October 2, 2022

By Ismail Veli

Reading an article on cyprusscene.com, click hereI felt compelled to make a comment by sharing what the ex Foreign Minister of Cyprus Nicos Rolandis has stated on many occasions.

For half a century the Turkish side has been accused of intransigence on resolving the Cyprus problem. It was only after the referendum and rejection of the Annan plan by the Greek side in 2004 that some Greek politicians like Rolandis finally began to reveal the true extent of the rejectionist stance of their leaders since the late 1940s. Nicos Rolandis listed all the plans put on the table since 1948. The list comprises 15 plans of which one was rejected jointly, while a whopping 14 were rejected by the GCs. With the start of talks again on the horizon what chance is there of finally settling this protracted problem that has been going on for decades.

Nicos Rolandis
Nicos Rolandis

How many times have we heard “this is the last opportunity”, or “a settlement must be reached by the end of the year”??. Frankly most Turkish and Greek Cypriots are not optimistic of any final settlement. The only difference to the background this time is that for the first time since 1963 the Greek Cypriot’s ability to hold out the carrot of economic success as opposed to TC lack of it, no longer carries weight. The Greek economy is on its knees and the threat of Turkish economic collapse has now become a pipe dream for the Greek leadership.

If we add the fact that the international community with immense problems, like Syria, Egypt, Afghanistan, Iraq and we can add many other hot-spots to the list, we can truly understand why others are simply sick and tired of the Cyprus problem. Contrary to what many Cypriots believe, we are not the center of the universe.

The biggest hurdle in the dispute seems to lie on 3 items, property ownership, Turkey’s guarantee and equality.

The Greek side simply will not accept the latter 2. On the former they argue that the land should be distributed on the percentage of population. For the Turkish side Turkey’s guarantee is indispensable, at least until unification and trust has been established over a long period of time. On equality, the TCs will never accept a minority role in a Greek dominated Island. Past experience and a lack of acknowledgment by the Greeks for the mistakes of the past and the continued isolation of the TCs has led to a mistrust that the Greeks simply cannot, or will not understand.

Indeed to many TCs it almost seems that the vast majority of GCs relish the constant punishment of an “ungrateful and greedy Turkish community” that “rebelled” against what many Greeks consider to be an Hellenic Island. In the Greek opinion a protected minority status is more than adequate. Though there is a growing number of people on both sides wishing to see a ‘Cypriot’ identity as opposed to Greek or Turkish, nothing in the education, cultural or political rhetoric have even given the ‘Cypriot identity’ sufficient time or effort.

As for the dispute in land ownership it may be worth looking at each side’s arguments. For that we need to at least look at the 1960 census results. My analysis will be based on the Adelphi files published in 1989 by the International Institute of Strategic studies and the agreed principle between the TC leader Rauf Denktas & Makarios in 1977 and Denktas with the GC leader George Vasiliou in the Gali set of ideas in 1992.

According to the 1960 census the ownership of land was the following

State land 28%

British Sovereign bases 2.8%

Private GC ownership 48.6%

Private TC ownership 20.6%

Rauf Denktaş addresses the UN
Rauf Denktaş addresses the UN

The Turkish side disputes the above, and claimed that Turkish land amounted to nearly 30% and that the British had transferred massive chunks of Vakif land to the Greek side during the Colonial period. In addition the 1960 constitution was established on a partnership basis which means that half the state owned land was Turkish. The GCs believe the TCs are only entitled to 18% of the land belongs to the Turkish community . Anything more is considered excessive. The Greek leaders did agree however that one third or 30% of state land can be allocated to the Turkish side. Once the 30% of state land (which is 9% of total Cypriot territory) is added to the private 20.4% of Turkish land a formula of 29%+ plus was reached between Denktas and Vasiliou. Sadly due to internal opposition, Vasiliou was unable to present the Boutros set of ideas to the Greek public and another opportunity to end the dispute in 1992 was lost.

The argument by the Greek opposition based on land distribution according to population is flawed, as the Greeks themselves only owned 48.6% of private land. A simple example on this would suffice. One of the largest property owners in the UK by some strange coincidence is Andrew Charalambous a business man of GC origin. He is reputed to own over a thousand properties, while many in the UK only own one.

