Cyprus’ history from 1960 to 2008 (8)

Cyprus’ history from 1960 to 2008 (8)

Todays Zaman, January 14, 2008

http://www.todayszaman.com/columnist-131567-cyprus-history-from-1960-to-2008-8.html

 

The Turkish Cypriots, after severe inter-communal armed clashes, began moving from isolated rural areas and mixed villages into safe enclaves to save their lives, leaving behind all of their wealth, property, houses, memories and graveyards.

 

 In just a short time a substantial portion of the island’s Turkish Cypriot population were crowded into the suburbs of the Turkish quarter of Lefkosa in tents and hastily constructed shacks. Slum conditions resulted from lack of money. All necessities and necessary utilities were sent by the Red Cross from mainland Turkey. The Greek Cypriot government took no notice of these harsh conditions or the refugees. Many Turkish Cypriots who had stayed in their homes in safe Turkish areas, shared their land, houses, food and water for the security and welfare of the refugees.

Spurred by the screams and non-stop calls for help of the Turkish Cypriots, Turkey decided to step in and do something.

 

Archbishop Makarios had not taken into consideration the protests and warnings coming from Turkey. He believed that Turkey would not attempt a military intervention and but would protest only. Accordingly, the assaults on Turkish Cypriots increased day by day and got bloodier.

 

In June 1964, İsmet İnönü, then-prime minister of Turkey, decided on a military intervention. US President Lyndon Johnson barely managed to stop the Turkish army, which had already sailed from the port of Mersin destined for Cyprus.

 

The diplomatic note sent by Johnson to İnönü demanding a stop to the expedition deeply damaged Turkish-American relations, which had been improving since 1950. But this brutal note put a stop to any improvements. Suddenly anti-American sentiment fell into the hearts of the Turkish people and numerous protest rallies were held in Turkey’s major cities.

 

The Turkish Cypriot administration decided to establish a Turkish-controlled area on the northern shores of the island to bring in food, medicine, clothing, arms and other supplies from Turkey over the sea and officially asked for help from the Turkish government, which eventually volunteered its assistance.

 

The Turkish government, highly disappointed by Johnson’s diplomatic note, decided to send Turkish Cypriot students pursuing undergraduate studies in Turkey to a beachhead at Erenköy (Kokkina) on the northern shore of the island, northwest of Güzelyurt Bay (Morfou Bay), rather than sending in professional Turkish troops.

 

The transportation of these students in groups of not more than 12, by small fishing boats, from Anamur to Erenköy, began on March 30, 1964 and ended after countless trips in early August. A total of 322 students were carried to the beachhead. A further 200 local Turkish Cypriot volunteers joined this group and the number of these amateur fighters rose to 522. They had very limited arms and ammunition, just enough to defend their entrenchments. 

 

Meanwhile, Georgios Grivas used the popularity he gained in era of the National Organization of Cypriot Fighters to coerce Makarios and the Greek government into allowing him to return to Cyprus. He returned to Cyprus in June 1964 to take over the command of the Greek Cypriot forces organized under the National Guard as well as the Greek military division sent to Cyprus by the Greek government of George Papandreou to assist in the extermination of the Turkish Cypriots.

 

Grivas rapidly took over the Greek Cypriot National Guard and restored discipline. Noting that possession of the beachhead at Erenköy was enabling the Turkish Cypriots to bring in food, medicine, clothing, arms and students from Turkey, he decided to organize a heavy attack on Erenköy with an infantry of 5,000 on Aug. 6, 1964. His plan was to reach the shore within two hours and exterminate the Turkish Cypriot beachhead.

 

He felt so assured of victory that days before he invited civilians to the area for a joyful spectacle with a public invitation in the newspapers.   

 

The result was a disaster. On Aug. 8, the mighty Greek Cypriot force had to retreat with countless wounded and dead, leaving behind most of their armory.

