The Cyprus problem and the Greco-Turkish conflict: Causes of war and the European option

Note: This is a revised version of a paper presented in Cyprus. Intentionally it does not take into account of the signing of the Accession Treaties. The problematic stays all the same since the thoughts outlined here are even more relevant during the post-accession phase. For visitors who can read and understand Greek, other papers in this webpage deal with the situation in view of the post-accession phase. For a comprehensive account of a solution based on international and European rule of law, see the report written by an international panel (click here)

A revised version of this essay is published in Irini Chila (ed.), La Grece dans le sud-est europeen: enjeux regionaux et perspectives (Herodotos, Paris, 2004).

The Cyprus problem and the Greco-Turkish conflict: Causes of war and the European option

(click to the title)(κλικ στον τίτλο για μεtάβαση)
1. Introduction
2. Idealism and the moral criteria – political judgment dilemma
3. Moral judgment, political judgment and normative structures
4. Moral judgements and the configuration of power
5. Ontological foundations of the interstate system and the “achievements of political civilization” at the level of the international system
6. The fundamental features of the interstate system and the causes of war
7. Political judgment and national interests as a moral criterion for conflict resolution
8. Causes of War, Cyprus and conflict resolution
9. Some value free considerations on factors and criteria that led the Cyprus conflict in an impasse.
10. The viability of a state structure and Cyprus
11. Greek and Turkish strategies: The “MIT” (Mutually Induced Impasse) and the European option
12. The prospects created by the European option of Cyprus

1. Introduction

At issue is the quest for political judgment based on moral criteria free of idealistic and thus utterly subjective fallacious considerations[1]. A value free political judgment could possibly interpret many facets of the Cyprus problem and point to a mutually beneficial settlement that could allow the parties to engage their interests in a conflict resolution process, for that matter, the process that leads to the integration of Cyprus within Europe’ s institutional and political structures[2].

At the outset, therefore, I would like to clarify my analytical and theoretical posture. The assumptions on which I base my arguments refer to criteria and factors which construct the basis for rational reasoning concerning the interests of all the actors involved, that is, of the Greek, Turkish, Greek Cypriot, Turkish Cypriot and European political institutions. The idea is to inquiry as to whether these interests converge around the European option of Cyprus as a way out of a conflict that endangers regional peace and stability.

What are the causes of war, which nowadays produced a stalemate in Cyprus? Is it an error or is it correct if one assumes that all parties’ purposes and strategies are nowadays stalemated? If stalemated in a dangerous impasse, what could be the breakout strategy and which is the appropriate supporting theory?

At first glance, conventional thinking may assume that trying to identify political perspectives common to all parties’ interests and free of idealistic considerations appear as if it is an attempt to square the circle. Upon reflection, however, this is not the case.

My approach herewith attempts to provide a set of rational value-free theoretical assumptions on “achievements of political civilization” embedded in interstate practice and the states’ s survival interests[3] as well as in the broader interests that all states have in common for peace, stability and prosperity. Certainly, my approach, as it will become evident below, has nothing to do with counterfactual idealistic theology that overlooks the role of power, the catastrophic consequences of hegemonic-strategic antagonism, the tragedies inherent nation-building in many regions, the national interests of the nations involved and the imperfections of international institutions at the present stage of their development.

In the context of this approach, therefore, I shall successively refer 1) to the causes of war in general and with regard to Cyprus in particular, 2) to the present character of the international system, 3) to the role of the nation-state in modern international relations, 4) to the vital national interest of the parties involved in the Cyprus problem, 5) to the achievements of human civilization at the interstate level which give birth to non idealistic moral judgment founded on considerations of national interests, 6) and to certain related factors and criteria which could provide a basis for a political judgment based on moral criteria compatible to the interests of the parties involved in the Cyprus conflict.

2. Idealism and the moral criteria – political judgment dilemma

In the past, whenever international relations were governed by utopian-idealistic fallacies, which neglected the collective moral structures of the world, the consequences for the societies involved were catastrophic[4].

In the first place, for all practical purposes, the world consists of many and diverse societal building blocks. Consequently, unless one refers to the relations among independent states representing their societies and interacting in conditions of sovereign equality, one could not possibly identify a socially defined political purpose over and above each nation’ s “system of distributive justice”[5]. In fact, given the world’ s fragmented societal structure, any definition of social purposes implying a morally-normatively unified world it is a contradiction in terms.

Claims by political idealists, that is, by hegemonic governments and by other groups or individuals who arbitrarily define internationalist-supranational purposes which subsequently attempt to superimpose to each society’ s individual normative system, could only be either a naïve idea or an idea related to revolutionary doctrines purporting to the dissolution, in total or in part, of the achievements of human political civilization at the international level. These achievements relate to the interstate system as such, to the fundamental principles of international law which aims at providing rules in interstate relations and to each society’ s collective moral-normative structures as reflected in each state’ s system of distributive justice[6]. Seen in this respect, revolutionists doctrines run contrary to the intrinsic character of the international system, and, although were historically crashed by the struggles for collective liberty-freedom which demolished all multinational empires, still persists as irrational inputs in political judgment[7]. In a world historically fragmented into societies endued with distinct collective moral perspectives and distinct normative structures, political idealism in all its versions is thus not a basis for a political judgment compatible with the abovementioned achievements of human civilization at the international level.

Precisely, in order to understand the intrinsic character of each society’ s attachment to motherland and nationhood, and thus to understand in depth the character of both sides in Greco-Turkish interactions, one has to comprehend the fact that the sovereign states of nowadays numbering almost two hundred, emerged as the victors of a struggle for collective liberty-freedom against various versions of hegemonic political idealism which claimed a morally uniformed and administratively unified world. The achievements of human civilization at the international level are thus further defined, as it will be further explained below, as the accomplishment of the historic claim of distinct societies to be free, autonomous, independent and thus politically sovereign. International normative structures such as international institutions and international law, in order to be of any practical and moral value, they should be compatible to these achievements of political civilization. To more these points more sharp, it is further noted that the above achievements were accomplished against the opposite claims for empire by the leaders of strong groups proclaiming Darwinist doctrines and who successively attempted to defeat the claims for liberty-freedom, to reverse societal alterity and to establish a uniform and unified world system[8].

My fundamental assumption, however useful, is thus based on the macro-historical observation that obsolete cosmopolitan-internationalist ideas are remains of pasts epochs which nowadays overlook or underestimate the intrinsic and fundamental character of nationhood and which are utterly naïve, dangerous for the societies involved and destabilizing for international peace and security. That is why, it is supported below, the solution of problems such as the Cyprus conflict should be based on profound political reasoning embedded in the political civilization of nation building as it emerged in course of history. That is precisely why a bi-communal let alone bi-zonal federation in Cyprus, not only is not compatible to the political civilization of the EU but in addition it is a political and ideological aberration not to be found on any place on earth. To make my point clear, one could not find a single democratic state on earth whose internal administrative boundaries are drawn on national let alone racist basis.

3. Moral judgment, political judgment and normative structures

Certainly, even scholars attached to value-free analysis of international relations are often faced with intellectual impasses when the need arises to refer to moral dilemmas immanent in alternate orientations related to various claims for international change[9]. How could we then establish a basis for “ecumenical” moral judgment on which political judgment could be founded?

In the first place, if such a basis could be established, it couldn’t be of cosmopolitan nature[10]. As already noted, owing to the fact that in a socially fragmented world one could not possibly establish a socially defined political purpose of ecumenical range without overlooking or eliminating societal alternity of the world’ s societies[11], the political purpose we are up to could only refer to relations among nation-states and not to relations among individuals. As regards values common to all societies –such as the human rights– at issue is not an overnight universal arrangement. What it has always been at stake was the perpetual struggle to integrate such values in all states normative structures with approaches respecting alterity and to incorporate them in interstate institutions. Supporting the opposite, I shall argue below, looks as if it is a quixotic attempt to fight down what earlier I defined as “political culture and achievements” of human civilization at the international level related to the right of self-determination of each sovereign society of the international system and to the fundamental principles of sovereign equality and non-intervention. Certainly, a corollary reasoning concerns national identities, which as supported above are embedded in the historic claims of distinct societies for political sovereignty and for collective liberty-freedom. National identities are the symbols of peoples’ collective freedom and no interstate or intra-state normative is viable if it does not respect them. In this connection, at issue at all times is not the violation of this principle but its incorporation in interstate and itra-state practice. That is, first, respect of the aforementioned fundamental principles of international law and second, majority rule in intrastate relations with sufficient safeguards of minority’ s human rights. No conflict such as the Cyprus problem could be viably settled if these facts are not properly taken into account.

Likewise, the ontological underpinnings of collective identities which evolved in a clear anti-internationalist and anti-cosmopolitan mode, negate theorems of artificial state constructs whereby historic nations give up overnight their collective identities in order to support ideas for odd institutional structures whose internal boundaries are drawn on national or even racists basis (bi-zonal or bi-communal polities)[12]. Those are monstrous fictitious constructs full of logical errors and not supported by historical evidence[13]. In fact, if such constructs could be viable we could very well proceed to similar normative structures encompassing all states both in connection to the many internal minority problems and in connection to the demands of many utopians for an overall supranational normative structure at the world level.

It is by all means unhistorical and quixotic to argue, as some cosmopolitan and internationalists indeed do, that after a long five thousand year continuous struggle for self-determination and sovereignty-independence by the world’ s distinct societies, contemporary nation-states could possibly decide to give up their precious collective liberty-freedom as embodied in sovereignty nowadays called “national sovereignty”. Fallacious and unsupported by historical evidence opposite tenets is precisely what makes International Theory irrelevant to real interstate relations. “National sovereignty” in this respect, it should be stressed, is both a legal and utterly political concept underlying a society’ right to exercise internal self-determination and to develop its own distinct normative structures in accordance with its own historically constructed spiritual and material “cosmotheory” (Weltanschauung)[14]. If the opposite would have been true, as already noted, we would have already had adopted supranational authorities of global range to promote voluntary a peaceful and stable cosmopolitan world, the virtues of which –if feasible– no one would have resisted[15].

