Prof. Dr. Ata ATUN

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 20 Ağustos 2007 Saat : 6:01


Have you ever heard of the “barricades of shame” in Cyprus, built by the Greek Cypriots to isolate the Turkish Cypriots from the world and commit genocide on them by not allowing to Turkish quarters on Cyprus, particularly the capital city of Nicosia, the entry of food, water, electricity and basic needs for human survival, for four years running from 1964 to 1968?
The masterminds behind these “barricades” were the Interior Af-fairs Minister Polycarpos Yorgadjis and the Labor and Social Insurance Minister Tassos Papadopoulos, now the president of the Greek Cypriot government.

In August 1964, following the defeat of the Cypriot National Guard –Ethniki Fruro– reinforced with the 5,000 troops sent by mainland Greece in the Erenköy (Dilirga) battle, the Makarios government decided on ruthless economic sanctions together with armed attacks as the best means to destroy and suppress the Turkish Cypriots, who were supposed to be the founding partners of the 1960 Republic of Cyprus.

Nevertheless the masterminds in the Greek government believed that these two actions would, in the long run, prove a more effective weapon than a military offensive alone.

On the other hand, while the Turkish Cypriot community had mustered an armed force with the potential, though limited, to resist such an offensive, that community did not have the means to win an economic battle.

Following the Erenköy battle, the Greek government blocked all movement of Turkish people and supplies into the Turkish Cypriot enclaves of Nicosia, Lefka, Limnitis and Kokkina. On Sept. 5, the Tur-kish Cypriot quarters of Famagusta and Larnaca were also blockaded.

The Turkish Cypriots were squeezed into open-air prisons and forced to eke out livings without food, water, electricity, clothing, medi-cine, movement, traveling, jobs, money and hopes for a future for four months.

By the Nov. 15 substantial freedom of movement had been allowed in and out of the enclaves, but government-imposed restrictions on materials necessary for human survival was still in force and included flour, medicine and milk for babies, together with the other 37 items.

On Nov. 20, 1964, the government allowed Turkish Cypriots to enter and leave the Turkish Cypriot quarter of Nicosia, subject to ri-gorous searches for any kind of goods. Vehicles carrying Turkish Cy-priots were forced to wait in the queue for hours and hours under the extreme summer heat and freezing cold of the winter for no specific reason. Some were carried away by the Greek police and never returned back; their bodies were never recovered.

Although the aim was to search vehicles, it was actually to show off the might of the Greek government and non-existence of human rights for Turkish Cypriots.

During the period immediately preceding Nov. 20, 1964, only 10-20 Turkish Cypriots had been allowed to enter the Turkish quarter of capital city Nicosia daily. About the same number was being turned away.

In the first 10 days following the lifting of restricted movement, a daily average of 325 Turkish Cypriots were allowed to enter Turkish Cypriot quarter in Nicosia, though the same number of Turkish Cy-priots had to leave before sunset.

During the entire period of these “Greek Barricades of Shame” — August 1964 to November 1967 — the Greek government maintained strict blockades of all the Turkish enclaves, though June 10, 1965 it lifted its restrictions on the imports of some foodstuffs and materials.

The alleged “strategic materials” list was revised several times be-fore it was withdrawn completely in March 1968. The most significant effect of this list was to prevent the importation of any building or maintenance materials and spare automotive or electrical parts into Turkish Cypriot enclaves. The result was a progressive deterioration of Turkish Cypriot housing and means of production.

During the period starting from Dec. 21, 1963 until the Turkish intervention on July 20, 1974, when, according to Greek Cypriots and their Pinocchio-like politicians, both Turkish and Greek Cypriots were happily living, funds normally paid to the Turkish Cypriot community were spent on Greek Cypriots, as Turkish Cypriot competition was totally destroyed and demolished, as well as degrading Turkish Cy-priots.

The recession of the Turkish Cypriot sector of the economy would have been even more severe were it not for Red Crescent relief ship-ments and financial aid from mainland Turkey.

The inhuman “Greek barricades of shame,” which isolated Tur-kish Cypriots socially and commercially from the rest of the island and the world while restricting the freedom of movement and preventing even simple living, were in fact counterproductive because they served to increase inter-communal enmity while uniting Turkish Cypriots behind their leaders and strengthening their bonds with mainland Turkey.

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