With upcoming peace negotiations in October I have to wonder if anything will come out of this. Cyprus has long had de facto partition, and as it stands at the moment the ‘TRNC’ would never get recognised. If after so many years the two sides cannot agree to a bi-zonal and bi-communal federation then the time is approaching when a real partition should be negotiated, with perhaps a land for recognition swap (Varosha) If the two sides do not want to live together or either side’s goals are unattainable, then instead of being forced into a new and unworkable marriage they should agree to a divorce on friendly terms.
As it stands the ROC controls 60% of the area. According to the 2011 Cypriot census it has a population of 838.897 of which 659.350 are Greek Cypriots, the remainder 179.547 are foreigners. The Turkish Cypriots control 37% of the island and according to the 2011 TRNC census there are 294.906 of which half are mainland Turks.
I am concerned that 300.000 Turks plus 180.000 foreigners may well put the Greek Cypriots in a minority situation in the future regarding reunification. The Turkish plan will be to outnumber the Greek Cypriots with their higher birthrates and by secretly bringing in more mainland Turks to change the demographics. There is also the power sharing agreement which will not work as the Turkish Cypriots are controlled by Ankara.
There are three models of islands surrounded by sea with two sovereign states. On the island of Hispaniola there is Haiti and the Dominican Republic. In Ireland there is the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland and there is also the newly independent state of East Timor of which West Timor is a part of Indonesia. The international community is certainly not pushing the two Irelands to unite.
The Cypriot government needs to have a referendum on this issue among Greek Cypriots. Do you want us to proceed with reunification talks or do we negotiate a land for recognition deal?
George Kostas Georgiou, Australia