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Annan Plan vs. 1960 Constitution

Propose and discuss specific solutions to aspects of the Cyprus Problem

Annan Plan vs. 1960 Constitution

Postby turkcyp » Tue Jan 04, 2005 9:56 pm

Taking two different sources as basis of discussion

a) What changes do you want to Annan Plan to form the basis for acceptable solution?
b) What changes do you want to 1960 constitution to form the basis for acceptable solution?

These questions have been asked to identify the differences of opinions on these two structures. GCs and TCs can tell what they want so that we can do some give and take to advance a solution.

a) For Annan plan the changes I want,
- The duties of federal government should be identified in detail and whatever is left behind should be left to states.
- Presidential council should not be chosen by the parliament but by the individual states on state-wide ballots.
- Senators should be reduced from 48 to lower and lower level parliament should be increased from 48 to higher.
- Every state should decide how they select their individual representatives at the national level, (or senate, congress or presidential council)
- Federal contribution to each state should be on the basis for taxes collected from each state, and each state should have the right to impose its own taxes (next to Federal taxes) in its own territory to supplement that income coming from Federal level. ( I think those in GC complaining about inequality in cost sharing should love this)

For Annan Plan the changes I can tolerate,
The list is taken from Mr. Lordos’s study
Alexandros Lordos wrote:1- The withdrawal of Turkish troops to take place much sooner than provided for in the current version of the Plan 76%
2- Turkey should contribute financially for the compensation of refugees who will not have their property returned 75%
3- A greater number of settlers should leave Cyprus than currently provided for in the Plan 75%
4- The cost of operation of the Federal state to be divided more equitably, so that Greek Cypriots do not end up having to shoulder 90% of the cost 73%
5- Provide international guarantees that the solution will be implemented, including serious consequences for the side that will violate provisions of the agreement 72%
6- Ensure that the new state is the legal successor state to the Republic of Cyprus 66%
7- Define absolute limits to the influx of Turkish citizens in Cyprus, in such a way as to secure the long term demographic balance on the island 64%
8- A greater proportion of each refugee’s property that lies in areas belonging to the other constituent state should be returned to its rightful owners than currently provided for in the plan. 63%
9- Guarantor powers should not have the right of unilateral intervention 61%
10- Eventual withdrawal of the Turkish and Greek contingents of 650 and 950 men respectively 58%


From these:
All acceptable are: 1, 4, 5, 10.
Acceptable with a twist are: 2, 3, 6, 7, 9
Non acceptable ones are: 8
(there are other things in my mind as well but these are for starters)


b) For 1960 Constitution:
- I want bizonality
- I can give up 70-30 ratio.

There are other things as well that can be negotiated from 1960 constitution, but I guess GCs have to come up with their demands of change so we can evaluate them.
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Postby brother » Wed Jan 05, 2005 11:23 am

Look we constantly compromise but the gc leadership does not say what it wants, would it not be better if we had something to go on before we start talking of amending annan or 1960 constitution.
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Postby Piratis » Wed Jan 05, 2005 8:26 pm

Look we constantly compromise but the gc leadership does not say what it wants, would it not be better if we had something to go on before we start talking of amending annan or 1960 constitution.


What are the compromises that you made?
If I come and steal half of your belongings and then I give you back 1/10th of them, does this mean I compromise? Should I expect from you to give me something in return because I give part of what I stole from you back?

The only legal thing that exist in Cyprus today is RoC. If you want to start a "give and take" having RoC as basis then no problem. But what you do is to steal, and then give back part of what you stole and supposedly this should be considered a compromise!!

a) What changes do you want to Annan Plan to form the basis for acceptable solution?

The Annan plan is so screwed up, that much less ink would be needed to write a brand new plan, than to correct the previews one. If they insist to correct Annan 5, it can be done, but the list of changes is so huge I would have to type here until Sunday to finish.


b) What changes do you want to 1960 constitution to form the basis for acceptable solution?

The 1960 is acceptable as it is. However I would be willing to give some things up (but not just anything) if some unfair things were removed, such as the 30% of TCs requirement for government employees.
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Postby Alexandros Lordos » Thu Jan 06, 2005 12:12 am

turkcyp,

I think you have started a very interesting thread. May it live on for many many weeks ... :)

Has anyone else noticed it, that since about two weeks ago people in this forum are more willing to sit and think about where we can go from here? ...

Maybe at last we are escaping the post-referendum depression ...

