Sunday, 25 August 2013

The Cyprus Question: The history explained (3)

Episode (3) of this mini-series looks at how independence began to be usurped almost from the beginning of the young republic’s troubled life and early years and which was ultimately to lead to the Turkish Intervention mission on July 20th 1974.

When Cyprus became independent in 1960 it was hoped that the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots, as the two peoples of the island would be able to live harmoniously, side by side, sharing power conjointly in their bi-national Republic. But already on the 27th of September 1960 the President of the young Republic, Makarios, made a statement to the New York Herald Tribune which clearly indicated that he did not believe in the internationally guaranteed bi-national Republic of Cyprus; in fact he said, "the cause of Enosis has not died. I cannot say that Enosis has been forgotten." Indeed, whilst the Turkish Vice President, Ministers, Deputies and community administration were working in full compliance with the Constitution of the bi-national Republic of Cyprus and the international agreements and treaties which led to independence, the Greek Cypriot side had secretly joined forces with Greece and developed the notorious "AKRITAS Plan" seeking to bring about Enosis despite the solemn promise of Greece to preserve the independence of the Republic of Cyprus as a guaranteeing power together with Turkey and the United Kingdom under the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee. 

In pursuance of this plan in 1963 the bi-national government was put to an end and the Greek Cypriot wing of the bi-national state illegally and by force of arms blocked the Turkish Vice President, Ministers and Deputies and judges from functioning, usurping thereby the sovereignty of the Turkish community that was bestowed on them through the declaration of the independence of the bi-national, partnership Republic of Cyprus, violently and effectively ending this partnership and shelving the contractual Constitution in 1963.

The Greek Cypriot raison d'etre was to achieve a monopoly of political power and to relegate the Turkish Cypriot people to the status of a minority though they were equal co-founders of the Cyprus State. Already on 4th September 1962 Makarios had openly declared this aim; he had said, in a public address: "unless this small Turkish community - forming a part of the Turkish race which has been the terrible enemy of Hellenism - is expelled from Cyprus, the duty of the heroes of EOKA can never be considered as terminated." On 9 April 1963 in a statement to the London Times he said: "Union of Cyprus with Greece is an aspiration always cherished within the hearts of all Greek Cypriots. It is impossible to put an end to this inspiration by establishing a Republic." In a statement to a Stockholm paper on 5th September 1963 he was even more explicit: "It is true that the goal of our struggle is to annex Cyprus to Greece.”

After this political coup in 1963, the Greek Cypriots together with Greece’s military assistance, continued to raid and attack Turkish Cypriot villages and Turkish Cypriot quarters of towns. In one decade, no fewer than 103 Turkish Cypriot villages were destroyed and 30,000 Turkish Cypriots, a quarter of the total Turkish Cypriot population, became refugees. Eventually, in July 1974 a second coup was engineered and staged by the Greek Cypriots under the leadership of a certain Mr. Nicos Sampson, directed by the military government then in power in Greece. Under Sampson, the Greek Cypriots declared the creation of a "Hellenic Republic" and openly announced that they would annex this "Hellenic Republic" to Greece. This second coup d'état was defined by Makarios himself in the United Nations Security Council during its 1780th meeting on 19 July 1974 in the following manner: "It is clearly an invasion from outside... the coup...was the work of the Greek officers staffing and commanding the Greek Cypriot national guard... it is an invasion which violated the independence and sovereignty of the Republic".

In the face of this flagrant violation of both the Cypriot Constitution and international law as well as the peace in the island, the UN Peace-keeping force sent to the island after the first Greek coup in 1964 was unable to protect the Turkish Cypriots against the Greek Cypriot elements who were supported by over 20,000 mainland Greek troops who had been clandestinely sent to the island. In order to act in accordance with the obligations incumbent on the guaranteeing powers, the Turkish government requested the United Kingdom to pay due attention to the situation prevailing in the island. The Turkish Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit even went to London to meet with the British Prime Minister Mr. Harold Wilson. Mr. Wilson,however,chose to remain in the Scilly islands on holiday. 

