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

How can we solve it? (keep it civilized)

Postby insan » Fri May 14, 2004 11:07 am

The Decolonization of Cyprus: 'Never'

At the end of the Second World War Britain came to realize that her European colony of Cyprus was politically among the most backward of her colonial territories. The Legislative Council had not met since 1931 when for the second time the Greek members walked out, whereupon a crowd shouting for enosis burnt Government House to the ground. Nor since that year had there been an Archbishop. First, two of the four bishops were deported from the island, on suspicion of fomenting the unrest; then immediately afterwards the incumbent Archbishop died and the one remaining bishop declined to organize the election of a successor. (There is still in the Church of Cyprus a process of indirect election largely by the laity, as in the earliest Christian churches). The press was censored, political parties forbidden, the flying of the Greek flag prohibited by law. In these circumstances the trade unions emerged as the principal element of opposition to the colonial establishment and the only one to cross communal lines. When in 1941 political parties had been allowed again, it was not surprising that the first one to be formed, AKEL, sprang from the union movement. Its original leaders spanned the political spectrum but before long it came under communist control.
Sixty years of British rule had done nothing to encourage the emergence of a Cypriot nation, though to be sure the Greek and Turkish Cypriots alike displayed the marks of British law and administration. To a certain degree the two communities had been played off against each other. So long as there was a Legislative Council British Governors relied on the votes of the Turkish Cypriot members to block periodic bursts of Greek Cypriot political activism. Greek and Turkish schools largely looked to their respective 'mother countries' for inspiration and in many cases for staff, though the Greek connection was the more active of the two. For Turkish Cypriots the 1931 crisis had been a revelation of the Greek Cypriots' continued devotion to union with Greece; it guaranteed the Turks' alignment with the colonial power even though their own political expression was as much denied to them as was the Greeks'. Both kinds of Cypriot were to be found among the leaders and members of the Pan-Cyprian Federation of Labour (PEO). A wealthy Turkish Cypriot was likely to be a landowner (often absentee); the role of the bourgeoisie was filled almost exclusively by Greek Cypriots.

There were Turkish quarters in all the main towns, and of the villages in 1960, 114 or about 18% were mixed (though this was only a third of the number seventy years before). Even in the mixed villages, however, it was possible to tell which was the Greek and which the Turkish part. There were 392 purely Greek and 123 purely Turkish villages but typically they were to be found cheek-by-jowl with villages of the opposite community. This was so in each of the island's administrative districts, although not many Turkish Cypriots were to be found in the Troodos mountains. The anthropologist Peter Loizos has pointed out [in a 1976 MRG report on Cyprus] that most Cypriots had for most of the time been able to live close to the members of the opposite community without friction:

Very few of them have intermarried and this is normally frowned on by both sides. But they have had both some social relations and economic cooperation and, although there has been consciousness of difference and sometimes antagonism and mistrust, the ordinary people have never found it hard to "live together", i.e. to share the island, villages, suburbs, coffee-shops and wedding festivities.

Unfortunately, the world is full of examples (Northern Ireland being one) where the existence of this degree of social toleration under one set of circumstances will offer little safeguard when the circumstances change.

The opposition to British colonial rule and to all British proposals for self-government was led by two men, Michael Mouskos, who in October l950, at the age of 37, was elected Archbishop of Nova Justiniana and All Cyprus taking the title of Makarios ('Blessed') III, and Colonel George Grivas, a Cyprus-born Greek officer who had headed an extreme right-wing guerrilla group during the Axis [Nazi] occupation of Greece [during the Second World War]. Three years before Makarios's election the British had permitted the bishops to return, whereupon, to the alarm of most Orthodox leaders, the communists in AKEL, being the most efficient politicians, organized the election of an Archbishop, who died early. As it happened there were three such elections in as many years; and, already by the time of the second, AKEL's opponents had recaptured the machinery of election and the political leadership of the Greek community. AKEL's idea of petitioning the United Nations against colonial rule was taken over by Makarios, already a bishop, who at the beginning of 1950 organized a plebiscite campaign through the machinery of the Orthodox Church which produced a 96% vote in favour of union with Greece. In the following October, when he was elected Archbishop, he declared that 'no offer of a constitution or any other compromise will be accepted by the people of Cyprus'. Colonel Grivas, though an obsessional anti-communist, decided that violence was necessary against the British to dislodge them from Cyprus and began preparing for the day. He expounded his ideas to Makarios, who was at first sceptical and insisted that in any case the colonel should think in terms of sabotage rather than of guerrilla warfare.

When the British proposed a first-stage form of self-government (the Winster constitution) the right and the Church would not talk because it was not enosis; the left would talk but demanded for a European island with well-qualified professional cadres something more advanced. This being the period of the Greek civil war the British, who were in any case being criticized for allowing too much freedom to communists, were not prepared to yield more to the left.

Up to this point, the Turkish Cypriots, who until about this time were normally referred to as the Muslims, had not figured at all prominently in discussions about Cyprus. Being a rather stagnant society they did not make their point of view well known. Nor was it actively pressed by Turkey though representations were made in 1948 and there was one robust official declaration of interest in 1951. It is the Greek and Greek Cypriot thesis, from which nothing will move them, that Turkish interest and involvement, which would otherwise have remained quiescent, was fomented by the British, especially by Anthony Eden. One must say straightaway that there was a motive. The British had decided that they would have to leave the Suez Canal and were now planning to transfer the whole panoply of their Middle East Command to Cyprus, thus for the first time giving it the military significance it was supposed to have in 1878. C Nevertheless the Greek assumption that with British goodwill the island could have been swiftly transferred, complete with sleeping Turks, to Greek rule without serious conflict may well be questioned. It does not follow from the fact that Britain's two reasons for staying--strategic and the need to avoid stirring up Greco-Turkish hostility--were mutually supporting, that one of them had to be bogus. After all, Greece and Turkey were both military allies of Britain and of each other.

On 28 July 1954 the Minister of State for the Colonies, Henry Hopkinson, replied to a debate about Cyprus with an ineptitude that came oddly in a former professional diplomat, that there were certain territories in the Commonwealth 'which, owing to their particular circumstances, can never expect to be fully independent'. After adding mysteriously that he would not go as far as that about Cyprus, he then promptly did go that far by recalling that he had already said 'that the question of the abrogation of British sovereignty cannot arise--that British sovereignty will remain.' C Greece then, for the first time, tried to internationalize the dispute by bringing it before the United Nations General Assembly as a simple case of self-determination. Thanks to British and American influence she did not on this occasion get much change and the debate provided the occasion for Turkey to declare that Cyprus had never belonged to Greece, historically its people were not Greek, and geographically it was an extension of Anatolia. They would not, said the Turks, accept any change in the status of the island that had not received Turkey's wholehearted consent. These Turkish arguments had an anachronistic sound in an era when first priority is supposed to be given to the views of the people concerned. After all, if people thought they were Greeks, then Greeks they were--and in any case past relationship to a kingdom that had only existed since 1832 could have no meaning. The relevant issue was the position of the Turkish Cypriot community and how much, if at all, the weight to be attached to that community of less than 20% of the total population should be boosted by Cyprus's geopolitical location--near Turkey and far from Greece. The main UN reaction (in the age of Western domination of that body) was one of horror at the sample of the Greco-Turkish polemic that threatened in the event of the Cyprus issue being fully discussed.

In the autumn of 1954 the Greek prime minister, Field Marshal Papagos, who had been personally offended by Eden's dismissive treatment of the case for enosis (in a conversation in Athens in September 1953), and Archbishop Makarios both gave the go-ahead to Grivas who, in hiding in Cyprus, had called his underground organization EOKA (Ethniki Organosis Kyprion Agoniston, National Organization of Freedom Fighters) and himself 'Dighenis' to launch a campaign of sabotage. On 1 April 1955 the transmitters of the Cyprus Broadcasting Station were blown up and a series of simultaneous, but less effective, explosions took place across the island. The revolt had begun*.

British attempts at a solution

The Cyprus problem could either be tackled domestically--that is, as between Britain and her colonial subjects, or internationally. And, if internationally, a solution might be attempted between Britain and Greece or at a three-power level (Britain, Greece and Turkey); at a NATO level which would include particularly the United States and the Secretary-General of NATO (at first Lord Ismay but later Paul-Henri Spaak); and at the level of the United Nations, where the diplomacy was essentially of a declaratory nature. The domestic politics of Greece, Turkey and Britain (in which a section of the Labour party, led by Barbara Castle, was markedly pro-Greek Cypriot) at various times obtruded. There was a basic absence of understanding between the British and the Greek Cypriots in their analysis of the political problem. The latter, and especially the Orthodox church, identified themselves with the whole island, and thought of the dispute with Britain as a classic anti-colonial one in which complications about the Turks were only a British excuse. Greek Cypriots simply did not take seriously warnings about the likely reaction of the Turkish Cypriots to any change of sovereignty, and felt--and retrospectively still feel--that it was unnecessary for Britain in the circumstances of the 1950s to do so. The Turks themselves did not take seriously the possibility of Britain yielding to such a demand. It is correct that Britain alerted them not to count on this too complacently. Anthony Eden states in his memoirs that he minuted a telegram in July 1955 that it was as well that Turks should speak out 'because it was the truth that the Turks would never let the Greeks have Cyprus'. This could be interpreted as inciting the Turks, but it could also be considered a prudent precaution against Greek overconfidence.
However one decides to interpret this, Eden chose the tripartite route. A conference of the three allies was convened in London for the end of August 1955 at which Harold Macmillan, then Foreign Secretary, proposed that the problem of self-determination (by now the code-word for enosis) be left to one side and that Cyprus should receive self-government by stages at the end of which the Governor would control only foreign affairs, defence and public security. The Turks would have a share of ministerial portfolios and Assembly seats proportionate to their share of the population and there would be a tripartite (British-Greek-Turkish) committee that would supervise the arrangements both for transferring power and for guaranteeing minority rights. The initiative was a failure: Greece would not accept anything which disregarded the issue of self-determination; Turkey would not accept anything that did not explicitly renounce it. Macmillan later admitted [in his memoir, Tides of Fortune] that 'it could not be denied that the conference had perhaps increased rather than lowered tension'.

While this conference was going on there was an alarming burst of anti-Greek rioting and demonstrations in Istanbul, probably stage-managed in the first instance but running rapidly out of control. The targets were the Greek merchants and the Greek Orthodox church while the Turkish press was full of stories which complained of the treatment of the Muslims in Western Thrace. No effort seemed to have been made by Turkish police to protect the pillaged churches and shops, and 29 out of 80 Greek Orthodox churches, 4000 shops and 2000 homes in Istanbul were completely destroyed. The message was clearly meant to be that Turkish forbearance was not to be too much counted on.

As the EOKA revolt gathered momentum and casualties on both sides mounted, Britain tried to escape from the box of 'never'. Field Marshal Harding, who had been sent out as Governor, bore with him a painstakingly crafted formula, explaining that whereas self-determination was not on at the moment for strategic reasons and 'on account of the consequences on the relations between NATO Powers in the Eastern Mediterranean' the situation might change if self-government showed itself in practice to be 'capable of safeguarding the interests of all sections of the community'. A constitutional commissioner from Britain was to recommend how this might be done. After agonized debates in the Ethnarchy Council, Archbishop Makarios for the first time agreed to negotiate but on three conditions: the Governor's reserve powers were not to include internal security; the Turkish minority's rights were to be confined to religion and education; and there was to be an immediate general amnesty. Grivas, anxious to sabotage any negotiations at all, ended any chances of agreement by a series of massive explosions in Nicosia as the Colonial Secretary arrived.

The British deported Archbishop Makarios and his more intransigent enemy, the Bishop of Kyrenia, to the Seychelles (where they were kept for a year and then allowed to return to Europe but not Cyprus) but pressed ahead with the Constitutional Commissioner, Lord Radcliffe. Radcliffe abandoned any suggestion of a handing over of functions by stages because of the 'adult people' he found on Cyprus. Bearing in mind his terms of reference which required that foreign affairs, defence and internal security were to remain with the Governor, Cyprus should have maximum self-government at once. Radcliffe completely rejected the case which the Turkish Cypriots, led by a physician, Dr Fazil Küçük, advanced for equal representation of Greek and Turkish Cypriots in the legislative assembly. This, [Radcliffe] declared, could only be justified in the case of a federation for which there was no basis either territorially or in the numerical balance of the population. Guarantees of minority rights were appropriate to the Turkish case, with a Turkish Cypriot minister and 6 reserved places in the legislature and reinforced access to the courts in case of allegations of administrative or legal discrimination. C

In a way the bargain offered to the Greek Cypriots was a very good one, especially as the Governor's powers were in practice likely to dwindle once the Greek Cypriot majority had effectively taken over the Government. Some retrospectively regret the way in which it was immediately rejected. But Archbishop Makarios was not returned and the Colonial Secretary, in presenting the Radcliffe Report to Parliament made the classic blunder of stating that if the time ever came at which it would be possible to grant self-determination it should be granted to both communities. A veteran Turkish diplomat, looking back over the 'enormous and patient work' required to secure Turkey a 'right of say' in Cyprus, described this British statement as 'in a way, a road leading to taksim' (i.e. partition). Taksim became the slogan which was used by the increasingly militant Turkish Cypriots to counter the Greek cry of 'enosis'. In 1957 Küçük declared during a visit to Ankara that Turkey would claim the northern half of the island.

The Turkish Cypriots were therefore already discussing during British rule and under the pressures of the EOKA revolt, solutions--federation and partition--which logically would require an exchange of populations on, proportionately, an immense scale (for example, the movement of more Greek Cypriots than the entire Turkish Cypriot population) to make them feasible. At first they were merely calling attention to the kinds of unwelcome issues that might be raised by the majority's persistent cry for self-determination. But as Grivas went ahead with his campaign, accompanying EOKA acts of violence against the British and their Greek Cypriot collaborators with civil disobedience by sections of the community (especially schoolchildren), economic boycott of British goods and services, and acts of ruthless coercion against those Greek Cypriots--especially the communists in AKEL and the trade unions--who did not wish to cooperate, the British fell back more and more for support on the Turkish community. They used the Turkish Cypriots to build up the police and the special constabulary and to form a mobile reserve. This created hostility between the two communities; when a Turkish policeman was killed by EOKA the Greeks saw a policeman fall, the Turks saw a Turk. In January 1957, for instance, a Turkish Cypriot auxiliary was killed and three wounded by a bomb when guarding a power station; a Turkish Cypriot crowd smashed a number of Greek shops. Ten days later there was similar trouble in Famagusta. On 27 and 28 January 1958, there were two days of serious rioting by thousands of Turkish Cypriots in Nicosia leading to pitched battles with British forces at the end of which seven Turks were dead. This was a clear sign of the rise of a Turkish para-military organization, the TMT (Turk Mudafa Teskilat-- Turkish Defence Organization) and the loss of confidence by the Turkish Cypriots in the durability of Britain's stand against the Greeks.