Concerning the changes you would tolerate, turkcyp, I found it interesting that you are open to almost all GC demands,
except property... What is your reasoning behind this? Why do you consider property to be a totally non-negotiable issue?
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Postby turkcyp » Thu Jan 06, 2005 1:08 am

Dear Mr. Lordos,

Let me elaborate more on the point so you can have a better understanding.

First of al I want to say that I would like to add further some more changes to Annan Plan after a thorough thought process.

- It has to be specifically explicit that, the GCs that move to Turkish Cypriot state, could only participate political life on the local level (meaning municipality level, but not at the state and federal level. Even state level can be accepted to certain degrees if the subject is about culture, education, internal state finance, but not about election laws, state constitution etc. etc.) These GCs must exercise their state and federal level participation on GC state.

- The notion of residency must be explicitly defined saying that the GCs moving to TC state, are not becoming permanent resident in the TC state, but the property they acquire serve them as secondary property, so that their residency and thus participation in state and federal politics is restricted to GC state.

- If the above two conditions are met then we can also accept the changes in the restriction of percentage of GCs can obtain property in the north. If these two conditions are accepted then TCs would feel more comfortable of being dominated by GCs, so that they would not oppose to much higher restriction than Annan plan proposes.

- At the senate level special majority voting should require at least half of each constituent state instead of (2/5). This guarantees (theoretically at least) that at least half of each state agrees to decisions.

Now turning back to your ten points. Point by point.

1) Acceptable. I believe Cyprus should completely be demilitarized. The sooner the better. This includes all the military, paramilitary, and anything other than ordinary criminal police. The only weapons that should be allowed in Cyprus (other than police guns, and even than police should not carry them all the time) are hunting guns. And these should be provide after strict restrictions and should be limited in number. I think hunting is one of the most primitive way of sporting.

2) Acceptable with a twist.I can agree with this, but this does not directly relate to TCs so it should be agreed by Turkey. But in any case there can be found a explicit formula how the cost of compensation of refugees will be shared. Also I believe that the settlers that are entitled to stay after the solution should compensate for their acquired properties.

3) Acceptable with a twist.This is acceptable for me, but you should realize that it may not be feasible. Most of the settlers in the last referendum voted to “Yes”. If you force more of them to return you will always risk getting a “No” in the referendum. Caution is the twist.

4) Acceptable. This is acceptable as well. You can see from my previous proposals for change in Annan Plan. It can be decided prior hand how the tax revenues for federal government are going to be raised, and then later on the net taxes ( federal tax receipts – federal expenses) can be returned back to states on the same proportion of revenues being collected. But as I have said earlier. Together with this each state also should be given opportunity to manage its own fiscal policy (just as in USA) so that they can raise funds from other means, like income tax, sales tax, VAT, property tax, borrowing, etc. etc.)

5) Acceptable. If anybody is not going to abide by the agreement, then I do not believe any international sanctions deterring him/her, but if this makes our GC friends feel more comfortable than I have absolutely nothing against it. May be they believe that we are in this with good faith.

6) Acceptable with a twist. THIS IS VERY TRICKY. If the new state is made continuation of the old RoC, then it should explicitly state that the RoC is the RoC of 1960, not of 1964. And this should be accepted by UN, and all the UN resolutions referring RoC as only Greek after 1964 should be deemed invalid. Also the EU itself should agree at the council level and at individual country level to the new agreement so that the new agreement with its derogations becomes EU’s primary law. If these conditions are not met then GC side will have every inclination not to abide by the rules of the agreement and let the things fall apart, in which case they actually obtain their maximalist desires, by just adding the TCs to the currently existing RoC constitutional structure to the dismay of TCs.

7) Acceptable with a twist.The same limits should also be defined to Greeks as well. I mean we constitute around %20 of society. Who would guarantee that when in EU with influx of Greeks from mainland we wont be further reduced to let’s say %5. (I know Piratis would love this though. :) ). And both of these restrictions should be lifted if and when Turkey becomes a EU member.

8 ) I will talk about this in detail in another post since you specifically asked about this.

9) Acceptable with a twist.Look at the answer to 5, 6. I do not believe that international guarantees is a detrimental factor to any country, but at the same time if the solution fails, we need unilateral guarantee of Turkey. Thus point 6. Without this, as in point 6, guarantee in the event of failure of solution, GCs have a lot of incentive not to abide by the terms of the solution.

10) Acceptable. Look answer 1.
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Postby turkcyp » Thu Jan 06, 2005 1:56 am

Now about point 8,

Property situation in Cyprus is probably the most tricky issue of all. For many TCs like me, (who have actually obtained much less than what we have left behind) it is an issue of uttermost economic importance. And I totally believe at the end of the day when people vote they vote with their pocketbook.

