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British bases in Cyprus

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Postby Hristos » Wed Oct 01, 2003 10:04 pm

Nonetheless, in the end, I agree with you... those British bases have to go!!!!!!
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Postby kaboo » Sat Dec 20, 2003 2:01 pm

is there anybody online??
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Postby PEACE » Sat Dec 20, 2003 9:32 pm

You can see who is online from the bottom of the page ! :wink:
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Postby michalis5354 » Thu Mar 11, 2004 9:45 am

There are also Financial Benefits of keeping the British bases in Cyprus. Thousands of GCs and TCs are working in these areas . What is more the Purssonel- British and Cypriots- consume goods and servises , invest and purchase through Cyprus economy.

As far as I heard the British ought to have paid rent for keeping all these establisment according to the treaty signed in 1960 but they failed to do so from 1963 and onwards.

Perssonally and taking into account all the above I would not like them to go !
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Postby X-ite » Mon Jul 05, 2004 6:34 am

No you are wrong about the financial benefits. The British don't own that part of our country they are supposed to pay rent. Currently they owe the Cypriot government about half a billion pounds. Apart from not being able to exploit the land we also pay for their electricity and water supplies.
But we should never expect them to leave, those bases are extremely important to them. Through them they control the whole of the Middle East. We should also not expect them to give us the money they owe us, our diplomatic relations with Britain are bad enough...
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Postby rotate » Sat Aug 07, 2004 5:44 pm

Hi to You All,
Interesting discussion forum so here's my two cents worth.

You are correct when you say that no rent has been paid for the SBA's since 1963. UK government stated that 'as they could not be certain that the rent would be divided proportionally amongst the ethnic groups in Cyprus they would withhold payment' (wished I could say that about my bank loan) this proviso may or may not be written into the treaty of establishment.

Britain was prepared to carry out very limited military action against Turkish invasion/liberation? forces in 1974. Point of engagement was set at Nicosia Airport. RAF fighter aircraft equiped with air to ground ordenance were scrambled but were stood-down after our 'friend' Dr Kissenger applied pressure upon Jim Callaghan which may or may be not have been in revenge for Harold Wilson's refusal to commit UK military forces to the Vietnam war a couple of years earlier (God Bless Harold).

Generally though British government policy was not to intervene in the coup against the legal government of Cyprus as it was regarded as a civil war (get out clause in the treaty of guarantee) and the susequent Turkish invasion was conviently regarded as a guarantor power exercising their option to the maximum and taking advantage of a country handed to them on a plate by 'Patriots' for whatever reason . For the British the experience of the EOKA campaign against them for ENOSIS in the 1950's convinced them that they would have had to deal with major incidents of Greek Cypriot civilian unrest if they fought and killed EOKA 'B' combatants in any attempt to restore the government of Arch Bishop Makarios. Unfortunately for Cyprus there was also popular movement in the UK against intervention, this movement had at its head some of the families of British servicemen and civilians who were killed by EOKA in the 1950's (as Cypriots remember their dead so do the British).
As the then ruling Labour government was on a knife edge majority they did exactly what their Conservative government predecessors did in 1957/58 and withdrew the one force who could have stopped the nonsense then and there to the confines of fortified military bases.

The British did fire upon forward elements of the Turkish forces when they crossed over the eastern SBA boundaries, no casualties are recorded and the Turkish forces withdrew.

On the question of the SBA's being good or bad for Cyprus there is no right or wrong answer. Certainly it is questionable that any of my family would have survived 1974 if it had not been for the bases but it may be that if the bases are the bulls eye for attack in the future the rest of Cyprus will suffer the fall out. Direct employment of Cypriots by the bases is now much lower than in the past but indirect employment through outsourcing and contracting has risen, unfortunately this usually means that whilst the bases probably end up paying more for a service from a Cypriot company less of the money ends up in the employees pocket. Disposable income from the bases personnel does enter the Cypriot economy and is by and large a sustainable cash crop. Tourism may replace the SBA cash influx but it has to be remembered where the majority of tourists come from and with that an understanding of why they visit Cyprus when they could now go elswhere for a lot less money (even the Cypriots go elswhere now).

Dispite all the arguments between the UK-France-Germany and now Spain over Iraq these countries are moving closer together in the field of military co-operation and will form the basis of a European military force. The SBA's are an important part of the European strategic plan and may well become mult-national in there make up, how this would sit with Cypriot population it is difficult to asess but as many Cypriots regarded EU membership as worthwhile for security reasons rather than purely for business and economic reasons it may be thought by the rest of Europe that the Cypriots would welcome just such a move (who knows!)

With regard to payment by the SBA's for electricity and water as far as I am aware these services are paid for but I stand to be corrected. All fines payable for motoring and other offences commited within the SBA's by any nationality are passed on to the Cypriot government and are not retained by the SBA administration.

As for divide and conquer, the Romans taught the British this when Britain was a Roman colony and to be fair (I know this hurts) to the British they could not use Greek Cypriot policemen as they were compromised in the EOKA struggle whereas Turkish Cypriots were not

Finally how about some 'IF', 'WHY' an 'WHEN'

What if the British had not come to Cyprus and taken over from the Ottoman Turks, what would have happened?

