Fourteen years have already passed since the twin crime of July 1974 was committed and thirty-five years since the declaration of the illegal pseudo-state. We are still resisting. We persist in waging our struggle. We do not give in and yield. We declare out loud: Cyprus belongs to its people!

How many years will our footsteps stop at checkpoints?

How long will we still be refugees in our own country?

How long will we still be visitors to our own homes?

How long will we still live a half-life in half a country?

How long will we still live with the threat of partition looming?

“A new round of talks must create the prospect for a successful conclusion. A new failure will undoubtedly be serious for our national cause,” said Mr. Anastasiades in October 2012 when he was a candidate for President.

He overwhelmed the people with promises for a more active role of the European Union, negotiators and cross-negotiations and the tabling of a plan for an overall solution of the Cyprus problem and much more. When all this proved to be unfeasible and due to his handlings the Turkish vessel “Barbaros” was roaming around the southern shores of Cyprus, he decided to change course. Belatedly, he was forced to accept the Christofias-Talat convergences to save the situation. The assumption by Mr. Akinci of the leadership of the Turkish Cypriot community and his statement in favour of the continuation of the negotiation from the point where they had remained, created a new conjuncture for a solution to the Cyprus problem.

Back then we subsequently entered a new phase with Mr. Anastasiades’ headlines rejuvenating aspirations among the people, as if we would soon be going back to Famagusta and that the “green line” would be abolished. Talks took place both inside and outside Cyprus. Today, after almost six years of Mr. Anastasiades’ handlings, his prophecy in 2013 might become a reality. We are possibly heading towards fateful developments on the Cyprus problem.

Undoubtedly, Turkey bears the main responsibility for the fact that the Cyprus problem has remained unresolved for 44 years. Unquestionably, Turkey has been seeking for decades complete control over the Turkish Cypriot community at all levels.

The question for us however is: how do we make it difficult for Turkey to fulfill this goal?

How do we manage to persuade both the international community and the Turkish Cypriot community that we are committed to what we have agreed on and that we are one step ahead in the efforts for a solution of the Cyprus problem?

Regrettably, Mr. Anastasiades’ handlings leave the Greek Cypriot side exposed to serious dangers. As we very often hear leading government and DISY officials asking us “What did you want the President to do that he didn’t do on the Cyprus problem?” we reply the following:

We state that he should have continued the talks from where they remained during the Christofias governance; that he should have reaffirmed the Christofias- Talat joint communiqué; that he should have accepted these convergences from the very beginning; that he shouldn’t have left Mont Peleran 1 on pretexts; that he should have taken a clear position at Crans Montana, not put half-baked and irresponsibly ideas such as decentralized federation on the table that he himself can’t even explain; that he should convince the international community that he knows what he wants and how to achieve it; that he should have acted with consistency, determination, methodically and above all he should have a vision for a reunited Cyprus.

Unfortunately, instead he wasted time engaging in tactical games and maneuvers, contradictions, inconsistencies, regressions and retractions, and that’s how we have arrived to today’s situation, that is to a prolonged stalemate.

If we insist on all stating this, it is because Turkey had taken advantage of similar circumstance in November 1983 to declare the illegal pseudo-state (in the occupied areas). Using the stalemate on the Cyprus problem as an excuse, Denktash silenced every progressive voice of resistance within the Turkish Cypriot community. He eradicated every force that could resist his plans. In full co-ordination with the military establishment of Ankara, he set in motion the proclamation of the so-called “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”. Despite the fact that since the beginning of 1983 the UN General Assembly had adopted a Resolution demanding the withdrawal of all the occupying troops and proclaiming the full sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus, Ankara proceeded to fulfill its goals, provocatively disregarding the calls issued by the international organization. A few days before 15th November1983 the occupation forces suspended all communications in the occupied areas. Denktash proceeded to this secessionist action only after receiving Ankara’s order in writing to declare independence on the night of 14th November.

