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Self determination

How can we solve it? (keep it civilized)

Do the two communites have a right to self determination in Cyprus

Yes they each have a total and absoloute right to self determination
0
No votes
Yes but their right should in practice be limited and conditional and subject to compromise where those rights clash
3
75%
No only the combined communites have a right to self determination and where one communites desire conflict with the others the larges should take precedence
1
25%
 
Total votes : 4

Self determination

Postby erolz » Mon Aug 23, 2004 7:15 pm

Here is a poll
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Postby MicAtCyp » Mon Aug 23, 2004 11:29 pm

I dont agree completely with any of the 3 options so I cannot vote.
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Postby erolz » Tue Aug 24, 2004 1:14 am

MicAtCyp wrote:I dont agree completely with any of the 3 options so I cannot vote.


what option would you like added that would allow you to vote?
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Postby Piratis » Tue Aug 24, 2004 4:18 am

I don't agree 100% with any, but I am closer to 3.

In areas where it affects only one community without any negative consequences to the other then each community should have the right to decide for itself without the approval of the other (but always within EU laws).
For example if we have separate schools, then TCs and GCs an decide separately on what exactly will be tough. Same thing goes with Mosques/Churches etc.

In areas where it concerns all Cypriots as a whole, then all Cypriots as a whole should decide.
(always within the legal framework, the agreed constitution, and respect to minority groups or opinions)
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Postby MicAtCyp » Tue Aug 24, 2004 10:23 am

I would vote for number 3 if it changed to read
No only the combined communites have a right to self determination and where one communites desire conflict with the others the minority can block it via a neutral court decision only if it proved beneficial to the majority on the expense of the minority.

The only group who ever had a self determination right in Cyprus was actually the GC people as I will explain in another post later. But I can accept the formula of the 1960 constitution degrading the GC majority and upgrading the TC minority into a "community" status,both making up what we call "a Cyprus people". That should be regarded as a good will compromise already.
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Postby MicAtCyp » Tue Aug 24, 2004 10:24 am

Erol,

i think you provided a link in the past giving the definition of what "a people" is.Please re-provide it if possible as I got lost in the so many threads and posts.As I remember it was defining "a people" as a distinctive group having common culture, language etc.One may wonder what is the difference of "a people" and a "minority" then. Furthermore one may wonder what is the difference of "a people" and "a nation". For example the Greek nation includes both the Greeks living inside the borders of Greece but also the diaspora Greeks.And according to your definition the diaspora Greeks would be "a people" with self determination rights!! I think (from what I remember) your definition lacks an important parameter.And that is the ownership of a concentrated geographical area of living.
In my opinion if a group is spread all over a country in small numbers whereas another group is also spread in the same places in vast numbers the first is called a minority and the second a majority. And I think this is the case of Cyprus.
In the 60s the rights of a minority were not very well defined and it was upto the majority to give the minority some rights.Today with the development of International law and the Acquis communautaires the rights of a minority are very well defined, respected, and secured.In fact what grades an EU country is how well they protect their minorities.And that does not include the political minorities but social minorities as well e.g the homo, the handicapped, etc.

The TCs were and still actually are a minority.Before 1960 they were lacking the prerequisite to be living as a majority in a fixed and concentrated geographical area. That’s what the effort for the creation of enclaves was all about, i.e create many small ones that later unite into a bigger one.After 1974 we had exactly the same effort, i.e the concentration of the TCs into one big area.Thus all the pre-requisites for defining them "a people" with self determination rights seemed to occur. With just one exception: That the lands in which they now live don't belong to them!! So unless the GCs sign you the donation of their properties and lands that pre-requisite no longer exists....

The Eoka struggle was based on the principle of self determination of the GC as "a people". Because they were the only ones who could fill the criteria for this definition.In this respect their demand for Enosis was perfectly legal.
What happened though is that the 1960 constitution would be completely illegal unless some other definition would be invented to bypass the definition of the GCs as the only group of "a people" having self determination rights. And that was the "community" definition.This definition was obviously wrong from the very begining. The TCs could well fit all criteria for this definition but the GCs did not.Such a definition is given only when a country consists of many minorities none of which is bigger than the 50%.
In the respect I totally disagree with what you said that what we have today i.e the RoC is the result of the fact that the TCs earned their right to be called "a people".What actually happened is that both the 78% majority, and the 18% minority were defined by the British as communities to avoid a unilatteral decision of the one and only group that qualified as a people to excercise their self determination right.

