OPINION

No surprises…

After the frivolities, the simplistic, optimistic «conclusions» and the unusual mumblings of Recep Tayyip Erdogan after the Turkish elections last November, now we – theoretically – have the «surprises.» Erdogan has changed his mind about Cyprus! Of course, the whole thing is rather complicated… And Simitis has suddenly remembered today that the Cyprus issue «remains» a problem of «invasion and occupation.» But the Turkish premier didn’t say anything that should be of surprise to anyone when he remarked, during a visit to Cyprus, that the island comprises two states, two peoples, two languages, two religions and that the maintenance of Turkish military forces there is a matter of Turkey’s national security. This is the stance of Turkey’s military leadership, which firmly (and according to its Constitution) regulates the foreign policy and national security of northern Cyprus, and it is a position which remains steadfast – which is why it is internationally promoted by Turkey’s appointed deputy on the island, Rauf Denktash. If Erdogan now, out of naivete and not having familiarized himself with the diplomatic language related to Cyprus, appears sometimes – via the statements he makes – as the bearer of a more conciliatory approach on Cyprus, it is largely insignificant…