CONFEDERATION THE BEST SOLUTION FOR CYPRUS

Prof. Dr. Ata ATUN

 
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 22 Haziran 2007 Saat : 5:42


 

Everybody hoped that the two peoples of the island or the new partners of the Republic of Cyprus would be able to live peacefully after the declaration of the new state on Aug. 16, 1960. In a very short time it became obvious that this was not going to be possible and that the Greek Cypriots and Greece did not intend to abide by the constitution of the Republic of Cyprus. They did not give up their 164-year-old am-bition for “enosis,” the annexation of the island to Greece, and the Greek Cypriot leadership sought to unlawfully bring around constitu-tional changes.

In effect this would negate the “partnership” status of the Turkish Cypriots and clear the way for annexation with a Turkish minority.

The only way the Greek Cypriots could achieve their aims was to destroy the legitimate order, by the use of brute force and arms to overtake the joint state.
The “rule of law” unfortunately collapsed on the island in 1963 as a result of a ruling by the Supreme Constitutional Court of Cyprus. The Turkish Cypriots took the Greek Cypriots to court because the Greek Cypriots refused to obey the mandatory provision of separate munici-palities for the two communities.

The court ruled against the Greek Cypriots and as expected they ignored the court’s ruling. After this the Greeks tried to get 13 basic articles of the 1960 agreement abolished. These articles were there to protect the rights of the Turkish Cypriots, so by removing them the Turkish Cypriots would be reduced to a minority subject under the control of the Greek Cypriots.

Christmas 1963 saw Greek Cypriot militia attack Turkish Cypriot communities and villages across the island, killing many men, women and children. Some 270 mosques, shrines and other places of worship were desecrated.
The constitution became unworkable because of the refusal on the part of the Greek Cypriots to fulfill the obligations to which they had agreed. The bi-national republic that was imagined by three treaties ceased to exist after December 1963.
The Greek Cypriot wing of the “partnership state” took over the title of “Government of Cyprus” and the Turkish Cypriots, who never accepted the seizure of power, began to set up a “Turkish administra-tion” to run their own affairs, independently.

1964 was an eventful year in the history of Cyprus. It was a year of unprecedented and accelerating military trouble between the two peoples and of intense diplomatic activity aimed at bringing the conflict to an end. For the first time United Nations troops were stationed in Cyprus and the two peoples were in effect divided with even sharper lines compared to the first one in 1958.

For the Turkish Cypriots, the next 11 years would see them hav-ing to seek survival in traumatic and violent conditions. About 30,000 Turkish Cypriots were forced out of their homes and became refugees in enclaves making up a mere 3 percent of the overall territory of Cyprus.

They lived under siege; they had no freedom of movement and were deprived of the basic necessities to survive.

The Greek Cypriots, with assistance in the form of the Greek mil-itary, once again undertook a campaign of terror by raiding and at-tacking the Turkish Cypriot quarters of various towns. This time the campaign led to the destruction of 103 Turkish Cypriot villages along with mosques and other holy places. Hundreds of Turkish Cypriots were murdered, wounded or taken hostage. Over 200 Turkish Cypriots went missing during the course of this outbreak of violence. Thousands fled the island, and those who stayed and managed to survive, were deprived of their land, their salaries and their means of livelihood and survival.
A military junta had assumed power in Greece and differences were beginning to develop between the junta and the Greek Cypriot leadership, mainly over the method of achieving annexation. Over 20,000 troops had been sent to the island with the knowledge of the Greek Cypriot leadership as part of the enosis strategy.
This worsened the situation in the island.

July 15, 1974 saw a coup d’état take place in Cyprus that was planned and executed by Greece as a shortcut to enosis. This resulted in yet a further violence and bloodshed against the Turkish Cypriot people.

Although Article II of the Treaty of Guarantee stated that Britain would guarantee the state of affairs that was set out under the 1960 Constitution, they decided to leave any action that needed to be taken to the UN troops stationed in Cyprus. Turkey on the other hand inter-vened as a guarantor power under Article IV of the Treaty of Guarantee.

After the intervention of Turkey an international conference be-tween Turkey, Greece and Britain was held in Geneva within a couple of days. During this conference the parties agreed that all Greek and Greek Cypriot forces would leave the Turkish Cypriot enclaves. This, however, did not happen. Showing their now customary disregard for international agreements they instead proceeded to murder almost the entire population of the Turkish Cypriot enclaves in both the north and south of the island. All this happened despite the presence of the UN forces on the island.

Only after 43 years did the Cypriot Committee on Missing Persons manage to locate the burial places and bodies of these unfortunate Turkish Cypriots.
It was declared as a result of the Geneva conference that a con-stitutional government no longer existed in Cyprus and it recognized the existence in Cyprus of two autonomous administrations — one Turkish Cypriot and the other Greek Cypriot.

1974 also saw a formal exchange of populations with the Turkish Cypriots moving to the north of the island and the Greek Cypriots moving to the south. Both sides suffered as a result of this, losing homes and possessions although an international aid program was put into action to help the Greek Cypriots but not the Turkish Cypriots.
From 1974 on, the Greek Cypriot side has continued to claim so-vereignty over the whole of the island, despite the established principle that a federation can only be built between equal partners.

The latest public poll shows that the 45 percent of the Greek Cy-priots are willing to live in separate states rather than a united Cyprus. This ratio is now over 65 percent among Turkish Cypriots.

Establishment of a Cyprus confederation between the two entities of the island and that the 1960 guarantee system should continue to be part of the confederation of Cyprus seem to be the best and the ideal solution for the island.

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