Therefore the only 2 options today are either we call both the GCs and the TCs as communities with global self determination right as Cypriots or we go back to the real definition of majority and minority in which only the majority has self determination rights.I think the first option although might not be correct,however it suits everyone fine, don't you?

One last thing I would like to comment.Like I said before the degrading of the GCs into a community status in the 1960 constitution actually aimed at protecting the minority from Enosis plus granting it superficial rights.The Enosis question is totally out of question today, whereas the minority rights are very well difined and protected in the Acquis communautaires. So although the Tcs have nothing to fear by either be called a minority or a community, it is obvious that the GCs have everything to lose including all their homes/lands/properties if the TCs are further upgraded from the fictional community status to "a people" status, because that would automatically mean the aquiring of the now illegal held GC properties and lands.

NB. Suppose the TCs were living concentrated and sepparately at an 18% of the Geographical area of Cyprus in lands of their own.Do you think that the Gcs would have any objection or could by any means stop the TCs from been defined as "a people" with full self determination rights? That would obviously mean creating their own state or annexing their area to Turkey. That would pretty much justify your claim that should the GCs object, could be called sadists who just want to dominate the TCs. Since however this was not and still is not the case, this is a simplistic and invalid argument often heard from the TC propaganda machine.
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Postby erolz » Tue Aug 24, 2004 12:04 pm

MicAtCyp wrote: Erol,
i think you provided a link in the past giving the definition of what "a people" is.Please re-provide it if possible as I got lost in the so many threads and posts.


It is here

http://www.eleves.ens.fr/home/blondeel/law.html

It is the opinion of Robert Mcquorqudale Fellow and Lecturer in Law, St John's College, University of Cambridge.

I also present another view on this complex issue - namely that of John Reddaway as I have it to hand

7. Self-determination: the Gordian knot
The concept of self-determination is deceptively simple. It began life as a political principle in President Wilson's Fourteen Points of January 1918 was developed by international jurists into a legal principle and was then enshrined as a right in the U.N. Charter. It appeals to common sense, as well as to natural justice, However, it lacks precision both in its substance and in its method. When it has to he applied to actual cases - in particular those where more than one people inhabit a single territory - inherent questions and difficulties arise. How large must a people be to qualify both in absolute terms and in relation to other peoples inhabiting the same land? What evidence must they show of a will for independence and a capacity to govern themselves? And of the viability of the state they propose to establish? To what extent do they need to own or occupy the land they claim for thr,ir national state? (it was not until after armed conflict had resulted from the U.N, decision to partition Palestine and had destroyed the previous division of territory between Jews and Arabs that the., former could base their claim on the occupation of identifiable and sufficient territory for a viable state). How far are these considerations of viability relevant if the aim is not to establish an independent state but simply to unite with another, already existing state? How far does the exercise of this right depend on obtaining the consent of other parties affected by it or on the approval of the international community as a whole? How far is it necessary and justifiable to limit its exercise by one people in order to accommodate the corresponding right of another people living in the same country? (The Swiss Federation provides an example of voluntary and self-imposed limitations in order to accommodate the rights and wishes of its constituent peoples).

Cyprus was a classic case to illustrate problems of this kind. There was no doubt about the capacity of the Cypriots, Greek and Turk, to. rule themselves. The will was there on the Greek side - and on the Turkish side also, provided that self-rule did not mean subjugation to Greece. The Island as a whole was certainly large enough for a viable state; whether, if it were fragmented into two, both the resulting states would be viable, was more debatable, but not inherently impossible. As for population, it certainly had a combined population sufficient for an independent state. So too were the 430,000 Greek Cypriots. Whether the 100,000 Turks would suffice. for a viable state was doubtful; much would depend on the size and location of the territory they received. They could however argue that there were other recognised states with similarly small populations. (The population of Iceland was not much larger).


MicAtCyp wrote:As I remember it was defining "a people" as a distinctive group having common culture, language etc.One may wonder what is the difference of "a people" and a "minority" then.


Its a complex issue imo. As I read McCorquodale paper it seemed to me there was two 'approaches' to determining a people. One on a criterai approach (which includes 'being a certain number' and 'territorial connection') and the other approach is a 'single state' approach. For me in a country like the UK, British citizens of Indian ethnecity are nor a 'peoples' but a 'minority' based on the 'single state approach'. However in Cyprus I do not think the 'single state approach' is a relevant approach because there was essentialy no 'single state' into which a minority came. There was no state of Cyprus just an island of Cyprus which already contained two seperate peoples. In the case of say marionites in Cyprus I consider them a minority and not a people based on the 'being a certain number' criteria.

