| CYPRUS PROBLEM |Alpha News Live



You can never be certain about something you haven’t tried. But you’ll know very well the results of what you have tried. It’s been 20 years already since the 2004 Referendum. Enough time for a sober assessment. 

Indeed, after the referendum, the Republic of Cyprus was not abolished and the pseudo-state was not recognised, as some people predicted. Yes, Cyprus’ place in the EU was not challenged, nor was our country marginalised internationally. The Republic of Cyprus remains as it was, that is, half, and in a sense it is strengthening its position on the international scene, especially since it has now clearly joined the Western camp.

And what about the Cyprus problem? The Cyprus problem that we knew until 2004, in essence, does not exist. From the very next day things started to change dramatically, so that key aspects of the problem were substantially affected. And I explain:

  • Until 2004, the interventions made on Greek Cypriot properties in the occupied areas ranged from minimal to zero. Consequently, any arrangements for the return or repossession of properties had substance. Today, the facts have changed to such an extent that in most cases the only recourse will be to offer compensation to Greek Cypriot refugees rather than the return of their properties.
  • In the same vein, the maps prepared on the territory issue could have been implemented without any particular problems. Today, several of the areas included in these maps have been developed to such an extent that it will be difficult to include them in the areas earmarked for return (Morphou, Famagusta region, etc.)
  • In 2004, the Turkish Cypriot side was unable to complete the list of 50,000 foreign nationals (settlers) who would have been naturalised as Cypriot citizens. With a similar number afforded the Greek Cypriot side of course. Today, they talk about 200,000 settlers in the occupied areas and the Turkish Cypriot community complains that it has become a minority. 
  • In 2004, there was a strong possibility of turning Karpasia into a national park, which would have given the area and its inhabitants an autonomous status. Today, the area has been developed with marinas and hotels. 
  • In 2004, Varosha was among the immediate priorities. Today or tomorrow, it may well suffer the fate of the other regions.
  • In 2004, social upheaval in the Turkish Cypriot community was pushing developments towards a solution. Today, there is significant disengagement [from a solution] and – at the political level – a settling with the current situation.
  • In 2004, development of the occupied areas was limited. Today, it is booming and, worst of all, it is all in the hands of Turkish capital, which reigns supreme.
  • In 2004, Turkey had a motive to solve the Cyprus problem. And that was the EU. Today, that prospect does not exist and the Turks know it very well.

Given all this and much more that could be listed, even if the most ideal international conditions for a Cyprus settlement were to emerge, which for the time being is not on the horizon, the situation on the ground and with the people will never be the same again. 

As we said, you can never be certain about something you haven’t tried. But you will always know very well the results of what you have tried. As for the taste left in our mouths by what we tried, let everyone judge for themselves…

Source: ON THIS DAY…

Giorgos Kaskanis was born in 1964 in Nicosia, originally from Myrtou (Kyrenia). He studied journalism and worked as a political editor at newspapers and TV stations. As a journalist he followed and covered almost all efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem and published the book “When Spring comes, let the windows open” (2015). He currently works at the television station Alpha Cyprus as News Director.

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