3 September, 1990
INTERCOMMUNAL NEGOTIATIONS AND THE EU MEMBERSHIP OF CYPRUS
(Section on EU of the Talking Points presented by President Rauf Denktas to
US Congressman Mike Bilirakis on 29 August 1995)
In October, 1994 a series of informal consultations were held in Cyprus
between President Denktas and the Greek Cypriot leader, Mr. Clerides, in the
presence of the UN secretary-general's Deputy Special Representative, Mr.
In the course of the consultations, President dentate
reiterated the Turkish Cypriot side's readiness to conclude and sign a
Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) agreement on the basis of the 28 June
1994 proposals of the UN secretary-general.
The secretary-general reported
in this letter that "The discussions with the Turkish Cypriot leader
between 6 and 16 June (1994) registered considerable progress towards
agreement on the modalities for implementing the package of
confidence-building measures which the two leaders had already accepted in
principle... I concluded that there had now been sufficient progress for the
United Nations to implement the package on the basis of the 21 March (1994)
paper and subsequent clarifications."
The implementation of the UN
proposed CBM package was the subject of discussion for over a year, and was
seen as the necessary first step to overcome the deep crisis of confidence
between the two sides before any successful outcome could be expected from
the talks on an overall settlement.
On his part, throughout the informal consultations, Mr. Clerides put forward
the issue of the EU membership of "Cyprus" as a precondition for further
talks - be it the CBM package or the overall settlement. Mr. Clerides even
refused to discuss the CBMs, thereby flouting the agenda set out by the UN
This is adequate proof that the Greek Cypriot side is
solely interested in further consolidating its usurpation in Cyprus through
the unilateral accession of the so-called "Republic of Cyprus" into the EU
before a settlement.
Such an accession would undoubtedly prejudice a
settlement in favor of the Greek Cypriot side and would very likely reduce
the Turkish Cypriot side to the status of a minority within a Greek Cypriot
This is totally unacceptable to the Turkish Cypriot side, not
only because of the reason stated above, but also because the accession of
"Cyprus" to the EU, before an agreed settlement, will amount to the
political and economic union of the island with Greece, albeit indirectly.
On the subject of EU membership of "Cyprus", the Turkish Cypriot side has
accepted the UN secretary-general's proposal of 1992 that EU membership will
be taken up following the establishment of a working relationship between
the communities within the context of the bi-communal and bi-zonal Federal
Republic of Cyprus.
Para. 92 of the UN "Set of Ideas" reads: "Matters
related to the membership of the federal Republic in the European Economic
Community will be discussed and agreed to, and will be submitted for the
approval of the two communities in separate referendums."
We are thus convinced that we have to put our house in order first by
bringing the deep crisis of confidence between us and by achieving an
overall settlement to end the current political division in the island,
before we are in a position to discuss and confidently develop joint foreign
and economic policy choices.
It is only then that the membership of "Cyprus"
in the EU will become a plausible issue to be jointly and meaningfully
discussed as the current confrontative relationship of the two communities
will be replaced by a working co-operative relationship and as (a) the
political rights, obligations and status, (b) the political and economic
infrastructure and safeguards of the new relationship to be established, and
(c) the positions of Guarantor Motherlands (Turkey and Greece) vis-a-vis
their relationship with the new federal Cyprus and the EU will be clarified.
As regards point (c) above, the membership of Cyprus in any
international organization where both guarantor motherlands (Turkey and
Greece) are not members in currently prohibited under the 1960 International
Treaties. This provision is part of the elaborate safeguards system designed
to protect and maintain an equitable balance between the respective
interests of the two constituent communities and the Guarantor Powers on
The European Union's treatment of the unilateral illegal appellation of the
Greek Cypriot side as a valid application made for and on behalf of the
whole of the island by the so-called "legitimate government of Cyprus"; its
posture overruling the "right of consent" of the Turkish Cypriot side for
the accession of Cyprus as a whole into the EU; its resolution that the
so-called "Government of Cyprus" "... will remain the European Union's
sole interlocutor in the conduct of the structured dialogue" with the
EU; its decision that contacts with the Turkish Cypriot Community will be
done in consultation with the so-called "Government of Cyprus"; and its
argument that "the train of accession cannot now be stopped" are
unacceptable impositions on the political free-will of the Turkish Cypriots
and are seen as violations of the rule of law and of norms of morality and
For the Turkish Cypriots, the above posture of the EU, amounts to the
ignoring of their politically equal status and their 40 year just struggle
to prevent domination by their Greek Cypriot partner. It is against these
facts and background that Turkish Cypriots judge the behavior and actions
of the EU towards "Cyprus".
