Türkiye'nin en iyi köşe yazarları en güzel köşe yazıları ile Hürriyet'te! Usta yazarlar ve gündemi değerlendiren köşe yazılarını takip edin.

Cyprus after the elections

I read the 48-page manifesto of the political party that won the general elections in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, or TRNC. Like a sign on the window of a barber shop that reads "Free haircut tomorrow" but remains there always, the manifesto basically says, "The system of 1974 will come back, just vote for the National Union Party!"

On page 47, we read, "Our people are not destined to unite with Greeks." It is crystal clear: Either the TRNC will be recognized internationally, which is out of the question because even if we convince our Muslim brothers and other kin, the TRNC in the end is part of the European Union territory. The second option is being annexed by Turkey. Although there is "progress" in this direction, it doesn’t require an astrologer to predict the cost of annexation to Turkey. Therefore there is only one perspective left: Going back to the 30-year-long period that ended when Mehmet Ali Talat became president and the Republican Turks’ Party, or CTP, became the governing party. This is the bottom line, despite the rich verbosity in the UBP manifesto, a bottom line that testifies the words of Turkish Cypriot journalist and political scientist Sadi Egemen: "The biggest defaulted company of Turkey is the TRNC."

Almost all the steps taken so far by President Talat and the CTP to open the TRNC to the world, for its normalization, and being freed of financial, political and military tutelage of Turkey, seem ready to being overturned by the UBP. Three examples: property compensation committees, settlement talks and the tax system. The UBP says the compensation committees that have just barely gained international legitimacy will be abolished. While today, Greek Cypriots give up all their rights after being paid compensations, they will resort to the European Court of Human Rights when the compensation committees are repealed. Thus, as in the Loizidou case, Greek Cypriots will be entitled to receive compensation and to keep their property rights. The UBP thinks the mainland will pay the compensations anyway!

Three dossiers were discussed in settlement talks. There was not much progress in the ownership dossier, but parameters were defined. It was quite a progress in other two dossiers, the European Union and power sharing. Three more dossiers Ğ land, security and economy Ğ are left to be dealt with. None is easy, but apparently the first round of talks will be finished in June. Then the give-and-take process will begin in September. To find a solution by the end of the year remains possible. The UBP’s insistence to see the TRNC as a founding state of the future new state has the potential to ruin the entire structure because the UBP still asks for a confederation and disregards the federal state, single citizenship and unique international representation. They think the mainland will not "sell out" the TRNC anyway!

As for the tax system, the UBP has no intention on reducing financial dependence on Turkey because they yearn for huge tax cuts. The mainland will keep sending money anyway! We understand that President Abdullah Gül, as a result of his high sensitivity in the EU bid, refuses to consider allowing the 70 million Turkish people in the mainland to be left hostage to wrong steps of the TRNC. Let’s hope that similar sensitivity will be shown in the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP. A solution in Cyprus, in the most concise way of expression, is a political equation in which Turkish Cypriots will obtain political equity and EU membership in exchange for land. To have a better deal is impossible. Those who seek a better deal by sheer rhetoric would condemn both Turkish Cypriots and Turkey to nationalist dead-ends.

Turkey in between ’we are the greatest,’ ’no one likes us’
Let’s drop a foreign policy note here. Regardless of the political view, the overwhelming majority likes Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s feverish attitude and lashing out people abroad. They feel proud and feel like that he is the remedy for the almost genetic frustration felt since the collapse of the Ottomans. Let’s not look for excuses for our complexes: This is not foreign politics; this is a way of socio-psychological treatment that functions to keep society up. It runs just like football. But there is a side effect of this foreign policy: being wrong and ridiculous as a result of the wrong communication style, despite being essentially right in the Davos and Rasmussen incidents.