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In the first article, published in the mainland Turkish daily Cumhuriyet on 26 February 2008, Professor Mümtaz Soysal, who is well known for his hardline stance on Cyprus, questions the validity of welcoming the election of Dimitris Christofias as President of the Republic of Cyprus. In the second article, published in the Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Düzen, the house journal of the Republican Turkish Party, on 27 February 2008, columnist Sami Özuslu challenges Professor Soysal's position. Translated from Turkish by Tim Drayton.

AFTER THE CELEBRATIONS

Mümtaz Soysal

EVERYONE is suddenly celebrating. Jubilation is in the air.

The European Union is jubilant.
So are Washington, the United Nations, London and Athens. Not forgetting Moscow.

Naturally so are the people from AKEL and, to an extent, Papadopoulos and his followers.

And Turkey’s Second Republicans and EU lovers.

And the current rulers of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

And, unfortunately, the AKP government which rules Turkey.

What’s it all about? The leader of AKEL, i.e. the Cyprus Communist Party, Dimitris Christofias, has won the presidential elections in South Cyprus and he was an old friend of Özker Özgür, the late leader of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), and is a friend of the current leader, Mehmet Ali Talat.

He therefore supposedly also supports a settlement.

As though they all support a settlement and nobody else supports a settlement.

Actually, it is important to know who supports what and for what reason; there are eighty varieties of settlement.

A settlement involving uniting with the South and becoming one of its provinces.

A two-state genuine federal settlement.

A settlement within a federation with the appearance of “equality” with the other federated state when in fact it is not particularly equal.

A confederal settlement in which there are weak links between the two states.

Unification that sets aside the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee.

Unification that retains an effective Turkish military presence on the island.

Or a settlement that removes Turkish troops from the island.

If we adopt such a viewpoint, it becomes clear that all of these people who are so jubilant without fail wish, for one reason or another, for the Turkish army to leave the island.

Some of them in order to move Turkey’s EU full accession process a little further forward and secure a few more concessions.

Some of them in order to further weaken Turkey and, at the same time, to damage her prestige by placing her in a position where she loses a cause in which she is both right and strong.

Some of them in order to grind down the Turkish population on an island which has been abandoned by the Turkish army and force them to emigrate more quickly.

Some of them because they know that backwardness and anti-Republicanism will have greater room for manoeuvre in a Turkey where the army has lost standing and influence.

Celebration across such a multifaceted front has rarely been witnessed in history.

But, despite what anybody says, Turkey needs Cyprus and those who are mindful of the country’s interests and security as well as the defence of the Republic will not stand silently by as the island is pulled from beneath us and taken away.


YOU HEARD IT FROM PROFESSOR SOYSAL

Sami Özuslu

Professor Soysal is one of Turkey’s leading “hawks”.
Constitutional professor Mümtaz Soysal.
His expertise extends beyond the field of the constitution, though.
In the matter of the Cyprus issue, Professor Soysal is a veritable “professor of non-settlement”.
He is a professor who for the past 30 years has appeared on the scene with his allies during every critical period and opposed settlement proposals of all kinds.
In fact, over the past few years various other “professors” such as Hasan Ünal have appeared, but Mümtaz Soysal retains a special place.
Professor Soysal leads the band of former President Rauf Denktash’s closest supporters. Indeed, during the latter’s presidency, he held an official position as “Adviser”. He was one of the individuals who accompanied Denktash to and from bi-communal talks. Mümtaz Soysal was the most prominent among those figures who appeared on Turkish public television during the notorious 1990 elections and blatantly exploited Northern Cyprus for domestic political propaganda purposes.
At the time of the Annan Plan, he stood on the same front and opposed a settlement in Cyprus, and continues to do so.

**

It is not hard to guess that Professor Mümtaz Soysal’s article which appeared yesterday in the Cumhuriyet newspaper is based on the logic that “no solution in Cyprus is the solution”.
In this respect, the article is in any case totally devoid of originality.
However, the arguments which he has presented in the style and language he has made his own are important in that they provide clues concerning the policies that the “non-settlement lobby” will follow in the coming period.
Above all, we witness another “othering” operation in Mümtaz Soysal’s article. In the article, headlined “After the Celebrations”, Mümtaz Soysal says, “ Everyone is suddenly celebrating. Jubilation is in the air.”
Who is celebrating?
“Those in the European Union,
Those in Washington,
Those in the United Nations,
Those in London,
Those in Athens,
Those in Moscow,
Those in AKEL,
Papadopoulos and his followers,
Turkey’s second Republicans and EU lovers,
The current rulers of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,
And the AKP government which rules Turkey."

**

This is the extent of Mümtaz Soysal’s list!
All of the entities he has listed are in a state of euphoria thanks to Christofias’s election victory in the South!
It matters not that there are conflicts of interest among them, that they sing from very different hymnbooks.
If this is what Professor Mümtaz Soysal says, that is what goes!
Both Greek Cypriots and Greeks
and the British along with the other 25 members of the European Union
and the Americans and the Russians
and the nearly 200 members of the United Nations
and, moreover, the rulers of both the TRNC and Turkey.
They are all, absolutely all of them, in a state of euphoria.
Why are all of these people suddenly jumping for joy?
This is how Professor Soysal answers this question:
“[…] If we adopt such a viewpoint, it becomes clear that all of these people who are so jubilant without fail wish, for one reason or another, for the Turkish army to leave the island. Some of them in order to move Turkey’s EU full accession process a little further forward and secure a few more concessions. Some of them in order to further weaken Turkey and, at the same time, to damage her prestige by placing her in a position where she loses a cause in which she is both right and strong. Some of them in order to grind down the Turkish population on an island which has been abandoned by the Turkish army and force them to emigrate more quickly. Some of them because they know that backwardness and anti-Republicanism will have greater room for manoeuvre in a Turkey where the army has lost standing and influence.
Now do your understand why the whole Western world is in jubilation?
**

The potential for a fresh settlement to the Cyprus issue has appeared on the horizon, don’t you see?
The “non-settlement lobby” appears to be preparing to mount an immediate attack.
It has wasted no time in building a front.
“Celebration across such a multifaceted front has rarely been witnessed in history,” Professor Soysal tells us in his article.
He is telling the supporters of a non-settlement, “Gather your tanks and artillery and assemble.” He implies that the “enemy” is very strong and says:
“But, despite what anybody says, Turkey needs Cyprus and those who are mindful of the country’s interests and security as well as the defence of the Republic will not stand silently by as the island is pulled from beneath us and taken away.”
Have you got the message from Professor Soysal?

Archive of Turkish press translations by Tim Drayton