[fyeg_gen-l] One unique opportunity to settle the Cyprus issue and improve cooperation in East Mediterranean - signed petition

Natalie Debono ndebono at ba-malta.org
Fri Apr 23 08:10:14 CEST 2004


From: Mediterranean SOS Network [mailto:medsos at medsos.gr]



One unique opportunity to settle the Cyprus issue and improve cooperation in
East Mediterranean

We, the undersigned, active citizens in environmental and social NGOs, local
authority personnel, scientists, artists, (youth) workers, from Greece,
Turkey and Cyprus:

Agelidis Charis, Lawyer Giannitsa, Antonopoulos Antonis, economist, Bacilar
Koray, student, Istanbul Bilgi University, Department of Political Sciences,
Calikoglu Deniz, student, Istanbul Bilgi University, Department of Political
Sciences, Venizelou Lili, president MEDASSET, Contepe Bilge, Turkey,
Georgopoulos Alekos, assistant professor Aristotelian University
Thessaloniki, president of Ecological Movement Thessaloniki, Giray Burcu,
student Istanbul Bilgi University, Department of Political Sciences, Gercek
Onur, student Istanbul Bilgi University, Department of Political Sciences,
Gioka Politimi, private employee -Athens, Gourtsogianni Melita, architect -
Athens,  Grigoriou Giannis, Sociologist, President of NGO One Earth,
Daskalakis Giannis, teacher-Thessalonica, Dadan Kadir -  Association of
Environmentalist Doctors,  Exarchou Vasia, student Architecture,
Efthimiopoulos Ilias, D.E.P.A., former Director GREENPEACE-Athens, Zotou
Eleonora, Member of ecological movement Thessalonica, Habip Dilek,
Sociologist-Komotini, Theodoridis Nasos, Lawyer, Theodoropoulos Michalis,
enviromentalist, scientific collaborator of Mediterranean SOS Network –
Athens, Iyigun Oyku - Youth worker and SU Movement Founder, Kadigiannaki
Zinovia, Lawyer - Thessaloniki, Kallis Giorgos, General Secretary of
Mediterranean SOS Network, Kalli Piniou Maria, Director of Centre for
Rehabilitation of Torture Victims - Athens, Kanellis Giorgos, Teacher-Patra,
Kanatli Murat - YBH Youth, Cyprus, Karabasa Solmaz – Turkey,  Karpadakis
Kostas, member of ecological movement Thessalonica,  Karabuyukoglou Sami,
journalist -Komotini, Karafakioglu Omer, student Istanbul Bilgi University,
Department of Political Sciences, Katrougalos G., Lawyer, associate
professor of University D.P.TH., Hakan Kok, student Istanbul Bilgi
University, Department of Political Sciences, Kizilgiourek Niazi, associate
professor of university Of Cyprus, Nikosia, Konstadatos Charis, scientifique
politique, member of Mediterranean SOS Network -Athens, Koukiasas Vagelis,
vice-president of Mediterranean SOS Network, Kirkitsos Filippos President of
Ecological Recycling Society -Athens, Levidi Eleni, Lionaraki Mirsini,
student, Lionarakis Nikitas, journalist, Magier Paouli, Biological Farmer -
pharmacist,- Magnisia, Macheropoulou Mina, social scientist, komotini,
Michas Panagiotis, tradesman of ecological products -Athens, Milonas Nikos,
private employee- member of Mediterranean SOS Network – Athens, Ozkuyumcu
Ozan, student Istanbul Bilgi University, Department of Political Sciences,
Ozturk Umit, Chief Executive Officer, Mediterranean Resources
Network-London, Pagalos Spiros,  teacher, Athens, Papakonstadinou Dimitris,
agronomist, Papakonstadinou Thanasis, adviser of enterprises -Samos,
Papapolymerou Stefanos, journalist, Papatzanaki Eytichia, social
functional-psychotherapist, Paraskevopoulou Popi, private employee,
secretary of environmental team of GAIA Kyklades Syros, Petrogiannis K,
Company of Protection Trichonida, Rentzos Theodoros, businessman -Orchomenos
Viotias, Sakelion Stamatis, collaborator of newspaper Raratiritis Tis
Thrakis-Komotini, Sartzetakis Giorgos, private employee, president of
environmental group GAIA Kyklades Syros, Silivrili Kemal, student Istanbul
Bilgi University, Department of Political Sciences, Spanakis Giannis,
associate professor SOAG OAE Kriti, Stasinopoulos Dimitris, Lawyer Athens,
Suleyman  Yilmaz,   doctor, Stiylianidis Giorgos, electrician -engineer,
Timur Akcali, PhD. Yildiz Technical University, Istanbul, Tziolas Giannis,
founding member of Ecological Movement of Thessaloniki, Trampazali
Konstantina, sicialist –direct Intervention for the protection of Nature-
Athens, Tremopoulos Michalis, Journalist- Prefectural Officer -
Thessaloniki, Tsantilis Dimos, physisist, Tsamprounis Dimitirs, Osouchlis
Dimitris, enviromentalist,  Turhan Ebru, student-University of Marmara, Uyar
Tanay Sidki, associate Professor, University of Istanbul, Yanbakis Burcu,
student Istanbul Bilgi University, Department of Political Sciences,
Yardimci Berat, student Istanbul Bilgi University, Department of Political
Sciences,  Yildirim Kayhan, student Istanbul Bilgi University, Department of
Political Sciences, Yuksel Pinar, student Istanbul Bilgi University,
Department of Political Sciences,  Fountis Fillipos, bio-farmer -Magnisisa,
Charitakis Giorgos, Doctor, Charitaki Rita, Translator, Chatzivasiliou Fani,
Chemist-teacher-Edessa, Chrysovergis Agelos, Chemist mechanic, Chrysovergis
Giannis, historian -Journalist-Athens, Chrysogelos Nikos, chemist, president
of  Mediterranean SOS Network