Turning back to issue. Many TCs look at the property issue as follows:

We did not start this mess in Cyprus. GCs started it 1963. And we have suffered until the period of 1974. After 1974, we would have loved to find an agreement immediately, and settle this property problem with much less damage imposed on GCs but again, it was not our fault that GCs kept on insisting unrealistic demands like “All the refugees should return”. We saw this everyday in Cyprus politics. GC political leaders lying to their own people everyday, and making them believe that at the end of the day they will all turn back to their properties. And GCs just seemed happy to accept sweet lies and propaganda machine, against the realities of the world.

The realities are that after 1974, TC made a new fresh start to life. We have accepted that we have lost our properties, in the south, and started reinvesting in the properties we have acquired after 1974. This was just fair to us, because most of us had left comparable properties at the south. Many of us had obtained much less than what we have left anyway. (There were a portion of TC society that have obtained much more than what they have left, nobody can deny this.) About the settlers. We felt angry first. Because most of them were getting more property than we have got, although they have lost nothing at the south. It was not fair even for us let alone GCs. But we come to accept this as the price we have to pay, for our lives (and yes majority of TCs believe that if Turkey did not intervene, our lives were at stake). Kind of “Denize dusen yilana sarilir” (‘That who fall into sea, grabs the snake’ meaning instead of drowning in the sea, I’ll take my chances with the snake to survive.) And in time we see that initial settlers were poor and they acclimated to Cyprus society so we have come into peace with them.

But in all of the TCs mind. The properties we have left behind were a lost case, and we simply moved on. And started building our lives in a new shape from scratch. And trust me this has not been very easy, for most of the TCs. And after 30 years when the borders have opened what we have seen in the south that in reality as well we have nothing left. Majority of the Turkish properties in the south are in shambles. Have never been invested in. Majority of the houses have been demolished. We simply do not have anything to turn back to right now. And the usable TC properties in the south has been used by GC refugees anyway.

So we simply accepted the new life and moved on, and quite frankly there is no alternative for us anyway. We have left properties behind with some economical value, which after 30 years their economical value is close to zero. And we have come and invested in new properties here in north, and made it ours. Now saying that TCs should move one more time and start from the scratch again for the second time is not acceptable to majority of TCs.

We totally can see the damage this new situation had caused to many GCs, but again we have not started this mess, but we have paid the price for it once, and simply are not ready to pay the price for a second time.

Having said that, we also believe that the settlers that have never pay a price for the properties that they have obtained should pay that price. And there can be mechanisms established for that like long term mortgage system, let-to- own system.

But causing many TCs to move one more time from the properties they have settled and invested in is not only acceptable but not feasible as well.

Please do not just think that you guys were the only ones who have suffered with the loss of property. The only difference is. We have moved on, and made your property ours, but your government did not do the same thing for you, but let the TC properties in south become meaningless, and thus actively gambled on your lives, and kept on lying to you sand said “All of the settlers will turn back” All of the settlers turning back means, all of the TCs that lost their property once, will loose again, which in return means not feasible, which in return means if they are forced to do so, they will be more intercommunal struggle in island.

And also please do not forget the fact that after 1963 many TCs never get to enjoy their own property but were forced to leave in enclaves as well. I know you may say it is not the same thing. But I guess my answer is this.

We have moved on. I guess you have to do the same.
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Postby Alexandros Lordos » Thu Jan 06, 2005 5:57 pm

Turkcyp,

you have raised a number of issues in your responses, all of them important ...

Allow me to respond "in installments" ... :)

In this post, I will focus on the issue of voting rights and property rights. You say that you can accept residence of GCs in the TC state, but only if they do not have full voting rights. You concede the right to vote in municipal elections, and on "certain key issues" in the state elections, but nothing beyond that ...

The problem I have with these ideas is that they relegate the GCs in the north to second-class citizens, politically unprotected and at the mercy of politicians who will not care whether the GC voter is satisfied or not ...

(Furthermore, it is impossible to separate "key issues" from "non-key issues" in this instance: Either they vote in the State elections, or they do not vote in the State elections. After the vote is cast, all decisions, key, or non-key, are the responsibility of the elected representatives ...)

I can accept having a permanent percent limit to the number of GCs who can relocate to the north and acquire the internal citizenship of the TC state (...say, 30% of the total TC population). Furthermore, I can just about accept the senate being elected separately by GCs and TCs, and perhaps I could also accept, if absolutely necessary, that the Federal House of Deputies is also elected separately ...

