While reading the latest Nuntii Latini I stumbled upon a conditional sentence which I do not completely understand. The respective news bite:
Reiijo Pitkäranta wrote:Discordia Turciae et Graeciae
Moderatores Turciae Graecos in Cypro habitantes monuerunt, ne una cum Americanis gasum in Mari Mediterraneo quaerere inciperent. Nisi illo consilio destitissent, etiam Turcos se ibidem investigationes eiusmodi suscepturos et naves bellicas indagatoribus praesidio missuros esse. Cypro-Graecos nullum ius habere mare ad suum usum convertendi, cum opes naturae communes essent.
I take it that the authors wishes to express something like this: "Unless they [the Greek Cypriots] were to refrain from that plan, the Turks, too, would undertake investigations of this sort in that very place and send war ships as a guard for the researchers."
But why did the author use the pluperfect subjunctive destitissent. From the point of view of the Turks doing the talking, the refraining takes place in the future. Why not say desisterent instead?
These conditional sentences keep confusing me. Sigh.