Archives for category: CYPRUS

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An attempt to analyse the total environment and events that have raised hostile activity between  Turkey and Greece the last years specially during the war n Syria.

INTRODUCTION

It is a generally accepted, that every country is justified to protect its own interests.

This statement is widely used because it sounds just and credible.

For example, it is used by USA regarding Israel’s right to defend its country against rockets and bombs launched from Palestinians, killing innocent Israelis, but is also used by Palestinians who claim their right to defend their land.

So, this generic statement needs to be used carefully taking into consideration how the right of each country can be perceived by the international community which implies, that such statement should receive some international recognition. The same is true for international agreements and treaties.

International agreements for the determination of maritime boundaries includes bilateral agreements for EEZ which is a way define limits for economic exploitation of the sea and “sea beds”.

For this reason, an international set of rules has been devised and agreed my most countries. This set of rules constitutes the international law for the sea which provides that all islands have their own EEZ that can reach 200miles in open sea.

The law has been signed by 132 countries under UN supervision during the eighties.

This agreement has not been signed by a small number of countries, yet this is binding under International law.

The law exists and if a mutual agreement between two countries cannot be reached then the countries may, if they both agree, to resolve the issue in an international court of justice. UN is not an organization to implement or enforce the law.

For the history, President Reagan declared USA EEZ, in agreement with Cuba and Bahamas, based on “equal distances”, hence, USA did not enclose these islands within the 200 miles of EEZ limit, as Turkey is trying to do in Cyprus and the Greek islands.

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If Turkey were to implement EEZ the way they propose, Turkey would end up having boarders with Italy and Libya totally disregarding Greece, while at the same time would to destroy plans for Eastern Mediterranean pipeline that  will be an alternative route to supply Europe that will not be depending on Turkey and Russia.

The four countries that did not vote International law, in April 1982, were, USA, Israel, Venezuela and Turkey.

The reason why USA did not vote, despite the fact they had already implemented EEZ in agreement with Cuba and Bahamas, was that the law provides that all resources outside defined EEZ, in the open sea,  are common property, inheritance for all  the world to be shared by all, while USA insisted on the principle, “first found first served”.

Israel, on the other hand, had no objection on the law but refused to sign when Palestine was included, not overlooking the fact that, subsequently, Israel declared its own EZZ, disregarding everybody else.

Venezuela objected because, similarly with Turkey, had too many foreign Islands Infront of its mainland. Yet Venezuela, eventually, accepted the fact and gave up half of its originally  claimed EEZ, it did not follow what Turkey is trying to do, demanding the extension of its own EEZ depriving part of EEZ from to the Islands which will be encircled by Turkey with unpredictable consequences.

Turkey behaves like China, while US is maintaining double standards. It accuses China for violating EEZ in China Sea, in five cases and it does nothing in the case of Turkey, which is doing the same with Greece and Cyprus.

USA is keeping double standards, because Turkey has important geopolitical value within NATO and Middle East in spite Turkey’s complaints for the opposite.

Greece cannot defend itself against Turkish demands with no support from, at least, one major power.

Hence, Turkey is using its geopolitical position and size to gain as much as possible.

THE GEOPOLITICAL GAME THAT TURKEY IS PLAYING IN TWO FRONTS.

Turkey is playing its geopolitical power game in two fronts, in Middle East which is a matter of survival for Turkey, due mainly to Kurdistan which, if created, will present major risk for Turkey and secondly in Aegean and Mediterranean Sea.

For the first case, Kurdistan has remained an unresolved issue since the First World War.

Kurdistan consist a real threat for Turkey which is trying to become the leader within the Islamic world. Unfortunately, Turkey has not managed to properly integrate the Kurds residing within Turkey, hence the creation of Kurdistan will certainly provoke a real uprising from major Kurdish populations in East Turkey.

The second front which presents a problem for Turkey is Greece and Cyprus which stand as an obstacle for the re visionary plans of Turkey which dreams to play a major international role establishing a new Ottoman Empire expanding its influence in the Balkans and Mediterranean Sea, including North Africa. Such plans inevitably come in conflict with Europe, USA, Egypt , Greece and Israel as far as their interests  for Energy resources and other Geopolitical opportunities.

The awakening plans for Turkey started during 1973, when the Greek Junta of Colonels announced the discovery of oil in Thasos Island in North Aegean Sea overselling the story that this discovery will bring millions of oil barrels to Greece.

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Since 1973, Turkey started its activity with air violations over Greek Islands questioning the sovereignty of some of the Greek islands, attempting to establish gray zones in Aegean, as well as questioning the rights of the islands to have their own EEZ including Crete, Rhodes and Kastelorizo Island complex.

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THE SYRIAN FRONT

A peaceful uprising against the president of Syria almost ten years ago turned into a full-scale civil war. The conflict has left more than 360,000 people dead, devastated cities and refugees drawn in other countries. As well as causing hundreds of thousands of deaths, the war has left 1.5 million people with permanent disabilities, including 86,000 who have lost limbs.

