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Home arrow newsitems arrow UN Cyprus Talks' Setback: TextBook case against Abandoning Human Rights to Political bargaining.

UN Cyprus Talks' Setback: TextBook case against Abandoning Human Rights to Political bargaining.

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 22 November 2016

pilgrim_mountains_sunset__eurofora_400_03


*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/-
A sudden and strange Break-Down of UN sponsored Top Level InterCommunal Talks on the complex but Important, long overdue issue of Cyprus' ReUnification, still Pending since the 1974 Military Invasion and Occupation of a great part of the Strategically located Island, has not yet been clearly Explained, at least not at this Early moment.


Since Both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots had said that these Talks of  almost 10 Days at the superb Top of "Pilgrim Mountain"'s Swiss ressort had Earlier helped to make some Serious Progress,  (Despite several Remaining Disagreements to Bridge), in a quite Good overall Ambiance, as it was also attested by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon's Envoy for Cyprus, Espen B. Eide from Norway.

But, suddenly, an Official UN Anouncement reveals that, "Despite their best efforts, they have Not been able to achieve the Necessary further Convergences on criteria for Territorial adjustment, that would have paved the way for the Last Phase of talks". *
What does it Mean :  "Convergences on Criteria for Territorial Adjustment", and "Necessary ...for the Last Phase" ?


In Fact, the 1st Point concerned, Mainly (but not only) the Human Rights of about 200.000 Greek Cypriot Refugees/Displaced persons, (more than 23% of the Total Population of that small Country - almost as big as Luxembourg- at the moment of the Turkish Invasion of 1974), who had been notoriously Obliged to Flee the Foreign Military Invasion and Occupation of the Northern Part of the Country by Ankara's Troops since 1974, and are still Hindered to Return Back to their Familiy Homes, Private Properties and Ancestral Land, until Today (2016), Despite a series of ECHR Judgements clearly Condeming Turkey for such "Continuing" Violations, after relevant Both Individual and/or Inter-State Applications lodged by the Victims, already as early as since 1996 and 2001, etc., but also, more Recently, a landmark ECHR's Great Chamber's Decision,  of May 2014, (etc).


Indeed, as it had been already known, the Greek Cypriot Community had Agreed to Discuss "Territorial" issues on the Basis of "Criteria", which included, not only the Extension of Each Future Federated State's Land, as well as of its Coastline, (where f.ex. the Territories Occupied by Ankara's Military extend, since the 1974 Invasion up to More than 38% of Cyprus' Total Land, for Only 18% of its original Total Population, which, in Addition, has got since then, about 55% of the Island's Coastline), but Also the Number of Refugees/Displaced persons that would become able to Return Back Home, and their Family Homes/Private Properties, that they would recuperate, etc.  


This was the Only Way to try to Safeguard Refugees/Displaced Persons' Human Rights, who will play an Important Role also in the Popular Referendum for the Endorsement, or not, of any eventualy  Agreed Draft Plan for the Solution of Cyprus' Issue. At any case, it's also obvious that even the very Notion of "Territory" and its Equal Value, canNot Ignore the Fact that a given Piece of Land might, perhaps, be Only an Empty Wasteland, Lost somewhere at an insignificant point, or, on the Contrary, a well Populated and Fertile Area, located at a Strategic crossroads, etc.


=> That's why it had been clearly Agreed, between the two parties and the UN, that the Main Focus of the Talks on the "Pilgrim Mountain" would precisely be to Obrtain a Basic Agreement on the "Criteria" for Territory share, included at a Map, as a "Necessary" Condition, which would Open the Way to Advance, shortly Afterwards, to the Next, and probably Final Stage, of a Multilateral International Summit, due to Focus, on the Contrary, to the Differend, Security and Guarantees Issues.


But, at this, Crucial Point, various Converging, factual Indications started to emerge, which clearly showed that, somewhere at the Turkish Side, most Probably, there was a lot of Reluctance to Complete a Full Deal on Territory through InterCommunal Talks, before Starting to Deal with Security/Guarantees at a Final Multilateral International Summit, with the participation of the Turkish Government, Greece and the UK, (as well as, probably the EU, and UNO Security Council's Permanent Members, etc).