4. Moral judgments and the configuration of power structures

Following the reasoning exposed above and in order to restrict my problematic to international relations I shall limit my references and link my reasoning to noteworthy propositions, namely to Edward H. Carr’ s and John Rawls’ authoritative theoretical statements. Edward H. Carr pointed to the objective realities at the international level by noting that in the anarchic international system “change” is directly related to the correlation of forces. He did not exclude moral judgment but pitilessly criticized the fallacy of utopian thinking regarding idealistic assumptions for a straightforward harmony of interest in a politically fragmented world composed of heterogeneous and morally dissimilar societies[16]. As the leading liberal political philosopher John Rawls correctly observed,

“Carr’ s idea for the harmony of interests refers not to philosophy, but rather to the wishful thinking of powerful politicians. … Though criticizing utopianism, Carr never questioned the essential role of moral judgment in forming our political opinion[17]”.

Rawls thereafter went on to formulate his own politically and intellectually provocative idea of “realistic utopia”. To these observations of Carr and Rawls I shall add my own theoretical posture which attempts to draw a skeleton theory compose of criteria that could possibly delimitate the bounds not of a universal moral judgment proper, but simply of a framework into which fit interests and values which are common to all non revisionist and non hegemonic nation-states. These states, one reasonably presumes, should be expected to adhere to the principle of peaceful resolution of conflicts, to the principles of human rights declaration and to promises made in international relations. Interests common to the sovereign member-states of the international system, in this respect, are not altruistic or value laden philosophical postures of ecumenical nature but intrinsic factors of fundamental-ontological character which underpinned international relations at all times in human history and in all circumstances. These factors, if properly understood and widely admissible could produce common ground for peace and stability among sovereign states. That is, given the fragmented normative structures of the modern interstate system in which the sovereign nation-state is the basic building block, national interest is an axial factor underpinning relations of non-revisionists and non-hegemonic states.

Overlooking hegemonic propaganda which always aspires an order reflecting the hegemon’ s moral-philosophical perspectives and setting aside naïve-apolitical cosmopolitan outlooks, lets simply state that international anarchy is the corollary of each society’ s claims for liberty-freedom, autonomy, independence, or what we nowadays call internal and external sovereignty (and their corollary principle of interstate equality). In an international system by definition anarchic, when claims for change arise, a peaceful compromise is a function of whether power relations permit an outcome favoring the one or the other side (in which case “the strong do what they have the power to do and the weak accept what they have to accept”), or of whether the national interests involved are compatible (in which case a compromise is feasible). Since the fundamental problem of politics at any level is the justification of power[18], and given the fact that it is infeasible to identify purposes socially defined[19] at the world level, it should be made therefore clear that in any one conflict when such a compatibility or interests does not exist the outcome is straightforwardly a matter of the correlation of power among the states involved[20]. It should be added, of course, that this fact does not necessarily imply outcomes that secure lasting and peaceful relations of the parties involved. Third parties postures, strategies and actions are in turn defined in terms of survival interests, vital interests and supportive secondary interests. The involvement of international organizations, since they are not as yet, as noted elsewhere, independent actors, is governed by the existence of agreement or disagreement amongst the hegemonic powers at each historical juncture about world order. To think otherwise is a complete fallacy because it either suggests the existence of a world legislative-judicial order founded on an integrated world political order (which is certainly not the case) or the arbitrary regression back to hegemonic-dictatorial practices and rationalizations, which overlook the aforementioned achievements of civilization at the international level.

What could then be the ontological foundations of the “achievements of human civilization” at the interstate level as defined above and how could their definition help provide moral basis for conflict resolution in interstate relation? Since my arguments and their empirical foundations are exposed in length elsewhere[21] I shall be brief and conclusive. Basically, my working hypotheses refer to the evolution of the international system during the last five thousand years, to the form and character of the interstate system and to the position of the nation-state and of the international normative structures within this system.

5. Ontological foundations of the interstate system and the “achievements of political civilization” at the level of the international system

The position that a state is viable on mere legal basis irrespective internal normative fragmentation is not supported by historical evidence.Certainly, those intellectuals claiming the opposite are free to claim so and substantiate their position. What is a fact is that all (!) viable states are gifted with integrated normative structures that legitimizes and thus underpin the constitutional and other institutional structures. This is confirmed if one simply observes any state on earth: No state on earth has internal administrative borders based on national or racist basis and its institutional structures reflect the moral-philosophical structures of the majority or (in cases of authoritative regimes) the dominant group and in case of pluralist states of the democratically elected authorities). Why Cyprus should for that matter experiment with different normative structures?

In addition, the most salient example that supports this theoretical statement is the European Union itself: Despite expectations in the 1940s, the most important feature of European integration is the very fact that the nation states survived. Even more important, what’s more than that, is the fact that theirs national moral-philosophical structures, theirs national civilization, theirs economic system and broadly speaking theirs normative structures are utterly strengthened beyond expectation. What emerged after half a century of cooperation is not an apatride system of normatively colorless societies but a “Europe des patries”, as de Gaulle was proclaiming in the 1960s. Even more, this very fact is the strength of the European Union system, because it allows it to consist of coherent, viable and democratic member states[22]. In fact, if Cyprus is going to benefit something extremely important from its accession in the political system of the European Union is precisely the political culture of mutual respect to each society’ s national character as a precondition for peaceful political relations in the context of democratic institutional structures.

To understand the salience of each societies normative structure and the fact one could not possibly expect a state to be viable if its constitutional system is not founded on solid normative structures, one has to consider the ontological foundations of all polities. Precisely, a value free conceptualization of human history could be related to the two most important ontological characteristics of collective life all along known human history:

First, for over five thousand years of known human history the planet was inhabited not by one but by many societal building blocks[23] characterized by “alterity” (ετερότητα)[24]. Second, for over five thousand years this history was marked by a merciless strife between, on the one side those distinct societal groups claiming collective liberty-freedom and on the other side those (stronger) groups claiming a materially-administrative and spiritually uniform-united world state[25]. This strife is the root cause for a twofold “cosmogony”: a) On the one hand it gave rise in the 20th century to almost two hundred distinct sovereign nation states and b) on the other hand it caused the actual crashing of empires, empire plans, internationalist plans and broadly speaking of all internationalists or cosmopolitan endeavors. In addition, the perpetual struggle for collective liberty-freedom configured the states’ moral-philosophical features and moral-normative structures, as well as the approaches regulating relations amongst them.

The ontological feature of humans as individuals or collectivities to claim liberty-freedom[26], that is for spiritual, material and political alterity through distinct political sovereignty is what we nowadays call national independence in the context of which each distinct society developed its own system of distributive justice matching its own particular moral-philosophical and material conditions. In terms of international law, these ontological features are incarnated in the aforementioned fundamental principles of international law, namely, interstate parity, non intervention and internal self determination.

It follows that the concept of sovereignty is not a mere administrative arrangement that could easily be reversed or be swept away by technological development and by globalization that as some expect could equalize the world spiritually and administratively thus establishing legitimate authority structures of cosmopolitan nature at the world level[27]. Each sovereign collectivity constitutes a distinctly evolving –spiritually and materially– normative structure perpetually intensifying internal homogeneity and consequently, at the same time, intensifying alterity amongst the sovereign collective entities at the international level. In other words, the evolving alterity of each collective normative structure is fostering international alterity among the collective entities. This is a millennium long process. Going deeply back into history, claims for political sovereignty by distinct collective human building blocks led to struggles for liberty-freedom, to decisions for secession and consequently to the multiplication of “separations” creating many independent polities. The subsequent long grim struggles for survival hammered the societies’ collective identities and their members common strategic orientations, determined the boundaries of “allies” and “enemies” and constructed idiomorphic sociopolitical moral-normative structures for each one state underpinning their political sovereignties and their systems of distributive justice, spiritual world, strategic orientations and collective identities[28]. In short in course of the long nation-building process emerged a multitude of distinct collective cosmotheories[29] (“weltanschauung”) and the politically sovereign sociopolitical structures nowadays number almost two hundred.

The conclusive historical phase which brought human relations beyond return was the post-Westphalian era (1648 until WW1) when the balance of power system a) allowed the emergence of the sovereign state, b) the establishment of sovereignty as the governing regime among sovereign polities, and c) the emergence of the principles of non-interference, interstate sovereign equality and non intervention as the governing normative “rules” of international life. Again, all together these facts and criteria form the “achievements of human civilization” at the international level and give rise to a still incomplete “international political civilization” incarnated in the normative structures of collective security organizations (which, owing to the causes of war are also incomplete and ineffective).

Between the above evolving but imperfect international normative structure and a peaceful stable world in the context of which all societies will exercise self-determination, sovereignty without interference and enjoy undisturbed prosperity and peace-stability, lay the causes of war to which I shall refer soon afterwards.

6. The fundamental features of the interstate system and the causes of war

Let us recapitulate the “achievements or political civilization at the interstate level” and the intrinsic problems of the international system: The interaction of societal alterity («ετερότητας”) and the claims for liberty-freedom, both of ontological character, shaped the international moral-philosophical and institutional morphology of the international system. However, peace and stability is prevented by the causes of war as well as by the very nature of the interstate system owing to uneven growth[30]. More specifically:

First, the logic of societal alterity-diversity and the claims for collective liberty-freedom gave rise to the moral-philosophical and institutional structures whereby the nation-state systems are the fundamental building blocks as well as the independent variables of international political interactions[31], whilst the international organizations are the dependent variables designed to serve these interstate interactions, to safeguard sovereignty[32] and to mediate in conflicts[33].