The Under-Secretary-General of the UN for Special Political Affairs, Dr.Kurt Waldheim called for a meeting of the Security Council, but he encountered considerable reluctance to act amongst the Council members. Waldheim also urged the British Foreign Secretary James Callaghan to act jointly with Turkey under the Treaty of Guarantee to safeguard the Turkish Cypriot community, but Callaghan was reluctant. It was therefore left to the Republic of Turkey to act alone in order to prevent the imminent annexation of Cyprus by Greece and the annihilation of the Turkish Cypriot population. The Turkish Military intervention commenced on the July 20th, 1974 and resulted in the physical safeguarding of the Turkish Cypriot community. Upon the onset of this intervention the Security Council passed on resolution No. 353 calling upon the nations of Greece,Turkey and the United Kingdom to enter into negotiations for the re-establishment of constitutional government in Cyprus. The Foreign Ministers of the three guarantor powers met in Geneva in accordance with this resolution and,with the Geneva declaration of 30th July 1974 unequivocally recognised the existence in Cyprus as two separate and autonomous administrations with the following words: "...the Ministers noted the existence in practice in the Republic of Cyprus of two autonomous administrations: that of the Greek Cypriot community and that of the Turkish Cypriot community". 

The two administrations however, could not function together any longer and in Vienna on 2nd August 1975 an agreement was reached between the representatives of the two       peoples of Cyprus, Mr. Denktas and Mr. Clerides for the voluntary re-grouping of    populations in a Turkish zone in the North and a Greek zone in the South.This agreement was reached under the auspices of the UN Secretary General who was working under a re-formulated mission of good offices on the basis of the UN Security Council resolution 367 (1975). 

The agreement to re-group the populations also paved the way for an agreement between the leaders of the two communities Denktas and Makarios on 12th February 1977, forming the basis for a federal solution, and envisaging the establishment of an independent, non-aligned, bi-communal, bi-zonal, federal Republic. In 1979 a further summit meeting between the leaders of the two communities Mr. Denktaş and Mr. Kiprianu took place in Nicosia on 18th and 19th May 1979 and the 10 point agreement which became the acknowledged basis of subsequent inter-communal negotiations was signed. In point 8 of this agreement, it is stated that, 'the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-alignment of the Republic should be adequately guaranteed against union in whole or in part with any other country and against any form of partition or secession.' From this point onwards a series of meetings have taken place and unfortunately no definitive agreement has been achieved to date.

To publish a detailed account of the negotiations and proximity talks under the umbrella of the good offices of the UN Secretary General would have no value. It is nevertheless    necessary to remember that today, in 2013 when further talks are envisaged in October of this year, there is no 'Republic of Cyprus' as was proclaimed in 1960. Indeed, the original Republic, which was based on a carefully balanced functional federalism whereby the President, is a Greek Cypriot elected only by the Greek Cypriots and the Vice-President is a Turkish Cypriot elected only by the Turkish Cypriots; the Cabinet comprised of seven Greek and three Turkish Cypriot Ministers. Parliament comprised of sixty Greek and forty Turkish Deputies. There were five separate municipalities and a Constitutional Court with both Greek and Turkish judges. None of the aforementioned structure exists today and as such, since 1963, the Republic of Cyprus is defunct.

This series will conclude with a 4th episode which details the establishment of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on November 15th, 1983 and the relationship of Cyprus and the European Union.   

Saturday, 24 August 2013

The Cyprus Question: The history explained (2)

Episode 1 of  The Cyprus Question: The history explained (1) marked the beginning of a mini-series of articles that deal in some detail with the troubled history of Cyprus. This, the second episode, takes events forward from 1931 onwards and into the 1950’s.  

