Skip to comments.Attempted Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in Cyprus
Posted on 11/26/2001 10:55:04 AM PST by Turk2
|Attempted Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in Cyprus
By Michael Stephen, former British Parliamentarian (1992-97)
The assertion by Mr. Christides (May 10, 1999) that there was no ethnic cleansing or attempted genocide of Turkish Cypriots by Greek Cypriots is ridiculous. Until influential Greek Cypriots come to terms with the appalling behavior of their community toward the smaller Turkish Cypriot community and stop trying to persuade themselves and the world that each side was as much to blame as the other, there will be no reconciliation in Cyprus.
What did George Ball and Sir Alec Douglas say about the intentions of Archbishop Makarios vis a vis the Turkish Cypriots?
In his memoirs, American Undersecretary of State George Ball said: "Makarios's central interest was to block off Turkish intervention so that he and his Greek Cypriots could go on happily massacring Turkish Cypriots. Obviously we would never permit that. "The fact is, however, that neither the United Nations, nor anyone, other than Turkey ever took effective action to prevent it. On Feb. 17, 1964 the Washington Post reported that "Greek Cypriot fanatics appear bent on a policy of genocide."
Former British Prime Minister Sir Alec Douglas-Home said, "I was convinced that if Archbishop Makarios could not bring himself to treat the Turkish Cypriots as human beings he was inviting the invasion and partition of the island."
On July 28, 1960 Makarios, the Greek Cypriot president, said: "The independence agreements do not form the goal they are the present and not the future. The Greek Cypriot people will continue their national cause and shape their future in accordance with THEIR will." In a speech on Sept. 4, 1962 at Panayia Makarios said, "Until this Turkish community forming part of the Turkish race that has been the terrible enemy of Hellenism is expelled, the duty of the heroes of EOKA can never be considered terminated."
The Constitutional Coup
In November 1963 the Greek Cypriots demanded the abolition of no less than eight of the basic articles that had been included in the 1960 agreement for the protection of the Turkish Cypriots. The Turkish Cypriots, naturally, refused to agree. The aim of the Greek Cypriots was to reduce the Turkish Cypriot people to the status of a mere minority, wholly subject to the control of the Greek Cypriots, pending ultimate destruction or expulsion of the Turkish Cypriots from the island.
"When the Turkish Cypriots objected to the amendment of the Constitution, Makarios put his plan into effect, and the Greek Cypriot attack began in December 1963," wrote Lt. Gen. George Karayiannis of The Greek Cypriot militia ("Ethnikos Kiryx" 15.6.65). The general was referring to the notorious "Akritas" plan, which was the blueprint for the annihilation of the Turkish Cypriots and the annexation of the island to Greece.
Events leading to the sending of the UN Peace-Keeping Force to the island
On Christmas Eve 1963 the Greek Cypriot militia attacked Turkish Cypriot communities across the island. Large numbers of men, women, and children were killed and 270 mosques, shrines and other places of worship were desecrated.
On Dec. 28, 1963, the Daily Express carried the following report from Cyprus: "We went tonight into the sealed-off Turkish Cypriot quarter of Nicosia in which 200 to 300 people had been slaughtered in the last five days. We were the first Western reporters there, and we have seen sights too frightful to be described in print. Horror was so extreme that the people seemed stunned beyond tears."
On Dec. 31, 1963, The Guardian reported: "It is nonsense to claim, as the Greek Cypriots do, that all casualties were caused by fighting between armed men of both sides. On Christmas Eve many Turkish Cypriot people were brutally attacked and murdered in their suburban homes, including the wife and children of a doctor-allegedly by a group of 40 men, many in army boots and greatcoats." Although the Turkish Cypriots fought back as best they could and killed some militia, there were no massacres of Greek Cypriot civilians.
