Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Written Evidence

Written evidence submitted by Michael Stephen[107]


  It is necessary to know what happened in Cyprus between the foundation of the Republic in 1960 and the Turkish intervention in 1974, not for historical interest but in order to determine whether the political status of the Greek Cypriot Administration today, and its acceptance by the world is justified. If the Turkish Cypriots had simply withdrawn from the institutions of the Republic in 1964 with no reasonable excuse, and if the Turkish army had invaded in 1974 without any legal right or humanitarian justification, then perhaps the world would be right to treat the Greek Cypriot Administration as if it were the Government of Cyprus. The truth of the matter is however very different.

  This is an important question, because the ability of the Greek Cypriot Administration to enforce an embargo on Turkish Cypriot trade, sport, and communications derives from their acceptance by other countries and institutions as if they were the lawful government of all Cyprus.

  The former British Prime Minister, Sir Alec Douglas-Home said in his memoirs[108] he had been convinced that if the Greek Cypriots could not treat the Turkish Cypriots as human beings they were inviting the invasion and partition of the island.

  The American Under-Secretary of State, George Ball, said in his own memoirs[109], that the central interest of the Greek Cypriot leader, Makarios, "was to block off Turkish intervention so that he and his Greek Cypriots could go on happily massacring Turkish Cypriots. Obviously we would never permit that." The fact is however that neither the US, the UK, the UN, nor anyone, other than Turkey ever took effective action to prevent it.

  The most remarkable feature of the Cyprus question is the extent to which the Greek Cypriots have been able to repudiate solemn international agreements[110] and violate the human rights of the Turkish Cypriots on a massive scale and yet by a quite astonishing feat of public relations, have secured for themselves acceptance as the government of all Cyprus and have persuaded the world that they, and not the Turkish Cypriots, are the injured party. The consequence of this is that they have been able to extract one-sided resolutions from the United Nations and other international organisations, and have been able to secure court judgments which have been immensely damaging to the Turkish Cypriots and have placed the Turkish Cypriots under a crippling embargo on their international trade and communications.

  For more than 40 years the Turkish Cypriots and their government have been faced with one of the hardest tasks in the whole range of international affairs—how to get the world to change its mind after it has got hold of the wrong end of the stick and clung to it year after year.

  The Greek Cypriots claim that the Cyprus problem was caused by the landing of Turkish troops in 1974 and that if only they would withdraw, the problem would be solved. This is a serious misconception, for the landing of Turkish troops was the consequence, not the cause, of the problem. Moreover, there were in fact two military actions in 1974; the first was by Greece and the Greek Cypriots, which caused the second by Turkey.

  In the view of Greek Cypriot journalist, Aleccos Constantinides[111] the Greek Cypriot political parties DIKO and EDEK "are acting as if the Cyprus problem began and ended in 1974. They refrain from talking about the previous coups. The first coup was not in 1974, but only a few years after we had attained our independence (in 1960). Had it not been for the first coup there would not have been the 1974 coup."

  Another Greek Cypriot journalist, Stavros Angelides, wrote in Fileleftheros on 16 September 1990 "With the passage of time we the Greek Cypriots forget, or wilfully disregard, the events which led to the present situation in Cyprus. We forget our faults and we ask all the more emphatically everybody else to deliver to us justice as we understand it. We talk in generalities and in vague terms about UN Resolutions, and actually mean those which favour us. The others, such as Resolution 649 are not fair—we do not want them—let them go to hell."

  The independence negotiations in Zurich and London were long and difficult, but in 1960 it was agreed by way of compromise between all five participants; Britain, Greece, Turkey, the Turkish Cypriots, and the Greek Cypriots; that the new Republic of Cyprus would be a bi-communal Republic with a single territory but a unique Constitution which embodied an agreed political partnership between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, and which prohibited the political or economic union of Cyprus with any other State.

  The bi-communal structure was fundamental to the 1960 accords, on the basis of which the Republic of Cyprus achieved independence, and recognition as a sovereign state from the international community. Accordingly, from its very inception the Republic of Cyprus was never a unitary state in which there is only one electorate with a majority and minority. The two peoples of Cyprus were political equals and each existed as a political entity, just as both large and small states exist within the structure of the European Union. They did not however have the same constitutional rights because the agreements took into account the fact that there were more Greek Cypriots than Turkish Cypriots.

  UN Secretary-General Annan acknowledged in his plan for a Cyprus settlement[112] that "the relationship between the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots is not one of majority and minority but of political equality where neither side may claim authority or jurisdiction over the other."

  The Turkish Cypriot people, knowing that they could not enforce the agreement themselves, would never have agreed to join the 1960 Republic if the Greek Cypriots had not also accepted a Treaty of Guarantee which gave Turkey a legal right to intervene, with troops if necessary. The parties to the Treaty were the United Kingdom, Turkey, Greece, and the Republic of Cyprus itself. The Turkish Cypriots had seen what happened to the Turkish people of Crete under Greek hegemony, and knew that there would be no future for them in Cyprus without a Turkish military guarantee.

  Independence was formally granted on 16 August 1960.

