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LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING

Propose and discuss specific solutions to aspects of the Cyprus Problem

LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING

Postby brother » Wed Nov 10, 2004 7:50 pm

So where's our money?

 

By Charlie Charalambous

Before we go any further, this column took absolutely no money off the UN to promote love and understanding.

Nor was it greased with US funds to espouse Washington’s grand design.

So, just in case you are scouring through any secret accounts of traitors who took greenbacks from the Man, you won’t find me on it. Nevertheless, I’m quite disturbed that no large envelopes were placed outside my door.

If the donkey sanctuary got a load of dosh to act as a bridge across the divide, then I’m perfectly qualified to waste US dollars as well. Moreover, even if it wasn’t given to me or a donkey, the end result would be the same: An island of valiant peace-snubbing individuals. It’s taken Washington $450m, spent over the past 30 years, to wake up and realise they’ve been talking to a brick wall.

It shouldn’t be the Cyprus government throwing accusations about American money going in to the pockets of Cypriot politicians, but the American taxpayer asking why.

Why was a $100,000 in US tax payer’s money spent to produce a book on Cyprus art? Books are powerful tools, but I’m sure this particular edition did not advance reconciliation through the paint brush.

It should have dawned on the Yanks that Cypriots are not worth the time or the money.

This bi-communal funding business is akin to throwing fish at seals: Cypriots will lap up the money but don’t expect them to be better human beings for it.

We may not be the biggest peaceniks the Earth has ever seen, but we can scam the pants off anybody.

The Cyprus problem is a humungous money-spinner, so why solve it, when over half this island makes a living from it?

Not least, political reputations are made are lost on it. If we didn’t have this problem, what else would we do or talk about. Or is that the fault of the Americans as well?

Oh yeah, I forgot, they started it, along with the British. I suppose if they started it, then they should pay to fix it. Although buying the Annan vote would appear a rather thankless and stupid task.

Haven’t they heard the president tell them this country is not for sale (well not at current prices anyway).

Having said that, Papadoc should be thankful that "unacceptable" American interference only extends to throwing money at the "yes men."

He should also be happy that such American philanthropy is not the same as has been dished out in Chile, Cuba, Iraq, Cambodia, Grenada or Afghanistan et al. I know this government would like to revisit the Cold War era - when our next door neighbour was a potential enemy of the state - but didn’t we just sign away our sovereign rights to Brussels?

The European Constitution says we must do as the Europeans do. And if I recall rightly, the Europeans told us to swallow the Annan Plan hook, line and sinker.

In the theatre of politics this issue is a great diversion from what is actually happening on the ground. There is nothing happening around here, apart from the peace push being put indefinitely on ice.

However, there are still other matters that the government shouldn’t be allowed to escape without criticism.

This administration likes to talk the talk about democracy and transparency, so why is this not translated into the workings of our education system?

Unsurprisingly, our state schools system is run by old so and so's who were last in a classroom before the printing press was invented. The dinosaurs shaping our children’s future have never been tested for their aptitude or suitability to teach, but are given the job anyway. Moreover, their only claim to fame is having the patience of a saint to remain for decades on a recruitment list until the call comes for a cushy job with state pension benefits. These people are not mental athletes but serve as a barnacle on our educational progress.

But we really mustn’t expect anything else in the land where cronyism is king of a very tiny castle.

Maybe, the Americans could pay for an Old Farts sanctuary where these would-be academics could rest on their laurels without doing collateral damage in a classroom.

That would be money well spent.
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Postby Piratis » Thu Nov 11, 2004 9:44 pm

He should also be happy that such American philanthropy is not the same as has been dished out in Chile, Cuba, Iraq, Cambodia, Grenada or Afghanistan et al.


This person maybe ignores the "philanthropy" that caused 200.000 people to loose their homes?
The Americans and their allies have done in Cyprus not less than what they did in those other countries.

The dollars they spent are not dollars for peace or unity. They are dollars spent to serve their own interests, anybody that believes anything else is at least naive. Soon they are going to tell us that the US sponsored occupation army is also part of the "dollars for peace" project.

The American interests want a divided Cyprus. A non democratic Cyprus that will be fully controlled by their partners: UK and Turkey. This is what they want, and this is the Return On Investment they expect.
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Postby Bananiot » Thu Nov 11, 2004 9:59 pm

Don't talk rubbish Piratis. Where is your common sense? If the Americans wanted all these bad things for Cyprus, do you think Cyprus would exist today? Are you really a serious person? Do you think the Americans are holding back because of our military might? Or perhaps they are feeling sorry for us and our pathetic existance?

And since education came into the argument I would like to remind all that Papadopoulos promised that if elected he would be spending 8.5% of the GNP on education. If you half that figure you will land in the real papadopoulian world, of deceit and lie.
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Postby Piratis » Thu Nov 11, 2004 10:23 pm

If the Americans wanted all these bad things for Cyprus, do you think Cyprus would exist today?


I never said that the Americans want Cyprus to cease to exist. I said that they want a divided Cyprus under the control of UK and Turkey.

This is what we have today: A divided Cyprus, half of which is under the direct control of UK and Turkey.

What they want is an "improvement" in Cyprus, where the whole Cyprus would be under the direct control of their allies, and there will be no Cyprus "leftovers" causing troubles in the EU aspirations of Turkey.

What I say is common sense, and you are the one who lacks it.
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Postby brother » Mon Nov 15, 2004 6:43 pm

control has always be the driving force of the allies
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Postby Bananiot » Sat Dec 04, 2004 12:21 pm

An interesting article in the Cyprus Mail.

