The Best Cyprus Community

Skip to content

Erolz this is for you

How can we solve it? (keep it civilized)

Erolz this is for you

Postby insan » Wed Aug 04, 2004 2:27 am

It will be remembered that the first chapter of this study opened with a remark by George Mikes. Mikes is not a political scientist, or even a political journalist. He paid a short visit to Cyprus some time after the hostilities of December 1963 and recorded some of his observations in his book Eureka . Now it sometimes happens that a casual observer of a conflict, precisely because he is not committed to a theoretical point of view, nor is he concerned to establish a political preposition, may be able to see and record things which could be ignored or played dawn by a more sophisticated observer. Mikes visited a Turkish refugee camp outside Nicosia, at the village of Hamit Mandres:

It used to be a village of two hundred souls; now it has become a tent-town of 3,500 inhabitants. They are all Turkish refugees from a nearby village called Omorphita, and they all live in tents in indescribable filth, without proper sanitation, without proper food. There is nothing they can – or will - do all day except sit around and gape at each other... The place is a sink of filth and squalor, poverty and hopelessness... Your political sympathies may be with the Greeks; your human sympathies are with the Turks; not because they are more virtuous; simply because they need it more. The Turks can actually see their former dwelling-places from here, but the Greeks will not let them go back to their looted and half-destroyed village three miles away because these people are not people but a means to put pressure on the Turks and teach them a lesson. They are `traitors' and have only got their deserts. That, of course, includes the children under five. The Turks will not help these unhappy people either, because they are not people but a means to show the world how cruel, barbarous and heartless the Greeks really are. You thought, when you were young and innocent, that politics was about people. But you were very, very wrong. The Cyprus question is, in fact, heading towards a much-dreaded, successful solution, while people of Cyprus are rotting away in tents. You drive back to the bar of your luxury hotel on the Greek side, order a gin and tonic, discuss Russian pressure, or the rumoured rift between Makarios and Grivas, but you cannot forget that little Turkish boy of four who looked at you with his huge, black eyes and shouted an impish `hallo' to you, and who, you know, will go to sleep tonight with ten other people in a dark stinking tent. But you are a fool. You ought to think in terms of diplomatic notes and bases and Communist pressure and NATO and not in terms of little children.

What has become of Mikes's little Turkish boy of four, one may wonder. If he was alive, he was fourteen when the victorious Turkish Army landed in Cyprus in order (as anybody would tell you) to bring peace, and protect his rights and those of his family and compatriots! Did he spend all these years in the tent-town of Hamit Mandres trying to make some sense of the misery and bitterness around him? What has he been told about the causes of his condition and about his old home? Does he hate all Greeks - has he met any Greeks? One consequence of the July-August war is that Omorphita, along with 40 per cent of the island's territory, is now in Turkish hands. The Turkish boy and his family may have returned to their old home; or, again, they may have been sent to a nicer home somewhere else, perhaps in Kyrenia, which a Greek family has had to flee.

Now the balance of unhappiness and despair weighs heavily against the Greeks - 200,000 refugees, of whom some 18,000 have completed a whole year in tents in indescribable filth at refugee camps in Larnaca, Strovolos, the Achna forest and elsewhere. Now it is the person from Kyrenia who cries and longs for her lost home. A lost home is always remembered as the most beautiful home on God's Earth: the garden is always full of blooming roses; the bedroom window looks out to a magnificent vision of the violet mountains of the Pentadactylos range; and from the balcony there is a most amazing view of the vast expanse of the sea ° bright blue in the sunlight, dark grey in the evening – which begins at the rocky shores just down the road and extends forty miles to the north where, on a clear day, you can see the Taurus Mountains of southern Turkey rising in mystery. The significance of the forty miles to the Taurus was not understood until it was too late.

Refugees live with visions of their lost homes and lands, and they are not likely to put their faith in a State which is partly based on the fact of their displacement. If not enough people felt pride and loyalty to the first Greco-Turkish Cypriot State, is it reasonable to expect that a bizonal arrangement, if it implies a forced movement of some section of the population, will command popular support? If a bizonal Federation with a strong centre is the only hope for a peaceful and prosperous Cyprus, and so many Greek Cypriots do not seem willing to support a bizonal Federation, is there a hope for Cyprus? Is there a hope for the beautiful island of Aphrodite, the unhappy island of conflict and hostility?

Hope you enjoy ... I've learnt a bit more about the problem... :)
User avatar
Main Contributor
Main Contributor
Posts: 9037
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2003 11:33 pm
Location: Somewhere in ur network. ;]

Return to Cyprus Problem

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests