WHO CREATED THE CYPRUS PROBLEM?

Prof. Dr. Ata ATUN

 
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 23 Nisan 2007 Saat : 5:11


 

In the Greek Cypriot version of history, Greece’s national issue, the “Megali Idea” (Mega Idea), the wish of “Enosis,” — meaning the annexation of Cyprus to Greece — stands firm.
The Enosis concept, based on the map of the Megali Idea drawn in 1791 and encapsulating the island of Cyprus in the territories of Greece, which at the time was under Ottoman rule, has stayed on the agenda ever since. This problem, led by Cypriot and Greece Orthodox Churches within their own historical evolution, has various stages.

 

1st stage: The problem called “Cyprus” actively appeared for the first time after the mapping of the Megali Idea in 1791, release of Enosis manifesto on 1821 and the uprising of Greeks under the leadership of Greek Orthodox Church.

 

2nd stage: The period between 1878-1914, when the active sovereignty of Cyprus was handled by the British. During this period, Turkish Cypriots were compelled to migrate in huge numbers, prompted by bloody attacks organized by swarms of Greeks and the properties owned by the Evkaf (Turkish Foundation) were confiscated. The origin of the property issue, still on the agenda today, goes back to this era.

 

3rd stage: The period covering the days after the unilateral annexation of the island by the British. In 1921 and 1950, Enosis plebiscites organized under the patronage of the Orthodox Church and Enosis helped with an uprising that took place in 1931, and 1955 the EOKA started an armed campaign steered by Greece.

 

4th stage: The period covered after the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus in 1960 till 1974. Greek Cypriots attempted to knock down the republic by changing the constitution and enforced the AKRITAS Plan on Dec. 21, 1963, where Mr. Papadopoulos was one of the masterminds.

 

The international community, blaming Turkey for an occupation, seems to be forgetting the fact that Greece had sent secretly a division of 20,000 troops to the island in 1964.

As a result, Turkish Cypriots had to evacuate 103 villages and were squeezed in “ghettos” covering barely 3 percent of the total land. They were forced to survive under unemployment, economic sanctions, restricted right of movement, no property rights and even massacred.

 

During the 4th stage, two fronts, actually both aiming for Enosis as the final target but differing in timing and procedure, came on scene. The EOKA-B, supported by the junta in Greece, was willing to achieve Enosis via short cut by overthrowing President Makarios, took over the administration by a military coup on July 15, 1974.

 

During the internal clashes within the Greek community in this period, 2,000 Greek Cypriots were killed and Nikos Sampson installed as the new president. Makarios, in his speech on July 19, 1974 at the UN Security Council stated that “the July 15 coup was organized by the Greek government and is an occupation threatening the independency and sovereignty of the island.”

 

All of these, based on written material, bring up the existence of a cluster of problems on the island, founded and governed by Greece before two centuries and finally aimed to overtake the administration.

 

The 1974 military intervention by Turkey based on the Treaty of Guarantee is not the factor that created the Cyprus problem, but actually, on the contrary, aimed to end it and became a turning point by opening a passage for finding a political solution.

 

Alongside the statement of Makarios, the existence of the ruling of Supreme Court of Greece dated March 21, 1979 and ref 2658/79, stating, “The intervention of Turkish Army to Cyprus is fully legal, the responsibility totally belongs to Greek officers” are by no means the best testimonials to clarify the picture.

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