The Cyprus News

Such a deal would in practical terms mean Turkish Cypriots giving up some of the land now in their control and the return of many, though not all, Greek Cypriot families to their former settlements. The deal would mean the Turkish community giving up some of the land it holds and many – but not all – Greek Cypriots returning to the homes they had to flee in the 1970s.

If such a plan had been implemented the presen t ‘green line’, which even divides the capital , Nicosia, would have disappeared and the island could have been re-united as a loose federation which would then have allowed the new Republic of Cyprus to become a member of the European Union. Turkey itself, with its own hopes of entering the European Union, was keen for the conflict to be resolved, and Turkey joined with those urging the Turkish Cypriots to show a greater degree of flexibility with the Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, encouraging Mr Denktash to give way to at least some Greek Cypriot demands.

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Unfortunately for the hopes of the north, encouraged by their leader Mr Papadoupolos ,in a parallel referendum, the plan was rejected by three quarters of the Greek population in the south As the island’s official government, (That in the North is only officially recognised by Turkey) southern Cyprus was allowed to enter the EU and its economy has benefitted ever since.

At the time of Mr Blair’s report however Northern Cyprus could trade directly with the EU and its only airport had no flights except those back and forth toTurkey. Mr Talat believes, as do many observors, that ending such an isolationist position would be the ‘best remedy for the present situation, said Mr Talat. It would bolster “pro-solution” politicians and at the same time provide Mr Papadopoulos with a new reason to go through with negotiations.

Also in 2007 The Cyprus News Agency carried a report ‘President Cyprus Talks’ claiming that Greek Cypriot President Demetris Christofias had said that he was not pleased with the amount of progress achieved up until that time in the ongoing peace talks Mr Talat, the leader of the northern Turkish Cypriot community. The President did stress however that he is was not disappointed and would continue with his efforts to bring about a reunited Cyprus, as he saw other option available that could bring about a solution except through dialogue.

He called upon the Turkish government in Ankara to make changes in its policy towards Cyprus and so accept a solution which will bring to an end the Turkish occupation of the island’s northern part and so bring to an end Cypriot dependence on mainland Turkey. The President was speaking at a particularly sensitive point for he was at a memorial service being held for those on both sides, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, who had been killed because of their belief in peace, and an end to struggle between the island’s two communities.

President Christofias claimed he was totally committed to working towards a political settlement, a bizonal and bicommunal federation as set out by the United Nations, a solution that will rid the country of political inequality as well as the Turkish military and illegal settlers. Such a settlement would restore human rights and bring together a united country with a single citizenship and a united personality on the world stage.. The EuObserver. com web page Parliament Group Split Over Turkish Cypriot Approach

This report from November 2007 originated in Brussels, where the European Community Parliament meets. Elitsa Vechuva reports that the German MEP, Cem Ozdemir, of the Green party, had recently said that the group of 8 MEPs designated to deal with the problem of Turkish Cyprus were :-‘no longer the appropriate instrument for the European Parliament to effectively deal with the Cyprus issue’. He reported that the group had traveled to the island on several occasions.

They had always had talks with exactly the same group of islanders and theses conversations had made no difference to the situation there i. e the groups efforts had proved to be totally ineffective. One of the groups conclusions were that if Turkish were adopted as an official E. U. language this would facilitate intercourse with the Turkish Cypriot community and so lift their isolation. The parliamentary group had been given the task of establishing relations between the European community and Turkish Cypriots and to gather information on the political and economic situation on the island.

They were also required to ensure that information about the European Unnion would be passed on and were requested to monitor the implementation of measures that had been proposed by the European Commission regarding financial and commercial matters. However as the group did not officially recognize the Turkish Cypriot parliament, now long established, this self made impediment proved to make their task much harder than it might be. Because of the disparity in numbers between the two sides Greek 77%, Turkish 18%, other 5% according to figures from 2001 as found on the CIAWorldfact Cyprus web page.