In 1931 the Greek Cypriots, encouraged by the Greek Orthodox Church and despite the relative leniancy of the British Governor, nevertheless resorted to violence and revolted against the British Government in the cause of Enosis. This rebellion was swiftly crushed by the British but unfortunately, the emergency measures that followed the Greek Cypriot rebellion were of general application and resulted in the suppression of the Turkish Cypriot community rights as well. The economic development of the Turkish community was thus adversely affected and the development of the Turkish community in terms of its aspirations in the fields of commerce, language and culture were curtailed. After the Second World War ended in 1945, the Greek Cypriot campaign for Enosis became intensified once again. The Greek Orthodox Church attempted to misuse the principle of self-determination that was universally accepted in the context of the United Nations, claiming that only the Greek Cypriot community had the right for self-determination and that the destiny of Cyprus therefore, should be left in the hands of the Greek community. 

As there was no single Cyprus nation but two entirely different ethnic communities living in the island, the principle of self-determination, from a proper implementation of the international law point of view could not be applied to only the Greek Cypriot community. Indeed, international law, in the presence of two distinct and entirely different ethnic communities in the island could only be applied to and be exercised by each of these two communities individually and separately. Failure to do so would have meant the denial of the right of self-determination to the Turkish Cypriot community and would hence constitute a violation of international law. In this context, the Turkish Cypriot community attempted to defend their legitimate right of survival by opposing the Greek Cypriot efforts for Enosis. This resulted in wholesale Greek Cypriot attacks on the Turkish Cypriot population. 

As the Turkish community, which was a numeric minority compared to the Greek Cypriot community, lived in a widely dispersed manner over the island, the extent of the Greek Cypriot pressure on the Turkish Cypriots was very great. Under such intimidation the Turkish Cypriots were unable to continue to live among the Greek Cypriots and they were being compelled to abandon mixed villages, taking refuge in nearby Turkish Cypriot villages while consequently being deprived of their lands and homes by force. This Turkish Cypriot exodus resulted in the general impoverishment of the Turkish Cypriot community. 

In 1950 the Greek Orthodox Church in Cyprus staged something of an attempt to ascertain the wishes of an imaginary "people of Cyprus" claiming that it was holding a "plebiscite" or referendum. Naturally the Turkish Cypriot community refused to recognise this masquerade of a so-called 'plebiscite' which was so obviously devoid of any legal basis whatsoever. In accordance with the precepts of both constitutional and international law the Turkish Cypriots continued to request that the right of self-determination should be exercised not only by the Greek Cypriots but by the Turkish Cypriots as well, as two distinct ethnic communities existed in the island and the rule of law required separate and equal treatment of both. 

In 1950 Makarios III became the Archbishop of Cyprus whereupon he took an oath in church that he would achieve Enosis before his death. In 1953 Makarios managed to secure the support of the Greek government and created a terrorist movement (later to be known as EOKA) and in 1954 a Greek officer named Grivas arrived in Cyprus to become the leader of the EOKA terrorist movement. The EOKA sowed terror all over the island with the intent of uniting Cyprus with Greece and on 1st April 1955 EOKA proclaimed this as being their prime objective.

In the meantime, between 1954 and 1958, Greece made several attempts in the United Nations to achieve Enosis under the guise of self-determination which Greece claimed to be an exclusive right for only the Greek-Cypriots, whilst in the island itself, EOKA terror continued not only against the British government but also, and perhaps, much more violently, against the Turkish community whom the EOKA considered as the greatest obstacle on their path to Enosis. During this period the Turkish-Cypriot community was driven away from thirty-three mixed villages and the Turkish homes in these villages were immediately burnt down by the Greek Cypriots. In the face of violent terrorism by EOKA and determined Turkish Cypriot resistance to Enosis, a Turco-Greek war was feared.  The British ultimately agreed to relinquish sovereignty over the island and indicated that any agreement to be reached between the parties to the Cyprus problem, namely the Turkish and the Greek communities and their respective motherlands, would not be rejected. 

As Greece had eventually realized that a pro Enosis, unilateral self-determination resolution may not be obtained from the United Nations, whilst the Turkish Cypriots, with the backing of the Republic of Turkey, would be resistant to any efforts for forceful Enosis, the climate was propitious for international talks. In this context the Turkish and Greek Foreign Ministers met in Zurich and with the assistance of the leadership of the two communities decided that neither unilateral nor double Enosis would be acceptable. 

