Only Allah knows

The good cop / bad cop act is well known and its success virtually assured. One cop threatens and terrifies the victim while the other shows a friendly face. Their common goal is for the victim to give in to their demands. The good cop / bad cop routine was in full swing when Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz criticized Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash’s intransigence on the Cyprus issue, while shortly afterward the overwhelming majority of the Turkish government dismissed the remarks of the «benign» deputy, applauded Denktash’s stance, and reiterated accusations over Greece’s supposed intransigence. Yilmaz’s remarks were no goodwill gesture. They were dictated by Turkey’s European aspirations, which are thrown into doubt by Ankara’s and Denktash’s inflexibility on Cyprus. But the same motive does not seem to move the rest of the Turkish elite, which remains fixated on its expansionist claims against Greece. However, Athens should be more concerned over the position of Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem. Cem rushed to side with the hawks of the Turkish administration, saying that in the fresh round of talks, Denktash not only represents Turkish Cypriots but Turkey as well, that he is successful, and that he needs Ankara’s full support. It would be interesting to see Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou’s reaction, given that the two officials have attempted to come across as the protagonists of a Greek-Turkish rapprochement. In other words, Papandreou is the «good guy,» dismissing reservations over Ankara’s benign intentions. Cem, however, makes no secret of the fact that he talks with his Greek counterpart as a representative of Turkey’s hardliners, dismissing calls for compromise. Only God knows what Greece can gain from such a rapprochement. Or rather, Allah.