The Cyprus talks are all but dead. It is only a matter of time before the nail in the coffin is hammered into place to seal a new chapter in the history of Cyprus. What will happen next is anyone’s guess.
Analyzing the latest geopolitical and economic developments in the area, one can ascertain that Cyprus is entering unchartered waters. It will need a strong leader’s hand and wisdom to navigate it through the quandary, mired with political traps and a horde of uncertainties facing the nation, but most worrisome of all, it has to deal with Turkey’s unprovoked military behaviour in the region. Ankara keeps threatening and provoking its neighbours by jet-flying over the airspace of Greece, Cyprus, and Syria including Northern Iraq. Syria has recently shot down a Turkish jet for doing just that, yet Turkey insists on pursuing its aggressive policy in the area by sending convoys of flotillas and flexing its muscles: self-inflicted delusions of grandeur!
The discovery of natural gas in the region by Cyprus and Israel has raised the stakes even higher. Now, many nations are positioning themselves to be part of this unexpected blessing (or possibly a curse) if taking into account Turkey’s aggressive behaviour. Ankara is as mad as a rabid dog for not being part of this bonanza and she’s testing her chances; she prefers to steal the wealth of others–a well-known historic policy of plundering of Turkey’s.
The Turkish government wasted no time in making claims that it is entitled to part of the hydrocarbon discovery and triggered off a red alert in full readiness to initiate military attacks against Israel and the Republic of Cyprus. Those illicit claims by Turkey are causing a real threat to the stability of the entire region. Yet, except for lip service, the big powers, but especially the European Union, have remained impartial, playing a dubious role in such a dangerous war game against one of its own member-states.
In fact, there is a disturbing movement growing in Turkey, a movement with a delusional dream of calls to rekindle an old flame of glory of a Neo-Ottoman Empire. Its aim is to spread across borders and gain influence over all other Muslim nations. One can reasonably assume that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has developed a slight trait and considers himself the new Salahad-Din – better known as Saladin – of the Mohammedan Moors in readiness to influence and dominate the entire Eastern Mediterranean and beyond.
The Turkish Prime minister and his close aids have been flirting with this idea of Turkey becoming the Motherland of all Muslims for a long time. They want to create a powerful Islamic/Muslim bloc of nations to play its part in world affairs, economically, socially and politically.
The military occupation of 40% of the Republic of Cyprus in July of 1974 is the beginning of Turkey’s long-term strategic expansion plan put in motion. The objective is to permanently occupy the island with thousands of Anatolian Muslim settlers – subsequently, there are over 350.000 illegal “imports” now living in the occupied area. Wealthy mainland Turks are also encouraged to purchase as many properties belonging to Greek refugees as they can. The official aim is to ultimately change the demographic character of the island–one of a Christian nation into Erdogan’s master plan of the Islamization of Cyprus.
Western powers in contrast are dragging their feet. They are of two minds; on the one hand, they cannot justify Turkey’s abuse of human rights, especially by imprisoning citizens for speaking out publicly in opposition to government policy, but on the other hand, they cannot ignore the fact that the Turkish consumer market is a massive market! Sadly, when it comes to politics, power and profits, human rights go out the window!
As it happens, Turkey enjoys one of the fastest growing economies brought about due to its membership into the EU Customs Union – EU markets absorb nearly eighty percent of Turkey’s exports (EU Trade). Large foreign companies take advantage of Turkey’s low-cost production services of a cheap and hard-working labour force, wage repression, low taxation, lax regulations and attractive venture incentives. It has one of the biggest military machines in Europe with more than 900.000 troops, which makes it a power to be reckoned with. Turkey’s attractive business incentives have helped the nation’s reputation to become a magnet for industrialists and investment companies capitalizing upon this lucrative opportunity. Located at the crossroads of continents, Turkey has become a very attractive place to do business with and no western power will shy away from such a bonanza.
It is for that main reason that the Erdogan government has been obsessed with stamping out any opposition to his grand vision of a Greater Turkish nation, in fear that, the present growth may turn into a nightmare and start sliding down a slippery road. That possibility would bring about chaos to millions of disenfranchised citizens who are treated unfairly by the ruling elite.
Consequently, the Ankara government considers freedom of speech as anathema and prohibits any such expressions against Turkish nationalism. Erdogan calls such public behaviour as “unturkishness”. Nationalism is treated like a sacred cow that no-one dares to tamper with. The alternative for those who speak out is years of imprisonment, like many journalists have found themselves in jails for criticizing government policy, burgeoning corruption and nepotism. Any expression of dissent is dealt under the watchful eye of the “Motherland Sentinels” and treated as a crime against Turkishness.
Even the EU would rather allow one of its member states – like Cyprus for example -to struggle it alone than disappoint Turkey. Not prepared to offend Ankara, they play the game of deceit and hypocrisy to the detriment of smaller member-states. EU double standards are applied in the name of subservience through a new style of domination: economic colonialism!
Cyprus is smack in the middle of this charade. Ankara is not only boycotting Cyprus’ EU presidency, it is now also using diplomatic bully tactics, attempting to reprimand EU policy-makers for duly exercising their duties. The Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan had the audacity (and the cheek) to send out a personal circular to all EU ministries asking politicians not to take part in EU conferences chaired by Cyprus.
A furious propaganda spin and economic blackmailing tactics are frantically being used to jeopardize Cyprus’ EU Presidency. Planes have been commissioned by the Turkish government to transport “pro-Ankara supporters” from the occupied area to Brussels, to rally in protest during the transitional ceremonies of the EU Presidency to Cyprus. Such uncalled for tactics by a government of a state raises suspicions, and EU members are now dubiously cautious of Ankara’s motives; no civilized country would consider such a third-world propaganda tactic!
The ongoing negotiations on the basis of a Bi-Zonal, Bi-Communal Federation (BBF) have become a convenient facade for political games. Turkey does not want a solution, but seeks out ways through misinformation and cunning to consolidate its occupation of Cyprus. Yet the Cyprus government and the opposition wish to “discuss” the issue directly with the Turkish Prime Minister, a request Ankara has flatly refused.
All considered, it is much wiser to be truthful to the people and put a stop to the present negotiations until a better climate develops. It is even more honourable to recognize that the talks have failed than to offer false hopes. Most importantly, Cyprus desperately needs a government that can provide a revolutionary leadership for the benefit of all Cypriots, both Turkish and Greek Cypriots – something that has always being badly missing from this torn island!
*Andreas C Chrysafis is the author of:
WHO SHALL GOVERN CYPRUS – Brussels or Nicosia? -Political analysis
ANDARTES – a revolutionary riveting novel
PORPHYRA in PURPLE – a metaphysical spellbinding novel
All books are available from: Bookshops, Barnes & Noble, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, Waterstone’s, Kindle and the Internet. Other published articles can be found on Google under “Vanishing Cyprus” or under “Andreas C Chrysafis.”