The following is the translation of an Arabic Q&A from the website of Sheikh Ata' Abu Rashta.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
On 03/03/2012, the Minister of European Union affairs in the Turkish government and chief negotiator, Agman Bagis, stated to a Cypriot reporter during his visit to Britain there to meet with officials about the matter of Cyprus, "All options are on the table for a solution to Cyprus. It can be a solution in the form of a confederation by agreement between the two leaders. Or in the form of two states a state, a federal union, with a settlement agreement between the two leaders. Or the annexation of northern Cyprus to Turkey. All options are on the table. But what we hope for is a federal union of two states in Cyprus. "However, the Turkish minister did not mention the solution, which is an annexation of Cyprus in its entirety to Turkey as it was part of it. What about these statements, May Allah reward you?
1 - The Turkish minister presented an old American project, which the US had been presenting in its plans since the seventies of the last century. Namely, either dividing the island into two separate states or two states within one i.e. a federal union or to annex North Cyprus to Turkey and South Cyprus to Greece.
But, after South Cyprus became a member of the European Union, it is unlikely that there will be any thought of annexing the southern region to Greece. Like Greece it enjoys full membership of the Union and also has independence and consideration. It will assume the presidency of the Council of European Union the coming July. And the situation in Greece is bad, particularly the economical situation. The people in south do not prefer annexation, even though they have the feelings of Greek nationalism mixed with religious sentiments.
Thus, the threat comes from one side, Turkey. This is the first time any Turkish official has spoken, since the start of the emergence of the Cyprus issue on the ground, when the United States began to take action in Cyprus, in the fifties of the last century, to affect the influence of Britain and repel it in order to take it place. This forced Britain to grant formal independence to Cyprus in 1960 and install in it a Christian cleric, Patriarch Makarios, and made its agent Rauf Denktash, a representative of the Muslims and his deputy. Thus, the island remained united in the grip of Britain.
It appears that the Turkish threat came after the stumbling of talks regarding Cyprus with the British, where the minister Laghman Bagis added in his remarks to that newspaper on 3/3/2012, when he met with British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, saying, "Britain watches with sensitivity both sides, but I do not see that it behaves very enthusiastically on the issue of using its sanction power", he argued and added, "We tried to convince them on this issue. We believe that Britain, as a guarantor power, should follow a more active policy and play a more constructive role in the Cyprus issue."
2 - It appears here that the British do not want the solutions offered by the United States and offered again by the Turkish minister, even if they express support of the resolution of the issue. The British have two important military bases in Cyprus with more than 24 thousand of British soldiers, asides for surveillance and intelligence agencies in order to spy on and control the region. It is one of the guarantor countries according to the agreement that was signed in 1964 so that Britain, Turkey and Greece are guarantor countries of the situation, which were drafted about the island after the events orchestrated by Greek Cypriots against Turkish Muslim. Thus, Britain maintained its presence and influence there, according to the present agreement.
The southern region of Cyprus is recognized internationally and regionally, i.e. by Europe. It is part of the European Union (EU) and Britain is also part of the European Union, so the British presence in Cyprus has became internal, not external, and other EU states are not disturbed by this presence. Moreover, they even support the British position implicitly when they announced their support for the Annan plan because they believe in the control of the Greek governance over the island and an end to the presence of the Turkish state. Therefore Britain will not abandon its presence and influence in Cyprus.
3 - The Europeans are applying pressure on Turkey to achieve their demands with respect to the Cyprus portfolio, which is one of the portfolios that are not settled between the Turks and Cyprus. And it is one but one of the outstanding portfolios which stands in the way of Turkey's joining the European Union, where the total number of these portfolios is about thirty-five, including internal matters such as the subject of the so-called minorities, from the Kurdish portfolio to the Alawi file to the Armenian portfolio, to the democracy and human rights portfolio, to the portfolio of Constitutional amendment and the acceptance of international supervision on elections related to reduce the role of the military in governance, amongst other portfolios. About the Cyprus portfolio, the Europeans demand the opening of the Turkish ports and airports to Greek Cypriots. But Turkey has not implemented the agreement about that, because the Europeans did not fulfill their pledge to lift the ban on Cypriot Turks according to the agreement between the parties. The Cyprus portfolio along with seven other portfolios are frozen and not settled. Also Turkey refuses to admit the state of South Cyprus, which is controlled by the Greeks until the case is settled. Britain has worked through its agent to complicate the US plan, called the Kofi Annan Plan, named after the former UN secretary, when the majority in the southern region of the island voted against it in 2004. And the Turks in the northern region voted for it when the government of the northern region headed by Mehmet Ali Talat, an agent for America, and Erdogan's government has supported it strongly and put all its weight to vote for this plan. Rauf Denktash opposed strongly at the time and called for rejection. Moreover, he came to Turkey and complained about Erdogan's government to the Turkish military command, which opposed this government and was not supporting the Annan Plan, highlighting the conflict between the English and American agents in Turkey and north Cyprus. The plan calls for unification with the participation of the Turks in governance by a certain share, whilst the Greek Cypriots will have the lions share in governance and the Turks must give up to 7% of their land to the Greeks.
4 - America will not be satisfied for the issue to be resolved by annexing the north of the island to Turkey, such that the southern region remains unchanged with the English remaining comfortable within it. If that happens without affecting the English existence and influence, they will relax and accept that. But America will not be satisfied with that until it removes the English influence and replaces it and removes their bases and camps from it, whilst a conflict has persisted for more than fifty years. So, America will not approve of a mere extension of its influence in the north of the island, leaving the English comfortably in the south! The English in their media about America, suggest that that America has established bases in the northern part of the island, but the Americans did not take such a step because that would be a justification for the English presence there. America has proposed the Annan plan to control the two regions, when a new political formula is made in the island to enable them to control the government and force it to implement its orders.
