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Propose and discuss specific solutions to aspects of the Cyprus Problem

Postby Piratis » Mon Aug 09, 2004 3:41 am

So you agree to political equality regardless of numerical numbers as far as alterations to the constituion goes?

yes.

What assurances would you give me that this 'protection' against unilateral changes to the consitution, will not fail again, as it did in 63?

I don't know how exactly it failed in 63. I will have a look at it and then I will answer.

If a GC majority started a campaign against the 'unfairness' and 'anti demorcatic nature' of a constitution that could only be altered with the consent of a numerical minority, would you stand up against such a campaign. Would you argue with youe fellow GC that on this issue (changes to the consitution) the TC numerical minortiy should have and must have a right to veto any changes - regardless to their numerical numbers?

This is why it is so importand that the solution will be one that will be acceptable and not one that will forced on us like they tried to do with the Annan plan. If it is a forced solution it is going to fail sooner or later.
But if is a solution that the great majoritities accept, then it will not fail.
What I propose is what exists in all federal states, so nobody will feel cheated.
And yes, I will support your rights in the constidution 100%.
But if you didn't worry that the GCs would "explode" with the so unfair Annan plan, I don't see why you should worry with what I propose.
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Postby erolz » Mon Aug 09, 2004 4:10 am

Piratis wrote:But if you didn't worry that the GCs would "explode" with the so unfair Annan plan, I don't see why you should worry with what I propose.


Well I am in the minority of TC that voted NO to the Annan plan. I did not believe it was a viable solution that would lead to real peace,unity and harmony in Cyprus.
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Postby erolz » Mon Aug 09, 2004 4:39 am

Piratis wrote:
I don't know how exactly it failed in 63. I will have a look at it and then I will answer.


I do not know exactly why it failed in the past. It is however my belief that a large reason it failed in the past was because Makarios was willing to accept and agree things on the basis they took him closer to his goals and once having secured them he could and would then use GC superior numerical numbers and the concept of a 'pure democracy' to nullify those things that he previously agreed could not and would not be nullified in such a manner. Which is a major reason why I have concerns when GC express the ideals of 'pure democracy' as an absoloute concept.

It is my belief that Makraios agreed a degree of political equality between GC and TC commuities in Cyprus, not because he believed such was a fair and workable solution but because he could, once an agreement had been secured, remove them anyway and despite what he had previously agreed. It is my concern that something similar could happen again.

I would quote one speech from Markios that informs my beliefs above, (but there is much much more eveidence in support of my belief, which I could and will present if you want me to). This speech was made just months after he signed the 1960's agreements and swore to uphold the consitituion (April 1960)

"The epic grandeur and glory of EOKA’s liberation struggle has laid the foundation stone of national freedom. This freedom it is our sacred duty to safeguard and complete. National struggles never come to an end. They merely change their form, preserving deep down the same substance and the same content. . . . The realisation of our hopes and aspirations is not complete under the Zurich and London Agreements . . . The glorious liberation struggle, whose fifth anniversary we celebrate today, has secured for us advanced bastions and impregnable strongholds for our independence. From these bastions we still continue the struggle to complete victory."
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Postby Bananiot » Mon Aug 09, 2004 6:11 am

Makarios wanted and tried to use the London-Zurich agreement as a stepping stone to achieve enosis. He was reminded very oftened in the early years of the RoC by the sworn nationalists. He was even labelled as the "purjurer of Phaneromeni". Phaneromeni is the church in old Nicosia where he took an oath to struggle till the end of his life for nothing short of enosis. I wonder how many of our aging present day politicians took the same oath.
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Postby insan » Mon Aug 09, 2004 11:06 am

Piratis, let's talk upon some probable to occure situations:


According to the EU laws and democratic human rights; no restriction can be put to 3 freedoms but if no restrictions is put on those 3 fredoms; TCs constituent state can soon become majorly GC. Huge amount of land can change hand from TCs to GCs.


Even some small increasings in the percentage of %20 GCs who would be the residents of TC constituent state, can negatively affect the TC interests, in TCs constituent state.



Now tell me what should be done. Restriction on freedom of movement is contradictory with the EU laws and human rights.

On the other hand, selling/buying land to/from TCs/GCs and foreigners should be restricted and this too can be considered as anti-democratic.


