by Petros Zarounas
The insistence of Turkey and the leader of the Turkish Cypriots and settlers Ersin Tatar on advance acceptance by the Greek Cypriot side of the sovereign equality of the Turkish Cypriots has led the Cyprus issue to a prolonged impasse. The new Turkish position for a two-state solution or alternatively a confederation is not exclusively due to the mishandling of Anastasiadis, who, however, facilitated the adoption and presentation of the new Turkish position. It is mainly due to the new geostrategic situation in the world but also in the wider Eastern Mediterranean region, which seems to be in favor of Turkey.
This strong Turkey, despite its internal and external difficulties, believes that the 'Bi-zonal, bi-communal federation' solution no longer meets its geostrategic plans and goals.
Turkey, realizing the power vacuum from the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, its non-involvement in Libya and Karabakh, and the absence of a US aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean, is rushing to fill it by applying Putin's doctrine. This doctrine has to do with the unrestrained use of a country's armed forces to advance the goals of its national strategy. But beyond determination, Turkey has the necessary economic and military power, but also strategic planning to expand its influence and control over the wider region. Her efforts have at least temporarily achieved some results. Thus, today it has a significant military presence in Cyprus, Syria, Iraq, Qatar, Somalia, Libya, and Karabakh / Azerbaijan. At the same time, it has formed one of the most powerful navies in the Mediterranean, which with the support of its equally powerful air force and the numerous drones at its disposal, largely controls what it describes as the Blue Homeland, repeatedly violating its sovereign rights of Greece and the Republic of Cyprus. This strong Turkey, despite its internal and external difficulties, believes that the 'Bi-zonal, bi-communal federation' solution no longer meets its geostrategic plans and goals. In fact, Cyprus, instead of being a threat to Turkey's security that was considered in previous decades, has now become a springboard for the projection of Turkish power in the wider region. The creation of the aeronautical base in Lefkonikos and Bogazi serves exactly this design. Alongside, Turkey notes that no country, despite any verbal disagreements, has strong objections to its new position on the Cyprus issue. Neither does the EU but neither does the UN Security Council show any willingness to impose substantial sanctions on Turkey to restore it to its former positions. In fact, in order to test their moods, Turkey is gradually and carefully proceeding with new ones in Famagusta. The continuous regressions of President Anastasiadis over the last four years and especially his volleyball surveys for a two-state solution facilitated the smooth presentation of the new extreme Turkish position. The margins for new Greek Cypriot retreats, as some unfortunately suggest, have disappeared. No square of the circle, as the British suggest, can be accepted by the Greek Cypriots. All these signals that we have entered a prolonged impasse in the Cyprus issue without substantial negotiations, except possibly some discussions on trust-building measures. It has already reached a dead end with the responsibilities of President Anastasiadis and the Cypriot energy program. Note that the new confirmatory drillings of ExxonMobil in the "Glafkos" deposit will be made only for accounting purposes in order to integrate this deposit into the company's assets. I estimate that Turkey will react with parallel drillings for the purpose of balancing the Greek Cypriot movements and impressions.
It is imperative that we formulate, without illusions and piety, a strategy for the survival and strengthening of the Cyprus Republic. This should include, for precautionary and negotiating reasons, the relocation of our positions to the borders of the Bi-zonal, bi-communal federation, the gradual political evolution and modernization of the Republic of Cyprus, the conclusion of mutual assistance agreements with Greece and France, and at the same time, the strengthening of our defense capabilities in land, sea and air.