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Sunday, February 27, 2005

The theatre of the absurd

"The theatre of the absurd
By Nicos Rolandis

DURING the past 45 years a political theatre has been unfolding in Cyprus, alternating between drama and comedy. It is a theatre of the absurd, which has transformed a country � that could well have been the Switzerland of the eastern Mediterranean � into a partitioned island, with occupying forces, refugees, lost properties, settlers, unfulfilled dreams and an uncertain future.

I recall all of this now that the powerful (and reasonably moderate) Talat wants, in the wake of his election victory, to sit down and talk with us about a solution, but we are saying �No, we won�t talk, we want to talk to Erdogan� (yet for so many years we had no problem talking with the intransigent Denktash). But Erdogan doesn�t wish to talk to us. And while this theatre of the absurd drags on, we can recall the past and the six acts of our 45-year-old farce.

Act I (1960-1974)
In 1960 we began with the Zurich-London agreements and cries of �Victory!� In 1963 we forgot all about this and tried to scupper the victory agreements. Thus began the process of partition. There followed a state of chaos for about 10 years, with lack of democracy, alternating between the goals of �Independence� and �Enosis,� with anti-western fervour, nationalist conspiracies, coup attempts and the possibility of a Turkish invasion. In September 1972 Makarios arbitrarily rejected a compromise settlement, one that was very positive for our side and would have prevented the tragedy of 1974 (see Glafcos Clerides� book My Testimony, Volume 3, page 203). There followed the coup and the Turkish invasion."

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