Finally a compromise solution was reached and with the Zurich agreement concluded on 11 February 1959 and in the London Agreement that followed it was agreed that there would be bi-national independence, based on the political equality and administrative partnership of the two communities, who would have full autonomy in their strictly communal affairs and that the settlement thus established would be guaranteed by Turkey, Greece and Britain ensuring the permanence of this functional federative system in the Cyprus Republic, eliminating discrimination and thus removing all causes of bi-communal friction. 

On the basis of the compromise settlement reached through the Zurich and London Agreements, a Treaty of Establishment was drawn up and guaranteed by Turkey, Greece and Britain by a Treaty of Guarantee in 1960. In accordance with this settlement a Treaty of Alliance was entered into between Turkey, Greece and the new Republic of Cyprus. The Treaty of Alliance provided for stationing in Cyprus of Turkish and Greek military contingents. 

The two communities from then on worked together as equal partners and prepared the Constitution of the bi-communal Republic of Cyprus. Thus on 16th August 1960 the Republic of Cyprus came into existence. After much suffering and loss of life since the EOKA violence erupted in Cyprus, the two peoples, in exercise of their separate right to self-determination, had accepted a compromise and worked out a Constitution after long deliberations which had lasted eighteen months, forming a "Partnership Republic" based on the existence of two different national peoples and on their inalienable rights and partnership status. 

With their new Constitution,these two peoples came into agreement within the bi-national state of Cyprus and agreed to cooperate in partnership, sharing the legislative, executive, judicial and other functions of their state. Matters which the two peoples had managed on a communal basis over the centuries, such as education, religion, family law etc. were left to the autonomy of the communal administration which had legislative, executive and judicial authority over such matters. 

In fact, a functional federative system was established by the two co-founding peoples of the Republic with a Greek Cypriot President, a Turkish Cypriot Vice President, each elected by their respective communities; a Cabinet with seven Greek, three Turkish Ministers; a Parliament of sixty Greek and forty Turkish deputies After independence the United Kingdom had transferred sovereignty to both Cypriot peoples jointly. 

Moreover, independence was guaranteed to be observed as a consequence of the conclusion of a number of international treaties and agreements between five parties, namely, Turkey, Greece, the United Kingdom and the Turkish Cypriot people as well as the Greek Cypriot people. Independence was so stipulated that neither national community could claim exclusive sovereignty in respect of the island as a whole. The transfer of sovereignty jointly to the two Cypriot peoples was endorsed by Turkey and Greece and the United Kingdom, Turkey and Greece have guaranteed the sovereignty jointly and individually under the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee. 


Episode 3 will see the story moving onwards to look at how, in 1963 that
 independence was usurped by Archbishop Makarios and the process which led to 
Cyprus being plunged into the ‘Dark Era’  from December of that year and 
which would continue largely unabated until the Turkish intervention of July 20th 1974.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

The Cyprus Question: The History Explained (1)

The United Nations have recently resolved to extend the deployment of peacekeeping forces for a further 6-month period on the island of Cyprus, until January 30th 2014. There is plenty of precedent to reinforce the prediction that a further extension may be granted, which would make this a deployment of half a century, a record for such utilisation of UN resources. A peaceful status quo has existed on Cyprus since the completion of Operation Attila, the Turkish Intervention, on August 18th 1974, thanks entirely to the continuance 
of the presence of up to 40,000 Turkish troops (TSK) rather than those of the UN. 

