By Chris Elliott…..
Stop beating the dead horse!
In the early hours of this morning 7th July 2017 messages were beginning to appear in social media pages that all was not well at the UN hosted Cyprus Peace Talks in Crans-Montana in Switzerland.
The UN Secretary General, António Guterres soon held a press conference to announce that the Cyprus Conference had been closed without an agreement being reached.
So where are we now? As the popular media has been delighted to announce since 20th July 1974, Cyprus had been divided since Turkey as a guarantee power intervened (so called invasion ?) to put a stop to the Greek Cypriot and Greek acts of aggression when the other guarantee power Britain failed to assist.
Strange that Archbishop Makarios stood before the UN on 19th July 1974 and pleaded to the UN for help to stop the invasion of Cyprus by Greece. Click here to read the speech.
There is something far deeper to this dispute than the Greek Cypriots claims that the Cyprus problems began on 20th July 1974.
In 1570 the Ottomans arrived in Cyprus and claimed it for their own and during the period 1821–1829 many Greek Cypriots supported the Greek independence effort called ENOSIS which led to severe reprisals by the Ottoman Empire.
The Ottoman Empire agreed to pass the administration of Cyprus to Great Britain on 9th July 1878 but with the outbreak of WW1, the Ottoman Empire gave their support to Germany so Britain annexed Cyprus and perhaps this rift with the Turks continues to this day.
In 1915, Britain offered Cyprus to Constantine I of Greece on condition that Greece joined the war on the side of the British, which he declined. In the Treaty of Lausanne in 1925 Cyprus was declared a British crown colony.
The Greek Cypriot population, meanwhile, had become hopeful that with the British administration this would lead to achieving Enosis (union with Greece). The idea of enosis was historically part of the Megali Idea, a greater political ambition of a Greek state encompassing the territories with Greek inhabitants in the former Ottoman Empire.
In the ensuing years in Cyprus the Greek Cypriot nationalists aided by Greece pursued a policy of intimidation and worse against the Turkish Cypriots and demands for independence from Britain increased.
On 16 August 1960, Cyprus attained independence after the Zürich and London Agreement between the United Kingdom, Greece and Turkey and created a power sharing government which was to break up due to the ongoing intimidation and violence on the Turkish Cypriots.
Intercommunal violence erupted on 21 December 1963, when two Turkish Cypriots were killed at an incident involving the Greek Cypriot police and then the killings escalated in the months and years ahead by the Greek Cypriot nationalists as they pursued a policy to remove Turkish Cypriots from Cyprus which is clearly defined in the secret Akritas plan which can be read by clicking here.
In 1964, Turkey threatened to intervene in Cyprus in response to the continuing Cypriot intercommunal violence, but this was stopped by a strongly worded telegram from the US President Lyndon B. Johnson warning that the US would not stand beside Turkey and warned they would not protect Turkey against the invasion of its territories by the Soviet Union.
Meanwhile, by 1964, enosis was a Greek policy that could not be abandoned; Makarios and the Greek Prime Minister Georgios Papandreou agreed that enosis should be the ultimate aim and King Constantine wished Cyprus “a speedy union with the mother country”. Greece dispatched 10,000 troops to Cyprus to counter a possible Turkish intervention.
Turkish Cypriots owned around 30% of the properties of the island from 63-74 but were forced to live in 3% of the island in open air enclaves as a result of their persecution. Over a hundred Turkish villages were destroyed and thousands of their citizens were denied from exercising their civil and human rights and in excess of 3000 people were exterminated..
On 15 July 1974, the Greek military junta under Dimitrios Ioannides carried out a coup d’état in Cyprus, to unite the island with Greece. The coup ousted President Makarios III and replaced him with pro-enosis nationalist Nikos Sampson. In response to the coup, five days later, on 20th July 1974, the Turkish army intervened on the island, citing a right to restore the constitutional order from the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee. This justification has been rejected by the United Nations and the international community ever since.
Since then the following list from the records of Nicos Rolandis the ex Foreign Minister of Cyprus records “Peace moves rejected by Greek Cypriots”:
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”
To bring things back into perspective it’s worth noting that with the Annan Plan the Turkish Cypriots voted in a referendum to agree to a peace plan which would then have given greater concessions to the Greek Cypriots but they said OXI (NO) in a referendum and rejected the plan which also saw the Greek Cypriots being accepted into the European Union whereas the Turkish Cypriots were not allowed access even though they had voted for a settlement.
So here we are again with the UN having been trying to bring two communities together and perhaps not wanting to see the problem of trying to put a lot of square pegs into round holes.
UN Secretary General, António Guterres said at today’s press conference that the Cyprus Conference had been closed without an agreement being reached. So now perhaps they will stop pushing this lame Cyprus Trojan Horse and let reality and commonsense lead to a final settlement and what is that?
Northern Cyprus now deserves and wants a velvet divorce with the lifting of embargoes including direct flights so the Turkish Cypriots can continue to develop their future with support from Turkey and International players which will bring about change to the political dynamics here in the Middle East.