The cell structure of EOKA was copied by Rauf Denktash, one of the TMT's founders, who went to Turkey to obtain the assistance of the Turkish Government and Army with training and weapons. Also, like EOKA, the TMT was strongly anti-communist and brought intense pressure to bear on Turkish Cypriot members of left-wing unions and clubs. Premises were burnt down, some left- wing Turkish personalities were killed, hundreds of Turkish Cypriot members of the communist-led PEO (Pan-Cyprian Federation of Labour) felt it necessary to leave and were in fact advised to do so for their own safety by their Greek Cypriot comrades. C Demands began to be heard for the establishment of a Turkish army base on Cyprus.

On 7 June 1958, following a bomb explosion outside the Turkish press office in Nicosia, there was an immediate invasion by Turkish rioters of the Greek sector, and Greek Cypriot residents were expelled from a mixed district. Communal clashes followed in the rural areas between neighbouring Greek and Turkish villagers armed with knives, sticks and stones, in the worst of which a group of Greeks just released from arrest by the British were murdered at Geunyeli. Grivas was known to be organizing Greek villagers against expected Turkish attacks and making plans for reprisals. The new Turkish militancy was also apparent in Istanbul where demonstrations in the summer of 1958 were held against the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Movements northward from Turkish Cypriot villages in the south, most of them spontaneous, some organized by TMT, were taken as clearing the ground for partition. In July Grivas ordered raids on police stations with Turkish policemen as chief targets, and waived all restrictions on killing Turks. Many Turkish villages were burned. But in August an intercommunal cease-fire was proclaimed and held.

Meanwhile in London, Harold Macmillan, by now Prime Minister, had reassessed British strategic requirements in the eastern Mediterranean. 'I am not persuaded', he wrote on 15 March 1957, 'that we need more than an airfield on long lease or in sovereignty. Then the Turks and the Greeks could divide the rest of the island between them.' In 1958 he asked the Secretary-General of NATO to act as conciliator. In the summer Archbishop Makarios indicated for the first time that he would accept independence for Cyprus rather than union with Greece; he had been persuaded that Macmillan would otherwise go through successfully with his threat of partition or, at the very least, establish Turkey in a position on the island from which it would be impossible subsequently to dislodge her. Responding to these developments Greece and Turkey entered into direct talks which produced the Zurich Agreement followed immediately by the Lancaster House settlement between them and Britain, both in February 1959. Although Makarios and a very large delegation from Cyprus were present in London and although in the end he felt obliged to accept the terms, this was a solution imposed from outside Cyprus by the three interested powers
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Postby insan » Fri May 14, 2004 11:08 am

The 1960 independence constitution

Cyprus gained her sovereign independence by virtue of a constitution and three treaties--the Treaty of Guarantee, the Treaty of Alliance, and the Treaty of Establishment, all of which came into operation the same day--16 August 1960. They were interrelated so that, for example, the 48 'basic articles' of the constitution were incorporated into the Treaty of Guarantee, while the two Treaties of Guarantee and Alliance were in turn said in Article 181 of the constitution to 'have constitutional force'. The third treaty, the Treaty of Establishment, makes it clear that the boundaries of the Republic of Cyprus do not coincide with those of the island, in that Britain retains absolute sovereignty over two enclaves, totalling 99 square miles which contain the military bases of Akrotiri and Dhekelia. Britain is also given certain military rights (such as exclusive control of Nicosia Airport in the event of an emergency) on the territory of the Republic.
The constitution was drawn up explicitly in terms of the two communities--and was referred to subsequently by the Turkish Cypriots as a functional federation, though that expression does not actually appear. The official languages were Greek and Turkish; the Greek and Turkish flags might be flown without any restriction, though there was to be also a national flag; the Greek and Turkish national holidays must be celebrated by right. The country was defined as 'an independent and sovereign Republic with a presidential regime, the President being Greek and the Vice-President being Turkish elected by the Greek and Turkish communities of Cyprus respectively.' There were ten ministers, seven chosen by the President, three by the Vice-President of whom one must receive one of three major portfolios (in practice a Turkish Cypriot was appointed to Defence). Decisions in the Council of Ministers were to be taken by absolute majority, except that either the President or the Vice-President had an absolute veto over decisions relating to foreign affairs, defence or internal security and a delaying one on other matters.

The legislative system was unicameral. The House of Representatives had 50 members, 35 Greek and 15 Turkish. According to Article 78(2) 'any law imposing duties or taxes shall require a simple majority of the representatives elected by the Greek and Turkish communities respectively taking part in the vote.' This provision also applied to any change in the electoral law and the adoption of any law relating to the municipalities. This last question had baffled the constitution-makers. In five of the towns separate Greek and Turkish municipalities had emerged as a consequence of the communal confrontations of 1958 and had been recognized by the British. They would now be officially established, thereby becoming the only organ of the constitution based on the idea of territorial separation, but for only four years during which the President and the Vice-President were supposed to decide between them whether they were to continue. Legislation on other subjects was to take place by simple majority but again the President and the Vice-President had the same right of veto--absolute on foreign affairs, defence and internal security, delaying on other matters--as in the Council of Ministers.

Outside the House of Representatives there were to be elected two communal chambers, one Greek, the other Turkish, which were given separate functions not entrusted to the House. These included education, religious matters, personal status, sport, culture, producer and consumer cooperatives and credit establishments. For these purposes they were entitled to impose taxes, set up courts and conduct their own relations with the Greek and Turkish Governments over help with funds or with personnel.

The judicial system was headed both by the Supreme Constitutional Court and by the High Court of Justice, each consisting of Greek and Turkish Cypriot judges, each with a neutral president (who should not be Cypriot, Greek, Turkish or British). The High Court had mainly appellate jurisdiction but could also deal with 'offences against the constitution and the constitutional order.' The Supreme Constitutional Court had exclusive jurisdiction over the allocation of functions and powers between the various institutions. Either President or Vice-President might appeal to this court whenever he thought that a law including, specifically, the budget, would have the effect of discriminating against one of the communities. Moreover human rights were strongly protected. A long series of guarantees against discrimination and in support of fundamental rights and liberties (Articles 6 to 35) were closely based on the appropriate European conventions.

Finally, the constitution recognized the bicommunal nature of Cyprus in its arrangements for administration. The public service should approximate in all grades of its hierarchy to a 70:30 ratio (compared with the 80:20 that might have been expected). The Public Service Commission was to consist often members, seven of them Greek, but a number of decisions were made dependent on the approval of at least two of the Turkish members. There was to be a Cypriot army, 2000 strong, of whom 1200 should be Greeks and 800 Turks, together with Security Forces, comprising police and gendarmerie, also totalling 2000, but this time with 1400 Greeks to 600 Turks; forces stationed in parts of the Republic inhabited almost totally by one community should have policemen drawn entirely from that community.

A first reaction to this document must be that for a nation of 556,000 this was a very elaborate and very rigid constitution. It runs to 199 articles and of these the 48 'basic' ones were to remain unalterable in perpetuity. The remainder could in practice only be altered by mutual agreement of the two communities. Constructed with the help of a Swiss constitutional adviser, the constitution was of the consociational variety which gives the preservation of the ethnic balance higher priority than majority rule. Moreover the constitution, thus heavily freighted, was screwed into the international system by the accompanying Treaties. Under the Treaty of Guarantee with Britain, Greece and Turkey, the Republic of Cyprus undertakes to uphold her own independence and her own constitution; not to participate in any political or economic union with any state whatsoever; and to prohibit any domestic action likely to promote union with another state or partition. In return Britain, Greece, and Turkey recognize and guarantee not only the independence, integrity, and security of Cyprus but also 'the state of affairs established by the Basic Articles of its Constitution'. They also will ban activity favouring enosis or taksim. In the event of a breach of the provisions of the Treaty, the three guarantors 'will consult together' about 'measures necessary to ensure observance'. Then follows the most critical wording of the Treaty, currently cited to support the Turkish position. If, says, Article IV, concerted action should not be possible 'each of the three guaranteeing powers reserves the right to take action with the sole aim of re-establishing the state of affairs created by this present Treaty'. The Treaty of Alliance, which was between Cyprus, Greece and Turkey, thus not including Britain, was intended to reinforce the rationale of the whole series of arrangements: that Greco-Turkish friendship was in the last resort worth more than the strict arithmetic and practical convenience of Cypriot politics. A committee of the three foreign ministers was 'the supreme political body' of the alliance. Under its authority there should be a tripartite headquarters established on the island, with military contingents of 950 Greeks and 650 Turks to provide for the defence of the new Republic and to train the new Cypriot army. The various treaties were signed on behalf of Cyprus both by the Greek President and by the Turkish Vice-President, thus in Turkish eyes sanctifying the equal status of the two communities as 'co-founder partners' in the new State.

The extent to which this complex of arrangements, redolent of old-fashioned diplomacy, was legally valid in the light of the United Nations Charter has been the subject of much debate among international lawyers. The question was whether a constitution so rigid and unalterable was compatible with the equal sovereignty which was recognized in the Charter and whether its unamendable nature could validly be enforced under a Treaty which permitted any one of the signatories individually to take action. It is a complex argument which has not been resolved. Certainly Professor Forsthoff, the German who had been the first President of the Supreme Constitutional Court was to say [in 1963]: 'I consider it wrong to regard Cyprus under the present agreement and : constitution as an independent state'. The guarantees, he added, 'include also a right of actual intervention--there can be no guarantee without the right of intervention'. Clearly the signatories, it may be presumed, thought they were signing valid documents. Archbishop Makarios subsequently claimed that the settlement was imposed on him by force majeure and that he did not in consequence feel morally bound by it. C

The crisis of 1963

Archbishop Makarios was elected the first President of Cyprus by the Greek voters in December 1959 and Dr Fazil Küçük the first Vice-President by the Turks. The Archbishop had critics both on the right from supporters of Grivas (who left the island for a hero's welcome in Athens and the rank of a retired general) and on the left because the settlement had been brought under the aegis of NATO. He moved swiftly to consolidate his position--by appointing EOKA people to key positions, most notably Polycarpos Yorgadjis as Minister of the Interior, and by launching a vigorous foreign policy of friendship with the non-aligned powers which served to disarm the potential opposition of the Communists in AKEL who were given five unopposed members in the first House. But the same process of satisfying the political needs of the Greek Cypriot community straightaway led to a series of conflicts with the Turks, in which the feelings of the two communities about the Constitution were made plain. The Greek Cypriots' feeling was that the constitutional privileges accorded to the Turkish community were preposterous; the Turkish Cypriots' that these were the bare minimum, to be exercised to the last ounce.
The disputes concerned:

(a) The seventy-thirty ratio in the public service: The Turkish Cypriots required that the proportion should be attained within five months of independence as had in fact been stipulated in a pre-independence agreement between the President-elect and the Vice- President-elect. The Greek Cypriots in the Public Service Commission argued that they could not overnight draw from 18 % of the population which was poorly qualified suitable candidates to fill 30% of the jobs. Standards and qualifications could not be lowered; after three years the Greek Cypriots published figures to show that real progress had been made in all grades towards the objective. But the subject rankled and aroused resentment in both communities. At the end of 1963 there were 2000 appeals outstanding in the Supreme Constitutional Court about public appointments.

(b) Taxes: Since a majority vote of the Turkish deputies in the House was needed to pass tax legislation the Turkish Cypriots sought to use this as leverage to force compliance over the Seventy-Thirty ratio and over legislation for separate municipalities, and a more generous approach towards the grant of subsidy to the Turkish Communal Chamber. As a result the colonial income tax law expired whereupon Makarios ordered that existing taxes should continue to be collected. In December 1961 the Government at last came out with its own proposals, but whereas the Greeks wanted a permanent law, the Turks wanted it renewable annually, which would enable them to use their bargaining power each session. Since there was again deadlock, personal income tax was abandoned by the House and the Greek Cypriots enacted it instead through the Greek Communal Chamber.

(c) The Cypriot army. The Minister of Defence, who was a Turkish Cypriot, proposed an army of five battalions, each of three companies. At the battalion level they should be mixed, but at the company level the units should be from one community or the other. The majority of the Cabinet decided that on the contrary the units should be mixed at every level. On this issue the Vice- President used his power of final veto. The President therefore decided not to have an army at all.

(d) Separate municipalities. Existing colonial laws had to be extended eight times while Greeks and Turks conducted a dialogue of the deaf about whether fresh legislation should establish separate municipalities as the constitution required and the Turks demanded. In December 1962 the Greek majority rejected further continuation of the status quo. The Turkish Cypriot Communal Chamber then purported to confirm the position of the Turkish municipalities, while the Council of Ministers fell back on a pre-1959 colonial law to replace all the existing elected municipalities by appointed development boards. The actions of the Turkish Communal Chamber and of the Council of Ministers were both brought before the Supreme Constitutional Court and were both by the vote of the neutral court president found unconstitutional. The President offered the Turkish Cypriots compensating safeguards but made it quite clear that he had no intention of implementing the provisions of the constitution which he regarded as opening the way to partition.

(f) The status of the Vice-President: Dr Küçük complained that since he had an absolute veto over foreign policy he should be told what that policy was about. Spyros Kyprianou, the Foreign Minister, was not, he said, showing him the papers. He objected strongly to Makarios adopting on his own a policy of non-alignment and going to the Belgrade non-aligned summit without his agreement.

The record of the first three years of the new Republic could not therefore be described as an unqualified success. The necessary restraint on both sides if such a delicate mechanism of checks and balances is to work or, alternatively, if by informal arrangements it is to be shortcircuited, was absent. Already by the end of 1961 the Turkish language press was calling for the intervention of Turkey, Greece and Britain and the resignation of Archbishop Makarios over the income tax issue.