MicAtCyp wrote:Furthermore one may wonder what is the difference of "a people" and "a nation". For example the Greek nation includes both the Greeks living inside the borders of Greece but also the diaspora Greeks.And according to your definition the diaspora Greeks would be "a people" with self determination rights!! I think (from what I remember) your definition lacks an important parameter.And that is the ownership of a concentrated geographical area of living.


The criteria approach does include 'territorial connection' as McCorquodale puts it.

MicAtCyp wrote:In my opinion if a group is spread all over a country in small numbers whereas another group is also spread in the same places in vast numbers the first is called a minority and the second a majority. And I think this is the case of Cyprus.


I understand the basis of your argument but personaly do not agree that TC were not sufficently 'territorialy connected' to nulify any right to self determination in 1960. It is no doubt true that this aspect of 'defining a people' led to efforts on TC side to seek greater seperation of the communites and on the GC to resist such efforts.

MicAtCyp wrote:In the 60s the rights of a minority were not very well defined and it was upto the majority to give the minority some rights.Today with the development of International law and the Acquis communautaires the rights of a minority are very well defined, respected, and secured.In fact what grades an EU country is how well they protect their minorities.And that does not include the political minorities but social minorities as well e.g the homo, the handicapped, etc.


I agree that the rights of minorites are better defined and recognised now but the issue is that I do not want the TC people to be defined as a minority. Just take the issue of language for one example. Minorites have a right to use their language but not a right to insist it becomes an _offical_ language of a state they live in.

MicAtCyp wrote:The TCs were and still actually are a minority.Before 1960 they were lacking the prerequisite to be living as a majority in a fixed and concentrated geographical area. That’s what the effort for the creation of enclaves was all about, i.e create many small ones that later unite into a bigger one.After 1974 we had exactly the same effort, i.e the concentration of the TCs into one big area.Thus all the pre-requisites for defining them "a people" with self determination rights seemed to occur. With just one exception: That the lands in which they now live don't belong to them!! So unless the GCs sign you the donation of their properties and lands that pre-requisite no longer exists....


I agree that much of the motivation to increase seperation of the peoples was driven by this factor. However it is also true than most of the resistance to this by GC was driven by the same reason. Who knows what would have happened if GC had been willing to accept a TC right to self determination without total and strict geographical seperations of the peoples. Maybe the desire for increasing seperation on the part of TC would not have been as strong or considered as necessary if they had?

MicAtCyp wrote:The Eoka struggle was based on the principle of self determination of the GC as "a people". Because they were the only ones who could fill the criteria for this definition.In this respect their demand for Enosis was perfectly legal.


Nobody denies the legailty of EOKAs demands. I have questioned the legality of their methods. I also question the assertion that GC were the only ones that met the criteria for being a people in Cyprus.

MicAtCyp wrote:What happened though is that the 1960 constitution would be completely illegal unless some other definition would be invented to bypass the definition of the GCs as the only group of "a people" having self determination rights. And that was the "community" definition.This definition was obviously wrong from the very begining. The TCs could well fit all criteria for this definition but the GCs did not.Such a definition is given only when a country consists of many minorities none of which is bigger than the 50%.


Like I have said before I think the 1960 consitution was a compromise on the right to self determination of the two seperate people. It is also clear to me however that this compromised was based on the _concept_ of equality of GC and TC as peoples.

MicAtCyp wrote:In the respect I totally disagree with what you said that what we have today i.e the RoC is the result of the fact that the TCs earned their right to be called "a people".What actually happened is that both the 78% majority, and the 18% minority were defined by the British as communities to avoid a unilatteral decision of the one and only group that qualified as a people to excercise their self determination right.


If the world in form of the UN and/or Britian had accepted that there was only a single people in Cyprus or that only the GC represented a people (as you insist is an unidsputable fact) then nothing would have stood in the way of Enosis and the RoC would not exist today. That Britian did not agree to this may well have been motivated as much by a desire to resist ENOSIS as based on 'natural justice' may be true but that is hardly relevant to my point. In that sense all Britian wanted was bases. GC would have happily traded bases for ENOSIS back then imo. Also it was not just Britain that made these determinations, it was also the UN. Greece on behalf of GC (and itself) specificaly internationalised these issue and took them to the UN to argue that there was only one people in cyprus (GC or combined GC+TC) and thus ENOSIS could not be denied if that was the will of this single people in Cyprus. They lost these debates.

MicAtCyp wrote:Therefore the only 2 options today are either we call both the GCs and the TCs as communities with global self determination right as Cypriots or we go back to the real definition of majority and minority in which only the majority has self determination rights.I think the first option although might not be correct,however it suits everyone fine, don't you?


