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Cyprus Elections

by Upstate NY Wed May 24th, 2006 at 06:05:13 PM EST

What has changed in Cyprus in the last few months?

Not much.

Yesterday's election didn't change things either. In fact, the numbers break down almost exactly as they did in 2004. sure, the most popular party on the island (AKEL-Communist) received the most votes. They were down 3% from the mid 30's in 2004. The parties on the right received the same amount as in 2004, and the governing middle of the road DIKO party received 17%, up from 14%. DIKO and AKEL have a coalition going which exists, obviously, at AKEL's behest. Because they have a common stance on the Annan Plan solution for Cyprus (they're against it), it stands to reason that DIKO's additional 3% came from AKEL's loss of 3%. Net effect? Nada.

From the front page - whataboutbob


A majority of southern Cypriots favors the rejection of the Annan Plan by 3 to 1. Still. A majority also favors a solution based on bizonal communities under full EU integration (i.e. the acquis communitaire applies). Small small minorities exist that want solution under the Annan plan (which are widely perceived to favor Turkey) and that don't want a solution (probably for racist reasons). Of the 25% who favor the Annan plan, a large chunk of this group actually owns land in the north, so they have a direct economic reason for settling matters now.

Not much has changed since the Cyprus issue was diaried last and discussed in February. Here's the last discussion on the impasse of the Customs Protocol with Turkey. Not much has changed:

http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2006/2/27/71240/5983#2

Also here:

http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2006/1/25/16195/9713

The only thing that might have changed is that the President of Cyprus agreed with Annan that technical committees should be started which bring the Turkish Cypriots up to speed with EU laws and begin workable cooperation between the two sides in the interim. This relieved some of the PR pressure off the Greek side. The Cypriot President also newly proposed an EU run port in the North (rejected again). Both Turkey and Cyprus repeatedly make the same proposals, which are rejected by each side again and again. Oddly enough, they do this because the EU has a short attention span, and each new iteration is treated as a new idea in the international press. And meanwhile the hard work is pushed off to the side.

As well, as we approach autumn, certain EU critics (Ollie Rehn) are demanding that Turkey pass the customs protocol as it agreed to do last year. Turkey is refusing.

Prediction: a trainwreck in Turkey's EU aspirations to come this fall.

Display:
So what's your predictions? Will Turkey open up the ports? Or, if not, then what?

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Tue May 23rd, 2006 at 06:54:22 AM EST
Turkey will not pass the customs protocol. Right now, the head of Turkey's military, Ozkok, is encouraging thousands of protesters who are heaping abuse on Erdogan's government over the murder of the judge last week. The protesters are calling Erdogan's party, "Islamist Murderers," and the military is goading them on. In a country divided between a religious lower class and a secular higher class, this will present tensions, and it will make every move by Erdogan a very risky one.

Inside Turkey, outside turkey, everyone is pessimistic, and even in Greece the politicans are being asked to revisit their positive stance regarding Turkish accession to the EU.

This does NOT help matters any, and it has the potential of completely obstructing Turkish accession:

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000085&sid=aEHf3VxNDzgU&refer=europe

That is from this morning. This is from yesterday:

http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_columns_100031_22/05/2006_69973

Kathimerini is usually very pro-West, pro-USA, conservative.

by Upstate NY on Tue May 23rd, 2006 at 09:52:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Greek government (and the Turkish government) are playing down the incident, although I guarantee you that should the Greek fighter pilot be found dead, there will be an uproar here in Greece for obvious reasons...

Kathimerini is conservative, sure, but with not a few columnists veering towards the left. And in recent years I wouldn't really describe it as pro-American anymore...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Tue May 23rd, 2006 at 01:15:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Right. How about we kick Cyprus out of the EU and try again? We seem to have fatally compromised our ability to bring pressure to bear on the Greek Cypriots.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue May 23rd, 2006 at 10:00:13 AM EST
I think we may come to see the 2004 expansion as one of the biggest mistakes the EU ever made. Bigger than letting the UK in </snark>

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 23rd, 2006 at 10:07:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nothing was a bigger mistake than letting the UK in...

Just imagine, no UK in the EU, no Metatone on Eurotrib, it's starting to sound like a utopian paradise already.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Tue May 23rd, 2006 at 01:11:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What did they do wrong?
by Upstate NY on Tue May 23rd, 2006 at 10:07:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Be a side in the conflict.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue May 23rd, 2006 at 10:11:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, so are Iranians, Iraqis, Kosovars, Palestinians, Kurds, Bosnians, etc. They are as wrong as all these people, under that definition.