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At least 6.2 million Syrians are internally displaced, while another 5.7 million have fled abroad.

In March 2011, pro-democracy demonstrations erupted in the southern city of Deraa, inspired by the «Arab Spring» in neighboring countries.

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This led to a general uprising of Syrian rebels against the Syrian authoritarian administration. This gave the opportunity to Kurdish population within Syria to join Syrian opposition to government. At the same time extreme Islamic terrorist formed the state of ISIS which became the target for USA

When the government used deadly force to crush the dissent, protests demanding the president’s resignation civil uprising erupted nationwide.

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The violence rapidly escalated and the country descended into civil war

The government’s key supporters have been Russia and Iran, while Turkey, Western powers and several Gulf Arab states have backed the opposition.

Russia – which already had military bases in Syria – launched an air campaign in support of Assad in 2015 that has been crucial in turning the tide of the war in the government’s favor.

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The Russian military says its strikes only target «terrorists» but activists say they regularly kill mainstream rebels and civilians.

Hundreds of people were killed in August 2013 after rockets filled with the nerve agent sarin were fired at several suburbs of Damascus. Western powers said it could only have been carried out by Syria’s government, but the government blamed rebel forces.

Facing the prospect of US military intervention, President Assad agreed to the complete removal and destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal.

Iran is believed to have deployed hundreds of troops and spent billions of dollars to help Assad.

Thousands of Shia Muslim militiamen armed, trained, and financed by Iran – mostly from Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, but also Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen – have also fought alongside the Syrian army.

The armed rebellion has evolved significantly since its inception. Secular moderates are now outnumbered by Islamist and jihadists, whose brutal tactics have caused global outrage.

So-called Islamic State has capitalised on the chaos and taken control of large swathes of Syria and Iraq, where it proclaimed the creation of a «caliphate» in June 2014. Its many foreign fighters are involved in a «war within a war» in Syria, battling rebels and rival jihadists from the al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front, as well as government and Kurdish forces.

In September 2014, a US-led coalition launched air strikes inside Syria in an effort to «degrade and ultimately destroy» IS. But the coalition has avoided attacks that might benefit Mr Assad’s forces. Russia began an air campaign targeting «terrorists» in Syria a year later, but opposition activists say its strikes have mostly killed Western-backed rebels and civilians.

In the political arena, opposition groups are also deeply divided, with rival alliances battling for supremacy. The most prominent is the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, backed by several Western and Gulf Arab states. However, the exile group has little influence on the ground in Syria and its primacy is rejected by many opponents of Mr Assad.

The US, UK and France initially provided support for what they considered «moderate» rebel groups. But they have prioritized non-lethal assistance since jihadists became the dominant force in the armed opposition.

 

A US-led global coalition has also carried out air strikes on ISIS militants in Syria since 2014 and helped an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias called the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) capture territory once held by the jihadists in the east.

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The alliance supported by US had appeared to be in a strong position until December 2018, when President Donald Trump unexpectedly ordered US troops to start withdrawing from Syria with the territorial defeat of ISIS imminent.

The decision suddenly left the SDF exposed to the threat of an assault by Turkey, which has said it wants to create a «security zone» on the Syrian side of the border to prevent attacks by Kurdish fighters.

The Kurdish population of Syria is that country’s largest ethnic minority, comprising between 7% and 10% of the country’s population according to most sources.

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USA has not totally withdrawn keeping an eye on oil resources that they can still control.

Kurdish leaders have urged the Syrian government and Russia to send forces to shield the border and begun talks about the future of their autonomous region. So basically, US gave the Kurds who fought against ISIS back to the Russians and Assad in order to avoid a fight with Turkey.

The 2019 Turkish offensive into north-eastern Syria, code-named Operation Peace Spring by the Turkish Army, was a cross-border military operation conducted by the Turkish military against the SDF and the Syrian Arab Army  (SAA) in Northern Syria.

According to the Turkish President  the operation is intended to expel SDF—viewed as a terrorist organization by Turkey due to its ties with the  (PKK), but considered an ally against ISIS  by US and its allies from the border region, as well as to create a 30 km-deep «safe zone» in Northern Syria where some of the 3.6 million Syrian Refugees in Turkey would resettle.

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As the proposed settlement zone is heavily Kurdish demographically, this intention has been criticized as an attempt to force drastic demographic change, a criticism denied by Turkey by saying that it only intended to «correct» the demographics that Turkish officials stated were changed by the SDF. Many are very suspicious of what the Turks call ‘»correction to demographics» Greeks have significant experience by corrected demographics in Cyprus.

The Turkish operation received mixed responses by the international community    Including condemnations since it was obvious that the Turkish strategy had as main objective the Kurds.

One wonders why Turkey prefers to create a “security zone» on the Syrian side in an area inhabited by Kurds and not in the area that ISIS has been present.

It is obvious, Turkey is aiming to exterminate the Kurdish population while at the same time relocate Syrian war refugees that will be under Turkish control and secure funding from Europe and possibly USA.