 

 

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Okunma 99
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Cyprus’ history from 1960 to 2008 (7)

Cyprus’ history from 1960 to 2008 (7)

Today’s Zaman, January 12, 2008        

http://www.todayszaman.com/columnist-131419-cyprus-history-from-1960-to-2008-7.html

 

Conscription does not cover Christian minorities on the island: the Armenians, Maronites and Roman Catholics (the Latins). Male Greek Cypriots in the 18 to 49 age range were required to serve in the newly established “Greek National Guard.”

 

Young men planning to complete their undergraduate and graduate studies abroad and fresh graduates from the local Greek Cypriot high schools, academies and English schools were forced to serve in the Greek Cypriot National Guard before commencing their undergraduate studies.

 

The arms of the Ethniki Froura, the Cypriot National Guard, were obtained from the Cyprus Army’s Greek regiment, deployed by Greece according to the 1960 agreements and treaties. The commander general of the National Guard and high-ranking officers were sent from Greece. All Turkish Cypriot privates, sergeants and officers in the Cyprus Army were disarmed and detained on the eve of Dec. 21, 1963.

 

Ignoring the three guarantors — Turkey, Britain and Greece — and the legality of the 1960 Agreements and Treaties of the Republic of Cyprus, Archbishop Makarios, the then president of the government of Cyprus, declared the existing 1960 Constitution “null and void” on Jan. 1, 1963, only eight days after the first organized assaults on Turkish Cypriots. His aim was to use his illegal assaults on Turkish Cypriots in a way to pave the way to enosis (the reunification of Greece and Cyprus), through inter-communal clashes which Turkish Cypriots would be blamed, accused of rebelling against the government of Cyprus.

 

While Makarios was quite busy with organizing assaults on Turkish Cypriots and giving orders to his comrades to draw an effective extermination plan which would lead to enosis in the long run, in Greece George Papandreou was in power and busy with detailing the “Greek National Center,” aiming to give full support to Makarios on his so-called “struggle for enosis.”

 

The aim of the “Greek National Center” was to defend the Greek island of Cyprus if Turkey dared to attack. Papandreou took the responsibility and the initiative.

 

Accordingly, the generals in the National Army of Greece drafted a plan to sneak in troops and arms to Cyprus. As if the Greek Cypriot government had no idea at all of this clandestine operation, shipments of arms and troops in huge amounts lasted for four months. The first wave of Greek troops and officers stepped onto the soil of Cyprus on the night of April 17, 1964. By the end of July 1964, around 20,000 soldiers and officers with ammunition and arms enough for an army of 40,000 successfully infiltrated the island, without the knowledge of the UN peace keeping force and guarantors of the island except Greece, who was the organizer.

 

ASDAK (Cyprus Supreme Defense Military Command) and EMEK (Special Mixed Staff Cyprus) were established immediately in 1963. EMEK transformed into GEEF (General Staff of the Cyprus National Guard) in 1964. (http://www.army.gov.cy/eldyk/enhmerotiko.pdf)

 

Greek Cypriot newspaper To Vima, on Feb. 7, 1999, printed the disclosures of Gen. George Karousos, which gives official and reliable information on this clandestine transfer of troops from Greece to Cyprus. So does Kathimerini, another local Greek Cypriot newspaper, in its issue dated February 2002.

 

Andreas Papandreou, the then Prime Minister of Greece, clearly details this ingenious and unlawful “sneak in” operation in his memoirs, titled “Democracy at Gunpoint.”

 

The Greek education system also lists this clandestine transfer and places it on April 17, 1964. It names the event the “Secret deployment of Greek Division in Cyprus.” (http://www.netschoolbook.gr/cal4.html)

 

In June 1964 the National Assembly unanimously accepted Act No. 20, on the establishment of the Cypriot National Guard, which also allowed employment of Greek officers from mainland Greece to train the Cypriot National Guard and to serve in the Cypriot armed forces as well.

 

 

22 Eylül 2012
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Okunma 97
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Cyprus’ history from 1960 to 2008 (6)

Cyprus’ history from 1960 to 2008 (6)

Todays zaman, january 7, 2008

http://www.todayszaman.com/columnist-130951-cyprus-history-from-1960-to-1974-6.html

 

 

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 http://www.cyprus-conflict.net/narrative-main.htm and http://www.cyprus-conflict.net/narrative-main-%203.htm. 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.