No. If you believe that the first option is not right then I fear for the long term stability of such a solution. If you state that 'concessions' to TC are not based on a concept of a right of TC I fear that these 'concessions' could be and may well be removed once GC have gained back those things that encouraged them to make the consession in the first place.

MicAtCyp wrote:One last thing I would like to comment.Like I said before the degrading of the GCs into a community status in the 1960 constitution actually aimed at protecting the minority from Enosis plus granting it superficial rights.The Enosis question is totally out of question today, whereas the minority rights are very well difined and protected in the Acquis communautaires. So although the Tcs have nothing to fear by either be called a minority or a community, it is obvious that the GCs have everything to lose including all their homes/lands/properties if the TCs are further upgraded from the fictional community status to "a people" status, because that would automatically mean the aquiring of the now illegal held GC properties and lands.


I disagree that TC have nothing to fear from 'minority' status. The change to one single offical language (Greek) in Cyprus is just one of many concerns related to TC simply being a minority in Cyprus. I also (totaly) disagree that accepting the concept of TC as a people with equality as a people to the GC people automatically means that properties lost by GC in 74 will magically become legaly and totaly owned by TC.

MicAtCyp wrote:NB. Suppose the TCs were living concentrated and sepparately at an 18% of the Geographical area of Cyprus in lands of their own.Do you think that the Gcs would have any objection or could by any means stop the TCs from been defined as "a people" with full self determination rights? That would obviously mean creating their own state or annexing their area to Turkey. That would pretty much justify your claim that should the GCs object, could be called sadists who just want to dominate the TCs. Since however this was not and still is not the case, this is a simplistic and invalid argument often heard from the TC propaganda machine.


If in 74 we had taken lands exactly equal in value or size to those we gave up in the south I still think you would have declared the TRNC as illegal and argued that TC had no right to self determination, unsing all the arguments you use above. It is a fact as far as I am concerned that GC have always and totaly resisted any countenacing of seperation of the peoples and establishing of two seperate states in Cyprus. This idea of _fair_ seperation of the tow peoples was suggested many many times in Cyprus' history by many different entities and has always been rejected as unacceptable by GC. When you couple this reality with a similar unequivacal insistance that there is only one people in Cyprus then I am sorry but to me that does seem like a desire and will of GC to diominate and control ALL of Cyrpus.
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Postby insan » Tue Aug 24, 2004 11:00 pm

I can't understand what you are trying to allude to each other...


- There are two communities namely GCs and TCs and some minorities in Cyprus... Right?

- They became independent in 1960 and established RoC. Right?

- The continuation of Enosis and Taksim ideals and furthermore disproportional power sharing in favour of TCs; moreover denial of 13 constitutional ammendments by TCs leadership had been the main reasons of intercommunal violance...Right?

- If the TCs had agreed those 13 constitutional ammendments and both sides extremists had abandoned their prohibited ideals; most probably everything would be fixed in 1963. Right?

- Unfortunately, they kept acting illegally and made the situation to reach a point that there is no turning back. Right?


- A full-stop should be put that blood shedding and never ending blind fight. Right?


- Greek Junta used its chance via coup d'etat.

- Junta's aim was Enosis and sooner or later they would declare it via Sampson. Right?


- Sooner or later Coupist would destroy all of the obstacles in front of Enosis. Right?


- If Coup was organized by CIA and Juntas aim was to invite Turkey to negotiate partition, there were no obstacles in front of Junta to make that invitation to Turkey in the following days of the Coup. Right?


- As a consequence of coup, Turkey used her chance with intervention and creation of two ethnic zones. Right?


- Then Turkey told it would be better to find a solution on a federative basis and GC leadership agreed(Either they obliged to agree or logically agree). Right?


- The two constituent states would have the same sovereign rights limited with federal states law. Right?


- The executive and legislative power sharing in constituent states(House of Representatives) would be proportional. Right?


- The legislative power sharing(Senate) in central state would be equal. Right.


- The decisions will be taken by various majority votes dependingly the issues. Right?


- Equal power sharing in central state doesn't mean one party would block the other party. Right?


- Presidency would be based on a rotation. This doesn't mean degrading or harm the outnumbered community. Right?


- %21 is a sufficient number for those who would return to their properties and live in TC constituent state. Right?


- The number of GC refugees more than %21 of TC population of TC constituent state is not in favour of TCs because of the resource and proportional power sharing in TC constituent state. Right?



So what's the problem? As you will be able to understand, there will be a common self-determination willpower in central government(Senate). What's wrong with it? Why do you think that one party will be able to block the other party?