  At the conclusion of the negotiations the Greek Cypriot leader, Archbishop Makarios, said "Sending cordial good wishes to all the Greeks and Turks of Cyprus, I greet with joy the Agreement reached and proclaim with confidence that this day will be the beginning of a new period of progress and prosperity for our country". However, it soon became clear that the Greek Cypriots did not intend to abide by the Constitution, and that their entry into that solemn legal obligation with the Turkish Cypriots in 1960 had been a deception. On 28 July 1960 President Makarios said "the agreements do not form the goal—they are the present and not the future. The Greek Cypriot people will continue their national cause and shape their future in accordance with THEIR will.

  In a speech on 4 September 1962, at Panayia, Makarios said "Until this Turkish community forming part of the Turkish race which has been the terrible enemy of Hellenism is expelled, the duty of the heroes of EOKA[113] can never be considered as terminated." It would be difficult to imagine a more vindictive, racist, policy than this. It is also a Greek expansionist policy—the very charge which the Greek Cypriots laid against Turkey when Turkey intervened twelve years later to put an end to it.

  George Ball[114] quotes Adlai Stevenson as saying that Makarios, was "a wicked, unreliable conniver, who concealed his venality under the sanctimonious vestments of a religious leader" and comments that "In the years I had known Adlai I had never heard him speak of anyone with such vitriol."

  Article 173 of the Cyprus Constitution provided for separate municipalities for Turkish Cypriots in the five main towns. The Greek Cypriots refused to obey this mandatory provision and in order to encourage them to do so the Turkish Cypriots said they would not vote for some of the Government's taxation proposals. The Greek Cypriots remained intransigent, so the Turkish Cypriots took the matter to the Supreme Constitutional Court of Cyprus. The court comprised one Greek Cypriot judge, one Turkish Cypriot judge, and a neutral President.

  In February 1963 Archbishop Makarios declared on behalf of the Greek Cypriots that if the Court ruled against them they would ignore it[115] On 25 April 1963 the Court did rule against them[116] and they did ignore it. The President of the Court (a German citizen) resigned and the rule of law in Cyprus collapsed.

  In November 1963 the Greek Cypriots went further, and demanded the abolition of eight of the basic articles which had been included in the 1960 Agreement for the protection of the Turkish Cypriots. The aim was to reduce the Turkish Cypriot people to the status of a mere minority, wholly subject to the control of the Greek Cypriots, pending their ultimate expulsion from the island. The Greek Cypriots had prepared a written plan for this purpose, called the Akritas Plan.

  Glafcos Clerides, later the Greek Cypriot President, wrote his memoirs, entitled "Cyprus—My Deposition" in four volumes, published by Alithia publishing company, Nicosia, 1989-91. In these memoirs he admits that there was no need for constitutional amendments. According to him, "Makarios, at the head of the bi-communal state of Cyprus, had decided to proceed, stage by stage, to the unilateral abrogation of the rights granted to the Turkish community by the Zurich and London Agreements and to reduce its political status to a minority, using prematurely, the excuse of the unworkability of certain provisions of the constitution."

  He goes on to say that "An honest evaluation of the situation during the period 1960-63, divorced from propaganda would lead to the conclusion that there was no need to press for constitutional amendments". Nevertheless according to Clerides, Makarios "refused to accept practical solutions failing short of constitutional amendments"

  Clerides admits that "the delicate period of 1960-63, when both communities were questioning the sincerity of the other over their real commitment to independence, was not the proper time to request constitutional amendments on the grounds that the constitution was unworkable, when in fact unworkability could not be established".

  Greek Cypriots claim that constitutional amendments were inevitable because the Turkish Cypriots abused their veto power, but according to Clerides: "The veto powers were not used either by the President or the Vice President on any law or decision of the House of Representatives . . .

  Furthermore, he says "there was no difficulty in promulgating the decisions of the Council of Ministers and the laws of the House of Representatives."

  Clerides continued: "If the Turkish Cypriots resist "unilateral amendments of the Constitution" where their rights would be abrogated, the forces of the Minister of Interior will use force to "put down the uprising". Lt General George Karayiannis (the mainland Greek Army Officer then in command of the Cyprus Army) told Ethnikos Kiryx, an Athens Daily, on 13 June 1965 that "President Makarios decided (a) to proceed to organise the Greek Cypriots for battle and arm them, and (b) to proceed with the revision of the Constitution, including the cancellation of the [Turkish Cypriot] Vice-President's Veto."

  "When the Turkish Cypriots objected to the amendment of the constitution Makarios put his plan into effect, and the Greek Cypriot attack began in December 1963"—(Lt Gen Karayiannis)[117] The General is referring to the "Akritas" plan, which was the blueprint for the annihilation of the Turkish Cypriots and the annexation of the island to Greece.

  At Christmas 1963 the Greek Cypriot militia attacked Turkish Cypriot communities across the island, and very many men, women, and children were killed. 270 of their mosques, shrines and other places of worship were desecrated.

  On 28 December 1963 the Daily Express carried the following report from Cyprus: "We went tonight into the sealed-off Turkish Cypriot Quarter of Nicosia in which 200 to 300 people had been slaughtered in the last five days. We were the first Western reporters there and we have seen sights too frightful to be described in print. Horror so extreme that the people seemed stunned beyond tears."

  On 31 December 1963 The Guardian reported: "It is nonsense to claim, as the Greek Cypriots do, that all casualties were caused by fighting between armed men of both sides. On Christmas Eve many Turkish Cypriot people were brutally attacked and murdered in their suburban homes, including the wife and children of a doctor—allegedly by a group of forty men, many in army boots and greatcoats." Although the Turkish Cypriots fought back as best they could, and killed some militia, there were no massacres of Greek Cypriot civilians.

