Cyprus – The Highway Robbery
“No-one has said this to them for 20 years so
they think they can run away with the highway
robbery they have committed.”
By Chris Elliott and Dr Christian Heinze
Comment by Chris Elliott
Looking back at the recent UN brokered peace negotiations in Cyprus we see history repeating itself with the Republic of Cyprus making more and more demands as a condition if negotiations are to continue even if it breaks previous agreements, and at the same time seem unwilling to consider the fact that god given assets like hydro carbons etc should be shared with their Turkish Cypriot neighbours whilst the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus continue trying to negotiate a settlement that should suit both parties.
So is this a new phenomenon, no it’s not and if we go back 31 years we see Founding President Rauf Denktaş before the UN assembly answering the criticism and protests of the United Nations and the Republic of Cyprus about the founding of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and we include below both a video and text transcript of this statement which shows that today nothing has changed in the status quo and the negotiating stance of the Republic of Cyprus.
Speech to UN Security Council by Rauf Raif Denktaş
The statement by referring to the draft resolution because I want to be absolutely honest with you, if we have survived for 20 years and not gone down, it is because we have been correct and consistent all the time. To us there is no government of the Republic of Cyprus, the government in the south represents Greek Cypriots, the government in the north represents Turkish Cypriots, who are the bi-communal together, bi-communally they become the government of Cyprus and I offer to the Greek Cypriot side to sit at the table to re-establish this bi-communal, bi-zonal federal system.
You are concerned you say gentlemen that the declaration by Turkish Cypriot authorities about our independent state. I hope you are equally concerned that the one part of the bi-communal government has for 20 years robbed the other part of all its rights and has not given them back and does not intend to give them back because they get all these confirmations from you that they are the legitimate government of Cyprus. The whole world may regard them as the legitimate government of Cyprus. If the population in Cyprus regards them as robbers of their rights they are not the legitimate government of Cyprus. They have to be decent to the other part of the government, they cannot continue this armed robbery at our expense and then raise up the whole world against us claiming that the legitimate government of Cyprus has been disrupted. Where is this legitimacy for the last 20 years.
That it is incompatible with the 1960 Treaty, we reject. The 1960 Treaty brought about independent Cyprus, sovereign Cyprus, in which 2 communities shared all governmental institutions, shared the executive, shared everything, so if we cannot continue like that and if the Greek Cypriots who threw it down, then we must find another way in a guaranteed, independent, non-allied Island of Cyprus and this is the alternative we have found after 20 years, I repeat.
Now you consider that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is invalid. I said yesterday you considered China non-existent for 30 years, Eastern Germany non-existent for 25 years. It doesn’t matter, they are now here with us and I greet them with respect. We are not seceding, we are not seceding from the independent Island of Cyprus, from the Republic of Cyprus, if the chance is given to us to re-establish a bi-zonal federal system but if the robbers of my rights will continue to insist that they are the legitimate government of Cyprus, we shall be as legitimate as they, as non-allied as they, as sovereign as they, in the northern state of Cyprus but we shall tip the door wide open to re-establishing unity under the federal system, it is up to them to decide, they cannot get away, they must not be allowed to get away with this highway robbery. They have done so for too long and now they are so confident that they have got away, that they recognise no rights in us. That is where they have led us into this position.
Please understand us, they left us no alternative and we hope this will be such a weight on the scales for concluding the talks in a meaningful way that they will come to the negotiating table. Unfortunately, I wanted you to encourage them in that direction by not condemning us, or at least after condemning us by telling them that we see you, Mr Kyprianou, as the legitimate President of Cyprus, alright, but isn’t one leg of you missing? Are you not hoping without that without that Turkish leg, which you cut off 20 years ago and threw into the dustbin – why won’t you put it back, put it back and be a proper legitimate government? No-one has said this to them for 20 years so they think they can run away with the highway robbery they have committed.
We by what we have done, we have prevented them from running away with our sovereignty, with our independence, with our freedom. They have no right to touch it. I have thousands of people, dead and buried, because they objected to Enosis, because they did not recognise the unconstitutional rule of Makarios. What do I care if the whole world ignorant of what is happening in Cyprus. Tell them that there is a legitimate government in Cyprus. I do not recognise them, my people do not recognise them, will not recognise them. The only way is to re-establish the bi-communal, bi-zonal federal system with the aid and help and good offices of the Secretary General. We are ready for it.
So we hope the procedure so far agreed will be followed. If a new procedure is to be found, I am sure the 2 governments will meet, will decide, will agree on a new procedure and then they will continue the talks within the good offices of the Secretary General.
I am sorry I talk very excitedly but I am excited, when you are excited about my government’s integrity, independence and sovereignty please grant me the right to be a little more excited than you.
Thank you Mr President.
Comment by Dr Christian Heinze
The speech by Denktaş of November 1983 and displayed on Youtube was made in the context of the proclamation of the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus (TRNC) of 15th November 1983. On the same day, the Greek government of South Cyprus had appealed to the Security Council of the United Nations Organization to take some unspecified action. Their application, not much longer than one page, contended that the proclamation was an act of secession violating resolution 367 of 12th March 1975 of the Security Council. In this resolution the Security Council had called on all “parties concerned” to respect the sovereignty of the “Republic of Cyprus” and to refrain from any attempt at partition of the island. The Greek request of the 15th November also stated that the proclamation threatened the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a “Republic of Cyprus”, and that by “acts of harassment and forcible expulsion perpetrated by forces of occupation, the Greek Cypriot population has been uprooted from their ancestral homes and lands and rendered refugees, while Turkey implanted thousands of alien settlers to usurp the homes and lands of the expelled.” No further details were given in this application (1).