Let's say majority of TCs don't want the restrictions to be lifted but majority of GCs demand the restrictions to be lifted by claiming that those restrictions is contradictory to the EU laws, human rights and democrasy.


Will TC senators be able to veto the majorities demands? And if they would be able to veto their demands; would it damage the relations of two communities? Would it cause an intercommunal strife?
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Postby Piratis » Mon Aug 09, 2004 2:37 pm

Here is something from an american source about 63:

The 1960 constitution did not succeed in providing the framework for a lasting compromise between Greek and Turkish Cypriots. Rather, its bicommunal features impeded administration and gave rise to continuing dissension, which culminated finally in armed violence between members of the two communities. Beginning in late 1963, Turkish Cypriots withdrew from the government, and by 1965 the Greek Cypriots were in full charge.

The constitution failed to allay the suspicion and distrust that had increasingly divided the two communities, especially since the eruption of intercommunal violence in 1958. Many Greek Cypriots viewed the Zurich-London agreements as imposed on Cyprus from outside, and therefore illegitimate. Their main objection to the agreements, however, was that they barred the unification, or enosis, of Cyprus with Greece. Greek Cypriots also viewed the constitutional provisions drafted to safeguard minority rights as granting the Turkish Cypriots disproportionate privileges that the Turkish Cypriots abused. Therefore, some politically active elements of the Greek Cypriot community were motivated to undermine the constitution, or at least press for modifications.

Turkish Cypriots, some of whom also would have preferred different arrangements than those contained in the independence documents, such as taksim, or partition, of the island and union of its two parts with the respective motherlands (so-called double enosis), nonetheless maintained that the separative provisions of the constitution were essential to their security and identity as a separate national community.

A number of quarrels broke out over the balance of representation of the two communities in the government and over foreign policy, taxation by communal chambers, and other matters, bringing the government to a virtual standstill. The leading cause of disagreements was the ratio of Greek Cypriots to Turkish Cypriots in the civil service. Turkish Cypriots complained that the seventy-to-thirty ratio was not enforced. Greek Cypriots felt that the provisions discriminated against them, because they constituted almost 80 percent of the population. Another major point of contention concerned the composition of units under the sixty-to- forty ratio decreed for the Cypriot army. President Makarios favored complete integration; Vice President Fazil Kόηόk accepted a mixed force at the battalion level but insisted on segregated companies. On October 20, 1961, Kόηόk used his constitutional veto power for the first and only time to halt the development of a fully integrated force. Makarios then stated that the country could not afford an army anyway. Planning and development of the national army ceased, and paramilitary forces arose in each community.

From the start, Greek Cypriots had been uneasy about the idea of separate municipalities, which Turkish Cypriots were determined to preserve. Also, the Greek Cypriot Communal Chamber never set up a communal court system, whereas Turkish Cypriot communal courts were established.

Still another issue that provoked strong Greek Cypriot criticism was the right of the veto held by the Turkish Cypriot vice president and what amounted to final veto power held by the Turkish Cypriot representatives in the House of Representatives with respect to laws and decisions affecting the entire population. Turkish Cypriot representatives had exercised this veto power with respect to income tax legislation, seriously limiting government revenues.

In late 1963, after three years' experience of unsteady selfgovernment , Makarios declared that certain constitutional provisions "threatened to paralyze the State machinery." Revisions were necessary, he said, to remove obstacles that prevented Greek and Turkish Cypriots from "cooperating in the spirit of understanding and friendship." On November 30, 1963, Makarios proposed thirteen amendments to be considered immediately by the leaders of the Turkish Cypriot community.

These proposals, outlined in a presidential memorandum entitled "Suggested Measures for Facilitating the Smooth Functioning of the State and for the Removal of Certain Causes of Intercommunal Friction," reflected all the constitutional problems that had arisen. The president's action had far-reaching implications. Most important, it deeply eroded Turkish Cypriot confidence in the fragile power sharing arrangement. The proposals also automatically involved Greece, Turkey, and Britain, which as signatories to the Treaties of Guarantee and Alliance had pledged to guarantee the status quo under the constitution.

