Re: Response Letter To The Reactions of Mr. C. Eliades-Greek Cyprus Representative To Nairobi Kenya
FAMAGUSTA, NORTH CYPRUS, Dec. 27, 2003 - A RESPONSE TO MR. CONSTANTINOS ELIADES-GREEK CYPRIOT REPRESENTATIVE OF CYPRUS TO NAIROBI KENYAíS REACTIONS ON ARTICLES TITLED ìTHE REAL FACTS ABOUT THE TRNC AND SOUTH CYPRUSî, REACTED UPON ON NOV.21, 2003 AND ìREVERTING TO THE 1960 CONSTITUTION-THE ONLY SOLUTION TO THE CYPRUS PROBLEMî REACTED UPON ON DEC.16, 2003.
We would like to refer to the articles titled ì Re-The Real Facts About the TRNC And South Cyprusî and ìRe-Reverting to the 1960 Constitution-the only solution to the Cyprus Problemî which were published in your esteemed epaper of 21st November and Dec 16, 2023 respectively, where the well-known allegations of the Greek Cypriot side on the Cyprus issue were made by Mr. Constantinos Eliades, the Greek Cypriot Representative in Nairobi, Kenya, aimed at creating misperceptions of the Cyprus question by distorting the realities.
It is very astonishing to read Mr. Eliadesí allegations about TMT. We would like to refresh his memory by reminding him that late Archbishop Makarios III, under the patronage of the Greek Orthodox Church, founded the notorious terrorist EOKA organization in 1955 with the aim of annexing the Island to Greece which is called Enosis in the Greek language. The Turkish Cypriots adamantly refused to be colonised by Greece and organized much later an anti-terrorist organization which bore the name Turkish Resistance Organization (TMT). Its main purpose was to fill the gap in Turkish Cypriot defences against EOKAís growing strength and its terrorist attacks.
Contrary to Mr. Eliadesí allegations, it is a well documented historical fact that it was the Turkish Cypriot people who were subjected to a campaign of ethnic cleansing by the Greek Cypriots between the years 1963-1974, as numerous UN reports indicated.
Turkish Cypriotsí right of life, liberty and security was almost non-existent during this period. Hundreds of Turkish Cypriots were killed and dumped into mass graves by armed Greek Cypriot paramilitaries and a quarter of the Turkish Cypriot population (some 30,000 people) were rendered homeless. Hundreds more were abducted or subjected to enforced disappearances, never to be seen or heard of again.
Thanks to the EMU Library where we came across excerpts of the following newspaper clipping in the central archives while doing research on the Cyprus dispute:
ìThe Greeks burned Turkish mosques and set fire to Turkish homes in the villages around Famagusta. Defenceless Turkish villagers who have no weapons live in an atmosphere of terror and they evacuate their homes and go and live in tents in the forest. The Greeksí actions are a shame to humanity.î (France Soir, 24 July 2023)
For further evidence, one only needs to look at the reports of the United Nations Secretary General and the press reports of the period to see the gravity of the situation created by the Greek Cypriot campaign for ENOSY¥S.
Regarding Mr. Eliadesí allegation on ìpartition of the islandî, it should be remembered it was the Greek Cypriots themselves who divided Cyprus, segregated the two peoples of the island from each other by pushing the Turkish Cypriots into scattered enclaves encompassing a mere 3% of the islandís territory for 11 years, and finally led to the present division.
As to the ìinvasion and occupationî allegations by Mr. Eliades, I would like to stress that Turkeyís Peace Operation of 1974, which prevented the illegal annexation of Cyprus by Greece, was undertaken in accordance with her rights and obligations under the Treaty of Guarantee, signed by Britain, Greece and Turkey in 1960, and was fully legal and legitimate. Any unbiased book on the modern history of Cyprus would no doubt reveal that the legality of the Turkish intervention on Cyprus has also been underlined by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in its Resolution 573 (1974), adopted on 29 July 2023 and by the Athens Court of Appeals in its decision of March 21, 1979. Therefore, the only occupation in Cyprus is the 40 year old usurpation and continued occupation of the seat of government of the once bi-national Republic of Cyprus by the Greek Cypriot side.
