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Irony, anyone? Opinion

Anyone in need of paradoxes and irony should take a look at the Cyprus issue, where there's an abundance of contradictions, absurdities, anomalies and imbalances.

Let's take a superficial look at them; it has to be superficial because there's simply not enough room on this page to list them all:

1. In 2012, Cyprus will undertake the EU rotating presidency, a system developed by the economic bloc to allow each country a fair chance at heading up the union of member states. It will take up this role and will lead the EU's united community as...a divided community.

2. Turkey cannot join the EU without a solution to the Cyprus communal division...but it wants a confederation, a form of government which is adamantly opposed by the Republic of Cyprus, which wants a federation.

3. The Turkish-Cypriot leadership wants recognition for the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, a unilaterally-declared state that is only recognised by Turkey, and which struggles to handle 50,000 settlers in economic circumstances that have many hundreds of Turkish Cypriots claiming unemployment benefit in the Republic of Cyprus.

4. The original Treaty of Guarantee has been abused by every power involved - Turkey invaded the island with brute force and maintains an illegal occupation, blithely ignoring a plethora of UN resolutions. It further violates the Treaty by enforcing a partition between the two communities. Britain maintains a cold shoulder and silence on this occupation because it holds a grudge that EOKA defeated its colonial army in the 1950s. And Greece, Hellenic Cyprus' greatest ally,  is permanently apologetic over the actions of its Junta in the 1970's which violated the treaty by threatening the island's sovereignty with its support of a local coup. So pretty much the only real guarantee is that everyone involved will ignore the Treaty.

But perhaps the most ironic situation is that of the people of Cyprus, the ones who lost their land, who lost their lives and relatives...who have to watch as successive governments manipulate, take advantage, and generally leverage the situation to their own benefit. Politicians make their careers by taking up positions on the Cyprus issue - whether they believe them or not.

Promise after promise is made and broken. We're promised solutions which are sabotaged last minute. We're promised a future in the European Union but only face more struggles as we bring our own problems into the bloc, which is plainly bemused over all the fuss. We have to watch endless reunification talks that have been going on since the 1960's that end up in parochial squabbles and petty-minded inter-political party fighting.

We need leaders to inspire real change and respect for human rights. Without them, we can be sure that the ironies will continue to multiply and the hypocrisy, manipulation and contradictions will continue ad nauseum.


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