5 - The statement by the Turkish minister to annex northern Cyprus to Turkey, even though it is one of the old American projects, appears currently only to be a threat in order to apply pressure on the British, the Europeans and the Greek Cypriots. The British are happy with their situation in Cyprus and therefore do not show enthusiasm to resolve this issue and impede the US project using their agents on the island. The Turkish minister announced from Britain and accused Britain directly of impeding the solution because it does not move with great enthusiasm regarding the use of its influence, it does not use a more effective policy and does not play a more vigorous constructive role. These diplomatic formulations are an implicit indictment of Britain that it impedes the solution and does not even work for a solution.
The annexation of northern Cyprus to Turkey will increase the obstacle to Turkey's entry into the European Union, as the Europeans do not accept this at all. So, it is unlikely that Turkey would do that because at the present time, it is seeking to enter the European Union. America is supporting Turkey in this quest and pressurizes the Europeans to satisfy Americas demands against the European Union. At the same time it does not allow America to achieve what it aspires to do, the removal of the British presence and influence in the island, because it will keep the status quo in South Cyprus and so America can not achieve its ends in this way. So, the words of the Turkish minister are nothing more than pressure.
Note that such annexation of the northern region of the island is not difficult for Turkey because it is already under its control. There are more than thirty thousand of its troops there and the leadership of the Turkish army has supported the current government and stands on its side. This action will not upset the army and will maintain its presence there. The protection of the northern region, its security and its interests are all linked to Turkey. And no one recognizes the state and government of this region of the island. Its fate is in the hand of Turkey. So annexation is the easiest option. However, the system in Turkey is not independent and Turkey does not make a move which is not inspired by America. Thus, the hint of annexing Northern Cyprus to it is to put pressure on the English and the Greeks to accept the US plans.
6 - The facts of this matter will become clearer after the coming July when the regime in the southern part of Cyprus takes presidency of the council of the European Union and Turkey experiences difficulty in dealing with this union. Thus, the Turkish Minister Bagis, who is in charge of the relations with the Europeans and the chief negotiator with them, announced to the Cypriot newspaper above, saying: "We will not address the Roman government in South Cyprus when it takes the rotating presidency of the European Union in July .... But we will deal with the union as if we do not see a Roman regime as president of the Union. The Roman regime in south Cyprus is acting recklessly and that there is a possibility of participation in the meetings of Brussels under the presidency of this regime." In other words, the situation will be exploited and it is an opportunity for America to establish confusion and fear in the Europeans and Greeks from that, if the English and their puppets do not give up in the southern part of Cyprus and accept the American plan called Annan plan.
The US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, confirmed this last year, after meeting her Turkish counterpart Davut Oglu, saying: "We do not believe that the situation in Cyprus serves any one interest. We want to see a union of two regions and two sets (in Cyprus) and we want to see it as soon as possible" (16 / 7/2011 APP), so America is not satisfied with the status quo in Cyprus and wants to fashion it according to its vision.
7 - The right solution ordered by Islam regarding the Cyprus issue is to annex it to Turkey. Cyprus is an Islamic land and must be attached to its homeland Turkey. The island of Cyprus is an Islamic island, our master the third Khaleefah Uthman RA opened it. The European crusader captured it in the first occupation wars that it waged on the Islamic countries, but the Muslims liberated it later and took it back to its origin, the Muslim lands and bought it under the rule of the Uthmani, as all other Muslim lands because the Khilafah passed over to them. And the British took control over it during the First World War and declared its annexation to Britain and their client Mustafa Kemal conceded to that in the Treaty of Lausanne. However, Muslims in Turkey considered Cyprus as part of their land. They have worked on supporting their brothers there in the sixties and seventies, when they faced massacres at the hands of the Romans backed by Britain and America in different ways. Their army is still there to protect more than three hundred thousand Muslims.
With all the above, the plan of including the northern part of Cyprus to Turkey without the southern sector, is in compliance with the US projects, although neither is it likely nor is Turkey working to practically achieve it. It considers a waiver of two-thirds of the island to the Roman "kuffar" - as the Turk officials call Greeks in Cyprus these labels and say: the Romans, the Roman southern region and the Roman government - and be content with a third of the island, the northern part, is contrary to Islam and every one who approves it will be sinful, because in origin all of Cyprus island should be annexed to Turkey and attached to it.
The government headed by Erdogan and his party is working on laying to waste this case decisively by making the Muslims look to this issue as if it is not theirs! The Kuwaiti news agency KUNA reported from the Turkish "Ocksham" newspaper on 9/3/2012 an official source in the ruling Justice and Development Party as saying. "The government of Erdogan believes that the Annan plan for peace can form a ground mission to achieve a just and lasting peace in Cyprus, especially since the United States and all the countries of the European Union support this plan." He added, "The Justice and Development Party seeks to establish a new view of the Cyprus issue and to persuade many of the circles in Turkey not to consider this issue as a pure Turkish nationalist issue, but to consider that it is an issue of human rights in origin. What concerns us in this matter is the protection of Turkish Cypriots rights, through the international, American and European assurances."
Considering Cyprus merely as a human rights issue lowers it to any foreign affairs issue in any corner of the earth, rather than being the cause of an Islamic land separated from its origin. Such consideration is laying Cyprus to waste, and every one party to abandoning the island or accepting this will be sinful until the Day of Resurrection. The Muslims will not abandon Cyprus, and any part of the Muslim lands abandoned by the tyrant rulers, but they will restore it, insha'Allah, sooner rather than later and that tomorrow to the observant is near.
09 Rabi' II 1433