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Media Watch 2005

07 January 2005
Source: Cyprus Weekly
Author: Fanoulla Argyrou
Comment: The following leader article appeared in Cyprus Weekly of Nicosia on 7 January 2005.
Perfidious Albion in all its glory!
"Britain not only rejected this approach [Cypriot independence and constitutional order], betraying its treaty obligations completely, but gave Turkey the green light to proceed with its one-sided intervention in violation of the same treaty and the principles of the United Nations Charter... But the most shocking revelation is that the British government gave full backing from the beginning to the occupation by Turkey of more than one third of Cyprus. It is absolutely incredible that Britain did this while foreseeing at the same time that "the particularly difficult problem (of the Turkish occupation) will be the possible enforced transfer of the Greek Cypriots from the Turkish-occupied zone.''

THE release of the latest batch of secret British Foreign Office papers reveal Britain's perfidy in all it's glory in connection with the 1974 Turkish invasion (for details of the secret papers see pages 6-8).

The first astounding revelation, and official British admission, is that Bulent Ecevit, the Turkish Prime Minister at the time, flew to London after the overthrow of President Makarios by the Greek junta in July 1974, with the sole purpose of urging the British government to take joint action with Turkey, as two of the three guarantor powers (the third is Greece) of Cypriot independence and constitutional order.

The purpose of this intervention as stated by Ecevit and as revealed by the British paper would be that "Britain and Turkey, jointly or separately, should state that they did not recognise the new regime and that the old administration must be restored. If Makarios could not return, the Constitutional provision should apply.''

Britain not only rejected this approach, betraying its treaty obligations completely, but gave Turkey the green light to proceed with its one-sided intervention in violation of the same treaty and the principles of the United Nations Charter.

But the most shocking revelation is that the British government gave full backing from the beginning to the occupation by Turkey of more than one third of Cyprus. It is absolutely incredible that Britain did this while foreseeing at the same time that "the particularly difficult problem (of the Turkish occupation) will be the possible enforced transfer of the Greek Cypriots from the Turkish-occupied zone.''

Instead of taking all possible action to prevent what it foresaw, which was the war crime of the ethnic cleansing of the Greek Cypriot population of the Turkish-occuoied north, the British government had absolutely no qualms in predicting that such a development, as the secret papers reveal: "In one sense this could facilitate the bizonal federal solution; on the other hand it would increase the danger of reprisals against Turkish Cypriots.''

This admission on the one hand ignores the purported aim of the Turkish "intervention,'' which as Ecevit explained was the return of Makarios and the restoration of constitutional order. On the other it brazenly proposed the scratching of the existing constitution, even though Britain itself, as one of the three signatories of the Treaty of Guarantee, had a legal obligation to protect it!

This British perfidy is stressed yet again in a subsequent paper, a letter that British Foreign Secretary James Callaghan sent to the Foreign Office in London during the Geneva conference on August 13, 1974, just before the second wave of the Turkish invasion. In this letter Callaghan says that he urged Glafcos Clerides, and Greek Foreign Minister George Mavros, as the representatives of the Cyprus and Greek governments at the conference, to produce a counter proposal to the Turkeys' unacceptable demands "which would at least concede the principle of geographical separation.''

This British support of a "geographical separation'' is hardly surprising as it was a repetition of earlier British proposals first made during the final days of the British colonial administration of Cyprus, like the McMillan Plan.

What is pitiful is that while the earlier British colonial-era plans were rejected, Glafcos Clerides agreed to such a separation during the Geneva Conference.

This original acceptance has been haunting the Greek Cypriot side ever since as it has become the basis for all subsequent settlement proposals promulgated by the United Nations.

The latest such manifestation is the controversial Annan Plan, drafted mainly on the basis of the previous British ideas!

One saving factor is that this Plan has been justifiably rejected by the overwhelming majority of Greek Cypriots because it's basic premise is to legitimise the "geographic separation'' and the ethnic cleansing war crime resulting from the 1974 Turkish invasion.

Unlike the previous years, immediately after the Turkish invasion, when the deciding factor in international relations was that "Might is Right,'' we are now living in a more civilised climate.

International law, respect for human rights and the judgements of the newly-instituted International War Crime and Human Rights Courts now play a decisive role in the settlement of international problems.

This raises the hopes, and expectations, of the long-suffering people of Cyprus that a just settlement may finally be agreed, based on the restoration of the ethnically-cleansed refugees rights and the principles of the European Union acquis, now that Cyprus is itself a member of the Union and Turkey aspires to become one!

And for heaven's sake, let those politicians who swear by the Annan Plan stop repeating at nauseam that the insistence on such a settlement is "maximalist'' and unachievable!"