F.ex., among others, Turkey's President Erdogan reportedly made some Ambiguous Statements including an apparent suggestion for Ankara to alleviate, if not even entirely Skip, its Controversial Insistance for the Turkish Military to always have a "Right" to Unilateraly Invade Cyprus, also at Any Other Time in the Future, on Pretext of any (eventually Provoked) so called "Security" Risk, imaginable for Turkish Cypriots, on the Condition that Greek Cypriots make certain Important Concessions on Territorial Issues. Almost at the Same Time, some Felt that, amidst Turkish Cypriots, somewhere Started to Emerge a more or less obvious Reluctance to really Conclude a Deal on Territory Before any susbequent Summit, so that they appeared, at some point, to either drag their feet, stop exchanging constructive ideas for possible compromise, and/or even somehow Back-pedal from certain Earlier positions, which had initialy appeared as quite promissing, (etc).


Astonishingly, while the Greek Cypriot side had notoriously Limited its own Demands to the Return, under G/C Administration, of Only about Less than the Half of G/C Refugees/Displaced Persons to their Family Homes, Properties and Ancestral Land, (i.e. around 90.000 out of a Total of some 200.000), and, later-on, would even have accepted to discuss also a much Lower Number, (80.000 ), on the Contrary, some, reportedly pushed through the Turkish Cypriot side to Request to Drop deeply Down, even Lower and Lower, for Tens or even -20.000 to -30.000 Refugees Less than that... One of the Consequences may be also to Exclude any notable City (f.ex. Morphou) from being Restituted to its Original; predominantly Greek Cypriot, Lawful Inhabuitants)...


To the point that one Turkish Cypriot participant would have even Betrayed a quite Horrible Intent, eventualy Hidden behind 42 Years of Time-Consuming Obstructions against Human Rights' respect, by daring Claim that, in fact, the Greek Cypriots would Not Realize that, Meanwhile, ...Many Greek Cypriot Refugees/Displaced persons would have ... "Died" (sic !!!), vainly Waiting for Justice to be done...


(Comp. Experienced, former ECHR President, Luzius Wildhaber's sincere "Excuses", transmitted via "Eurofora"s co-Founder, then Published at "TCWeekly", for the 1st Tragic Case of a Woman Refugee from Cyprus who had really Died, by Old Age, while Waiting for Strasbourg's EuroJudges, and the CoE in general, to, at last, do Justice to her Family's complaint to the Court against Turkey's Refusal to let her Return back to her Home and ancestral Land, in the Occupied Territiories of Cyprus controlled by Ankara's Military).

+ In Addition, suddenly at this Same Crucial Point, attempts to Hastily Push towards an Immediate Multilateral Final Summit, even withOut having yet Settled any comprehensive Agreement on Territory, (i.e. Contrary to the previously Agreed overall Method of proceeding : Comp. Supra), became more and more Obvious and Frequent than ever before...


=> In Other Words, to put it in a  Nutshell, Turkey appeared (either to Speculate on a possible Failure of such a Hasty and Unprepared Summit, or) to Push for an Exchange between Security and Territorial Issues, i.e., in Fact, between Foreign Military Intervention and Refugees' Human Rights, (Comp. Supra) !...


>>> To put it Harshly but Clearly, such a Slipery Slope could even lead in a situation where the Greek Cypriot People might be, in Fact, asked by Turkey to Either Abandon all or most Refugees/Displaced Persons' Human Rights, or Submit to even More Risks of Foreign Military Invasions and Occupations by Ankara's Army !...


I.e., in substance, a sort of "Blackmail" situation, Ordering to "Choose" EITHER Human Rights OR Peace, Between Freedom OR Life !...


Precisely that kind of "Schyla or Charibdi" Tragic Dillema, that Greek Cypriots, in Agreemeent with the UNO, (and, at least Initialy, and officially, also with the Turkish Cypriot side), had desperatedly Tried to Prevent, by Clearly Distinguishing, in real Practice, betweein the Different Issues of "Territory" and those concerning "Security" and/or "Guarantees", etc, (Comp. Supra).


Otherwise, he above mentioned Tragic Dillemas could become, more of less Inevitable, and even  Dangerously Vicious...