 While originally acknowledging Turkey’s «right to defend itself», on 15 October, Russia hardened its position against the operation and deployed troops.

Ten European nations and Canada imposed an arms embargo on Turkey, while the U.S. imposed sanctions on Turkish ministries and senior government officials in response to the offensive in Syria.

Likewise, Trump’s sudden pullout of US forces in Syria was also criticized by journalists as a «serious betrayal to the Kurds» as well as a «catastrophic blow to US credibility as an ally and Washington’s standing on the world stage», one journalist stating that «this is one of the worst US foreign policy disasters since the Iraq war  On 19 November, the Defense Department inspector general released a report finding that the American withdrawal and subsequent Turkish incursion allowed ISIS to «reconstitute capabilities and resources within Syria and strengthen its ability to plan attacks abroad».

Turkish position with ISIS has also been questioned.

On August 25, 2015, the Turkish newspaper Bugün ran a front-page story, illustrated with video stills, about what it said was the transfer, under the observation of Turkish border guards, of weapon and explosives from Turkey to ISIS through the Akcakale border post. Bugün reported that such transfers were occurring daily and had been going on for two months. In response, a couple of days later offices of Koza İpek Media Group, the owner of the newspaper, were raided by Turkish police.

In October 2015, control of Koza İpek Media Group was seized by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office which then appointed new managers with links to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), and in July 2016 Bugün was closed down on the orders of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Certainly, a strange story.

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Saudi Arabia, which is keen to counter Iranian influence, has armed and financed the rebels, as has the kingdom’s Gulf rival, Qatar.

 

Israel, meanwhile, has been so concerned by what it calls Iran’s «military entrenchment» in Syria and shipments of Iranian weapons to Hezbollah that it has conducted hundreds of air strikes.

 

By February 2019, some 13 million people were estimated to be in need of humanitarian assistance, including 5.2 million in acute need.

Latest figures end of 2018

significant increase has taken place in Greece since that time

Turkey 3.644.342

Lebanon 948,849

Jordan 671.551

Iraq 252.451

Germany 593,025

Egypt 133,028

Hungary 78,245

Austria 55,550

Greece 61,365 (100,000 by Feb 2020)

Sweden 120,855

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The Syrian Civil War is arguably the worst humanitarian crisis since the Second World War, with over a quarter million killed, roughly the same number wounded or missing, and half of Syria’s 22 million population displaced from their homes. But more than that, Syria today is the largest battlefield and generator of Sunni-Shia sectarianism the world has ever seen, with deep implications for the future boundaries of the Middle East and the spread of terrorism.

The government has regained control of Syria’s biggest cities. but large parts of the country are still held by opposition armed groups and the Kurdish-led SDF.

In September 2018, Russia and Turkey brokered a truce to avert an offensive by pro-government forces that the UN had warned would cause a «bloodbath».

Rebels were required to pull their heavy weapons out of a demilitarized zone running along the front line, and jihadists were told to withdraw from it altogether.

In January 2019, the truce deal was put in jeopardy when a jihadist group linked to al-Qaeda, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, expelled some rebel factions from Idlib and forced others to surrender and recognize a «civil administration» it backed.

The SDF currently controls almost all territory east of the River Euphrates

 

THE CONFLICT BETWEEN TURKEY AND GREECE IN AEGEAN AND MEDITERRANEAN SEA.

The main reasons for the conflict

Even recently, under the failure of Turkey to implement its threats to Europe and Greece that it will sent millions of refugees and illegal immigrants to Greece, in a passage to Europe, Mr Erdogan threatens that he will act to stop any effort from anybody playing games in Mediterranean sea to violate Turkey’s interests under international law. He also referred to the EEZ agreement Turkey made with Libya that that totally neglects International law for the Sea

I really wonder what Mr. Erdogan means when he mentions International law since this is the law that Turkey refused to sign and continuously is violating in Greece and Cyprus.

As previously mentioned, the serious conflict between Turkey and Greece originates from 1973 when the Greek Junta of Colonels announced findings of millions of barrels of oil, close to the island of Thasos in North Aegean Sea. This awakened Turkey’s appetite.

This fired claims on limits regarding territorial waters, EEZ, air and sovereign rights on several islands, mostly uninhabited.

The main agreement between Turkey and Greece is based on the Treaty of Lausanne which specifies that all islands in Aegean Sea belong to Greece Except two, Imbros and Tenedos that belong to Turkey.

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In fact, the treaty mentions that Turkey does not have the ownership of islands outside the limit of three miles from the coast of Turkey.

Turkey’s argument is that the treaty does not include, in the attached list, all islands by name, this would have been impossible since the number of islands exceeds 2.500 and the rest of the terms of the treaty does not leave any doubt about the ownership.

The second point of conflict is that several islands have been given to Greece by Italy, after the Second World War, which was done under different contractual terms conditions and refer to different maps.

In addition, the International law for the Sea was signed during April 1983, much later than the date of signing of the Treaty of Lausanne.

