Financial Mirror (Cyprus)
A new reality, the same problem
If the government needed any firmer example of where the island’s division was going, there were plenty of people involved in the non-existent peace process telling us the game’s up.
The reunification ship is being crushed by shifting ice that has frozen any move to rekindle Cyprus talks – not even the United Nations are willing to send out its envoys on such a treacherous mission.
Even if imbibed with the courage of pre-Victorian arctic explorers, no path will lead a search party to the abandoned base where politicians once sat to discuss a peaceful settlement.
Sending out scouting groups to find a way around the impervious deadlock is no longer an option the international community is willing to contemplate.
And with the island’s division now cut adrift into the darkness of distrust, hostility and acute suspicion, not even the shaman can muster a remedy.
Watching what Putin has done to Ukraine – annexing 15% of its territory through sham referendums, Erdogan will be calculating the political cost of doing similar in the occupied north.
Putin said what has happened is “emphasised in the principles of the United Nations”, calling it “selfdetermination of people”.
He declared the results “definitive” and the will of millions of people in Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, Luhansk and Donetsk to become Russians forever.
It was the price Ukrainians paid for pushing back the invader; Putin needed to gloss over his spectacularly unsuccessful war in Ukraine.
There has been resounding international condemnation of Russia’s highly illegal move, but the deed is done until it can be undone.
Turkey has ensured the north is dependent on it for financial and political support asserting its influence on the affairs of Turkish Cypriots.
Economic crises in the north only ensure that Turkish Cypriots are glued tighter to Turkey’s orbit while the Greek Cypriots hope for a revolution.
Erdogan has signalled a sea change in policy on Cyprus by daring to defy UN resolutions by sending bulldozers into fenced-off Varosha and ordering Turkish naval ships to enter Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone.
Ankara has no qualms about upping the ante – as it has declared Cyprus reunification a closed chapter in an out-ofprint history book.
Emphasis has shifted to how different Greek and Turkish Cypriots are – not what binds them together in a common homeland.
The new mantra is “two states, two people, new reality”.
And the longer Turkey recites this tune; the more people will begin to believe it because the alternative is stagnation and inertia.
Even the government is finding it hard to keep up the pretence that it can pick up where it left off five years ago at Crans Montana.
So much ice has gathered since then that anybody revisiting that debacle suffers severe frostbite.
If it needed to be said – two respected voices entered the discussion this week to tell Cypriots they were living on borrowed time at unpayable rates.
The irrepressible Noam Chomsky underlined that while Cypriots were unnecessarily carving up their island, there was a larger danger looming – climate change.
Cyprus is in a climate crisis hot spot where the East Med is boiling over and will become inhabitable in another 50 years.
He warned the world has bigger problems to contain than trying to persuade Cypriots to get along – we are slowly killing the planet.
Philosopher Chomsky gave us the big picture view, but there was too much detail.
Although the world is unlikely to end tomorrow, UN official Colin Stewart knocked on the door to tell us the Cyprus problem was a flickering candle in the wind.
Stewart conveyed his “extreme concern” at the Cyprus Forum that a mutually-agreed reunification formula is fading and will not be available much longer.”
There was more: “If present trends continue, the idea of a mutually agreeable settlement will soon become unviable.
“So we are running out of time and cannot afford to simply wait until the next time the two sides are ready to talk.”
No hidden meaning in those words, but there is a mathematical certainty they will not be headed or acted upon.
Nevermind, Erdogan has vowed to send more troops and equipment to bolster his occupation army in retaliation at the US lifting a decades-old arms embargo on Cyprus.
And so it continues…