I’m glad I decided to wait a bit for this week’s column, what with the public holiday and my life being a bit busy, as yesterday morning the week’s biggest story in Cyprus broke. Two potential columns have been shelved for this one, one being about myself that (obviously) can wait, and the other about Sudan because I’m not educated enough on the issue to do it justice yet. 

Here's what I think: Özersay meeting Anastasiades 1
Tom Cleaver

However, Cypriot politics is an area I know enough about to write one of these on the fly, especially with a slap in the face story like this. For those unaware, which due to shockingly poor news coverage of this is more than it should be, Republic of Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay held a secret meeting. 

Now, Anastasiades and Özersay are both pretty unsavoury characters, and both seemingly against a solution to the Cyprus Problem, which is probably what they were talking about. It’s possible that they were discussing Anastasiades’ load-of-tosh “relaxed federation” idea, whatever that is, although the sceptic in me would imagine that a continuation of our half-century limbo or even a two-state solution. That’s my speculation, though, and to be honest there’s probably no way of finding out what actually was said in that meeting. We can, however, deduce a few things from what we know.

if they both seriously thought that no one would find out, they’re even more stupid than i thought

First of all, it seems that the anti-solution crowd on both sides of the island are working together. I mean, we already had our suspicions, and we’ve seen it in the past, but at least it’s out in the open for the modern era. The man who torpedoed the Crans Montana talks and a rejectionist Turkish Cypriot in a room together were hardly taking a pottery class that day. 

Further, they’re either not very intelligent, or very confident in Cypriot apathy. If they both seriously thought, as two high ranking politicians on a small island full of nosey parkers, that they could meet up in person and not a soul would find out, they are both even more stupid than I thought. However, I find it equally likely that they factored in the chance that they would be found out, and are banking on general Cypriot apathy to not actually face consequences. 

Whichever one it is, this is symbolic of everything that is wrong in Cyprus. In public, the politicians rally against each other, fuelling fury and venom among nationalists and the ill-informed, whether that be over oil, farmland, or anything else you could think of. They cling to flags red or blue, pretending to give a monkey’s about this island and the people they claim to represent, yet behind closed doors, when the cameras are off, they’re making deals with each other. 

if you believe it you’ve been caught hook, line, and sinker by these frauds

I don’t want to say that the whole recent raising of tensions, whether it be in Deneia or in the oilfields, was planned, but based off the evidence it probably wasn’t all coincidental. These developments have been planned between the two “adversaries”, and if you believe it you’ve been caught hook, line, and sinker by these frauds. Unfortunately righteous nationalist anger is some drug, and a lot of people are caught out by it.

If we lived in a fully functioning democracy, I’d imagine that this revelation would cost the pair of them their jobs. To be fair, if we lived in a fully functioning democracy this situation would be impossible, but my point is that this is gross misconduct in public office. Conspiracy and treason are heavy words to band around, but cases can be made. Sure, we don’t know for certain what they talked about, but the evidence we have is pretty damning. 

As an aside, I can forgive Özersay to a small extent, more than Anastasiades. While I disagree with him politically, it is possible that he is genuinely doing what he believes to be in the interests of the people he represents. In short, at least he has been consistent. Anastasiades, however, the President of the Republic of Cyprus… I despair. A President of the Republic of Cyprus should not for one second countenance carving up this island permanently. If he claims to represent this island he shouldn’t be open to giving up a part of it, yet it seems that he and his party represent this island less and less as time goes on. 

it’s not convenient for too many of your to put down your flags and stop blaming it on “the turks” or “the greeks”

However, as I’ve said, Cypriot apathy can be banked on for him to evade consequences. The country has been sold out, and vast swathes of Cypriots probably couldn’t care less. If they can’t link it back to some nationalist rhetoric too many of them can’t be bothered. Collusion between the two sides to keep us from each other doesn’t hit like the drug of nationalism, and therefore it’s not convenient for too many of you to put down your blue or red flags and stop blaming it all on “the Turks” or in some cases “the Greeks”. 

I’d love to be proven wrong but Cypriot politics has become too predictable of late. Those who are old enough to remember the time of the Annan Plan I’m sure will be quick to tell me they’ve seen this movie before, too, and I’ve heard the stories. A President of the Republic of Cyprus colluding with other politicians in secret to shaft the country should induce rage among this population; it should be unacceptable. The problem with that, however, is that too many of you are willing to accept it.