The question of whether President Makarios ever meant the 1960 constitution to work or whether from the outset his acceptance of it was a manoeuvre first to obtain independence and then to clear the ground for union with Greece is still highly controversial. As an Archbishop he was predisposed to see the whole island as Hellenic; in both his capacities he took part throughout the remainder of his career in what the Irish call 'verbal republicanism', namely the celebration of anniversaries of heroic deaths during the war against the British (a civic memory which counted the Greek Cypriots in and counted the Turks out) with many references to his own fidelity to the cause for which they had died, specifically the cause of enosis. But to what extent and at what periods this sentiment was purely verbal it is rather difficult to say (and, of course, even when purely verbal it affected the climate of opinion). Certainly there are many Greek Cypriots who think that Makarios did for a time support the constitution until he concluded that, unless amended, it was unworkable. Turkish Cypriots rather naturally call attention to a confidential document called the Akritas Plan which was later published in the press. This, which is generally thought to have been circulated in great secrecy by Yorgadjis, the Minister of the Interior, lays down a scenario according to which the 'negative elements' in the constitution should be stressed in public while lavish use should be made of such internationally acceptable concepts as 'self-determination' and 'minority rights' to describe the case for amending it. By this means Cyprus would win control over her own institutions and thus effectively nullify the Treaty of Guarantee since the constitution it was to guarantee would by then be no more. If the Turkish Cypriots showed fight they were to be struck down hard before there was time for outside intervention to arrive.

The Turkish Cypriots had made some preparation for a break-down, since they were determined that independence should not mean, as Rauf Denktash put it, 'a change of colonial masters for the worse'. In October 1959, after the Zurich and London Agreements but before independence, the Turkish motorboat Deniz was intercepted by the British when gunrunning to Cyprus. But many of the Turkish Cypriot political leaders counted on the constitution settling down. They were encouraged in this by the first Turkish Ambassador to Nicosia, Dirvana, who was a philhellene, and tended to discount the warnings of Denktash, now President of the Turkish Communal Chamber, who claimed through intelligence sources to know better. According to Denktash, who was political adviser to the TMT, most of that organization had been stood down and there were only 40 active members in it when the fighting started.

Yorgadjis, a man who ran his Ministry as if he were still in EOKA and who attracted to himself attributions of the most intricate plotting, used the constitutional breakdown over tax collection as an excuse for getting Makarios's authority for building up a 'secret army' of ex-EOKA men. There were also other freelance gangs of armed irregulars on the Greek side. According to a Canadian researcher (Richard A Patrick) 'These dissident groups maintained their autonomy either because they were opposed to the official leadership or because membership in such gangs was a means of maintaining a position of social status in a society whose more recent heroes were EOKA.'
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Postby insan » Fri May 14, 2004 11:09 am

On 30 November 1963, President Makarios wrote to Vice- President Küçük proposing thirteen amendments to the constitution which, he said, would 'remove obstacles to the smooth functioning and development of the state'. He did so apparently with the knowledge and encouragement of the British High Commissioner, Sir Arthur Clarke, whether personally or officially is not clear: the full story of this remains obscure. The approach certainly had the qualities of comprehensiveness and candour.

Taken together, the amendments would have had the effect of resolving all outstanding issues in the Greek favour. The President and Vice-President would lose the right of veto; the necessity for separate majorities of Greek and Turkish members for the passage of certain laws, including taxes, would go, so would separate municipalities; the ratio in the public services and in the army and police would be the same as the ratio of population; the Public Service Commission would be smaller and take decisions by a simple majority; the separate Greek Communal Chamber would be abolished (though the Turks could keep theirs); and the administration of justice would be unified so that a Greek could not demand to be tried by a Greek judge and a Turk by a Turkish judge. It must be said in favour of these proposals that they streamlined the administration and removed many of the features that laid stress on whether a Cypriot citizen was Greek or Turkish. But from the Turkish Cypriot point of view they removed almost all the props to their claim to be the 'co-founders' of the Republic and demoted them to the status of a minority. In the view of the Greek Cypriot constitutional lawyer, Polyvios Polyviou, who is a sharp critic of the 1960 constitution, the course followed by the Archbishop was 'a grievous error' which 'could not but have appeared to the Turkish Cypriots as a dangerous development that might change the internal balance of power and be taken internationally as a sign that the bicommunal nature of the State was giving way to unitary and majority principles' . In Polyviou's opinion it would have been much better to have tried to change things gradually; a view shared at the time by the Greek Government which, not having been warned in advance, told Makarios that if he had asked their advice it would have been against. The Archbishop's proposals were hastily rejected not by the Vice-President, though he did so at length later, but by the Government of Turkey. C

The atmosphere after the presentation of the thirteen proposals was very tense, with the Turkish Cypriots interpreting the move as a preparation to slide into enosis. On 21 December 1963 a street brawl in a Turkish quarter in Nicosia between a Turkish Cypriot crowd and Yorgadjis' plainclothes special constables was followed immediately by a major Greek Cypriot attack by the various para-military forces against the Turks in Nicosia and in Larnaca. At first an attempt to calm the situation was made jointly by the President and the Vice-President and by other leaders but it had clearly got out of hand and in any case the ex-EOKA element was strong in the security forces. Although the TMT organized the defence of the Turkish minority and there were a number of acts of retaliation directed at the Greek Cypriots, there is no doubt that the main victims of the numerous incidents that took place during the next few months were Turks. 700 Turkish Cypriot hostages, including women and children, were seized in the northern suburbs of Nicosia. The mixed suburb of Omorphita suffered the most from an independent gang of Greek Cypriot irregulars led by Nicos Sampson who, claiming to be rescuing a Greek section surrounded by Turks, in fact made a full-dress assault on the Turkish Cypriot population. During the first half of 1964, fighting continued to flare up between neighbouring villages. 191 Turkish Cypriots and 133 Greeks were known to have been killed while it was claimed 209 Turks and 41 Greeks remained missing and could also be presumed dead. There was much looting and destruction of Turkish villages. Some 20,000 refugees fled from them, many of them taking refuge in Kyrenia and Nicosia. Food and medical supplies had to be shipped in from Turkey. 24 wholly Turkish villages and Turkish houses in 72 mixed villages were abandoned. Later Turkish Cypriots returned to 5 of their own villages and 19 of the mixed villages. Most of the moves seem to have been spontaneous and hasty, following a local incident of violence, the people leaving clothing, furniture, and food behind. But in some cases orders were received for the people to go, and once villagers had moved, the Turkish paramilitaries, now much expanded in numbers and known simply as 'the Fighters', exercised substantial coercion to prevent returning in most cases to government-controlled areas. The necessary territorial basis for partition was being found. C

In Nicosia the guarantors began to move over the Christmas week. 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. 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 worse. This produced a cease-fire in Nicosia, an exchange of hostages, and the establishment of the 'Green Line', a neutral zone between the Greek and Turkish quarters in the capital which has existed till the present day. The Turkish Cypriots expelled from their side of that line the entire Armenian community of Nicosia on the ground that it had aligned itself with the Greek position.

What the guarantors did not do was to 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. The 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---solely provisional bodies on both sides pending the establishment of a new legal order, the old one having been overthrown by force. 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 Vice-President and minority ministers had wilfully continued to absent themselves. C

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 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.

While the cease-fire held in Nicosia, the British were unable to prevent the Greek Cypriots from attacking the Turkish Cypriots at Limassol, 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 Security Council resolution of 4 March 1964, 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 the 'unfettered independence' which he sought and appointed Greek Cypriot ministers to take over the Turkish portfolios.

The UN force which was set up and remains till the present day* was originally of over 6000 men of over 6000 men and is now [1984] about 2300. It has always had a substantial British contingent often over 1000, but now down to 750, making it unusual among UN forces which normally exclude contingents from the permanent members of the Security Council. It is otherwise supplied by Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Ireland and Canada. 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-defence. As Dr Richard Patrick, who served in UNFICYP, put it: "It could not kill Cypriots to prevent them from killing each other. The force's main deterrent was its presence. Its observers ensured that the communities' version of events could now be verified and internal support for their causes could be lost or gained by these observers' reports." 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, introducing conscription and ignoring the veto of Vice-President Küçük Supplies of arms came in from Czechoslovakia and a Greek general from the mainland took command. In April Makarios paid a long visit to Athens during which George Papandreou, the Prime Minister of Greece, committed himself to the campaign for Cyprus's self-determination. He declared publicly that the UN resolution made the 1960 agreement invalid. According to Andreas Papandreou [from his memoir, Democracy at Gunpoint], who was then a Minister in his father's government:

A clandestine operation then began on a huge scale of nightly shipments of arms and troops, of "volunteers" who arrived in Cyprus in civilian clothes and then joined their "Cypriot" units. The process was not completed until the middle of summer. No less than 20,000 officers and men, fully equipped, were shipped to Cyprus.

Greece undertook to defend Cyprus militarily in case of Turkish attack. 'A war', George Papandreou remarked, 'between Greece and Turkey would be madness but if Turkey decides to enter the insane asylum we shall not hesitate to follow her.' At the same time he laid down to Makarios the doctrine of the 'National Centre'. If Greece's policy was to be committed to Cyprus she must not take initiatives without consulting Greece.

In June there was another alarm. It was learnt that a decision had been made in Ankara to establish a Turkish bridgehead in Cyprus and bring about the complete separation of the two communities. The Americans intervened swiftly and effectively. Lyndon Johnson promptly sent what Under-Secretary George Ball described as 'the most brutal diplomatic note I have ever seen' to Ismet Inönu, the Turkish Prime Minister, which had the effect of stopping the expedition in its tracks. Papandreou and his son Andreas were in turn told of America's inability to go on protecting Greece from Turkey's military action. The object was to get both to accept American mediation between them so as to find another solution that could be imposed on Cyprus.

Meanwhile, despairing of the disorder and anarchy prevailing on the island because of the large number of weapons in the hands of undisciplined gangs, the Greek Government sent Grivas back to Cyprus. He went there to command the mainland Greek troops but it was not long before he also took over the National Guard. Grivas did very rapidly restore discipline but, noting that possession of the beach-head at Kokkina was enabling the Turks to bring in arms and men from Turkey, in August he launched, in defiance of the UN who were seeking to negotiate a local cease-fire, a major attack to eliminate this sore spot. Turkey attacked Greek positions from the air with rockets, bombs and napalm. Makarios threatened that unless these air attacks were called off within two hours he would order an attack on every Turkish Cypriot on the island. He also appealed for help both to the Greek Government and to the Soviet Union. 'We did not [send planes]' Andreas Papandreou later wrote, 'not because we did not wish to but because it was technically impossible.' Khrushchev sent word to the Archbishop that a cease-fire would be 'an important contribution'. C Grivas was obliged to abandon the attempt to eliminate the Turkish beach-head and a UN cease-fire was accepted by Cyprus and Turkey. There followed a period of comparative calm. The clash at Kokkina had drawn sharp attention to the realities of Cyprus's geographical situation--vulnerable to Turkish strikes, beyond the range of Greek planes. Diplomatically, too, there was soon bad news for Makarios: the Soviet Union and Turkey were mending diplomatic fences with a series of top-level visits during 1965. As early as January the Soviet delegation spoke, to the evident discomfiture of Moscow's Cypriot supporters in AKEL, of there being 'two communities' with sovereignty and legal rights on the island. Shipments of Soviet arms to Cyprus continued until May 1965 but then apparently stopped.

The crisis of 1967


In 1964/5 two major attempts to settle Cyprus by outside mediation failed:

(1) The Acheson plan

In the margins of the UN mediation in Geneva, Dean Acheson, the former Secretary of State, attempted to settle the problem by a political deal between Greece and Turkey. This would give Cyprus the choice of independence or union with Greece, in exchange for a sovereign Turkish base on the eastern panhandle of the Karpas peninsula and the cession to Turkey of the Greek island of Kastellorizon, which is just off the coast of Turkey. The Turkish Cypriots would have two or three areas in which they would have local self-administration and a resident international commissioner would look into complaints of discrimination. The plan was initially accepted in principle by both Greece and Turkey, but finally rejected by George Papandreou as 'partition masquerading in the rhetoric of enosis' because of the total opposition of Makarios. The Turks then rejected a revised version which sought to meet Greece's willingness to see a base leased to Turkey in Cyprus but not ceded.

(2) The UN mediator's report (26 March 1965)

This was the work of Galo Plaza, the former President of Ecuador. Superb in its analysis of the problem, it was instantly rejected by the Turks as being grossly partisan in its conclusions. It considered the 1960 solution as 'a constitutional oddity' which could not in practice be maintained against the will of the majority. The mediator saw enosis as the decisive problem but he did not detect unqualified support for it among Greek Cypriots as a whole. Cyprus after all had a higher standard of living and a higher wage level than Greece. As an act of 'enlightened statesmanship', preferably to be confirmed by popular referendum, Cyprus should voluntarily undertake not to give up her independence. She should also be demilitarized. The UN mediator rejected the Turkish case for federation because this would involve 'a compulsory movement of the people concerned contrary to all the enlightened principles of the present time'. He recommended a unitary constitutional system that embodied generous provision for minority rights, some of them of a transitional nature until Turks would have been more integrated into the Cypriot community. There should be a general amnesty, incorporation of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights into the constitution and, for as long as necessary, a resident UN commissioner and staff to see that fair play was being observed.

The reaction of the Turks was that they would have no further dealings with Galo Plaza; as with Count Foike Bernadotte in the early days of the Arab-Israeli dispute he had no sooner spoken than the idea of UN mediation was dead. Later UN contributions towards peace in Cyprus have had to be couched in much more tentative and circuitous language.

The majority of the Turkish Cypriot community had by now concentrated into enclaves in various parts of the country. They were organized into groups of villages, sub-regions where full-time Fighter units were stationed and where Turkish army officers were posted, and seven regions, mostly based on the Turkish quarters in the towns, where civil government was controlled by District Officers and the Fighters were commanded by Turkish army colonels. In Turkish Nicosia the top civilian authority was the General Committee, headed by Vice-President Küçük, which subsequently became the Provisional Government, and military command was exercised by a Turkish general, Kemal Cokun, who went under the nom de guerre of Bozkurt (Grey Wolf). All told there were about 5000 Fighters. There was therefore in miniature the apparatus of a 'state within a state'. It was, however, fragmented and did not enjoy any of the services of the Cyprus Government since it excluded its officers.

