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12° Nicosia,
14 June, 2024
 
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Beware of the Brits bearing ideas for a Cyprus solution

''Turkey is promoting the long-term reconquest of Cyprus in six stages, five of which have already been completed''

Opinion

Opinion

By Kyriacos Jacovides*

According to recent reports, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office is working on various scenarios to break the deadlock on the Cyprus problem and find a mutually acceptable formula. Since the Turkish side insists on recognition of sovereign equality, equal international status and a two-state solution, the British are suggesting and promoting the idea that Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots should take a step backward on the sovereignty issue.

Let’s also not forget that the Brits were the first to officially talk about the partition of Cyprus in 1954. At that time, they shared their idea of partitioning Cyprus, from the north to the south

But what do they mean when they say “one step backward”? According to the reports, this one step backward is the acceptance of separate sovereignty. For this idea, they cite the Anastasiades-Eroglu agreement of February 2014, according to which “united Cyprus, as a member of the United Nations and of the European Union, shall have a single international legal personality and a single sovereignty, which is defined as the sovereignty which is enjoyed by all member States of the United Nations under the UN Charter and which emanates equally from Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots”. Based on this last phrase, (which emanates equally from Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots), they promote the acceptance of separate sovereignty.

But what is the sovereignty of a state and where does it emanate from?

In his academic work, former President of the Hellenic Republic and academic, Prokopis Pavlopoulos (Public Law [Administrative Law-Constitutional Law]) refers to two sovereignties, external and internal, which are largely identical. As he states, external sovereignty is understood as “national sovereignty”, in the form of the independence of the State vis-à-vis other States and, consequently, its institutional equality with them. Internal sovereignty is understood as “popular sovereignty”, in the sense that the source of all authority within the State is the People.

In his speech at Gettysburg on November 19, 1863, which is considered one of the most important speeches in world political history, U.S. President, Abraham Lincoln, referred to “government of the people, by the people, for the people”.

Article 1, paragraph 3 of the Greek Constitution notes that “All powers derive from the People, exist for the benefit of the People and the Nation, and shall be exercised as provided by the Constitution”.

Therefore, we see that sovereignty emanates from the People and not from groups, entities, or communities that make up the People. I am not a constitutional scholar, but with the little knowledge of constitutional law that I have, the Anastasiades-Eroglu reference that the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus emanates equally from the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots does not stand and it is not valid.

Sovereignty, being a single one, emanates from the people as a whole. And the whole of the Cypriot people is not only the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, but should also include the Armenians, the Latins and the Maronites. Therefore, the view that sovereignty emanates equally from the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots is refuted. Nor is there any legal or moral basis for any claim that the Armenian, Latin and Maronite communities are too small and should not be given too much consideration when it comes to sovereignty; otherwise, something similar should apply to the Turkish Cypriot community since it is also small compared to the Greek Cypriot community.

The “experts” of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office believe, or at least so they propagate, that the Turkish side will abandon the two-state policy in exchange for separate sovereignties. They forget, or pretend not to know, that based on the plan drawn up by Turkish diplomat, Nihat Erim, in 1956, Turkey is promoting the long-term reconquest of Cyprus in six stages, five of which have already been completed:

a) Preventing the return of Cyprus to Greece. (Zurich-London agreements)

b) The acquisition by Turkey of legal rights over Cyprus, (which it had given up when it transferred the island to the UK. (Zurich-London agreements)

c) The concentration of the Turkish Cypriots, scattered throughout Cyprus, in enclaves, so that they form solid, homogeneous, masses. (1963-1964 and 1974)

d) To change the proportion of Greek Cypriots - Turkish Cypriots by settling the occupied areas. (Transfer of Turkish settlers to the occupied areas of Cyprus)

e) Military control of the area (occupation army, air and naval base in the occupied territories of Cyprus).

There remains the sixth objective, which is the complete political control of Cyprus.

According to the media reports, Foreign Office officials were looking for another gift to Ankara. And this concerns the long-standing Turkish position that the status of Turkish Cypriots should be determined after a new failure, i.e., to give the secessionist entity a way out, to “walk” internationally.

The simple question anyone could ask is why would the Turkish Cypriots want to come to any agreement if they knew in advance that in case of failure of the talks, they would receive international recognition? That the British are being unacceptable and unfair to the Greek Cypriot side has been proven time and time again. Every time they prepare a draft resolution on Cyprus at the United Nations, since they are the pen holders, they put such negative provisions that the Republic of Cyprus engages in serious efforts to claim the obvious.

Let’s also not forget that the Brits were the first to officially talk about the partition of Cyprus in 1954. At that time, they shared their idea of partitioning Cyprus, from the north to the south, with American diplomats, who replied that this would be disastrous since 170 to 180 thousand Cypriots would be forced to move. In the end, the dividing line was drawn on the basis of the then-railway line and was implemented with some adjustments in 1974.

So, beware of the Brits bearing ideas for a Cyprus solution.

*Kyriacos Jacovides is a Political Scientist - Journalist

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Cyprus  |  Britain  |  Turkey

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