  On 1 January 1964 the Daily Herald reported: "When I came across the Turkish Cypriot homes they were an appalling sight. Apart from the walls they just did not exist. I doubt if a napalm attack could have created more devastation. Under roofs which had caved in I found a twisted mass of bed springs, children's cots, and grey ashes of what had once been tables, chairs and wardrobes. In the neighbouring village of Ayios Vassilios I counted 16 wrecked and burned out homes. They were all Turkish Cypriot. In neither village did I find a scrap of damage to any Greek Cypriot house."

  On 2 January 1964 the Daily Telegraph wrote "The Greek Cypriot community should not assume that the British military presence can or should secure them against Turkish intervention if they persecute the Turkish Cypriots. We must not be a shelter for double-crossers." Britain did not however make any serious attempt to stop the Greek Cypriots.

  On 12 January 1964 the British High Commission in Nicosia wrote to London[118] "The Greek (Cypriot) police are led by extremists who provoked the fighting and deliberately engaged in atrocities. They have recruited into their ranks as "special constables" gun-happy young thugs. They threaten to try and punish any Turkish Cypriot police who wish to return to the Cyprus Government. . . . . . . . Makarios assured us there will be no attack. His assurance is as worthless as previous assurances have proved."

  The British Government noted[119] that George Ball "thought that Makarios' aim was to get the Cyprus problem into the UN orbit where the slogan of self-determination, supported by the communist bloc and the neutralists, could exert pressure towards the establishment of an independent unitary state, where he could do what he liked with the Turkish Cypriots."

  On 14 January 1964 the Daily Telegraph reported that the Turkish Cypriot inhabitants of Ayios Vassilios had been massacred on 26 December 1963, and reported their exhumation from a mass grave in the presence of the Red Cross. A further massacre of Turkish Cypriots, at Limassol, was reported by The Observer on 16 February 1964, and there were many more. On 17 February 1964 the Washington Post reported that "Greek Cypriot fanatics appear bent on a policy of genocide." The Greek Cypriot Minister of the Interior admitted[120] that he had controlled the attack in Limassol himself.

  British troops in Cyprus at the time did what they could to protect the Turkish Cypriots, and their efforts are remembered to this day, but the scale and ferocity of the Greek Cypriot attacks, and lack of political will in London, made their task impossible. On 6 February 1964 a British patrol found armed Greek Cypriot police attacking the Turkish Cypriots of Ayios Sozomenos, but they were unable to stop the attack.

  On 13 February 1964 the Greeks and Greek Cypriots attacked the Turkish Cypriot quarter of Limassol with tanks, killing 16 and injuring 35. On 15 February 1964 The Daily Telegraph reported: "It is a real military operation which the Greek Cypriots launched against the six thousand inhabitants of the Turkish Cypriot Quarter yesterday morning. A spokesman for the Greek Cypriot Government has recognised this officially. It is hard to conceive how Greek and Turkish Cypriots may seriously contemplate working together after all that has happened."

  On 10 September 1964 the UN Secretary-General reported (UN doc. S/5950):

  "UNFICYP carried out a detailed survey of all damage to properties throughout the island during the disturbances, . . . . . . . . . it shows that in 109 villages, most of them Turkish-Cypriot or mixed villages, 527 houses have been destroyed while 2,000 others have suffered damage from looting. In Ktima 38 houses and shops have been destroyed totally and 122 partially. In the Orphomita suburb of Nicosia, 50 houses have been totally destroyed while a further 240 have been partially destroyed there and in adjacent suburbs."

  The UK House of Commons Select Committee on Foreign Affairs reviewed the Cyprus question in 1987[121] and reported unanimously that, "Although the Cyprus Government now claims to have been seeking to "operate the 1960 Constitution modified to the extent dictated by the necessities of the situation" this claim ignores the fact that both before and after the events of December 1963 the Makarios Government continued to advocate the cause of ENOSIS [annexation to Greece] and actively pursued the amendment of the Constitution and the related treaties to facilitate this ultimate objective".

  The Committee continued : "Moreover in June 1967 the Greek Cypriot legislature unanimously passed a resolution in favour of ENOSIS, in blatant contravention of the 1960 Treaties and Constitution."[122]

  Professor Ernst Forsthoff, the neutral President of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Cyprus until 1963 told Die Welt on 27 December 1963 "Makarios bears on his shoulders the sole responsibility of the recent tragic events. His aim is to deprive the Turkish community of their rights." In an interview with UPI press agency on 30 December 1963 he said: "All this happened because Makarios wanted to remove all constitutional rights from the Turkish Cypriots."

  George Ball also recalls[123] that during his visit to Cyprus in the Spring of 1964, Sir Cyril Pickard, the British Under-secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations, "denounced the Archbishop in devastating language for the outrages inflicted on the Turkish Cypriots." Ball himself told the Greek Cypriot leader that "if he persisted in his cruel and reckless conduct Turkey would inevitably invade, and neither the US nor any other western power would raise a finger to stop them."

  He further recalls[124] that "a massacre took place in Limassol on the south coast in which as I recall about 50 Turkish Cypriots were killed, in some cases by bulldozers crushing their flimsy homes. I said to Makarios sharply that such beastly actions had to stop." Fine words—but nothing was done. On his visit to Athens at that time George Ball records[125] that "Greek Prime Minister [George] Papandreou contended that the "turbulence" over Cyprus resulted only from Turkey's invasion threats. I told him that although I had heard all that before it simply was not true."