The Cyprus Government also imposed an economic blockade against the enclaves, which was at first total but which was soon modified under UN and Red Cross pressures to let in quotas of food. Later, passage of specific 'strategic materials' was prohibited; this was a large and growing list which severely affected economic activity. There was some passage and commerce between Greek and Turkish areas but this was subject to much delay, tedious searches, and--sometimes--instances of kidnapping and hostage taking mainly by the Greeks but also sometimes, when opportunities for retaliation were seen, by the Turks. This was, perhaps, inevitable when the two communities were on a permanent war footing though even now this atmosphere did not prevail everywhere. In parts of the country Dr Patrick speaks of local understandings' which 'often represented a compromise by local officials of both Cypriot communities between instructions from distant superiors and a desire to live and let live.' In the Paphos district for example an imaginative UN commander was able to turn a series of vendettas between Greek and Turkish villages into a system of local cooperation. The trouble was that the Turkish Cypriot leaders who were themselves confined to the Nicosia enclave where they were protected by the Turkish army contingent could not allow their people to conform too much to the UN's conception of normality because that conception included the recognition of the existing (Greek) Cypriot Government. Determined not to become a minority in Greece (which would be the consequence of enosis) they believed that once the Greek Cypriots really overplayed their hands their woebegone situation was totally reversible once the aid of the Turkish army could be enlisted. The Greek and Greek Cypriot forces now amounted to some 30,000. There was continual work being done on coastal defences and by both sides on fortifications. The UN were continually engaged in negotiations to secure Turkish Cypriot 'freedom of movement' without needless molestation, and in mixed rural areas mediating complicated arrangements about police patrols.

On 21 April 1967 democracy was overthrown in Greece, bringing to power a group of colonels, some of whom--such as Colonel George Papadopoulos--had had experience of serving in Cyprus. They declared that the Cyprus dispute had gone on long enough and should be wound up. On 2 July they issued a statement calling for the resignation of those leaders in Cyprus who 'on the eve of decisive developments', set 'groundless conditions and subversive, prerequisites'. In September the Greek and Turkish leaders had what was intended to be a dramatic meeting on the Greco-Turkish border, at which Papadopoulos made the Turks a secret offer in return for their permitting enosis which he thought that they could not refuse. It was probably very much on the lines of the Acheson plan. To Papadopoulos's surprise the offer was turned down; the bold move did not come off.

Relations with Makarios who did not fancy either union with a dictatorship or the junta's solution for Cyprus became increasingly strained. The President began cutting the budget of the National Guard, building up his own para-military force, and becoming more amenable to UN suggestions for easing tension. Road blocks, for instance, were removed from outside the Turkish quarters of Paphos and Limasol, and they were allowed to buy 'strategic materials'. General Grivas, meanwhile, was getting out of hand. The number of shooting incidents, which had fallen off since August 1964, began to increase alarmingly. There were also terrorist attacks on AKEL and its affiliated movement, the Pan-Cyprian Federation of Labour.

On 15 November, arising out of a long drawn out but minor dispute about police patrols, Grivas--arguing that he must deny the Turkish Cypriots access to the coastline--attacked them at Kophinou. Fighting was heavy. Turkey instantly sent an ultimatum to the junta in Athens, demanding that Grivas be recalled immediately, that all Greek troops in excess of those permitted by the Treaty of Alliance be withdrawn, that Greek Cypriots be disarmed and that all economic restrictions on the Turkish Cypriot community be removed. The Turkish air force made sorties over Greek Thrace and troops were concentrated on the Greco-Turkish border. The junta withdrew Grivas at once and after an intense period of American shuttle diplomacy by Lyndon Johnson's envoy Cyrus Vance (the future Secretary of State) an agreement between Greece and Turkey was reached. Besides the withdrawal of excess Greek and Turkish troops within 45 days the National Guard was to be dissolved and the size and powers of the UN force was to be increased. These terms were partially implemented. Some 12,000 Greek troops were shipped back to Greece, and, in March 1968, the last economic restrictions were withdrawn from the Turkish enclaves, a gesture which was not reciprocated by the Turkish Cypriots who continued to maintain their road blocks in order to bar Greek Cypriots from their enclaves. But in a decision which he lived to regret, Makarios did not dissolve the National Guard with its officers from Greece and its intense anti-communist indoctrination, and he blocked any increase in the UN force.

The events of 1967 had a profound effect on Archbishop Makarios's sense of direction. Although he may perhaps have favoured independence in 1959-1961, he had certainly later swung back towards his original aim of union with Greece. But the failure of Greece, especially under a military government to stand up to the Turks altered his outlook. He publicly acknowledged this on 12 January 1968. 'A solution by necessity', he said, 'must be sought within the limits of what is feasible which does not always coincide with the limits of what is desirable.' He then called a presidential election to endorse his position, whereupon the bishops of the Holy Synod of the Church of Cyprus expressed the view that if he were to be forced to give up enosis he should not continue as President. He ran nevertheless receiving 95.4% of the vote, with an intransigent enosist getting 3.7%.

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Postby insan » Fri May 14, 2004 11:10 am

The crisis of 1974

Three developments followed from Makarios's acceptance of the impracticality of enosis after the crisis of 1967:
(1) The UN sponsored intercommunal talks between the two interlocutors, the Greek Cypriot President of the House of Representatives Glafkos Cleridis and the Turkish Cypriot Rauf Denktash that went on from 1968-74.

(2) The fomenting of a new internal opposition against Makarios by supporters of Grivas and enosis.

(3) The deterioration and collapse of relations between Makarios and the junta.

The intercommunal negotiations made, in one sense, rather striking progress despite repeated setbacks between 1968 and 1974. Denktash, on returning from exile in Turkey, had found the Turkish Cypriot community in some danger of disintegration. While taking full advantage of the lifting of the blockade to move around the island and build up morale, he decided to change the direction of Turkish requirements. Subject to agreement over the whole document he was willing to go a very long way towards accepting the thirteen amendments and eliminating the deadlocks in the system which he said had cast the Turkish Cypriots in a perpetually negative role. In return he needed new provisions on local government. But these did not turn out to be easy. The Turkish Cypriots wanted villages, municipalities and groups of villages to be run by councils with 'independent powers, duties and jurisdiction' spelled out in the constitution; these to be subordinated only to the appropriate Greek or Turkish members of the House of Representatives meeting separately, who would be able to issue regulations within the compass of an Organic Law. In that way the Turkish enclave system would be institutionalized. The Greek councils would be dealt with by the Greek side of the House, the Turkish councils by the Turkish side and the councils for mixed villages by whichever side possessed the majority of their population. The Greeks insisted that there must be some state administrative supervision, while the Turks said that such supervision should be minimal and could only be undertaken ex post facto by the judiciary. Glafkos Clerides eventually agreed that the business of securing sufficient uniformity and coordination could in some circumstances be achieved by the Supreme Court.

This was the one period in which the Greek Cypriots could have escaped from the Turkish Cypriot vocabulary of federal equality for the two communities. But the opportunity was missed. Apart from the intrinsic difficulty of the problems and the residue of recent bitterness (somewhat modified in respect to the personalities of the two interlocutors), the negotiations lacked consistent political support. Clerides was personally very committed to an agreement; so that it did not help that throughout these prolonged talks--which were being held in secret--he was being persistently undermined by local critics and not always supported by his own Government which itself was being undermined by Athens. Denktash gave the impression to the Greek Cypriots of being often held in check by Ankara.

Many Greek Cypriots were fearful that the Turks were trying to reintroduce at the level of local government the same federal or cantonal ideas they had abandoned in the centre. Not every Greek was reconciled to life without enosis and Makarios, as was his habit, continued to take in public an equivocal line. On several occasions Clerides felt obliged to offer his resignation, which was however always refused. Moreover, until the intercommunal talks had temporarily broken down in 1971, they lacked the presence of an independent party with the ingenuity to suggest methods of overcoming obstacles. When talks resumed in 1972 the UN representative Osorio Tafall carried out this task with distinction. But by then it was too late; the domestic system was too unstable.

The deteriorating relations between the Archbishop and the junta in Athens and the development of a terrorist opposition to Makarios on Cyprus were shaping events. These two factors were linked since important elements in Athens had decided that for the Cyprus question to be settled Makarios must go. The settlement they sought was one that achieved enosis but yet bought off Turkey. That, however, would involve concessions to Turkey on Cyprus on the lines of the Acheson Plan that Makarios would not make. In any case Makarios supported the exiled King rather than the junta. To break Makarios the junta backed a group in Cyprus calling itself the National Front that accused the Archbishop of betraying Hellenism. There was a campaign of sabotage and terrorism, and in March 1970 President Makarios's helicopter was shot down, with him narrowly escaping. Polycarpos Yorgadjis, the former Minister of the Interior, was said by the Archbishop to be implicated, only to be murdered a week later in mysterious circumstances. General Grivas returned clandestinely to Cyprus in the Autumn of 1971 and began a rerun of his role in the 1950's, setting up a movement called 'EOKA B' which was meant as a threat to Makarios insofar as he would betray enosis.

Then, in February 1972, the Greek Government sent a note telling Makarios to dismiss his long-time Foreign Minister, Spyros Kyprianou, and other open opponents of the junta and create a 'government of national unity' composed of all segments of 'nationalist Cypriot Hellenism' (that is, excluding AKEL and others lacking enthusiasm for enosis). Makarios was told to remember that 'the National Centre is always Athens'. A fortnight later the Bishops of the Church of Cyprus, purportedly in Holy Synod, ordered Makarios to resign as President on the grounds of the incompatibility of ecclesiastical authority and temporal power. Makarios replaced Kyprianou but held mass rallies to prove his popularity, refused to form the type of government demanded, and sponsored a new newspaper which attacked the junta and supported the King. Clerides told Makarios that he was fighting on three fronts--the Greek junta, 'EOKA B', and the Turks. He advised him to settle with the Turks. But that advice was not taken. Turkey was in any case becoming impatient. Early in 1974, after an election, Bülent Ecevit came to power being in no doubt that what Cyprus needed was a federation. He complained bitterly to the United Nations Secretary-General that the intercommunal talks had been allowed to drift on without any clear understanding over political philosophy. He thought it quite wrong to say, as the UN had persistently done, that the devices under discussion could, be fitted into a 'unitary state'.

The plot against Makarios thickened. On 13 April the three bishops declared the Archbishop deposed and reduced to the rank of layman. Makarios soon rallied the bigger spiritual guns by bringing together a Synod of Eastern Orthodox Churches which vindicated his position, found the rebel bishops guilty of schism and disobedience to canon law, and unfrocked them all. C Politically, the Archbishop enjoyed an unopposed re-election. But there was still a disinclination to take strong measures against Grivas and 'EOKA - B', despite incidents of terrorism, because of a wish not to be seen using methods reminiscent of the British during the freedom struggle and because Grivas being a royalist and being, like Makarios, opposed to 'partition disguised as enosis' might still be useful. However, Grivas died of a heart attack in January 1974 and control of 'EOKA B' was rapidly taken over by the agents of the junta. Moreover, apart from the Tactical Reserve Force, which was supposed to guard a few key positions, plus a small paramilitary organization headed by the President's physician, Dr Lyssarides, the Government had no reliable security force of its own. The Cyprus police were heavily infiltrated by ex-EOKA men while the National Guard of 10,000 officers and men was controlled by the Greek Army and was a recruiting ground for 'EOKA B'.

In the autumn of 1973 there was a further military coup in Athens in which the original Greek junta was replaced by one still more obscurantist headed in fact by the Chief of Military Police, Brigadier Ioannides, though the actual head of state was General Phaedon Gizikis. Makarios wrote to President Gizikis on 2 July 1974 in a letter which he made public complaining bluntly that 'cadres of the Greek military regime support and direct the activities of the 'EOKA B' terrorist organization'. More than once, the Archbishop said, he had felt and in some cases he had almost touched a hand invisibly extending from Athens and seeking to liquidate him. Although he wrote 'I cannot say that I have a special liking for military regimes, particularly in Greece the birthplace and cradle of democracy', he had still regarded whoever was in power in Athens as the government of the mother country. So he had found it 'absolutely inadmissible' that Greek officers had enrolled fifty-seven candidates for reserve commission in the National Guard whose names had been rejected by his Council of Ministers. The Archbishop asked for the 650 Greek officers staffing the National Guard to be withdrawn and ended proudly: 'I am not an appointed prefect or locum tenens of the Greek Government in Cyprus but an elected leader of a large section of Hellenism and as such I demand an appropriate conduct by the National Centre towards me'.

The Greek Government's immediate reply was to order the go-ahead to the conspiracy that had been long maturing against Archbishop Makarios. On 15 July 1974 the National Guard, led by its Greek officers, overthrew the Government, demolished part of the presidential palace and announced that the Archbishop was dead. He had however escaped to Paphos from where he was rescued by an RAF helicopter and taken to the Sovereign Base at Akrotiri. As far as world opinion was concerned the last straw was the man whom the conspirators installed in Makarios's place: Nicos Sampson, former EOKA terrorist and leader of the 1963 assault on the Turks of Ornorphita. If Turkey ever wanted to establish herself on Cyprus she would never have such a favourable opportunity again--the legal grounds of the Treaty of Guarantee, which could hardly be cited again if they were neglected now, the transparent intervention of the Greek Government, which was soon to be confirmed by President Makarios himself before the United Nations, the insult of 'President' Sampson. Ecevit, who was personally well regarded by western leaders, made the correct gesture by flying to London to invite Britain's cooperation as co-guarantor. The British Government were placed before a difficult choice. If it did not act under Article IV of the Treaty of Guarantee it would seem to be giving the go-ahead to the Turks. But there were only effectively 3000 troops available on the Sovereign Bases and the ability of this small force to overthrow Sampson and restore Makarios seemed dubious; lacking even more was the political will to take a gamble on it. There was the undoubted fear of getting once more caught up in the tears and fury of Cypriot politics and guerrilla warfare if Britain acted alone, even with Makarios on the same side, while if Britain opted to intervene jointly with the Turks the chances of misrepresentation of British motives among Greeks and Greek Cypriots would be infinite. One difficulty was that the Treaty contemplated intervention solely to restore the 1960 constitution; and even in 1964 Britain had attempted no such thing. Another and by far the most serious problem was that the United States was not for the time being a fully functioning power, as President Nixon, bowed down by the Watergate scandal, was moving into the last three weeks of his administration. Kissinger was not really concentrating on the problem; and British action was not realistically to be expected without strong American backing. In any case, the American Administration considered Turkey to be the more essential ally of the two and Makarios as the kind of ruler whom no one should be in a hurry to restore. C Still, many Britons were left feeling uncomfortably that, in a situation in which Britain's reputation and treaty obligations were involved, something more enterprising should have been attempted. This was subsequently to be the vigorously expressed view of the House of Commons Select Committee on Cyprus.

