After the passage of three years since the April 24, 2004 Annan plan referendum it is now clearly visible that the side punished by the international community is the Turkish Cypriots, who voted “yes,” ra-ther than the Greek Cypriots, who rejected the plan. It cab be observed that the international isolation and embargo of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) and of the Turkish Cypriots is still on with hopes for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem becoming increa-singly slim.
The Greek Cypriot administration, with the assurance of being a full member and sitting on the decision-making side of Turkey’s EU accession talks — currently going off track — suggests a possible solu-tion under the auspices of the UN.
Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, with an active and tough attitude toward the Cyprus problem, declared the Annan plan to be in the depths of the history, somewhere untouchable.
Turkey’s “Cyprus Action Plan” dated Jan. 24, 2006 aimed to form a basis for a solution, but was turned down by the Greek Cypriot ad-ministration and Greece in the first instance. The attitude of the inter-national community toward the Greeks’ position concerning the April 24 referendum was that of “mutual understanding,” further boosting the Greek disagreement.
The leader of the Greek Cypriot administration, Tassos Papado-poulos, strengthened support for his policy in the parliamentary elec-tions held on May 21, 2006 and is now talking about the abandonment not only of the Annan plan but also of a federal solution on the island, giving signals that his final target is a “unitary state in Cyprus.”
Different surveys held in Greek Cyprus in March 2006, May 2006, December 2006 and February 2007 revealed the drop of support for the Annan plan to just 1 percent. The consistent increase in opposition to the Annan plan and the stability of the support given to Papadopoulos reveal that the Greek Cypriot people think no differently from their leader or the Greek Cypriot administration.
The latest bargaining chip in the negotiations is the “Gambari proposals.” The Greek Cypriots concocted this to erase the negative sentiments originating from their rejection of the Annan plan. They grasped it like a political lifeline to keep their heads above water.
Unfortunately this plan was stillborn.
Initially the Gambari proposals were to establish subcommittees to handle humanitarian problems between the two peoples of the isl-and.
After the murder of a Turkish Cypriot family in the southern terri-tories the Greek Cypriot police possessed the evidence while the Tur-kish Cypriot police had the suspects. Their political denial of each other led to their refusal to cooperate while bringing charges and thus the suspects were released due to lack of evidence.
Bird flu was the second trigger to forming subcommittees han-dling humanitarian problems in between the two communities.
This is how forming committees was put on the table and pro-posed to both leaders by Ibrahim Gambari.
But the Greek Cypriot leader forced the property issue onto the agenda of the committees and killed the baby before it was born.
The property issue is one of the main or core subjects of the Cy-prus problem and should be handled as global compensation or set-tlement after the mutual agreement of both sides on an acceptable and sustainable solution to the Cyprus problem.
Against such a backdrop is a “solution in Cyprus” possible?
If the two peoples of the island cannot come to an agreement on humanitarian problems, how then will they solve the Cyprus problem, which stretching back to 1796 and the Megali Idea.