British and US authorities and the UN have been trying to console the
Turkish Cypriot side in the face of their public outcry against the
accession of a divided "Cyprus" into a united Europe.
The British are saying
that EU membership will not affect the rights and powers of the Guarantors
(Turkey, Great Britain and Greece) as provided under the Treaty of Guarantee
US Presidential Emissary Richard Beattie told a news conference in
Turkey on 9 March 1995 that the US "supports the eventual accession
(into the EU) of a Cyprus Federation which includes both communities".
The UN Deputy Special Representative for Cyprus Mr. Gustave Feissel said on
12 March 1995 that "Cyprus's" accession into the EU would not undermine
Turkey's Guarantees and the island's bi-zonal character.
Immediately after these comments, the spokesman for the Greek Cypriot
administration Mr. Cassoulides made public statements declaring that
"The application (for EU membership) was submitted by the Government of
Cyprus for the whole of Cyprus" (Cyprus Mail, 11 March 1995) and that
"The government believes that Cyprus's accession to the EU will
change substantially the guarantees... As far as we are concerned the issue
is clear. I wish the Turkish Cypriots accepted that Cyprus is represented
(at the accession talks) by the legal government of the Cyprus Republic.
This acceptance would mean that the Cyprus problem can be quickly
solved..." (Cyprus Mail, 14 March 1995).
The Greek Foreign Ministry European Affairs Under-Secretary, Mr. Yorgos
Mangakis, is reported to have said in an interview published in the Greek
Cypriot Agon newspaper of 13 August 1995 that "...now the European
Union has already become operative. At present the European Union has become
a rival of the United Nations. With the coming of the European Union into
operation, the Cyprus problem has become independent of the `mortal
unstable' state. I feel free to say that Cyprus has come out of the `grave',
revived and from now on it is not on its own. With the commencing of the
dialogue for European Union membership Cyprus has reached the stage of being
a member of the European family.
At present Cyprus is part of Europe...
Turkey has fallen into a frightfully difficult position. The fact that
Cyprus has entered the course of European Union membership is hurting the
Turks to a frightful extent... From now on the Cyprus ship has been saved
from the rocks onto which she had been thrust and has now started to take
Today's Cyprus is not the Cyprus prior to March. Today Cyprus has
another international status. Today Cyprus is under the protection of the
framework of one of the greatest international organizations of the world
such as the European Union. Because she has become an organic element of
this organization. The greediness and threats of the Turks are not longer
effective. Because of that the Turks are in a hopeless position".
It is clear from the public statements of the Greek Cypriot and Greek
leaderships and their actions that their primary strategic objective, now,
is EU membership, and that through the entry of Cyprus into the EU, they
(i) do away with the Treaty of Guarantee;
(ii) do away with all the pretensions that bi-zonality is accepted by the Greek Cypriot side;
(iii) do away with bi-communality within the context of the power sharing and
political equality provisions of any formula;
(iv) provide for all Greek
Cypriots affected by "bi-zonality" to go back to their homes; and finally
(v) provide for the final victory of Hellenism in Cyprus.
It is not surprising, therefore, that since the developments leading to the
adoption of the 6 March 1995 decision of the European Council and the 12
June 1995 Common Resolution, the Greek Cypriot stance on the Cyprus question
has become more intransigent. Mr. G. Clerides, the Greek Cypriot leader, can
now afford to tell us and declare to the world that Cyprus is a Greek island
and that nothing can stop "Greek" Cyprus from its course to EU membership.
The Greek Cypriot emphasis has thus shifted from our mutually agreed 1977 and
1979 objective of power sharing within the context of a bi-communal and
bi-zonal federation, to the entry of the Greek Cypriot usurped "Republic of
Cyprus" into the EU as a unitary Greek Cypriot state with a protected
Turkish Cypriot minority.
The European Union's argument that the
accession of "Cyprus" into the EU will help facilitate the realization of a
bi-communal and bi-zonal federal settlement is therefore a fallacy.
Former US Special Coordinator for Cyprus Ambassador Nelson Ledsky said
in an interview in June 1995 that "My own experience over the Cyprus
issue suggests that the question of membership inside Europe for Cyprus is a
divisive issue rather than a unifying one. In the past it has been a source
of misunderstanding between the two communities, not a source of
understanding" (Turkish Daily News, 6 June 1995).