On Jan. 1, 1964, the Daily Herald reported: "When I came across the Turkish Cypriot homes they were an appalling sight. Apart from the walls they just did not exist. I doubt if a napalm attack could have created more devastation. Under roofs springs, children's cots, and gray ashes of what had once been tables, chairs and wardrobes. In the neighboring village of Ayios Vassilios I counted 16 wrecked and burned out homes. They were all Turkish Cypriot's. In neither village did I find a scrap of damage to any Greek Cypriot house."
On Jan. 2, 1964, the Daily Telegraph wrote: "The Greek Cypriot community should not assume that the British military presence can or should secure them against Turkish intervention if they persecute the Turkish Cypriots. We must not be a shelter for double-crossers."
On Jan. 12, 1964, the British High Commission in Nicosia wrote in a telegram to London: "The Greek [Cypriot] police are led by extremist who provoked the fighting and deliberately engaged in atrocities. They have recruited into their ranks as 'special constables' gun-happy young thugs. They threaten to try and punish any Turkish Cypriot police who wishes to return to the Cyprus Government... Makarios assured Sir Arthur Clark that there will be no attack. His assurance is as worthless as previous assurances have proved."
On Jan. 14, 1964, the Daily Telegraph reported that the Turkish Cypriot inhabitants of Ayios Vassilios had been massacred on Dec. 26, 1963 and reported their exhumation from a mass grave in the presence of the Red Cross. A further massacre of Turkish Cypriots, at Limassol, was reported by The Observer on Feb. 16, 1964; and there were many more.
On Feb. 6, 1964, a British patrol found armed Greek Cypriot police attacking the Turkish Cypriots of Ayios Sozomenos. They were unable to stop the attack.
On Feb. 13, 1964, the Greeks and Greek Cypriots attacked the Turkish Cypriot quarter of Limassol with tanks, killing 16 and injuring 35. On Feb. 15, 1964, the Daily Telegraph reported: "It is a real military operation which the Greek Cypriots launched against the 6,000 inhabitants of the Turkish Cypriot quarter yesterday morning. A spokesman for the Greek Cypriot government has recognized this officially. It is hard to conceive how Greek and Turkish Cypriots may seriously contemplate working together after all that has happened."
Further attempts for ENOSIS
On Sept. 10, 1964, the U.N. Secretary-General reported that "UNFICYP" carried out a detailed survey of all damage to properties throughout the island during the disturbances... It shows that in 109 villages, most of them Turkish-Cypriot or mixed villages, 527 houses have been destroyed while 2,000 others have suffered damage from looting. In Ktima 38 houses and shops have been destroyed totally and 122 partially. In the Orphomita suburb of Nicosia, 50 houses have been totally destroyed while a further 240 have been partially destroyed there and in adjacent suburbs."
The U.K. House of Commons Select Committee on Foreign Affairs reviewed the Cyprus question in 1987 and reported unanimously on July 2 of that year that "although the Cyprus Government now claims to have been merely seeking to 'operate the 1960 Constitution modified to the extent dictated by the necessities of the situation,' this claim ignores the fact that both before and after the events o#, December 1963 the Makarios Government continued to advocate the cause of ENOSIS and actively pursued the amendment of the Constitution and the related treaties to facilitate this ultimate objective."
The committee continued: "Moreover, in June 1967 the Greek Cypriot legislature unanimously passed a resolution in favor of enosis, in blatant contravention of the 1960 Treaties and Constitution." (Art. I of the Treaty of Guarantee prohibited any action likely to directly or indirectly promote union with any other state or partition of the island, and Art. 185(2) of the Constitution is to similar effect.)
Professor Ernst Forsthoff, the neutral president of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Cyprus, told Die Welt on Dec. 27, 1963: "Makarios bears on his shoulders the sole responsibility for the recent tragic events. His aim is to deprive the Turkish community of their rights". In an interview with the UPI press agency on Dec. 30, 1963 he said, "All this happened because Makarios wanted to take away all constitutional rights from the Turkish Cypriots."
The Failure of the UN and the others
The United Nations not only failed to condemn the forcible usurpation of the legal order in Cyprus, but actually rewarded it by treating the by then wholly Greek Cypriot administration as if it were the government of Cyprus (Security Council Res. 186 of 1964). This acceptance has continued to the present day, and reflects no credit upon the United Nations, nor upon Britain, nor the other countries who have acquiesced.