George Vasiliou 2
George Vasiliou

Does that mean that 999 properties owned by Mr A. Charalambous need to be handed over in order to balance the equal ownership based on a head count? Certainly not. The Greek leaders in the past have, as indicated already accepted the principle of 29+. Its inclusion in the Annan plan was not,- contrary to Greek propaganda engineered by the “Imperialist West”- designed to divide Cyprus and concede to Turkey’s territorial ambitions. The question by many as to why have the GC leaders rejected so many agreements can be summarized as follows, they simply have not had the courage to sell any agreement to the long suffering GC population on account that the massive propaganda dished out by the opposition and media to their “heroic OXI’s (No’s) since the early 1950’s has conditioned and convinced the GC public that it’s better to defy a “barbaric threat” and the national goal of Hellenism will eventually prevail against oppression, invasion and injustice.  That national goal was originally Enosis (Union with Greece), then “unfettered self determination”.

Sadly for the Greeks the determination by the TC people to equally prevail in holding on to their rights has been seen as not too important, or equal to the Greek feeling that courage and right can only belong to the numerical GC people, therefore the Turkish argument and determination is weak and they will eventually see the error made in relying on an “occupying power” Turkey.

One way for the Turkish side to weaken the Greek argument on Turkey’s Guarantees and accept TC equality, could be for the Turkish side to concede more territory by reducing the 29%+ already agreed to the lower 25% mark. This would mean a substantial uprooting of a massive percentage of Turkish people in order to make way for the Greeks to reclaim most of their former homes. This concession on the Turkish side would entail great suffering and a possible rejection by the TCs in any referendum, but massive international financial assistance to re-house the Turkish people may in the long run offset this upheaval. The peace dividend should in the long term more than outweigh any initial financial cost. Such a concession by the Turkish side would however force the Greek opposition into turmoil and would Cyprus Will Theybe seen by the International community as one of the biggest opportunities to settle the dispute.

If the Greek politicians or leaders reject the offer, then unlike the broken promises made to the Turkish side in the Annan plan, a firm international guarantee must be given to the Turks, that any rejection by the Greeks will mean an acceptance that the problem is insoluble and recognition of a 2 state solution must follow. The Greek side cannot be given an open ended free hand to drag out the problem forever, while the Turkish side needs to decide whether hanging on to 34% of unrecognized land as opposed to 25% free of sanctions. Is being unrecognized with less hope for a long term prosperity  worth the sacrifice?

I have no doubt that many will argue against the points made in this article. By the same token I’m certain that many will see the wisdom of a radical new approach to help break the deadlock. in the meantime however the two contradictory points of view prevailing on the Island seems as irreconcilable as ever. Therefore hopes of a settlement in the upcoming talks are just seen as a show by each side to prove to the world that it’s the opposing sides intransigence that holds back an agreement rather than a genuine attempt by either side to bring about a final solution that seems as elusive as ever.

My comment made on an article: Greek Cyprus “punished for blackmailing Europe” is as follows.

“The following list is from Nicos Rolandis The ex Foreign Minister of Cyprus “Peace moves rejected by Greek Cypriots”: I think the world will slowly get fed up with Turk bashing by The GCs. It’s way past its sell by date.

1) 1948: Consultative Assembly: We (GCs) rejected it.

2) 1955-56: Harding proposals: We (GCs) rejected them.

3) 1956: Ratcliffe Constitution: We (GCs) rejected it.

4) 1958: Macmillan Plan: We (GCs) rejected it.

5) 1959-60: Zurich-London Agreements: We (GCs) rejected them in 1963 (through the efforts to amend the Constitution) although we initially accepted them.

6) 1964: Acheson Plan: We (GCs) rejected it.

7) 1972: Agreement of Clerides-Denktaş: We (GCs) rejected it.

8) 1975: Bi-communal Arrangement: We (GCs) rejected it.

9) 1978: Anglo-American Canadian Plan: We (GCs) rejected it.

10) 1981: Evaluation of Waldheim: We (GCs) rejected it.

11) 1983: Indicators of Perez de Cuellar: We (GCs) rejected them.

12) 1985-86: Consolidated Documents of Perez de Cuellar: We (GCs) rejected them.

13) 1992: Set of Ideas, Boutros Boutros-Ghali: We (GCs) rejected them in 1993.

14) 1997: Kofi Annan’s proposals at Troutbeck-Glion: They could not go through.

