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22 April, 2021
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The three components of Varosha

Efforts to prop up Tatar gain traction but plans to undermine Akinci could backfire

Andreas Paraschos

Andreas Paraschos

The Erdogan Move on the beachfront of fenced-off Varosha has three components. The first one and most important is undermining the already-announced intention of the United Nations to carry on with the effort to resolve the Cyprus problem, by continuing the Guterres initiative from the point where it was left off in Crans Montana.

The second one, intertwined with the first component, is Ersin Tatar winning the election for the position of Turkish Cypriot leader on Sunday (or during runoff election the Sunday after that). Tatar has declared a position favouring a two-state solution and Ankara wants to use the "will" of Turkish Cypriots to shift the basis for a settlement.

And the third, which acts as fuel for boosting the first two, is the pre-election springboard set up for a candidate who is not widely regarded as a particularly self-luminous political personality within the Turkish Cypriot population.

Even Tatar himself did not want to be a candidate for the presidency because he would often admit he did not know about the Cyprus issue and this is why he had agreed with Kudret Ozersay, when they collaborated for the current “coalition government” that the latter would be the "presidential" candidate from the Right. (And behold, before the rooster crows in Varosha, Ozersay gathers up his toys and leaves the Erdogan-Tatar umbrella, all the while creating a “government crisis” already ensuing in the occupied areas.)

But reactions within the Turkish Cypriot community are turning out to be turbulent and may in fact favour Akinci instead of hurting him

It turns out that Ankara thought Tatar was more obedient, thus the most ideal candidate, and so they took him from the back seats in the room and sat him in the front row of candidates from the Right.

With the pre-election gimmick of opening the Varosha coastline, Mr. Erdogan hopes that Ersin Tatar will step on disobedient Mustafa Akinci, thus canceling Guterres’ plans for resuming talks aimed at a solution of the Cyprus problem where conditions are now ripe based on the Secretary General’s six points to bring about a comprehensive solution, with the UN and EU declaring their support almost on a daily basis.

But reactions within the Turkish Cypriot community after the communication show in Ankara are turning out to be turbulent and may in fact favour Akinci instead of hurting him, thus sending him back to the “Presidential Palace” maybe even from the first Sunday round.

Precisely for these reasons, and in order to avoid Ankara’s attempt to drag our side into a tug-of-war (by the partial opening of the Varosha seafront and not the town itself), in order to enslave the prospect of a solution, the response given by the National Council was appropriate given the circumstances, as the Body (minus ELAM) “reiterates the readiness of the Greek Cypriot side to participate in a fruitful dialogue for the settlement of the Cyprus problem, away from threats and fait accompli, on the basis established by UN resolutions, Security Council decisions, as well as values and principles of the EU, of which the Republic of Cyprus is and shall remain a member.”

Kathimerini Cyprus, after Crans Montana and announcements of Turkish intentions to open Varosha, firmly supported and supports every effort in favour of the return of the fenced-off town to its lawful residents, even showcasing proposals and studies aimed at promoting this holy objective lawfully, within the UN framework.

Unfortunately time was left untapped until we got to the point where danger warnings were turning into buttering Ankara’s bread. Now it seems that our political leadership is sober and ready not to let Varosha be admitted to the Intensive Care Unit, until the solution gives the town oxygen for life with its people returning and replanting orange trees, lemon trees, and hopes.

Cyprus  |  Turkey  |  Varosha  |  Cyprus problem  |  Andreas Paraschos  |  politics  |  UN  |  Tatar  |  Ozersay  |  Akinci  |  Erdogan

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