Cyprus Mail
Opinion

Paying the price for the lack of good sense in 2004

National Council

By Loucas Charalambous

THE FAILED coup attempt in Turkey on July 15 provided our rejectionist politicians and journalists with a wonderful opportunity to give a demonstration of their stupidity by claiming events in the neighbouring country ‘vindicated’ them.

Politicians, self-declared analysts and journalists were asking the same questions. “How we can solve the Cyprus problem with this country? How could we trust Turkey and Erdogan?”

The funny thing is they do not realise that recent events make a mockery of their own arguments. The people who blocked the settlement in 2004 and left the problem unsolved are the last to have a right to gloat about developments vindicating them.

The exact opposite is correct. If we had agreed to a settlement in 2004, our smart politicians and journalists would not now be worrying over whether we would have suffered the consequences of a coup that succeeded.

Government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides would not have worried either. I heard him saying that on the night of the coup he was at the National Guard HQ with the minister of defence and the House president and supposedly decided that certain measures would be taken (what measures?), because they did not know how the 40,000 Turkish troops in Cyprus would react.

None of these people would have had to worry if we had been sensible in 2004, because there would not have been 40,000 Turkish troops in Cyprus now. Cyprus would have been a unified state and truly independent rather than an island with a ceasefire line running across it and Turkish troops stationed in its northern half. Surely we would not have been too concerned about whether we would be affected by the actions of the Turkish army.

Nor would the super-patriots of DIKO, who rushed to announce that “the latest developments in Turkey emphatically prove that in front of us we have a country that is untrustworthy, undemocratic and repressive,” be gripped by anxiety now.

If we had solved our problem and had no Turkish army here, we would not much care whether Turkey was “untrustworthy, undemocratic and repressive”. We would not have had a front-line with Turkey as we have today thanks to the resounding ‘no’ of DIKO and the other super-patriots.

Whereas now DIKO is very worried and tells us that because of events in Turkey, “the National Council should have been in continuous session in order to study events and carve out a new strategy for the Cyprus problem, but also a plan for dealing with possible scenarios.” And what “new strategy” would the ridiculous National Council, which would have been studying events in a “continuous session”, have carved out? Would it have declared war on Erdogan?

Nor would President Anastasiades’ strategic advisor Eleni Stavrou, recruited by the CyBC to analyse the situation, have reason to worry if we had a settlement. Stavrou who impressed the CyBC presenter by declaring, “I have a degree in war studies,” warned that we could not solve our problem with Erdogan.

She surprised me because this time she forgot to suggest we close the “south opening” of the Dardanelles. Strange this, because this would have been the ideal time to close it, with the Turks fighting among themselves and being vulnerable, as the former DISY deputy Christos Rotsas reminded us.

Anastasiades convened the Council of Geostrategic Studies as soon as he returned from his trip to Mongolia and I assume the war studies graduate, Stavrou, was present at the meeting. What we have not found out was whether she submitted her proposal for closing the “southern opening” of the Straits now there was a perfect opportunity.

I also appreciated the moving attempt by our president and our other political wizards to admonish the Turkish Cypriots to “recognise the dangers” they faced. Suddenly, our big-hearted politicians felt sorry for the Turkish Cypriots and are advising them to be careful of Turkey. We saved ourselves, and now we will save the Turkish Cypriots from Turkey. We really are clowns.

 

 

 

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