1.      Consider the reconciliation process in Cyprus as a very important
issue for the international community that will have beneficial
repercussions at various levels. The two communities by voting ‘yes’ in the
two referenda of April 24 and stating in a clear manner their commitment to
co-form the new unified Cyprus Republic, on the basis of their common
interests and future, and based on a culture of cooperation and mutual
respect, will contribute to the island’s prosperity and the sustainable
future of the new generations. The positive repercussions in Greek-Turkish
relations will be considerable fostering a wider cooperation culture among
Greece, Cyprus and Turkey, and other east Mediterranean countries. Such a
perspective could be a catalyst for the peaceful resolution of other
sovereignty problems in east Mediterranean (e.g. Palestinian- Israel
conflict), as well as for stabilizing the situation in south east Europe,
without compromising the possibility to upgrade the role of UN in preventing
and resolving crises and conflicts with diplomatic/ peaceful means.

2.      Believe that a federal, bi-zonal state based on the Swiss and
Belgian models, accompanied by the Plan’s provisions for a unified character
and sovereignty, governed by principles of citizen equality that take into
consideration population criteria, organized according the basic principles
of justice and democracy, can be the common home for Greek Cypriots and
Turkish Cypriots. The gradual de-militarization process and refugee return,
the resolution of property issues and institutional conflict resolution
mechanisms cannot erase painful memories of the past for both sides, but
could create a future fostered by peace, friendship, security and prosperity
for all Cypriot citizens.

3.      Agree that the negotiation plan (Founding Agreement), presented by
the UN General Secretary, is for the first time a realistic and balanced
base for the resolution of the Cyprus issue, regardless its weaknesses, as
long as there is a strong commitment of both communities to work jointly and
bound themselves to collaborate in a positive manner in order to compromise
any future difficulties. Considering that for forty years mistakes and even
crimes committed by both sides, nationalistic bursts, visions of reunion
with the motherlands or total partition, accordingly, have led to an
unresolved crisis until today, the final Agreement Plan is a historic
opportunity to develop in Cyprus -and elsewhere- a new culture of
coexistence through difference and consensus through negotiation, casting
off reasons of dominance, isolation, threat or violence.

4.      Foresee the good will of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot
communities to overcome any weaknesses of the Plan within the framework of
European reality and institutions. The European perspective of Cyprus has
already been a catalyst for reconciliation of the two communities, for
paving a common and sustainable future for the island, and for diminishing
stereotypes and nationalistic beliefs of the past. From a bird’s eye view,
we cannot ignore the fact that only a few years ago no one could imagine
that the two communities could compromise in a ‘win-win’ solution, with no
losers and winners.

5.      Are convinced that overcoming past and present problems cannot be
accomplished by trying to alter history and ignore past mistakes, but rather
requires the conscious application of a modern governance model based on
coexistence and collaboration of different cultural and national groups. Let
’s not forget that not very long ago the different nations that today
coexist and collaborate within the EU were facing a severe conflict (World
War II) with millions of casualties and refugees and unimaginable damages.
But in the aftermath, European nations made the conscious choice to develop
a common future overcoming the past, tearing down walls that separated them
and as a result on May 1st we will have an enlarged European family of 25
nations. If we manage to tear definitely down the wall of Nicosia (Green
Line), then we could proudly state that we learned from mistakes of the
past.

6.      State that the timeline of approval seem tight only to those that do
not want a solution based on the Plan. Let’s not forget that for forty long
(and conflicting) years we discuss about resolving the Cyprus issue. Until
very recently, very few believed that that there could be an initiative to
overturn the de facto partition and over-militarization of the island, as
well as the refugee trends and the perspective of different futures for the
two communities. That’s why we believe that all sides should actively commit
not only to vote for the Plan in the referenda but also to secure its
implementation during the next crucial years.

7.      Want to highlight that the young generation of the two communities,
youth and the civil society from Cyprus, Greece and Turkey have an important
role to play in developing a common and sustainable future for the island.
Positive experiences from long-lasting collaboration efforts in the
past –even during harsh periods- among environmental, women and social
organizations and among individuals from Cyprus, Greece and Turkey, as well
as social dialogue programmes and bi-communal cooperation projects among the
two Cypriot communities, have proved that a new coexistence/ collaboration
culture should:
- recognize the important role that the civil society and the associations
representing it could play;
- encourage and support common initiatives and projects for sustainable
development, create employment opportunities in joint environmental, social
and cultural projects, foster collaboration of local authorities and
associations, promote social dialogue and solidarity, arts and scientific
research
- foster the creation of a common consultation and dialogue Forum comprised
of environmental, social, youth and women organizations, from the two
Cypriot communities, Greece and Turkey, aiming to promote reconciliation and
a common peaceful vision for east Mediterranean
- promote new institutionalized methods of citizen participation in decision
making and taking
- recognize the important role NGOs and their representatives could play
within the Reconciliation Committee.

8. Call upon the representatives of the two Cypriot communities, the
governments of Greece and Turkey, as well as the EU and the UN, to promote
specific provisions that will secure an active role of the civil society and
NGOs in the reconciliation- collaboration process of the two communities
within the framework of the new Cypriot federal state, taking into
consideration the collaboration opportunities that protection of the
environment and sustainable development offers, as already proven by
successful experiences of the United Nations Environment Programme/
Mediterranean Action Plan (UNEP/MAP) and the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership.
The Euro-Mediterranean Institute on Intercultural Dialogue could also have a
positive contribution in the reconciliation and dialogue process of the two
Cypriot communities within the framework of a wider intervention in the
Mediterranean basin.
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