When Cyprus is mentioned in Europe, it seems as if Europeans are still unaware of the fact that two separate communities live in their own territories on the island. Therefore, I find it crucial to inform our European readers of the latest developments in Cyprus.
Since a large part of the European public believes that Cyprus is an island solely comprising of a Greek population, who actually arrogate the name "Republic of Cyprus," the Europeans are either uninformed or biased against the Turkish Cypriots, who established their own state in Cyprus and live on one-third of the island.
Greeks and Turks were trying to coexist on the island at a heavy cost. But, the safety of the Turks on the island was threatened after a fascist military coup was staged upon the orders of the regime of the colonels, who took over the ruling power in Greece.
In response, Turkey had to intervene while the United Nations and Europe became a mere spectator to what was happening in Cyprus. Thanks to the Turkish intervention, the military junta in Cyprus and the regime of the colonels in Greece could be overthrown. Democracy returned to Greece thanks to Turkey's efforts.
The Turkish military was obliged to remain on the island in order to guard the Turkish Cypriots since they were constantly targeted by racist Greek groups. The Turkish Cypriots had to create alternative solutions and found their own state due to the Greeks, who did not present any chance to reach a permanent peace and resolution. Although not recognized by many international powers, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) is currently more settled and more stable than most countries in the world.
Besides, the Turkish Cypriots have made self-sacrifices in order to provide a federal solution and permanent peace in Cyprus. But unfortunately, the Greeks have always impeded a solution that would offer an atmosphere of security for both communities.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu brings an insightful explanation to the situation. Çavuşoğlu is unfortunately right in his observations when he says: "I have observed that the Greeks will never side with a resolution with these parameters. In other words, the Greek Cypriots will not lean towards a solution basing on political equality. They think that they are better and stronger than the north and think ‘why would we share this power with Turks?' And their opinions on Turks are already obvious. ‘Why would we share our state with Turks? Why would a Turk govern us even though he is a rotating president? Our economy is good, why would we share it with Turks?' This is the mindset of the people, the church and most of the political parties. The Greek part will never accept a solution within these parameters."
In brief, no development will be made on the subject no matter how hard the EU presses on Turkey to introduce a solution in Cyprus and condones the fact that the Greek Cypriots manipulate Turkey's EU accession process as a tool for blackmailing.
Southern Cyprus is complacent as it joined the EU without a solution on the island, which breached all the EU principles. Southern Cyprus is not ready to equally share this advantaged position with Turkish Cypriots. Unless the Greek Cypriots consider Turkish Cypriots equal, neither Turkey nor the KKTC will reconcile with the ones who are trying to sell the discrimination between Greeks and Turks as a resolution. The EU has to see this fact.
Another general election has taken place in Northern Cyprus under these circumstances where the Turkish Cypriots democratically elected their new parliament that comprises of six parties.
Since none of the parties had a chance to come to power alone as a result of the election, either Prime Minister Hüseyin Özgürgün will form a coalition government or the main opposition leader Tufan Erhürman will enact an alternative coalition government in the following one-month period.
Turkey is waiting for the establishment of the new government without interfering as it respects the democratic choices of the Turkish Cypriots. Turkey is also willing to negotiate the progress of the resolution efforts with the new KKTC government.
Although Southern Cyprus asserts the contrary, it is a fact that Northern Cyprus will continue working towards a solution on the island with the support of Turkey and the KKTC President Mustafa Akıncı, who is the Turkish Cypriot representative in the U.N., regardless of the kind of government that is formed.
The main problems are Greek Cypriots, who will hold the first round of the presidential elections on Jan. 28. No matter who is elected as the president, nothing can change if the mindset described by Çavuşoğlu does not change.
Even though the new president may sincerely endeavor toward a solution, there is nothing he can do due to the influence of the Orthodox Church, which is against a resolution at all costs. I wonder how much longer the EU will remain a mere spectator. It must note that the Turkish Cypriots, at one point, are bound to run out of patience.