On 18 July Ecevit sent Athens an ultimatum calling for the resignation of Sampson, the withdrawal of the Greek officers of the Cypriot National Guard and firm pledges of Cyprus' independence. The junta were foolishly confident that America would, as before, stop the Turks from using force and sent an equivocal answer. What Ecevit called 'the peace operation' then went forward. Under cover of aerial bombardment and with the use of napalm, Turkish troops made an assault landing near Kyrenia at dawn on 20 July and met with fierce resistance. When they occupied Greek Cypriot villages the way they were alleged to have treated the civilians spread terror along the path of their future advance. The European Commission on Human Rights, which was denied the chance by Turkey of investigating Cyprus's subsequent charges fully (on the ground that the Government of Cyprus, not being a legal government, could not bring charges) found 'very strong indications' that the Turks had committed a number of mass murders of civilians. There was also plentiful evidence of how thoroughly they looted property. By the time the UN Security Council was able to obtain a cease-fire on the 22 July they had only secured a narrow corridor between Kyrenia and Nicosia, which they succeeded in widening during the next few days in violation of the cease-fire. They had achieved this at the expense of exposing the Turkish enclaves around Cyprus to instant occupation, or in the case of Famagusta to siege, by highly excitable young men of the National Guard and EOKA B who regarded the enclaves as Trojan horses and in some cases took a brutal revenge on Turkish Cypriot families.

In Athens Brigadier Ioannides wanted to attack Turkey on all fronts but his fellow officers in the junta, many of whom outranked him, declared it impossible. The junta collapsed and handed over power to civilians under Constantine Karamanlis. In Nicosia Sampson had given up the usurped Presidency in favour of Makarios's constitutional deputy, Glafkos Clerides.

James Callaghan, the British Foreign Secretary, summoned a conference of the three guarantor powers to Geneva. There they issued a declaration that the Turkish occupation zone should not be extended, that the Turkish enclaves should immediately be evacuated by the Greeks, and that a further conference should be held at Geneva with the two Cypriot communities present to restore peace and re-establish constitutional government. In advance of this they made two observations, one upholding the 1960 constitution, the other appearing to abandon it. They called for the Turkish Vice-President to resume his functions, but they also noted 'the existence in practice of two autonomous administrations, that of the Greek Cypriot community and that of the Turkish Cypriot community'. However, massive Turkish reinforcements continued to arrive, more Greek Cypriot villages were occupied and their inhabitants driven out, or, it was claimed, taken to Turkey as prisoners, and Turkish enclaves remained either occupied and looted or besieged and shelled.

By the time that the second Geneva conference met in August, international sympathy-- which had been with the Turks in their first attack--was swinging back towards Greece now that she had restored democracy. At the conference there was a curious reversal of roles: Clerides, taking Turkey's claim to have acted under the Treaty of Guarantee at its face value, asked for the full restoration of the 1960 constitution. But the Turks and Turkish Cypriots were no longer speaking in that language. Denktash and the Turkish Foreign Minister, Professor Turan Günes, took the view that the new crisis disproved the assumption made after 1967 that enosis was dead. The Turkish Cypriots had been made to feel unwanted in Cyprus, so, it was said, it was now essential to have a geographical federation of two autonomous zones, of which the Turkish zone would occupy the northern 34% of the island. The Turkish Cypriots would then have an adequate sense of security and a reliable guarantee against enosis since, if there were again to be any move towards union with Greece, they would then be in a position to achieve partition. Horrified at what Callaghan is said to have described as the creation of two separate states within a Cyprus turned into a refugee camp, Clerides called the Greeks the true minority who needed protection. Although they were a majority on the island they were a small and defenceless minority in the strategically relevant area, given Turkey's geographical proximity and military might. Told by Callaghan that he must suggest something, Clerides filed a plan for a bicommunal constitution based or the work of the intercommunal talks about autonomous Greek, Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot administration of groups of villages. On 13 August the Turks demanded that either their main plan or a new version produced by Professor Günes under which the Turkish federal zone would be divided between six cantons in different parts of the island but would still add up to 34% must be accepted in principle that night without further delay. Under extreme pressure to yield the principle of federation to save Cyprus from a further invasion Clerides asked for 36 to 48 hours to consult with Athens, with Greek Cypriot community leaders, and also with Archbishop Makarios who was in London. (Clerides also contacted a Soviet diplomat and asked him for a limited Russian military presence on Cyprus as a deterrent to Turkish attack. When he had first raised this idea with the Soviet Ambassador before he had left Nicosia. the Russian had asked whether the request had been cleared with the Americans; nothing further was heard from Moscow.) To Callaghan's extreme indignation the Turkish Foreign Minister denied Clerides that opportunity on the grounds that Makarios and others would notoriously use it to play for still more time. The truth was that the Ecevit Government's political position was precarious and that the Turkish Army, feeling itself awkwardly confined in its existing corridor, would not wait. An hour and a half after the conference broke up the new Turkish attack began. It rapidly occupied even more than was asked for at Geneva. Thirty-six-and a-half per cent of the land came under Turkish occupation reaching as far south as the Louroujina salient which now bisects the main road from Larnaca to Nicosia, forcing a diversion. This Turkish action created the basic political circumstances of Cyprus today. It brutally transformed the situation from an argument over how the intermingling of two different populations was to be regulated--by minority rights, by power-sharing, or by devolution--into a different kind of argument, one about what sort of federal link could be built between territorially separate communities.

The consequences of 1974

The effect on the Greek Cypriot population of what had happened was traumatic. Out of a total community of 500,000 some 180,00 were refugees. Callaghan's nightmare of the island as a gigantic refugee camp had come true. The reputation of the 'terrible Turk' went ahead, fed by rumours of what had happened in July; as in the case of the Palestinian Arabs in 1948-9 the Greek Cypriots left their homes instantly and fled at word of the Turks' approach. One cannot blame them but the Turks would have been faced with a real problem if in the mass they had stayed. Nothing more was heard about the precisely limited objectives originally attributed to the Turkish 'peace operation'.
As for the human cost of the two operations the Greek Cypriots afterwards collected records of 1619 missing people, half of them unarmed civilians, about whom it was claimed that there was definite evidence that they had been in Turkish hands and in some cases had been taken to the Turkish mainland. The Turkish Cypriots say that some of these were in probability killed in violence done by Greeks to Greeks at the time of the coup against Makarios. By the beginning of 1984 the discussion of these cases and their investigation had got no further than the procedural stages; and the chances of any of the people being still alive must be slender. The Turkish Cypriots in their turn naturally recall the deadly incidents of retaliation by armed Greek Cypriots on Turkish Cypriot villagers in August 1974, for example in the mixed village of Tokhni, where all the Turkish menfolk of any age who could be found were shot. Other mass graves contain, according to the memorial which the Turkish Cypriots have raised, the bodies of the families of Aloa. Sandalaris and Maratha.

Clerides and Denktash met again after the fighting was over and by the following year had negotiated an agreement by which Turkish Cypriots, who had been attempting with great difficulty to leave for the north, were allowed to do so. In return the 10,000 or so Greek Cypriots who had stayed in the north were to be allowed to go on doing so and be joined by family members from the south with minority rights safeguarded or to leave if they genuinely wanted to. Oddly, the Turkish Cypriots subsequently termed this an 'Exchange of Populations Agreement'-- a phrase no doubt intended to stir echoes of the Lausanne Treaty (1923) and the permanent nature of its demographic decisions. But no such language was in the 1975 agreement. In fact, though, the Greek Cypriots in the north nearly all left in the next few years. Apart from specific claims of harassment, life, in the circumstances, was no doubt uncomfortable for them. So that there are now only 829 Greeks in the north--mainly in two villages in the Karpas. There are about 130 Turks in the south. These groups are regularly visited by UN staff who provide relief supplies of food, clothing and oil, and deliver mail.

With these small exceptions what has in effect happened as been the transformation of the island into two mono-ethnic zones, with an impassable (to most Cypriots) barrier between them running across the island and right through the middle of the walled city of Nicosia. That barrier is kept in place by the UN, who maintain and police a buffer zone, generally two to four and a half miles wide but narrowing down to 20 metres in the walled city itself, between the two front lines that run for 112 miles across the island with 139 observation posts, 71 of them permanently manned. Foreign visitors can cross the border from south to north provided that they return to a hotel in the south the same day. Visitors who are staying on the Turkish side may not cross the other way (because, according to the Cyprus Government's rules they will have entered the country illegally), though pre-1974 foreign residents can. Journalists in general can cross (though certain restrictions are sometimes put on those coming to the north from the south).

The problem of the barrier for the Greek Cypriots is both material and psychological. As the Kyrenian hills loom over Nicosia it is natural for a Greek Cypriot to gesture in the direction from which he fears that one day the Turks will be coming to swallow up the rest of Cyprus. The belief that Turkey is intrinsically an expansionist country is nowadays widely expressed. Whereas the Turkish Cypriot community used to fear being swallowed up by Greece the reverse case is now a deeply felt psychological factor. On the Greek Cypriot side one hears no call for enosis--the geopolitical lesson has been learned--but the Turkish Cypriots are so isolated from contact with Greeks that they find this very difficult to accept. The vast majority of the refugees from the north were not townsmen but came from villages with close-knit kinship ties and attachments to the land and their orange and lemon groves. Those who were able boarded with relatives and friends in the south. The rest had to be accommodated in light shacks made of plywood and gypsum looking very like rabbit-hutches and desperately cold and draughty in winter....

Greeks and Greek Cypriots drew some lessons from their traumatic experience in 1974. The first was to blame the United States, on whom they both had relied to save them in the final analysis, from the Turks ever turning threats into reality. C There were anti-American riots in Nicosia on 19 August in the course of which the new American Ambassador was killed. In Greece Karamanlis, whose initial instinct during the fighting had been to send in Greek troops and had even asked Britain fruitlessly to protect the convoy that would carry them, had been compelled by his military-- themselves sulking after their political overthrow--to abandon any such idea. He therefore pulled Greece out of the integrated NATO command, though not out of the alliance itself. Henry Kissinger was accused of having first supported the junta in power and then having 'tilted' in favour of the Turks during the actual clash by refraining from addressing them in the harsh manner that Lyndon Johnson had in 1967. It was argued that Turkey would never have had the strength and capacity to invade if it had not been for the large supply of American weapons that were intended for deterrence against the Soviet Union. On these grounds the American Congress, which was at that time exploiting the weakness of the Presidency immediately after Watergate, imposed an arms embargo on Turkey. The sponsors hoped to influence the course of subsequent negotiations. But the ban was lifted partially in October 1975 and totally repealed in September 1978.

Internationally the Cyprus issue has continued to be dealt with at several levels. At the level of United Nations debates and Non-Aligned Summit meetings Greece and the Cyprus Government could now count on receiving either unanimity or overwhelming majorities in favour of resolutions calling on 'foreign armed forces' and 'foreign military personnel' to leave and all refugees to be allowed to return to their homes in safety. At the NATO level the issue became even more complicated because Cyprus ceased to be alone in the dossier of grievances between Greece and Turkey arising from the Greek theory of a 'political continuum' between mainland Greece and her islands. The Greeks began actively promoting their case that Greek islands, including those close to Turkey's front doorstep, had claims to the continental shelf of the Aegean every bit as valid as those of the Greek mainland. This would Hellenize practically the whole shelf, with its potential for offshore oil, whereas the Turks wanted to split the shelf down the middle of the Aegean, which would have the effect of placing 130 inhabited Greek islands within a Turkish zone of exclusive economic rights. Likewise there were disputes over territorial limits and over the control of air space. As a direct consequence of events in Cyprus, the Greeks stationed troops on the Eastern Aegean islands that were labelled as demilitarized by the Treaties of Lausanne (1923), which the Greeks say was rendered obsolete by the subsequent Treaty of Montreux, and of Paris (1947) which concerned the Dodecanese. These are now confronted by the powerful Fourth Aegean Army which the Turks have massed on the mainland opposite, heavily equipped and trained in amphibious warfare. Thus, instead of Cyprus being an exception, though admittedly a very conspicuous and distressing one, to the general condition of Greco-Turkish friendship, it had now become one among a whole range of potential flashpoints of hostility between the two.
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Postby insan » Fri May 14, 2004 11:10 am

The Makarios- Denktash guidelines

The chief lesson the Greek Cypriots learned domestically from the 1974 experience was that of geography: that the weight of neighbouring Turkey in their little island was inevitably going to be greater than they had hitherto blithely imagined. They did not come by this conclusion rapidly and may not yet have come to it sufficiently. There have, after all, been terrible experiences to absorb.
Glafkos Clerides tried to move fast while he was still Acting President. He declared in a speech in Nicosia on 6 November 1974 that Greek thinking had been based on 'false assumptions, terrible mistakes and illusions', the main one of which was 'that we could treat the Turkish Cypriot community as a simple minority without taking into account that it was backed by Turkey with a population of 33 million'. He openly acknowledged that it would be necessary to accept federation with the Turkish Cypriots. Archbishop Makarios returned to Cyprus on 7 December 1974 and immediately resumed the Presidency, declaring that Clerides had 'demonstrated an over-enthusiasm for making concessions'. The Turkish Cypriots then proclaimed 'the Turkish Federated State of Kibris' (Cyprus), of which Rauf Denktash, who had all along been easily the ablest of the Turkish Cypriot leaders, was elected President. The theory was that this was a unit-in-waiting of a still-to-be-formed Federation and that in a just (to the Turks) world the universally recognized Government of Cyprus would have no higher status. Until November 1983 when the Turkish Cypriots proclaimed their independence, they were not therefore in the business of seeking diplomatic recognition

After several ineffective rounds of negotiations under UN auspices, Archbishop Makarios and Rauf Denktash met twice at UN headquarters in Nicosia in February 1977 and agreed on four guidelines for future negotiations that taken together represented a marked departure from previous Greek Cypriot positions. Makarios confirmed his acceptance of the idea of a Federal Republic, which should be independent, non-aligned (about which, interestingly enough, there seems by this time to have been no difficulty on either Cypriot side, Turkish or Greek) and bicommunal. Secondly, he agreed to the proportions of territory 'under the administration of each community' being discussed 'is the light of economic viability or productivitv and land-ownership' rather than, inferentially, according to the population ratio. This suggested that it would be possible to arrive at boundary lines by objective criteria. The third point dealt with one of the main embarrassments that the Turks had about an agreement. They are a small and economically weak community. If a federation were to guarantee the full range of human rights mentioned in the Universal Declaration and the European Convention there was a distinct danger that Greek Cypriots using their freedom of movement, freedom of settlement and right to own property would swarm into the Turkish area and swamp it commercially and perhaps in actual numbers. The Archbishop now agreed that in discussing such freedoms they should bear in mind 'the fundamental tasks of a bi-communal federal system and certain practical difficulties which may arise for the Turkish Cypriot community'. The final point spoke of the powers and functions of the central federal government being such as to safeguard the unity of the country. This was no doubt meant as a reassuring point for the Greek Cypriots but did not conceal the fact that major concessions had been made.

