A very interesting article on the Cyprus dispute:
By George K. Papadopoulos, Ph.D.
No Cyprus, no certain facilities to protect our supply of oil. No oil, unemployment and hunger in Britain. It is as simple as that.
UK’s PM Anthony Eden after the failed Suez operation, 1956 1
Even if Turkish Cypriots did not exist Turkey would have to invent them.
Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash in 1956, and Turkish FM Davutoglu in his book Turkey’s strategic depth2
Hasn’t anyone told you that our objective here is partition, not re-integration?
US Undersecretary of State George Ball to HMN Commander Martin Packard, head of the Tripartite Military Commission in Cyprus, on the occasion of the former’s visit to Cyprus, February 1964.3
F… your Parliament and your constitution…..
President Lyndon Johnson to the Greek Ambassador Matsas in Washington, summer 1964, on the occasion of Greek PM George Papandreou on his refusal to accept a partition of Cyprus the previous day.4
“- Foreign Secretary [Callaghan]: Henry, if I can put the position in a nutshell, I think it comes to this: that the Turks have got a good case. In my view this can now only be resolved by the creation of a zone. A zone in which they will have autonomy within a federal republic. This could be got by negotiation but in the temper of today, no one can begin to get anything like this. And so you have a military solution for the time being, in which they will police their own boundary. You’ll have a great exchange of population with the Greeks moving out and we’ll then just let diplomacy take over when we see the opportunity once more, to see if we can get a peaceful solution in the island. Now as regards Greece and Turkey, it is Greece who will need massaging because the Turks are too jingoistic, indeed too close to Hitler for my liking [underlined by the author]. All right?
– ‘Dr Kissinger: I completely agree with you, Jim. And the tragedy is that it could have worked out that way through diplomacy …”
Conversation at 1.45 pm, London time, 14th August 1974, while the Turkish Armed Forces had initiated the Attila II operation to conquer 38 % of Cyprus, killing about 5,000 (over 1,500 persons are still unaccounted for), raping young and old men and women by the hundreds, and evicting over 200,000 Cypriots (ca. 33 % of the island’s population) from their homes.5
The US did some shameful things in the Eastern Mediterranean in the 1960s and the 1970s, and that’s all I am going to say about it.
US Undersecretary of State Richard Holbrook on Greek State TV, fall 1995. Mr. Holbrook was to play on this theme repeatedly on several occasions while testifying before the US Congress on the matter of Cyprus.
Hitler is a most extraordinary creature… a man who would rather be better than his word…[Hitler is ] having another side, besides the gangster, which it is worth trying to cultivate.
British PM Neville Chamberlain to the Labour Party leadership after the PM’s first meeting with Hitler in Berchtesgaden, on September 15th, 1938, before the fateful Munich Conference where Czechoslovakia’s guarantors France and the UK handed her over to Hitler6.
As Richard Holbrook so squarely stated, the conduct of the US, and the UK by extension, has been shameful in the issue of Cyprus7, because both powers have used their considerable weight in acceding to all of Turkey’s wishes on the subject (Hitler-like on the matter of Cyprus, as UK’s FM confessed to Henry Kissinger), forgetting what Turkey was and is and ignoring simple rules of democracy, to say nothing of the UN Charter and the Geneva Convention on Human Rights8-14. Moreover, the UK obstinately refused the simple principle of self-determination, applied to so many of the colonies after WWII, holding Cyprus tightly as Anthony Eden described so succinctly above5, 11, 15-17. It seems that Cyprus must have figured in the minds of policy planners in the West as a place worth its weight in gold and diamonds, otherwise there would not have been such an effort by the US and the UK to deny her people the obvious, and go so far out of the way to satisfy the most outrageous of Turkey’s wishes and support (by never expressing any disapproval even in the light of damning evidence) the most inhuman of her actions in Cyprus (e.g. treatment of captured civilians and prisoners of war, see below) over so many decades5, 17, 18. Richard Holbrook is the only western official to have gone so far and admit past wrongdoings19; President Clinton on visiting Athens in December 1999 apologised for the US support to the seven year dictatorship (1967-1974), but admitted no responsibility for US encouragement to this odd band of obvious traitors to seize power to begin with, far less for the junta’s coup in Cyprus in 1974, or the ensuing invasion of the island by Turkey, all under US supervision, support and cover4, 7, 20-23. Because of her previous involvement in Cyprus as a colonial power, the UK while conniving with Turkey to eliminate the Republic of Cyprus as an independent state, had to hide all of its desires behind US planning and actions. This understanding went back to Britain unilaterally and in spite of contrary and explicit provisions, violated the Treaty of Lausanne by making Turkey a party to discussions with Greece on the future of Cyprus10, 24. Suffice it to remind the readers that Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit arrived in London three days before ordering the invasion of Cyprus, and thus violating international law, with an entourage of some 30 or so of Turkey’s highest officials from her Foreign and Defence Ministries, not for a picnic but obviously to discuss in detail the planning and the execution of the upcoming invasion, as well as the handling of the new situation that would arise thus24-28.