But, on the constituent state level, I would not accept anything less than full voting rights for this 30% GCs who will have been awarded citizenship of the TC constituent state ... the key theme here, is that the GCs should feel welcome to come and relocate to the north, that they will be fully respected as members of the civil society ... What sense would there be in them voting in the south, if all their livelihood is in the north, and if all the political decisions that affect them on a day-to-day level take place in the north?

TCs always complain about their experiences as an unprotected minority, cut out from decision making (1963-1974), but you would now have GCs put in that position?

Now, concerning property and "moving on" ...

I can accept and respect the fact that TCs have now moved on and consider the north to be their home, even if they were originally from the south. Indeed, I would be against a solution that did not respect the rights of TCs to stay where they are now ...

Having said that, I think it is also fair to respect that GCs have not moved on in the same way ... that GCs who now live in the so called "refugee neighborhoods" still cry themselves to sleep every night and dream of the day when they can return to their homes ... most of these people now live in small and cramped government owned houses, and when you visit them they will even now talk to you about their villages and their orchards and their life in the north.

I believe the best way to resolve the property issue is to accept the principle of property exchange, where relocated TCs are concerned, so that the TCs will not have to become refugees for a second (or third) time, but otherwise to return all (or most) property to its original owners. In other words, TCs to be able to exchange their properties in the south for the houses they currently live in, and GCs to be able to get their own properties back in the north except those properties which have been exchanged as above. In this way, TCs and GCs are both satisfied to the extent that is possible.

I am willing to make an exception to the above rule when it comes to corporate property and property that has been heavily invested by TC current occupants ... in these cases, I would be willing to consider compensation. What I am not willing to tolerate are those provisions in the current Annan Plan that give priority control of property to settlers and also to those british, germans etc. who "bought" GC homes at "bargain prices" ... furthermore, I do not see a reason for the 33% limit to property restitution. If current TC occupants and TC investments are protected, why not 100% restitution?

Let us not forget also that the current scheme of property compensation, as per the Annan Plan, is fraught with dangers and may lead either to economic collapse or to a substantial part of the island being bought by foreigners. Let me explain: It is estimated that the total cost of compensations will be 10 billion Cyprus Pounds. In order to finance this huge expense, the Property Board will be pressed to sell the properties under its control at a very fast rate ... if it is succesful in doing so, then property prices will plummet (unless ofcourse foreign demand is very high, in which case a large part of Cyprus will have been sold to foreigners). If property prices plummet, then it will be very difficult for the property board to raise the 10 billion pounds it will need ... therefore, the compensation bond system will collapse, leading to an economic crash and making the bonds worthless. So, no compensation (since the bonds will be worthless) and no property (since most of it will have been sold to Europeans)...

The best insurance against all this happening, is to avoid having to compensate as far as possible, by restituting property to its original owners and by making straight property exchanges between GCs and TCs ...

To wrap it all together, I think we should not fear allowing GCs to return to the north, (so long as their is a permanent percent limit to how many of them can become residents), and giving them full voting rights (so long as TC equality in the Federal Senate and TC majority in the Turkish Cypriot State are protected). I also do not see a problem with GCs being given back their property in the north, so long as exceptions are made to protect TC current occupants and heavily invested properties...

Oh, by the way, you can lose the "Mr Lordos" ... just call me Alexandros :wink:
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Postby insan » Thu Jan 06, 2005 6:10 pm

But, on the constituent state level, I would not accept anything less than full voting rights for this 30% GCs who will have been awarded citizenship of the TC constituent state ... the key theme here, is that the GCs should feel welcome to come and relocate to the north, that they will be fully respected as members of the civil society ... What sense would there be in them voting in the south, if all their livelihood is in the north, and if all the political decisions that affect them on a day-to-day level take place in the north?



Alexandros, you well explained the core point of this issue. I wonder what you think about my proposal for political equality... Would you have a look at the thread "political equality for all" and tell me your opinions. I believe that the model of political structure I put forward in that thread is the ultimate answer for a healthy, viable, stable co-existence of two communities. I strongly believe that such a political structure would stimulate the members of two communities to feel comfortable to collaborate and this would rapidly push them into an integration climate.
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Postby turkcyp » Thu Jan 06, 2005 6:57 pm

Dear Alexandros,

Let me respond to these in two posts. First about voting rights, and the second about property. (Trust me we are not that far away at the property issue, now that I have realized you are not proposing TCs being refuges for the second or third time).