Second, the “nation-state” as a societal and institutional building block and “sovereignty” as the principle allowing collective liberty-freedom to be fulfilled, are both achievements of civilization because they allow the emergence of normative systems of distributive justice –both of spiritual as well as material character– allowing therefore the exercise of internal self-determination in accordance to each distinct society’ s collective moral-philosophical system[34]. They are moreover achievements of civilization because, as already stressed, they symbolize the accomplishment of the “ontological claims” for collective liberty-freedom against the opposite hegemonic claims referring to the Darwinian logic (founded on racist criteria).

Third, both sides of the aforementioned historic strife, that is, the “winning side” of the smaller societal building blocks that struggled for liberty-freedom and eventually won their political sovereignty[35], and the “defeated side”, that is, the strongest groups that aspired hegemonic dominance only to see their claims eventually pulverized, are “in principle” acknowledging the aforementioned achievements of political civilization incarnated in the “principles” of international law (interstate equality and non intervention) founded on national sovereignty. Accordingly, on the basis of these “socially defined purposes[36]” among the sovereign states they proceeded to the “historic bet” of creating a security system over and above their national security systems, that is, the collective security systems[37]. The common aim, apparently, is to fulfill the common objective of stability, peace, cooperation, prosperity and the perpetual unimpeded exercise of “internal self-determination” by each society. Although altogether they constitute a significant advance of political civilization, these collective endeavors are, as already argued, variously imperfect.

Forth, because of the demise of internationalist-cosmopolitan –as well as hegemonic– claims for a uniform-unified world state, the historic mission of the collective security systems lies not in the fulfillment of hegemonic aspirations through the abusive-complacent privileges of the permanent members of the United Nations but in the success of their historic role in applying non intervention and interstate sovereign equality. Likewise, the other dimension of collective security, that is, mediation to solve the remains of the nation-building conflicts is failing because it is covered in the political mud of the hegemonic competition during the Cold War period, as well as afterwards during the 1990s. Moreover, regarding the single most important cause of war, that is, inter-regional uneven growth owing to hegemonic strategies of the recent past, the collective security systems lack means to deal with it and consequently lack effective jurisdiction whatsoever.

The proceeding comments necessitate sketchy references regarding valid scholarly assessments of certain central issues related to the causes of war. Causes of war at the regional level are directly linked to the causes of war at the broader international level. In his monumental masterpiece War and Change in World Politics[38], Robert Gilpin, following Thucydides steps, inter alia, concluded that principal causes of war relate to the distribution of power in the system and hegemonic competition over territory, resources and markets. As he concludes pessimistically in one of his chapters,

“the conclusion of one hegemonic war is the beginning of another cycle of growth, expansion and eventual decline. The law of uneven growth continues to redistribute power, thus undermining the status quo established by the last hegemonic struggle. Disequilibrium replaces equilibrium, and the world moves toward a new round of hegemonic conflict. It has always been like thus and always will be, until men either destroy themselves or learn to develop an effective mechanism of peaceful change”[39].

Gilpin therefore, like Thucydides and many other analysts thereafter, identifies hegemonic conflict as the principal cause of war. Derivative causes are a) “divide and rule” practices in the context of strong powers’ strategies, b) inter-regional uneven growth due to the exploitation of resources which spillovers to uneven growth among regional states, to balancing practices and to security dilemmas, c) regional problems most often originated or exacerbated because of strategic competition, d) alignments and re-alignments which redistribute power and foster security dilemmas, e) revolutionary doctrines which if espoused by a strong power turns into a conflict for the dissolution of the interstate system, and last but not least, f) differences among neighbors owing to remains of their nation building phase such as claims for sovereignty adjustments and irredentism by ethnic groups. Careful scrutiny of these causes of war commonly accepted by most scholars as principal sources of interstate strife could probably permit us to relate them to the Cyprus problem explaining its evolution and its intrinsic multifold tragic character.

7. Political judgment and national interests as a moral criterion for conflict resolution

In a world constructed on the foundations of independent-sovereign states as outlined above, the key word to conflict resolution is “national interest”. The reasoning is simple: First, the basic sociopolitical units of the international system are the sovereign nation-states each one of them gifted with a society, a normative structure and a legitimizing system of distributive justice. Second, because all these factors –homogeneous society, distributive justice and normative structures– are absent at the international level, the only way to identify socially defined moral criteria is to trace them in the collective will of each society separately as expressed in their definitions of their national interests. Third, peace, stability, mutually beneficial exchanges and cooperation are also common interests among sovereign states. However, this is so only if and when the causes of war are absent and if the one or both parties do not aspire changes of the status quo. Fourth, international institutions are there to confirm these facts: a) International institutions forbearance from jurisdictions on matters of distributive justice is reflected both in their constitutional chapters as well as in their performance[40]. b) The regime governing interstate relations as well as the operation of international institutions is sovereignty, both internal and external. This is another way of saying that all states acknowledge as fundamental and commonly acceptable the historic fact of decentralization at the nation-state level of both the systems of distributive justice and the jurisdiction to define normative purposes which guide each society’ s (national) collective action. Fifth, the just made points regarding the dialectics of national-international normative structures lead us to conclude that international institutions are there to coordinate, mediate by bringing the conflicting parties together and facilitate international governance regarding transnational phenomena, trade agreements, and other matters related to inter-state “commerce”. Beyond that, namely as regards questions of peace, war (that is, inter-state distributive justice) and domestic distributive justice, international institutions are consequently either impotent[41] or dependent variables to great power politics. Sixth, one national interest to which all states are attached and for which most of them are ready to go to war is their survival interests. Conversely, they have common interest to compromise or respect the status quo if a protracting conflict or an imminent total war endangers their very existence and their long-term prosperity[42].

In such an international system one could only search for international moral criteria which are socially defined, by definition, thus, for the criteria as socially defined by each society in the context of is own system of distribution justice. The sum up is what each society defines as national interest in its international interactions.

The detection of conflicting interests should then be filtered through the lenses of the aforementioned causes of war: a) In cases whereby owing to tragic historical situations the survival interests are in conflict[43] –such as the Palestinians or the Kosovars–, it is rational to observe that only detached judgment –if, certainly, such a thing exists– by actors who are not involved in the conflict could moderate it and create chances for arrangements which could prove viable and lasting[44]. b) Those interests of the states in conflict which are secondary and which are created in order to serve external strategic expediencies are dispensable and candidate for compromise[45]. c) In contrast, those interests that are vital and at the same time are in conflict with corresponding vital interests of the other side should be examined as to how they relate to both sides survival interests. In that case, needless to point out that when both sides’ survival interests are beyond doubt endangered, the way out is a compromise that will safeguard their existence as integral and prosperous states. However, true as it might be such a view, one should not generalize because each particular conflict should be examined in its own merit. Nonetheless, a basic point to be stressed below, is that Turks and Greeks are uniquely privileged because unlike many other conflicts are offered the opportunity –without endangering their national interests– to reshape their strategies on realistic basis leading to a new regional sub-system embedded in European politics[46].

8. Causes of War, Cyprus and conflict resolution

We could now recapitulate four assumptions, which explain the tragic and controversial political character of many regional conflicts:

First, setting aside the fact that withdrawing hegemons often deliberately draw artificial boundaries on grounds of divide and rule approaches serving their strategies, the geographical delimitation of sovereignty, the constitutional arrangements and the position of the parties involved are not always a straightforward matter.

Second, uneven growth give rise to demands for change and revisionist claims which no legitimate authority exists to adjudicate on right, wrong, fair and unfair. To put it otherwise, revisionist claims owing to uneven growth at the regional level is the equivalent of hegemonic behavior at the world level. Inquiring for the causes of war in the context of Greco-Turkish relations one should therefore identify the state, which reproduces hegemonic conflicts at the regional level.

Precisely, linking this observation with Cyprus I would say that one cannot avoid asking the question as to whether one of the two sides or both were revisionist states. Identifying the revisionist state is important for at least one reason. Notably, in a tragic conflict whereby small and secondary national interests are involved and in the context of which the threats are limited, appeasement and minor concessions leading to a compromise are possibly an appropriate approach to reach a lasting solution. In contrast, history teaches us that against revisionism and “unlimited (hegemonic) threats”[47], the only advisable course is firm military deterrence, diplomatic action and risky counteraction (and certainly uncompromising positions in whatever negotiation). The appeasement at Munich in 1939 as regards Hitler’ s claims in the Sunderland of Czechoslovakia is a monumental mistake to which rightly so all refer in order to substantiate this posture.

With regard to Cyprus in particular, it is one thing if the conflict relates to minor problems created by unpleasant disturbances caused by “hotheaded individuals” at both sides that could easily be dealt with and another thing if it relates to all or many of the aforementioned causes of war. In fact, the argument that there are conflicts caused by hotheaded individuals is not supported by historical evidence. Nationalism as an expansionist doctrine has some salient characteristics

Foremostly, nationalism is a dependent variable, whilst the independent variables that feeds aggressive national-chauvinism are factors such as revisionist claims due to uneven growth (and its corollary the security dilemmas)[48], hegemonic claims owing to Darwinists doctrines[49] and revolutionist doctrines aspiring to a global or regional order which abolishes the historic state order[50]. At this point, precisely, is worth drawing the line between nationalism as a sentimental attachment to motherland and national-chauvinism as an internationalist doctrine for conquer and impositions that violate fundamental principles of international law and the rights of other states for internal self-determination[51]. Hans Morgenthau refers to the latter as nationalistic-universalism, that is, the –well known in history– postures of strong powers when they often basing their reasoning on Darwinist tenets claim that they have the “right” for regional or global domination[52].