  The United Nations not only failed to condemn the usurpation of the legal order in Cyprus by force, but actually rewarded it by treating the by then wholly Greek Cypriot administration as if it were the Government of Cyprus. This acceptance has continued to the present day, and reflects no credit upon the United Nations, nor upon Britain, the US and the other countries, including now the EU, who have acquiesced in it.

  Despite the arrival of UN troops in Cyprus in March 1964 the Greek Cypriots had continued their attacks on Turkish Cypriot civilians. In June 1964 the position of the Turkish Cypriots became so serious that public opinion in Turkey felt that they could no longer stand by. They therefore warned that they would intervene under Article 4 of the Treaty of Guarantee[126]

  On 7 August 1964 the Greek Cypriots attacked Turkish Cypriot villages, provoking the Turkish government to send four warplanes to attack the Greek Cypriot village of Polis. On 8 August thirty Turkish jets flew low over Greek Cypriot towns on the north coast, and on 9 August, sixty-four Turkish planes flew low over north-west Cyprus.

  On 12 August the US Ambassador to Greece was instructed to urge the Greek government to stop the attacks on Turkish Cypriots, and Kruschev told the Greek Cypriots that they could expect no support from the Soviet Union[127] Finally the Greek Cypriots desisted, but had it not been for these warning flights there would have been few Turkish Cypriots left alive. They were saved by the Turkish Air Force, not by the UN.

  Turkey did not land troops, because they were threatened by a letter from US President Johnson on 5 June 1964 that if Turkey were invaded by the Soviets America would not comply with its NATO obligation to defend them. This was an arrogant, illegal, and empty threat, for America's responsibility under the North Atlantic Treaty was clear, and there is no possibility that America's own strategic interests could permit a Soviet takeover of Turkey or the Dardanelles. The threat was nevertheless enough to postpone Turkish intervention for another ten years.

  The Turkish Cypriots were forced to withdraw into defended enclaves, and it was therefore in January 1964, not in 1974, that Cyprus was divided. On 14 January 1964 "Il Giorno" of Italy reported: "Right now we are witnessing the exodus of Turkish Cypriots from the villages. Thousands of people abandoning homes, land, herds. Greek Cypriot terrorism is relentless. This time the rhetoric of the Hellenes and the statues of Plato do not cover up their barbaric and ferocious behaviour." The Turkish Cypriots had to establish an elected authority to govern themselves whilst confined in their enclaves.

  Britain and the US have, in their own interests, encouraged the world to treat the Greek Cypriots alone as the government of all Cyprus, despite Britain's own acknowledgement[128] that "Cyprus Government" could mean only a government which acts with the concurrence of its Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot members. There has been no concurrence since 1963, and there is no "doctrine of necessity" which allows one partner to assault and terrorise the other and then claim the right to run the State alone. The Greek Cypriots have been asking the Turkish Cypriots to go back since 1967, but on terms which abrogate their basic rights and which they could not possibly accept. The Greek Cypriots have no incentive to settle so long as they continue to be treated as the "Government of Cyprus," and enabled to keep the Turkish Cypriots for so long as they please under an embargo[129] against their trade and communications without any authority under Chapter VII of the UN Charter

  When in 1983 the Turkish Cypriots declared their own Republic, Britain and the US, acted against them at the UN. They promoted Security Council Resolutions 541 and 550, which purported to declare the Declaration of Independence "legally invalid," and called upon states not to recognise the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. However, the Security Council failed to examine the legal basis for that proposition. It has never been specified whether the constitutional law of Cyprus or international law is said to be the basis of such "illegality." It has never been explained how the 1960 constitution, having been repudiated and expressly abrogated by the Greek Cypriots as long ago as 1963, could still be binding upon the Turkish Cypriots in 1983.

  Although the UK Government deals with the Greek Cypriot Administration as if they were the lawful Government of Cyprus, it does not formally recognise them as such. On 25 April 1980 the Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs made the following statement in the House of Lords[130]: "We have conducted a re-examination of British policy and practice concerning the recognition of Governments. This has included a comparison with the practice of our partners and allies. On the basis of this review we have decided that we shall no longer accord recognition to Governments. The British Government recognises States in accordance with common international doctrine."

  On 30 July 1980 the Minister of State reiterated[131] that "the British Government recognises States, not Governments" and this was affirmed again on 12th November 1987[132] The United States takes the same position. Accordingly, if the British and US Governments recognise States not Governments, neither the Greek Cypriot nor the Turkish Cypriot administration is recognised by them as the Government of Cyprus.

  Security Council Resolutions 541 and 550 seek to discourage the recognition of more than one State in Cyprus, but they do not purport to confer recognition upon the Greek Cypriot Administration as the government of that State.

  On 12 August 1964 the UK Representative to the UN wrote to his government as follows:

    "What is our policy and true feelings about the future of Cyprus and about Makarios? Judging from the English newspapers and many others, the feeling is very strong indeed against Makarios and his so-called government and nothing would please the British people more than to see him toppled and the Cyprus problem solved by the direct dealings between the Turks and the Greeks. Sometimes it seems that the obsession of some people with "the Commonwealth" blinds us to everything else and it would be high treason to take a more active line against Makarios and his henchmen. At other times the dominant feature seems to be concern lest active opposition against Makarios should lead to direct conflict with the [Greek] Cypriots and end up with our losing our military bases."

