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Letter to the Editor of the Financial Times of March 16, 2016

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2016 03 17


the article on Cyprus written by Peter Spiegel and published in the "Financial Times" of March 15, 2016, calls for a reply.

Whoever bases ideas about the Cyprus conflict on a story of the island having been devided by the Turkish invasion of 1974, helps preventing the only solution promising permanent peace, which is recognition of two sovereign States of Cyprus. This is the only promising solution because of the claim for sovereignty over Cyprus including its Turkish inhabitants strictly pursued by the Greek party since the 1950ies until this day with utmost stringency and without the slightest consideration for the even vital interests of the Turkish Cypriots. It also offers the only chance of uniting the conflicting Greek and Turkish Cypriots in some sort of a federation, based on their equality and true mutual interests.

The Greek claim for ruling the Turks of Cyprus has no basis in history or reality. It is founded on nothing but the greater number of Greeks in the island and - if not expressly so - on their purported cultural, economic, and religious superiority. The majority arguments would entitle Turkey to claim the whole of Cyprus for itself because the number of Turks in the eastern mediterranean area including the islands close to its shores exceeds that of Greeks. And a claim of cultural, economic or religious superiority does not constitute sovereignty but is bound to produce civil or even international war. The Greek attitude has created and maintains the Cyprus conflict since it arose in the context of the nationalist movement of the 19th century. It reached a peak in Greek atrocities against Turkish Cypriots in the 1950ies together with the burning down of many of their villages in the island. This attitude was confirmed publicly by their Archbishop Makarios at the same time when he and the Greek leadership signed, and purported to agree with, a Cyprus constitution of 1960. This constitution was designed to establish a state of Cyprus (which had never existed before) on condition of sepcific political rights being granted to the Turkish Cypriots. While this constitution was guaranteed in an international treaty with Great Britain as one of the guarantor states, the Greek leadership believed that the West (including Britain) would allow them to get rid of the Turkish rights soon. This belief did not fail. When the Greek Cypriot signatories to the constitution did away with the Turkish rights at gunpoint in 1963/1964 (thus proving the republic of 1960 a failed state and a fraud, at best as a self-deception) and tried to break any resistance by fordce of arms, the United Nations Organization came to the aid of the Greek usurpers. The UN not only recognized an exclusively Greek republic of Cyprus but also its title to sovereignty over the Turks of the island, ignoring the Greek breach of the constitution of 1960. The poorly equipped Turkish minority had, however, bravely and successfully resisted Greek strife for sovereignty in parts of the island for ten years, suffering great hardships afflicted on them by Greek arms and by means of a Greek embargo, when, in 1974, a Greek military force tried to establish that sovereignty once and for all by invading the island. At this stage, Turkey as one of the guarantor states mentioned came to the help of the Turkish Cypriots, who were now able to finalize the creation of their own republic in the North of the island.

In view of the continued Greek usurpatory demand, the position thus created would constitute the solution of the conflict, were it not for continued international discrimination and an international embargo entertained against the Turkish republic of Cyprus. It is the position maintained by the UN (and by Britain and by the EU) that practically obliges the Greek conflicting party to continue their policy aimed at subjugating the Turks of Cyprus. Looking at the complete story of the conflict, it is most likely that the Turks of Cyprus and Turkey will never accept Greek superiority over Cyprus permanently. Even if Greek sovereignty were forced upon the Turkish side and even if it would be limited by another international agreement, there is no hope that the Greek conflicting party would not again use all its efforts and cunning to get rid of such limitations. On the other hand, the Greek conflicting party, should it lose the support of the United Nations or even of the EU or Britain, will most likely, in its own interest, give up its resistance against the establishment of the Turkish state of Cyprus, be it in return for some concessions to be made by the Turkish side. Therefore, the story criticised here is bound to prolong the conflict indefinitely and to lead to a return of strife and bloodshed in the island which is presently prevented through the presence of Turkish troops. Moreover, a resurgence of strife in Cyprus would endanger any peace that may be created in the eastern mediterranean area in the future.

(For more reading: vide, part of which is in English language.)

Sincerely Christian Heinze"

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