By Chris Elliott….
It is time for the UK people to tell its government to recognise Northern Cyprus and stop its self serving activities to suit other countries and serve its people. Great steps in this direction have been made with Brexit and a decision not to allow the EU or others to control the best wishes of the UK people and their interests.
Let’s take a look back in time and note that the Ottomans offered Cyprus to the British in 1833, 1841, and 1845) before it was accepted in 1878 and prior to that Cyprus had a strong Turkish influence since 1570 when they took over the island bringing many nationalities with them.
The local Greek Cypriots on the island had been given the opportunity to manage local authorities by the Ottomans but troubles were brewing with the idea of the political union of Cyprus with Greece which was born in the 19th century after Greek independence in 1830.
So the British had inherited a growing political issue from the Greeks when taking over Cyprus but this came to a head when the Ottomans sided with the Germans in WW1.
The Ottomans fought First Sea Lord, Winston Churchill’s allied expeditionary force in the Dardanelles to a costly military evacuation. The British then on 5 November 1914 formally annexed Cyprus as a Crown colony and perhaps as a result of this, then started giving greater preferences towards the Greek Cypriots.
If so, the demand for Enosis by Greek Cypriots became stronger leading to bloodshed and ethnic cleansing in Cyprus by them, which the British declared as a State of Emergency from 1955-59.
Britain resolved to solve the dispute by creating an independent Cyprus.
In 1959, all involved parties signed the Zurich Agreements: Britain, Turkey, Greece, and the Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders, Makarios and Dr. Fazil Kucuk, respectively. The new constitution drew heavily on the ethnic composition of the island. The President would be a Greek Cypriot, and the Vice-President a Turkish Cypriot with an equal veto.
The contribution to the public service would be set at a ratio of 70:30, and the Supreme Court would consist of an equal number of judges from both communities as well as an independent judge who was not Greek, Turkish or British. The Zurich Agreements were supplemented by a number of treaties. The Treaty of Guarantee stated that secession or union with any state was forbidden and that Greece, Turkey and Britain would be given guarantor status to intervene if that was violated.
The Treaty of Alliance allowed for two small Greek and Turkish military contingents to be stationed on the island, and the Treaty of Establishment gave Britain sovereignty over two bases in Akrotiri and Dhekelia.
On August 15, 1960, the Republic of Cyprus was proclaimed but the Greeks Cypriots were not happy and forced the Turkish Cypriots out of power with ongoing ethnic cleansing and forced the Turkish Cypriots to live in enclaves for their own safety.
This situation continued with the UN trying to control the violence but by 20th July 1974 Turkey having failed to get support from the British as another guarantor power, mounted an intervention mission to put a stop to the bloodshed and violence by Greek Cypriots.
The day before, 19th July 1974, Republic of Cyprus President, Archbishop Makarios stood before the UN Security Council and said his country had been invaded by Greece.
This all said it meant that Cyprus was divided with the Turkish Cypriots having relocated to the north of the island for their safety and waiting for a change in the status quo.
On 15th November 1983, with no solution in sight, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was born under the leadership of Rauf Raif Denktaş as founding Turkish Cypriot President to achieve self-determination but this was shunned by the world with the exception of Turkey who had upheld the Zurich Agreement and the Treaty of Guarantee, which the British had chosen to ignore or support.
The United Nations has committed to the reunification of the island under the Cyprus Republic administration but we can see the Greek Cypriots have rejected 15 peace plans proposed between 1948 and 2012 when the UN Annan Reunification Plan was rejected by the Greek Cypriots by 75% votes against the 64.91% Turkish Cypriots vote in favour of the peace plan.
Following this, we had another failed attempt to achieve a peace agreement at Crans Montana in 2017, and the UN sticks to its guns that one day it will get to both sides live together again.
Now clearly there is a murky world of international politics and agreements that serve no one but the originators and the most breathtaking act was EU member France to encourage another EU member Greece to start military expansion in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean seas to counter the interests of Turkey and the TRNC.
If this was not bad enough France then offered to supply military equipment to Greece which both as EU members have major financial issues just proves there is no common policy to maintain peace and stability.
So where do we go from here?
UK Government Petition to allow Direct Flights to the TRNC click here
Over the years the TRNC and NGOs have appealed for justice and recognition to no avail but recently there was a new UK Government petition raised asking for Direct Flights between the UK and the TRNC.
To date there have been 12,705 signatures and as the first staging post of 10,000 signatures had been passed the following statement was made: “The UK Government has no plans to authorise direct flights between the UK and the north of Cyprus. Direct flights would breach obligations under international law.”
The petition remains in force until 27th January 2021 when if 100,000 signatures are raised this petition will be considered for debate in Parliament (it is claimed).
Now the current UK Government is one of change and it needs to listen to its people and start putting right the many wrongs done by previous UK Governments through flawed or unfair international agreements.
Now the 66,600,000 UK citizens and residents who are eligible to sign this petition if they did so, the UK Government has to decide to come clean and start acting fairly
Remember this is a petition for change by those who wish it and if say 1 million signatures requesting change were made supported by NGOs .those who would oppose it will have their chance later.
Finally with the UK citizens and residents asking for recognition for the TRNC from the UK Government, the opportunity exists for the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus to write to countries around the world asking for Recognition