  After 1963 Turkish Cypriot MPs, judges, and other officials were intimidated or prevented by force from carrying out their duties. The UK House of Commons Select Committee said[133] "The effect of the crisis of December 1963 was to deliver control of the formal organs of Government into the hands of the Greek Cypriots alone. Claiming to be acting in accordance with "the doctrine of necessity" the Greek Cypriot members of the House of Representatives enacted a series of laws which provided for the operation of the organs of government without Turkish Cypriot participation."

  The Select Committee continued at para. 29 "Equally damaging from the Turkish Cypriot point of view was what they considered to be their effective exclusion from representation at, and participation in, the international fora where their case could have been deployed . . . . . . . . . . . . ." "An official Turkish Cypriot presence in the international political scene virtually disappeared overnight." It is not therefore surprising that the world has been persuaded to the Greek Cypriot point of view.

  More than 300 Turkish Cypriots are still missing without trace from these massacres of 1963-64. These dreadful events were not the responsibility of "the Greek Colonels" (who were not then in power) nor an unrepresentative handful of Greek Cypriot extremists. The persecution of the Turkish Cypriots was an act of policy on the part of the Greek Cypriot political and religious leadership, which has to this day made no serious attempt to bring the murderers to justice.

  Instead they have denied the facts and claimed that there were just a few spordic killings for which both sides were equally to blame. As recently as September 2004 the Greek Cypriot Administration claimed that there had been no massacres at all of Turkish Cypriots. This was received with disbelief even by the Greek Cypriot Cyprus Mail. A Greek Cypriot journalist, Antonis Angastionotis, concerned that the truth had been kept from the Greek Cypriot people for so long, has made a documentary film entitled "The Voice of Blood" which shows the attempted genocide carried out against the Turkish Cypriots by Greek Cypriots in the villages of Murataga-Sandallar-Atly«lar and Taskent in 1974. It is unlikely that this documentary will be shown on greek television.

  The Greek Cypriot attitude is both sad and foolish. They will never convince the Turkish Cypriots that the massacres did not happen, and until they admit that they did happen, and seek forgiveness, the process of reconciliation cannot begin. There are good people in Southern Cyprus who would be willing to do that, but there are others in powerful positions there who will never admit the truth lest it should undermine the wholly unjustified political position which they have built for the Greek Cypriot Administration in the world.

  The UK Commons Select Committee found[134] that, "There is little doubt that much of the violence which the Turkish Cypriots claim led to the total or partial destruction of 103 Turkish villages and the displacement of about a quarter of the total Turkish Cypriot population, was either directly inspired by, or certainly connived at, by the Greek Cypriot leadership".

  The UN Secretary-General reported to the Security Council[135] "When the disturbances broke out in December 1963 and continued during the first part of 1964 thousands of Turkish-Cypriots fled their homes, taking with them only what they could drive or carry, and sought refuge in safer villages and areas." In September 1964 the Secretary-General reported to the Security Council[136] "In addition to losses incurred in agriculture and in industry during the first part of the year, the Turkish Cypriot community had lost other sources of its income including the salaries of over 4,000 persons who were employed by the Cyprus Government." The trade of the Turkish Cypriot community had considerably declined during the period, and unemployment reached a very high level of approximately 25,000 breadwinners.

  Turkish-Cypriots had become refugees in their own land. Expenditure of the Turkish Communal Chamber collapsed, as a yearly subsidy formerly received from the Government had ceased in 1964. A large part of its remaining resources had to be used for unemployment relief and other forms of compensation as approximately half the entire Turkish Cypriot population came to be on relief.

  On 10 September 1964 the UN Secretary-General reported[137] "The economic restrictions being imposed against the Turkish Cypriot communities, which in some instances has been so severe as to amount to veritable siege, indicated that the Government of Cyprus seeks to force a potential solution by economic pressure." This is still true today.

  On 24 July 1965 the United Kingdom formally protested the unlawful action of the Greek Cypriots, but continued to deal with them as the Government of Cyprus, and took no effective action to stop them doing as they pleased. During the period 1963 to 1974 the freedom of movement of Turkish-Cypriots was severely restricted[138] They were denied postal services[139] Their access to building materials, electrical equipment, motor parts, fuel, chemicals and many other commodities was severely restricted[140] and Turkish-Cypriot refugees had to live in tents and caves.

  The UK Commons Select Committee[141] found that "When in July 1965 the Turkish Cypriot members of the House of Representatives had sought to resume their seats they were told that they could do so only if they accepted the legislative changes to the operation of the Constitution enacted in their absence" (ie. if they agreed to fundamental constitutional changes to the great disadvantage of their community, imposed upon them by force of arms). The Select Committee continued: "In February 1966 Makarios declared that the 1960 Agreements had been abrogated and buried."

  Greek Cypriot policy after 1963 was summarised as follows in Fileleftheros on 20 September 1992: "we the Greek Cypriots are in full control of the Government. All the Ministers are Greeks. Our government is the only one recognised internationally—why should we bring the [Turkish Cypriots] back in? The [Turkish Cypriots] today control only 3% of the land. They have no rich resources and they are living through difficult times from an economic point of view. They will ultimately have to accept our point of view—or go."

