Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan
The government and leaders of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus are striving hard to achieve substantial progress in the 2nd international Geneva Conference to be held on June 28, 2017. They are working very hard to reach a settlement because more than more than 18,250 precious days have already been wasted.
TRNC has special respect about Turkey for so many socio-economic, geo-political and geo-strategic reasons. Right from the beginning Turkey has had been with TRNC and its people during all their difficult times. Turkey rescued and saved it from external aggression and economic meltdown too. Turkey has been one of its trustworthy strategic alleys, staunch friend and guarantor. They both have relationships of mutual respect, brotherhood, love and better political understandings. TRNC and Turkey have special bindings.
Most recently, Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu has once again emphasized to reply on Turkey’s guarantee. Right from the beginning of human civilization and political orientation, conflict resolution between the groups, societies, and countries have been heavily relying on guarantee of a powerful guarantor. So, political deliberations of TRNC foreign minister are right to secure vested interests of the people of TRNC. He has stressed this sensitivity should be taken into consideration during the negotiations of 2nd Geneva Conference where five parties will attend under the auspices of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, with the participation of President Mustafa Akıncı and Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades, as well as the guarantor countries Turkey, Greece and the UK, and in the presence of the EU as an observer.
Foreign Minister Ertuğruloğlu has rightly elaborated the important role of Turkey in the ongoing negotiations because of the emerging regional and international socio-economic, geopolitical and geo-strategic scenarios. He termed role of Turkey very decisive also because of the past experience and insecure environment in and beyond the region. He has labeled security and guarantee issues, very important for the Turkish Cypriot people. He desires that the ongoing negotiation process between the two sides would reach a settlement.
“The Turkish Cypriot people can only rely on the Turkey’s guarantee. The sensitivity of our people in this regard needs to be acknowledged. The current guarantee system in Cyprus can be updated, but the continuation of the Turkish Armed Forces’ presence on the island and the preservation of Turkey’s unilateral right of intervention are undisputable even after a settlement is reached” he further added Ertuğruloğlu.
He once clarified that he did not agree with the statement that “providing one side’s security needs should not create a security concern for the other”, Foreign Minister Ertuğruloğlu said that Turkey only used its unilateral right of intervention as a response to the Greek Cypriots who tried to change the constitutional order and seized the rights of the Turkish Cypriots. He added that peace was established on the island after that intervention. It was not invasion because Turkey helped TRNC from the external aggression and offered one of the biggest martyrdoms in the history.
Foreign Minister Ertuğruloğlu highlighting the importance of security and guarantees said, “There is no need to worry if there is no malicious intention.” “In order for the guarantee system to be effective, it is necessary for Turkey to keep the unilateral right of intervention as well as the right to have troops on the island. Turkish Cypriots will not accept an agreement which does not allow the presence of the Turkish military on the island and which does not allow Turkey to intervene unilaterally, he added”. Stating that an attitude to make concession on this issue would only serve the demands of the Greek Cypriot side at the negotiating table, Ertuğruloğlu said that the main aim of the Greek Cypriot side at the Cyprus conference would be to end the guarantee of Turkey and to remove Turkish troops from the island, adding that this intention has been shown by the Greek Cypriots at every opportunity.
Stakes are very high because respectful human survival, political liberties, economic freedoms, security and the last but not the least, guarantees orientations must be considered important during the 2nd Geneva Conference. Too much is to fight during the upcoming 2nd Geneva Conference to be held on June 28, 2017. Let us hope that UN will play a just and fair part to achieve a settlement between the two conflicting parties. Let us hope that Greek Cypriot side will be above from their stereotypes prejudices to reach a settlement because any discrimination may be harmful to all.