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Media Watch 2004

03 June 2004
Source: Cyprus Weekly
Author:
Comment: The following leader article appeared in the Cyprus Weekly of Nicosia on 03 June 2004.
Need for reflection
"Reading through the detailed 26-page [Annan] report there is a total absence of any reference to the basic cause of the Cyprus problem, the Turkish invasion, the 30-year-occupation and its consequences, whose legitimisation through the Annan plan is the basic reason for its rejection by the Greek Cypriots in the referendum."

In his report on Cyprus to the Security Council this week Kofi Annan blames President Papadopoulos for the collapse of his peace-making mission, while giving fulsome praise to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat for backing his reunification plan in the April referendum. Reading through the detailed 26-page report there is a total absence of any reference to the basic cause of the Cyprus problem, the Turkish invasion, the 30-year-occupation and its consequences, whose legitimisation through the Annan plan is the basic reason for its rejection by the Greek Cypriots in the referendum. Annan says that, while he respects the result of the referendum on each side, "I have been reflecting on what they mean." It is abundantly clear that his reflection has completely missed the reason for the Greek Cypriot 'no,' just as Alvaro de Soto did in his interview with the Athens daily Kathimerini this week, in which he said he failed to comprehend why the Greek Cypriots voted 'no.' This failure is hardly surprising, for Turkey's continuing guilt for the ethnic cleansing of the Greek Cypriot population of the north, the continuing violation of the fundamental human rights of the Greek Cypriot refugees and the illegal colonisation of the north by settlers from Turkey are ignored in the report, together with the numerous resolutions of the UN General Assembly and the Security Council that demand the withdrawal of the Turkish occupation troops and settlers and the return of the refugees. All these specific demands are wiped out by the acceptance of the Annan Plan by the Turkish side. It is as if these issues are non existent. This blinkered approach by Annan, and de Soto, is highlighted by their deliberate effort to avoid mentioning such poisonous words like `refugees' and `settlers,' despite their prominent stress in the various UN resolutions (remember de Soto's recent outrageous statement in Burgenstock that "there are no refugees in Cyprus"). Instead of referring to the Greek Cypriot refugees Annan speaks of the "dispossessed in the south." When it comes to the settlers Annan puts this word in inverted commas, saying merely that 'during the talks Mr Papadopoulos claimed that there were 119,000 "settlers" in Cyprus.' Two paragraphs down (para 62) he makes a convoluted reference to the rejection of the Greek Cypriot demand for the exclusion of settlers from voting in the referendum. In a gobbledegook sentence Annan states that the Greek Cypriot proposal "apart from its apparent impracticability, would require the Turkish side to accept the Greek Cypriot side's interpretation of the legal situation prior to the coming into being of the new state of affairs, which would have been contrary to the concept of the plan that neither side be required to do so.'' The fact that the UN resolutions demand the withdrawal of the illegal settlers is clearly irrelevant as far as the UN Secretary-General is concerned! In another equally astounding reference that indicates the pro-Turkish bias of his report Annan bewails "the pain and dislocation" that would be caused by the relocation of Turkish Cypriots, not to mention the illegal settlers, under his plan. The pain and suffering of the Greek Cypriot refugees over the past 30 years, which is heightened by the fact that the his plan rejects the incontrovertible human right of all the refugees to return to their ancestral homes does not count as far as Annan is concerned. These are but some of the less important points dealt with by Annan, which nevertheless are most enlightening as to the thinking, the twisted philosophy and pro-Turkish attitude on which the plan and its far more important basic provisions are based. It is more than clear that Annan and de Soto, who want the Greek Cypriots to reflect more on the consequences of their negative vote, must themselves reflect considerably more on why this happened. They must then realise that the plan needs to be amended in order to comply fully with UN principles, international law, human rights and the EU acquis without any derogations. In the process, they must make it clear to Turkey that, as a prospective EU member, it has no choice but to accept these amendments itself as the only way for the Greek and Turkish Cypriots to live happily together ever after in a reunited Cyprus as a full and equal member of the EU."