On Aug. 12, 1964, the UK representative to the United Nations wrote to his government in London as follows:
"What is our policy and true feelings about the future of Cyprus and about Makarios? Judging from the English newspapers and many others, the feeling is very strong indeed against Makarios and his so-called government, and nothing would please the British people more than to see him toppled and the Cyprus problem solved by the direct dealings between the Turks and the Greeks. We are of course supporting the latter course, but I have never seen any expression of the official disapproval in public against Makarios and his evil doings. Is there an official view about this, and what do we think we should do in the long run? Sometimes it seems that the obsession of some people with "the Commonwealth" blinds us to everything else and it would be high treason to take more active line against Makarios and his henchmen. At other times the dominant feature seems to be concern lest active opposition against Makarios should lead to direct conflict with the Cypriots and end up with our losing our bases."
Exclusion of the Turkish Cypriots from representation at the international fora
Thereafter Turkish Cypriot MPs, judges, and other officials were intimidated or prevented by force from carrying out their duties. According to the Select Committee, "The effect of the crisis of December 1963 was to deliver control of the formal organs of government into the hands of the Greek Cypriots alone. Claiming to be acting in accordance with the doctrine of necessity, the Greek Cypriot members of the House of Representatives enacted a series of laws which provided for the operation of the organs of government without Turkish Cypriot participation."
The report of the Select Committee continued: "Equality damaging from the Turkish Cypriot point of view was what they considered to be their effective exclusion from representation at and participation in the international fora where their case could have been deployed... An official Turkish Cypriot presence in the international political scene virtually disappeared overnight." It is not therefore surprising that the world has been persuaded to the Greek Cypriot point of view.
Atrocities of the Greek Cypriots
More than 300 Turkish Cypriots are still missing without trace from these massacres of 1963/64. These dreadful events were not the responsibility of "the Greek Colonels" of 1974 or an unrepresentative handful of Greek Cypriot extremists. The persecution of the Turkish Cypriots was an act of policy on the part of the Greek Cypriot political and religious leadership, which has to this day made no serious attempt to bring the murderers to justice.
The UK Commons Select Committee found that "there is little doubt that much of the violence which the Turkish Cypriots claim led to the total or partial destruction of 103 Turkish villages and the displacement of about a quarter of the total Turkish Cypriot population was either directly inspired by, or connived at, by the Greek Cypriot leadership."
The UN secretary-general reported to the Security Council: "When the disturbances broke out in December 1963 and continued during the first part of 1964, thousands of Turkish Cypriots fled their homes, taking with them only what they could drive or carry, and sought refuge in safer villages and areas."
On Jan. 14, 1964, "ll Giorno" of Italy reported: "Right now we are witnessing the exodus of Turkish Cypriots from the villages. Thousands of people abandoning homes, land, herds. Greek Cypriot terrorism is relentless. This time the rhetoric of the Hellenes and the statues of Plato do not cover up their barbaric and ferocious behavior."
The Greek Cypriots sometimes allege that it was they who were attacked by the Turkish Cypriots, who were determined to wreck the 1960 agreements. However, the Turkish Cypriots were not only outnumbered by nearly four to one; they were also surrounded in their villages by armed Greek Cypriots; they had no way of protecting their women and children, and Turkey was 40 miles away across the sea. The very idea that in those circumstances the Turkish Cypriots were the aggressors is absurd.
The role of the mainland Greek troops in overthrowing of Makarios
There were further attacks on the Turkish Cypriots in 1967. In 1971, General Grivas returned to Cyprus to form EOKA-B, which was again committed to making Cyprus a wholly Greek island and annexing it to Greece. In a speech to the Greek Cypriot armed forces at the time (quoted in "New Cyprus," May 1987) Grivas said: "The Greek forces from Greece have come to Cyprus in order to impose the will of the Greeks of Cyprus upon the Turks. We want ENOSIS but the Turks are against it. We shall impose our will. We are strong, and we shall do so."