An obviously Unacceptable Threat against Freedom and Peace, which, at any case, looks Absolutely Contrary to ECHR's well established Case-Law, (initialy Forged, precisely, though such Greek Cypriot Refugees/IDP cases :  Comp. Supra), which was, later-on, notoriously Endorsed also by the UNO's Human Rights Council at Nearby Geneva, from 1997-2005, 2007, etc, and even Officialy Systematized, compiled, Declared and Disseminated accross the whole World, at a landmark, Historic Set of "Principles", (the World Famous "Pinheiro Principles" : Comp. Professor Pinheiro's 1997 Drafted initial Report, which became  an International Reference UNO Booklet, later-on, and his own Statements to "Eurofora"s co-Founder, then Published at "TCWeekly"), issued by UNO's High Commissioners for Refugees, for Human Rights, and UN's Secretary General, in the recent Past,


=> calling for Real Refugees/Displaced People to have an elementary Right to voluntarily Return Back to their Family Homes, with their Belongings, at their Ancestral Land, in basic Conditions of Human Dignity, Freedom and Safety.


-------------------------------------------


All this, and the Current sudden Standstill in the InterCommunal UN sponsored Talks for a Peaceful ReUnification of Cyprus, (despite some recently achieved Advances, at least in certain points), in Fact, clearly shows that, in Substance :


- Human Rights must Never be Abandoned to mere Political Bargaining !


>>> Political Deals may, eventualy, Facilitate the Implementation of ECHR Judgements, and/or Alleviate the various repercussions that this might, perhaps, have for some.


    But they should Never Replace an Objective, Competent, Impartial and Independent body's mission to simply Impose at least an elementary Respect of certain Basic Legal Principles concerning Serious, Massive and Persisting Violations of Human Rights !


=> Thus, among others, a Controversial Decision of the Past, pushed by some inside CoE's Committee of Ministers, (even Contrary to a Crystal-Clear Appeal by ECHR's Great Chamber, just a few years ago : since 2014, to practicaly Act, as a matter of Urgency, in order to put, at last, a Stop to Turkey's persisting illegal Confiscation and even Exploitation of Greek Cypriot Refugees/Displaced Persons' Homes and Properties), rather to ... "Postpone" any real Pressure on Ankara, on the Pretext that a Solution might be found through those "Inter-Communal" Talks, (in fact between what remains from a Free Cyprus' Republic, and an Area meanwhile Filled up with illegal Settlers from Turkey's Anatolia, and still Controlled by Abnkara's Foreign Invasion Military), has Now obviously Proved to be Dangerously Unsubstantiated.


Apparantly, the Time has come for EU and CoE's PanEuropean Organisation of Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law, to Either Actively and Efficiently UpHold, at last, its own, Officialy Proclaimed Principles, in Real Practice,


or Openly Acknowledge that, in fact, it has Droped them Down, like a Fake "Castle" made only out of Cards or Sand, (instead of Rock-Solid Principles)...


-------------------------------------


Personaly, we Hardly Resisted, (with Luggage Ready to Move at any moment, among Many Rapidly Evolving Political Developments, from the USA to France, Berlin, etc., up at this Last Minute !), to a Strong Temptation to Get Back, (almost 20 Years After : 1997 - 2016...) to that Symbolic Location, at the Other Side of Geneva Lake, near Montreux's UNO-sponsored Top Level Talks on Cyprus, between f. President Glafkos Clerides and T/C Leader Rauf Denktash, hosted by f. UN SG Boutros-Ghali, now on the "Pilgrim Mountain"'s, present Cyprus' Talks, between new President Nicos Anastassiades and T/C Leader Mustafa Akintzi, hosted by UN SG Ban Ki Moon.


But, from the most Tragic Human Rights' issue of Cyprus' "MISSING" People, set aside then, officialy far from crude Political Deals, (while, at the Same Time a Hope for an Emerging Strong Role of the EU had Started to Rise : Comp. EU Council's Representative at Montreux/Glyon Statements that he gave us then, on 1997, Published at "MPAgency"), and the Wide-spread and Multi-facet "Refugees/Displaced persons" Drama, still remaining, now, on 2016, even "Hotter" than ever, at least from the point of view of Principles, (applicable, mutatis-mutandis, unfortunately, also in too Many Other Areas of Europe and the World nowadays), what really Remains Today ?


>>> Perhaps only the Firm Belief, based on even More Solid Proof now, that serious Human Rights issues must Never be Totalu Abandoned to mere Political Bargaining !

--------------------------


20 Years After, as (by another Timely Coincidence), already the 1997 World Famous "PILGRIM" Song by Eric Clapton, had Warned :

 

pilgrim__eric_clapton_400

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOTFxF6dpR0


- "Where to Draw the Line, between Truth and ...Pain ?" in such Dramatic and massive Human Rights issues, which seriously Affect many Thousands of People's Lives ?


