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Cyprus Problem | Both Sides in Entrenched Positions

Cyprus Problem – Both Sides in Entrenched Positions

Yes, it is a little like trench warfare, with the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot sides each holding onto fundamental positions and refusing to budge. It is also a little like playing poker, when two players face a large pot of money, with weak hands but each refuse to give in. It is also like an argument between two pre-school children. For all this, a divided Cyprus is doing neither side any good.

On the face of it, the south should have the better hand. They are the official rulers of the island, a title which seems to have gone to the heads of the politicians there. It seem they expect the negotiations to confirm this. In fact, they demand this as a pre-condition of the talks. They cannot see that the north don’t want to ever be ruled by Greek Cypriots again. Plain and simple, the north want a system in Cyprus where extremists on either side can no longer cause blood to run in the streets.

In a Unified Cyprus, Greek Cypriots would rule Turkish Cypriots as a majority vote government no matter what the final negotiated document may say. If this meant peace then I’m sure Turkish Cypriots would accept it, but that’s not going to happen. If the north and the south were to be operating with transparent democracy then it might happen, but they aren’t. The two governments are struggling with basic human rights in the property sector, for example, and I’m sure there are many other sectors where individuals are being abused by individuals who feel that politics is a ticket for personal wealth creation and cronyism.

Two separate states may mean two sets of imperfect governments but at least no one can whip up extremist sympathies by saying that one group of Cypriots is abusing the other, it’ll just be the usual interfamily squabbles. That’s why, in my opinion, the two sides should be forever be kept apart to run their own lives as they do now. The 2004 Annan Plan will be seen as the last opportunity for a Unified Cyprus because since then Turkish Cypriots have come to see that they can run their own government as well as the Greek Cypriots have run their government since then. In other words they have both made a mess of it, but at least it is their own mess.

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