Interesting how the Cyprus talks are being held in Switzerland. Switzerland is a good case study of how a united Cyprus could come to fruition.
Switzerland has one nationality “Swiss” one national anthem, one flag and 4 official languages. German is spoken by 70 per cent of the people, French 22 per cent, Italian 8 per cent and Romansh by 0.5 per cent of the population.
Switzerland borders, Germany, France and Italy but the independent Swiss do not go around saying they are German, Italian or French they simply say they are Swiss. The Swiss don’t go around waving German, French or Italian flags or playing their national anthems or running to Germany, France or Italy to seek advice on every matter. (There is a lesson here)
The idea of a united independent Cyprus has merit. One nationality “Cypriot” one national anthem, a new flag, 2 official languages and a united Army for all Cypriots to protect and fight for Cyprus, or better still neutrality. A united Cyprus could also apply for NATO membership what better security guarantee would you need by being an EU/NATO state.
Unless the Greek and Turkish speaking Cypriots can move way from waving Greek and Turkish flags and playing the national anthems of Greece and Turkey and taking orders from Athens and Ankara these talks will go nowhere. There needs to be a change in the mindset that we are all “Cypriots” regardless of what language we speak. Do we say that everyone who speaks English is English?
So what is the other alternative?
Let’s look at map of Ireland, surrounded by sea and yet the Christian/secular Irish cannot unite as one for many reasons. If the Cypriot talks fail then formalise the two-state solution. Today we have a Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland we have the same in Cyprus since 1974 but it is not formalised. Interesting how the international community is not pushing the two Irelands to unite. Turkey has also threatened to annex Northern Cyprus if no deal is done.
Let’s have a referendum and finally end this madness of ongoing talks since 1974. Do we want a united Cyprus or a formalised two state solution?
GK Georgiou, Australia