Cyprus Mail
CM Regular ColumnistCyprus TalksOpinion

The Morphou charade set for a permanent run

Morphou unlikely now to be returned

By Loucas Charalambous

THIS time every August, the mayor of occupied Morphou Andreas Pittas drafts a petition and, accompanied by a few others, visit the embassies of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, handing it to embassy employees.

This annual activity is an emphatic demonstration of our limitless hypocrisy, stupidity and irrationality, the key features that have marked our handling of the Cyprus problem and led us to the position we are in today.

This year, Pittas and his entourage’s first stop was the presidential palace. There, the deputy government spokesman assured them that “the president would not accept, nor would he agree to any settlement if the town of Morphou is not returned. Without Morphou there is no settlement.”

I really like the threatening tone of our political dwarfs who keep saying that if this or that does not happen we will not accept a settlement. They have been setting conditions for 50 years now, always employing an attitude of vindictiveness that verges on the triumphant.

It’s as if it is Turkey that would suffer from the lack of a settlement and we are punishing Turkey by rejecting an agreement. It’s as if it is our army that occupying half of Turkey and we were sending settlers to Asia Minor and buying off the properties of Turks. And of course Tayyip Erdogan must be having a good laugh at us thinking, may Allah help you never to accept a settlement.

But why did the Morphites go to the presidential palace to give their petition. We should be fair on President Anastasiades. He may have committed countless blunders, but if Morphou is still under Turkish control – and it looks like it will remain so forever – it is not his fault.

It is Nicolas Papadopoulos, Omirou, Perdikis and Lillikas that Morphites should be taking their petition to. They were the people who urged them to vote the ‘heroic no’ in 2004 and thus leave Morphou in Turkish hands. Had they listened to Anastasiades and voted in favour of the plan, Morphou would have been under Greek Cypriot control for the last seven years since October 24, 2007.

That is why Mayor Pittas and his entourage should leave aside the silliness, hypocrisy and crocodile tears for the loss of Morphou and look at who is to blame for the fact that “today we count 40 years of illegal Turkish occupation of our town”. He said this after handing over his petition to the US embassy, adding that “in these 40 years we are counting Turkish intransigence, we are counting Turkish provocativeness.”

This is complete nonsense. We gave away Morphou. Had he been sincere, he would have started counting from 2007 and would have said, “in these seven years we are counting our stupidity, because if we had agreed to take back Morphou in 2004 when it was offered to us, instead of uttering the ‘resounding no’, we would not be touring the embassies today with our petition. It serves us right that we lost it.” This is what Pittas should be saying instead of participating in this theatre outside the embassies every year.

I said that Morphou has probably been lost forever and I need to back up my claim. I do not know if Pittas has read the comments by Turkey’s minister for water resources about the plans for the distribution of the water that would be brought to the north from Turkey. He said that half the quantity would be supplied to all municipalities while the other half would be used for the irrigation of the Morphou plain.

Under the Annan plan, this plain – from Limnitis to Larnaka Lapithou on the Pentadakytlos range – with the exception of a narrow strip in the north giving Turkish Cypriots access to Lefka, would have been returned to us.

I just don’t think the Turks are ready to flood the Morphou plain with water and then give it to us. It is looking more likely that even the grandchildren of Pittas’ grandchildren will be passing by the embassies every August to deliver their petition.

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