 

22 Eylül 2012
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Okunma 101
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Cyprus’ history from 1960 to 2008 (5)

Cyprus’ history from 1960 to 2008 (5)

Todays zaman, january 5, 2008

http://www.todayszaman.com/columnist-130871-cyprus-history-from-1960-to-1974-5.html

 

 

In Nicosia the guarantors — Turkey, the United Kingdom and Greece — began to move over the Christmas week of 1963. The 650-man Turkish army contingent in Cyprus under the terms of the Treaty of Alliance moved out of its barracks and positioned itself astride the Nicosia-Kyrenia road in Ortaköy (Ortakeuy).

 

Turkish jets from the mainland buzzed Nicosia. The Turkish fleet set sail for Cyprus. President Makarios, by now alarmed that a Turkish army might indeed land, agreed that the British should intervene from the sovereign bases in order to avoid a worse situation. This produced a cease-fire in Nicosia, an exchange of hostages and the establishment of a “Green Line,” a neutral zone between the Greek and Turkish quarters in the capital which has existed till the present day. Turkish Cypriots expelled from their side of that line the entire Armenian community of Nicosia on the grounds that it had aligned itself with the Greek position.

What the guarantors did not do was carry out the one purpose for which they existed: the restoration of the 1960 constitution. The establishment of the Green Line brought peace to Nicosia, though not yet to other places, but it did not bring the fractured government together.Greek and Turkish Cypriot ministers remained on opposite sides of the line.

 

According to the Turkish Cypriot thesis, there was, from this time on, no legal government in Cyprus — only provisional bodies on both sides pending the establishment of a new legal order — the old one having been overthrown by force. Turkish Cypriot deputies and all the Turkish Cypriot civil servants were removed from their posts in Cyprus’ government by brute force and never allowed to return.

 

According to the Greek Cypriot thesis, there continued to be a legitimate and democratically elected government representing the great majority of the people which had, as many ex-colonial countries were doing, asserted its right to gain control of its institutions and had done so at a time, moreover, when the Turkish Cypriot vice president and ministers had willfully continued to absent themselves.

 

At a conference in London of the three guarantor states and the two Cypriot communities, Makarios demanded the termination of the 1960 agreements as unworkable and their replacement by “unfettered independence,” a unitary Greek government with freedom to amend the constitution. He offered the Turkish Cypriots minority rights, which as usual they rejected out of hand. The Turks said that the December fighting proved that the two communities should be physically separated. Consequently they demanded a fully federal state of Cyprus with a border between Turkish and Greek provinces known as the Attila line, which is not unlike the present cease-fire line, or, failing that, “double enosis” which would bring a frontier across Cyprus between Greece and Turkey themselves, both solutions that would imply a population transfer.

 

The London conference broke down with no chance of agreement. Greek Cypriots preferred to hold their position of being the only recognized government of Cyprus internationally and did not fancy sharing the power with Turkish Cypriots.While the cease-fire held in Nicosia, the British were unable to prevent Greek Cypriots from attacking Turkish Cypriots at Limassol, Larnaca and Paphos, causing widespread casualties and damage.

 

Turkey announced for the second time that her fleet was sailing for Cyprus and the British, desperately anxious not to get bogged down in another Cyprus conflict, insisted on the peace-keeping burden being shared. Aiming above all at preventing a clash between two NATO partners, but wanting to keep the dispute within the NATO family, the United States tried to organize a NATO intervention, but Makarios would not consider it. It was necessary after all to bring in the United Nations. By the March 4, 1964 Security Council resolution, UNFICYP (UN Peace-keeping Force in Cyprus) and a UN mediator were set up and despite a further severe Turkish warning, the danger passed. Makarios interpreted the UN resolution as recognizing “unfettered independence,” which he sought, and appointed Greek Cypriot ministers to take over the Turkish portfolios and the seized state to be the only recognized government of Cyprus.The UN force which was set up and remains till the present day was originally of over 6,000 men and is now [2008] about 750. It has always had a substantial British contingent, often over 1,000, but quite few at present, making it unusual among UN forces which normally exclude contingents from the permanent members of the Security Council.

