Well-informed sources in the Turkish capital and in the Turkish Cypriot community insist on the fact that the messages relayed during Sunday’s celebrations in the north are of particular importance for the future course of the Cyprus Problem. Returning to the well-known rhetoric of the division, Turkey once again brought to the fore strategies and moves for the Cyprus Problem that had been forgotten for several years.
Tatar in Azerbaijan
"The President of Turkey announced that Ersin Tatar's visit to Azerbaijan is imminent,” Turkish Cypriot sources told “K”, adding that this was not simply a move to impress the Turkish side, but a new diplomatic manoeuvre by Turkey on the Cyprus Problem chessboard, just a few days after the victory of Azerbaijan in the Karabakh War.
The sources added: "Azerbaijan marked a historic victory with the support of the Turkish army and Turkish diplomacy. Everything shows that Baku is called to express its gratitude for this support by welcoming the new Turkish Cypriot leader in the near future. A few years ago, similar ideas were voiced regarding Mr. Akinci. However, Mustafa Akinci rejected such proposals on the grounds that they would not contribute to the strengthening of the profile of Turkish Cypriots abroad and, on the contrary, would harm the settlement process. "
And other states?
In Ankara, well-informed sources on the same issue share the view that Azerbaijan is not going to be the only foreign destination that will receive Tatar “as a head of state” in the near future. “There are many countries with which Turkey currently has close relations. And these states could contribute to the effort to promote Turkish Cypriots in the international arena", our sources added.
In the Turkish capital over the past few hours, information that has been picked up by certain pro-government media also stands out. According to new Turkish reports, Tatar will travel to Baku at the official invitation of the Azerbaijani government. The date of the visit has not yet been clarified.
Nakhchivan, the ‘Turkish State of Cyprus’ and the time conjuncture
It is worth noting that a few weeks ago, at the time of the Karabakh war, the pro-government newspaper “Turkiye” reported that the Nakhchivan Autonomous Administration had recognized the ‘TRNC’. The information was refuted within a few hours, with representatives of the Turkish Cypriot leadership reminding that in 1991 Nakhchivan tried to take a similar decision, without any remarkable results.
A few weeks after the above development, pro-government Turkish press brought to the fore a new proposal for the future of the Turkish Cypriot community. According to various pro-government analysts, in the future, in parallel with the effort to gradually recognize the separate ‘state entity’ of the Turkish Cypriots, the ‘TRNC’ should change its name and be renamed as ‘Turkish State of Cyprus’. This is the name by which Turkish Cypriots are being represented as observers in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
The attempt to upgrade the status of the Turkish Cypriots on the international scene, and even the possible recognition of a ‘separate Turkish Cypriot state’ by states that maintain friendly relations with Turkey, comes at a time when the new Turkish Cypriot leader insists on the condition of ‘equal sovereignty" and Ankara claims that now is the time to discuss a two-state solution.
Erdogan and Tatar insist on two-state solution
The President of Turkey and the new Turkish Cypriot leader are insisting on a two-state solution and on the new, Turkish plan for the fenced-off city of Famagusta, and they mean it. Speaking from north Nicosia and Varosha on Sunday, Erdogan and Tatar said the Turkish side will not give up on its new plans for the Cyprus Problem.
In close cooperation, Ankara and the new Turkish Cypriot leadership are focusing their attention on three issues, which are coming to change the course of developments on the Cyprus Problem.
First, Erdogan and Tatar claim that the Cyprus issue has exhausted all room for negotiation on the basis of a bi-zonal, bi-communal solution. “In 2017, the Greek Cypriot side showed that it is not ready to share power, wealth and even hospitals,” Erdogan claimed on Sunday afternoon. In the context of this logic, Tatar repeated the new slogan of the Turkish Cypriot leadership, namely “equal sovereignty”. Tatar's message was clear: “The Turkish Cypriot side is not going to give up its independence, its sovereignty and its Turkish guarantees.” On this basis, Ankara and the Turkish Cypriot side believe that now is the time to discuss alternative ideas in the Cyprus issue, mainly a two-state solution.
Turkish Cypriots increasingly dependent on Turkey
Secondly, Ankara currently appears determined to provide all kinds of support to the Tatar leadership for the promotion of the vision of the separate ‘Turkish state of Cyprus’. As part of this support, the Turkish side paves the way for Tatar's visit to Azerbaijan, which is now emerging victorious from the Karabakh war with the support of Turkey. At the same time, Turkey is beginning preparations for the transfer of gas and electricity to the north, as well as the construction of a new ‘presidential palace’, developments that will undoubtedly intensify the dependence of the Turkish Cypriots on Ankara.
The Turkish plan for Varosha
Finally, the Turkish plan for Varosha is moving forward with the next phase, that of lifting the military zone status and the involvement of the ‘Real Estate Committee’ in the whole project. An important development is the Turkish President’s reference to the possibility of compensation of the Greek Cypriot owners by the ‘committee’, a fact which according to some Turkish Cypriot sources indicates the real goal of the Turkish side, namely the Turkification of real estate in Varosha.
Others insist on federation
Turkey and the Tatar leadership are focusing on the above three areas at a time when Turkish Cypriot supporters of a bi-zonal bi-communal federation, mainly the Turkish Cypriot Left, are insisting on the reunification of the island. On Sunday, Turkish Cypriot activists, parties and organizations took to the streets of Nicosia and raised their voices, despite a previously alleged ban by ‘authorities’. In other words, contrary to what Turkey claims today, a significant portion of Turkish Cypriots do not accept the new, joint plans of Ankara and the Tatar leadership.