The most revealing broadcast last Monday on the Russian-made missile that fell in the occupied areas was a tell-all account by Despina Kouri during RIK’s primetime news on what was being reported by the foreign press regarding the incident.
I find this to be crucial because for the first time, even without coming out and saying it clearly, someone has taken a peak behind the curtain and partition started showing.
The reportage said that “there is reaction over the fact that big foreign networks refer to the occupied areas as Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) or Kudret Ozersay as Turkish Cypriot foreign minister.”
The foreign media also made references to Mustafa Akinci as president of South Cyprus or TRNC and Ersin Tatar as prime minister. If you browse through news wires from Reuters, Associated Press, Deutsche Welle, Euronews, Sputnik, Russia Today, Daily Mirror, Arab News, and other media all the way from New Zealand to Canada, you might think that Cyprus has two states, South and North – something similar to Korea – and that the wreckage of the fallen Russian missile ended up on a mountain village in North Cyprus.
I don’t think there’s any rational person who doubts the Government has totally dropped the ball on the Cyprus settlement
Reuters hosted a news piece headlined “Object Which Hit North Cyprus Appears to Have Been Missile, Says Foreign Minister” referring to Ozersay. Associated Press ran the story “Turkish Cypriots blame Syrian missile for blast near village” with statements by the prime minister of the North, referring to Ersin Tatar, and so on. Same went for Deutsche Welle and Euronews, and the Russians, the Brits, the Arabs, all seeming to bend over backwards for this.
But humiliation did not end there. On Monday, Ozersay announced that he had contact with the embassies of countries that could be involved one way or another with the incident. On the same day, Greek Cypriot journalists were being told by Nicosia that Russian experts had arrived on site to inspect the wreckage of the S-200. Keeping all this in mind, I don’t think there’s any rational person who doubts the Government has totally dropped the ball and that Cyprus’ partition has begun to be embedded now also internationally.
And you may also want to keep in mind all those things we uncovered in Kathimerini’s previous Sundays edition that “the time is near for the UN to thaw the Cyprus problem making it very difficult for the two sides not to respond to a resumption of talks right where things were left off in Crans Montana. In fact, a demand possibly could be put on the table calling for the status quo not to be a possible choice outcome in an upcoming referendum. But hydrocarbons certainly would be on the table,” we noted.
Nicosia kept dead silent. But on Thursday, Mevlut Cavusoglu proved us right: “we say it loud and clear, either you give us your word or we have our ships and we also start drilling.”
I believe it is no accident that Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides confirmed with us in an interview with Kathimerini on Sunday that peace talks would resume after the Greek elections. And government spokesperson Prodromos Prodromou also spoke on state radio - pay attention because it’s all here - commenting on President Anastasiades’ letter to UNSG Antonio Guterres, with the president signaling he is ready after all to go back to Crans Montana and sit at the table without preconditions. Akel party has been saying the very same thing for two years with the Government responding by throwing everything but the kitchen sink at Andros Kyprianou.
No matter what happens now, I believe we have reached a point of no return. And what’s the verdict? Anastasiades embedded partition, Christofias cemented the no vote to a Cyprus settlement, and Tassos Papadopoulos fooled the Europeans. He did so after Kranidiotis, Simitis, and Clerides managed to be so persuasive, which would explain why in an upcoming referendum there is a call for status quo to be eliminated.
At least one thing is certain. With partition, history will declare Rauf Denktash as the only winner. The rest of them will probably go down in history as the invincible ones.
The article was first published by Kathimerini Cyprus on 07 July 2019