking is seeing Cyprus as a common home, a shared homeland, therefore a joint co-operation, so I would just leave the rights issue altogether and wish for this to happen already. Even if someone might say this is romantic, it still matters to me.

So let me ask this. Wouldn’t evolution of the state be a shared achievement? If we don’t actually live through something like this, how else could we ever seek to uphold it and protect it first and foremost from own ourselves?

Talking versus waiting for magical solution

And let’s bring Turkey into all of this. The facts are getting complicated even further over here. Direct communication is the best path, if we want to be honest, and this would be diplomatically desired. Talking doesn’t make it a crime, unlike our waiting of magical solution with the passage of time which meant that we also lost our bearing.

We were quick to condemn when half of Cyprus was being colonised. We were quick to condemn when the demographics in occupied part of Cyprus were changing. We were quick to condemn when Turkish Cypriots were being assimilated. And now we worry that we might step in?

As far as I can tell, their aim is not evolution but the unification of the country. The goal is not for people to evolve, as if we were following their stories while shooting a movie, but the aim is peaceful coexistence and to what extent can it be feasible.

So let’s be clear, talking with Turkey is not a crime for me. Having Erdogan standing in front of the Cypriot representation at the UN and shaking hands with the President is not something that should give someone a heart attack.

All this basically boils down to what do we, ourselves, want to do? To see how and whether we want to move forward. Let’s approach this with our feet firmly on the ground, not the moon.

I get the feeling that, after so many years of dialogue with the other side, we never actually talked to ourselves. And that’s precisely where a whole host of questions is coming, from us, asking primarily ourselves and also others. When we are going to answer, beats me.

 

Published by Kathimerini Cyprus (14 October 2018)

TAGS
Cyprus  |  problem  |  Turkey  |  Tsikalas  |  UN  |  Erdogan  |  Anastasiades  |  Turkish  |  Greek  |  Cypriot  |  Akinci  |  reunification  |  virgin birth  |  evolution

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