Lobby for Cyprus is a non-party-political human rights organisation campaigning for a reunited Cyprus.
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Letters

To: Guardian
24 April 2007
'Can Cyprus reunify?'
Geoff Hoon is certainly right in stating that Cyprus is of huge strategic importance.

It is for this reason that Britain still maintains 99 square miles of 'sovereign' territory on the island, its "unsinkable battleship" (on which it secretly stored nuclear weapons in the 1960s).

Unfortunately this strategic importance is downplayed by the UK media (Guardian included) which is all too keen to tow the government line in ignoring Turkey's crimes of ethnic cleansing, demographic engineering and cultural genocide in Cyprus.

No surprise there though, as Cyprus is yet again another example of divide and rule, with Britain and Turkey historically using the 18 percent Turkish Cypriot populace as a strategic minority to counter Greek Cypriot wishes for democracy and self-determination. A case in point was the exclusively Turkish Cypriot auxillary units set up in the 1950s by Britain to police the Greek Cypriot majority – with tragic results for community relations, helping to draw Turkish Cypriots into the then Cyprus conflict.

It is interesting how Greek Cypriots have abandoned the idea of 'enosis' (union) with Greece but Turkey and its friends have implemented, enforced and tolerated Turkey's long-standing aims of 'taksim' (division) and redistribution of population, with the eradication of all trace of the occupied area's 3,000 year old Greek heritage.

It certainly wasn't for the good of the Cypriots that the UN in 2004 attempted to foist upon the Greek Cypriots a biased and humiliating plan to permanently divide Cyprus under the euphemism of "reunification". But why was Britain so hell bent on the Greek Cypriots accepting the Annan plan, scripted by Lord Hannay? Not only was it to whitewash Turkey's crimes in Cyprus and smooth the way for Turkish entry into the EU, but more importantly for Britain, Greek Cypriots would have permanently seeded Cypriot territory and waters to Britain, rubber stamping Britain's right to maintain its bases, which many argue are on shaky legal ground. Yes, some of us did read the plan, unlike the UK press which queued up to castigate the Greek Cypriots who exercised their democratic right to say 'no' to the permanent division of their island.

As for Turkish reactions to the proposed plan? They ranged from:

"We got what we wanted!" and "My joy stems as much from Annan's pro-Turkish stance as it does from the nature of the Greek Cypriot outcry."
– Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeniduzen
to
"The latest version of the Annan plan is a success for Turkish foreign policy and the Turkish government"
– Turkish newspaper Hurriyet.

Unfortunately for the likes of 'GrandOldMan' the Greek Cypriot "primitive natives" are not Britain's or Turkey's tenants, but citizens of an independent EU country which has 30 percent of its territory under illegal Turkish occupation.

Nevertheless, there are many bonds of friendship between Britain and Cyprus but Britain's attempts to upgrade an illegal Turkish occupation through indirect recognition sours this relationship.

I find it reprehensible how Britain struggled tooth and nail to achieve UN resolutions to legalise an attack on Iraq, yet countless UN resolutions that Turkey violates in Cyprus, such as those that call for the withdrawal of Turkish troops and return of refugees to their homes are regarded with utter contempt.