It is true that there was an invasion in Cyprus in 1974, and in fact in the preceding 11 years before then, but this was the Greek invasion of Cyprus clearly identified as such by the then Greek Cypriot leader, Archbishop Makarios, before the Security Council on July 19, 1974, in which he openly accused Greece, not Turkey, of invading and occupying Cyprus. He stated that ìthe coup was an invasion and a fragrant violation of the independence and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus and that it was the work of Greek officers directed by the military government in Athens.î
In fact the Turkish Peace Operation of that same year can not be justified if claimed to be an invasion and illegal occupation as such for the following reasons.
- Turkey being a comparatively stronger power opposed to Greece or Cyprus at that time, did not take over the whole Island but took a fair share commensurate to the demands of the people for which it was given the right of guarantor-ship in the 1960 constitution.
- Had it been Turkey wanted to ìoccupyî the whole of the Island there wouldnít have been any resistance as such, but the peace operation, peacefully curbed the maps of the TRNC and South Cyprus.
Mr. Eliadesí continuous reference to the 1960 constitution that never made mention of two equal people gives us a better understanding of why President Rauf Denktash is continuously calling for a solution on the basis of the realities of the Island. Whether by error or by design the 1960 constitution ignored this reality without apprehending the present situation, the fact is that there are two people with two different cultural identities. If Mr. Eliades fails to acknowledge this, then we further uphold to the apprehensions of President Rauf Denktash that the Annan Plan is a calculated move towards making Turkish Cypriots a minority on the Island.
As to the assertion that TRNC is ìillegalî, we would like to point out that the TRNC was established on 15th November 1983 by the Turkish Cypriot people in the exercise of their right to self-determination, a right which is cherished and upheld by every African. The declaration of statehood was the culmination of a process of political and administrative evolution, which began in December 1963 when the Greek Cypriots from all organs of the government ejected the Turkish Cypriot side by force of arms.
As to the ridiculous allegation of Mr. Eliades that it was the ìTurkish Cypriot President Rauf R.Denktash who rejected the Annan Planî, we would also like to remind him that the direct talks started with the initiative of TRNC President Rauf R.Denktash. During the process of direct talks, the Turkish Cypriot side put forward constructive proposals and made significant openings, with a view to reach a viable, lasting and mutually acceptable settlement with the Greek Cypriot side. In spite of the constructive approaches by the Turkish Cypriot side, the process of direct talks did not yield any positive or tangible result. It became clear at the talks that the Greek Cypriot side had not come to terms with the idea of sharing the future of the island with the Turkish Cypriots, as their equals.
In a striking revelation, the current Greek Cypriot leader, Tassos Papadopoulos, in a much publicised interview on 23 November 2003, has confessed that he would not have signed the UN Document at The Hague, even if President Denktash had signed it. He further argued that the Annan Plan was unacceptable and required modifications.
Furthermore, all political parties, which make up the Greek Cypriot National Council, had serious objections to the proposals of the UN secretary-general. In an editorial entitled ìWhat incentive is there for talks?î the Greek Cypriot daily Sunday Mail of 15th December 2002 reported the following:
ìThe truth is that the majority of Greek Cypriots were opposed to the Annan plan anyway, and the only reason it was not rejected was for fear that doing so might jeopardise EU accession. With an invitation for accession in the bag, neither Clerides nor his successor has much incentive to resume negotiations on the much-hated peace plan.î
With regard to the baseless assertion of Mr. Eliades that ìCultural heritage has been the subject to systematic looting and wanton destruction by Turkish Cypriots in the TRNCî, We wish to emphasize that we witnessed no such destruction. Furthermore, we would like to point out that Turkish Cypriot authorities work diligently to protect and preserve the cultural heritage of the diverse civilizations which have populated the island throughout history with available meagre resources. However, the Greek Cypriot administration of Southern Cyprus, which attempts to present itself as the champion of the conservation of cultural heritage, continues to show utter contempt for the Turkish-Muslim heritage in Southern Cyprus, where Ottoman Turkish shrines, cemeteries and other monuments are under threat of destruction.