Rewriting the history books

SIMON BAHCELI takes a look at the next generation of secondary school texts that have a revolutionary take on the island’s past

THE FACT that Denktash does not like the north’s new secondary school history syllabus is a clear sign the breakaway state’s education ‘ministry’ may have come up with a version of events that is not simply designed to instil fear and hate into the next generation of Turkish Cypriots.
The syllabus, its writers say, is designed to give students a clear and objective view of the community’s place in the history of the island, without frightening the life out of them. They also hope to instil a love of history, which explains why the books that accompany the course are glossy, attractive, interactive and fun-looking.

The publications are well designed – especially considering the shoestring budget on which they were produced – and they cover everything that happened in Cyprus from Neolithic times right up to the referendum on the Annan plan.

Volume One, aimed at students in their first year of secondary school, begins with prehistory and ends with the demise of the Venetians at the hands of the Ottomans in 1571.

Its 60-odd pages are unintimidating for the student: There are no long texts, and each historical figure and event is introduced in such a way that assumes little or no previous knowledge by the student. Every single page of the book is filled with illustrations, photographs and maps and cartoons are extensively used to portray the thoughts and opinions of people.

There is little that could be described as controversial in book one. In terms of the Cyprus problem, the difficult history comes in volumes Two and particularly Three.

Volume Two kicks off with the Ottoman conquest of the island – something students in the north are usually told happened to strengthen the Empire’s political, economic and military grip on the Mediterranean.

What is most striking about the approach to the Ottoman period is that it is not glorified in the style past texts. Rather than focussing on battles in which the Ottoman’s were victorious, the book deals with less bloodthirsty matters such as tax collection, law, military service and divorce.
It also refuses to skirt around popular revolts against the Ottoman overlords. In fact, the Ottoman period is portrayed as a time when the Muslim and Christian communities on the island lived side-by-side without major conflict as subjects of a larger entity.

“As in all parts of the Ottoman Empire there were a variety of languages, religions and cultures. But despite the differences between the groups, there were no intercommunal tensions,” the book says.

Halfway through book two the British arrive to run the island. It is here that Turkish and Greek nationalism begin to emerge – something the book says the British are not slow to exploit using the same divide and rule techniques they used elsewhere.

Something that is sure to upset diehard nationalists is the contention that Turkish Cypriots did not think of themselves as Turks until as recently as the 1920s when, as in mainland Turkey, Kemalism swept the island after the formation of the modern Turkish state.

The Christian Cypriot subjects, the book says, caught the nationalist bug almost a century before, becoming Greek after 1821 when mainland Greek overthrew their Ottoman overlords.

There is much in this set of books that portrays Cypriots – Greek and Turkish – sharing the same or similar experiences. The Second World War was one such shared experience with men from both communities called on to volunteer to fight the Nazis. Similarly, strikes during the 1940 saw disgruntled workers of both communities marching together in protest at poor pay and conditions.
It was only in mid 1950s that things begin going wrong between the two communities, according to Book Three, when the Orthodox Church’s struggle against British rule begins to take Turkish Cypriots into its sights – and this, the book points out, is due, at least as much to British tactics of divide and rule as to Greek hatred towards Turks.

The interesting thing about the way Volume Three deals with the period between 1963 and 1974, when the Turkish Cypriot community began its struggle for a separate administration, is that acts of violence and oppression against them are not portrayed as being perpetrated by Greek Cypriots, but by EOKA-B.

The 1974 invasion too is described without fanfare or triumphalism with the book simply describing the antecedents and the repercussions. And the same goes for the unilateral declaration of an independent Turkish Cypriot state in 1983, which gets just one page of coverage: the same amount of space as the failed referendum on the Annan plan.

While nationalists in the north will slam the book – Denktash already had has – those truly interested in a contemporary Turkish Cypriot view of its past and current identity could not find a better publication than this.
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Postby brother » Sat Dec 04, 2004 2:31 pm

WELL DONE HISTURY IS BEING TAUGHT NOT NATIONALISM AND HATE, YET AGAIN WELL DONE.
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Postby magikthrill » Sat Dec 04, 2004 11:09 pm

Assuming that information is valid then yes that is very good. But I have 2 questions.

Does anyone know if the book mentions anything about
(a) the TCs are living on illegally occupied land or
(b) why the Annan plan failed ?

Just curious.
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Postby erolz » Sun Dec 05, 2004 12:34 am

This has always been a 'favourite' subject of Isan's as I recall - the idea that we (all Cypriots) must find a 'better' version of history than that which we have used to date - and use this version to educate the young. It is an idea that I agree with totaly.

Piratis (and appologies if this feels like I am 'getting' at you - please ignore it if it does) I have to ask, if you were in charge of educating young GC do you think they should be tought that we are simply 'thieves behind tanks with no desire for a settlement because we have our stolen land and do not wish to return it'. A bit harsh perhaps, but do you see what I am getting at?
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Postby Piratis » Sun Dec 05, 2004 1:29 am

if you were in charge of educating young GC do you think they should be tought that we are simply 'thieves behind tanks with no desire for a settlement because we have our stolen land and do not wish to return it'.


No, that would be a generalization and is something that does not represent Turkish Cypriots as a whole. "Thieves behind tanks" are those that believe that since they have the power of Turkey behind them they have the right to illegally keep property that does not belong to them.

In any case our school books never (or at least since I was in school) presented TCs in a bad way. Sure, they didn't teach the events between 1963-1967, but they didn't blame TCs for the events of 74 either. That blame went to the GC traitors, the Junta, and Turkey.

I believe the TC school books are trying to catch up with what we had here for decades already. (if the report above is correct).

With this I don't mean our books are perfect. Far from it. But atleast until today it seems they have been a lot more objective than the TC books.
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