Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Written Evidence

Written evidence submitted by the Union of South London Cypriots in Britain

  Following the Zurich and London Agreements in 1959 Cyprus was proclaimed an independent state in 1960 and became a member of the United Nations Organisation, a member of the British Commonwealth and of the Council of Europe.

  Under the 1960 Treaties of Independence and Guarantee; Greece, Turkey, and the United Kingdom undersigned to guarantee Cyprus' Independence Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity.

  What did the guarantor powers do to Cyprus during the momentous years?


  On the 15 July 1974 the military junta of officers that was ruling Greece with the assistance of EOKAB they engineered a military coup against the democratically elected Government and seized power in Cyprus. President Makarios survived and flew to London. The junta paved the way and opened the gates to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. A few weeks later under the enormity of their betrayal the Greek military junta collapsed like a pack of cards.


  On the 20 July 1974 Turkey invaded Cyprus on the pretext that she wanted to restore the constitutional order that was disturbed by the Greek junta's coup. The Turkish army occupied 37% of the island's territory and embarked on a policy of ethnic cleansing. They have uprooted 180,000 people from their homes their property and their occupations turning them into refugees in their own country.

  Constitutional order was restored a few weeks later and President Makarios returned to the island in December 1974.

  Thirty years on 35,000 Turkish troops are still occupying 37% of the territory of Cyprus. Furthermore the Turkish Government brought over 119,000 illegal settlers into the occupied area of Cyprus in order to change the demographic composition of the island. The tragic and humanitarian case of 1,619 missing persons many of whom were held in Turkish prisons is still unresolved.

The United Kingdom

  It is regrettable that the British policy during July, August 1974 amounted to a betrayal of the young Republic, as Britain did not honour its signature and its obligations as a guarantor of the independence and territorial integrity of Cyprus.

  Lord Caradon in an article in The Times on the 17 April 1975 wrote: "It was not possible to uncover or detect any British influence or initiative other than we should follow Dr Kissinger. We have followed him with devastating and shameful results and failed to honour the British obligations as guarantor of the Cyprus people."

  The report of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Foreign Affairs on Cyprus was published on 8 April 1976. Among other things it stated: "Britain had a legal right, a moral obligation and the military capacity to intervene in Cyprus during July, August 1974. She did not intervene for reasons which the Government refuses to give."

  There is a relevant reference to Cyprus in the Crossman Diaries. "In July 28 1967 three months after the fascist military regime was imposed on Greece, a paper was sent to the Cabinet by the Defence and Planning Committee. This paper advised that if the Greek army in Cyprus staged a coup against Makarios in order to achieve Enosis we should dissent from it but prevent our troops getting engaged in any hostilities. Denis and I were the only two people there who had noticed this extraordinary proposal. A Commonwealth country is attacked by a fascist dictatorship and although we have 15,000 armed men there we stand aside."

  It is our view that the Greek coup and the Turkish invasion of Cyprus are the two parts of the Dean Acheson plan, the NATO plan to dismember the Republic of Cyprus and to partition the island.

  Britain was in collusion and capitulated to the USA and NATO and that is the reason that she did not intervene to prevent the Greek Colonel's coup and the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

  In 1977 were the High Level Agreement signed by Archbishop Makarios and Mr Denktashh and in 1979 the Agreement was signed by Mr Kyprianou and Mr Denktashh. These agreements and all subsequent discussions were based on a bi-zonal bi-communal Federal solution.

  Since then all efforts to resolve the problem were obstructed and thwarted by the intransigence of the Turkish Governments and Mr Denktashh.

  The Annan Plan was presented in November 2002 and it was revised five times. However, no substantive negotiations took place due to the lack of sufficient time and the tight deadlines to come to an agreement.

  The Secretary General of UN HE Kofi Annan in his Report to the Security Council recognised that "The serious concerns of the Greek Cypriot community had not been adequately addressed in the final Plan of 31 March 2004, a factor which weighted heavily on the results of the referendum held on 24 April 2004."

  Please find below our approach to the issues that you will examine.

  1.  The UK should continue to back the Annan Plan but should be flexible to changes that through negotiations and when adopted could facilitate a yes vote by the Greek Cypriot community.

  2.  The European Union as well as all Cypriots wish to have a united Cyprus in the EU. The EU may take initiatives within the UN Parameters and promote the dialogue among the communities that may help the unification of Cyprus.

  3.  The UK should take positive and constructive role and within the UN parameters promote activities that bring together the communities so that they may reach a negotiated agreement.

  4.  For 30 years Turkey and Mr Denktashh with their intransigence obstructed and thwarted all efforts to solve the Cyprus problem, and no action was taken against them. It is in the interest of all to accept that this is not the end of the road. New efforts should be initiated as soon as possible to promote a negotiated functional and viable settlement.

  5.  Any help that the British Government may contemplate to give to the Turkish Cypriots should be through legal process and it may also promote co-operation among the communities.

  6.  Provided that Turkey fulfils the human rights requirements according to the 1993 Copenhagen criteria, Turkey is likely to have a date to open accession negotiations with the EU. At the same time as we are close to achieve a negotiated settlement on Cyprus, Turkey should not obstruct the process; she should rather facilitate it.

  During the last 50 years the people of Cyprus have been though terrible ordeals, tribulations and traumatic experiences that have left their indelible mark on the island and its people. The wounds have not yet healed.

  It is time to give a helping hand to alleviate the pain to soothe and heal the wounds.

  President T Papadopoulos in his letter of the 7 June 2004 to the Secretary General of the UN Mr Kofi Annan stated; "I take this opportunity to emphatically reiterate once more, on behalf of the Greek Cypriot side, the commitment of my people, as well as my strong personal one, to the solution of a bizonal bi-communal federation."

  Almost all Greek Cypriot parties agree with that statement and would be glad to see a new initiative by the UN to open negotiations to address the legitimate concerns of the Greek Cypriot community and to make the Annan Plan viable and functional.

Dr George J Christofinis

Chairman, The Union of South London Cypriots in Britain

1 September 2004

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