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Cyprus' problem solved: what do you think of the solution?

How can we solve it? (keep it civilized)

Interesting...

Postby cymbaloum » Sun May 16, 2004 8:31 pm

Interesting [long] reading...

I get the impression that in this long story the greek side showed a constant attitude of lack of political realism and intelligence.

This is not to say that the turkish side is any better, but because the greek community has the largest population and had more political power in the '60s, it had the capacity to steer things in one direction or another. This also means that it had more responsability for what happened.

The initial greek leaders (Makarios) seemed to have acted foolishly. How could they so bluntly ignore the presence of the turkish community and the geopolitical situation of the island? By closing doors to the turkish community (pushing for an unitarian state, and creating milicias), they favored segregation and radicalisation of the society. This was a godsend to turkish nationalists and paved the way to partition of the island.

The '74 catastrophy finally hammered down some notions in the greek psyche (you can't ignore Turkey, in Cyprus). However it does not seem to have resulted in a refinement of the greek strategy.

Since partitioning of the island, and thanks to greek leader's stupidity, the turkish side obtained far more by arms than they would have gained by negotiation (advantageous share of the land, separation of the population). This basically means that they have "won", and have little interest in sitting again at a negotiation table.

The only exception to this is the attitude of the international community. By blockading and refusing to recognize the turkish side, it prevented its economical development. This is the last lever the cypriotic greeks have to bring back the turks into negotiation.

It's an effective lever, but a fragile one. As usual, the greeks seem to overestimate it.

Most of Turkey's willingness to support a re-unification of Cyprus comes from the fact that it wants to join the EU. This provided a window of opportunity to re-unite the island

But the application of Turkey is going to be considered by the EU this year. Turkey will probably be rejected, which means that it's willingness to encourage re-unification will evaporate.

Even if the EU accepted Turkey's application (unlikely), this would only give some more time to obtain re-unification. Once Turkey is part of the EU, there will be much less to bargain for.

Anyway, I don't see why do the greek cypriots expect to be able to get better terms than the previous UN plan. I clearly don't think they know how to achieve that. The better they can hope for is to get the same terms, or if things drag, even worse terms.

With time, the cypriotic turk community will be less isolated, and will develop economically. More turkish settlers may come. I don't think they will accept joining a federation which will limit their autonomy, reduce their land, and provide fewer benefits.

Time is against the greek side, but the greeks seem to be counting on time. I don't see anything constructive coming from them.

Actually, I think the greek cypriots are not doing realistic effort to seriously achieve re-unification. Although they will not admit it, maybe they do not really wish a re-unification with another community, which will lower their power and force co-existence.

If that's the case, then things will stall for some more decades, until it becomes accepted that the two parts of the island will not reunite, and separate states are recognised.
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Postby Piratis » Sun May 16, 2004 11:07 pm

You are coming from a country that has not been invaded for centuries. Even the Nazis had their own reasons to leave you out. So probably my friend you don't understand what it means to have your own land stolen with the power of weapons.

In the end we all choose who our friends and who our enemies are. It seems that humans are no better than wild animals and that terms like justice and human rights are remembered only when it serves the proposes of the big and powerful.

One thing to remember: We will never surrender. We lived and had a civilization here the time that people in your area were still living in caves eating roots. After 3500 years we are still here. We will never surrender even if it takes centuries to get what we deserve. This should be clear to you and everybody.
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It's indeed strange

Postby cymbaloum » Wed May 19, 2004 9:27 pm

Well, on the more philosophical side, I indeed find hard to understand the history of greece (since the fall of the byzantine empire).

I agree with you that sometimes people resist invasions and occupation for centuries (like greece or iberia) and manage to save their culture. Sometimes not.

For instance, why is it that greek culture survived in Greece, but not in Turkey? After all, before the turks arrived both lands were greek.

I guess it has to do with the ratio of indigenous population/settlers, but it's striking.

In iberia it's obvious that the newcomers were too few compared to the original population. But why was it different in north of Africa?

Anyway, I think populations play an important role in how things turn out. And that's why I find it so bad that there was ethnic cleansing in the island, with segregation of the turks in the north and the greeks in the south. Once this geographical segregation happens, it becomes much more difficult to ammend things.

We lived and had a civilization here the time that people in your area were still living in caves eating roots.


Oh well, I guess that's historically correct, even if tactless.

Maybe the words of my previous seem harsh to you, but I really think it was recklessness of greek leaders that lead to this catastrophic situation for the cypriotic greeks. When I read recent history of cyprus I have the impression that greek leaders were constantly waving a red flag to a bull, believing that they were protected by a barrier (US), only to find out that the bull could jump over the barrier.

It reminds me of german history. German leaders were so reckless and out of reality that they decided to conquer everybody. In the end Germany lost lots of territories (for centuries germans lived in what is now Poland, Ukraine, Baltic countries and even Russia). At the end of the war all these german populations were thrown out, and I doubt they will ever return.

