Written evidence submitted by Paphos Association
Our association would like the Committee to
take the following factors in to consideration.
UK SHOULD CONTINUE
At the referendum on 24 April 2004 the large
majority of Greek Cypriots rejected the Plan but the 76% of Greek
Cypriots rejected only this particular plan and in the nature
of referenda they could not express their views on which parts
of the Plan they were rejecting. It was shown subsequently that
the majority of Greek Cypriots support the Annan Plan subject
to certain changes as well as all the major Greek Cypriot political
parties including the Cyprus Government who are in agreement that
a modified Annan Plan is the way forward.
(a) The justified fear of Greek Cypriots
that Turkey would not honour some parts of the Plan such as the
time tabled return of land. Turkey has a 30 year history of not
fulfilling UN resolutions and European Court of Justice decisions.
(b) Under the Plan all 120,000 Turkish settlers
would stay in Cyprus. These are settlers mostly from Anatolia
who have been brought over from Turkey, against international
law since the invasion in 1974, to change the demographic character
of Cyprus and who are resented even by the Turkish Cypriots. Greek
Cypriots understand the humanitarian reasons that those who intermarried
or born in Cyprus could remain but the remaining thousands of
settlers pose a threat to the Greek Cypriots.
(c) Basic human rights are ignored by the
Plan such as the right to vote by Greek Cypriots who would live
in the Turkish Cypriot state.
(d) The elimination of guarantor powers and
military contingents. Greek Cypriots fear the guarantor powers
of Turkey in view of the Turkish invasion in 1974. Are they really
necessary in this day and age.
(e) The economic viability of Cyprus. Central
Bank and other arrangements are so complicated and unworkable
in the Plan that it can be catastrophic for both communities.
These are some of the changes by which it can
be readily seen that do not take away any rights from the Turkish
Cypriot community within the Annan Plan.
EU OF THE
When Cyprus joined the EU on first of May 2004,
the whole island has joined but the Cyprus government does not
have control of the occupied north of Cyprus. This affects the
political and economic relations between the EU and Cyprus on
one side and Turkey's occupation of the north by 40,000 troops
and the economic position of the Turkish Cypriots on the other
side. How can a country aspiring to join the EU and hoping to
obtain a date to begin negotiations with the EU can militarily
occupy one third of another country member of the EU?
THE UK SHOULD
The UK Government should assist the two communities
to negotiate changes to the Annan Plan but not in favour of Turkey's
geopolitical interests. The UK assistance should be based only
on the interests of both communities but not on the interests
of Turkey, Greece or the UK.
The Turkish Cypriot community must be helped
in order to improve the economic gap between the Greek and Turkish
communities which will help in the eventual solution of the Cyprus
problem. However this help should be within international and
EU rules. This help must be channeled through the legitimate government
of Cyprus otherwise bypassing the Cyprus Government will have
negative results in the reunification of the island because the
Turkish Cypriot community will be encouraged to drift further
apart from the Greek Cypriot community.
Unfortunately the British Government is leading
in the EU and at the UN in support of direct trade and economic
help to the Turkish Cypriots thus bypassing the Cyprus Government.
This action has caused a great resentment among Greek Cypriots
in Cyprus, abroad and in this country. The British Government
is acting as if to punish the Greek Cypriots for exercising their
democratic right by voting against the Annan Plan thus ignoring
or may be encouraging the two communities to drift further apart.
The British Government should continue to support the economic
measures announced by the Cyprus Government and work with the
Cyprus Government rather than bypassing it.
The economic isolation of the occupied north
of Cyprus was not through actions of the Government of Cyprus
but through UN resolutions and European Court decisions. These
resolutions and Court decisions were taken because of Turkey's
invasion and continuing occupation of Cypriot land, it is therefore
Turkey's actions which brought about the economic isolation of
the Turkish Cypriot community. In order for Turkey to safeguard
her own geopolitical interests, it has ignored the interests of
the Turkish Cypriots for the past 30 years.
It is clear that a country wishing to join the
EU cannot continue to occupy one third of the land of another
member state of the EU. UN resolutions, European Court of Justice
Decisions, 40,000 Turkish troops, human rights violations are
more than enough to seriously affect Turkey's wish to obtain a
start date for entry negotiations. The British Government has
a very good relationship with Turkey and wants her to have a start
date for negotiations in December but it should also be advising
Turkey that without a solution of the Cyprus problem she cannot
hope to achieve this target. Unfortunately no such advice has
been given or intended judging by recent statements of the British
We would like and much obliged if the Foreign
Affairs Committee take in consideration the above factors and
would make the appropriate presentations to the British Government
to help for a fair and right solution of the Cyprus Problem for
the welfare and interest of both, the Greek and the Turkish Communities
We are awaiting for your favourable reply as
soon as possible.
On behalf of the President and the Committee
of our Association
Glafkos P Violaros
Honourary President, Paphos Association in England
10 August 2004