Why did some so many Greek and Armenian refugees settle in Cyprus rather than Greece when Cyprus was occupied by the British?

Anyone got an idea when I'm going to get my house in Varosha back?
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Postby Piratis » Sun Aug 08, 2004 1:42 pm

Rotate, the British were seen as liberators when they first came to Cyprus. But were they? They just wanted to serve their own interests, by having one more colony to exploit, right? I hope you do not expect us to say "thanks" for that.

Also from what you say is clear, that the guarantor powers, including the UK, where guarantor powers to guarantee their own interests, and not the independence or democracy of Cyprus.

Therefore we really do not need UK or any others in Cyprus. Especially now that the US and the UK declared a holly war against Arabs. The British bases here are one of the closest targets for your enemies and we really do not want to became the latest victims of the US/UK unfair expansionist policies.
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Postby rotate » Mon Aug 09, 2004 12:57 am

Thanks for the response Piratis. No I would certainly not expect the Cypriot population to say 'thank you' to the British for taking over Cyprus from the Ottoman Turks. The hand over by the British to Greece of the Ionian islands earlier in the 19th century did give the Greek Cypriot people optimism to believe that the same would apply to Cyprus and for that reason the British were probably well received (so far I have read very little on how this may have been viewed by the Turkish Cypriots).

There was only one reason for the British taking control of Cyprus and that was because it suited their purpose. Empires are built not for the good of subjugated peoples but for the good of the ruling elite of an empire, some benefits are derived by the citizen masses of the ruling nation but these benefits are few in comparison to the price exacted from the subject peoples and from the empires 'home' citizens ie; two world wars in the 20th century fighting the wrong people over something that began in the mid 19th century culminating in mass murder and total devastation followed by forty years or so of expected nuclear anniliation.

As for the guarantor powers reasons for entering into the 'binding' agreements regarding the Republic of Cyprus these were more than 'prima facia' as each nation had its own agenda. Greece would have been looking to extend its influence culminating in the eventual absorbtion of Cyprus. Turkey would have definately have been looking to recover that which she had lost and the British were looking for a way out that gave them what they wanted without having to govern the ungovernable. The independence of Cyprus and the right of its people to live in peace within a democratic system were unfortunately just by-lines to the three guarantor powers and it may be of interest to note that a private comment made by a British government official at the independence signing was 'God help Cyprus', probably no truer comment was ever made at such an occasion.

I am sure that you know that the SBA's were not created because Cyprus needed them, any benefits derived from their existence to the Cypriot economy and employment are co-incidental. Although returning to the events of 1974 it is unlikely that my family would have survived without them and in all probability if the same were to happen again the SBA's would probably be seen as a safe haven for those who were able to get to them.

The SBA's whilst being a high profile target offer less opportunity for anyone wanting to inflict serious damage upon the British. There are many more much softer targets in Cyprus and elswhere which are far more likely to render the results that they seek, you can include just about any European/American/Russian (dont forget Russia has its own war going on with the Chechins) citizen or business. As can be seen from the EOKA campaign against the British attacks upon military installations were never as effective as individual street killings or bombings as the military installations were eventually very well protected and able to return fire, worse still from todays 'matyrs' perspective they could be caught by special forces before he or she has time to blow themselves into infinity.

To best of my recollection the British and Americans have never actually declared war on the Arabs and certainly almost all the religious leaders in the UK have denounced the invasion and occupation of Iraq so a Holy war it is not! Most people in the UK were not that interested in Iraq or what was happening there, if Saddam was killing his own people well it was unfortunate but removing him from power was up to them. Weapons of Mass Destruction have never been found although the Iraqi's had used them during the Iraq/Iran war and against the Kurds, so if they still had them your guess is as good as mine and if they did not have them what would they attack the SBA's with? If oil supplies were interrupted then that was another matter as the entire western world relies on oil Cyprus included.
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Postby Piratis » Mon Aug 09, 2004 1:28 am

In general I agree with you.
I used the "holy war against Arabs" expression because thats they way many Arabs realize it.
About the British bases being targets I didn't mean targets by terrorist attacks. I mean by missiles. That might not seem very possible now, but we know that some Arab countries that the US/UK don't have very good relations with have mid range missiles that can hit Cyprus. Whats worst, is that those missiles are not precise. I remember when in the first gulf war Iraq was throwing Scouts against Saudi Arabia and many of them ended up in the desert, obviously not their target.
So if something happens again (i hope not!) and they try to hit the British bases in Cyprus, it is very possible that most of their missiles will end up in other places in Cyprus. (and they didn't let us have the S300 missiles, so we are unprotected!!!).
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Postby Chrisswirl » Thu Sep 02, 2004 2:20 am

The British having control of Cyprus may have saved the Greek Cypriots. It's only speculation, but if Cyprus in 1923 was still in Turkish occupied lands, could Cyprus have been included in the population exchanges? Of course, it could have gone either way, but no one seemed to want to argue with Turkey at the time.
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