By July 15, 1974, a powerful force of mainland Greek troops had assembled in Cyprus and with their backing, the Greek Cypriot National Guard overthrew Makarios and installed one Nicos Sampson as "president." On July 22, the Washington Star News reported: "Bodies littered the streets and there were mass burials... People told by Makarios to lay down their guns were shot by the National Guard."
Missing persons, what is the truth?
On April 17, 1991, Ambassador Nelson Ledsky testified before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee that "most of the 'missing persons' disappeared in the first days of July 1974, before the Turkish intervention on the 20th. Many killed on the Greek side were killed by Greek Cypriots in fighting between supporters of Makarios and Sampson."
On Nov. 6, 1974, Ta Nea reported that dates from the graves of Greek Cypriots killed in the five days between July 15-20 were erased in order to blame these deaths on the subsequent Turkish military action.
On March 3, 1996, the Greek Cypriot Cyprus Mail wrote: "(Greek) Cypriot governments have found it convenient to conceal the scale of atrocities during the July 15 coup in an attempt to downplay its contribution to the tragedy of the summer of 1974 and instead blame the Turkish invasion for all casualties. There can be no justification for any government that failed to investigate this sensitive humanitarian issue. The shocking admission by the Clerides government that there are people buried in Nicosia cemetery who are still included in the list of the 'missing' is the last episode of a human drama which has been turned into a propaganda tool."
On Oct. 19 1996, Mr. Georgios Lanitis wrote: "I was serving with the Foreign Information Service of the Republic of Cyprus in London... I deeply apologize to all those I told that there are 1,619 missing persons. I misled them. I was made a liar, deliberately, by the government of Cyprus . .... today it seems that the credibility of Cyprus is nil."
Had Turkey not intervened, what would have happened?
Turkish Cypriots appealed to the guarantor powers for help, but only Turkey was willing to make any effective response. On July 20, 1974 Turkey intervened under Article IV of the Treaty of Guarantee. The Greek newspaper Eleftherotipia published an interview with Nicos Sampson on Feb. 26, 1981 in which he said, "Had Turkey not intervened I would not only have proclaimed ENOSIS, I would have annihilated the Turks in Cyprus."
More attacks against the Turkish community
The Times and The Guardian reported on Aug. 21, 1974 that in the village of Tokhni on Aug. 14, 1974 all the Turkish Cypriot men between the ages of 13 and 74, except for eighteen who managed to escape, were taken away and shot.
There were also reports that in Zyyi on the same day all the Turkish-Cypriot men aged between 19 an 38 were taken away and were never seen again and that Greek-Cypriots opened fire on the Turkish-Cypriot neighborhood of Paphos killing men, women, and children indiscriminately.
On July 23, 1974, the Washington Post reported that "in a Greek raid on a small Turkish village near Limassol 36 people out of a population of 200 were killed. The Greeks said that they had been given orders to kill the inhabitants of the Turkish villages before the Turkish forces arrived." The Times and The Guardian also reported on the killings.
"The Greeks began to shell the Turkish quarter on Saturday, refugees said. Kazan Dervis, a Turkish Cypriot girl aged 15, said she had been staying with her uncle. The [Greek Cypriot] National Guard came into the Turkish sector and shooting began. She saw her uncle and other relatives taken away as prisoners, and later heard her uncle had been shot." (Times 23.7.74)
On July 28, 1974 the New York Times reported that 14 Turkish-Cypriot men had been shot in Alaminos. On July 24, 1974 France Soir reported that "the Greeks burned Turkish mosques and set fire to Turkish homes in the villages around Famagusta. Defenseless Turkish villagers who have weapons live in an atmosphere of terror and they evacuate their homes and go and live in tents in the forest. The Greeks' actions are a shame to humanity."
On July 22, Turkish Prime Minister Ecevit called upon the United Nations to "stop the genocide of Turkish Cypriots" and declared, "Turkey has accepted a cease-fire, but will not allow Turkish Cypriots to be massacred."