But first things first, let me respond to voting rights question,

Okay let me first clarify my objective of proposing those measures. Those measures are proposed to ensure that political equality at the federal senate level will not be broken in the future. And yes even the state level restrictions are necessary for those equality.

You can now say that how can it be broken. The constitution will say that there will be equal (24=24) (And this 48 is to much if you ask me, this should be reduced and lower level should be increased if you ask me) GCs and TCs in the senate. But you know that in modern world you can not discriminate on the level of ethnicity when it comes to political participation.

The only level you can restrict political participation (includes electing and being elected which goes hand in hand, and are not seperable) is on the level of residency. So if GCs and TCs become the same equally protected rights of the TC state then there is no way you can say that GCs can not become member of the federal senate from the TC state, effectively killing equality at the senate.

The only way you can do this is, if you say that the GCs moving to TC state, and it can be much more than %30 by the way, has their primary residencies in the GC state, and TC state property is not their primary but secondary property. At this level you can restrict their political rights.

There are also other ways as well but the other will not be acceptable to you at all, because the others restrict GCs being TC state citizen at all. But this way GCs can become citizen of both states, but their primary residency would lie at the GC state so that they can not disrupt the senate equality.

Legally no court would uphold a law that restricts rights of a citizen (GC in this case) being elected on the basis of its ethnicity. It is plain ethnically motivated discrimination. So if we want this agreement to sustain in time then we should also realize what is acceptable from legal perspective. I am simply talking from legal perspective. If you pass the law as it is in Annan Plan, the next day it will be turned from courts in EU.

Now coming to my proposal and your fears of GCs being unprotected minority in TC state. All the day to day decisions relating their life can be decided at the local/municipality level, so that they can participate. Tell me an area where this can not be done. Even at the issue of education this can be done, at the very local level, exactly like in US.

In US every state is comprised of separate education districts, which decided their own curriculum according to their constituencies. So lets say a school district in Kyrenia which serves majority GCs can change the curriculum more to the likings of GCs. There are even schools in US that teaches in Spanish because their main constituencies are mainly Mexican immigrants.

Preety much every executive responsibility of the state can also be further decentralized to local levels. Just tell me an area which this can not be done.

It is really interesting that you would accept permanent limitation on GCs becoming TC state citizen. Frankly I thought this was a No- No for most GCs that is why I was proposing other ways of eliminating this permanent restriction. So that they can come to TC state at higher amounts with limited political rights, at the national level (state and federal). And also this kind of permanent restrictions would be illegal aswell in the long run. Because the federal citizenship is what supercedes state citizenship, and you can not restrict changing citizenship of one state to another permanently. It simply is not legal.

What you can say is however is that this guy is teh citizen of both states because he has residency in both states, and his residency in one state is primary residency this is why he shoudl particiate political process at the state and federal level at that state.

I guess it really is a misconception of thinking the government in 2 levels (state and federal) instead of 3 levels (federal, state and local). In US when you talk about local governments you are really talking about municipalities, school districts, counties, cities, etc. etc, not state level. And it is mostly the local governments that provide majority of the services to residents not the state government.

State government mostly deals with the laws, but the executive power is very decentralized to local level governments.

And as I have said from legal point of view if we do not put limitation at the residency level, rather than citizenship level, it will not be uphold in the courts on the basis of discrimination. Which in return means there will not be a equality at the federal senate level.

If you can tell me a way of keeping equality at the federal senate level and at the same time provide no restrictions at the state level (not on local level), which at the same time would be uphold in courts than I am more than willing to listen and accept. But from my interpretation of law, you can not achieve that.

That is why when an English citizen moves to France, after 5 years he can only contribute to political process in France at the local level not at the French national level. But if you give every English the unlimited citizenship rights in France, then there are no way you can restrict them being elected to France national level, or to EU level from the quotes of France. Now replace English, French and EU with GC, TC and Federal government respectively and you would understand what I am saying. France can not stop an English being elected to EU from France after it has become France’s full citizen. Therefore all the restrictions in EU are based on residency not on citizenship. That is why I am proposing to really decentralize the state governments (France in this example) so that every daily lives decisions of residents is decided at the local level instead of state level.

It simply is not legal. Now I hope you understand why I have proposed those measures.

But I am more than willing to discuss your alternatives of keeping the equality in the Federal Senate level.
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Postby brother » Thu Jan 06, 2005 7:25 pm

Can i just jump in and say some TC like my family lost substantial properties in the south and have accepted NOTHING in the north and await the day the south stops holding it for ransom and lets us have our properties back.

Thieving ROC is a sham, if they are legitimate then start acting like it.
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