Select Page

Romanticism Collapses in Cyprus #CyprusTalks

Romanticism Collapses in Cyprus <a class="hashtagger" href="">#CyprusTalks</a>

It was a big surprise for those following the issue on Cyprus last month when Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı declared out of the blue his acceptance of the “Guterres document” as a “strategic framework” for a Cyprus deal and asked the Greek Cypriot side to walk the same road.

Which Guterres document? That was problematic as there was no such written document. Espen Berth Eide, the former special envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, “read” the “notes” he took while talking with the secretary-general at the June 30, 2016 session of the Crans-Montana five party conference. Four days later, the Greek Cypriot side produced a second document, abridged and elaborated to suit their views. The second document was also on what Eide presented to negotiators as “views” of the secretary-general.

There are radical differences between the two “documents.” For example, while the earlier one stresses that the guarantee system cannot continue as it is and must be supplemented with a new system satisfying the security concerns of both Cyprus communities, the second text altered by Greek Cyprus simply underlined that the system of guarantee cannot continue in Cyprus under the current conditions.

Thus, what Akıncı suggested—without consulting his government, political parties, obtaining authorization from parliament or asking Ankara’s opinion as the security aspect of the Cyprus issue directly concerned Turkey as well—did not find customers in the Greek Cypriot side. Instead, Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades asked Akıncı to declare his acceptance of the “Guterres document” that Greek Cypriots changed on July 4.

Also read:  Tension Ankara-Nicosia, Italy following ENI drillship case

What did Akıncı want to achieve by accepting the “Guterres document” as a “strategic framework” for a Cyprus deal? Did he not know that the Greek Cypriot side rejected the June 30 non-paper the moment Eide read it aloud? Was he not aware that Anastasiades wanted the July 4 text his aides developed based on the ideas of Guterres to serve the “zero soldiers, zero guarantees” hardline position he has been pursuing? Akıncı was obviously trying to divide the socialists at home and make the best use of those divisions up until now, managing to surf his way onto the office of Nicosia’s Turkish mayor office, several ministerial portfolios and most lately in 2015 to the presidential office.

Akıncı failed this time. He assumed Ankara would not say anything that might create a perception that there was discord between him and Turkish leaders. On the contrary, from the very first moment Akıncı made that statement, Turkey made it clear through many channels that the proposal only did not reflect its position. Furthermore, Ankara implied that the issue was not at all raised at Turkish-Turkish Cypriot talks and thus, Akıncı making such a statement was not compatible with the gentlemen’s understanding between the two capitals.

The cold breeze from Anatolia was shocking for Akıncı, but the worst came from the socialist prime minister, Tufan Erhürman, who said to Akıncı’s face at a meeting of the party leaders and the president, that if the aim of a tactical move by Akıncı was to divide the socialist Republican Turkish Party (CTP), it was amateurish and would not happen this time.

Also read:  EU-Turkey and the Impediments #TurkeyEU

It was claimed that without Greek Cypriots embracing his move, and both Ankara and the political parties shunning him of acting apolitically, the Turkish Cypriot leader even considered stepping down, while he most likely made that proposal in the first place to consolidate his prospective reelection bid.

For some incomprehensible reason so far, Akıncı has been unable to comprehend that the Greek Cypriot side has never been interested in a Cyprus deal based on compromise, political equality and bi-zonality and bi-communality principles. Greek Cypriots just want to show world talks were resuming and thus, there is a move towards reinstituting normalcy on Cyprus. Why? Because it wants to continue hydrocarbon collaboration. The Israeli, Greek and Greek Cypriot summit and the decision to continue the East-Med project was a good example of such efforts.

Very much like the 2004 accession, despite Greek Cypriots shunning a U.N.-brokered peace plan by funding an Israel-Cyprus-Crete-Greece pipeline, the EU might further condemn all prospects of a Cyprus deal by consolidating Greek Cypriot adamancy.

Published in

About The Author

Yusuf Kanli

Born in Cyprus in 1959, Yusuf Kanlı is a graduate of the English Language and Literature Department of the Faculty of Letters of the Ankara University. He started journalism with the Turkish Daily News in 1978. Until he briefly left the paper in 1985 (for military service in Northern Cyprus) he served as diplomatic correspondent, assistant foreign news editor and assistant editor. During this period he was as well one of the two co-authors of an annual reference book on Turkey, “Turkey Almanac”. After completing his military service he returned the Daily News as assistant editor. In 1989 he became executive editor and also started writing daily opinion articles. He continued to be one of the co-authors of the “Turkey Almanac” annual reference book. In February 1993, over differences with the publisher on editorial policy, he quit the paper and joined the Anatolia News Agency (AA) as deputy foreign news chief. He stayed with the Anatolia News Agency until September 1995. In this period, he covered the Armenia-Azerbaijan war over Nogorno-Karabagh, covered developments in the post-independence Central Asian republics. Because of his refusal as the duty editor to run a manipulated news story demanded by the then lady prime minister of the country, he was fired from the AA, a development that Kanlı considers as his “medal of honor” in the profession. On his return to the Daily News for a third time in October 1995, he first became an editor at large but soon assumed the responsibility of electronic publishing and established Turkey’s first daily updated English language news web site, the TDN Online on May 19, 1996 (now In January 1997, he became executive editor of the Daily News for a second time and stayed in that post until he was appointed as editor-in-chief in June 2004. In February 2007, he quit all executive duties and became a contract columnist of the newspaper. He has been also writing weekly articles in Turkish for a variety of newspapers and news portals in Northern Cyprus. He is a former chairperson and the honorary chairperson of Diplomacy Correspondents Association (DMD) of Turkey, an active member of Association of Foreign Policy Council, a member of the executive board and vice chairperson of the Association of Journalists and coordinator of the Press for Freedom project, which has been monitoring and reporting on press and freedom of expression issues in Turkey since 2013. He has been a member of several associations and foundations, mostly established by Turkish Cypriots living in Turkey or abroad. He is married to Dr. Aydan Kanlı and has one daughter, Cansu. He has Turkish, Turkish Cypriot and Cypriot triple nationality.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in António Guterres, Crans-Montana, Cyprus, Cyprustalks, Greek Cypriots, Mustafa Akıncı, Northern Cyprus, Republican Turkish Party
East Med Natural Gas Pipeline
Some Truths about the East Med Natural Gas Pipeline #Energy

Speaking at the fourth tripartite Summit of Greece - Cyprus - Israel, the Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, characterised the Eastern...