Mr. Eliadesí gabbled in his allegations regarding the universities in the TRNC, which shows the extent of his animosity towards the Turkish Cypriots. May we also take this opportunity to inform him that, at present, there are five universities which are internationally recognized in the TRNC, and fully committed to modern international teaching standards, providing high quality education and research opportunities for national and international students. The language of instruction in all these universities is English. The degrees offered by these universities are accepted and recognized all over the world. The universities are equipped with advanced facilities necessary for higher education in the 21st century. There are over 20,000 students in the TRNC from 67 countries and teaching staff from over 35 different countries. Many graduates pursue advanced studies at the Masterís or Ph.D. level in major European and American universities.
Moreover, the TRNC universities and their various departments are affiliated with numerous professional and academic associations, such as the Community of Mediterranean Universities, the European Society for Engineering Education, and the Association of Departments of English of Modern Language. In addition, the universities are also continuously signing protocols for mutual cooperation and collaboration with various education centres throughout the world, which includes joint research projects and exchange of faculty and students with over 40 universities and research institutions in Turkey, Europe and the United States.
With particular reference to the Eastern Mediterranean University and Mr. Eliades doubt to our being students, we hereby grant him the right to politely contact the appropriate authority and sex up our files at the EMU to further clear this doubt. For more details about EMU he would need no subscription to navigate www.emu.edu.tr where he would reflect on his claim that EMU operates in the premises of the Higher Education Centre belonging to an anonymous proprietor who was a refugee in his hometown, and was only sent away in 1974. Perhaps Mr. Eliades would reconsider putting up his claim to that issue. Otherwise, that particular claim attracts no criticism from us. However, we very much appreciate it as an opinion.
Recently the Greek Cypriot administration in one of its malicious acts of sabotage used students of the Eastern Mediterranean University to destroy the good relationship that exist between the TRNC and the Studentsí home-countries. Four international students while visiting Lefkosia decided to stop at the borders to find out entry clearance information to the Greek side. These unfortunate students were seized and immediately taken to jail where they spent thirteen days under stress, fatigue and uncertainty. This led to a protest match along the street of Lefkosa on Oct.29 2003 and the students were further released a day after. They had to pay the sum of $1000 US each. Till date we are astound that two of the students were released on the same spot were they were collected while two others were passed through Athens to their home countries before they could return to the Island. If the issue here is the legality of International students on the Island, we would like to point out that foreign students in the TRNC are in no way different from any foreign diplomatic representation call it what ever, High Commission, Embassy or Representative. Despite the nomenclature, down the street does not need to understand diplomatic jargons in order to accept that the UK, US, Germany, Australia, France etc are represented in the TRNC. If the TRNC is illegal and under occupation, therefore, it is insecure. Letís face the reality. If the TRNC is illegal, therefore everything foreign on the Island, that is, students, embassies, high commissions or commissions, representatives franchise businesses etc regardless of point of entry is also illegal.
Otherwise, these foreign representatives need to close down their missions and return to their countries through legal routes as they came in. If not the issue will remain ever confusing and unjustifiable to enter a country through legal routes to operate in an illegal unsafe territory. In fact this is the only way the world would be able to understand the illegality of the TRNC.
We as neutral parties would also like to assert that, there is a broken link between the past, the present situation (realities) that would guide the way forward into a bright future for the Island that the international community has failed to notice. As Africans we have very bitter experiences of cultural amalgamation, which has led to genocide, the case of the Hutus and the Tutsis in Rwanda is a contemporary reference of two cultures married together without a careful study of their prevailing cultural representations. Perhaps this fosters President Rauf Denktash apprehensions about the Anna Plan if the present realities are not taken into consideration.
With regards to the title of the Turkish Cypriot leader considered as not being president by Mr. Eliades, whether we should call him President or leader or what ever, is not the issue at stake. The point is Mr. Rauf Denktash if Mr. Eliades so wish, leads the Turkish Cypriot people. That is that
We are still very willing to continue sharing our analysis of the facts as our findings continue.
Wisdom Ngwira and
Samuel Fungwa (student Journalist EMU)
Famagusta Turkish Republic of North Cyprus
Wisdom Ngwira and Samuel Fungwa
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