Same for Serbs, they were so irresponsable in their nationalistic policy that in the end all serbs were thrown out of Croatia, probably they will lose Kosovo and maybe even Montenegro. A dismal outcome for those that wanted a Big Serbia.

I think a bit more realism would have avoided partition in '74, and maybe allowed reunification in '04. Now I wonder if it will happen at all.

My hope is that with time international organisations (EU, UN) will grow more powerfull and the dealings of countries will ge regulated by international law instead of brute force. I think this is already happening. It's more and more rare that a country invades another, it's too dangerous to do it. Of course, the power of the US has a role in that, and that's also why this does not apply so much to them.

So I'm not so sure that cypriotic greeks will one day reunite the island, and even more if they do not learn to finally take the turk population seriously, and accept to really share power and live with them.

I'm not very surprised that your opinions are so uncompromising. After all, there is the fear of being overrun by the turks (be it cypriotic or from the continent). It's very similar to israelians, which are obssessed with their arab neighbours. I understand their position is very unconfortable, but in the end everyone agrees that to have peace a mutually acceptable compromise will have to be found.
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Re: It's indeed strange

Postby mehmet » Wed May 19, 2004 10:08 pm

[quote="cymbaloum"]
IFor instance, why is it that greek culture survived in Greece, but not in Turkey? After all, before the turks arrived both lands were greek.

I guess it has to do with the ratio of indigenous population/settlers, but it's striking.

Greek culture survived in what is now the state of Greece and Turkey because the Ottoman Empire was a religious empire that even though being Turkish in origin wasn't nationalistic in outlook. Otherwise all the nationalities within the empire whether Greek, Serb, Arab or Kurd would come under pressure to flee empire or to become absorbed within Turkish identity. It wasn't unusual for Christians to occupy important positions within Empire although due to religious nature of Empire the Christian communities (especially the Greeks and the Armenians) were more involved in business wheras the Turkish people mainly were rural and worked off the land if they weren't part of the ruling class.

The Ottoman Empire was primarily concerned with religion, yet because Islam espouse tolerance to Christians and Jews they continue to live within Ottoman Empire. Still there was discriminiation and periods when communities came under attack from the armies of the Empire.

Greek culture survived in Greece due to establishment of Greek State in 1821. Over time goegraphical area of this state grew. There are several historians who have studied the development of Greek state and they will describe in detail what happened to Muslm population once Ottoman Empire was defeated in these regions. There used to be Muslim's in Crete for example but there are hardly any now unless they are on holiday. In some of the Greek islands off the coast of Turkey there are mosques but no muslim opulation.

Anyway, after WW1 Greek state occupy parts of Anatolia around Izmir and with British and French consent invade territory inland. After Turkish army led by Mustafa Kemal defeat Greek army they retreat. In a peace settlement there was a population exchange so Greek population of Turkey/Asia Minor/Anatolia (take your pick) were required to leave the land just as Germans had to leave eastern Europe after WW2.
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Postby Piratis » Thu May 20, 2004 5:25 pm

cymbaloum, what I don't understand is why you put us (Greek Cypriots) in the same side with Nazi Germans and Israel of today. We are on the exact opposite side of the examples you gave!

The Nazi Germans and Israel are the aggressors. They invaded land that does not belong to them. We are the victims.

We are the 78% of the population of an island. We lived all over this island for millenniums. True, some conflicts did exist in our history. But in which country there are no conflicts? Almost every country in the world has its "black" spots. In Cyprus we never had anything close to the KKK of US, and we never had any big civil wars. In general we are very peaceful people.

What we had was mostly uneducated people serving the colonialists. When our people decided to go against these colonialists, they (who had centuries of experience in politics) applied their "Divide and Rule" policy and achieved what we all know today.

It is up to you to accept the excuses that the big powers gave to rape a small country like ours. If you look deeper, you will see that what happened is what the big powers wanted to happen for their own interests and unfortunately we were too ignorant, unexperienced and easy to be manipulated at that time and they managed to apply their evil plans in Cyprus without much difficulty.

Fortunately today we are not as ignorant and we are trying our best to go against the big power plans. It is not going to be as easy for them this time. Going against the interest of US, UK and Turkey is very hard because those powers not only have the military and economic power, but they also have a lot of power in propaganda, victim of which I am afraid you are.

Take a look at what I propose:
http://www.cyprus-forum.com/viewtopic.php?t=211
I know that this will probably never be applied but you have to understand that our side is truly trying hard to achieve a truly united and truly democratic country but those big powers obviously don't want that. (If there is no conflict between TC and GC, then how are the UK(US) and Turkey going to maintain there troops here? They want to maintain segregation and conflict forever to ensure that we (Cypriots) will never try to throw them out again).