Here's the Annan Plan: Turkey will keep 40,000 troops on the island for 20 years. Greek Cypriots will not be allowed free travel in the north, nor will they be allowed to purchase property there. That privilege is reserved for Latvians, Poles, Lithuanians, Luxembourgers and all other EU nationalities. Greek cypriots will not be allowed to work in the north. 1/3rd to a half of Greek cypriots will receive a form of compensation for their lost propoerties in the north (at 1974 land values). Greek Cypriots will provide the funds for the reconstruction of the north.

Here, please sign on the dotted line.

Cyprus would settle yesterday if the Annan Plan were re-presented and it was only moderately in accord with EU laws. Will Turkey ever make a single concession on Cyprus?

by Upstate NY on Tue May 23rd, 2006 at 10:20:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't you think the Greek cypriots should pay some price for starting a coup in 1974, and also Greece for the role of the Greek junta? The Turkish cypriots seem like the opressed minority here. Maybe someone other than Turkey [which is also far from angelic] could be proposed to guarantee their safety?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 23rd, 2006 at 10:26:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The price is paid. 300,000 ethnically cleansed from the north. 2,000 murdered. The country split. What more price needs to be paid? Who is oppressing the Turks in the north?

Christopher Hitchens and Claire Palley present a pretty good picture of all things doing on Cyprus. The coup nitwits--which sought the oust the longtime President of Cyprus, Makarios, as the duly and democratically elected leader--were all trained at Langley, backed by the UK military, which was notified of the coup plan far ahead of its taking place.

Have a look at this article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4632080.stm

In my view, the only reason the Turks in the North are portrayed as oppressed is because of the dominance of Western corporate media that wants to appease Turkey.

Do you really think the Turkish cypriots need protection from the Greek cypriots? In the south, the Greek Cypriots are saying they need protection from the Turks.

by Upstate NY on Tue May 23rd, 2006 at 10:46:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What I was trying to say is that the Turkish Cypriots would become again the minority they were before 1974, and would have every reason to fear "enosis all over again".

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 23rd, 2006 at 11:01:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not really, Migeru, since for one, the Annan Plan that the Greek side agreed to in 2003 (Annan Plan 3, rejected by Turkey) allowed for a bizonal/bicommunal gov't, with strict control over the north given to the Turkish Cypriots, and even a Veto power over all government decisions.

One might argue that entry to the EU automatically creates "enosis" anyway, but no more so no less so than anything proposed in Annan Plan 3.

Claire Palley's book on Cyprus perfectly explains why the last Annan Plan was rigged against the southern side on purpose. This is a diplomatic debacle, nothing else.

by Upstate NY on Tue May 23rd, 2006 at 11:11:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
appease Turkey

An interesting choice of words.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue May 23rd, 2006 at 11:46:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And the word was chosen purposely.

After all, when the price of an Iraqi engagement is "Cyprus on a platter," as one diplomat put it, appeasement is probably the best word use to describe that transaction.

by Upstate NY on Tue May 23rd, 2006 at 12:29:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Appeasement when the offer is made by the agressor [in the Iraqi case]? That's even more interesting.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 23rd, 2006 at 12:33:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, this was an utterance heard by Claire Palley, a mediator from the UK, while she was working on the Cyprus issue. Let's face it, Turkey is a strong, big, very important country in a vary strategic location.
by Upstate NY on Tue May 23rd, 2006 at 12:39:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But to call a bribery by the UK to get Turkey to cooperate in an illegal war "appeasement of Turkey" is beyond the pail.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 23rd, 2006 at 12:42:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue May 23rd, 2006 at 12:44:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
oh, sorry, you mean Turkey asked for "cyprus on a platter"? I misunderstood.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 23rd, 2006 at 12:45:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You actually had it half right the first time. It wasn't a diplomat from Turkey who made the comment. It was an American diplomat who sought Turkey's approval in a quid pro quo for Cyprus. I'm not making this accusation. It's documented elsewhere, in Palley's book especially.

If you go to the UN's website, you'll find PDF documents which explain the state of the negotiations from 2001 on. In 2003, Annan himself shuttered the negotiations when the Greek Cypriots agreed to a plan that extracted mutual concessions from both Turkey and Cyprus, while Turkey rejected the plan. Annan, in that PDF on the UN webpage, heaps the blame and points the finger at Turkey and Turkish Cypriots for their intransigence.