We say all this because anyone who has some elementary knowledge of the history of the Cyprus problem knows that every setback has consequences for us.

The recent opening of the checkpoints is important. AKEL supports the opening of other check points too, such as at Kokkina and Pyroi. But the crucial point is to continue the efforts to find a solution through the talks. Until now, the UN Secretary-General was calling for the talks to continue from where they had remained and to be based on the Guterres Framework. Now with the terms of reference something more is being asked. Namely that we should agree that we have the same perception of the convergences that have been agreed; the same interpretation of the points of the Secretary-General’s framework; the same perception of any new ideas. Apart from this, we have to agree that we have the same final goal, as well as that we should agree on how to get there.

For that reason, developments are now more than critical. If we do not work methodically, with consistency, sincerity and commitment to the agreed solution there is a danger that we will not arrive at a conclusion as regards the terms of reference. Such a development will pose enormous dangers for our country, especially if the Greek Cypriot side too will be held responsible for the collapse (of the effort).

Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots will be able to be optimistic about the future in the land that gave birth to them only when they manage to live together within the framework of a bizonal, bicommunal federation; within a reunified state with a single sovereignty, a single nationality and a single international personality where it will be safeguarded that the two communities will live together and cooperate in a united and independent homeland, a continuation of the Republic of Cyprus.

This certainly cannot be guaranteed by any kind of a solution, but only by a solution that will put an end to the occupation and the colonialization (of the occupied areas).

A solution that will restore the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and unity of the Republic of Cyprus; a solution based on United Nations resolutions, High-Level Agreements, International and European Law.

A solution that will demilitarize Cyprus and exclude any guarantee or intervention rights in the internal affairs of our country by any foreign powers.

A solution that will reunite the land, the people, the institutions and the economy within the context of a bicommunal, bizonal federation with political equality as set out in the United Nations texts. Such a solution must be put to a referendum, once agreed at the negotiating table.

On Monday that has just passed, two checkpoints as I have said previously opened and this development sparked new debates, especially in social media.

We must at long last realize that Turkification isn’t threatening us because checkpoints are being opened.

Cyprus will not be Turkified if the Cyprus problem is solved correctly.

Cyprus will be Turkified if we cannot solve the Cyprus problem.

It will be Turkified if we are left with partition; if we accept as the narrative “let the Turkish Cypriots live apart from us on one side, and we one on the other” as the solution to the Cyprus problem.

If such a development were to happen, we will have borders with Turkey in our very own country. We will cohabitate on such a small island – on the one hand the Republic of Cyprus, and on the other a Turkish formation, which will be loading our island with troops and settlers until it sinks. Those advocating such a narrative are openly or covertly promoting partition.

However, they don’t tell the people that such a development will bring so many settlers to Cyprus who at some point will inevitably search for a living space in the free areas.

They don’t tell us that we will be living with the permanent threat of war looming in our very own homeland.

It is naive to believe that without a solution of the Cyprus problem we will simply continue go on with our lives as we are doing today. We will be living on quicksand and we won’t know when it will suck us in.

As AKEL we declare with all the strength of our soul that we will never compromise with such a scenario.

We will continue to struggle for the liberation and reunification of our homeland. For an honorable compromise with our Turkish Cypriot compatriots – not with the occupation, nor with the powerful interests. Everyone must bear this very well in mind.

This land is ours.

We don’t divide it up.

We don’t put it up for sale.

It is built with our own sweat. It is founded through our struggles. It is watered with the sacrifices and blood shed by our people. We do not give it away to anyone.

We assert it and we shall be victorious!

No to the occupation – No to partition!

Nothing can prevent peace in Cyprus!

 

Speech by the General Secretary of AKEL A. Kyprianou at the meeting to denounce the 1983 declaration of the illegal pseudo-state

“ORFEAS” adjacent to the UN buffer zone, Nicosia

AKEL C.C. Press Office, 15 November 2018, Nicosia

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