Indeed, the past 43 years have demonstrated to the world what Turkey means in Cyprus, as judged by her actions in the occupied part, where she stations over 40,000 soldiers:
1. There are anywhere from 200,000 to 300,000 illegal settlers from Turkey with whom the Turkish Cypriots (either indigenous to the occupied part or forcibly brought there from all over the island where they resided until 1974) wish to have no relations. There are very few marriages between Turkish Cypriots and illegal settlers, as any visitor to the occupied areas will immediately recognize. The cultural differences between the two groups are too great to miss.
2. The population of the Turkish Cypriots (T/C), presumably “liberated” from the yoke of the “oppressive” Greeks by the 1974 invasion, has been dwindling from over 120,000 then, to hardly 90,000 now, as many emigrate to various places unable to suffer this yoke, which is for real. T/Cs constitute only 10-12 % of the legal residents of the Republic of Cyprus, while they were about 18 % right before the invasion. Essentially, little by little, conditions in the occupied part of Cyprus resemble what is happening in Turkey: an authoritarian regime is in place with loss of civil liberties to an extent unseen before. Any time the T/Cs have demonstrated demanding a withdrawal of the Turkish occupation troops, Erdogan’s response has been harsh and rude: “I am paying for your up-keep so stay quiet”.
3. Turkey has occupied the richest part of Cyprus (responsible for almost 70 % of the country’s GDP in 1973), yet practically all previous infrastructure has been allowed to go to ruins. Instead casinos have sprung all over the place (they are forbidden in Erdogan’s near islamic Turkey) and attempts are made for massive housing developments on stolen land. The overall cost of the invasion and occupation may amount to between 80 and 90 billion $ (60-70 billion for the value of property not enjoined and 18 billion for loss of revenue over these 43 years)29. It is astounding that under the last two presidents the Republic of Cyprus has hardly raised this very crucial issue. As Turkey obstinately refuses to budge on the issue of complete troop withdrawal from Cyprus, it is never too late to bring her face-to-face with her responsibilities. Notwithstanding the fact that Turkey has been convicted numerable times by the European Court of Human Rights to pay millions of euros in reparations to Cypriot refugees for loss of the right to enjoy their property in the areas occupied by the Turkish army and yet she has refused for over a decade to execute such judgements and pay the fines to the interested parties30. Her refusal is on the agenda of the Council of Ministers of the Council of Europe! The argument that the her army of occupation is keeping the peace, has literally fallen apart since 2003, when Cyprus was to join the EU and communications were allowed between the part of Cyprus occupied by Turkey and the majority under control of the government of the Republic of Cyprus, no events of enmity or hate were noted, by groups that supposedly were at the throats of each other. With such a record of disregarding any obligations she has undertaken that she later deems not to be in her interests, one can imagine which terms of any agreement over Cyprus she will follow; obviously only those in her interests and will find ways to disregard all others.
4. As if this was not enough, Turkey practised systematic looting and exploitation of Cyprus’s very rich cultural heritage in the occupied areas, from Neolithic up to Byzantine times, and essentially since 1200 BC of distinctly Greek character. The Kanakaria, Antifonitis, and St. Thimonianos frescoes, unique pieces of religious devotion and adoration, fell prey to the lust for gold by the Turkish occupation authorities31-37. After looting churches and monasteries of their priceless religious artefacts, Turkey has found it profitable to either obliterate such places, or turn them into pubs, animal barns and anything else, lest anyone think that they resemble a place of religious devotion. ISIS learned this lesson well from Turkey’s over-40 year-long practices in Cyprus, Turkey’s hypocrisy in demanding a return of all cultural treasures stolen from her land notwithstanding!
5. Yet, nothing compares to the physical and psychological torture suffered by the people held captive from the time of the invasion onwards, and the horrible treatment so many of them received in the hands of the Turkish Army. The Turkish invasion cost the Cypriots human losses in the thousands: over 5,000 (nearly 1 % of the population dead), over 1,600 missing (several of them last seen alive in the hands of the Turkish army), nearly 1,000 men and women, young and old raped (abortions became legal at the time in Cyprus for victims of such crimes) and over 200,000 (34 % of the population) became refugees in their own land. And all this in a little over three weeks! The fact-finding commission of the Council of Europe documented in 1977 the horrors committed by the Turkish Army of invasion/occupation, yet insidious British diplomacy succeeded in shelving the report “in the hopes of finding a solution”, an excuse used all too often by any country who in the hopes of getting a fat contract from Turkey became her defence lawyer for such actions18. The extent of the horrors suffered by Cypriot captives of the Turkish invasion force in 1974 might have been a guessing game had it not been for last year’s attempted (?) coup in Turkey that resulted in over 100,000 persons losing their jobs, being jailed and facing trial for treason. Their treatment and reports of torture allow us to imagine the horrors that Cypriot captives went through after the invasion of Cyprus by the Turkish Armed Forces in 1974. The accounts of captives such as Charita Mandoles who saw her husband, her father, two brothers in law, an uncle and a cousin murdered in front of her own eyes, one day after the invasion, are telling enough38. Of course such captives told their stories soon enough, but the world did not care to listen39. Colonel Salih Guleryuz of the invasion force admitted in his diary to murder by Turkish soldiers of civilians from the village of Sysklipou in Kyrenia District, and of using a captive 12-year old girl as a military company’s whore! All this evidence is in the suit of the government of the Republic of Cyprus against Turkey, before the European Court of Human Rights, pending from June 201240-41….
