Turkish Cypriot NGOs are poised to withdraw their support for Cyprus Negotiations

Monday 16th  April 2012:   As part of a collective of over 140 NGOs worldwide, the attached statement will be issued to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon ahead of his report publication to the UN Security Council regarding the Cyprus negotiations process.Your Excellency,

Over 140 Turkish and Turkish Cypriot non-government and civil society organizations globally have now collectively undersigned this statement as listed in Addendum A.   Up until now, we have given our full support to the two leaders involved in negotiating a mutually acceptable compromise settlement in Cyprus.

Regrettably, it is only too clear that the “Cypriot-led process”, which started over three years ago under UN auspices with the aim of constructing a federation-based solution, has not reaped the results for which most Turkish and Greek Cypriots had hoped.

We are hugely disappointed at what appears to be another missed opportunity to resolve this interminable conflict.   This failure again leaves the Turkish Cypriot population, with little hope, and facing continuing isolation from the EU and wider world.

It appears obvious that the Greek Cypriot leader’s side is preventing progress to reach a meaningful settlement by dismissing the Turkish Cypriot sides bridging proposals that are made within the UN set parameters, in order not to make the required progress.

Regrettably, it is only too clear that the “Cypriot-led process”, which started over three years ago under UN auspices with the aim of constructing a federation-based solution, has not reaped the results for which most Cypriots had hoped. It is appears obvious that the Greek Cypriot leader’s side is preventing progress to reach a meaningful settlement by dismissing the Turkish Cypriot sides bridging proposals that are made within the UN set parameters, in order not to make the required progress.

Like many other observers, we have reluctantly concluded that it is now impossible for an agreement to be reached by 1st July 2012, when the Greek Cypriot led administration of Southern Cyprus (representing only the Southern part of the island) takes over the European Union Presidency.  We have therefore reluctantly concluded that it will be time to face reality and accept that the present negotiations, too, have failed.  The majority of Turkish Cypriots have no faith and have given up hope of there being any negotiated settlement in the foreseeable future.  There is simply no incentive for the Greek Cypriot administration to accept a federation- based settlement, since their rejection of the Annan Plan in 2004, and the EU’s decision to admit them as full members of the EU without a settlement.

We believe the time has come to seriously look at a two independent and sovereign state solution.

Since 1964 there have been many occasions when UN involvement in Cyprus was, as often as not, prompted by a need to stop the slaughter of Turkish Cypriots by their Greek Cypriot compatriots.  The international community has proposed a number of initiatives to assist in formulating an arrangement acceptable to both sides; including: the 1978 Anglo-American- Canadian plan; the 1985/86 Perez De Cuellar Draft Framework Agreements; 1992-94 Gali set of ideas; and more recently, the 2004 Annan plan.  At the heart of each formula was a bi-zonal federal structure which consistently resulted in failure.

Evidence shows that the primary responsibility for the deadlock lies on the Greek Cypriot leadership’s side.  They have neither the incentive nor the willingness for compromise, given that the international community bestowed recognition on the Greek Cypriot administration as the sole Government of Cyprus, with all its multiple associated benefits.  This has resulted in the loss of our shared sovereignty, political equality, international isolation and the loss of human rights.

We no longer wish to make further concessions and demand an immediate lifting of all embargoes and the unconditional reinstatement of our rights – as so many diverse international voices, including EU leaders, had stated should be done immediately after the failure of the Annan Plan in 2004.

Why, Your Excellency, will the International Community not recognize that Turkish Cypriots were rescued from the threat of total annihilation, that Turkish Cypriots too disappeared at regular intervals before 1974 and in the aftermath of the Greek coup d’état that year, that they also have lost land and have had their religious sites and shrines desecrated. Why does the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights extend only to Greek Cypriots?

Greek Cypriot refusal to accept that Turkish Cypriots too have a right to independence and  equality  in  a  bi-zonal  federated  state  in  practice  means  that  the  only  arrangement acceptable to the Greek Cypriot leadership is one that leads to a Greek Cypriot Cyprus in which Turkish Cypriots are lesser citizens.  Your Excellency, that is no basis on which to achieve the peaceful and long-lasting solution for which we all, including the undersigned non-governmental and civil society organizations, long for.

A Two State Solution initiative must now be the only serious viable option with equal recognition of both Parliaments as the sovereign authority in the respective parts of the island of Cyprus.      We  therefore  request  Your  Excellency’s  indulgence  in  embracing  the  following alternative Plan until an agreed solution found.

1.         The Turkish Cypriot people have the right to exercise all their human rights, including the right to life, right to a family life, and right to a future, now without being over-shadowed by the refusal of the Greek Cypriot leadership to accept our existence, equality and rights in Cyprus.

2.         The UN should acknowledge, facilitate and promote a Two State Solution based on the UN Charter for the right of Self Determination which currently is afforded to almost all other Peoples of the World accept Turkish Cypriots

3.         The Greek Cypriots usurped the government in 1963 by ejecting the Turkish Cypriots from office and the UN unlawfully bestowed unilateral power and recognition to the Greek Cypriots.  The UN should now give the Turkish Cypriots the same rights afforded in the 1959/60 agreements.

4.         The UN Secretary General should ask the UN Security Council to revisit and revise any and all resolutions that have prevented equality and distorted a fair and lasting peace process.

5.         The  UN  should  remove  all  obstacles  that  prevent  the  Turkish  Cypriot  people  from achieving, equity and equality, both economically and politically in accordance with their Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948.

6.         The UN should honour the promises and reassurances given before and after the 2004 Annan Plan referendum.

7.         The UN should establish a Joint Council of Cyprus comprising equal numbers of Turkish and Greek Cypriots to bring forward a joint resolution of problems relating to missing persons and of ownership of property and heritage sites.

8.         The UN should make provision for negotiation and delivery of reparation according to resolutions agreed by the Joint Council of Cyprus.

9.         The UN should implement and provide initial oversight procedures for direct flights and normal international trading provision including imports and exports.

10.       The Joint Council of Cyprus should also have authority to bring forward proposals to be legislated and implemented by both Parliaments for the common good of all the people of Cyprus.

Your Excellency, when the current process comes to its natural conclusion on 1st July 2012, nearly 50 years on from the events of 1963, the UN must also re-assess and accept the de facto status quo on the island that there are two independent states and two peoples.  The UN should revisit its past Cyprus resolutions and review its peacekeeping operation on the island by the Charter of the UN.

Yours sincerely,

Mr. Cetin Ramadan

Plan B Platform

Joint UK Coordinator, 34-35 D`Arblay Street, London W1F 8EY, United Kingdom

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