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29.12.2002 Feature Article

Open letter to the Foreign Minister - Honorable Hackman Owusu-Agyeman

Open letter to the Foreign Minister - Honorable Hackman Owusu-Agyeman
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Your Excellency, I am currently studying on a scholarship at the Eastern Mediterranean University in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). I would like to state that I feel privileged to study in the TRNC since it is indeed providing me with an outstanding education in the field of International Relations and an internationally acclaimed degree which will allow me to return to Ghana equipped with both theoretical and practical knowledge and skills to contribute to the development of our country, the West African sub-region and the continent as a whole. The TRNC is a beautiful country with warm-hearted people. Yet, as you no doubt know, they have a "sad story". As a person who has had the chance to learn about this story at first hand, I could not remain nonchalant to it. Therefore, I thought it the least I could do is to write to my own Foreign Minister about it. As you are well aware, this "sad story" dates back to 1963 when the Greek Cypriot side attacked the Turkish Cypriot people, the aim of which was to unite the island with Greece and thereby achieve Enosis. Until the Turkish Peace intervention in 1974, the Greek Cypriot side massacred the Turkish Cypriot people. Those lucky enough to escape the senseless killings were made refugees and thus suffered considerably. Yet, the Turkish Cypriot people resisted the illegal take-over of the partnership government of Cyprus by the Greek Cypriots and created their own administration, which evolved to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in November 1983.

Bearing in mind the above realities, it is most unfortunate that the international community has, for political expediency, treated the Greek Cypriots as the government of the whole island and of the Turkish Cypriots, disregarding the equal rights of the Turkish Cypriot people. Furthermore, the international community has also turned a blind eye to the inhuman political, economic and social restrictions imposed on the Turkish Cypriot people by the Greek Cypriot side.

It is therefore difficult to understand what the Turkish Cypriots have done to merit such a treatment by the international community. It seems to me that the only "crime" the Turkish Cypriots have "committed" is their peaceful struggle to protect their inalienable rights. Is this really a "crime"? It is hard to justify the stance of the international community, which has been punishing the " victim" and rewarding the "aggressor" in Cyprus.

This stance unfortunately seems to be also evident in the document presented by the UN Secretary General Dr. Kofi Annan on 11th November 2002 to the two sides as a "basis for agreement" on a comprehensive settlement. President Denktas stated that the Turkish Cypriot side would study the said document extensively. However, President Denktas also stated "extensive and unjust territorial concessions envisaged by the maps attached to the document at the expense of the Turkish Cypriot side would provide a serious stumbling block at the talks".

The Turkish Cypriot side has been striving to achieve a just and lasting solution for years. Yet such a just and permanent solution should be based on the political and sovereign equality and status of the two peoples and their states at all levels. Other important elements of a future settlement are bi-zonality, the continuation of effective guarantees for the security of the TRNC and the resolution of the property issue on the basis of global exchange and/or compensation. Obviously, any document, which does not meet the legitimate concerns of the Turkish Cypriot side, will not facilitate fruitful negotiations that could in turn lead to an early resolution of the issue.

I hope that our country can, at the very least, treat the Turkish Cypriot people and their State on an equal level with the Greek Cypriot people and their State and voice its concern over the injustices meted out to the Turkish Cypriot people.

Calus Von Brazi GhanaCyberGroup Famagusta, TRNC

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