The problems I've seen so far are these:

1- Annan plan didn't give full political rights to the the GCs who would live in TC constituent state.

2- Annan Plan allowed all TRNC registered settlers(estimately 120.000) to stay and gave them the right to be the citizens of United Cyprus.

3- The intervention right of foreign guarantor powers.



The problem doesn't seem to me as a majority-minority problem or a "people" and their self-determination matter.
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Postby erolz » Wed Aug 25, 2004 12:37 am

insan wrote: - If the TCs had agreed those 13 constitutional ammendments and both sides extremists had abandoned their prohibited ideals; most probably everything would be fixed in 1963. Right?


I can not say I agree with this.

To me the proposed ammendments were in and of themselves extremist and designed (imo) not to solve issue of deadlock that had manifested by that time but actually to facilitate and ease previously prohibited ideals.

To me the proposed ammendments fundamentaly changed the whole basis of the agreed constituion and extended way past areas that had previously been a cause of deadlock. I can not see any way in which the TC could have agreed to the 13 points and I understand there refusal to negotiate on such a basis. Negotiation on addressing deadlock within the frame work of the consitituion with perhpas minor ammendments to it - ok. But negotiation on the basis of a massive and fundamantal change to the status of the two communites was to understandably not acceptable to TC.

There was an agreed 'balance' between the two communites in the original constituion. One side (predominately) sought to totaly change this balance. This balance is the core of the minority/ majority issue and the issue of the status of the two communites. It remains today at the core of the Cyprus problem - at least as I see things.

If the TC had simply agreed those ammendments imo at worst enosis would have resulted and at best a GC controlled and run Cyprus, with TC having no more rights as a people in Cyprus than the marionites had as a people in Cyprus (ie none).
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Postby insan » Wed Aug 25, 2004 11:23 am

erolz,

Some points of those constitutional ammendment proposol of Makarios were acceptable to TCs and others could be discussed and TCs could offer some counter proposals.

Here are those 13 points... Let's discuss them to find out how the issue could be solved democratically and peacefuly.


Suggested Measures For The Removal of Causes of Friction Between the Two Communities

1. The right of veto of the President and the Vice-President of the Republic to be abolished.

2. The Vice-President of the Republic to deputise for or replace the President of the Republic in case of his temporary absence or incapacity to perform his duties. In consequence, therefore, all the constitutional provisions in respect of joint action by the President and the Vice-President of the Republic to be modified accordingly.

3. The Greek President of the House of Representatives and its Turkish Vice-President to be elected by the House as a whole and not as at present the President by the Greek Members of the House and the Vice-President by the Turkish Members of the House.

4. The Vice-President of the House of Representatives to deputise for or replace the President of the House in case of his temporary absence or incapacity to perform his duties.

5. The constitutional provisions regarding separate majority for enactment of Laws by the House of Representatives to be abolished.

6. The constitutional provision regarding the establishment of separate Municipalities in the five main towns to be abolished. Provision should be made so that: (a) The Municipal Council in each of the aforesaid five towns shall consist of Greek and Turkish Councillors in proportion to the number of the Greek and Turkish inhabitants of such town by whom they shall be elected respectively. (b) In the Budget of each of such aforesaid towns, after deducting any expenditure required for common services, a percentage of the balance proportionate to the number of the Turkish inhabitants of such town shall be earmarked and disposed of in accordance with the wishes of the Turkish Councillors. 7. The constitutional provision regarding Courts consisting of Greek Judges to try Greeks and of Turkish Judges to try Turks and of mixed Courts consisting of Greek and Turkish Judges to try cases where the litigants are Greeks and Turks to be abolished.

8. The division of the Security Forces into Police and Gendarmerie to be abolished, (Provision to be made in case the Head of the Police is a Greek the Deputy Head to be a Turk and vice versa).

9. The numerical strength of the Security Forces and of the Army to be determined by Law and not by agreement between the President and the Vice-President of the Republic.

10. The proportion of the participation of Greek and Turkish Cypriots in the composition of the Public Service and of the Forces of the Republic, i.e. the Police and the Army, to be modified inproportion to the ratio of the population of Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

11. The number of the members of the Public Service Commission to be reduced from ten to either five or seven.

12. All the decisions of the Public Service Commission to be taken by simple majority. If there is an allegation of discrimination on the unanimous request either of the Greek or of the Turkish members of the Commission, its Chairman to be bound to refer the matter to the Supreme Constitutional Court.

13. The Greek Communal Chamber to be abolished".
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