- "Where (could we) Get (the) Belief that Things Will be all-Right again ?", and "What Words (should we) Use to Try to Explain, to those who have Witnessed, (many in) Tears ?"

 
 - "What does it Mean to Know all these things",
"When... All these Years" "'have been Wasted" ?

- "It's like living in a Nightmare,
Like looking in the Blackest hole,
Like standing on the Edge of nothing",
.....
"Now, where have (we all -and mainly Europe) been All these Years ?
"And How come (they) just couldN't See?"
"Like a Blind man walking 'round, In Darkness"...

Whoever were "Standing in the Shadows",
"With (their) Heart right in (their) Hand",


as simple, naive "Pilgrim"(s) for (the) Love" of Human Rights, (and what Europe could and should have become),


=> Did they merely ... "Wasted all these (20) Years" ?

Or, Will, perhaps, Emerge, at last, in one way or another, at least Now, through a lot of Hard Political and other Struggles and Changes, in Europe and elsewhere in the World, a kind of "SPRING 2017" ???

+ By another more "Coincidence", meanwhile, Small (but notoriously Strategic) Cyprus will be Chairing Big PanEuropean CoE's powerful Committee of Ministers then, (Starting right from this very Morning whose Sun sould Arise from one Moment to anOther, Now in Strasbourg)...


Without illussions, could this, perhaps, Help, at least get some things positively Moving, a little bit ?



+ In Addition, Parallel, but Wider Developments in the EU Parliament, (convening this Week in Strasbourg to a Full Plenary Session, near the CoE), have just Anounced even mainstream, Big Political Groups' Intention, (just after that of Many Other, emerging MEPs' Trends from the Further Right side of the Political Spectrum, which had suprisingly Succeeded, however, to Attract even .. Leftist and/or Centrist mainstream MEPs from almost All Groups - See, f.ex. : ...), to, if not fully "Stop" (as the Latter wanted), at least "Suspend" Turkey's controversial and UnPopular EU bid, (with the natural subsequent Restrictions in EU Funds Wasted Each Year for Ankara)...


That -still Emerging- EU Move, (Exceptionaly Supported by almost All EU Parliament's Political Groups, at various degrees),  significantly comes just after a Growing Series of fresh, and more Massive than ever,  Human Rights Violations inside Turkey itself, added to Turkish Military Invasions/Occupations or Threats around almost All its Borders, inside Iraq and Syria, as in Cyprus, and now even Threatening Greece, particularly with Repeated Negative Claims against the Lausanne Peace Treaty, (withOut, However, Daring even Think at the Previous, "Sevres" Peace Treaty of 1919)...


***

 

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Former "Green-Red" German government's Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer's job at the controversial Turkish pipeline "Nabucco" was denounced as "not proper", "very bad", and "incompatible with Democracy", by the new President of EU Parliament's EuroLeft Group, German Lothar Bisky, replying to an "EuroFora" question.

For once, criticism of Joschka Fischer's doings with Turkey affecting Europe, didn't come only from the Center-Right of the political spectrum, but even from his Left side : The experienced Bisky, who has been chairing all over 1993-2009 the PDS - Die Linke party :  

- "Former Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer got involved in dealings with oil-gaz business in a foreign country, Turkey, and its controversial Nabucco pipeline. This raises questions about Democracy, also because of the well known problems of Human Rights violations in that country. Do you thing that this might be abused in order to cover up and close EU's eyes on Human Rights violations ?", "EuroFora" asked Bisky.

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- "Nabucco pipeline is (only) at the planning stage". And "there are some difficulties",  he observed from the start. But "'I don't want to get into the details of Nabucco pipeline, because I don't think that there is any point for it at the moment".
 
At any case,  "we  (EU Parliament's EuroLeft Group) strongly believe that Politicians should not get involved in the Energy Business, and all these commercial transactions", President Bisky declared on the Joschka Fiischer's affair.

- "We feel that it's something that shouldn't be done. It's not proper !"           

- "We don't think that it's compatible with Democracy either, and it gets politics into a very Bad track", Bisky went on to denounce.
                                                                                                                                                                        
- "EuroLeft  and "Die Linke" always spoke against that, saying that politicians should not get directly into the arms of private enterprises"

- "It is pretty bad if a former Minister takes a job f.ex. in a major Energy producer. So, it's an issue if a Minister who may have seen excellent opportunities, subsequently gets personally grasp of them, in very serious parts of the economy, once he has given up his (Government) job."