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Turkish claims in Aegean sea and Mediterranean excluding more recent claims erom the recent Libyan agreement neither the current violations in Cyprus EEZ

Greece has refrained from extending its territorial waters from 6 to 12 miles, as it has the right to do, due to Turkey’s threat of “casus Belli” and since, USA has insisted to Greece to refrain for declaring its own EEZ with Cyprus and Egypt, till a solution is found with Turkey. This may never happen but underlines the interest of USA and NATO over all to keep Turkey within the western alliance.

The situation in Cyprus is even worst since Turkey is violating Cyprus EEZ where agreements have already been made with international oil companies for the exploitation of oil and gas resources. Turkey totally disregards the validity of any agreement since, it does not recognize Cyprus as an independent state, in spite the fact that Cyprus is a member of UN and EU.

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Cyprus EEZ

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The EEZ of Cyprus with Oil companies that have signed agreements with  Cyprus

Both USA and EU have applied sanctions against Turkey for such violations and there is a certainty that these sanctions will be extended.

I display here under an extract of a warning letter addressed to Turkey, issued by EU:

EN
E-004439/2019
Answer given by Ms Simson
on behalf of the European Commission
(25.4.2020)
In response to Turkey’s drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Foreign Affairs Council adopted on 11 November 2019 a framework for restrictive measures that makes it possible to apply a travel ban and asset freeze to individuals or entities responsible for or involved in drilling activities in relation to hydrocarbon exploration and production not authorized by Cyprus in its territorial sea or in its exclusive economic zone or on its continental shelf.
On 12 December 2019, the European Council stated that the Turkey-Libya Memorandum of Understanding on the delimitation of maritime jurisdictions infringes upon the sovereign rights of third states, does not comply with the Law of the Sea and cannot produce any legal consequences for third states.

The Turkish point of view

Having presented the facts as we have experienced, from the International point of view I have always tried to see the situation from the Turkish point of you which, I, must admit, find it difficult to understand and come to some conclusions.

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Every body is a Turk

Whenever I suggest that this conflict needs to   be resolved in an amicable manner, I am faced with a brick wall on any arguments for a solution.

Why Turkey does not want to resolve EEZ conflict by agreeing to go to the international court in Hague?

May be, because China went to Hague, over similar issues and lost, may be, because Turkey has not signed the International law for the sea, may be, because Turkey does not believe that Hague is a truly independent organization, but is fully controlled by West which intends to destroy Turkey under a long standing survival battle among Christian and Muslim countries.

These are fundamental reasons for the conflict that Greece cannot contemplate because it is already part of the international community that is acting under the rules of International law, especially as a member of UN and EU. While Turkey appears to be a re visionary power that believes it is the victim of a conspiracy of western nations which is fighting to exterminate Islam worldwide. Turkey is consistently forgetting that it has been in alliance with these nations in NATO for quite a few years.

But even if one needs to think, outside the International law and its organizations, Greece is an “island country” that even if it didn’t have its mainland part, it will still exist. What this would mean, that Turkey could wipe out the entire nation?

Would that mean that Turkey could encircle every island with its mainland EEZ depriving island’s right for existence? Because EEZ defines other rights, in addition to “sea bed” resources, that include energy, fishing, defense etc.

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The Turkish EEZ in Aegean and Black Sea

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Turkish EEZ in Mediterranean Sea.

Does Turkey intend to acquire frontiers with Italy eliminating Greece from the map?

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The map presented from 2011 regarding EEZ limits for Ionian sea and Mediterranean 

If one looks at the map one may appreciate why Turkey fills suffocated encircled by Greek islands. But this does not give Turkey the right to wipe out an island country and its population. Islands exist and according to international law, have their own frontiers and EEZ.

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Turkish attempt to brake the Greek EEZ at Kastelorizo island complex. This will also brake the contraction of East Mediterranean pipeline. This will  also effect the EEZ of Crete Rhodes and the rest of the islands of Dodecanese.

 

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This is the project supported by EU, Greece Italy, Cyprus, Israel , Egypt ad USA to provide an alternative route to supply oil and gas to central Europe. Turkey is invited to participate instead of blocking it. This could provide an alternative solution to the total Greek and Turkish conflict.

 

Does Turkey intend to acquire frontiers with Italy eliminating Greece from the map?

 As another European example, France has a large EEZ not because of its mainland but due to its islands in remote locations.

Finally, the Treaties include a term for the disarmament of the islands, a term that Greece violated since 1938. This according to Turkey consists a serious breach of the agreement.

This is understood, but Greece would be willing to proceed with disarmament if Turkey stops acting in violation of International law and other aggressive actions, such as air and sea frontier violation including encouragement of refugees and Illegal immigrant to enter Greece ranging attacks against Land and sea boarders, with the active participation of Turkish military forces.

So how can we work out a solution, avoiding a war which will inevitably lead to distraction?

Ironically, as long as Turkey keeps stating that firmly intends to defend its own interests under International law and accuses Greece of violating such law, there is hope, it seems that, eventually, Turkey will accept the resolution of such conflicts by going to Hague.

