TRNC News Today 1st April 2015
Eroğlu: “We are worried due to statements of Anastasiades and Pavlopulos”
President Derviş Eroğlu said that they are worried due to the statements made by Greece’s President Prokopis Pavlopulos and Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades during their joint press conference.
Eroğlu said that Anastasiades’ statements claiming that a solution will evolve from the ‘Cyprus Republic were worrying. He said such statements were contrary to UN parameters and to the spirit of a partnership in Cyprus.
Eroglu stressed that while the efforts are continuing to resume the negotiations, such kind of statements give harm to the efforts for solution of the Cyprus problem and cause new doubts between both sides.
Furthermore, Eroğlu reminded that although Greece was a guarantor of the 1960 Partnership Republic, she supported the Greek Cypriot side to destroy the partnership state in 1963 by force of arms. Eroğlu asked the question “Is Pavlopulos aware of the fact that Greek occupation in Cyprus was mentioned during the speech made on 19 July 1974 at the UN Security Council?”
Ertuğ: “Greek Cypriot Administration tries to reflect Hammond’s visit as a visit to South Cyprus”
Presidential Spokesman Osman Ertuğ stated that although British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond will visit President Derviş Eroğlu, the Greek Cypriot Administration is trying to reflect the British Foreign Secretary’s visit as a visit to South Cyprus.
Expressing that reactions of the Greek Cypriot press also show the reality, Ertuğ said that the British Foreign Secretary will visit both sides of the country, adding that guarantor country UK’s not holding meetings in both sides of the country could not be considered.
Dinçyürek attended Intercontinental Congress of Wind Energy
Minister Dinçyürek gave a speech representing TRNC at the Intercontinental Congress of Wind Energy held in Istanbul.
The congress under the auspices of the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of Turkey, which is organized jointly by Turkey Wind Energy Association, European Wind Energy Association and the Global Wind Energy Council took place at İstanbul WOW Convention Center.
In his speech at the congress Dinçyürek reminded that legislative work is done regarding the renewable energy resources in the TRNC and said:
“In this context, ‘renewable energy act’ was legalized by the approval of the parliament in 2011. Some of the Regulations under the Law that we call secondary legislation became legal and works are carried on.”
Reaction to ELAM event
Many organizations showed reaction to the activity which will be organized on 1st of April by the National People’s Front (ELAM), which operates in Southern Cyprus, together with Greek ‘Hris Avgi’ (Golden Dawn Party) and asked to cancel the event which is planned to be organized in South Nicosia.
Community organizations wanted to impose that ELAM is like a branch of Greek paramilitary criminal organization Hris Avgi, and ELAM is trying to demolish the democratic and human rights, wants to impose neo-Nazi and fascist ideology, and they said they are opposing and condemning the neo-Nazi meeting which will be organized by ELAM in collaboration with Hris Avgi.
Human trafficking in Southern Cyprus
It is determined that the human trafficking gang in Southern Cyprus is especially acquiring the identities of older people and using these in illegal activities.
The Greek Cypriot Haravgi newspaper wrote that some members of the gang engaged in human trafficking from India have been identified, and somehow they acquire identities of especially old people and show them as employers, and then brought workers from India.
A library is discovered at archaeological excavation in Pyle
It has been indicated that the archaeologists who are digging around Pyle have found the oldest library in the Island.
Fileleftheros newspaper which is published in South Cyprus wrote that the remains are believed to be from 13th century BC, and said that the library is determined to be in one of the largest residential areas of the copper period.
The EOKA struggle: what was it all for?
By George Koumoullis
AS WE have done every year on this day, today we will celebrate the anniversary (60th) of the start of the EOKA struggle with triumphal events of ‘national elation’ and fiery patriotic speeches.
Contextually, these speeches take me back to my school years when teachers taught labyrinthine and exhausting lessons with an emphasis on rote learning. Critical thought, questioning, evaluation and the development of a personal understanding were considered alien and of suspect origin and therefore rejected.
The same, more or less, applies today with regard to the EOKA struggle. It is considered a big taboo for someone to claim, even by using rational arguments that Hellenism lost out from this struggle. This is why I would like to believe that I am addressing people that see the history of Cyprus not as a description of feats and ordeals but as a living source of lessons, and an opportunity to evaluate events.