 

It has achieved a good deal but not what was expected of it by either side since, as is usual with peace-keeping operations, it does not use force except in self-defense.The force’s main deterrent was its presence. By use of persuasion they were able to prevent many killings that would almost certainly have happened, but they could not be everywhere and they could not stop a determined attack. In the first few months the UN had the greatest difficulty in getting a purchase on events because there were repeated outbreaks of fighting in different parts of the island.

 

Since there was no Cypriot Army, President Makarios now formed a National Guard, Ethniki Fruro, introducing conscription and ignoring the veto of Vice President Küçük. Arms supplies came in from Czechoslovakia and a Greek general from the mainland took command.

 

22 Eylül 2012
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Okunma 99
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The Greek Tell-a-Tale

The Greek Tell-a-Tale

The island of Cyprus was already divided in to two, far before 1974.

The physical division of Nicosia took place in 1956 when the is-land was under British colonial rule. Colonial Government erected a barbed wire division between the Greek and Turkish community in the city of Nicosia, known as the “Mason-Dixon Line” after the first inter-ethnic clashes. 

This was the maiden division of the city and plantation of the partition seeds in the island.

Later, in 1958, renewed and more protracted interethnic violence flared up and led once more to a division of the capital and the island. From that time onwards, both communities established separate municipal councils and the issue of whether the municipalities were to be separate or not was left open in the 1960 Cyprus Constitution.

In 1958, following the eruption of interethnic clashes and the proposal of a partitionist plan by the British Government, the Greek community, led by Archbishop Makarios, accepted a solution of limited independence whose basic premises had been elaborated in Zurich by the Governments of Greece and Turkey.

The constitution in particular, categorized citizens as Greeks or Turks. Elected positions were filled by separate elections. Separate municipalities were established in each town and separate elections were to be held for all elected public posts.

The posts filled by appointment and promotion, such as the civil service and police, were to be shared between Greeks and Turks at a ratio of 7:3. In the army this ratio rose to 60 to 40. The President was designated Greek and the Vice President Turkish, each elected by their respective community. In the House of Representatives fiscal, municipal and electoral legislation required separate majorities.

Since then the life styles of both communities in the island of Cyprus were already separated.

In 1963, after the Turkish members of the House of Representa-tives had rejected the one sided budget, aiming investments only to Greek sectors of the island, President Makarios decided to convert the bicommunal Cyprus Government into Unitary Greek Majority Govern-ment by violent force. In December 1963, as per the AKRITAS plan, which was designed by P. Yorgadgis, and T. Papadopulos on 1961, interethnic tensions rose artificially by the provocations of the Greek police and militia, and armed clashes broke out. Turkish civil servants were kicked out from their posts and Parliamentarians from House of Representatives.

The Cyprus Government of the Greek majority encouraged armed Greek civilians to take part in the clashes and in a very short period 103 Turkish villages were grounded and their inhabitants, who man-aged to save their lives, fled to Turkish enclaves.

The Turkish enclaves, which formed the roots of the division on the island, were only 3% of the total area of the island and was like an open prison. A Turkish Cypriot genocide was put in effect and freedom of movement, property ownership and employment was restricted to Turkish Cypriots from 1963 to 1974.

There are two communities on the island since than and they speak of themselves as Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots. Greek Cypriots belong to the Greek Orthodox Church, speak Greek and share the culture of their motherland Greece, whereas Turkish Cypriots are Moslems, speak Turkish and assume their motherland Turkey’s values. The two communities do not have the feeling of belonging to a Cypriot nation and they have been completely separated.  

The island was divided by the Greeks on 1963 and not by the Turks on 1974, as most of the people thinks so. 

 

Ata ATUN

ata.atun@atun.com

http://www.ataatun.com 

June 22, 2012

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