Turkey and Greece would probably have to come to a compromise if they both agree to accept a decision of International court of Hague.  Both Greece and Turkey need to prepare their people for such eventuality.

The most probable area of compromise is Kastellorizo island complex EEZ where EEZ will have to be shared. This probability will be possible on the assumption that there will be a solution on Cyprus and the Turkey will accept to be a part of the effort to join Europe in the construction of East Mediterranean pipeline and abandon the idea of having an EEZ with Libya. No Greek politician dare make such compromise unless this is a court decision.

This decision will make all parties including Europe, USA and Turkey real allies in Eastern Mediterranean.

 

The Cyprus EEZ

Another, equally important issue is the stagnation of Cyprus situation.

There, Turkey is bluntly violating sovereign rights of a country member of UN and EU, by entering internationally recognized EEZ rights by drill for energy resources. Turkey does not recognize Cyprus as an independent state, because, as it claims, has violated the treaty of Zurich.

Turkey insists that Cyprus and Greece violated their agreement and Cyprus has not any more the status of a country to be part of UN or EU, Turkey is acting as a guarantor under the Zurich agreement.

Turkey overlooks the violation of the treaty that took place by invading Cyprus, under false pretenses, as guarantor.

Turkey, in that matter, disregards three UN resolutions against Turkey for the invasions that led to occupation of half of the island, the occupied territory has not been internationally recognized as autonomous state.

UN has condemned Turkey for two invasions that exceeded its obligation as guarantor since it acted totally on its own with no agreement from the other two guarantor members neither ensured consent from UN.

The situation, now, is to negotiate an agreement that will either accept the creation of an independent confederation of two communities to reunite Cyprus or to split the country in two.

No need to go to details to understand the situation.

The major issue for Turkish Cypriots is to accept that they are a minority, but they can have all minority rights under EU law that fully recognizes equal human and civil rights.

In more details such an agreement will guarantee equal rights in all forms of administration, rights for property, for business, civil service, employment, sharing resources, participation in government, equal opportunities in employment and dharing benefits. The only think they will not have, as a minority, is the right to veto because this is the reason why the previous agreement did not work. We want to exclude a situation where Turkish Cypriots will act as agent of Turkish interests in the island, since we have seen that this will totally nullify any activity in the country.

Failure to accept this solution, North Cyprus (the occupied part of Cyprus) can become either an independent state or become part of Turkey if Turkish Cypriots so wish. What they cannot do is, for Turkey continue to dictate, one way or other, its instructions to Cyprus

I do not see any problem with this type of resolution of the Cyprus problem.

Yet, once more, Turkey is freezing the processes for any agreement keeping Cyprus a hostage with the intention to deprive the island of the status of an independent state.

Turkey has made its move, by its decision to invade the island.

Turkey cannot hold Cyprus as a hostage indefinitely, just to grab the Cypriot EEZ that Cyprus has, as a fully recognized independent country. Even Turkish Cypriots do not like this.

The use of refugees as a weapon by Turkey.

Erdogan is bringing one additional weapon in the conflict to pursue the promotion of Turkey’s interests in both fronts, in Middle East, by the invading Syria and secondly in Aegean Sea with Greece.

The weapon is the use of Syrian refugees and immigrants from other areas who, for many reasons, are trying to infiltrate to Europe.

As mentioned above, Turkey has accumulated a significant number of refugees for which service negotiated financial support from Europe, to maintain such refugees in camps within Turkey.

Nobody objects the right for Turkey to receive financial support for this service to the world, as well as nobody, especially, the parties involved in this dirty civil war, in Syria, to contribute towards this just request.  But Turkey is trying to capitalize on the situation in an opportunistic way.

Turkey exerts pressure to Europe for funds, threatening to release millions of refugees towards Europe, attacking the Greek frontiers to Turkey in land and sea. Everybody understands, by now, how much more dangerous is this, the period of coronavirus.

In this way, Turkey is exerting pressure to Greece to support the Turkish invasion in Syria with main objective to create and populate a «security zone», with Syrian refugees, relocating Kurdish populations away from Turkish borders. The ultimate plan to stop the creation of Kurdistan. This is the activity Turkey calls “right to defend its interests”.

 

 

 

CONCLUSIONS

In view of European failure to accept Turkey as a full member in EU, Turkey feels that must find its way to different future.

This ignited re visionary ideas to reconsider the possibility to survive as a new version of Ottoman empire, hence the big idea of Blue homeland, the leader of Muslims around the world, the Father country to protect its Muslim brothers.

This does not work very well with the western word hence Europe and USA started pulling further away from Turkey.

Mistrust grew between Turkey and international institutions considered to be instruments of West and from a trusted ally became an unpredictable country.

The conviction in Turkey that West is a club of Christian countries intending to brake Turkey in three parts and exterminate Muslim populations around the world are bringing back memories from medieval times.