What we ask for the European citizens is to help us achieve a democratic Cyprus for all Cypriots. We don't want to be second category citizens!
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Postby metecyp » Thu May 20, 2004 5:55 pm

The Nazi Germans and Israel are the aggressors. They invaded land that does not belong to them. We are the victims.

Here we go again. This is exactly the mentality that prevents a solution in Cyprus. I'm not blaming you for considering yourself as victim, but be aware that there are people like you in the north that consider themselves victims too. It's time to break out of this nonsense and accept that both GCs and TCs are victims. TCs were victims 63-74, GCs were victims in 74. Both sides have refugees, both sides lost innocent lives and both sides made huge mistakes.
It is up to you to accept the excuses that the big powers gave to rape a small country like ours.

And it's not going to help to blame our mistakes to the "big powers". It's true that GCs wanted to unite Cyprus with Greece. It's true that TCs wanted taksim and union with Turkey. "The best Turk is a dead Turk" is a GC saying, it's not invented by "big powers". "Never trust a Greek" is the mentality of some old generation TCs. So stop blaming others for your mistakes. Yes, the big powers did play a role in Cyprus, but everything comes down to us, Cypriots.
Our side is truly trying hard to achieve a truly united and truly democratic country but those big powers obviously don't want that.

By "truly democratic" and "truly united" you only mean "truly Greek controlled" Cyprus and you know TCs won't accept this. Even Republic of Cyprus was not "truly democratic and united" and the reason was to protect the minority from the majority dominance. Now, how can you expect TCs to accept something less than RC?

If you really cared about democracy and human rights for ALL Cypriots, then the priviliges given to TCs to assure their protection in the majority would not have bothered you so much. You use flowery words like "true democracy", "true human rights" etc. because they serve your interests. What bothers me most is the EU (democracy and human rights center of the world) says that Annan plan is fair and they don't find it undemocratic or against human rights as you claimed, but you keep insisting how undemocratic it is. As if you're going to teach the EU what democracy is. Now I know you'll say "They just want to solve the problem so they don't have to deal with it", and my question to you is: "Why are you so proud to join to a union that doesn't even care your well being?"
cymbaloum wrote:So I'm not so sure that cypriotic greeks will one day reunite the island, and even more if they do not learn to finally take the turk population seriously, and accept to really share power and live with them.

That's exactly the problem. GCs, unfortunately, still regard TCs as mere 18% minority and they don't want to give anything more than 18% in every aspect (land, seats in the senate, etc.). They don't try to understand that TCs being excluded from RC for 40 years will never settle something that does not guarantee their inclusion in the decision process in Cyprus.
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Postby Piratis » Fri May 21, 2004 12:19 am

Where did you see me saying that TC are the aggressors or that TC are not victims? I was talking about Turkey and not Turkish Cypriots.

And it's not going to help to blame our mistakes to the "big powers".


UK-US do their job serving their own interests. Back in the 50s and 60s we knew nothing, and they managed to manipulate us. We made big mistakes by falling in their traps and I have no problem to admit that. Fortunately we learned, and this is proved by the huge “no” in the referendum.


By "truly democratic" and "truly united" you only mean "truly Greek controlled" Cyprus and you know TCs won't accept this.


What I mean is given in the link in my previews post. You obviously make the comments you want to make no matter what I say. Anybody reading that can see that Turkish Cypriots can receive what no other minority ever received and still they want more. Unfortunately because TC have Turkey behind them they are trying to rape us once more.

If democracy and human rights do not serve your interests then there is something very suspicious about your interests and not mine.
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Re: Interesting...

Postby michalis5354 » Fri May 21, 2004 12:24 pm

cymbaloum wrote:Interesting [long] reading...

But the application of Turkey is going to be considered by the EU this year. Turkey will probably be rejected, which means that it's willingness to encourage re-unification will evaporate.



Turkey at the end will join the EU. This is the perception I get from reading latest speeches made by France and German leaders. Even Greece and Cyprus supports the Turkeys memebrship If you had spent time and read about recent developments. However this does not mean the process of solving the cyprus issue will end at that time.All the GCs admit that many foolish mistakes did occur and they know that . But worst tragedies and crimes did occur in other parts of the world including the European countries ie Nazis - israels and many more I will not repeat.

There has been huge critisism about the rejection of the UN plan by many well respected politicians in cyprus including the two prior presidents Vasiliou and Clerides . The majority of GCs who voted against the plan do not all mean that the UN plan is dead . Some of them rejected it because they did not agree with some provisions stated on the plan some others had more extreme views.

I agree that both sides should approach each other with a more constructive attitude and understanding And it is not one way process. And many attempts should be made on this direction
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Postby michalis5354 » Fri May 21, 2004 12:25 pm

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