The proposed amendments would have eliminated most of the special rights of Turkish Cypriots. For instance, they would have abolished many of the provisions for separate communal institutions, substituting an integrated state with limited guarantees for the minority community. The administration of justice was to be unified. Instead of the separate municipalities that the constitution had originally called for in the five largest towns, municipalities were to be unified. The veto powers of the president and vice president were to be abandoned, as were the provisions for separate parliamentary majorities in certain areas of legislation. Turkish Cypriot representation in the civil service was to be proportionate to the size of the community. By way of compensation, the Turkish Cypriot vice president was to be given the right to deputize for the Greek Cypriot president in case of his absence, and the vice president of the House of Representatives was to be acting president of the body during the temporary absence or incapacity of the president.

Kόηόk reportedly had agreed to consider these proposals. The Turkish government, however, rejected the entire list. In any case, intercommunal fighting erupted in December 1963, and in March 1964 the UN Security Council authorized the establishment of an international peace-keeping force to control the violence and act as a buffer between the two communities.

http://countrystudies.us/cyprus/53.htm


I believe both sides are to blame for the break down.
On one hand, you have to admit that 30%-40% for an 18% minority is way too much and very provocative. This is why I propose everything for TCs to be between 20% and 25%, even for the size of the TC constiduent state. This is a fair increase of power to a minority to give it some more power (similar things happen in other places where smaller communities get such boost. But we should keep this boost to a non provocative level).

On the other hand, GCs saw the 1960 agreements as a first step, and not the final solution. Which is totally wrong. If they didn't like the 1960s agreements they should have rejected them. Unfortunately not many have the guts of Papadopoulos. Therefore I can understand TCs that say "you accepted it, you have to follow on it now".
This is why I disagree with people that say that the Annan plan is the first step, and that later on things can change (many TCs in this forum said that). Transitional periods are ok, as long as they are part of the plan, and everybody knows what and when will change. This is why I keep saying that "no solution" is better from a "bad solution".
What we need is an acceptable solution that will manage to survive for long long time with no or very minor changes.
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Postby insan » Mon Aug 09, 2004 3:01 pm

Ok. I know our history... and in addition of that TCs accepted the constitutional amendments in 1971 but a bunch of extreme Enosists which were just a small minority in GC community, backed by a small number of politicians and Greek officers didn't abandon their Enosis dream...


In order to complete this review I would like to put on record, once again, the vital concessions which I have indicated willingness to make; concessions, for which, the Greek side seems determined not to give anything in return, thus raising the pertinent question whether the exercise of the local talks was merely for amending the 1960 Constitution in such a way as to make the Independent Republic of Cyprus a convenient spring-board for Enosis! My whole purpose in these talks has been to amend the Constitution in such a way as would satisfy your side's demands without diminishing in any way or form the juridic stat- us of the Turkish Community and without imperiling the ultimate safety of the independence of Cyprus:

Concessions which the Turkish side has shown willingness to make:

(a) Abolition of the provisions of the Constitution which necessitated the appointment of non-Cypriots to the posts of Presidents of the Supreme Constitutional Court and the High Court;

(b) The amalgamation of the Supreme Constitutional Court with the High Court;

(c) The amalgamation of the gendarmerie with the police;

(d) Reduction of Turkish participation from 30% to 20%;

(e) Abolition of the provision of the Constitution requiring majority vote of both Communities in the public commission;

(f) Abolition of the provision of the Constitution requiring separate majority votes in the House on legislation dealing with all taxation matters, elections, municipalities.

(g) Abolition of veto powers in Foreign Affairs, Defence and Internal Security;

(h) Reduction of Turkish participation in the Army from 40% to 20%;

(i) Making it optional, for litigants to resort to the protection of Article 159.

(j) Reduction of Turkish participation from 30% to 20% in Town Planning Affairs as per Article 176.

I hope the above will give us a new ground for tackling the problem anew in a spirit of give and take. So far the Turkish side has been on the giving end; I hope your side will find it possible to be a little generous and understanding so that we can reach agreement on all outstanding issues.

Yours sincerely,

Rauf R. Denktash
President, Turkish Communal Chamber


All they wanted was an autonomy in unitary structure, in the era from 1967 until 1974...


Can you please answer my questions in my precious post in this thread?
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Postby Piratis » Mon Aug 09, 2004 3:12 pm

According to the EU laws and democratic human rights; no restriction can be put to 3 freedoms but if no restrictions is put on those 3 fredoms; TCs constituent state can soon become majorly GC. Huge amount of land can change hand from TCs to GCs.