The optimistic idea, within West, that Turkey can bridge the cultural gap between East and West is disappearing.

Greece and Cyprus are thought to be instruments of West, real enemies for Turkey, obstacles for the Turkish “Megalo Idea” a mistake that Greece has made in the beginning of the 20th century, but Greece has payed dearly for that mistake which was made by certain politicians and the change of interests after the October communist revolution and the shifting of interests in Europe.

At the same time there is lack of true leadership all around including Turkey, Europe and USA.

No good will flourish with Turkey supporting authoritarian regimes not abiding by human and civil rights as well as democracy. It is not Religion that separates people these days it is interests that create the conflicts and interest can be negotiated under international law that can also help as a compromising platform. This is the root of the problem and the road to avoid wars.

Also, the West needs to forget its colonial and imperialistic past.

This will create the environment to compromise, not with more “Big ideas” from USA or China, Russia, Turkey or Europe.

No more atomic power plans no more the right of the stronger or religious or political fundamentalism no more the right of one man, no more nationalism.

 

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Introduction

The recent developments regarding the conflict between Greece and Turkey over Aegean and Cyprus and published maps for the Greek and Cyprus Exclusive EEZ. And the sea limits that are leading to serious conflicts and Casus Belli declarations of Turkey disregarding, UN resolutions even NATO directives, international law and international treaties such as Lauzanne treaty which is fundamental for the viability of this Nation, Greece and Cyprus.

Turkey is advocating that international law for the islands and sea limits and Exclusive EEZ as well as overall strategies are questionable designed to the benefit of western powers which are positioned to violate all Turkish rights and repeat the same aggressive acts with the long term intention to partition Turkey just as they have done in the beginning of the20th century, using Greece in this dirty game.

It is particularly important, mostly during this period, to expose the truth of the historical events that took place in both recent and older times that lead Greece Turkey and Cyprus to fight over these issues.

It is exactly the opposite that has happened, Turkey has been benefiting in more than one ways from western powers especially from UK which has been encouraging Turkey to acquire rights to which they have totally abandoned with international treaties.

This is why I feel obliged to bring to your attention historical facts which have been forgotten but the Greek parliament is releasing by publishing a report on Cyprus after 30 years.

For this time I attach one extract from this report covering events up to the Zurich agreement for Cyprus among UK Greece and Turkey.

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 Historical background for Cyprus  Covering events that led to Zurich agreement

Translated from the File “Cyprus” published by a special committee of the Greek Parliament released after 30.years.

This report covers (geographical location of Cyprus and its extent, its adventures, its sale, during 1878, by the Turkish conquerors to England – as  an English colony – Referendum – population composition – Ethnic struggle, etc.).

Cyprus, the large island of the eastern Mediterranean, has an area of 9,851 sq. Km and its population in the period 1974 was 634,654 inhabitants, of which 519,694 (81,9%) Greek Cypriots and 114,960 (18,1%) Turkish Cypriots.

Remote, as it was from the mainland of Greece, experienced many adventures and invasions over the centuries.

One of her oldest and most marked misfortunes was when, during 448 BC, Pericles, Signed a peace with the Persians, and left her out of his claims.

At later times Cyprus passed into the hands of several and many successive invaders.

Its «privileged» position in the Eastern Mediterranean, and particularly in the Cilic Sea, near the Middle East countries, made it a target for those who aimed to expand their influence to these countries (Syria, Palestine, etc.).

In every case, however, Cyprus did not fail to watch over, with great interest, the fate and the course of Hellenism during the great days of glory (Alexander the Great), and in its turbulent falls (its descendancy under the Ottoman occupation, etc.).

This last occupation was suffered by Cyprus for three whole centuries – until 1878 – the Turkish invador held it under its barbaric occupation.

This year (1878), Turkey sold to Cyprus to Great Britain, which at that time, just nine years after Suez was opened, sought to serve its worldwide interests and aspirations to acquire territories and areas of the Eastern Mediterranean. Many more areas exploiting the strategic and geographical location of Cyprus.

According to the treaty that was signed with this sale transaction, Cyprus would still typically be under Sultan’s high sovereignty, but was essentially granted to Britain, which would be paying Turkey an amount of 88,000 pounds (approximately) a year.

This was the situation, until 1914. During the First World War, Turkey declared a war against Great Britain, which, after that, denounced the above treaty and ANNEXED Cyprus on 5.11.1914 and brought Cyprus under its own absolute dominance

Thus it came 1915.

England, seeking to achieve Greece’s participation in the war, offered union of Cyprus to Greece on 17.10.1915. The Greek government in power at that time (Alexandros Zayim’s government), supporter of the German-Hellenic friendship influenced by the Greek Royal family, refused the offer.

Thus we came to the year 1923, when the Treaty of Lausanne was signed by which Turkey explicitly recognized the annexation of Cyprus to Great Britain and so waived any right in Cyprus.

Here we have the relevant provisions of the Treaty of Lausanne:

«Article 20: Turkey declares that it recognizes the annexation of Cyprus proclaimed by the British Government on 5 November 1914″.

