İlter TÜRKMEN A paragraph in the diaries allegedly owned by the former Naval Forces Commander Adm. Özden Örnek reads that some circles were disturbed by the course of the Cyprus talks in New York held with the United Nations secretary general of the time, Kofi Annan, in February 2004 and several force commanders prepared action plans to curb these talks. The founding president of the Turkish Republic of northern Cyprus, or TRNC, Rauf Denktaş, and the Republican People's Party, or CHP, sent messages to the force commanders in that period and apparently the views reflected in these messages triggered the action plans.Of course we remember that Denktaş with the CHP's support ran a strong and emotional campaign against the Annan Plan at the time. On July 4, Erdal Güven in his article in daily Radikal wrote that Denktaş was disappointed by the agreement reached in principle with Annan on Feb. 14, 2004 in New York and that he had said “a military statement will be issued shortly.”
The failure of Denktaş:
That intervention didn't take place. The Annan plan process continued and if I am not mistaken a General Staff representative participated in the Bürgenstock talks chaired by the prime minister and these talks ended in success. The Turkish side was also ready to sign a paper guarantee that Turks will put the final draft of the plan to a popular vote. But the Greek side hesitated to do so. The Annan plan was supposed to be ratified in a referendum despite the opposition by then president of Greek Cyprus, Tassos Papadopoulos. Right then the fate of the plan seemed self-evident. Papadopoulos was not under any risk by acting so because in April 2003 Greek Cyprus had signed the accession treaty with the European Union and the member parliaments had approved it. There remained only one thing, the accession ceremony to be held on May 1. So a “No” vote by the Greek Cypriots in the referendum was not an obstacle for Greek Cyprus' accession to the union. In fact, in the popular vote held on April 24, 2004 65 percent of Cypriot Turks ratified the plan as Cypriot Greeks rejected it. Denktaş was pleased with the situation. “May God bless Papadopoulos,” he said. Two eternal foes had turned into allies in a split second!
Whose loss is Hellenism's gain?:
The reason I am giving you a recap here is that there was no need for a military intervention in that period. The mission was to be accomplished anyway but an intervention could've dragged Turkey into a period of political and economic instability and curbed the country's negotiation talks with the bloc. Such an intervention could've had a serious consequence as well. Meaning, Cypriot Turks would've been interdicted by Turkey from a popular vote of their own free will, if there had been such an intervention. Didn't it ever occur to anyone that what a disappointment and rage this could've caused? Wasn't it to be a tremendous loss in Cyprus?I cannot help myself but to remind that the Annan plan was revealed to the parties in November 2002. If it had been put to vote by April 2003 before Greek Cyprus joined the EU, Cypriot Greeks wouldn't have rejected the plan because this could've prevented their accession to the union. That's why the then Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis in his memoirs expressed his gratitude for the rejection of the plan in March 2003 and said Hellenism reached its zenith. But whose loss is Hellenism's gain? We failed in an objective evaluation of the advantages we could have if we had ratified the Annan Plan then. On the other hand, the mentality blocking a solution in Cyprus still exists. For instance, there is this “Talât Paşa Committee.” Doesn't its name evoke something?