Many outside observers have been led to believe, over the ensuing decades, that the ‘Cyprus Problem’ was created by a sudden ‘invasion’ by Turkey with neither warning nor justification. This article marks the first of a six-episode series of the political history of Cyprus, dating from the early part of the 19th century, until more recent times. It is designed to enlighten those on all sides of the divide in as an objective a form as is possible. Most accounts dealing with matters to do with Cyprus are heavily laden with Greek propaganda. This series is free from polemic views as such, but it does allow the reader to see things from a different perspective.
The simplest definition of the Cyprus conflict is that there are two distinct communities living on the island, namely, the Turkish and the Greek Cypriot communities, both with deep historical roots directly involving their respective motherlands, Turkey and Greece. The conflict emanates from the Greek and Greek-Cypriot aspirations and acts aiming for the annexation of the island to Greece after the annihilation of the Turkish-Cypriot community. The Turks are, naturally, determined to prevent such treatment of ethnic Turks and the annexation of the island to Greece
In this context, the Cyprus problem is intimately connected with the so-called Greek "great idea" (megali), aiming at recreating the Byzantine Empire. As such, the Cyprus problem has its roots in the Greek rebellion in Morea against the Ottoman Government in 1821. In those days a certain Dimitrios Ipatros worked with the Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Cyprus, Kiprianos, enrolling him as a member of the Greek rebel organization Haeteria Philiki, obtaining monetary and moral support for the rebellion.
 Whilst Turkey was confronted by the Greek rebellion, assistance was requested from the autonomy-seeking Governor of Egypt, Mohamed Ali of Kavala, and Cyprus was left under his control - to be retaken by the Sublime Port in 1840. Later, the Ottoman-Russian War of 1877-78 resulted in an Ottoman disaster, and in the Berlin Congress of 1878. The administration of Cyprus was left to Great Britain to be used as a base, on condition that Great Britain would cooperate with the Ottoman Empire if Russia attacked once again. The document relevant to the British occupation of the island was the Cyprus Convention of 1st July 1878, explicitly stating that the British presence was provisional, because in an annex to the said Convention it was stipulated that, if Russia restored to Turkey the Turkish provinces of Kars, Ardahan and the other Russian conquests in Eastern Anatolia made during the 1877-78 war, then Cyprus would also be evacuated by Britain and the Cyprus Convention would be terminated.

In the meantime, the Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus connected itself to the newly-established Greek nationalist/expansionist underground organization, Etniki Haeteria, espousing the championship of Enosis (‘at one with’) or annexation of the island by Greece. Britain never intended to return Cyprus to the Turks because of British strategic and other interests and it was within this framework, that Greek Orthodox Bishop Kiprianos of Kitium received Sir Garnet Wolseley, the first British High Commissioner to Cyprus, on his arrival to the island in early July 1878, with the following plea: "We accept the change of government in as much as we trust that Great Britain will help Cyprus, as it did the Ionian (or, in other words, Aegean) islands to be united with mother Greece with which it is naturally connected".

This plea of Kiprianos was sympathetically received and, for instance, the Liberal Party leader Gladstone (later Prime Minister) remarked in March 1897 in the following way: "I subjoin the satisfaction I should feel, were it granted to me before the close of my long life, to see the population of that Hellenic island placed by friendly arrangement in organic union with their brethren of the Kingdom of Greece and Crete.". Similarly, Winston Churchill, visiting the island in 1907, stated: "I think it only natural that the Cypriot people who are of Greek descent should regard their incorporation with what may be called their motherland as an ideal to be earnestly, devoutly and fervently cherished". Encouraged by such statements, in 1898, a patriotic Cypriot league was founded in Athens, with the object of effecting in Cyprus the same revolution as had taken place in Crete, and aiming at instilling into the minds of the Greek youth of the island that their great object in life was to advance the cause of Enosis.

 Consequently the Turkish Cypriots were subjected to an onslaught by the Greeks on every occasion - in 1882, in 1895, during the Turkic-Greek war of 1897, the Cretan crisis of 1898 and again in 1902 and 1912. When eventually the First World War started in 1914, and the Ottoman Empire joined the Axis together with the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Germany, the British unilaterally declared the 1878 Cyprus Convention null and void, and annexed Cyprus. This announcement resulted in a further onslaught of the Turkish-Cypriot community by the Greek Cypriots, leading to wholesale emigration of the Turkish Cypriots to Anatolia.

