There will definitely be a solution in Cyprus one day. When the time comes this issue will drop off the world agenda. What is important is in what manner the problem will be solved. There is a rule which is becoming increasingly prevalent in diplomacy: the side which blocks a solution is always the key to the solution. In this light the solution may be secured by the Greek Cypriot Orthodox Church.
One needs to accept the following when one takes account of the anti-peace and anti-solution policy the Greek Cypriot Orthodox Church persistently follows: for a solution on the island the solution to be prepared needs to be in keeping with the Bible, since Southern Cyprus affords the Church so much freedom in the field of diplomacy and the Cyprus issue. So a solution can only be realised if it is for the “father, son and the holy spirit”. Some will remember, in 2004 the Greek Cypriot Orthodox Church opposed the UN Peace Plan, which was voted down in the referendum by the Greek Cypriots.
The Church’s reason was that the plan did not accord with the Bible. In fact, there have happened and continue to happen many things in Southern Cyprus which “do not accord with the Bible”. However, the Greek Cypriot clergy is concerned with a single issue. In recent weeks the Church has published a leaflet under the title of “Cyprus Archdiocese Information Brochure”. The leaflet contained the following clause: “The primary duty of Cypriot Hellenism is to preserve its ethnic dignity and to secure its presence in the land of its ancestors.” The conclusion is foregone; there exists a Cypriot Hellenism.
The “ethnic dignity” of this Cypriot Hellenism is under threat and needs to be protected. Also the presence of Greek Cypriot in the “land of their ancestors” is in danger. For that reason the land of the ancestors needs to be protected in order to save both ethnic dignity and presence. The leaflet further claims that “there has never been a system in the world in which the position of the head of state is rotational”. Well actually, there is! The European Union ran along such lines until the recent changes, and still does to an extent. The Union for the Mediterranean will also function with rotating presidency. Also a similar system is in place in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Of course a priest may not know such things. The brochure of the Greek Cypriot clergy slams the plans being prepared to ensure that the developments to be secured on the island rest on firm grounds. In the proposed solution package, certain measures are foreseen to prevent the majority from oppressing the minority and to allow for everyone to equally benefit from the law. Such measures make the Church furious. The Church propaganda reads: “A democratic state is being attempted to set up between the majority (Greek Cypriot, 82 per cent) and the minority (Cypriot Turk 18 per cent) and through rotating presidency the Cypriot Turk President is given not only executive powers but also a deciding vote in the event of a tie, thus each Cypriot Turk vote is being made the equal of five Greek Cypriot votes.” Indeed the clergy has another warning for the electorate.
Since there are Turks of Anatolian origin in Northern Cyprus “the possibility that we will get a Turkish President from Turkey is very great”. Should the Church continue to intervene in the negotiations like a political mechanism and to misdirect Greek Cypriots, a solution in Cyprus will either never take place or it can only be one which is based on the Bible. Yet everyone has a part to play for a solution on the island. Diplomats should negotiate while priests should only pray. The Greek Cypriot Orthodox Church which bears the dark legacy of Archbishop Makarios should have learnt something in the time passed. The same goes for Cypriots of course.