- "It doesn't really make politics in general look any better'", Bisky concluded.

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Earlier, this week in Strasbourg, other Journalists had also raised critical questions on former Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer's involvement in the conroversial Turkish Nabucco pipeline to the President of his own EuroParty : Kohn-Bendit of the "Greens", who, contrary to Bisky, tried to find excuses for Fischer, while criticizing his long-time partner, Schroeder for having done a similar move :

- "Shroeder was chancellor", and he "negociated" with "Russians", who gave him a job only "3 Months" after he resigned from the Government. While "Joschka Fischer", on the contrary, got a job with the controversial Turkish Nabucco pipeline only "4 Years after" he left the Government. "He didn't negociate Nabucco", so I have "no objection", Kohn Bendit claimed.

But, many Facts indicate the contrary :

Joschka Fischer was Foreign Minister in Germany from 1999 up to 2005 : I.e. from the year that EU took the controversial decision to give Turkey a "Candidate" status, until he year it started controversial "accession negotiations, (later declared "open-ended" after Sarkozy-Merkel's arrival from 2005-2007).

During that period was prepared the controversial so-called "Annan" Plan (in fact, drafted by others and attributed afterwards to the former UN SG) on Cyprus, which failed after a Popular Referendum said "No" on 2004 with a large Majoriy of 3/4 : 75%. Mainly because it was criticized for making too much concessions to the Turkish side :  Particularly by restricting Greek Cypriot Refugees' Human Right to return to their ancestral Land and/or get restitution of their Familiy Homes and private properties, usurpated by Ankara's Army since the 1974 militay invasion and continuing occupation of the northern part of Cyprus. And by weakening the Central Government, leaving to 2 "constituent States" so much powers and separate interests that more conflicts appeared inevitable, provoking the danger of a break-down in the foreseable future, with more crisis, troubles, perhaps bloodshed, etc., instead of creating an harmoniously integrated, really one federal State.

The controversial Plan was finalized on March-April 2004 at Burgenstock (Switzerland), curiously in the presence of an Envoy by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany, then governed by Joschka Fischer, but in the absence of a French and not even an European Union's Envoy, contrary to what was usually practiced on similar occasions in Switzerland (fex. in 1997 at Montreux, in 2000 at Geneva, etc).

Turkey notoriously exploited the failure of the "Annan" Plan in order to convince the EU to decide to start accession Negotiations on December 2004. This provoked an unprecedented series of Institutional Crisis inside the EU, shortly afterwards, when French and Dutch People rejected, 2 popular EuroReferenda by a majority "'No" vote to the EU Constitutional Treaty on 2005, aggraveted in 2004 a Majority Abstention to EU Elections, etc., followed by the recent Irish "No", etc.

"Nabucco" Gas pipeline was notoriously planned since ..2002. It follows an even earlier idea, for an Oil pipeline Baku-Ceyhun, which started to be prepared on 1999-2001 and was meanwhile recently completed.  

So, facts indicate that what is now at stake is based on decisions made during Joschka Fischer's term as former Foreign Minister, closely interested in Turkey's controversial EU-bid.

To the point that he now practically ...switched jobs with a poliician from Turkey, (the State which pays today openly Joschka Fischer), Mr. Ozdemir, who came earlier in Germany, got fast the nationality, and became EiuroMP in a few years, continuing now as head of the "Greens" in Germany, i.e. in Joschka's former job !...

Such astonishing facts risk, unfotunately, to give to German politician Lothar Bisky's criticism of  representative Democracy a topical meaning :

 - "We (EuroLeft Group) think that what is really at stake is Democracy. It's not only about Gas Pipelines or Energy sources", President Lothar Bisky went on to add in his reply to "EuroFora"'s question on Joscka Fischer's personal interests in the controversial Turkish "Nabuco" pipeline.

Such facts, "make People get more distance from Politics. ...People had had enough, and they are fed up !".

- "That's why we (EuroParliament's "EuroLeft" Group) want to strengthen Direct Democracy in Europe. Citizens should be involved in the (EU) Decision-making. In the end of the day, it's not going to help anyone if Politicians are always taking decisions, without involving Citizens. We want to give a voice to the People of Europe. They've got to have their say in the decisions that are taken. That's one of our absolutely fixed and steadfast views. We want more Direct Democracy in Europe. That's how it can become more effective and stronger", he concluded.

***





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