15) 2002-2004: Annan Plan: We (GCs) rejected it”


11 thoughts on “Peace moves rejected by Greek Cypriots – Ismail Veli’s Comments

  1. Dear Chris,

    Ismail Veli did his homework fully by looking into Nicos Rolandis explanations of the party that always said NO, the Turkish side were always ready to agree so that no more of them would get killed or pushed out from Cyprus whilst the World stood by and watched it happen.

    Now the whole World including the EU is involved with the Cyprus problem and they all know the TRUTH of what happened in the past and is even happening today, the embargoes are there and continuing on the Turkish Cypriots.
    I know, because at 80 years of age I have lived through and seen all of it, that is why the solution to the Cyprus problem is in the TRUTH. In the meantime we need more people like Ismail Veli and Nicos Rolandis to keep on telling the TRUTH about Cyprus so that the young people of both sides in Cyprus are enlightened with what went on throughout the years.

    Thank you Chris and Margaret for doing a wonderful job of bringing out the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth on http://www.cyprusscene.com.

    God bless all the people of the world.

    John Aziz Kent

  2. Thank you John Aziz. Like you I have always been interested in searching for the truth. Justice will eventually prevail. Not at the expense of any one side, but for the benefit of all involved. We need to believe in the justice of our arguments. Freedom and equality is worth fighting and arguing for. That much we owe our children and future grandchildren, and off-course for those who gave their lives so we may be free.

  3. I would like to apologise to readers that the photo of Spiros Kyprianou (instead of George Vasiliou) was mistakenly added to this article. The mistake has now been rectified.

  4. The truth is Turkey wanted “Cyprus back” if and when the British left. If you accept that premise you would have to agree that the dirty tricks and false flag operations engineered from Ankara explain, in part, the Greek Cypriot attitude towards their minority neighbours. Greek – Turkish enmity does not have its roots in Cyprus, it’s much older and more widespread than depicted here.

    It has never been explained why Cyprus was the only British colony never granted majority rule nor indeed why 18% = 80%. Maybe it was the huffing and puffing of the big bad wolf to the north.

  5. Dear Mr Gerolemou

    Sadly your comments are void of substance, and a symptom of the mentality that has, and continues to destroy peace and unification in Cyprus. Clearly your kind of thinking is best put aside next to the relics of the Jurassic period at the Museum of Natural History.

    1. So it’s OK for you to dig up the past but not for me?

      Well here’s some substance for you,
      “Mr. Lloyd said the British had just gone through an agonizing reappraisal of the whole Cyprus business. The Turks, he said, are completely unapproachable in the matter of giving up partition for a base on the island. He had found Zorlu simply not negotiable on the subject………” Read it all Mr Ismailveli and learn a few facts that you obviously have no knowledge of, educate yourself a little before you post your “we are the victims” rubbish.

      If the Turkish government had half a brain it would give Varosha back now and allow 40000, displaced persons to return home (what’s left of them) but unfortunately THAT is the sort of mentality that has destroyed peace and chances of reunification.

  6. Dear Mr Gerolemou.

    Its clear that you are not interested on commenting anything directly related to the contents of the article which is about the GC foreign ministers list on the rejected peace plans by the GC leaders. Would it not be more educational for you to read the actual details of the rejected plans rather then digressing by riding your hobby horse of Turk bashing. Its strange how you make no mention of my suggestion of returning much more land back to the Greek side to help bring about a compromise! As for Varosha/Famagusta,the following is from Nicos Rolandis . He can answer your question on the subject better then I can. If you prefer to pursue the policy of enmity as opposed to positive exchange that is your prerogative. If that is the case then you can off course choose to waste your time, but I choose not to waste mine.

    By Nicos Rolandis


    1. At the beginning of September 1978 (exactly 30 years ago), Matthew Nimetz, the US Assistant Secretary of State arrived in Cyprus. We had a number of meetings, some of them at my residence to avoid publicity. President Kyprianou was kept informed on the progress of the talks. The Anglo-American-Canadian Plan was under preparation. Among other things, we underscored the importance of the priority of Famagusta, which was also presented in a positive way by Rauf Denktash two months earlier. The Plan was handed over to me on November 10, 1978, at the Harvard Club in New York New York, state, United States
    New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of . Nimetz emphasised the fact that the Plan was fully supported by President Carter and Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and also by the governments of the United Kingdom and Canada. I had with me in New York the party representatives, Glafcos Clerides (DISY DISY Dimokratikos Synagermos (Greek: Democratic Rally, Cyprus) ), Ezekias Papaioannou Ezekias Papaioannou was a Cypriot communist politician and Secretary General of the political party of AKEL.

