The Greek Cypriot side must find a way to disentangle from the current track of ongoing reunification talks, where Turkey’s true aim is to gradually take over the whole of the island, Archbishop Chrysostomos has warned.
In his Christmas message, read out across churches in the south on December 25, the prelate entreated his flock to be vigilant of plans afoot to “Turkify” the island.
“Once again we are being dragged into treacherous paths, blindly following timetables and machinations that were determined and proclaimed, long ago, by the placeman of the invasion in Cyprus,” Chrysostomos said, evidently alluding latterly to Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.
“It is our duty, and our responsibility toward our three thousand-year-old history, to regroup and chart a way out of the dead-end,” he admonished.
The top cleric was particularly concerned that the Cyprus problem is no longer regarded as an issue of invasion and occupation, but rather relegated to a dispute between two communities.
Turkey’s ultimate objective, he said, is to abolish the Republic of Cyprus.
“The dissolution of the Republic is the only way for Turkey to rid itself of the UN Security Council resolutions [on Cyprus]. The new state that will emerge will be unprotected.”
He was referring to Turkey’s position that a federal Cyprus should arise not as an evolution of the current Republic, but as a new state altogether.
“If the new state wishes to take recourse to the United Nations or the European Union, it will require the consent of the Turkish Cypriot ‘constituent state’, and such consent will not be forthcoming. We shall, then, be hostages in the hands of Turkey.
“That is why we must absolutely not endorse such a solution,” he added.
The top cleric said also that Greek Cypriots must not agree to any Turkish settlers staying post-settlement.
“Our problem is not the return of some territories, nor a verbal disavowal by Turkey of its intervention rights.
“We ought to safeguard our state and cease to negotiate its dissolution. And this is where we must focus our efforts in the current round of talks which are now commencing and which do not portend well for our side.”