Consequently, it is a logical mistake and an analysis that leads to counterproductive conclusions if one incriminates national sentiment and national interests as a conflict resolution approach and at the same time overlook the real causes of war. In fact, such incrimination is mistaken for an additional reason: Properly speaking, national interests and patriotism to ones nationhood are the underpinnings of the aforementioned achievements of human civilization at the international level, that is, the right to collective liberty-freedom, political sovereignty and the functioning of the interstate system on the basis of national sovereignty. In fact, rationality in international interactions entails effective configurations of each entity’ s collective will, that is, of each state’ s national interest. Following the above line of thought, I shall attempt soon to identify the true nature of the causes of war as regards the Cyprus conflict and attempt to draw policy relevant conclusions related to the European option[53].

Third and related, in interstate conflict the collective positions of all states regarding international relations are defined in accordance with their own independent definition of national interest in the anarchic international system and not in accordance with any objective criteria (which by and large rarely exists when states are in conflict over claims to changes of the status quo).

Fourth, interstate agreements are implemented when vital and survival interests are not in conflict, when revisionists’ claims are not involved and when hegemonic –often of revolutionary character– interests do not interfere.

If the above four assumptions are valid, Greeks and Turks in Cyprus and in their motherlands should at least eliminate those inputs or causes of war which may serve other parties interests but not their own national interests.

From the preceding analysis if follows that hegemony expressed in the context of revisionist postures is a main cause of war. Although hegemonic behavior is an obsolete and eventually counterproductive approach for small and strong states alike, hegemonic postures at the regional level could never serve their national interests: 1st) If they conquer minor portions of land they will “win” animosity and adversity by neighbors over many decades if not more[54]. 2nd) If they go about as a proxy regarding the regional interests of hegemonic power they will simply satisfy ephemeral interests in order to see, sooner or later, their vital interests be demolished[55]. Such practices could only lead to a vicious circle of action and counteraction that in the case of Turkey –given its internal problems– could even prove a fatally wrong posture which contradicts Ataturk’ s vision as regards the Turkish state and which endangers its national survival.

9. Some value free considerations on factors and criteria that led the Cyprus conflict in an impasse.

Bearing in mind Cyprus’ s objective historical conditions, one shouldn’t overlook historical facts which put the parties involved in extremely controversial and tragic situations. Namely, owing to hegemonic conflicts and/or conflicts emanating from the historic nation-state building process of the 19th and 20th centuries the parties involved were found in the following situations that probably explain many facets of the Cyprus problem: First, the claim for liberty-freedom by Cypriots was a most natural posture in the historic context of the 1950s whereby the same claims where successively being fulfilled at the expense of the former colonial powers. At the root of the problem lies the fact that the principle “one man one vote” did not apply in Cyprus[56]. Second, in the just mentioned historical context, whilst it was commonly established that self-determination was to be based on the “one man one vote” principle, minorities within many societies –though not all– did not wish to follow the rule and demanded exceptions, autonomy or even succession[57]. Although in many cases such political postures, however unpleasant for the majorities, are to be expected, it is important to note that, as prime minister Macmillan acknowledges in his memoirs the claim by Turkish Cypriots for a distinct treatment and the subsequent involvement of Turkey[58] was stirred by the colonial power on mere strategic considerations[59]. Third, either due to external interference and/or due to unwise policies of the Greek majority the conflict led to an outcome whereby “the strong does what he wants and the weak adapts and follows”.

As to who is strong and who is weak is not always a straightforward matter and historical experience is telling: unless the one side is an amorphous human mass “weak” and “strong” alternate in a vicious circle. Thus, since the 1950s what we witness is a an alternation of “weak” and “strong”, a vicious circle likely to go on for ever if a viable solution is not achieved. Fourth, history teaches that during the 19th and 20th centuries nation-state building in Europe and elsewhere often went through genocide and ethnic cleansing practices indeed resulting to national homogenization. In other cases the minorities were more or less accommodated within the normative structure as defined by the majority or the strongest societal group, the political system and other unique to a country or a region internal or local factors[60]. Viewed in this historical perspective, especially in the context of the divide and rule strategy of the former colonial power and the relations between the two motherland countries (let alone the unstable and dependent international status of both motherlands), one should not worry as to how Cypriots where found in nowadays tragic situation.

How could one, for example, in studying the evolution of the Cyprus conflict during the 1950s, not take into account the impact on intra-Cypriot relations owing to the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Greeks living in Turkey and the consequences for the Muslim minorities living in Greece? Could one seriously argue that the issue of self-determination in Cyprus could be isolated from these tragic situations in which their motherlands were entangled?

It is rational and objective to add that if the just outlined historical process is correct, the conflict was inevitable and the expected result would have been the prevalence of the strongest (in military-diplomatic terms and in terms of the effectiveness of one’ s strategy). In this respect, the Greeks should learn from their own history and for once comprehend that interstate Treaties are often a mere reflection of the correlation of military and diplomatic power and not a matter of legalistic interpretations.

If they have had understood this simple fact their policies and strategies towards the other side could have been very different and the Cyprus problem could have been solved long ago. Ideally and alternatively –and I repeat, one could only guess as to whether such an outcome has ever been a politically realistic expectation– the Cyprus problem could had been solved if three dependent variable were to converge: First, if the colonial power would not had succeeded to engage the parties involved in a “divide and rule” entangle. Second, if Turkey would not had accepted that conventional agreements were valid and in her interest not claiming therefore their revision on geopolitical grounds[61]. Third, if Greeks had exercised self-determination and at the same time follow a twofold strategy: a) safeguard the minority’ s rights, preferably through the engagement of the existing collective security systems or multilateral agreement[62]. b) Accommodate Turkish strategic concerns, or alternatively, through an effective deterrence strategy accompanied by stick and carrot practices would had succeeded to cancel Turkish imputations[63]. However, due to objective historical factors such an outcome proved prohibitive, precisely due to the fact that the independent variables related to the claims of the actors involved interacted wildly producing exactly the opposite outcome, that is, conflict and gradually to the nowadays “existential stalemate”.

My central argument, therefore, is that due to a combination of objective historical options and tragically mistaken strategic expectations of the parties involved the Cyprus conflict entered into a complete impasse, which endangers the survival interests of all the parties involved. This point, however, needs to be further elaborated and linked to the European option of the Republic of Cyprus.

10. The viability of a state structure and Cyprus

One could not possibly construct a polity on false assumptions and unfounded rationalizations. Anything else is a receipt of conflict and interethnic problems and the British colonial diplomats Knew this very well when they were promoting the abortive idea of “cypriotism” well into the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s[64].
As a matter of pure political rationality and historical experience as to what constitutes a viable polity, one need not be Greek or Turk to understand that all democratic and viable polities are founded on the “one man one man vote” principle. A state’ s viability and institutional functioning could not possibly depend upon individuals good manner, sentimentality and good intentions. As supported earlier, a prerequisite of viability is a “Weltanschauung” at the societal level which legitimizes the institutional superstructure.
Let us therefore distinguish –something we would had done all along during the post-war years when deliberating on the sort of solution we are up to in Cyprus– the issue of the form of state structure which safeguards everyone’ s human rights from the question whether the strategies of the parties involved were appropriate. To put it otherwise, a wrong strategy by the one or the other side is not compulsorily an argument in favor of a non-viable state structure many decades later. For this very reason, Greek Cypriots should not give up their majority status. This is no good for them and it is no good for the their Turkish compatriots as well. It is also no good for the two motherlands if they envisage stable and peaceful relations. To argue the opposite is a fallacy the worthlessness of which all parties would have been aware off owing to bitter experience from 1960 onwards.

Some misguided intellectuals in Cyprus of both ethnic groups base their political postures on the wrong assumption that cosmopolitan states are not a myth but a reality. As explained earlier, the formation of the normative structures of all (!) states on earth goes through a dynamic process that forges bonds, identities and collective orientations related to both spiritual and material factors and criteria. Without a coherent collective cosmotheory (Weltanschauung) and a collective worldview, as defined above, a state is devoid of collective soul, collective mind and collective rationality.

Save autarchic –and as historical experience tell us of ephemeral nature[65]– multinational empires, a polity is viable only if it is founded on solid, distinct and well established societal identity reflecting its members’ prevailing culture, language, faith, collective spiritual traditions, collective philosophical postures and broadly speaking the prevailing collective moral-ideological foundations or collective cosmotheories (weltanschauung) and world view (“κοσμοεικόνες”) as defined and analyzed earlier.

The historical process is telling: In course of five thousand years of known history we witnessed the successive breakdown of multinational empires gradually leading to the adaptation of the political structures to the societal layout of the world. The last five hundred years this process accelerated leading to almost two hundred sovereign states. As a matter of objective historical conditions one could observe, first, that in many of these states remained minorities[66], second, that these minorities in varying degrees claimed either autonomy or secession and third, that the way these claims are faced varies from one state to the other, from one region to the other and from the one historical period to the other.

The argument, as it becomes obvious, is that at issue in Cyprus is not the imposition of the will of the one side over the other but the search for a viable solution gifted with institutions embedded in viable normative structures. It could be added that in all cases of nation building the legitimacy of the normative structures depends upon, the creation of institutions which on the one hand safeguard the legitimate interests of all the societal building blocks and on the other hand are of democratic nature. This has always been the case, this is presently the case all over the world, that’ s how EE’ s political system[67] functions and that’ s what Turkey claims as regards its own state system. To accept the opposite or to attempt the construction of cypriotism in order to attempt as few support a nation-building experiment that contradicts well established practices of humans’ political civilization is a receipt for a new vicious circle of conflict between Greeks and Turks (not only in Cyprus but in all other fronts as well). As an academician attempting a value free posture on this issue, I wouldn’t like –for the sake of interpersonal courtesy to other views– to repeat common theoretical errors leading to logical errors that contradict the universally accepted ideas as to what consist a viable polity. Consistent to my approach outlined earlier as regards the historic nature of inter-state and intra-state political civilization, I could make two additional points. First, experimenting with undemocratic arrangements, was tried –in Cyprus as well as elsewhere– and totally failed. Second, as it shall be pointed out below, a healthy normative structure in Cyprus compatible with the acquis communautaire is a precondition of Cyprus’ accession in the European Union as conflict resolution approach.

