DEAR HIGH COMMISSIONER

  Sep 7, 2020 12:07 pm Stephen Day 7925
"Don't you think 46 years of international isolation is a punishment too far, for a people guilty of nothing other than surviving?'

DEAR HIGH COMMISSIONER

Your Excellency,

I write to you in this open letter with the greatest respect for both yourself and the office you hold, coupled with a great sadness that such failures in UK's responsibilities towards Cyprus can be laid at the door of the land that I love. All in the hope that what I am about to point out will prompt you to think outside the standard, UK Foreign Office box labelled "the Cyprus problem". I am sure we can agree, that since 1974, no matter how many efforts to "reunify" the island have been attempted and failed, the British government has stuck rigidly to that objective.

 Even today, when all attempts to bring both Cyprus communities to the negotiating table again, for the umpteenth time, are at a UN accepted standstill, the Foreign Office persists in backing a Cyprus "solution" that has failed far more times than the average marriage guidance counsellor does, when the divorce court issues a Decree Absolute. 

The "Republic of Cyprus" that the British Government appears to be so wedded to, surely fell apart as long ago as 1963, never mind 1974. However much the Greek Cypriots claim to be the "government of Cyprus" and however much the international community effectively concedes that they are, the fact is THEY ARE NOT. Two Cyprus States exist and have done since 1983. In evidence of that, dare I remind you Sir, the Greek Cypriots have just effectively closed a Cyprus border, AFTER the easing of virus lockdown, that they, the EU, the UK and the UN say doesn't exist, totally in breach of the EU rules that the Greek Cypriots are supposed to be subject to. If we want evidence of the Cyprus reality, there it is, staring us in the face.

There are some indisputable facts. Since 1974, the division of the island has thankfully ended the communal violence, ethnic cleansing and civil war that so bedevilled Cypriots for 11 years. The Turkish military intervention, as a guarantor power, was totally legal. It was no "invasion". Even the GREEK Court of Appeal confirmed this in 1979, supported by a Standing Committee of the Council of Europe which ruled it was in accordance with the 1960 London & Zurich Agreements. The island is consequently at peace. Isn't that what the UN is supposed to be all about? Isn't it time for the UK be even handed, as its "guarantor power" status (set out by international Treaty) demands? Isn't it therefore time the British government stopped legitimising the Greek Cypriot Republic of Cyprus as the "government of Cyprus", whilst at the same time supporting the diplomatic and economic isolation of the Turkish Cypriots? What is "even handed" about that? Answer? Nothing.

Greece invaded Cyprus in 1974, not Turkey. Turkey merely responded as a guarantor. What did "guarantor" UK do at the time? Precisely nothing. Who did the Turkish Cypriots invade to warrant their endless "pariah" status? Absolutely nobody. UK is actively encouraging the continuance of one of the greatest post-war injustices that any people have ever had inflicted upon them.

What is UK "guaranteeing", except the endless isolation of a whole people in northern Cyprus? A people whose only crimes were to be saved in 1974 from 11 years of being forced into small enclaves and saved from the EOKA B/Greek military junta's attempts to unite Cyprus with Greece, overthrow President Makarios and ethnically cleanse the island of Turks (as happened on Crete decades before). In view of all this, does UK still seriously think the 1960 bi-communal "Republic of Cyprus" still exists? If it does exist, then I'm still in with a chance of an unjustified sainthood.

I put this to you Sir. If you were a Turkish Cypriot suffering all this and having to flee your home (for a third time in 11years in some cases), how would you feel? Yes, Greek Cypriots suffered property loss too, but whose fault was that? In war, the innocents always suffer, but who caused all that suffering? It was hardly the Turkish Cypriots, now was it? What would you think if you had voted for the UN's reunifying Cyprus Annan Plan, like the majority of TRNC citizens had done, only to discover the Greek Cypriots had voted against it, yet were still rewarded with membership of the EU, whilst you were consigned to continuing isolation? I suspect you would be damned angry. I know I would, especially when you discovered that promises made by the international community to lift the embargoes if you voted for Annan were being quietly betrayed.  Sir, I defy you to identify the justice in that. It doesn't exist.

For a people who faced possible extinction and certainly constitutional marginalisation at the hands of their Greek Cypriot neighbours from 1963 onwards, don't you think 46 years of international isolation is a punishment too far, for a people guilty of nothing other than surviving? Cyprus has never been ruled by Athens, except briefly by force in 1974. Despite that, the Greek Cypriots still see Cyprus as a Greek island and the Turkish Cypriots as a troublesome minority. They always have. Now with the failure of the Crans Montana Conference, on top of the Greek Cypriot rejection of Annan and no signs of any meaningful dialogue taking place since Crans Montana, what is the point in persisting with 46 years of failed UN Cyprus talks? The only problem with Cyprus is the failure of the international community to recognise the true nature of this dispute and persisting with a blindingly obvious talks strategy that has failed, repeatedly. The UK is about to finally leave the EU. Surely the time has come for Britain to do justice to BOTH Cyprus communities. A two state solution is now the only answer, after all, it is the REALITY.

Sir, I beg you to try break this rotten mould. I know you are essentially the Cyprus voice of the UK government, but you also have a duty to report back. Make history, explain the futility and injustice of the present UK Cyprus policy or condemn Turkish Cypriots to yet more decades of imposed, unjustified isolation. North Korea and China are pariah states. TRNC isn't. Make justice and reality prevail at last.

Yours most Sincerely
Stephen Day.



Comments

  • Turker Mustafa
    Turker Mustafa
    Well said Stephen I think it's about time they took notice
    2 months ago
  • Ersel - Ahmet
    Ersel - Ahmet
    YEEEEESSSS BE ANNEM.
    2 months ago
  • Fiona Angus
    Fiona Angus
    Just shocking how North Cyprus have been treated. Way overdue a direct flight to Ercan from UK. Among other things, I totally agree with this article.
    2 months ago
  • Derek Angus
    Derek Angus
    I agree totally.
    2 months ago
  • Richard Halsey
    Richard Halsey
    Looking forward to a response!
    2 months ago