It may be asked why, if so much had been granted by the Greek Cypriots in 1977, there is still no agreed constitution. One reason is, probably, that a few months after the agreement Makarios died of heart failure. At many points in the past he had been responsible for delays and ambiguity but he was still immensely popular and he had now put his entire reputation behind this new policy, against the advice of many of his leading associates including Spyros Kyprianou, who was to be his successor. He could, it has been thought, have carried public opinion with him when the scale of the price it was necessary to pay for peace became apparent. A second explanation, much favoured by many Greek Cypriots, would be that Denktash did not from the start want a settlement. C He was, it is said, gradually getting his tiny kingdom into some shape, though still heavily subsidized by Turkey, and was not at all anxious to be swamped by Greeks.

Whatever the merits of that, a third reason is undoubtedly the fact that federation is not an easy form of government anyway and particularly not on a small island with half a million people, only two units, disputed boundaries and disproportionate numbers. There are in fact no examples of successful two-unit federations and a number of examples of failed ones, especially in the neighbouring Arab world. The slow motion negotiations that have followed since the 1977 agreement, with the parties being prompted and prodded into fresh encounters after considerable intervals mainly by the UN but sometimes by other powers, have been reminiscent of many other exchanges (for example, between Adoula of the Congo and Tshombe of Katanga) on the meaning of federation. One party, in this case the Greek Cypriots, who want a strong central government, accuse the other of producing a constitutional draft which is appropriate for a confederation and not a federation. The other party, who want a weak central government, reproach the first with seeking a unitary state and calling it a federation.

The Kyprianou-Denktash agreement
Under the Greek Cypriot map of a federal Cyprus, the Turkish zone would shrink back to 20% of the island, from the 36% occupied by the Turkish Army--though to be sure Archbishop Makarios hinted that this could be expanded perhaps as high as 25% if other features of the settlement were satisfactorily arrived at. This, explained the Greek Cypriots, should contribute to the Turkish Cypriots' sense of security because the majority of the Greek refugees wanted to return to areas that in this scheme would fall on the Greek side of the proposed line. The remaining 50,000, even if they all went back, would not be a threat to the Turkish Cypriots' predominance in their zone. The Turkish Cypriots did not appreciate this reasoning. They protested that all that would be left to them would be the mountainous area of the Kyrenia range and the coastal strip running to the north of it, and that these would not meet the criteria in the Makarios-Denktash guidelines of economic viability, productivity and land ownership. Indeed when it came to the point--and Denktash continually found reasons for putting off the production of a Turkish map which was not finally presented till August 1981--there were only comparatively modest corners of what the Turkish Army had acquired for them that the Turkish Cypriots did not find essential to meet these criteria. In his 'evaluation' made in 1981 of the intercommunal talks, UN Secretary-General Waldheim reflected wearily: 'The two sides' estimates of natural resources, land ownership, infrastructure, percentage of land under each side's control, number of displaced persons, differ... consequently there is no easy basis for an objective suggestion.' This is borne out most dramatically by the rival claims on land ownership. According to Greek Cypriot figures, which are derived from the Land Registry, the Turks owned at most 16.8% of the land (that is less than their proportion of the population). According to Turkish Cypriot claims they owned 33.8%. No working party has ever been set up from the two sides' experts attending the endless negotiations to resolve this astonishing gap.
Makarios's successor Spyros Kyprianou and Rauf Denktash, brought together by Waldheim in May 1979, reached a ten-point agreement which supplied the interlocutors with fresh opportunities for ill-feeling and deadlock. Talks were to be resumed on all territorial and constitutional questions on the basis of the Makarios-Denktash guidelines and of the relevant UN resolutions on Cyprus'. But, it was said, 'priority will be given to reaching agreement on the resettlement of Varosha under UN .auspices', simultaneously with the beginning of talks on the wider agenda. After agreement on the tourist paradise of Varosha had been reached 'it will be implemented without awaiting the outcome' of the other discussions. Under the following point (Point 6), the two sides were to 'abstain from any action which might jeopardize the outcome of the talks' and they should especially take measures to promote confidence, goodwill and the return to normal conditions.

Since Varosha was to have 'priority', the Greek Cypriots expected rather naturally that it would be taken first. But the Turkish Cypriots held that everything had to be taken together and that it was quite inconsistent with Point 6 that the Greeks should persist with their economic blockade against the Turkish zone. When the UN had arranged for a regular rotation of topics at monthly meetings between four different items, the Turks came up with a suggestion about Varosha which was unacceptable. According to the Greek side this would offer access only to a narrow enclave on the coast, permit only a very limited number of refugees to return and subject them to Turkish border control and administrative veto. In effect they would be managing the resort, which the Turkish Cypriots were unable to do for the economic benefit of the Turkish-Cypriot zone.

On constitutional matters, too, the drafts presented by both sides disclosed that the extent of the gulf had been little altered by the acceptance of a federal republic. Greek proposals emphasized that the Republic was 'one and indivisible', that it should be 'a federation and not a confederation', that there should be complete freedom of movement, residence and right to own property; that the federal government should have overriding powers in the regulation of taxes and of the economy, that residual powers should be with the centre, and that participation in all federal organs should be proportionate to the ratio of population. In the Turkish Cypriot draft most of the realities of power are in the hands of the two federated states. In the light of Cyprus' recent history of mutual 'mistrust and the inherent difficulty of organizing a two-unit federation, the Turkish Cypriots say that the best way of avoiding deadlock is to start the federal institutions on a modest scale with room for evolution and transfer of additional powers and functions as trust and confidence are built up'. The Turkish Cypriot emphasis is on the policy-making powers of the two federated states: even where functions are assigned to the centre they are usually to be carried out by 'co-ordinating' the activities of the states. Residual powers, almost needless to say, in the Turkish Cypriot document lie with the federated states. Whereas the Greek proposal provides for a presidential system at the federal level, the Turks want a Federal Council, with three Greek Cypriots and three Turkish Cypriots, elected for a four-year term, and the Presidency of the Republic circulating every year, in the Swiss manner, among its members, thus ensuring that in half the years the Presidency should be Turkish. Both sides have now switched to the idea of a two-chamber legislature, but whereas in the Assembly proposed by the Turkish Cypriots the two federated states are represented equally in both chambers, in the Assembly favoured by the Greek Cypriots they are both represented proportionately. . . .Finally, while both constitutional proposals contain guarantees of human rights, the critical rights of freedom of movement and settlement are in the Turkish draft made subject to legislation in each of the federated states.

In 1981 Waldheim, the UN Secretary-General, produced an 'evaluation', disappointingly incomplete, of these depressingly divergent documents, and made some suggestions as to how nevertheless to proceed. For example, in the case of the federal legislature he suggested that the upper house should have ten members for each community and the lower house one member per 10,000 of the total population. There was no suggestion as to how deadlocks between them would be resolved. . . .But Waldheim was not pressing his luck too far, since a fairly lengthy list of the really sensitive points remained completely uncovered. He was concerned to persuade the sides to inch forward.

In 1983 the new Secretary-General, Javier Perez de Cuellar, attempted to move forward by suggesting a set of options which he termed 'indicators', which the parties were invited to accept as a procedure for narrowing down the points of difference. In regard to territory, for example, it was suggested that the Turks should keep a minimum of 23% and a maximum of 30%. On the constitution, there should be a personal link between the federal government and the two provincial governments. Under the first option, a full presidential system, the President of the Republic would always be the president of the southern province (Greek) which would leave the Vice-President to be equally always the northern provincial president (Turk), in which case the members of the Council of Ministers would be in a 6:4 ratio. Under the second option, a President-cum-Prime Minister system, these two top executive posts should be held by the presidents of the two provinces in rotation (without it being yet said how frequently they were to rotate). Then with the Turk getting his turn in the Presidency, the proportion of Ministers was a shade more favourable to the Greeks, with a ratio of 7:3. The legislature should be as in the Waldheim evaluation, the only difference being that if there was no consensus about the lower house the ratio should be fixed at 7:3. In subsequent weeks and months the parties have been circling round these indicators, sniffing them, holding consultations with constitutional advisers, with the two 'mother countries', with the UN secretariat. The (Greek) Cypriot Foreign Minister, Rolandis, felt a sense of urgency to reach a political solution, a sense that time was not on the Greek Cypriots' side and that if de Cuellar's initiative were to be allowed to run into the ground there would not be a second chance. 'How will the Cyprus problem be solved then?' he demanded in his letter of resignation to the President (Sept 1983). 'With wishes, with prayers, with resolutions? Or with definite partition (if not a worse outcome), all due to our omissions?'

The intercommunal talks had been in suspense since May 1983 because of the decision of the Greek Cypriots, very much in accordance with the strategy favoured by the Government in Athens under Papandreou, to rally the declaratory force of world opinion by seeking a new resolution endorsing many Greek Cypriot points in the UN General Assembly. It was carried on 13 May by 103 votes to 5, with 20 abstentions by, among others, the United States, Britain and six other members of the European Community. It dealt on a plane of international morality, of Turkish aggression and armed occupation, of the right of refugees to return. This so antagonized the Turks and Turkish Cypriots that it brought the already languishing negotiations between the parties to an end. Nevertheless, on Denktash's initiative a summit meeting between himself and Kyprianou was being discussed 'for the purpose of clarifying the intentions' of both sides. Kyprianou was in no great hurry; he accepted for the following March" (1984). Then on 15 November Rauf Denktash and the Turkish Cypriot Assembly proclaimed the independence of the 'Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus'. Britain was quick to act as a guarantor power in bringing the move before the UN Security Council which on 18 November by 13 votes to 1 (Pakistan, with Jordan abstaining) said that the declaration was legally invalid' and should be withdrawn and that no state should recognize the new entity. The Council did not however meet Greek and Greek Cypriot demands for sanctions against Turkey. So far Turkey and Turkey only has recognized the new 'Republic'.
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Postby insan » Fri May 14, 2004 11:12 am

The Cyprus Conflict
The Main Narrative, continued

This final segment of the main narrative is by William Hale, a scholar at the University of London, and is excerpted from his book, Turkish Foreign Policy, 1774-2000.


Following his election as president of Cyprus in February 1988, George Vassiliou re-started negotiations with Rauf Denktash, the Turkish Cypriot leader, in 1990. These failed to get off the ground since Denktash insisted that as a precondition both sides should be recognised as having 'sovereign status'. This was unacceptable to the Greeks, who argued that the Greek Cypriot administration, as the internationally recognised government of the island, could not concede sovereignty to what they regarded as the 'illegal' Turkish Cypriot regime. Expanding this argument, Denktash began to speak of the existence of two 'peoples', rather than 'communities' in Cyprus, implying that the Turkish Cypriots had the right of self-determination, and that they were entitled to set up an independent and internationally recognised state. In his words, 'There is no single representative government in Cyprus and no homogeneous Cypriot nation, but two sovereign peoples identified on the basis of ethnic origin, language, cultural tradition and religion'.

With the two sides unable to agree even on basic principles, the 1990 talks got nowhere. However, during 1991, it appeared that a break in the log-jam might be coming from Ankara, where President Turgut Özal was anxious to improve his relations with the European Community and the western powers generally, and saw a solution of the Cyprus problem as an important step to achieving this. The election of Constantine Mitsotakis as prime minister of Greece in April 1990, in place of the hard-line Andreas Papandreou, was another hopeful sign for Özal, since it suggested that even if the two communities in Cyprus could not agree with one another, cooperation between Ankara and Athens might induce a change. Accordingly, soon after the Gulf war of 1991, Özal proposed to President George Bush that quadripartite talks should be started between the two mainland governments, plus the Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders. Comparing such a summit to the election of a Pope, he argued that an overall settlement could be hammered out in a 'marathon session'.

This idea was rejected by the Greeks, but it encouraged the UN Secretary-General, Boutros Boutros-Ghali to believe that a more flexible stance on the Turkish side could lead to successful inter-communal negotiations. After talks during 1991, the Secretary-General reported to the Security Council in April 1992, somewhat optimistically, that the two sides agreed on the shape of a federal constitution, and on the implementation of the 'three freedoms' accepted as a basis for discussion by Denktash and Makarios in 1977. Meanwhile, important voices in northern Cyprus - notably that of DerviÕ Ero—lu, leader of the National Unity Party, and Denktash's prime minister - began to question the whole idea of negotiating a federation with the Greek Cypriots, or ceding any territory as part of the deal. The application for full membership of the then European Community, which had been submitted by the Greek Cypriot government in 1990 without the support of the Turkish Cypriots, was another complicating factor. Nonetheless, Boutros-Ghali produced what was referred to as a 'Set of Ideas', designed to overcome existing differences, which were endorsed by a Security Council Resolution (No.750) of 10 April 1992. On this basis, Denktash and Vassiliou arrived in New York in June 1992 for 'proximity talks', in which they sat in separate rooms with the Secretary-General shuttling between the two. These lasted until 14 August. In spite of long discussions, the talks became deadlocked over the territorial division between Greeks and Turks in a future federation, and the right of the Greek Cypriot refugees to return to their former homes in the north. Renewed direct talks between Denktash and Vassiliou were held under Boutros-Ghali's chairmanship between 28 October and 11 October, but these failed to resolve either these or other differences over the powers of each community in a federal constitution.

Following the failure of the talks in 1992, prospects became further clouded by the election of Glafcos Clerides as president of Cyprus in February 1993. During his election campaign, Clerides had attacked the 'set of ideas', though it later became apparent that he would accept them only with significant revision. C To resolve the dispute in the Greek Cypriots' favour, he emphasised the need for Cyprus to become a full member of the European Union which, he apparently hoped, would put further pressure on Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots. Rather than making another direct attempt to produce an overall settlement, Boutros-Ghali then adopted a gradualist approach by proposing a series of 'confidence-building measures', designed to produce some areas of agreement which might later develop into a general reconciliation. These included, in particular, the re-opening of Nicosia airport, closed since 1974, to both the Greek and Turkish Cypriots, and the return to the Greeks of Varosha, the southern suburb of Famagusta which had been occupied by the Turkish army in 1974 but never settled by the Turkish Cypriots. These proposals were accepted in principle by both sides, but a protracted series of talks, which lasted from May 1993 until May 1994 under UN and then US auspices, broke down over the details.

