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The truth about the Cyprus problem > Beware of Israelis and Turks > II January 3, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Occupied.

The truth about Cyprus

EDITOR’S NOTE > The so-called, self-proclaimed illegal “Turkish republic of northern Cyprus”. The Northern area of the one and only Republic of Cyprus, is currently under Turkish occupation and military control since July 1974. The illegal self-proclaimed state is NOT internationally recognised. It is recognised ONLY by Turkey.

By Rachel Salomon   December 31, 2006
Rachel Salomon is an intern at the Representative Office of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, USA. Related Link >

In the article “What the world can learn from Cyprus,” published on December 19, 2006 in the Israel Insider, Joel Bainerman did an extreme disservice to the Israeli people by only portraying one side of the Cyprus conflict. Israelis are intelligent people. They deserve to hear the whole truth, not one-sided partial truths. Therefore, I feel that it is my duty to share with Israelis the other side of the story.

The conflict in Cyprus did not begin in the 1950’s with the British Colonial Office favoring Turks. The conflict in Cyprus began with an idea called Enosis, which is the unification of Cyprus with Greece. This idea was beginning to take root as early as 1879, when the British allowed Greeks to settle on the island in “patriotic communities.” As early as 1895, Greek Cypriots were organizing their children to march through the Turkish Quarter of Nicosia, singing songs about the slaughter of their Turkish Muslim neighbors.

These kinds of songs are taught to Greek Cypriot children to this day and they have a profound negative effect upon Greek Cypriot youth of today, as demonstrated by a recent violent attack upon Turkish Cypriot students in the English School in South Nicosia. Thus, the root of Cyprus’s problems are not colonial favoritism of Turks nor a Turkish “invasion” in 1974, as Bainerman would have Israelis believe, but rather a lack of tolerance by Greek Cypriots for the very existence of Turkish Cypriots living on the island and a disdain for granting them any kind of fundamental human rights.

From the very beginning, the Greeks were opposed to the idea of coexistence. The British provided Cyprus with a constitution that was not only agreed upon by both parties, but also provided for the existence of a Republic where each community would have equal rights and a say over their own population. The President would be Greek Cypriot; the Vice President would be Turkish Cypriot. Agreement must exist for decisions to be made. The Turkish Cypriots did not have total sovereignty over part of the island under the constitution, as Bainerman would have the Israeli people falsely think.

Bainerman goes on and on about Greek Cypriot suffering as a result of the coup that overthrew Makarios and from Turkey’s intervention, but he fails to mention that whatever suffering the Greek Cypriots went through pails in comparison to what Turkish Cypriots went through. It totally neglects to show that prior to the 1974 intervention the Greek Cypriots were orchestrating genocidal policies against Turkish Cypriots over a period of eleven years.103 Turkish Cypriot villages were completely destroyed and hundreds of Turkish Cypriots massacred and buried in mass graves by the Greek Cypriots.

Under the Akritas Plan, the Greek Cypriots sought to annihilate the entire Turkish Cypriot population on Cyprus. Greek Cypriots started this campaign of annihilation of the Turkish Cypriot people on December 20, 1963. This atrocious night is known as Bloody Christmas. Bloody Christmas is to Turkish Cypriots what Kristallnacht is to the Jewish people.

On Bloody Christmas, over 600 innocent Turkish Cypriot men, women, and children were ruthlessly slaughtered in one night. Journalists Rene MacColl and Daniel McGeachie described Bloody Christmas and the events that followed it as “too frightful to be described” and referred to the suffering of the Turkish Cypriots as “horrors so extreme that the people seemed stunned beyond tears.” The Washington Post reported on February 17, 1964, that the “Greek Cypriot fanatics appear bent on a policy of genocide.”

As a result of such grave human rights abuses, the Turkish Cypriots were forced to withdraw into small enclaves, where their fundamental human rights were severely restricted and they lived out their lives as refugees within their own country. They did not have access to most of life’s basic necessities, had no political representation, and were exposed to constant violence and harassment orchestrated by the Greek Cypriot leadership.

The goal of the Greek Cypriot leadership under Makarios was to force all Turkish Cypriots off of the island. However, the pace at which Makarios was going to rid Cyprus of Turkish Cypriots was not fast enough for some. This led to the Greek Cypriot National Guard overthrowing Makarios in a coup d’יtat on July 15, 1974. From this point on, things would go from bad to worse. Under the leadership of Nicos Sampson, the speed of the genocide would get accelerated. By the end of the month, the Wash Star was reporting that “bodies littered the streets and that there were mass burials.”

In the early 1970’s, the Greek Cypriot leadership produced the Iphestos Files, which outlines the elaborate details on how the Greek Cypriots planned to annihilate the Turkish Cypriots and put the Akritas Plan into concrete premeditated action, step by step. The Akritas Plan had an uncanny resemblance to Mein Kampf for Turkish Cypriots, while the Iphestos Files were like the blueprints for the Nazi Final Solution that the Greek Cypriots would almost succeed in implementing against the Turkish Cypriots. It is a historic fact that the only thing that prevented the full implementation of the Iphestos Plan was the arrival of Turkish peace-keeping troops on the island.

Instead of relying on Brian O’Malley and Ian Craig for information, Bainerman should have read “The Genocide Files” by Harry Scott Gibbons or read “The Cyprus Question” by Michael Stephen, who wrote for the British Northern Cyprus Parliamentary Group. These two authors give a far more accurate account of what happened than O’Malley and Craig, both of whom were accused by Daniel Pipes of giving journalists a bad name in the Middle East Quarterly in March 2000.

It was also incorrect of Bainerman to state that 650,000 Greek Cypriots were displaced as a direct result of the Turkish intervention, when in reality there are only 650,000 people in all of South Cyprus. Not all Greek Cypriots were displaced during this time period and it is not like many Turkish Cypriots weren’t displaced as well. According to a report from the United States Senate, 20,000 Greek Cypriots were forced to move from Northern to Southern Cyprus, while 34,000 Turkish Cypriots were forced to move from Southern Cyprus to Northern Cyprus. Although it is true that there were 194,400 Greek Cypriot refugees in Southern Cyprus, this was the result of the Greek coup d’יtat and not the Turkish intervention.

As ancestors of people who survived the Holocaust, the Israeli people should stand by the Turkish Cypriots, not the Greek Cypriots. Like the Israeli people, Turkish Cypriots have been struggling to live in peace but instead have been forced by their adversaries to rely on the armed forces. Like the Israeli people, Turkish Cypriots understand suffering and pain. Indeed, it is true that Israeli people share a lot of similarities with the Turkish Cypriots. However, this bond really does not extend to the Greek Cypriots, who like the Palestinians, have been known for sponsoring terrorist organizations, violating peace agreement after peace agreement, teaching their children how to hate, and deceiving the world with their fanciful historical myths.

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