6. All along Turkey has been insisting that she is merely keeping the peace in Cyprus and it is up to the T/C and the G/C to find a solution (to her liking, that is), while she is in charge of everything in the occupied part of Cyprus with the telling effects on the indigenous T/Cs as outlined above. Thus all attempts at a resolution of the Cyprus problem just have a problem of packaging. The Anan plan, as admitted by State Department official Daniel Fried was designed so that Turkey could have Cyprus! (we gave them 90 billion dollars in aid and Cyprus in the form of the Anan plan [so that they would agree to passage of US troops through Turkey to invade Iraq in 2003; Turkey did not agree to this, but the US kept her side of the bargain!!]). Other officials went even further claiming that this was the means to render Turkey blameless about the sad state of affairs in Cyprus. Now Turkey is threatening to block development of oil and natural gas exploration in the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus, perhaps by initiating drilling on her own! Such a threat is tantamount to piracy in the high seas, nothing new to Turkey choosing to live on the fringes or outside international law. Her threats are coming via the representative of the UN Secretary General on the matter of Cyprus, Norwegian politician and diplomat Mr. Espen Barth Eide (!) who often enough is her mouthpiece (he recently pretended ignorance over UN resolutions demanding total withdrawal of Turkish occupation troops from Cyprus!). There is one question for Mr. Eide however: how would he have liked it if there were to be a different and much shorter ending to WWII, with a German-British rapprochement in July 1940 (as Hitler had proposed and Churchill refused)42, and Norway, along with most of then Nazi-occupied Europe, was to end-up in the German sphere of influence and occupation with someone like Norwegian fascist Vidkun Quisling as her head?
As for the current US administration, is it not time to stop adding to the failed policy of over 70 years of acceding to every unthinkable demand of Turkey that each time would turn into near slaves some of her neighbors? The provisions in the rejected Anan plan were essentially for an apartheid regime. The plan contained many provisions for Turkey to rule Cyprus (through illegal settlers, the puppet T/C leadership, etc), the likes of which have been judged illegal by US Courts in trying to redress discrimination against minorities (the T/Cs as a minority from 1960-63 enjoyed veto rights over legislation and cabinet actions and representation in government jobs at almost double their percent, provisions seen nowhere in the world)43-45. Right now Turkey is on top of every list regarding all sorts of human rights violations, from most jailed journalists, to most jailed academics for political crimes pending trial etc. Can such a country offer any of her neighbors any stability or peace, or security? Unless perhaps one wishes to repeat the try of Neville Chamberlain to cultivate the other side of Hitler, besides the gangster one, as the quote on top states6, 46. Six months later, with the invasion and occupation of all of Czechoslovakia, the PM was to declare in a public speech in Birmingham that he was fooled and deceived! While it would be as late as 1990 that President Mitteran and PM Thatcher were to publicly apologise on behalf of their governments to the people of Czechoslovakia for the Munich agreement.
Oh, and if anyone wishes to see how an Anan plan would fit into their country, e.g. Turkey, they can read this http://mignatiou.com/2014/05/an-annan-plan-for-turkeys-kurds/
It is time to wake up from misconceptions regarding Turkey that have gone for over 70 years. It will not be an easy exercise, but it is the only way for Turkey and her people to come to terms with their own past. Turkey has never been called into account for any gross violations of human rights that she has committed, either within or outside her borders (Genocides, pogroms, ethnic cleansing and the like detailed in the references below)8-14, 47, so she has every intensive to continue and insist on business as usual. And there could be a temptation by the US and UK (a non-EU member and another non-member to be), just as in 2003, besides the tens of billions in aid, to give her Cyprus in the form of a new plan (Eide plan, perhaps?), in spite of the expressed wishes of the legal citizens of Cyprus. Is this what western civilization is all about? After the Munich agreement of 1938, T.S. Elliot was to state that civilization suffered6. Are we in for a repeat? With Erdogan’s threats that no European will walk safely in the streets if Europe does not give Turkish citizens unconditional visas, at the time that Turkey herself does not meet conditions set by the EU for every third country asking for the same?