‘Article 21: Turkish nationals established in Cyprus on 5 November 1914 shall, as provided for by national law, obtain British citizenship, and shall consequently denounce Turkish nationality.

However, up to two years after the coming into force of this Treaty, Turkish subjects may exercise a right of option over Turkish nationality. In that case, they must leave Cyprus within 12 months, after they exercise the right of choice. »

On the basis of these agreements, Kemal Atturkur called on the Turkish Cypriots to emigrate to Turkey.

However, the response of the Turkish Cypriots to this invitation of the Turkish Nation Leader was appreciably limited.

Thus on (1.5.1925) the proclamation of Cyprus as a colony of the British Crown followed.

In the meantime, from the beginning of the 20th century, the Greek Cypriot population of the island started a motion for union of Cyprus with Greece. This motion was being promoted from the Church.

As part of this demand, many Cypriot missions arrived in London submitting relevant memoranda to the Government of Great Britain, while at the same time there were mobilizations in Cyprus with a strong presence of the Greek Cypriot youth.

England’s response to all of this was clearly and steadily negative.

The top of these mobilizations lead to the revolt of Cypriot people which started on October 17, 1931 with the publication by Bishop Kiti and MP Nicodemus Mylonas manifesto which called the People to resist the English occupation. On October 21, 1931, a large popular gathering took place in Nicosia, and Dionysios Kykkotis, the priest of Phaneromeni, waved the Greek flag, declared the revolution.

The Colonial Government, operating in a totally dictatorial manner, killed this popular revolt in a few days by bringing troops from Egypt.

England was not satisfied with this but started a series of tough administrative measures and several restrictions.

More than 2,500 citizens were jailed, several others – among whom the protagonist of the outbreak Bishop Kition and MP Nikodimos Mylonas – were deported.

The Legislative Council was abolished, the use of the Greek flag or of the Greek colors or of the Greek fighters was forbidden, and the Greek National anthem was also forbidden.

Even interventions within the Church were attempted, while the effort of de-Hellenization of education, especially the primary, was intensified.

With the suppression of the 1931 uprising, and with the taking of such hardcore meters, the long-running period of the so-called «democratic rule» of the English occupation, which began to openly dominate with an authoritarian and dictatorial net perception, ends.

During the 1940 war many Cypriot volunteers fought on the side of the allies.

During 1943, the first elections took place in Cyprus after the elections of 1931, and in 1947 the new Cypriot Governor, Lord Winters, gave the Cypriots a promise for a «more liberal and democratic regime».

In 1948, the establishment of a National Council for the promotion of the National Union struggle was decided, later the Office of the Ethnarchy, which became the executive body of the Cyprus National Government, which   continued the fight for independance..

During December 1949  Archbishop of Makarios B!,  took the initiative to hold a referendum among the Greek Cypriots. This referendum, voted by all Greek Cypriots, male and female, over the age of 16, took place on January 15, 1950, and resulted in 95.7% in favor of the union with Greece. ( 224,757 voted, of whom 215,108 were in favor of joining Greece).

The Cypriot Embassy led by The Bishop of Kyrenia Kyprianos came to Athens and filed a series of volumes of the union referendum to the  President of the Hellenic Parliament Dimitrios Gontikas.

The Greek Government at that time, (the Plastiras Government) did not  take the volumes of this referendum , considering that the time was not right for that.

During 1951,  the Greek delegation at the sixth session of the UN, held in Paris,  led by the Greek political forces of the Center Party (Plastira-Venizelos Government), presented the Cyprus issue for discussion  with Georgio Mavro and Louke Akrita,  and asked to establish  for Cyprus the process of referendum for  the application of the principle of self-determination.

Meanwhile, the Archbishop’s throne of the Church of Cyprus had changed,

Makarios II had died and was succeeded (October 1950) by the then bishop Kiti, Makarios III, who during the period 1952 to 1956 attempted a series of trips to Europe, America and Asia, presenting to the International Community the whole Cypriot issue.

At the same time, the Greek Government was trying to make petitions to England, posing the same subject.

As a result a discussion took place in the House of Commons in July 54.

At the same time the Greek Government d. 16.8.54  (The Papagos Government) appeal to the United Nations, General Assembly, with the suggestion of the New Zealand delegation and the US Consent 24.8.54, decided not to discuss it «at present».

Meanwhile, the struggle for the Union is intensifying and EOKA organization is being set up, which takes on armed action.

Strong reaction and violent measures by the British do not manage to curb the rationale of the Cypriots.

And so the struggle of the EOKA continues ever more vigorously.

Since the violent measures are not enough to overcome it, the architects of the British policy are thinking of taking «diplomatic» measures.

Thus, on 30 June 1955, they invite the Governments of Greece and Turkey to take part in a tripartite conference in London to discuss both «political and defensive issues in the Eastern Mediterranean, including Cyprus». Archbishop Makarios responded to this development, stating on 16.7.55 that if this conference were to take place, it would be a «trap intended to complicate the matter in a way that is irreparable».