Fast forward to the next round of negotations. What changed between Annan's 2003 document and the new Annan Plan which was, in the words of UK lawyer Palley, an abominable plan that contained no incentives for Cyprus, a plan that furthermore incorporated a few trojan horses that would dismember the island? You have to remember, both Turkey and Cyprus agreed (naively) to have Annan fashion the plan how he saw fit in return for the promise to hold a referendum. One wonders why Turkey would go along with this idea, a plan fashioned by the UN, the same UN which had passed resolutions denouncing Turkey's invasion of Cyprus (as well as other anti-Turkish resolutions). Cyprus went along with it probably out of trust for Annan after the last document Annan had written which blamed the Turkish Cypriot leader.

This is why when the thick Annan Plan was presented a few days before the referendum in 2004, the Greek Cypriots reacted with such shock and surprise. The Greek PM Karamanlis (of greece, not Cyprus), on a trip to the USA at the time, told George Bush that it was a faulty plan that stood absolutely "no chance" of passage.

It's very odd that all this "change" should take place with so much at stake. It's also very odd that Turkey would leave a national decision to international actors. After reading Palley's book and hearing diplomats openly mention the quid pro quo, I tended to believe the "beyond the pale" stuff, which is more or less how things happen on the international stage. Regarding Cyprus, this has been true, at least since 1974, and the truth of 1974 is just now coming out as the documents are being made open to the public. Even Kissinger's book is curiously deflective about his part in the events.

Ultimately, the people who had Annan's ear, and Annan himself, had the Cyprus problem solved, and they bungled it. It took a lot to turn a vast majority of Cypriots who favored a union in a bizonal/bicommunal state against that idea as it was represented in Annan Plan 5.

I still find the media's gloss on the rejection of the Annan Plan 5 remarkably curious and convenient, for certain powerful states, that is.

by Upstate NY on Tue May 23rd, 2006 at 02:09:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll add that the 300.000 cleansed from the North were the majority (80%) of the population. I would also note that the persons responsible for the coup in both Cyprus and Greece, were tried for treason and sentenced to very long jail terms (to death originally).

Makarios was the target of that coup BTW, not the T/C. And there is every indication that the coup was given the OK by the US State Dept. possibly with some sort of partition of the island in mind.

Having said all that, there were ultranationalist groups murderously active on both sides in the 1960s. There were T/C "protected enclaves". The G/C were more murderous, due to their numerical superiority. Both groups of nationalists attacked the communists who were trying to create a bicommunal base through the trade unions. In fact the presence of the Cypriot communists (AKEL) in government is as good an indication as any that there is no imminent danger to T/Cs. AKEL was originally inclined to support the Annan plan - but met with a huge resistance from its grassroots and in the end they hesitantly supported the "No" vote.

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Tue May 23rd, 2006 at 01:57:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The ethnic cleansing and partition of Cyprus reminds me a lot of what the Serbs did in Croatia in the early nineties - used reasonable worries about a nationalist government as an excuse to chop off a huge chunk of the country and create an ethnically pure puppet state. Of course that got rolled back a few years later, complete with reverse ethnic cleansing.
by MarekNYC on Tue May 23rd, 2006 at 02:04:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The odd thing is that such excuses and military adventures were all preplanned well in advance by multiple states.
by Upstate NY on Tue May 23rd, 2006 at 02:11:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The difference is - I think - that there was not one single region of any meaningful size on the island where the Turkish Cypriots were a majoriy. This created problems for Turkish nationalist ideas of partition (Taksim), which could only be resolved by total ethnic cleansing. In the Krajna case the Serbs were a majority in some of the area, no?

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Tue May 23rd, 2006 at 02:14:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In much of Krajina the Serbs did form a majority, but IIRC the Serbs took over a third of Croatia. They made up 12% of the population. A bit over half of them lived in the territories that came under Serb control which included both the historical Krajina (Serb majority) and other areas which had large Serb minorities.
by MarekNYC on Tue May 23rd, 2006 at 02:34:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, the historical Krajina was larger than the Serb-held areas.

Most of the non-Serb-majority areas taken over were in the North: along the Danube with connection to Serbia proper, and in the middle (though part of the latter areas were abadoned earlier). The bordered-on-Bosnia parts, where the bulk of the RSK population lived, didn't expand that much, except for the region west of Bihac, though just under 30% of the population there were Croats (and hunted away). On the other hand, Serbian troops did attempt to conquer much more areas after the initial breakout of the conflict, but withdrew or were fought back quickly.)

1981 census ethnic map (color-coded for percentage of Serbian-identifying population):

Wiki map of political boundaries before the Croatian reconquista:



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed May 24th, 2006 at 10:25:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They made up 12% of the population.

Actually, this is one of those nifty numbers whose meaning is rather vague. Another 2.2% identified as Yugoslavian, and then had to choose identity.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed May 24th, 2006 at 10:31:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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