What I find most disappointing is not that the whole enosis debacle almost led to the collapse of the negotiations, though it is deeply disheartening to see two leaders almost giving up on a joint Nobel peace prize for the sake of satisfying the extremists within the bounds of their respective communities. Rather, what I find most disconcerting is that mainstream political parties decided to support a bill promoted by the self-professed sister party of the Greek Golden Dawn. And let’s not kid ourselves – it is by now evident to anyone possessing the slightest sense of dignity and reason, that the Golden Dawn, and by extend, ELAM, are full-blown neo-nazi parties and not the mere nationalists they so desperately portray themselves to be.
Whereas in other countries mainstream parties form democratic alliances for the isolation of the Nazis, in Cyprus all the parties but AKEL, have, one way or another, either in the parliamentary committee or in the plenary, worked with the Nazis for the enosis referendum fiasco, which undermined the negotiations and strengthened Erdogan’s bargaining power over Cyprus.
My expectations for the so-called in-betweeners were rather low to begin with. It is by now established that their decision making is motivated by opportunism rather than conviction. I was only a bit surprised by EDEK, but then again I wouldn’t dare hope that its new leadership would respect the memory of Doros Loizos, the leader of the youth section of the party who died fighting for democracy, and oppose those who want to abolish it.
DISY, for its part, was simply inexcusable. Yes, it is a broad church and many of those who eventually migrated to ELAM used to be long time DISY supporters. However, I gave Anastasiades the benefit of the doubt and deluded myself believing that he truly wanted a solution. Alas, I was wrong. Not only did he let down the pro-reunification DISY members and voters who supported him (presumably a minority), he also ridiculed all those who stood by his side even though they did not share his ideology — most of them left leaning people who defended him throughout the months that he reluctantly pursued a solution whilst going from one gaffe to the next.
As for the Turkish Cypriots, I do understand why the enosis fiasco triggered their security concerns, but let’s not pretend that Akıncı’s reaction was not exaggerated, basically playing to the audience of the local hardliners at the expense of a solution. It is simply ridiculous to maintain that there are more than a 2-3% of Greek Cypriots who support union with Greece. I assume that Akıncı wants to push the negotiations after the referendum in Turkey, maybe hoping that Erdoğan, assuming that he wins, won’t be concerned with how a solution to the Cyprus problem may affect his image. Either way, it is totally irresponsible. In any case, the Turkish Cypriots themselves also need to decide what they want — do they want to go on being dependent on the charity of an ever increasing authoritarian Erdoğan or do they want to be partners in a bicommunal state?
Whatever the outcome of the negotiations, I strongly feel that the enosis farce has signified a new low in our political history, one that we will recall for years to come as a political landmark. Personally, I have lost a lot of faith in what we can achieve as a collective and what we deserve and should strive for as a society.