11. Greek and Turkish strategies: The “MIT” (Mutually Induced Impasse) and the European option

Before concluding as regards the European option, it is necessary to elaborate further on certain factors and criteria that establish the aforementioned triple stalemate in the triangle Greece-Cyprus-Turkey.As argued earlier, humans are social-political animals and as a matter of fact the sociopolitical structures of almost two hundred states are no mere legal structures in which spiritually colorless individuals live in harmony. If such an assumption is true why not to have a world government and why European integration, half a century later, is a “Europe of nations” and not a supranational “apatride” governing structure as many wrongly assumed in the early 1940s[68]?
The abovementioned argument that a con-federal state is a fallacy goes even further and surpasses the strategies of both Greeks and Turks: A con-federal state, precisely because it is a non viable state –if not a schizophrenic state constructed for political masochists and not for normal men and women– its natural evolution would be on the one side taxim (or a claim by some Turks to conquer Cyprus as a whole) and on the other hand double union (or a claim by some Greeks to proceed with enosis of the non-occupied part saving an attempt to re-establish control over the whole Cyprus for the future when the correlation of forces would permit it)[69]. However, for many Greeks and Turks double enosis is unacceptable as a solution and for that reason non feasible. This is so for basically two reasons: First, Turkey’ s strategy is to render Greece’ s military presence in Cyprus impossible, an interest rather well thought as long as Greco-Turkish adversity goes on[70]. Second, because Greeks would not accept giving up their ancestral motherland.

A formula for double enosis has always been a receipt for a new bloody encounter in the near future, a fact of course which is in no one’ s interest. The only way to think otherwise is to adopt assumptions based on logical errors, that is, that the inhabitants of Cyprus are politically colorless and their moral-philosophical structures amorphous or even inexistent. Does anyone believe that such an assumption is correct? Or do some assume conscious, freedom and expression should be suppressed? Affirmative answers, it is obvious, are fallacious.

By all means the rationalizations, mistakes and wrong assumptions which lead to the acceptance of a non viable state system by the Greeks[71]constitute a regression of political civilization at the international level and if implemented could sadly result in one more abortive attempt to establish social relations on artificial sociopolitical structures[72]. No doubt, we are not short of proposals and counter proposals whose roots go back to colonial expediencies and which were lately further elaborated by indifferent officials of international organizations who by all means lack legitimate authority to decide about the system of distributive justice in historically tragic situations.

Moreover, in an already tragic conflict such as the Cyprus one, if we accept rationalizations of the kind: “the one side followed a wrong strategy and for that reason they must suffer eternally”, it is as if we deduce wrong conclusions from Thucydides’ famous phrase attributed to the Athenians. Thucydides, in a value free citation of Athenian views writes that in an anarchic world we all know that, “the standard of justice depends on the equality of power to compel and that in fact [eventually] the strong do what they have the power to do and the weak accept what the weak have to accept” (V89).
This is a posture that if straightforwardly adopted by Turks they run into an erroneous conclusion that the Greek majority would either be exterminated or eternally be kept defeated and could thus harsh into additional fallacious political rationalizations which could read as follows:

“Because the one side had often followed strategies which proved to be ineffective and which brought their survival interests to a disadvantages position, the other side must do what its power can do and the weak majority will be either eternally accept it or eventually be exterminated”.

Such a rationalization, I insist, not only deepens the political stalemate but also creates a twofold impasse: First, it creates an impasse for the Turks. Precisely, bypassing the obsolete conventional philology on “harmony of interest” preached by political idealists on the basis of either propaganda or naivety, I stick to the fundamental to all inter-state and inter-human relations factor of (national) interest. Many assumptions on which conventional Turkish strategy is founded are I believe mistaken: 1st) Greeks altogether are broadly of equal power to Turks and it is a fallacy to assume it would be easy to defeat them militarily or for that matter to exterminate of subordinate Greek presence over Cyprus. As 1974 proved a total military victory is simply unfeasible solution and the Turks who say that the Cyprus problem was solved in 1974 make a superficial argument (unless they are ready to accept that the non occupied parts of Cyprus could unite with Greece thus truly altering the geopolitical parameters in a conflict that themselves perpetuate). Furthermore, Turks should consider the possibility that in the future the correlation of forces would be totally reversed endangering the very survival of their nation-state. 2nd) Even if they can achieve a sweeping military victory, this could only be attained through large-scale (new) genocide. Certainly, again, it is fallacious to assume that such a Pyrrhic victory is something a modern and civilized nation could possibly afford. Anyone who is a Turk and stands for Turkey’ national interest should, in fact, think hard in connection to the Armenians, to the Greeks of 1922 and to the Kurdish question and wonder whether a nation could afford similar outcomes at the dawn of the 21st century which would aggravate even further the historically burdened Greco-Turkish relations. 3rd) If Turks increase the military threats or worse if they proceed with taxim, there is no force to stop the Greeks from uniting the Government controlled part of the Island with Greece. In fact, as already implied, to Turkey’ s taxim claims, “enosis” without ever acknowledging Turkish occupation is the expected rational reaction of the Greek side. The fact that Greeks did not think of it seriously until now is not due to the fabricated ideology of “cypriotism” seriously supported by few intellectuals or due to fear, but only due to their unfounded expectation that appeasement could reverse the fait accompli. Lets put it straight: If my previous assumption regarding the ontological factors governing international relations are valid, then the abortive appeasement of the Greeks is a temporary and superficial behavior which does not reflect societal and cultural realities. If Greek Cypriots are not offered a viable exit from the present impasse the only rational way out for them in the long run would be to proclaim union with Greece without necessarily – at least for many of them– accepting the fait accompli of 1974 as regards Kyrenia, Morphou and the other occupied lands in the northern part of Cyprus. Second, Turks are not alone in their strategic impasse. There is a Greek version of an existential politico-military stalemate. Broadly on the same lines, the fact that they are the majority on the island make it no less difficult to dominate –politically, let alone militarily– the island. 1st) As already argued in relation to Turkey’ interests, ethnic cleansing and genocide are not an option compatible with our political civilization or for that matter with the vital interests of any state on earth. 2nd) Winning militarily the Turks although not altogether infeasible if properly planned, is rather not easy to accomplish and the cost and dangers maybe unbearable. Further on, uniting with Greece the non-occupied part of the island could indeed be attempted. However, as already noted –irrespective other factors related to sentiments and interests– it does not lead to a viable and lasting solution owing to Turkish strategic perceptions very often made clear in the past. The just made comments call for additional points regarding the controversial strategy of the Greek side.
In fact, historically, Greeks had have many chances to attempt and achieve either union with Greece or a viable democratic state whereby the minority’ s cultural autonomy would be fully safeguarded. Certainly, though it was only natural to claim self-determination, this does not mean that the strategy followed was the appropriate or the most efficient. Simply, as it happens with many other states, they were not wise enough[73]. Foremostly, it seems that they were not aware of the fact that –given the international system of the Cold War, the British strategy and the state of the Greco-Turkish relations– Greek Cypriot’ s self-determination was linked to their ability to persuade the Turkish Cypriot minority to follow them.
This is a crucial point worthy additional comments. Could the Greek strategy have had been different or at least couldn’t be more efficient? The answer to this question could lead us either to the broad conclusion that the Cyprus problem is one of the many tragic problems of the nation-building process –a view some could share– and/or to the complementary conclusion that Greeks had many and easy options which were simply not able to see because they were politically blind and inexperienced.
Before, therefore, running into wrong conclusions and in order to better understand the many tragic facets of the Cyprus problem lets be accurate as regards the room of maneuverability the Greeks disposed during the Cold War. Firstly, the state structure imposed by the colonial power was a deliberate “divide and rule” act that aimed in a way to punish them because of their claim for liberty-freedom and self-determination. Secondly, there is no need to go into details in order to prove the well Known fact that, as already mentioned, in the context of post-war Greco-Turkish relations and Turkey’ s perceptions for the distribution of power in eastern Mediterranean, Ankara developed alternate contingency plans –not really noticed by the Greek political leadership– aiming at defeating the attempts to unite Cyprus with Greece. Thirdly and related, London as well was not favoring such a development and its diplomats were acting accordingly. Fourthly, Greece was not in reality an independent state, much more so after 1967, a fact that made it impossible to follow a coherent and properly designed strategy away from the crags and precipices. Sixthly, the hegemonic conflict between the Soviet Union and the United States was complicating even further foreign policies of aligned and non-aligned states alike. Last but no least, the non-aligned foreign policy –much more the emphasis attach to it– was not helpful if Greeks were expecting a favorable western posture[74]. If one considers these seven factors should not wonder for the roots of the Cyprus problem and the fact that both Greeks and Turks face a stalemate.

12. The prospects created by the European option of Cyprus

The basic conclusion of the sketchy references to the stalemate-impasse that both Greeks and Turks face as regards the Cyprus problem is apparently founded on two assumptions.First, military victory between two historic nations is not really an option as a long-term national strategy. Military achievements by either side are potentially reversible and “victories” involving genocide are Pyrrhic victories incompatible to elementary civilized standards. Second, as a matter of elementary considerations regarding civilized relations among sovereign nations, hegemonic practices and expansionism are not in the interest of any one state. The fact that strong powers do not undersign this position is in fact a basic cause of war in international relations[75].

Insisting on postures which to my view eliminate logical errors, I point once more that the conflicting normative postures of the parties involved after 1974 were further accentuated owing to the fallacy of the so called bi-communal and/or bi-zonal federation which is in fact a confederation (the Turks are correct to push this arguments to its logical conclusion but wrong to believe that such an arrangement could provide the basis for peace, order and prosperity). Simply this concession, as it is already proved, leads nowhere but to a hybrid institutional structure whose viability would rests on the fallacious Lockean-rationalist assumption that individuals are “reasonable”, that they can establish institutions by merely socializing irrespective normative structures and that constitutional patriotism could be acquired without autarchic practices[76]. In contrast to these mistaken assumptions, it should be accounted for that distinct normative structures are in all cases the foundation of all polities. Therefore, institutional arrangements should reflect, on the one hand the need to implement in Cyprus the acquis communataire of EU and on the other hand to establish democratic structures that secure the interests of the parties involved.

