A Greek Cypriot view of the Cyprus Problem

No one can deny that the Turkish intervention in 1974 had some legitimate pretext to it. It “intervened” because forces outside the control of what was then part of the RoC (i.e. GC controlled) took over and were clearly posing a (potential) threat to TCs.

The junta, however, was not our choice, it was brought upon us and then facilitated the Turkish invasion. This facilitation happened in real terms on the ground while the invasion was happening. We have hundreds of dead soldiers and thousands of live ones who will testify about how the Greek army command delivered north Cyprus to Turkey. These people should have been executed for high treason. They are rotting in a jail right now.

So if the “intervention” was to restore legitimacy, it did none of that and the intention to move towards a solution was never there with exception of Turkish Prime Ministers Halil Turgut Özal and Recep Tayyip Erdogan (for different reasons).

The Turkish intention in Cyprus, I believe, was to divide the island, it was true back then and it would still be the case had the political scenery not changed so much. Turkey had considered the Cyprus issue “solved” for the better part of the last 35 years. There are numerous such statements made by Turkish Presidents. This new “diplomatic” face of Turkey, shown in Erdogan’s interview, is news to all of us (including TCs).

The changes Archbishop Makarios attempted to make in 1963 were in my view reasonable changes. It would allow the RoC to survive an unworkable constitution. The TCs chose to walk out in protest. However, I think Makarios was wrong to make this proposition at the time because the result was predictable. He was not very smart in that way as he was not smart in ’74 in ignoring the threat from the Greek Junta. He is partly to blame for the situation we are in right now.

We haven’t liked priests in Cyprus ever since; never mind having them involved in politics. This is contrary to what TCs believe about GCs.

The guarantee issue is one that is clearly a divisive element in any new constitution. It is unheard of in any state to have their existence depend on another. The A5 plan had no such provision.  GCs were stupid to vote regarding this issue in Parliament, the GC Parliament tried to pre-empt any such concession from the GC government. These were done for internal consumption and in a showdown between MPs and government. They did us no favours.

It has been mentioned that perhaps Turkey would be allowed to keep their guarantee status for three years and personally I think this might be acceptable. As long as the end date was clearly stated and adhered to.

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