Meanwhile, attention was diverted to the possibility of Cyprus's admission to the EU, with or without Turkish Cypriot agreement. In June 1993, the EU Commission's official Opinion reported that Cypriot accession would not create any special problems in the social or economic field, but that 'Cyprus's integration with the Community implies a peaceful, balanced and lasting settlement of the Cyprus question'. The Opinion was accepted by the EU Council of Ministers in October 1993, although the process then became stalled until March 1995. In the meantime, prospects for a constitutional settlement within Cyprus* dimmed further in July 1994, when the European Court of Justice effectively banned Turkish Cypriot exports to the EU. This prompted the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus's National Assembly to delete the reference to the possibility of a future confederation with the Greeks from the TRNC constitution, and reject the idea of further talks on the confidence-building measures while the judgement was in force. By the beginning of 1995 it was evident that the Greek government was determined to link its approval of the prospective customs union between Turkey and the EU to the question of the accession of Cyprus to the Union, irrespective of whether there were a settlement between the two communities first. The Greeks won their point in March 1995 when the Turkey-EU Association Council accepted the customs union agreement on the condition that accession negotiations with Cyprus would begin six months after the conclusion of the inter-governmental conference which was to review the Maastricht treaty. These negotiations duly began - though with a very uncertain outcome - in January 1998, with George Vassiliou , as the Greek Cypriots' chief negotiator, nominally accepted as the representative of both sides of the island.

During 1996-98, the seemingly intractable Cyprus dispute became further complicated by a re-eruption of direct conflict between Greece and Turkey, Turkey's worsening relations with the EU, and contemporary upheavals in Turkish domestic politics. In 1995 Tansu Çiller's government severely cut back the economic aid from Ankara on which the TRNC was dependent, but the end of the year produced a change of heart, when a 'Joint Declaration' was issued by the two sides confirming, among other things, that the impending implementation of the Turkey-EU customs union would not hinder Turkey's economic relationship with northern Cyprus. Later, the coalition led by Necmettin Erbakan which ruled Turkey between June 1995 and June 1996 failed to take any initiatives over the problem, although fears that Erbakan might come out against the official Turkish policy of working for a federation in Cyprus fortunately proved unfounded. Meanwhile, a bizarre 'battle of the flags' broke out between Greece and Turkey in January 1996, following a maritime accident at the uninhabited rocky outcrop of Kardak (Imia in Greek) which lies just under four nautical miles off Turkey's Aegean coast, and 5.5 miles from the Greek island of Kalymnos. The mayor of Kalymnos first planted a Greek flag on the islet, but this was then removed by a group of journalists from the Turkish daily Hurriyet, before a landing party from the Greek navy arrived to replace the Turkish flag with a Greek one. This incident - absurd as it seemed to outsiders - stoked up fierce nationalist passions on both sides, which were inflated by the press, since for the Turks it appeared to raise the possibility that Greece might try to claim sovereign rights over the whole Aegean. Fortunately, the risk of a direct armed clash between Greece and Turkey was avoided by rapid intervention by the American mediator Richard Holbrooke. However, attempts to widen this into a broader agreement over territorial rights in the Aegean failed. Positions established since the 1970s were continued, as the Greek side insisted on submitting these disputes to the International Court at the Hague, while Turkey, which evidently feared that the Court's decision might go against it, proposed direct bilateral negotiations.

A year later, in January 1997, tensions rose once more when the Clerides government announced that it had ordered a total of 48 S-300 air defence missiles from Russia*, which would be able to hit targets on the Turkish mainland as well as in Cypriot air-space. Military experts suggested that this would not substantially alter the balance of power in the island, which was still in Turkey's favour. Nonetheless, the deal was treated as a provocative challenge by Tansu Çiller, then the foreign minister, who threatened that the Turkish airforce would destroy the missiles, if they were installed. In May 1997, exercises by the Greek and Turkish airforces over the island again threatened to produce a direct clash. This was resolved by an agreed moratorium on overflights, which was broken only six months later. However, the installation of the coalition led by Mesut Yilmaz in June 1997 meant that there was now a government in Ankara prepared to mend its fences with the western powers, and hence with Greece. At a NATO meeting in Madrid in July 1997 the Greek and Turkish governments expressed a commitment to peaceful relations, respect for each other's sovereignty and existing international treaties. This was accompanied by renewed talks between Denktash and Clerides under UN auspices, first in Troutbeck, New York, in July 1997, and then in Glion, Switzerland, in August. Neither of these encounters resulted in any progress, mainly because Denktash objected to the expected opening of accession negotiations between Cyprus and the EU without any Turkish Cypriot representation. Meanwhile, the Turkish government reacted to the EU's 'Agenda 2000' programme, which left Turkey off the list of candidates for full membership, by signing a partial integration agreement with the TRNC on 20 July 1997. This provided for an economic and financial union between Turkey and the TRNC, and what was called a 'joint defence concept'. Any short-run chances of a meaningful dialogue with Greece, or progress on the Cyprus issue, were further reduced by the decision of the EU's Luxembourg summit in December 1997*, which confirmed Turkey's apparent exclusion from the enlargement process. As Christopher de Bellaigue suggests, 'At one ill-considered stroke, the EU had destroyed what leverage it possessed over the Turks.'

It was not until 1999 that more hopeful prospects began to emerge. In December 1998, apparently under intense pressure from the United States, Glafcos Clerides announced that the planned S-300 missile detachment would not, after all be deployed in Cyprus, but would instead be based in Crete, thus neutralising a potential point of explosion. The Greek government's murky role in the Ocalan affair, made clear after his capture by the Turks in Nairobi in February 1999, also produced a change of heart by Greece in its attitude to Turkey, illustrated by the dismissal of the hard-line and unpredictable Foreign Minister Theodore Pangalos, as well as the Ministers of the Interior and Public Order, immediately afterwards. The Greek prime minister, Costas Simitis, seemed anxious to turn over a new leaf in relations with Turkey. On the other side of the Aegean, Turkey's general elections of April 1999 resulted in the formation of a new government, led by Bulent Ecevit, which could take some more firm and critical decisions than its predecessors. In May 1999 the new Greek foreign minister George Papandreou took up an offer made by his Turkish opposite number, Ismail Cem, for a dialogue on bilateral issues between the two countries. This developed with a series of meetings during the summer and autumn. The agenda was mainly limited to uncontroversial questions, such as trade, tourism and environmental protection, but included 'cooperation against terrorism' (a reference to the Turkish demand for a definite end to Greek support for the PKK). C Controversial issues, such as seabed rights and territorial waters in the Aegean, were postponed until a later date, assuming that the preliminary discussions went well.

External and unexpected events also gave a boost to the detente. The Turkish earthquake of 17 August, to which the Greek people and government responded rapidly and generously, and the despatch of a Turkish aid team to help with rescue operations after an earthquake in Athens on 7 September, led to a dramatic reversal of hostile attitudes in the press and public opinion. In the diplomatic sphere, the possibility that the EU would reverse the Luxembourg decision of 1997, by giving Turkey clear status as a candidate for full EU membership, strongly increased the incentive for the Turks to reach an accommodation with Greece. To strengthen this prospect, the Simitis government appeared to have changed Greek policy, by supporting rather than actively opposing the principle of Turkish candidature. Of the various obstacles to be overcome, Cyprus was still the most intractable. At the prompting of a meeting of the G-8 group of industrialised countries plus Russia in June 1999, the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan tried to bring about renewed talks between Clerides and Denktash. This endeavour was strongly supported by President Clinton, in talks with Bulent Ecevit in Washington in October 1999. The main difficulty still was that Denktash was reluctant to re-start talks unless the TRNC's 'sovereignty' was first recognised - a demand which seemed to be quite unacceptable to the Greeks. This stand appeared to be supported by Ecevit, who insisted that 'the fact that there are two completely independent states on the island should be recognised', even though he admitted that 'diplomatic recognition may not be given'. On 13 November 1999 Denktash, who was evidently under strong pressure from the US and the UN on this point, agreed to join Clerides in proximity talks in December, even though he was not invited as the 'President of the TRNC' but merely as the 'Turkish Cypriot leader'. Even if the talks could be started however, the two sides remained far apart on the shape of a future settlement, with the Turks pressing for a 'confederation', or a looser form of re-union than the 'federation' demanded by the Greeks, who feared that the 'confederal' formula might give the Turkish Cypriots the right to opt out of a future Cypriot state.

In spite of the more hopeful atmosphere which was beginning to develop in 1999, the overall record of Greek-Turkish relations during the 1990s was a dismal one. Both sides seemed to be locked into uncompromising positions which they had held since the 1970s. Intervention by the western powers (mainly the USA) and the UN had prevented outright military clashes, but had not brought solutions. On Cyprus, neither side had openly refused to keep talking, but both realised that if negotiations were to produce results, then they would have to make concessions - territorial ones on the Turkish side, and constitutional ones on the Greek side. Given that the status quo was not entirely unsatisfactory for either of them, then both appeared to assume that the cost of retreating on some issues would outweigh the prospective benefits of an agreement. In this situation, a succession of weak and unstable governments in Ankara had allowed the dispute to drift on, fighting shy of taking difficult decisions which might have broken the deadlock, and unwilling to take the risk of putting pressure on the Turkish Cypriots, who continued to have widespread support in Turkey.

While some EU spokesmen had optimistically suggested that the prospect of Cypriot accession to the Union might act as a catalyst to bring the two communities together, all the evidence suggested that the EU's role had been counter-productive, since it had alienated the Turks, inducing them to dig in their heels, without producing greater flexibility on the Greek side. While the EU official held to the view that the accession of Cyprus might go ahead even if there were not a prior internal settlement, the legal validity of this was rejected by the Turks on the grounds that the Treaty of Guarantee of 1960 prevented the participation of Cyprus 'in whole or in part, in any political or economic union with any State whatsoever'. While Turkey did not reject the principle of Cypriot accession, it insisted that this could not precede an internal settlement, and should be simultaneous with the accession of Turkey. Against this, it was argued that the EU was not a 'State' within the meaning of the treaty, which was in any case drawn up in quite different conditions, and was designed to prevent either union of Cyprus with Greece, or partition, not membership of the European Union. Irrespective of these legal arguments, it seemed unlikely that the EU would readily accept Cyprus without an internal settlement, since this would set the de facto partition of the island in concrete. It was also doubtful that the Greek Cypriot government could carry out all its commitments as an EU member, if it still claimed sovereignty over the whole of Cyprus, but did not control the north. Given this situation, France and Germany in particular seemed reluctant to accept Cypriot accession if this were negotiated purely with the Greek Cypriots. Even though they did not fully support the Turkish position, they did not want the EU to import an intractable and possibly explosive problem. As Greek foreign minister, Theodore Pangalos had threatened that if the EU refused to accept Cyprus (however constituted) as a member, then Greece would veto the accession of all the other eastern European applicants, but it could be doubted whether Greece would actually wish to provoke a very serious conflict with the other EU members by doing this. It was pointed out that the EU had committed itself to starting accession negotiations with the Greek Cypriots, but not to concluding them, and an indefinite prolongation of the process thus seemed a possible outcome.

The continuing deadlock over Cyprus was a serious problem for Turkey, since this was the main point at which its policies clearly conflicted with those of its broader foreign policy interests to develop and maintain its links with the western powers, and avoid involvement in regional conflicts. It was the only important foreign policy issue in which it had virtually no external support. While the Turkish Cypriots might argue that, as a separate 'people' they had the right to self-determination, the international community was reluctant to back such claims, since they conflicted with the perceived need to protect agreed international frontiers and the territorial integrity of states. Upholding the claim also conflicted with Turkish policy on other issues, which rejected the Kurdish claim to self-determination, or the Armenian claim to Nogorno-Karabagh. No other state recognised the TRNC, including those with which Turkey had particularly close and cooperative relations, like Israel and Azerbaijan. Hence, insisting on international diplomatic recognition for the Turkish Cypriot state as a precondition for a settlement was tantamount to backing out of the search for agreement altogether (a point which Ecevit's previously quoted statement appears to have conceded). In Turkey's bilateral relations with Greece, the refusal to accept arbitration by the International Court was hard to sustain internationally, and President Clinton - generally supportive of Turkey on most international issues - was among those calling on Turkey to accept the idea. Admittedly, between 1997 and 1999, the EU had temporarily removed the main incentive for Turkey to settle its quarrels with Greece and the Greek Cypriots. Later, however, the prospect that there might be light at the end of the tunnel in its bid for EU membership suggested that some hard decisions on both these issues would eventually have to be taken if Turkey were to exploit its new opportunities.
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Postby insan » Fri May 14, 2004 11:13 am

1923 Lausanne Treaty; annexation recognized, and all claims to the island renounced. Turkish Cypriot (TC) delegation to Ankara to press for return of island to Turkey.

1925 Cyprus becomes a British colony

1930 Primary education put under direct British control; growth of Greek (and later, Turkish) identity, beginning of split between economic & cultural elites.

1931 Civil riots against British; constitution suspended.

1941 AKEL, the Cypriot Communist Party, formed

1942 Turkish Minority Association (KATAK, 1942), formed

1943 First TC trade union formed

B. Post-War Cyprus

1948 Winster proposals for self-government excluded self-determination; rejected by Greek Cypriots (GCs). TCs form special committee in response to rising GC demand for enosis.

1949 First TC public protest against enosis in Nicosia; two TC groups unite in Turkish National Party. AKEL switches from supporting self-government to support for enosis.

1950 Makarios III becomes Archbishop; petition for enosis in churches signed by 96-97% .

1952 Makarios blocks Grivas' plans for an armed campaign, asked Greece to make UN effort. Turkey and Greece enter NATO.

1954 British move of joint HQ of Mideast Forces from Suez to Cyprus; "never" statement from Hopkinson with regard to self-determination. In July, attempt to put Cyprus question before UN, defeated by Anglo-Turkish cooperation. In August, TCs hold mass meeting in Nicosia, and formation of "Cyprus is Turkish Committee" in Ankara, encouraged by PM Menderes.

VI The Struggle against British

1955 Armed violence against British begun by Grivas & EOKA. Küçük renames National Union Party as Cyprus is Turkish Party. London Conference: Britain invited Greece & Turkey to discuss problems, including Cyprus. Conference ended without agreement. Riots orchestrated in Istanbul. Gov. Harding cracks down on EOKA.

