Alistair’s “Random Rambles” (13)
By Kathy Martin…
Written April 2014
Read another excellent article by Loucas Charalambous on the current settlement talks. He queries why they are taking so long when they could be completed within 30 days. As he pointed out, the only “new” topic in the talks is the possible existence of reserves of offshore gas and oil around the island. Every other topic has been discussed, debated, deliberated and then dismissed or declared null and void (!) in previous talks during the last 40 years!
Surely by now some “common ground” must have been reached on each and every issue.
I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting Loucas Charalambous, but from his name and the sentence in his article “we don’t want a solution” I presume that he is a Greek Cypriot. I understand from the local press on Saturday 12th April 2014 that the Greek Cypriots are playing for time by introducing “cold winds and tricks”, which have jerked the United Nations observers into shuttle diplomacy (again!).
Perhaps the apparent continuing deadlock will work to the advantage of the Turkish Cypriots. The current political and military situation in the Ukraine and Crimea has caused Europe (and by default the USA with its European military bases) to realise (shock horror!) that most of their gas and oil energy supplies are piped from, and through, what used to be the Soviet Union!
Purely to have an alternate source of energy, Europe may force the lifting of our embargos, without the consent of the Greek Cypriots, even before a “settlement” is reached to get an, almost, direct (oil or gas) pipeline from the Eastern Mediterranean and Levant area!
Such action would, of course, require duplicity, but when has integrity and honesty been allowed to stand in the way of the political, economic and logistical needs of the “big” nations?
I understand that the United States of America has condemned modern Turkey for the genocide of a million Armenians. An American politician has justified this by stating something along the lines of “we must join with Europe and our 11 NATO allies in this condemnation”. You don’t need to rush to your rubbish or re-cycle bins in amazement that you missed the recent headline in your newspaper “One Million People Massacred”! This alleged massacre took place one hundred, yes, 100 years ago and the leaders of the Turkish Ottoman Empire were deemed to be responsible!
I have no wish to show disrespect to any of the Armenians who are alive today, but I query why so much political time (and therefore money) has been spent within Europe, the United States and the 11 NATO allies in condemning the actions of a people, who lived a hundred years ago, in an empire that no longer exists?
As there doesn’t appear to be a statute of limitations (time limit) on this genocide allegation perhaps America should also condemn itself for the genocide of its Native American (Red Indian) population who lived around Fort Pitt in 1763?
In possibly the earliest documented record of bacteriological warfare in the USA, correspondence by General Amherst shows that he instigated the distribution of blankets used as shrouds for soldiers, who died of smallpox, to the local population!
The British colonists and soldiers then retreated indoors and waited while the native population died in agony! America would, of course, argue that Britain is no longer in power in the USA, but, (surely it must have been noticed!), neither are the Ottomans in Turkey!
A slightly cynical person might think that the EU and “the West” have taken up “Turkey bashing” in order to prevent (Muslim) Turkey from joining the (Christian) European Union!
However, a really cynical person might think that not only did the Armenian genocide survivors from 100 years ago flourish, but now they were so prolific that Armenians now form such a large portion of the electorate within Europe and America that their voting power must now be assiduously cultivated!
I was going to end this week by commenting on the Turkish premier’s knee-jerk reaction to ban Twitter and muzzle the judiciary following his family’s alleged involvement in corruption. Regular readers will know that I firmly believe that any person (or section of the community) who have to resort to invoking autocratic powers to ban debate or discussion simply means that there is definitely something to hide!
I understand that the (ex) leader of the Provisional (military/terrorist) wing of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), Martin McGuiness, was a dinner guest of Queen Elizabeth II of Britain, at Windsor Castle.
However, with the signing of a peace treaty between Britain and Ireland on 2nd December 1999, which followed the “Good Friday” accord in 1998, Martin McGuiness ceased to be a terrorist leader.
That the Queen should meet and, indeed, entertain a “terrorist” caused a great harrumphing. Yet this isn’t the first time that she has met and entertained terrorists!
On more than one occasion she met with South African terrorist leader Nelson Mandela (now deceased), and in 1994 she even knighted Zimbabwe/Rhodesia terrorist leader Robert Mugabe, by investing him into (or with?) the Order of the Bath! Admittedly she has since stripped him of this honour!
I am sorry harrumphing Britain, but you can’t pick and chose as to who is or isn’t a terrorist leader, based purely on the fact that the IRA operated in your front garden and back yard. As both Mandela and Mugabe were “blacks” committing acts of terror against both “whites” and “blacks” in faraway Africa, it was geographically, politically and racially expedient to treat them as heroes!
We had the pleasure of hearing the then retired – now deceased – 1st President of the TRNC, Rauf Denktaş. This was when he came to our little village, Doğankőy to commemorate the unveiling of a bust of Gemel Ataturk. For the information of readers unfamiliar with the history in this part of the world, Ataturk was the (mainland) Turkish leader who, after the independent country of Turkey, was founded in 1923, dragged it politically, socially and industrially from (literally) the eighteenth century into the twentieth century! He is regarded by all Turkish people as the greatest statesman ever to have lived.
However, back to the dedication ceremony in Doğankőy, there were about 50 Turkish-Cypriot locals and about half a dozen permanent Ex-pat British residents. At the end of a speech in Turkish, Rauf Denktaş gave a summary in English, then, personally welcomed us to North Cyprus and said that he, (along with the other Turkish Cypriots), appreciated the contributions that we make to the culture and lifestyle of the island. We have never forgotten his graciousness.