Makarios’ views were not heard, and on 29.8.1955 a three-party «conference» with the Foreign Ministers of all three countries (McMilan for Great Britain, Stephan Stephanopoulou for Greece and Fatin Zorlou for Turkey) began in Lancaster House.

This tripartite conference ended its work on 7 September 1955 with the publication of a communiqué that spoke of «suspending its work».

But although the conference failed to resolve the issues of the Cyprus independence fight, but it had achieved the purpose for which the British had thought of convening it. Because with this conference they managed to bring in the  show a new interested party  for   Cyprus,   Turkey, which,  with the Treaty of Lausanne, in the most formal and categorical way,  gave up all its rights on Cyprus and thus transformed the difference that existed between the Greek Cypriots and the Government of the Creat ritain  in a Greek-Turkish dispute,  limiting themselves to a third party role (arbitrators in some way).

Following the failure of the Tripartite Conference, the then Greek Government (in the 1955 Government of Karamanlis) filed a second appeal to the UN but did not succeed in obtaining the necessary number of votes to register this appeal on the General Assembly’s agenda the UN.

Meanwhile, on 4/10/55, a quarter after the failure of the «Tripartite Conference», the government of Cyprus was entrusted by the British Government to Marshal John Harting, who was more widely known than the hard ways he had used to suppress the Kenyan liberation movement. This new Governor of Cyprus, when he assumed his duties (October 1955), submitted new proposals for «liberal self-government» to Makarios.

After this, Makarios-Harting talks followed, which failed.

Of course, the struggle of the EOKA continued and intensified, causing great damage to  Harting troops,  gaining admiration not only for the Hellenic Cypriot element for its success but mainly for the heroes that had been shown through its struggles.

On March 6, 1956, an order was issued for the capture and exile of Makarios on

Seychelles. This order was executed on 9.3.56.

The leadership of the Cypriot People is then taken over by the Bishop of Kition Anthimos, while the action of EOKA IS intensified while the British position is displaying barbaric atrocities in retaliation against the Cypriot fighters and the Cypriot people. Top manifestations of this atrocities are a great series of death sentences, carried out by the method of hanging.

On 14 July 1956 – only four months after Makarios was detained and expelled – Lord Radcliffe, who was commissioned to draft a Constitution, arrived in Cyprus for on-the-spot examination of the situation.

 

Lord Radcliff submitted his constitutional proposals to the British Government in November 1956, which in December 1956 communicated them to the Greek Government and Archbishop Makarios.

The Greek Government considered that these suggestions did not lead to self-determination, and with that thought they rejected them.

Makarios, moreover, refused to discuss it like any other subject, since he was still exiled.

The British Government’s appeal to the UN was followed, accusing the Greek Government of reinforcing terrorism in Cyprus.

The return of Makarios from his exile marks the beginning of new developments in the Cyprus issue.

By arriving in Athens, Makarios declares on April 17, 1957,  that he will seek self-determination of Cyprus by every means.

On July 15, 577, the then Greek Government (Karamanlis Government) filed a new appeal to the UN,  complaining to Britain about the atrocities performed against Cypriot people, and  called for the principle of self-determination to apply in Cyprus.

The decision of the Political Committee of the General Assembly, issued in December 1957, spoke of self-determination.

Although this decision of the Political Committee was voted for by the General Assembly, it was not considered to have been ratified because it did not receive the majority of the 2/3 of the members of the General Assembly required by the Regulation.

On 3.12.57, Sir Hugh Fout, who emerged as a liberal politician, replaced Marchal John Harting in the government of Cyprus. But again, the same policy was applied against EOKA and the prospects of resolving or even promoting the solution of Cyprus problem.

The new Governor of Cyprus was persistently moving within the framework of the constitutional proposals of Lord Radcliffe, while, at the same time, he also presented, as a threat, the case of the division of the island.

New proposals from the British Government were tabled in February 1958, which were rejected by the Greek Government and Makarios.

The rejection of the proposals were followed by attacks and violence by the Turks against the Greek Cypriots, for which the  Greek Government demanded an extraordinary convocation of the NATO Council, in which  denounced the Turkish violence. But the Greek Parliament, with its unanimous resolution, called for the support of the Greek Cypriot Parliament for the immediate cease of Turkish brutality.

The latest proposals for the solution of the Cypriot issue made by the British side were proposals by the British Prime Minister Makmilan.

These proposals introduced a sort of Anglo-Hellenic Turkish co-existence on the island. As in previous plans, defense, foreign policy and internal security were to stay in the hands of the British Governor.

Of course, such a plan could not be accepted by the Greek Cypriot side. Since October 1958, without the participation of the Cypriots, considerable fermentations have begun in NATO, which had as a consequence the meeting of the Prime Ministers of Greece and Turkey in Zurich and the signing of the Zurich Treaty.

But for this treaty and more generally for the whole set of conditions relating to the independence of Cyprus in the following, , chapter C of this finding.