  The Greek Cypriots sometimes allege that it was they who were attacked, by the Turkish Cypriots, who were determined to wreck the 1960 agreements. However, the Turkish Cypriots were not only outnumbered by nearly four to one; they were also surrounded in their villages by armed Greek Cypriots. They had no heavy weapons, they had no way of protecting their women and children, and Turkey was 40 miles away across the sea. The very idea that in those circumstances the Turkish Cypriots were the aggressors, is absurd.

  The distinguished philosopher, Michael Moran, of Sussex University, made the following diagnosis of Greek Cypriot attitudes[142]: "It was because they were under a kind of ideological spell, a collective mental condition similar to what Marxists used to call "false-consciousness" that the Greek Cypriots could embark upon their particular course of action in December 1963 with all the zeal and confidence they did. Brainwashed through at least a hundred years of school-teaching and sermonising into a set of beliefs pathologically at odds with any plausible account of historical and political realities; lacking contact with a counterbalancing tradition of rational criticism; for the most part incapable of ironic scepticism towards theological obfuscation—the Greek Cypriot leaders were effectively de-sensitised to the equally important rights of the Turkish Cypriots. In this way they were able to treat their Turkish compatriots with such consistent and irrational abuse, hardly noticing that this was in fact what they were doing."

  The Matron of the Nicosia Hospital, Nurse Trkan Aziz MBE recalled in her memoirs[143] how Greek Cypriot militia roamed the hospital wards killing the Turkish Cypriot patients[144] Later she found the bodies of two Turkish Cypriot boys to whom she had given refuge in her own apartments at the hospital. "The two sat on chairs exactly where I had left them, but this time they did not rise to greet me with smiles. Dark blood welled through the tattered remnants of their shirts and dripped on the carpet. Their Greek Cypriot "guard" had vanished, spraying the staircase senselessly with bullets as he left"[145]

  Matron Aziz describes the horror of Ayios Vasilios as follows[146]

    "a few feet down they found the first bodies, three men thrown on top of each other, then a boy whose hands had been tied behind his knees, then a little girl, then an old man dressed in his peasant-style baggy trousers, then some women. There were 21 bodies, almost all dressed, but not in hospital garb. These were Turkish Cypriot families who had lived in Ayios Vasilios."

  The relevance of "hospital garb" is that the Greek Cypriots "revealed a new depth of sickness of the mind by insisting the bodies were of patients in the hospital who had died of natural causes[147] They had issued a press statement saying "Turks distort the truth."

  On 28 July 1965[148] the former British Minister, Duncan Sandys said in the House of Commons: "the flagrantly illegal action of the Cyprus government gives to Turkey an unquestionable right under the Treaty of Guarantee to intervene in order to restore the Constitution."

  The Greek Cypriots, still not confident that they could eliminate the Turkish Cypriots without help from Greece, began to augment their forces soon after the events of 1963. In his book "Democracy at Gunpoint" Andreas Papandreou recalls that in 1964 "A clandestine operation began on a huge scale; of nightly shipments of arms and "volunteers" who arrive in Cyprus in civilian clothes and then join their Greek Cypriot units."

  "Newsweek" had likewise reported on 27 July 1964 that: "Before dawn each day the great iron doors of the port of Limassol are slammed shut . . . UN troops are barred. A few hours later the doors swing open and covered lorries, weaving on overloaded springs, roar out of the port and head toward the Troodos mountains."

  Despite the withdrawal of Turkish Cypriots into defended enclaves, they were subjected to further massacres of civilians in 1967 when, on 27 March the Greeks and Greek Cypriots shelled the village of Mari for four hours. On 15 November 1967 2,000 armed men with artillery and armoured forces attacked the Turkish Cypriot quarter of Ayios Theodoros. At the same time the village of Getcikale (Kophinou) was attacked. During these attacks UN soldiers watched helpless as women children, and old men were killed—many burned alive in their own homes—and 50 houses were destroyed. Only further warning flights by the Turkish Air Force prevented more massacres at this time, and forced the withdrawal of some of the mainland Greek forces which had been illegally built up in Cyprus.

  And what was the reaction of the international community?

  They did not launch air attacks against the Greek Cypriots, as they later did against the Serbs—they did not complain about ethnic cleansing, or "attempts to change the demographic character of Cyprus." They expressed no concern for Turkish Cypriot refugees and missing persons, nor for the homes, farms and businesses they had lost,—and they did not complain about the 20,000 Greek troops on the island. Instead they rewarded the Greek Cypriots by treating them as the Government of all Cyprus.

  In 1971 General Grivas returned to Cyprus to form EOKA-B, which was committed to making Cyprus a wholly Greek island and annexing it to Greece. In a speech to the Greek Cypriot armed forces[149] Grivas said. "The Greek forces from Greece have come to Cyprus in order to impose the will of the Greeks of Cyprus upon the Turks. We want ENOSIS but the Turks are against it. We shall impose our will. We are strong and we shall do so."

  By 15 July 1974 a powerful force of mainland Greek troops had assembled in Cyprus and with their backing the Greek Cypriot National Guard overthrew Makarios and installed one Nicos Sampson as "President." On 22nd July Washington Star News reported: "Bodies littered the streets and there were mass burials . . . People told by Makarios to lay down their guns were shot by the National Guard."

