| Cyprus Problem |Alithia


This post is also available in: ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΑ (GREEK) TÜRKÇE (TURKISH)

The Cyprus problem as a bicommunal dispute was created in 1964, when the Greek Cypriot side deprived the Turkish Cypriot community of political equality. Ever since inter-communal negotiations began in 1967, and up until the Crans Montana conference in 2017, agreement between the two sides always hit a wall when it came to political equality. After talks collapsed in 2017, Ankara adopted the position that the opportunity to reach a federal solution had been lost, since the Greek Cypriots reject the political equality of the Turkish Cypriot community and refuse to share anything with the Turkish Cypriots. Ankara made sure to remove Akinci from the Turkish Cypriot leadership and to substitute him with Tatar, with whom they had agreed to put an end to [the pursuit of] political equality and a federal solution, putting forth the demands for sovereign equality and two states. They framed it following a disjunctive logic, “since you do not accept political equality, then we claim sovereign equality”.

The poor British High Commissioner, Stephen Lilly, whose term of office in Nicosia also came to an end marred by the invincible rejectionists, dared to speak up. The Turkish side, he said, is claiming sovereign equality because political equality is being refused, and he therefore called on us to accept political equality if we are to be spared sovereign equality…

Yesterday [February 23], Mr Tatar said he told Nikos Christodoulides that a federation was discussed for 550 years, but that discussion was now over. “The basis for the resumption of talks must be sovereign equality” now, he said. Journalists asked Christodoulides if he would accept sovereign equality as a precondition for the resumption of talks, and he said that “the position of the G/C side on this issue as expressed in the past continues to be valid, and in no case can the recognition of sovereign equality be accepted.”

When will Mr Christodoulides decide to articulate the two words, “political equality”? When will he give Tatar the only answer, to raise the only possible barrier to the imminent danger of two states? He is capable of reciting Homer’s Odyssey, referencing the United Nations, the European Union, the UN framework and European principles, resolutions, agreements, decisions and injunctions, but he is incapable of uttering those two words. Coincidence?

In its most recent resolution (31/1/2023), the UN Security Council makes clear that it remains committed to the agreed solution framework “based on a bicommunal, bizonal federation with political equality, including paragraph 4 of resolution 716 (1991)”. Coincidence?


Pambos Charalambous was born in Larnaca. He studied journalism in Athens, where he also worked in newspapers during his studies. Since 1982, he has been working at the newspaper "Alithia" as editor, editor-in-chief and director. He has a daily column and has been writing articles continuously for 40 years, apart from the period 2013-2018 when he was director of the Press Office of president Nicos Anastasiades. Their collaboration was terminated due to his disagreement with president Anastasiades' handling of the Cyprus issue.

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