The German newspaper Die Zeit wrote on Aug. 30, "The massacre of Turkish Cypriots in Paphos and Famagusta is the proof of how justified the Turks were to undertake their intervention."
"Turkish Cypriots, who had suffered from physical attacks since 1963, called on the guarantor powers to prevent a Greek conquest of the island. When Britain did nothing Turkey invaded Cyprus and occupied its northern part. Turkish Cypriots have constitutional right on their side and understandably fear a renewal of persecution if the Turkish army withdraws", the Daily Telegraph wrote on Aug. 15, 1996.
At last, peace for the Turkish Cypriots
"Turkey intervened to protect the lives and property of the Turkish-Cypriots, and to its credit it has done just that. In the 12 years since, there have been no killings and no massacres" Lord Willis (Labor) told the House of Lords on Dec. 17, 1986.
On March 12, 1977, Makarios declared, "It is in the name of ENOSIS that Cyprus has been destroyed."
The United Nations, the Commonwealth, and the rest of the world have put political expediency before principle and failed to condemn this appalling behavior. Greek Cypriots are guilty of attempted genocide but no action has ever been taken against them. Instead they have been rewarded by recognition as the government of all Cyprus. The Turkish Cypriots by contrast were frozen out of the United Nations, the Commonwealth and almost every other international organization.
Please reply to post 18 on the above article, before you repeat this propaganda.
To the Turkish Cypriots only: Please read the above article, and see what kind of a set-up was created for all Cypriots. Both Greece and Turkey caused damage to Cyprus. Let us put it all behind us, for a better future.
"that both nations could make much better use of their time and resources."
I speak as an American that loves Cyprus. When I try to reason with your friend, he comes back with war stories from the past, that I care less to answer. I don't give a dime for the past. I know that the Greek Cypriots make 13k/year and the Turkish Cypriots 3k/year. The Turk in Turkey makes even less. The Turkish Cypriots have a chance to improve their life right now. If you don't want to let them do what they want, then compensate them. Make-up the $10,000 per year per person that they are loosing, improve their life, and I will not say another word. Do not send any more Asil Nadirs to them. A 70 million people country, should be able to look after a 100,000 Turkish Cypriots and 200,000 Anatolian Turks in Cyprus. Do you care enough for them? Prove it.
EU is just good for the Turks, but not for the Turkish Cypriots?
First of all its not propaganda. It is a mere statement of the facts about the conflict. Did the Turkish Cypriots do nothing against the Greeks and Cyprus during those days? No. I'm aware that they have done some stupid things as well but in comparison to Greek attrocities and their policy based on taking the entire island for themselves (politically and geographically) was what caused the mess.
The reason that the TRNC is not as properous as the south is mostly because they have been completely isolated from the world and have been forced to rely solely on grants from Turkey to survive, thanks to Greek propaganda.
Would both sides benefit form EU membership? Yes. Being a person that has personally not been able to comprehend the reasons for the inability of people of such similar cultures to get along with eachother on a beautiful and sufficiently large island like Cyprus, I believe that both sides should get back together and live in harmony like they used to 50+ years ago. For this to be possible, I belive that both sides must come to terms with their past conduct and admit the mistakes they have done and the harm they have inflicted on eachother. Another point that would make all sides involved feel safer would be to allow a limited amount of Turkish and Greek military presence under perhaps a joint NATO (or if/when Turkey is accepted EU) security force and disarm all Greek and Turkish Cypriot domestic defence/guard/police etc... forces. This would extinguish Turkish concerns of the Greeks attacking turkish Cypriots and Greek worries of the Turks invading the south. The joint nature of the security force would also oblige the Greek and Turkish armies to work as partners for a common cause as they should have been doing for years since both are supposed to be NATO allies.