The Security Council convened right away to discuss the application made by the Greeks of Cyprus. At the beginning of its meeting No. 2497 in the morning of 17th November, the Secretary General of the United Nations made it known that he had already beforehand issued a statement condemning the Turkish declaration of 15th November as contravening acts of the United Nations Organization and affecting adversely the situation in Cyprus. After this, the floor was given to the Greek side for repeating their well known distortion of the facts constituting the Cyprus Conflict, which had resulted in the siding of the “family of nations” with the Greek position from 1964 onwards (2). In the next meeting (No. 2498) of the Security Council in the afternoon of the 17th November (3), Mr. Denktaş brought forth an elaborated statement comprising about 20 typewritten pages, explaining the conflict in more detail. He pointed out that it was the premeditated application of Greek force of arms that had deprived the Turkish Cypriots of a statehood protecting their rights which constituted the Cyprus conflict, and that, through this aggression, the Greek leadership had also deprived itself of the status of a legitimate government of Cyprus. It followed that the formation of the Turkish State of Cyprus was an act of self determination as the only way of restoring basic rights to the Turkish Cypriots. Mr. Denktaş told the Council that the Turkish side was open for negotiating reunification of the island under terms securing the rights of his people but that negotiations were hampered by the hostility of the Greek party and by a general refusal of granting any legal position to the Turkish side at all. The deliberations of the Security Council continued with its 2499th meeting in the morning of 18th November, 1983, in which the representative of Pakistan made a remarkable statement showing much understanding for the Turkish position (4).
Neither the Security Council or any other branch of the United Nations Organization nor any government supporting the Greek appeal has, on this or any other occasion, endeavoured to establish the true and relevant facts underlying the Cyprus conflict, or to evaluate the position in international or constitutional law in some detail, not to speak of dealing with the arguments brought forth by Mr. Denktaş on the 17th. November. The Council has, instead, ruled in its Resolution 541 passed in its 2500th meeting of the afternoon of the 18th November, 1983, that the formation of the Turkish State amounted to “secession”, that it was incompatible with the Treaties of 1960 and “worsening” the situation. The resolution implies that the only just and lasting “settlement in Cyprus” consisted in sovereignty of the “Republic of Cyprus”, but identifies, once again, this Republic with the government of the Greek State of South Cyprus. It disregards the fact that this “government” was composed of the authors of violent attempts at usurping Greek power over the whole island from 1955 and 1963 onwards and dedicated, as concerns the Turkish Cypriots, at harming them to the utmost degree within their power. In particular, the Security Council did not take notice of the fact that, in 1963 and the following years, it was by Greek acts of harassment and forcible expulsion perpetrated by forces from the island and from mainland Greece, that the Turkish Cypriot population had been uprooted from their ancestral homes and lands and made refugees in their own country.
The speech by Mr. Denktaş of November 1983 which is reproduced in the Youtube clip referred to in the present presentation by Mr. Chris Elliott in the “Cyprusscene” Homepage is part of another statement of Mr. Denktaş made immediately following the passing of resolution 541 while the 2500th meeting of the Security Council was still in session (5). It is true, as mentioned by Mr. Elliott, that the antagonism between the Greek usurpation and strife for realizing their desired rule and possession of Cyprus without being restricted by particular rights of the Turkish Cypriot community on the one side and the Turkish Cypriots insisting on a State securely protecting their basic rights on the other, has been in 1983 (as in 1955 or 1963) and still is to the present day the gist of the Cyprus conflict.
The conflict is one of sharing Cyprus. The discovery of natural gas and oil underneath Cyprus waters in 2011 has changed the interests involved and their quantitative importance, because the object of sharing is now known to comprise a natural gas- and oil-field underneath Cyprus waters which was unknown in 1983. But it has not changed the basic substance of the conflict. Sharing has different meanings. Sharing may describe the common use of goods, like enjoying in common the law and order and protection of a State, or using in common the same roads. But there are goods the nature of which prohibits their being shared by way of common use, like a cake. With reference to such goods, sharing means distribution of parts of the goods in question which, as parts, come into existence by some sort of partition. If one considered Cyprus, as the United Nations Organization continues doing, as one whole, while two communities exist in the island, then sharing of this whole of Cyprus would imply sharing the natural gas found in its waters or the returns from its use between these communities.
(1) Video document No. S/16150 of the United Nations Security Council.
(2) A protocol of Session 2497 is available on the internet via http://www.un.org/en/documents/ods/ as document No. S/PV.2497(OR) [eng] Title: SECURITY COUNCIL OFFICIAL RECORDS, 38TH YEAR : 2497TH MEETING, 17 NOVEMBER 1983, NEW YORK, Publication Date: 1 Aug, 1992.
(3) The wording is available via the address quoted in footnote (1) as document No. S/PV.2498(OR) [eng] Title: SECURITY COUNCIL OFFICIAL RECORDS, 38TH YEAR, 2498TH MEETING, 17 NOVEMBER 1983, NEW YORK, Publication Date: 1 Jan, 1992.
(4) The record is available as document No S/PV.2499(OR) Title: SECURITY COUNCIL OFFICIAL RECORDS, 38TH YEAR : 2499TH MEETING, 18 NOVEMBER 1983, NEW YORK, Publication Date: 1 Nov, 1992.
(5) The wording is available as document No. S/PV.2500(OR)Title: SECURITY COUNCIL OFFICIAL RECORDS, 38TH YEAR, 2500TH MEETING, 18 NOVEMBER 1983, NEW YORK, Publication Date: 1 Jan, 1992.
Editors Note. For more information from Dr Christian Heinze please go to his website click here.