A solution to the Cyprus problem seems to be receding ever further because of the attitude and language of the Greek Cypriots. Constant reminders that the Turkish Cypriots are in the minority and knee jerk reactions by the Greek Cypriot government because Foreign Minister Ozdil Nami had lunched with ambassadors to Cyprus do nothing to improve the atmosphere of the negotiations.
“Turkish Cypriot negotiator Kudret Özersay has given up hopes of a resolution on Cyprus anytime soon unless the current skidding stops, talks are brought to a serious give-and-take stage and the two sides commit themselves to reaching an agreement by a certain date. Will Greek Cypriots agree to that? No way…” Turkish Cypriot journalist Yusuf Kanli writes in Turkish daily ‘Hurriyet’.
Özersay is not a typical civil servant and could not become a politician, but he has been quite successful in shaping public opinion. He might be considered as one of the architects of the en masse refusal of the Turkish Cypriot people to a referendum on a constitutional amendment agreed upon by all parliamentary parties.
Similarly, he and his “getting together” (or “toparlanıyoruz”) movement was instrumental in sending home mayors of three or four terms in office and bringing in new people, mostly independents. It is not easy to win the confidence of people, but Özersay has succeeded in that. Why? Perhaps one reason was he did not establish a party but actively communicated with the people through electronic platforms.
The Greek Cypriot leadership has been obsessed for some time, trying to prevent Turkish Cypriots having even social contacts with foreign missions or visiting dignitaries. Publicly, the Greek Cypriot leader has criticized a group of ambassadors for “contributing to the elevation of the status” of the “occupation regime” in northern Cyprus. He could not even stop there and at a meeting with his Turkish Cypriot counterpart, Derviş Eroğlu, and later in remarks to some European envoys, Nicos Anastasiades burst out that a Cyprus settlement should reflect the “minority and majority reality” of Cyprus.”
Yusuf Kanli is a well-known Turkish Cypriot journalist and former editor of ‘Hurriyet’. He remains a regular columnist for the newspaper.