Cyprus’ history from 1960 to 2008 (6)

Prof. Dr. Ata ATUN

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 22 Eylül 2012 Saat : 8:12


Todays zaman, january 7, 2008



The articles published in my column under the titles “Cyprus: The complete history from 1960 to 1974” and “Cyprus’ history from 1960 to 1974” on Dec. 17, 24, 29, and 31 of 2007 and Jan. 5 and 7 of 2008 were unintentionally taken in part from “The Cyprus Conflict, the Main Narrative,” written by the late British journalist and historian Keith Kyle and Professor William Hale


The complete article can be read on the Internet at and Part of “The Cyprus Conflict, The Main Narrative,” written by Kyle, is excerpted from the book “Turkish Foreign Policy, 1774-2000,” London: Frank Cass Publishers, 2000, authored by Professor Hale.


The first paragraph of the “The Cyprus Conflict” published on the Internet is as follows:


“A narrative is a descriptive account of what happened over a period of time. In any complex history, there may be many competing narratives, and these will vary according to the competence, bias, resources or goals of the narrator. Every historical document, even scholarship, will suffer from some bias or incompleteness. In Cyprus, each community has its own quasi-official narrative, relaying and justifying its interpretation of events in the light of current political discourse. These aspects of narratives are discussed elsewhere in this site, in the section titled ‘Historiography & Nationalism.’


“This main narrative was authored by Keith Kyle, a distinguished British journalist and historian, who wrote this in 1983 for the Minority Rights Group, an independent human-rights organization in London. Kyle’s narrative is a balanced, well-researched history, and provides an excellent axis for all the documents on the site. The final segment of the main narrative was authored by William Hale, a British scholar. ”


This narrative tells the true story of the Cyprus issue as written by an unbiased journalist and authored by an unbiased academician, making it very reliable, academic and citable.


I offer my appreciation to Kyle and Hale for their research and publication and to the Minority Rights Group for requesting and financing such a high-quality and priceless work, detailing in depth the Cyprus issue, which has caused many hidden and suppressed facts to surface.


The above-mentioned book and the excerpted narrative will play a significant role and will serve as a reliable source of reference for scholars, bureaucrats and politicians in their hard work on the road to finding a solution to the long-lasting Cyprus dispute.      


To understand the main causes, or the roots, of the Cyprus dispute, more unbiased information other than pro-Greek publications should also be read. I recommend all my readers who are interested in the detailed facts on the Cyprus dispute or who are researching the Cyprus problem in depth to obtain this book or visit the Web sites provided above.

The 1960 Republic of Cyprus agreements were based on equality and partnership between the two peoples for the independence and sovereignty of the island. The 1960 Constitution required a joint presence and effective participation on both sides in all aspects of the state to be legitimate.

Neither community had the right to rule over the other, nor could one of the communities claim to govern the other. The aim of the basic articles of both the constitution and subsequent treaties was to safeguard the rights of the two peoples as equals.


It was hoped that the two peoples of the island and their new partners would be able to live peacefully together under this new political partnership.


It soon became obvious that this was not going to be possible. It became clear that the Greek Cypriots and Greece did not intend to abide by the constitution. They did not give up their ambition for the annexation of the island to Greece, and the Greek Cypriot leadership sought to unlawfully bring about constitutional changes.


The only way the Greek Cypriots could achieve their aims was to destroy the legitimate order by the use of force and to take over the joint state. The rule of law collapsed on the island in 1963 after Greek Cypriot militia attacks on Turkish Cypriot communities across the island, killing many men, women and children. Around 270 mosques, shrines and other places of worship were desecrated. An inhuman Turkish Cypriot genocide took place on the island during the “Dark Age,” 1963-1974. 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 the treaties ceased to exist after December 1963. The Greek Cypriot wing of the “partnership” state took over the title of the “Government of Cyprus,” and the Turkish Cypriots, who had never accepted the seizure of power, set up a Turkish administration to run their own affairs.


In the end, the Greek Cypriot state was internationally recognized under the title of the “Government of Cyprus” and brought into the EU, while the Turkish Cypriots were forced in 1985 to unilaterally declare their own administration under the name of the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,” which still is not internationally recognized.


The two main peoples on Cyprus, the Turks and the Greeks, share no common language besides English, no common religion and no common literature, nor have they, except on the surface, shared any common culture, from the past up until the present.


A “United Cyprus” or “Cypriot Nation” is a utopian idea that has no hope of realization.


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