Let us not forget that the center of all Greek-Turkish disagreements is the Cyprus issue. The Aegian problem is just an artificial issue that Greece has made up to give it better bargaining power on Cyprus. The government of Greece is finally in the hands of a group of rather intelligent and reasonable people and they would almost certainly give up on their claims to increase their territorial borders when the Cyprus issue is brought to a solution.
I will continue to elaborate on this matter if I get positive feedback from you.
Let us not forget that the center of all Greek-Turkish disagreements is the Cyprus issue. The Aegean problem is just an artificial issue that Greece has made up to give it better bargaining power on Cyprus. The government of Greece is finally in the hands of a group of rather intelligent and reasonable people and they would almost certainly give up on their claims to increase their territorial borders when the Cyprus issue is brought to a solution. I will continue to elaborate on this matter if I get positive feedback from you."
I have no problem with what you say above.
1.I have attended a high school where I had Turkish Cypriot friends and classmates, which I would like to see again. 2. During summer vacations, I worked in a Greek factory, side by side with Turkish Cypriots, trying to make living, like I was.
I believe that if the two communities are left alone, without interference from Greece or Turkey, they will be able to live together in peace.
I do no want another dollar to be spent by the Cypriots on war machines. Public moneys should be spent on education, healthcare and infrastructure.
There are enough educated people, from both communities, that can sit down together, and figure out what is good for the island.
"Let us not forget that the center of all Greek-Turkish disagreements is the Cyprus issue"
The Cyprus issue was always an issue for Turkey. Turkey wanted Cyprus back from the British in 1960. The fear of getting rid of one conqueror, and acquiring a new one, had settled in, among the Greek Cypriots, so a good portion of them saw Greece as way out. The British did not want to leave an autonomous state behind them. A domestic problem was the best security for maintaining their three bases there, without having to deal with the domestic headaches of the Cypriots. This tactic was proven true, when they stood back and watched the Greek Junta stage the coup against Makarios. They had the right to intervene, but did not act. It was a scenario well planned and executed, by all involved parties, except the Cypriots. The three guarantors had something to gain. Cyprus lost.
The Greek governments never wanted anything to do with Cyprus. They had bigger and more serious internal problems to face. The Cyprus issue was used only for domestic consumption and politicking. The same situation occurs now in Turkey. Cyprus is and has been used by the Turkish politicians, as a diversion to the real problems of the common Turk. Neither Greece nor Turkey (governments) ever cared about the Cypriots. I dont think they care right now.
I feel that, any solution that gives the chance to the two communities to be together again, is a good solution. I don't care what they want to call it. Trust will build with time and all Cypriots will prosper. The EU laws could be adopted, and an EU force can police the island for as long as it is necessary. Greece and Turkey should stay out of Cyprus, unless they come as tourists. They both have enough domestic problems to keep them busy.
Globalization is too powerful for a tiny island, like Cyprus, to resist it. It is also too powerful for a big country like Turkey, to resist it. The sooner they realize it, the better.
The wealth of a country, are its people and their culture. If you oppress them, they stop blooming. They either die, or turn evil. (This is mine)
What is your solution to the Cyprus issue? Have you ever been to Cyprus? Talk to me.
I have been to Cypruz and think that the place has real potential. It could be an even bigger tourist attraction. Though the north is a bit dull, there are quite a bit of nice places to see there like Yesilyurt (forgot the Greek name) and Marash, near Famagusta, which was a highly prosperous place for instance.
The only way that the two sides could get together, IMHO, is for both sides to sit together and confess their sins. If both sides could agree to what they have done wrong to bring about this mess, a very strong step towards a solution will have been taken.
Anyway, I don't expect much from the up-coming talks. Some bad situations can not change smoothly and peacefully, that is why they got bad to begin with. Cyprus will remain the way it is until something radical happens, similarly to the way it was messed up. No, don't get your gun yet, the Greek Cypriots will not attack you. They have got it made. It is your own people that may decide to take control over their lives, if their lives don't change soon. In the meantime, sit back and watch.
If it was up to you and me to solve the Cyprus problem over the net, there wouldn't be a Cyprus problem in the first place. Take care.
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