  Turkish Cypriots appealed to the Guarantor powers for help, but only Turkey was willing to make any effective response." On 20 July 1974 Turkey intervened under Article IV of the Treaty of Guarantee"—(UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office doc. CPS/75, Jan, 1987). The Greek newspaper Eleftherotipia published an interview with Nicos Sampson on 26 February 1981 in which he said "Had Turkey not intervened I would not only have proclaimed ENOSIS—I would have annihilated the Turks of Cyprus."

  On 17 April 1991 US Ambassador Nelson Ledsky testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that "Most of the "missing persons" disappeared in the first days of July 1974, before the Turkish intervention on the 20th. Many killed on the Greek side were killed by Greek Cypriots in fighting between supporters of Makarios and Sampson." On 6th November 1974 TA NEA newspaper reported the erasure of dates from the graves of Greek Cypriots killed in the five days 15—20 July, in order to blame their deaths on the subsequent Turkish military action.

  On 3 March 1996 the Greek Cypriot Cyprus Mail wrote: "[Greek] Cypriot governments have found it convenient to conceal the scale of atrocities during the 15th July coup in an attempt to downplay its contribution to the tragedy of the summer of 1974 and instead blame the Turkish invasion for all casualties. There can be no justification for any government that failed to investigate this sensitive humanitarian issue. The shocking admission by the Clerides government that there are people buried in Nicosia cemetery who are still included in the list of the "missing" is the last episode of a human drama which has been turned into a propaganda tool."

  Referring to the wife of a Greek Cypriot "missing person" whom he had interviewed, the Greek Cypriot journalist George Lanitis wrote[150] "The woman was used ruthlessly by the Cyprus propaganda machine to impress on world opinion the unquestionably tragic situation of the relatives of the missing persons. She was fooled. I was fooled and many other journalists were fooled and we fooled our readers. I apologise, but I acted like the rest of them, bona fide."

  In the village of Tokhni on 14 August 1974 all the Turkish Cypriot men between the ages of 13 and 74, except for eighteen who managed to escape, were taken away and shot. (Times, Guardian, 21 August)

  In Zyyi on the same day all the Turkish-Cypriot men aged between 19 and 38 were taken away and were never seen again. On the same day Greek-Cypriots opened fire in the Turkish-Cypriot neighbourhood of Paphos killing men, women, and children indiscriminately. On 23 July 1974 the Washington Post reported "In a Greek raid on a small Turkish village near Limassol 36 people out of a population of 200 were killed. The Greeks said that they had been given orders to kill the inhabitants of the Turkish villages before the Turkish forces arrived."[151]

  "The Greeks began to shell the Turkish quarter on Saturday, refugees said. Kazan Dervis, a Turkish Cypriot girl aged 15, said she had been staying with her uncle. The [Greek Cypriot] National Guard came into the Turkish sector and shooting began. She saw her uncle and other relatives taken away as prisoners, and later heard her uncle had been shot."[152]

  On 28 July the New York Times reported that 14 Turkish-Cypriot men had been shot in Alaminos. On 24 July 1974 "France Soir" reported "The Greeks burned Turkish mosques and set fire to Turkish homes in the villages around Famagusta. Defenceless Turkish villagers who have no weapons live in an atmosphere of terror and they evacuate their homes and go and live in tents in the forests. The Greeks' actions are a shame to humanity."

  On 22 July Turkish Prime Minister Ecevit called upon the UN to "stop the genocide of Turkish-Cypriots" and declared "Turkey has accepted a cease-fire, but will not allow Turkish-Cypriots to be massacred."[153] The German newspaper Die Zeit wrote on 30 August 1974 "the massacre of Turkish Cypriots in Paphos and Famagusta is the proof of how justified the Turks were to undertake their intervention".

  According to the Daily Telegraph156:"Turkish Cypriots, who had suffered from physical attacks since 1963, called on the guarantor powers to prevent a Greek conquest of the island. When Britain did nothing Turkey invaded Cyprus and occupied its northern part. Turkish Cypriots have constitutional right on their side and understandably fear a renewal of persecution if the[154] Turkish army withdraws".

  "Turkey intervened to protect the lives and property of the Turkish-Cypriots, and to its credit it has done just that. In the 12 years since, there have been no killings and no massacres" Lord Willis (Labour) House of Lords 17th December 1986[155]

  The 1976 UK House of Commons Select Committee on Cyprus found[156] that Turkey had proposed joint Anglo-Turkish action under the Treaty of Guarantee, and this was confirmed by Prime Minister Ecevit on 14th August 1974[157] However the Labour Government in Britain refused to take any effective action, even though they had troops and aircraft in the Sovereign Bases in Cyprus. They argued that Britain was under no duty to take military action, but Article 2 of the Treaty provided that Britain would guarantee the state of affairs established by the basic articles of the 1960 Constitution, which it manifestly failed to do. The Select Committee concluded that "Britain had a legal right to intervene, she had a moral obligation to intervene. She did not intervene for reasons which the Government refuses to give."

  Some people argue that having defeated the Sampson coup, and Makarios having returned to the Presidential Palace, Turkey should have withdrawn and left the Turkish Cypriots again at the mercy of Makarios, the man who had been responsible for the earlier massacres. That proposition has only to be stated for its absurdity to be appreciated. It must be remembered that UN troops had been in Cyprus since March 1964 and had failed to protect the Turkish Cypriots. The Turkish Cypriots were later to see what happened to the Moslem people of Srebrenica under international protection.