The ideal would obviously be a unitary state were nobodies human rights would have to be compromised.
That said, when we agree on something that both sides consider fair, we will talk with EU and have it as a primary law, or something like that, to ensure that the laws of EU can not render any part of our constidution void.

As I said already, If the TC state will be about 24%-25% with a max of 40% of GCs, the TCs will always be the majority in their state and the "3 freedoms" will not need to be violated many times to ensure that TCs maintain this majority.

Why do you insist that the number of GCs under TC admin should be at most 20%? 40% is still a minority. (and this 40% is just the max allowed. In reallity it will probably not be that much).
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Postby erolz » Mon Aug 09, 2004 3:13 pm

Piratis wrote:
I believe both sides are to blame for the break down.


I believe both sides have _some_ responsibility for the breakdown but not equal responsibility. However the fact remains that articles of the 1960 consitituion that were deemed 'unalterable' in that constituion without mutual consent of the TC, were altered without that consent. So presumably you can understand why such guarantees in a future constituion create only a limited gurantee of protection of TC rights.

Piratis wrote:
On one hand, you have to admit that 30%-40% for an 18% minority is way too much and very provocative.


I agree that there were reasonable grounds for GC to complain about the 1960 constituion and seek to _legally_ change it with the _consent_ of the TC. I do not agree that because the GC leadership decided to agree a settlement that they then immediately described as 'imposed' and 'unfair' that then gave them the right to change the consitituion regardless of any TC constent - which is what happened.

Piratis wrote:
This is why I propose everything for TCs to be between 20% and 25%, even for the size of the TC constiduent state. This is a fair increase of power to a minority to give it some more power (similar things happen in other places where smaller communities get such boost. But we should keep this boost to a non provocative level).


I have no problem with the idea that things like government posts and appointments should relate to numerical numbers of the two communites. I do have a problem with the idea of NO political equality on ANY issues - which I think we both agree on in principal even if the details are not entirely clear?

Piratis wrote:
Therefore I can understand TCs that say "you accepted it, you have to follow on it now".


and you can understand TC fears that history may repeat itself in this regard?

Piratis wrote:
What we need is an acceptable solution that will manage to survive for long long time with no or very minor changes.


AND a will on both sides to make such an agreement work, and not use it as a 'staging post' for future undeclared aims. No soultion will work, no matter how finely and fairly balanced or carefuly constructed and worded, unless there is a genuine will to make it work, form both communites politicans and ultimately the constituencies they represent.

On a slight tangent but related. Have you read the 'Akritas plan' Piratis? Do you accept that if there had not been an acceptance of a degree of political equality between GC and TC in the 1960's constituion AND the threat and power of Turkey as a guarantor and military force - there would today be NO independent Cyprus of any form. Cyprus would today be a province of Greece? Something worth 'musing' on in my opinion.

PS one further point. In the article you quoted there was a section that said
From the start, Greek Cypriots had been uneasy about the idea of separate municipalities
. It is to be noted on this point that during the negotiations of the 1960 agreements it was Makarios himself that _insisted_ on this point being in the consitituion. It was not something put forward from the TC or Turkish side. One has to wonder if this was a genuine mistake from Makarios, or if he was planning even then to make sure there would be enough 'problems' in the constituion to ensure its eventual colapse?
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Postby insan » Mon Aug 09, 2004 4:27 pm

The ideal would obviously be a unitary state were nobodies human rights would have to be compromised.


I agree.


That said, when we agree on something that both sides consider fair, we will talk with EU and have it as a primary law, or something like that, to ensure that the laws of EU can not render any part of our constidution void.




As I said already, If the TC state will be about 24%-25% with a max of 40% of GCs, the TCs will always be the majority in their state and the "3 freedoms" will not need to be violated many times to ensure that TCs maintain this majority.

Why do you insist that the number of GCs under TC admin should be at most 20%? 40% is still a minority. (and this 40% is just the max allowed. In reallity it will probably not be that much).



It affects directly the resources of TC constituent state and power sharing.... Please remeber that power sharing on all branches in constituent states should be granted proportionaly. So that, GCs more than %20-25 of Tc population is not in favour of TCs.

Suppositionaly, if the private and state land share is %1 for per 10.000 Cypriots; it should be appended to the amount of the constituen state territory they would be a resident of... And please don't forget that the land productivity also should be taken into consideration when calculating the constituent state territories...




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