1956 Negotiations for self-government. Makarios deported. Violence & repression intensifies. EOKA targets police, GCs as well as British murdered. GCs in police replaced by TCs; some TCs are casualties of EOKA terrorism. Radcliffe Plan for self-governance rejected; first official reference to partition.

1957 Bombing kills one TC, wounding three; TCs retaliated. TC riots in Nicosia against British forces; seven TCs killed. Trade unions joint appeal for calm. EOKA cease fire, release of Makarios to Athens. TC demand for "taksim"; rise of TMT. Demand for Turkish army base. Governor Foot pursues new policy of conciliation.

1958 Plan for self-government postponed sovereignty issue; rejected by Turkey. TCs riot for partition. EOKA boycott of British, end of year-long ceasefire. Turkish Cypriot PIO office bombed, EOKA blamed (later established that TC extremists responsible). TC violence against GCs in Nicosia, 8 GCs killed near Guenyeli. MacMillan plan involving Greece & Turkey; some implementation begun. EOKA targets TCs; villages burned. Intercommunal ceasefire. Makarios announced he would agree to guaranteed independence.

1959 Greek and Turkish foreign ministers met at Zurich to draft treaties for independence of Cyprus. Averoff & Zorlu draft basic articles of constitution. Makarios & Küçük brought to London to sign without alteration. Treaties provide for guarantee of limited independence, British bases, Greek & Turkish troops to be stationed on the island. Makarios & Küçük elected president, vice president. Grivas retired to Athens. Cypriots disarm with some exceptions. Deniz (TC arms smuggling) incident.

VII The First Years of the Republic (1960-1963)

1960 Cyprus - an independent republic - established on August 15, Makarios president. Initial efforts at governing under the new constitution.

1961 Disputes over certain basic articles: separate municipalities, public service and Cypriot army ratio, taxes. TCs veto tax law.

1962 Failure to agree on separate municipalities; continuing gridlock and terrorism. April, murder of two Turkish Cypriot journalists, Hikmet and Gurkhan, who advocated intercommunal cooperation.

1963 Constitutional crisis after court rulings: taxes imposed but cannot be collected; ruling against both sides on municipalities issue. Akritas Plan formed. Makarios submitted 13 points for constitutional reform to Küçük to revise the constitution; rejected by Turkey.

VIII Constitutional Breakdown and Intercommunal Conflict (1963-1967)

1963 Dec 21, intercommunal violence explodes. Truce force set up with British troops, Greek & Turkish liaison officers. Ceasefire after Turkish jets buzzed Nicosia. Casualties in first ten days (known dead & missing presumed dead): TCs, 136, GCs 30.

1964 January, London Conference. British, US efforts to create NATO force. Makarios announces abrogation of treaties (then backs away); TCs want partition. Denktash summoned to Ankara, return to Cyprus barred until 1968. NATO plan rejected by Makarios. February, brutal attacks on TC civilians in Limassol. March, UNFICYP established; British troops on island seconded to UN force. National Guard put under command of Greek army general. Some 20,000 TCs flee areas where violence occurred, taking refuge in enclaves; some Turkish villages looted and destroyed. June, Turkish invasion threatened. Grivas returns to command Greek army contingent; expanded control to National Guard leading Greek commander to resign. President Johnson's letter to Inonu deterring invasion; Acheson Plan for "double enosis" proposed and rejected. August, arms & men imported by both sides. GC attack on and capture of TC villages in the Tylliria area in effort to control the coastline led to Turkish bombing of GC villages which included the use of napalm. Ceasefire arranged.

1965 U.N. mediator Galo Plaza issues controversial report, and is withdrawn.

1966 Talks between Turkey and Greece

1967 Military coup in Greece; secret talks with Turkey. Grivas orders attack of TC villages; threat of Turkish invasion; recall of Grivas & thousands of excess Greek troops. Provisional TC administration created in enclaves.

IX Divisions Among Greek Cypriots (1967-1974)

1968 Makarios re-elected overwhelmingly; acknowledges that enosis is not realistic. Restrictions on TCs lifted. Intercommunal talks began.

1970 EOKA-B attempts to assassinate Makarios; Georgadjis murdered.

1971 Talks deadlocked on local autonomy issue. Secret Greek-Turkish talks. Return of Grivas; EOKA-B attacks on GC left & supporters of independence.

1972 Intercommunal talks resumed and expanded

1973 Col. Papadopoulos overthrown by Ioannides in Athens

1974 Death of Grivas; Greek junta takes control of EOKA-B. Near breakthrough in talks, negotiators agreed on proposal for local autonomy. Turkish PM Ecevit statement stipulating federation; talks broken off by Clerides.

X Coup, Invasions, and de facto Partition (1974)

1974 July 15, Greek junta supports EOKA-B coup, led by Nicos Sampson, against Makarios; Makarios survives assassination attempts, flees to London; Sampson [email protected] takes power. July 20, Turkish military intervention. Actions, or lack of, by UK & US. Greek junta & Sampson regimes fall; Clerides becomes Acting President of Cyprus; democratic government returns to Greece. Ceasefire declared. Mid-August, Collapse of peace talks in Geneva: Second Turkish military intervention in August in which 6,000 die; Turks control of 37% of island; between 150,000 and 200,000 GC refugees take flight. Return of Makarios in autumn.

XI Deadlock and Negotiations (1975 - present day)

1975 TFSC declared. Intercommunal talks in Vienna; Vienna III agreement, partial implementation.

1976 Exchange of proposals, Clerides resignation.

1977 Framework Agreement between Makarios & Denktash setting parameters for a bicommunal federation. Death of Makarios; Kyprianou becomes president of Republic.

1979 Ten-point agreement between Kyprianou & Denktash; priority to be given GC resettlement of Varosha.

1980 September, military seizes power in Turkey, with US approval, for third time in 20 years; rewrite constitution to provide permanent decision-making role for military; stay formally in power until 1983.

1981 Guidelines for the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Cyprus. Committee on Missing Persons established with ICRC.

1983 Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus unilaterally declared. No country besides Turkey recognizes TRNC.

1984 Proximity talks on Draft Agreement, to be finished & signed at high-level meeting, Jan., '85.

1985 Kyprianou-Denktash meeting; draft initialed, not signed. In April, Kyprianou agreed to a slightly altered draft, rejected by Denktash.

1986 Denktash agreed to a new altered draft, rejected by Kyprianou. Exposure of Turkish military buildup triggered GC military buildup.

1987 May, EU protocol initialed.

1988 February, Vasiliou elected president. September, direct negotiations begun under UN auspices.

1989 Perez de Cuellar's summary of ideas for the basis of a comprehensive settlement. Vasiliou agreed to ideas as basis for negotiations; rejected by Denktash.. Vasiliou proposals.

1990 February, UN negotiations resumed. March, UN Sec.-Gen. definition of political equality. Talks abandoned because Denktash insisted on a "separate right to self-determination for these two peoples" in contradiction to the 1977 and 1979 agreements. May, TC elections won by Denktash. July, formal application made for EU membership.

1991 High-level meeting planned, Greece & Turkey to be included, but canceled in September due to lack of basic agreement on territory, return of refugees, and sovereignty.

1992 New UN Sec-Gen, Boutrous Ghali, says Cyprus a priority. Talks in NY begin midyear; Boutrous-Ghali "Set of Ideas" for a draft settlement accepted as basis for negotiation by Vasiliou but rejected by Denktash. Third round of talks in October suspended without agreement.

1993 February, Vasiliou loses narrowly to Clerides in runoff presidential election. March, confidence-building measures proposed, with negotiations for implementation to begin in May. Talks resumed; canceled in June when Denktash declined to respond to UN proposals.

1994 February, UN begins proximity talks to negotiate implementation of CBMs following confirmation of acceptance by both sides; disagreement over terms dooms effort.

1995 EU agreement to open accession talks with Cyprus. April, Denktash reelected in second round of voting. October, successful bicommunal events at Ledra Palace - open house on UN's 50th drew over 5,000, more than half were TCs, & bicommunal friendship concert, over 1000 attending.

1996 UN special representative met with leaders of both communities. August, bikers' demonstration on Green Line; two GCs killed.

1997 Clerides orders Russian S-300 missiles; Turkey makes threats against deployment. May, bicommunal concert draws 3,000; protest by a few GCs became violent. July, Clerides, Denktash met for 5 days of UN-sponsored talks in Troutbeck, NY; August meetings in Glion, Switzerland. Further talks canceled after dispute on UN proposals, and Denktash objections to application to join EU.

1998 EU accession negotiations opened. Denktash said that TCs would unite with Turkey if Cyprus joins EU. Formalized association accord signed in 1997; joint economic zone announced. GC election gives narrow victory for Clerides; December, Clerides agrees not to deploy Russian missiles; to be sent to Crete instead.

1999 Earthquakes in Turkey, Greece lead to warming of relations between countries. December, UN-sponsored indirect talks in NY end without progress, but will continue. Turkey given candidate status for EU; must change its relations with Cyprus to achieve full membership.

2000 Negotiations continued without result. Denktash re-elected in disputed process. July reunion of hundreds of former GC & TC villagers at Pergamos. Talks end in November with no progress.

2002-03 UN Secretary General Kfi Annan and Special Representative Alvaro DeSoto present a plan* for the island's partial reunification; both sides essentially reject the Plan.

2003, Spring The Green Line is opened by the Turkish Cypriot administration and the Greek side also allows unfettered access between north and south. Some 2 million people pass across the line during the remainder of 2003 without incident.
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Postby insan » Fri May 14, 2004 11:15 am

The role of the United States in the events of July 1974 are among the most contentious still remaining. Many Greek Cypriots believe that the American secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, sided first with the rogue regime under Nicos Sampson, and then sided with the Turkish government in its decision to intervene militarily. Law-abiding supporters of Makarios thus feel buffeted on two scores, and this view is backed by anecdote and inclination. The latter is twofold: the U.S. had, in its longtime policy of anti-communism, welcomed the 1967 coup in Athens, and had been very bumptious with Makarios because of his role as a leader of the non-aligned movement. This is apparent as early as 1964 in the memoir of George Ball, and it was quite obvious thereafter. This consistent policy of supporting anti-communists tilted Washington toward anyone willing to do its bidding in the long struggle against the Soviet Union. Hence, support for the Greek junta, and momentary support for Sampson over Makarios.

The attitude toward Turkey followed similar lines. Turkey was a stalwart ally in the Cold War. Much of America’s policies in the Eastern Mediterranean can be explained by this singular point-of-view, even after the collapse of the USSR. (The U.S. also gave tacit - - and maybe explicit - - approval of the military coup in Turkey in 1980.) A priority has been to prevent conflict between Turkey and Greece, which Washington has consistently acted to do, but this is also best understood in the context of the Cold War and the significance of preserving the southeastern flank of NATO.
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Postby insan » Fri May 14, 2004 11:15 am

In Cyprus in 1974, then, the policies of the United States supported, however briefly and tangentially, the criminal regime of Sampson, because he was an anti-communist in the Grivas tradition and he was installed with the help of the Greek fascist junta. When this became untenable, the U.S. backed off. It did relatively little to prevent the Turkish invasion of July, launched in response to the Sampson coup. When Turkey invaded for the second time a month later, this too earned a quiet nod from Washington, in that it did nothing much to stop it. A second variant on this theme is that Kissinger had foreknowledge of the Greek-instigated coup of July and the Turkish invasions, and did nothing to stop any of these events when a word of warning may have sufficed.
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Postby insan » Fri May 14, 2004 11:16 am

But one must ask, was there anything concrete, apart from verbal warnings, that the U.S. could do to stop the Greek colonels from attacking Makarios in July and the Turkish government and military from intervening in July and again in August? It is more likely in the first case than the second that such foreknowledge could have prevented the events from unfolding. There was a distaste for Makarios in official Washington, but that does not mean the U.S. supported his ouster in advance; a threat to cut off aid to Athens or to isolate the regime politically may have sufficed to prevent the coup in Nicosia. But it may also be that the junta, tottering as it was, would have pursued its reckless course in any case. One must recall that the creation of EOKA and EOKA B, the many plots against Makarios, and the Greek junta itself were not creations of the CIA, but creations of Greeks and Greek Cypriots themselves. They were the plotters and implementers of these heinous crimes. That America stood by is in some respects shameful, but not the root cause.

In the case of the August invasion, it’s highly improbable that even a little more could be done. Nixon’s presidency was in shambles, and there were far more important issues at hand - - Vietnam, the Israeli-Arab confrontation, and relations with the Soviet Union more generally, at a time when the U.S. president was close to a psychotic breakdown. (Nixon resigned one week before the second Turkish invasion.) Committing to a course of toughness and perhaps sanctions or a naval blockade against Turkey at that point was a very difficult task, and, in the view of American policy makers, hardly worth the possible repercussions.

The charges made against Kissinger and the United States are plausible, of course, which is why the notion of complicity or conspiracy is far from absurd. The U.S. has done in many regimes when it suited: Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, Chile in 1973, and so forth. Kissinger was a first-class plotter and dissembler, and he was capable of anything. The popular notion of U.S. involvement was articulated most intelligently in the 1998 book, The Cyprus Conspiracy, but the authors’ evidence is not strong. The main argument - - that the U.S. acted in Turkey’s favor to maintain its intelligence facilities on the British bases - - does not quite add up: those facilities, even if in some sort of jeopardy, were being superceded by other technical means. And the case rests on evidence of a Pentagon plan to deal with partition of the island, but the Pentagon has plans to cover virtually any eventuality, so the existence of a particular plan relating to Cyprus - - among many others - - is not evidence of American intentions. There are also suggestions, based on a remark by James Callaghan, the British foreign secretary, that Britain was contemplating a naval blockade to prevent a Turkish invasion, and the U.S. vetoed it. That is plausible, but it is hardly evidence of conspiracy when America acts in a restrained manner to forgo what could have been a very costly and even catastrophic naval action. [See reviews of The Cyprus Conspiracy.]

The United States improvised and did what it could, awkwardly and without ethics, to lower the possibility of a war between Greece and Turkey. That the island was partitioned was, in Washington’s eyes, an unfortunate but hardly troubling outcome. Perhaps this is the source of Cypriot anger---not because the U.S. did too little, but because it never considered Cyprus to be important enough to do more. It is impossible to say with confidence what might have occurred with more American pressure on Turkey not to intervene in August, but it is likely that Turkey would have proceeded anyway. That was in their planning, and they showed no signs of being restrained from something they felt they should have done many years before.
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