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Letter to Antonio Guterres

Dear HE Antonio Guterres,

Re: Failure of the comprehensive settlement negotiations at Crans–Montana

Bearing in mind the reasons for the collapse of the UN brokered talks at Crans–Montana, we no longer see any reason in supporting open-ended and un-productive negotiations for a comprehensive bi-communal and bi-zonal federal settlement in Cyprus where the Turkish Cypriot peoples’ political equality is not respected and where we are forced to negotiate under inhuman restrictions and embargoes.

As President Mustafa Akıncı and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu clearly stated before, during and after the Cyprus International Conference, this was “the last chance” to find a settlement based on a federal set up. 

We were dismayed to see the ENOSIS (Union of Cyprus with Greece) decision taken in February of this year for “honouring” this plebiscite at public schools, contradicting efforts to find a comprehensive solution within UN parameters. 

At Crans–Montana, the Turkish Cypriot side demonstrated their good intentions towards achieving a settlement whole-heartedly and with pro-active efforts to resolve this long-standing problem.  However, negotiations to find a settlement have failed because of the intransigent Greek Cypriot side that has no incentive to share Cyprus based on political equality and to respect Turkish Cypriots as their coherent sovereign equals and co-owners of the island, in a new state. This is also clearly reflected in their latest unilateral and provocative hydrocarbon exploration activities, which have gained momentum at a time we are said to negotiate power sharing and federal partnership.  As if the disappointment felt by the Turkish Cypriots in the Annan Plan referenda of 2004 was not enough following Greek Cypriot rejection of the same, we see the continuation of the same hegemonic mentality in daily extremist messages and demands by Greek and Greek Cypriot officials and an increase in racist attacks on Turkish Cypriots visiting South Cyprus.

It is our view that the collapse of the talks is a direct result of the extreme demands made by the Greek Cypriot leadership in not being able to accept the Turkish Cypriots as their political equals and to insist on policies aimed at making us at best a “privileged minority”. They are also making proposals, as we have repeatedly read in Greek Cypriot reports, aimed at eroding the established UN Parameter of ‘bizonality’ which is clearly stipulated in UN Resolution 450 that each community remains in majority in terms of population and property in their own administrations. Adding to this the extreme demand of “zero troops and zero guarantees” to exclude Turkey’s active and effective Guarantee status, means our future security and survival is being placed in grave danger.

His Excellency,

In relation to what we witnessed happen in Crans Montana and the remarks by Greek and Greek Cypriot officials, this platform does not and will not support any solution which does not uphold the principles of political equality, bi-zonality and include Turkey’s legal unilateral intervention rights as a Guarantor country -- primarily needed to protect the equal rights of Turkish Cypriots on the island.

We call upon His Excellency to issue a report to explain to all Cypriots, North and South, the reason for the failure in Crans Montana and dispel any false claims. 

We would also like to call upon His Excellency to address reinstating our Human Rights, right to life, trade, travel and to participate in sports activities under our own identity. Failure to do so  contravenes the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948, Article 2, which provides that such rights will be afforded to every person “irrespective of the political status of the country”. 

Over five generations of Turkish Cypriots have been living in limbo, resulting in their mass migration from Cyprus; this must now come to an end.  The Turkish Cypriot people cannot be let down again and will not be duped by misleading promises, so easily thwarted by existing International Laws, as an incentive to say “yes” in a future referendum for a new so-called comprehensive plan. The time to end the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots has come and passed. We plead for you, as His Excellency, to take appropriate steps to advise the Security Council that the status quo in Cyprus is not the fault of Turkish Cypriot people. 

The failure of these talks under the UN parameters has confirmed that alternative models of resolving the Cyprus issue can and should be taken, formulated in terms of an alternative plan, namely a ‘two-state’ solution.  This new proposal should be based on the existing realities on the island.  We have been waiting for a solution for over 50 years whilst all attempts to reach a “federal” settlement have failed repeatedly. 

His Excellency, 

We stress the need for political, economic and social parity and a level playing field for peace and stability in Cyprus.  Both the EU and the International Community have failed to secure this, despite the fact that they recognise the two sides as political equals and their promises that the unjustified restrictions on Turkish North Cyprus will be lifted.  An alternative ‘Plan B’ has to be tabled as a serious option otherwise we fear the Greek Cypriots will continue to take advantage of the present situation. We say ‘Enough is enough’ to this status quo that is allowing Greek Cypriots to employ bullying tactics using their internationally recognised status and attempts to further isolate us and our youth. 

The international community expects the Turkish Cypriots to negotiate whilst their political equality and human rights are ignored and restrictions continue to be imposed against them.  This situation is untenable and a violation of the international human rights of the Turkish Cypriot people.  

We request that His Excellency takes steps to reinstate our equal status and unconditionally end the continued isolation of the Turkish Cypriot people by advising for such steps to be taken internationally, as had been done by your predecessor in the form of a report by His Excellency Koffi Annan. 

We look forward to your reply in due course. 

Yours sincerely,

Kerem Hasan

For and on behalf of Justice for Turkish Cypriots Platform

 

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