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crh 2014 05 27

QUESTIONS by Kibris Gazetesi / ANSWERS by Christian Heinze (an Interview).


1 Cyprus state formed by the 1960 (nineteen-sixty) Constitution is generally defined as a functional federation,which components or elements were taken into considerationin preparing that constitution? The basic consideration in preparing the so-called constitution of 1960 was to protect the Turkish community against Greek domination. Elements of federation were involved insofar as the two communities constituting the republic-to-be were given a status of legal corporate political identity.
2 Archbishop Makarios had proposed 13 amendments to the 1960 Constitution. In your opinion, what was his motive which guided his actions or policies for wishing to make those amendments to the Constitution The motive of Makarios in ordering rather than proposing the 13 amendments was to get rid of the restrictions for Greek domination which formed the basis of the constitution. Makarios had taken an even more important step to this end earlier by abolishing the Constitutional Court of Cyprus.
3 Greek Cypriot side claimed that 1960 Constıtution established a political and constitutional division between the two Communities. They also asserted that this constitution was unworkable? Do you think that, this constitution had really encouraged the political and constitutional division between the two communities, and also in you opinion, was it in fact unworkable? Two communities existed long before 1960. Between them, a communal conflict originated from Greek nationalism in the face of Turkish and later British sovereignty. Greek nationalism became violent in the course of Greek strife for Enosis by means of terrorism from 1954 and again from 1963 onwards.

Enosis is incompatible with the Turkish desire for self-rule. The constitution was an attempt at a compromise. When it did not work it was not because it was not workable but because the Greek side rejected even the idea of letting it work but have always declared that they considered the constitution as a stepping stone towards Enosis or, at the least, towards full Greek domination of the island only. They refused to apply the Articles of the constitution protecting the Turks against domination and prevented their application and interpretation by abrogating the constitutional court.

Because of this rejection and refusal a legitimate or legal Republic of Cyprus never came into existence at all. Where there is no constitution, recognition, even by the UNO, cannot create a state.
4 Almost 52 years had past since the declaration of 1960 Republic of Cyprus. Looking back at the dominant discourses of Greek Cypriot side and Turkish Cypriot side, particularly in the topics of sovereingnty, political equality and guarantees, do you observe any similarities and/ or disparities between the discourses of the two communities? The Greek and Turkish sides connect different meanings to the notions of sovereignty, equality and guarantee. The Greek side claims that guarantee does not comprise military intervention, but there is no effective guarantee against violence other than armed intervention. When the Greek side speaks of single sovereignty they mean Greek domination, while Turks trust in divided sovereignty which is a contradiction in itself. Equality in the Greek mind is equality of the value of the individual vote of each Cypriot, so that Greeks form the ruling majority. From a Turkish point of view equality must be attributed to the two communal states of Cyprus.
5 Recently, The European Court of Human Rights fined Turkey to pay 90 million euros for its military intervention to Cyprus in 1974, what is your opinion about the decision of ECHR and what do you think about the timing of that decision? I suggest to forget about the timing because it is of no relevance for the liability adjudicated. The judgment, together with other judgments by European Courts, is important in demonstrating the very low degree of justice to be expected for the Turkish Cause in Cyprus from what is considered as International and unadapted European Law in prevailing legal opinions.
6 In your opinion, what steps should be taken by and which new ideas should be introduced by parties in regard to resolving the ongoing Cyprus negotiations with the joint consensus of both sides. In my opinion, as long as the Greek side together with the European Union, of which the Greek side is a member, do not agree with full Turkish sovereignty over the North of Cyprus, true consensus is practically impossible, whatever new ideas might come up.

The two sides could, however, find themselves forced by external powers or circumstances to accept a compromise disregarding their basically conflicting interests. This would, in my opinion, not be enhancive for peace.
7 Lately, we have observed an increased interest of the United States on Cyprus. In recent days, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden visited the island and met with the leaders of both communities. Recently, U.S. Secretary of State is expected to come to the island! As well. What are your views on these visits? I believe that the US policy about Cyprus is unselfishly directed at peace as enhanced by the principles of the NATO. But I am afraid the US administration has never evaluated the Cyprus Conflict in its full extent.
In any case, if I am correctly informed, the US Vice President mentioned that if the Greek and Turkish sides cannot agree, they cannot be forced. This, in my view, indicates a chance for continuation and eventual recognition of TRNC statehood.

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