  Turkey could discharge its treaty obligation only by providing a safe haven for the Turkish Cypriots in which they could live in peace and freedom, and by encouraging them to reach a new political arrangement with the Greek Cypriots in which they could play their part as political equals in the government of the island. This Turkey has done, and has been praised by the UN, the US, and the EU for the role it has played in persuading the Turkish Cypriots to accept the Annan Plan in April 2004.

  Even if the Treaty of Guarantee had not existed Turkey would have been wholly justified in intervening to protect the Turkish Cypriots from attempted genocide and remaining there for as long as their protection was needed, on the same legal basis as NATO intervened to protect ethnic Albanians in Kosovo from attempted genocide.

  The United Nations, the Commonwealth, and the rest of the world have put political expediency before principle, and failed to condemn the appalling behaviour of the Greek Cypriots. Greek Cypriots are guilty of attempted genocide in violation of Articles 2(a), (b) and (c) and Articles 3(a), (b), (c), (d) and (e) of the 1948 Genocide Convention, but no action has ever been taken against them. Instead they have been rewarded by being treated as the Government of all Cyprus. The Turkish Cypriots by contrast were frozen out of the UN, the Commonwealth and almost every other international organisation, and were not even allowed to be heard when important decisions affecting their future were made.

  This act of betrayal by the United Nations itself has enabled the Greek Cypriots for more than forty years to treat the Turkish Cypriots as a mere community, to take most of the international aid for themselves, to embargo Turkish Cypriot trade and communications with the outside world, to occupy the Cyprus chair in all international institutions, and to convince the world that they, and not the Turkish Cypriots are the injured party.

  Even today, despite having voted to accept the Annan Plan in April 2004, the Turkish Cypriots are still frozen out of their rightful place in the world, and still suffer a wholly unjustified embargo on their trade and communications. What have the Turkish Cypriots done to deserve such treatment?

Michael Stephen

30 September 2004

107   Michael Stephen LL.M. is a Barrister and international lawyer and was a member of the UK Parliament 1992-97. He held a Harkness Fellowship in International Law at Stanford and Harvard, and was Assistant Legal Adviser to the UK Ambassador to the UN for the 25th General Assembly. He is the author of "The Cyprus Question." (London, July 2001). Back

108   "The Way The Wind Blows" Collins 1976, p.242. Back

109   "The Past has Another Pattern" Norton 1982 at p.345. Back

110   Zurich and London Agreements on Cyprus 1960; European Convention on Human Rights & Fundamental Freedoms. Back

111   Alithia 14.12.85. Back

112   31st March 2004-Main Article iii. Back

113   The Greek Cypriot terrorist organisation. Back

114   page 340. Back

115   Cyprus Mail 12.2.63. Back

116   Turkish Communal Chamber v Council of Ministers 5 CLR (1963) 59, 77, 78. Back

117   "Ethnikos Kiryx" 15.6.65. Back

118   Telegram no. 162/1964 Back

119   FO doc. 1057 of 15.2.1964 Back

120   The Guardian 26th February 1964. Back

121   H.C. no. 23 of 1986-87. 2nd July 1987. Back

122   Art. 1 of the Treaty of Guarantee declares prohibited any action likely to promote directly or indirectly union with any other state or partition of the island, and Art. 185(2) of the Constitution is to similar effect. Back

123   op. cit. p.345. Back

124   ibid. Back

125   op. cit. p.353. Back

126   "In the event of a breach of the provisions of the present Treaty, Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom undertake to consult together with respect to the representations or measures necessary to ensure observance of those provisions. In so far as common or concerted action may not prove possible, each of the three guaranteeing Powers reserves the right to take action with the sole aim of re-establishing the state of affairs created by the present Treaty." Back

127   George W. Ball "The Past has Another Pattern" Norton 1982 at p.357. Back

128   FO telegram 1131 of 12th March 1964. Back

129   See Haktanir "Under the Shadow of the Embargo"" 2001 Center for Strategic Research. Back

130   Hansard vol. 408 col. 1121. See also Hansard (Commons) vol. 983 WA cols. 277-9 25th April 1980. Back

131   Hansard (Commons) vol. 989 WA col. 723. See also vol. 122 WA col. 240 (12th Nov. 1987). Back

132   Hansard (Commons) vol. 122 WA col. 240. Back

133   H.C. no. 23 of 1986-87. 2nd July 1987, para. 28. Back

134   ibid para. 27. Back

135   UN doc. S/8286. Back

136   UN doc. 5950. Back

137   UN doc. S/5950. Back

138   UN docs. S/5764, S/5950, S/7350. Back

139   UN docs. S/5950. S/7001. Back

140   UN docs. S/5950, S/7350. Back

141   H.C. no. 23 of 1986-87. Back

142   "Sovereignty Divided"-1998 p.12. Back

143   "The Death of Friendship" Charles Bravos Publishers, London, 2000. ISBN 0-9514464-3-6. Back

144   Chapter 9. Back

145   page 84. Back

146   page 89. Back

147   page 90. Back

148   Hansard col. 466. Back

149   "New Cyprus" May 1987. Back

150   Cyprus Weekly 7 May 1998 Back

151   See also The Times and The Guardian, 23 July 1974. Back

152   The Times 23.7.74. Back

153   ibid. Back

154   15.8.96. Back

155   Hansard, col. 223. Back

156   HC 331 1975/76 para. 22. Back

157   Daily Telegraph 15 August 1974. Back

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