It constitutes a paradox to christen the struggle for union with Greece as a struggle for ‘liberation’. Greece with which we wanted to unite was run by fascist or dictatorial governments from 1936 to 1974 (with the possible exception of the 1963-‘65 period). If Enosis was achieved in 1950, when the Enosis referendum was held, a Cypriot would have been faced with unfortunate surprises.
He would have immediately realised that in Greece there was no freedom of speech, thought, expression and action. He would have also realised that his name would have been entered in police files and if he wanted to become a public servant, an Olympic Airways pilot or a road-sweeper he was obliged to present a ‘suitable’ certificate of social/political beliefs. And he would have been deemed ineligible, as a ‘national traitor’, if he or a relative or a friend of his had left-wing beliefs.
What would have devastated him would have been the realisation of the existence of a concentration camp – the notorious Makronisos which was the Greek version of Dachau, Auschwitz. There would also have been the nightmare that the Security Force (known as ‘asfalia’ and the equivalent of the SS in Nazi Germany) could knock on his door in the middle of the night in order to arrest him and throw him into Makronisos, where he would run the risk of dying from torture, starvation or thirst.
So how could you see the Enosis movement as a liberation movement in such a context? Are the two notions not a lamentable contradiction which, in the absence of any objections, has been used ad nauseam by politicians, teachers and the media? One of the reasons that EOKA did not enjoy international support was this contradiction – that in the name of freedom it was demanding union with a tyrannical regime.
There could not have been a worse timing for the struggle. Even a 16-year-old who learned about the decade of the 1950s in history O-level – not one with a PhD in history – could have told the then Greek Cypriot leadership that the British empire was collapsing and that by the end of the 20th century no British colonies would exist and therefore the armed struggle was unnecessary.
Instead of fighting, it would have been wiser to have sat with our arms crossed, as other colonies had done e.g. Malta, Bahrain, Hong Kong. Even without the help of a 16-year-old student the leaderships of Greece and Cyprus should have captured the messages of the times.
In 1945, for the first time in Britain’s history, the elections were won by the Labour Party, which was on the far left at the time and its ideology was incompatible with colonialism. During its time in government, from 1945 to 1951, it granted independence to India, Burma and Sri Lanka and declared that the gradual liberation of all British colonies was a matter of time. Two of the Labour Party’s leaders – Ernest Bevin and Herbert Morrison – continuously stressed that the existence of colonies was an ‘embarrassment’ for a left-wing party in government.
Unfortunately for Cyprus, the Labour Party lost the elections in 1951 and stayed out of government for the next 13 years. The message of the Labour Party, however, was significant but we did not have mature leaders with the astuteness to evaluate it correctly so that we could gradually achieve real independence, without any blood being shed, as was the case with most other British colonies.
Another big mistake committed by EOKA was the complete marginalisation of the Turkish Cypriots who made up 18.2 per cent of the population. The armed struggle was waged as if there were no Turkish Cypriots. However the Turkish Cypriot leadership had made it clear, on many occasions and long before 1955, that it would never consent to Cyprus being united with Greece. The Turkish Cypriot leaders were aware of the ethnic cleansing that took place in Crete and it was understandable they did not want the same to happen to Cyprus.
When the Ottoman occupation of Crete ended in 1898, Cretan Turks constituted 31.4 per cent of the population. With the establishment of the autonomous Crete it started becoming clear that, sooner or later, union with Greece would become inevitable and this sparked a mass exodus from the island of Cretan Turks. This trend intensified after 1913, when union with Greece was realised. From 1912 to 1922 almost all the Cretan Turks sold off their properties and left Crete, fearing how they would be treated by the new rulers – the Christian Cretans.
Completely ignoring the Turkish Cypriots and their fears, EOKA, on the one hand, strengthened the nationalism of the Turkish Cypriots and the radicalisation of their leadership and, on the other hand, gave Britain’s ruling Conservative Party the excuse to resort to divide and rule and play the partition card.
In the end, what did EOKA achieve? A struggle should always be judged by its results and not its intentions. We all bow to the bravery and courage of our young men who gave up their lives for their ideals, but bravery per se does not necessarily fulfill the dreams of a country.
In the case of the EOKA struggle, not only was there no Enosis, but we did not achieve proper independence either, becoming instead the protectorate of three other states, something that the Cyprus establishment conveniently ignores.
George Koumoullis is an economist and social scientist
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