The worth of the European option, precisely, rest on the fact that it provides a useful framework which could “marry” viable domestic institutional arrangements and external security arrangements embedded in post war power configurations which could accommodate the parties normative concerns in a long run perspective compatible with their vital national interests. In fact, I add, that Cypriots, unlike many other states facing similar stalemates, are privileged because the EU outlet is readily available to them. Briefly, I could refer to the following factors and criteria relating to the European option of Cyprus as a political opportunity for effective conflict resolution compatible with political realities and the national interests involved[77]. First, a viable and lasting inter-state arrangement in the triangle Cyprus-Greece-Turkey necessitates theoretical assumptions and practical institutional formulas that only the extension into Cyprus of EU’ s political and “supranational” institutional culture and practices could provide: 1) Normative structures founded on the national interests of the parties involved. As already stressed, this is precisely what the EU system is all about[78]. Normative structures respecting, at the same time, nationhood, democracy, pluralism and claims for cultural decentralization. 2) Normative structures that would disengage both the Cypriots and the Turks from the counterproductive outcome of the negotiations that Cypriots negotiate since 1977, which is no one’ interest and which is responsible for the aforementioned dangerous stalemate. 3) If Turkish Cypriots eventually joint Cyprus in its accession course –as it comes for all practical purposes it would unavoidably be after accession, that is, in 2003– it could provide the opportunity for Turkey to disengage itself from the aforementioned stalemate and from latent hegemonic rationalizations. 4) Most importantly, it could disengage Turkey from the stalemate so as to be able –irrespective other aspects of its national strategy– to reformulate its strategy towards Greece on a lasting non-revisionist basis whereby the European political system would provide a permanent diplomatic and economic supportive framework. 5) Whatever the future relationship of Turkey with Europe, it would be greatly facilitated if Greco-Turkish relations are normalize not on fragile –and by and large based on mistaken altruistic thinking–approaches as the ones presently followed but on the basis of conflict resolution founded on both sides national interest. Second, eventually, if the Cyprus problem is solved “through Europe” it provides to Turkey an “honorable” way out of concepts based on obsolete geopolitical considerations whilst at the same time it opens opportunities to accommodate its strategic concerns. In addition, it would open new grounds for the relations between Turkey and the European Union and for the relations between Greece and Turkey. To put it otherwise, the European option of Cyprus could act as a catalyst for multilevel diplomatic and institutional negotiations that could open new ground for Turkey’ s strategy and its relations with Greece. Third, the search for a “European world role” acquires a new dimension as regards the triangle Cyprus-Greece-Turkey. Notably, it provides a fertile ground for a real, and under the circumstances easy, European role in promoting lasting regional stability in ways that do not contradict American diplomatic options and in domains vital for the national interests of all member states of the EU. I would further point out that the often proclaimed European political identity relates not to mythical issues but to “practical” issues whereby the members’ national interests are served. In this respect, the Cyprus case is an “ideal case” for action in line with the acquis politique acquired in European Political Cooperation since 1969. Forth, elaborating on further on the European role, I would say that Europe’ peculiar security and defense identity provides multifold complementary channels for effective action: a) EU’ common foreign policy institutions could provide a standing coordinating framework to be offered for all parties involved in such conflict resolution approach. b) In the context of a possible demilitarization of the island, the defense machinery could provide a transitional arrangement as regards order in a way that accommodates Turkey’ s security concerns and Turkey’ s relations with the EU proper. c) The special role of Great Britain and France in the Security Council and their special relationship with the United States could provide the necessary linkages with third actors.
To put it otherwise the European option of Cyprus provides a unique opportunity for all parties involved: a) Greeks in Cyprus and Athens would compromise but still accommodate their historic claims. b) Turks and Turkish Cypriots would cushion their security concerns and at the same open new diplomatic horizons that could only be positive to their national interest. c) It provides Turks and Greeks the opportunity for a new regional strategy devoid from cosmopolitan functionalist fallacies and rich with political realism that respects the national interests of the all the parties involve. d) Europeans they would have an opportunity to prove to themselves that their integration endeavor initiated half a century ago is worth developing beyond mere material issues. Are these arguments sounding too good to be true? I do not think so. The arguments exposed above, were designed to stress that as a matter of objective facts related to the interest of the nations involved, the European option of Cyprus provides a unique opportunity for all parties national strategies, if, precisely, political criteria are founded on moral criteria embedded on non hegemonic postures.