    He was born in 1908 in the village of Kelaki, Limassol District and studied at the American Academy of Larnaca.
    ….. Click the link for more information. (AKEL AKEL Anorthotikon Komma Ergazemenou Laou (Cyprus; Progressive Party of the Working People) ), Alecos Michaelides (DIKO DIKO Democratic Party (Cyprus) ) and Vassos Lyssarides Dr VassosLyssarides is a Cypriot politician who has been a central figure in Cyprus politics since the island’s independence.

    He was born in 1920 in the village of Lefkara. He was educated at the PancyprianGymnasium and then studied medicine at the University of Athens.
    ….. Click the link for more information. (EDEK). Acting on the instructions of the President, I briefed them about the Plan at the Delegates’ Lounge of the UN. The Plan provided that the Varosha residents would return to their homes and stay there, irrespective of irrespective of
    Without consideration of; regardless of.

    irrespective of
    preposition despite
    ….. Click the link for more information. the outcome of the talks. Although no statements were made by the leaders, Clerides was positive, Papaioannou was rather positive but he said that we should wait, Michaelides was positive on a personal basis and Lyssarides was negative. President Kyprianou, although I tried to convince him to the contrary, had many doubts. The Greek government was in favour. Moscow had a negative stance. The Plan was finally rejected at the beginning of December 1978. The residents of Varosha were left alone, holding their suitcases in the winter fog.

    2. In the spring of 1981 we had an Initiative by the United Nations for the return of Famagusta and in parallel the operation of the Nicosia Airport under UN administration (mini-package), together with the signature of a Disclaimer, which would protect our position regarding the status of the occupied part of Cyprus. Our legal adviser, professor Ian Brownlie Ian Brownlie, CBE, QC, FBA, is a British jurist, specialising in international law. He was called to the Bar in 1958 (Gray’sInn).

    During his academic career he taught at the University of Leeds, Nottingham University, and WadhamCollege, Oxford.
    ….. Click the link for more information., in a 70-page opinion, concluded that “the proposed arrangement would not amount to a recognition, express or tacit of the Turkish federated Connected and treated as one. See federated database and federated directories. state”. However, the President rejected the Initiative.

    3. In October 1981, the first official map of the United Nations placed Varosha in the Greek Cypriot area. The Gobbi map was approved by Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim and later on by his successor Perez de Cuellar Pé·rezde Cuél·lar , Javier Born 1920.

    Peruvian diplomat who served as secretary-general of the United Nations (1982-1991).
    ….. Click the link for more information., who was going to use the map in August 1983, as a basis for the territorial aspect of his “Indicators” initiative. The Initiative was rejected by us. I disagreed and resigned from the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs foreign affairs
    Affairs concerning international relations and national interests in foreign countries. and AKEL severed sev·er
    v. sev·ered, sev·er·ing, sev·ers

    1. To set or keep apart; divide or separate.

    2. To cut off (a part) from a whole.

    3. its relations with the President. Famagusta was left alone again, covered by the mist of History.

    4. The Consolidated Documents of de Cuellar (1985-86) and the Set of Ideas of Boutros Ghali

    This article is about the Egyptian politician, not to be confused the Secretary-General of the United Nations; Boutros Boutros-Ghali

    Boutros Ghali

    (1992) comprised provisions for the return of Famagusta. Both initiatives were rejected by us.

    5. The Annan lan provided in a clear-cut language, for the return of the residents of Famagusta on August 10, 2004. The Plan was rejected by us. The residents of Famagusta themselves voted against their return!

    The train for the return of the Famagusta people called at our station in 1978 (twice), in 1981, in 1983, in 1985, in 1992 and in 2004. The “patriots” decided that we should not embark. And the city, the sad Lady of the Sea, is gradually fading away into the heroes and myths of history.

    1. one things for certain if it had not been for the greeks need for exclusivity over everyone else over cyprus and makarios playing priest and politician simultaniously Nikos Samsons the junta all wanting to unit Cyprus with their greece we wouldn’t be here arguing.

      greeks wanted enosis turks wanted taksim

      one wanted all of it and the other only wanted to divide and the reason being is because of the rising greek nationalism .


  7. south cyprus has already blamed the the greece junta i read this in a greek newspaper inenglish .for the mess that occured and the losses .

    the greeks need to pay reperations for there crimes since they are to blame pay for the losses to the real cypriots ..

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