[1] Idealism –at least the revolutionary versions of idealism– in international relations, I shall argue below, is a fallacy. It overlooks underlying historical trends in international relations and rejects or underestimates the ontological nature of sociopolitical fragmentation. For these and other reasons it weakens interstate rationality and fosters revisionism let alone hegemonic-revolutionary claims.
[2] It should be stressed that as these lines are finalized a decision is already taken for Cyprus’ s entry into the EU in Copenhagen in December 2002. Parallel to the final negotiations leading to this major event General Secretary of the UN soldiered on by Great Britain and the United State proposed the so called Anan Plan, a controversial proposal by all means. Because the purpose of the present analysis is not to comment current events I shall not integrate Anan’ s plan. Nonetheless, as it stands and before negotiations are initiated on this plan, I could name, inter alia, five major problems related to its principal features: First, it perpetuates the divisive presence of Turkey and Greece as quarantors including major corps of army forces (up to 10000 soldiers). Second, it does not create viable normative structures since it provides a multilevel veto system on national basis thus abolishing majority rule and it does away with peoples’ sovereignty since when institutions are stalemated (predictably the rule and not the exception) the supreme court would decide (where three out of nine members are not Cypriots). Third, it conditions over many decades basic rules such as free circulation. These and other arrangements are certainly not in accord to the acquis communautaire. Forth, it limits to naught national sovereignty through a number of external limitations which in fact excludes Cyprus from future EU’ s foreign and defense arrangements. Fifth, it abolishes democracy (82%=18%) which is certainly not only a receipt of a non viable state but also the seeds of future conflict and instability in Cyprus and among all the interested states.
[3] Survival interests as a term of IR analysis is usually related to the integrity of a state’ sovereignty and in nuclear relationships with the very existence of the state. In the present analysis, to the extent I put the emphasis on the interests of small or medium size regional states, I refer to “survival” in the broadest possible sense. It certainly includes state integrity but also peace, stability, security and deterrence in the sense that a major war between states of approximately equal power may lead to considerable setbacks of their prosperity, their normative structures and their role in international relations. A major war may also lead to its breakdown and fragmentation into two or more states of states with fragile internal structures, a very likely danger for Turkey if it ever goes into a major war with an equal power. Below, I shall make clear that I consider the survival of the interstate system as a vital common interest to all countries.
[4] Edwards H. Carr’ s monumental Twenty Year Evidence provides enough evidence for this historical fact.
[5] I use the term “distributive justice” as meant in late John Rawls writings, especially in the Theory of Justice.
[6] One may wonder as to whether the word “civilization” as used here is value laden. As it shall be argued below, to the extent it refers to ontological features of human existence (societal alterity and claims for collective liberty-freedom), it is by all means a value free statement.
[7] It is obvious that my comments refer to revolutionary doctrines and ideas which aim at weakening states’ normative structures. All intestate agreements including the International Court of Justice institutions are absolutely compatible with society’ s political sovereignty. Moreover these interstate institutions are necessary for the strengthening of interstate parity, non intervention and the right of internal self-determination. Naturally, I see them embedded in historical evolution which means that this analysis is not interested for rationalizations –in either political discourse or politically and ideologically biased academic writings– of ephemeral value which believe that IL could establish permanent viable normative structures giving the “right” to some great powers to intervene militarily at will.
[8] The claims for empire and/or a uniform-unified world are many and well described in historical narrations. For example, the Chinese emperors, the Egyptian Kings, the Macedonian Kings, the Roman emperors, the Roman Church, the French revolutionists, the nazis, the Marxists and anglosaxons’ “national destiny”. For the description of the “revolutionist” perspective in international relations see the unique analysis of Martin Wight, International Theory, The Three Traditions (Leicester University Press, London 1991). The many facets of American political idealism during the formative period 1776-1917 are examined by this author in a monograph written in the Greek language. See Παναγιώτης Ήφαιστος, Αμερικανική Εξωτερική Πολιτική, Από την Ιδεαλιστική Αθωότητα στο Πεπρωμένο του Έθνους (Εκδόσεις Οδυσσέας, Αθήνα 1994) [Ifestos P. American Foreign Policy, from idealistic innocence to “National destiny” (Odysseas, Athens 1994)].
[9] International change in this respect could refer to many situations: inter alia, redistribution of sovereignty, secession, revolutionary claims for internationalist normative structures and intervention in the internal affairs as to establish spheres of influence.
[10] Achievements of human civilization common to all individuals of all states such as human rights, the right to property, etc, important as they might be in shaping national normative structures adapted to each society’ s particular economic, cultural, religious and historical conditions, are so broad in nature that do not permit the construction of cosmopolitan world structures. Consequently despite the fact cosmopolitan postures are often adopted by hegemonic states and are integrated in their strategies in order to justify interventions in the internal affairs of smaller states, they could not in anyway serve as basis for effective normative structures dealing with the broad range of any distinct society’ s spiritual world and material affairs. Of course, I do not refer to rights and obligations agreed at the international level on the basis of sovereign equality and which are thereafter integrated into the national normative structures. In the latter case the purpose is to consolidate the Westphalian system (sovereignty, equity and non intervention), reinforce peace and stability in the interstate system and facilitate the development of an international society of sovereign states. Apparently, they have nothing to do with normative cosmopolitan views that have always been either apolitical-naïve proclamations or an instrument for propaganda underpinning hegemonic strategies. Regarding the latter argument, one could wonder why notable scholars still deal with issues given the fact that the 1939 classic masterpiece of Edward H. Carr gave a direct and lasting explanation demolishing in advanced the fallacy of posterior rationalizations. See Edward H. Carr, The Twenty Years’ Crisis 1919-1939, An Introduction to the Study of International Relations (Harber Torchbooks, NY 1964), esp. ch. 5,13.
[11] The term “alternity” shall be defined later on.
[12] As we all know the populations, among others, Cyprus, Bosnia and for Former Republic of Macedonia are exposed to such plans imposed by strong powers’ policies or by indifferent and/or politically irresponsible personnel of international organizations serving the former. As long as international organizations function as great powers’ dependent variable one could not possibly expect them to fulfill their historical mission as instruments of peace and stability.
[13] It is important to fully understand these aspects of international life in order to construct viable normative structures at both the interstate and the intra-state level. With regard to Cyprus, moreover, as I stressed elsewhere in this paper, one should not mix up the fact that the island consists of two national groups with the fact that the Cyprus state’ s historical experience differs from most other states resulting to a peculiar internal and international stalemate dealt with below.
[14] External sovereignty is also a fundamental criterion regarding the issues discussed above. Namely, historical experience of modern times as well as experience of older epochs as regards the attitudes of sovereign societies is telling: Sovereign states agree among them as to how to deal with particular individuals –war criminals, illegal immigrants, terrorists, other transnational phenomena, etc– through commonly defined bilateral frameworks or through interstate institutions. However, they are consistently reluctant to accept free willingly to the creation of an “international sovereign” who could take decisions on their behalf over and above their societies. Referring to the rationalist tradition in international relations theory Martin Wight notes: “Power is not self-justifying; it must be justified by reference to some source outside or beyond itself, and that be transformed into authority”. See International Theory, the Three Traditions (Leicester University Press, London 1991), p. 99.
[15] Edward H. Carr pointedly remarked that there is no such thing as an international legislative process, which could underpin an international executive and judicial system. He added, “nor can this well be otherwise. Reflexion will show that the legislative process, like judicial process, presupposes the existence of a (sufficiently well integrated) political order” (ibid p. 211)
[16] See Edward H. Carr, op.cit., esp. p. 222
[17] John Rawls, The Law of Peoples (Harvard University Press, 1999), p. 6 (note 8)
[18] See the masterful theoretical insights of Martin Wight, op.cit. esp. ch. 5.
[19] Elsewhere in this paper I distinguish between socially define purposes among the sovereign states and socially defined purposes of the inhabitants of the earth, something which as already argued is not feasible owing to the fragmented social-political order of the planet. Certainly, first, if a single homogeneous society is accomplished (through genocide?) and second, if for that reason a single world state-empire could be established, our debates would have been fundamentally different. A possible problem thereafter shall not be the danger of an inter-state war but of an intra-state civil war, that is, a rather much easier issue of “order”. Who however favors a return to epochs of endeavors to establish a single world order through genocide. As those who read correctly Emmanuel Kant Knows, the great thinker had nightmares with the idea that his concept of a world federation could lead to dynastical worlds order.
[20] In this case, international institutions only intervene if the strong accepts it and only in order to facilitate an arrangement in accordance to the fait accompli. This is precisely what happens with regard to the role of the United Nations in Cyprus since 1974. As it is argued elsewhere, the reason due to the fact the United Nations owing to its nature have no authority or ability to decide on normative matters such as what is right or wrong and what is justice or injustice in controversial international political situations. In fact, if an international organization were gifted with such ability it would immediately acquire the status of a supranational authority or even a world government.
[21] Case studies and theoretical perspectives on this central and crucial matter are scattered all over my monographs and articles of the last fifteen years. A rather conclusive exposition could be found in my two latest Greek monographs: Κοσμοθεωρητική Ετερότητα και Αξιώσεις Πολιτικής Κυριαρχίας (Εκδόσεις Ποιότητα, Αθήνα 2001) and Ο Πόλεμος και τα Αίτιά του (Εκδόσεις Ποιότητα, Αθήνα 2002) [Weltanschauung Diversity and Claims for Political Sovereignty, European Defense, Security and European Political Unification (Piotita publishers, Athens 2001) and, Causes of War, the Many Faces of Hegemony and Terrorism (Piotita Publishers, Athens 2002)]. The fists is currently translated into English.
[22] This author in many monographs examines this issue. For an all-inclusive outlook of the theoretical controversy, the evolution of European integration theory and many references on these issues, see my Greek monograph Θεωρία Διεθνούς και Ευρωπαϊκής Ολοκλήρωσης (Ποιότητα, Αθήνα 1999) [Theory of International and European Integration (Piotita, Athens 1999)].
[23] As Robert Gilpin pointedly observed, “the essence of social reality is group. The building blocks of ultimate units of social and political life are not the individuals of liberal thought or the classes of Marxism. (…) In a world of scarce resources and conflict over the distribution of those resources, human beings confront one another ultimately as members of groups, and not as isolated individuals”. «The Richness of the Tradition of Political Realism», in Keohane R. (ed.), Neorealists and its Critics (Columbia Univ. Press, NY, 1986), σελ. 304-5.
[24] I use the term “alterity” despite the fact it does not fully convey the Greek philosophical term “ετερότητα”. “Ετερότητα” amongst collective entities, inter alia, encompasses collective diversity, heterogeneity, distinctiveness, otherness, idiomorphic behavior, dissimilarity and unlikeness.
[25] Robert Gilpin also notes: “true, the name, size, and organization of the competing groups into which our species subdivides itself alter over time-tribes, city-states, kingdoms, empires, nation-states– due to economic, demographic and technological changes. Regrettably, however, the essential nature of inter-group conflict does not”. See op.cit. Gilpin goes on to refer to some causes of war such as greed, fear and honor, as well as to fundamental objectives of mankind such as beauty, truth and goodness, in order to point that these latter noble goals are lost unless one makes provision for one’ security in international power struggle.
[26] “Collective claims for liberty-freedom” are an ontological feature of humans and their fulfillment (in the sense of political sovereignty) is an achievement of civilization.
[27] I am fully aware that this theoretical posture implies a stern admonition of most normative and revolutionary theorists of international relations. In fact, as I argued elsewhere, with the probable exceptions of authors such as Carr, Aron, Morgenthau, Bull, Wight, Waltz and Gilpin, the salvation of international relations theory depends on academic decisions to revert to the basic and fundamental value free theoretical insights of Thucydides and to our ability to think and theorize on international relations in terms classical political philosophy. It could be added that such a decision by scholars is anyway of marginal importance: The international system as a whole and each sovereign state individually evolve in accordance with domestic as well as international social dynamics which deepens each polity’ s distinctiveness and foster alterity at the international level. In other words, the world evolves irrespective international theory. It is up to IR scholars to stick to politically and socially relevant approaches.
[28] The interested reader could retrace this social ontology interpretation in the formidable theoretical statement of late Panayiotis Kondylis, Macht und Entscheidung. Die Herausbildung der Weltbilder und die Wertfrage (Klett-Cotta, Stuggart 1984), translated in Greek as Ισχύς και Απόφαση, Η διαμόρφωση των κοσμοειkόνων και το πρόβλημα των αξιών (Στιγμή, Αθήνα 1991)
[29] The term “cosmotheory” is rendering into English the term of classical philosophy “κοσμοθεωρία” which encompasses, inter alia, each society’ s distinct collective material and spiritual world, its collective moral-philosophical structure and its members collective world view or (in Greek) “κοσμοεικόνα”].
[30] For those familiar with the writings of leading scholars of the British school such as Hedley Bull (especially the Anarchical Society, Macmillan, London 1984), could well think that my approach is identical to theirs. This not exact. First, I do not share their optimism about the elimination of the causes of war in the foreseeable future. Second, my theoretical statement is much more sharp and uncompromising as regards the anti-hegemonic character of the collective security idea and of the fundamental principles of international law. Third, I go further than them as regards questions of political philosophy of international relations by adopting the aforementioned dual ontological characteristics (societal alterity and the claim for collective liberty-freedom) as the basis for moral-political judgment.
[31] Due to their persisting claim for sovereignty that implies rejection of an “international hegemon”.
[32] Due to the ill-conceived right of veto of the five permanent members of the Security Council of the United Nations this fundamental historic mission of the collective security systems is often conspicuously forgotten. However, if one may well understand the reasons why leaders of hegemonic powers ignore this fact, it is difficult to comprehend the reasoning of many scholars do the same.
[33] As already stressed, they can only mediate, because collective security systems are not endowed to decide on questions of justice, hence the fallacy of the controversial role of the Security Council decisions and the General Secretary’ s successive plans for Cyprus which point to a monstrous and divisive state structure constructed on national and racial basis not reflecting the ontological-social and political characteristics of the people inhabiting the island. It should be noted that the notorious Anan’ s plan (see note 2, above) includes provisions regarding to internal distributive justice which go beyond any conceivable role of the United Nations as it stands fifty years after its creation. This is no coincidence that the parties involved rejected or expressed discomfort with Anan’ s arbitrary ultimatums soon after he submitted his plan sponsored by Great Britain and the United States.
[34] It is obvious that this analysis is intentionally avoiding discussing the Marxist view regarding the hegemonic character of intra-state normative structures. Irrespective various opposing sides’ arguments regarding the way class structure and the way this relates to social justice, it is already clear that on the basis or theoretical postures taken in the preceding analysis I consider a global system of distributive justice –of either classless or of liberal nature– as something that contradicts the actual evolution of the international system.
[35] As already noted, the struggle for liberty-freedom crashed the internationalists-cosmopolitan claims for world uniformity-unity.
[36] I do adopt the position implicit in the writings of some scholars of the British school, namely Wight, Carr and Bull, that the relations amongst independent polities could form a “society of sovereign states”. However, as I already observed, one could not possibly foresee the elimination of the causes of war.
[37] I refer to the consecutive international decisions that created the League of Nations during the interwar period and the United Nations in 1945.
[38] Robert Gilpin, War and Change in World Politics (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1981).
[39] Ibid p. 210
[40] In the past, as well, institutions were not designed to take decisions as regards questions of internal distributive justice. This was the case, for example, as regards the institutions of the cities system in classical Greece.
[41] Most notably, this impotence is seen even in simple cases when international institutions are called to adjudge on rather simple issues relating to the implementation of Treaties signed by the states in conflict.
[42] This is particularly true in nuclear relationships.
[43] That is, those interests are of intrinsic-vital value for the parties involved and relate to their very independent existence as collective entities.
[44] In most cases, however, we witnessed exactly the opposite. If we take Palestine as an example, a) the conflict was created by hegemonic powers, b) it was accentuated due to hegemonic-geopolitical competition, c) it was accentuated due to many and multifold regional problems owing to hegemonic competition, d) it was perpetuated due to alignments and re-alignments, e) it was overlooked by international institutions which were neutralized due to hegemonic competition and f) it its solution was wrongly conceived because of naïve idealistic rhetoric –as well as due to many other misconceptions– during the post-cold war era.
[45] In IR bibliography a useful distinction is between interest of “intrinsic value” (related to vital interests and the survival of the state) and “power interests” which relate to marginal increases of one’ s boundaries, to prestige and to emotional pressures of internal elites and other groups.
[46] As observed in footnote 2, above, this considers that after ten years of hard efforts for Cyprus’ s accession into the EU, the political achievements –according to the logic adopted here, valuable to all parties involved– are endangered by the interference of the proposed Anan’ s plan.
[47] The term “unlimited threats” refers to twofold characteristics of revisionist claims: First, it is of hegemonic character and second, it is difficult to identify the precise limits of the threat goes beyond the declaratory state.
[48] For analysis on this issue see the classics Thucydides’ Peloponnesian War (Penguin, NY 1954) and in Gilpin, War and Change in World Politics, cit.
[49] Such as the “national destiny” in USA during the 19th century and well afterwards.
[50] See Wight, op.cit.
[51] This is a distinction often made by former president of France General de Gaulle.
[52] See Morgenthau, op.cit. p. 248
[53] As I make it clear below in this paper, given the international normative structure and the majority status of the Greeks on the island their claim of self-determination during the 1950s was by and large not revisionism. I also stress that one should distinguish this indisputable historical truth from the fact that Greek strategy as regards Turkish concerns should have been more intelligent and more forward planned. I also wonder, as to whether objective internal and external conditions could have permitted either side to follow another course.
[54] The animosity over Cyprus is a typical example.
[55] The case of Iran during the 1950s and 1960s is a typical case.
[56] This principle was universally accepted because if every minority would had had the choice of separate self-determination the outcome would had been approximately two and half thousands states.
[57] Kashmir, Cyprus, Kurdistan, Palestine, …
[58] In a serious debate on the Cyprus conflict, one needs not to revert to well known historical facts such as the relevant stipulations of the Treaty of Laussane or the Turkish Cypriot containment of their claims to a minority scale until well into the 1950s.
[59] The bibliography on Britain’ s divide and rule policies is abundant. For a recent publication which provides abundance of information see Brendam O’ Manley – Ian Craig, The Cyprus Conspiracy: America, Espionage and the Turkish Invasion (IB Tauris, 1999).
[60] To assume that there is a uniform rule is either wrong or hypocritical. There is no uniform rule and not even two examples are alike. “Accommodation” varies from one state to the other and geographical region reflecting objective historic, local and regional factors that shape the controversy. Compare for example Northern Ireland, Belgium, the Bask issue, the Kurdish issue in many states, the Cyprus problem, the Chechen issue, the Palestinian issue, the American blacks, the Spanish speaking Americans, the Turks of Bulgaria, the Albanians of Kosovo, the Greeks of Albania, the Albanians of the Skopia state, etc.
[61] Again, the Turks themselves should decide whether it would have been better off as regards their national interests if they were accepting self-determination in the 1950s accompanied by agreements accommodating their concerns (such as demilitarization of the island and the cultural rights of the Turkish Cypriot minority).
[62] Certainly, this again depended on many variables related to the east-west conflict. Moscow, for example, would probably had attempted to play its own divide and rule game as one can see in the 1960s and 1970s when the soviet diplomacy couldn’t be more dubious and politically subversive. I base this point on the attestation of Arbatov, former strategic thinker close to almost all Soviet presidents. In a statement in Corfu during a seminar organized by the Institute of International Relations of Panteion University, he said that the real intention of Moscow was to create problems among the southern NATO allies of the United States.
[63] It is a fallacy to consider the Cyprus problem an issue not directly and vitally linked to the central Greco-Turkish relationship. This fallacy led the Greek Cypriots, inter alia, a) to distance themselves from Greece therefore neglecting the need for a common strategy concerning their common problems (especially after 1974, a fact which accentuated the stalemate and encouraged mistaken Turkish expectations that they could establish their strategic control through a con-federal solution), b) to rely hundred per cent for their survival interests on ineffective international organizations c) to pin their faith on fatal foreign policies such as the so called “non-align movement”, d) to neglect vital foreign policy orientations such as the European Community and the Atlantic Community, e) to follow expectably sterile orientations such as the approach of the Soviet Union in the mid of Cold War whilst at a time they maintained multifold links with the western power and f) to approach China (in 1973) when USSR and China were at the brink of a war. Upon reflection these massively mistaken foreign policy options did not solve the problem and did not give to Turkey the upper hand to impose a total control on the island as some Generals in Ankara may wish. It simply disoriented the parties involved and stalemated the Cyprus conflict beyond imagination, save, as it is argued here, the “European option”.
[64] This is something on which students of conflict resolution should do serious research. Save subversive practices, which it is difficult to reveal, it is commonly known that during the 1940s and 1950s British educational policy undermined the cultural underpinnings of Cypriots. It would be interesting if historians, however, establish the actual British policies on this matter from the 1950s until the Anan plan in Autumn 2002 which incorporates the essence of this approach in the context of the divide and rule strategy.
[65] Hans Morgenthau notes us that “most of the world states have one thing in common: They hardly ever survived the lifetime of their founders”. See Politics Among Nations, The Struggle for Power and Peace (Alfred Knopf, NY 1948), p. 504.
[66] Virtually no state is culturally and linguistically uniform.
[67] I refer to both the EE structure as such and to the political systems of the member states.
[68] Again, I shall not revert on matters analyzed extensively in at least seven English and Greek language monographs. In these monographs one could find analysis and references along this line of argument as regards the nature of European Integration.
[69] As in many other similar conflicts, it is indeed useless to attempt to establish as to who is right and who is wrong in a vicious circle of argumentation whereby both sides’ myriad of contradicting facts and counter-facts are mixed up with propaganda and innumerable political rationalizations creating an insurmountable intellectual and political borderline. At both sides of the border it is only natural that the parties involved would feel they are right. In fact, after all, all are right if seen in the context of their respective normative structures, a fact characterizing most tragic interstate conflicts in history. A notable example is the Israeli-Arab conflict over Palestine. That is why national interests provide the only solid basis for political judgment, a fact which unless willing to slip into logical errors, one should be ready to accept that the interest are in complete and insurmountable impasse. This is not the case of Greeks and Turks, I argue below, because Europe provides an outlet.
[70] It is of no interest as to whether this is a legitimate interest. What counts is that it is a valid strategic posture in the context of a conflictual Greco-Turkish relationship. However, Turkey’ s failure to concede to a viable outcome through Europe would precisely foster trends that would inevitably lead to a Greek military presence in Cyprus.
[71] I refer to the acceptance of a federal and subsequently “federal-bizonal” arrangement as a basis for the solution of the Cyprus problem.
[72] I repeat that such one could not possibly identify one single democratic polity on earth whose internal administrative boundaries are drawn on ethnic let alone racist criteria.
[73] “Wise” in exercising self-determination with the consent of the Turkish Cypriot.
[74] As it is commonly known, the United States due to nuclear deterrence considered the USSR-USA relationship rather stable. For Washington, instead, the biggest threat for its vital interests originated in the “revolutionary” states of the third world and especially of the non-aligned movement.
[75] The fact big powers do not undersign this statement is another question I analyzed elsewhere and which I couldn’t probably elaborate further in the present paper. My latest Greek monograph Ο Πόλεμος και τα Αίτιά του, τα Πολλαπλά πρόσωπα του ηγεμονισμού, 2002, op.cit. deals precisely with this issue.
[76] This paper was drafted before the Anan proposal of Autumn 2002 (see note 2 above). I add here that this is precisely its basic weakens.
[77] This author has a long involvement as regards the European option. Therefore, I do not repeat arguments made public (and in many governmental reports) since 1983. Basically, I consider the sum up in my book of 1992 (Παναγιώτης Ήφαιστος, Χαράλαμπος Τσαρδανίδης, Οι Σχέσεις της Κύπρου με τις Ευρωπαϊκές Κοινότητες, Παπαζήσης, Αθήνα 1992, μέρος Β), as an outline of the logic originally resisted by president Vasilliou during 1989-1992, subsequently adopted by successive Greek and Cypriot governments and by and large adopted in 2002 by the European Union if Cyprus eventually accession is fulfilled in 2003.
[78] Analysis that establishes this fact is abundant. To the bibliography already mentioned above I add the masterpiece of Andrew Moravisck, The Choice of Europe (Cornell University press, NY 1998).

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