Furthermore, Britain promulgated a Royal Decree on 27th November 1917 requesting the islanders to opt for British citizenship within two years. When the Russians had to evacuate Kars, Ardahan, Batumi and other Turkish Eastern territories, following the Bolshevik revolution, still abiding by the stipulations of the Cyprus Convention of 1878, Turkey requested the return of Cyprus, as this was a provision that was mutually agreed upon. The British, however, overlooking their treaty obligations rejected this request.

The next episode takes the story onwards from 1931 into the volatile, bloody period on Cyprus, of the 1950’s.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Water Shortages- a thing of the past? Atmospheric Water Generation explained. Written by Chris Green

We live on a planet whose surface is two thirds occupied by water. Depending upon where you live in the world, plenty of water also descends often enough from the heavens, especially if you live in the United Kingdom, which always seems to get the cold and wet end of global warming; yet vast tracts of our world and the communities living within these areas are dangerously short of the basic needs of life: fresh water and reliable, inexpensive energy. Commercial TV channels feed us a diet of images of human tragedy where for the want of these basic needs, children and elderly people are dying. As a result, the international charity industry exhorts us to part with a few units of our respective currencies each month so that these staffs of life might be met. Solutions are in fact readily to hand with available and affordable technology to provide the needs of most of the world’s communities, even those in the most arid of ambient conditions. Furthermore, these communities could be self-sustaining if a combination of functions were provided to them to provide water and energy and to perpetuate the cycle of sustainability.

Some regions of the world are subject to very high ambient temperatures, but also have very high levels of relative humidity. Interestingly, the atmosphere that surrounds us all contains up to ten times the amount of water than is contained by all the rivers of the world combined; but unlike rivers, the atmosphere is universally distributed. Atmospheric Water Generation, or AWG, absorbs that humidity from the atmosphere and through a system of condensation, filtration and mineralization, volumes of water that in some applications can harvest up to 135,000 litres per day are realizable at a cost of $0.00048 per litre.

This quantity of water would be sufficient to provide pristine potable (drinking) water each and every day for communities comprising up to 30,000 people. But even the most arid of environments can be suitable for the equipment described.

The technique has been designed and developed in Europe. Using a patented condenser system, the process differs from traditional cylinder and coil systems in that huge volumes of air are forced through the condenser under very high pressure, and a patented vortex effect than condenses the water from the air. The resultant water meets all the requirements of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The AWG water production process can be highlighted thus:
§  The atmosphere is to be considered as a vast water reservoir
§  Water is produced through the use of very high-efficiency refrigeration   technology to condense the humidity in the air
§  There are multiple uses of the water so produced through the utilization of water treatment technology, by way of the collection and re-treatment of used water

Additional benefits also derive from this process because sufficient heat is generated as a by-product of the AWG process to create something in the order of 1000KWH of electricity. But this is not all, for if you combine the use of wind turbines and solar panels with the AWG system, all of a sudden you have an entire community, not only remote villages, but whole towns, which are entirely self-sustaining in terms of water and energy. And this is before we even consider the potential of energy derived from the consumption of municipal waste (W2E) or indeed energy from sewage (anaerobic digestion). In short order, such communities could actually be producing a surplus of water and energy which is then marketable to neighbouring areas, or for sustaining villages and homesteads remote from the town in question.

The opportunities that arise from the adoption of the processes outlined above are in fact exponential, with world-wide appeal, and AWG could go a very long way towards alleviating the water shortages that huge areas suffer from. There is a wealth of funding already available for a multitude of water projects, but none, as yet, for AWG. Plus, given that finance can be amortized across product production over a period of several years, there would be no need for recourse to the town or city council concerned in the project.

Throughout all the ages, men have gone to war, either to control basic staffs of life – water and energy - or they have been forced into conflict for the lack of such resources. Mankind is such that it will always find an excuse to inflict inhumanity on man, but by the widespread adoption of AWG, energy and water need no longer be fought over, for the solution to our needs is already all around us. The other truism of course is that our respective governments will find a way to tax it all, for that, after all is what governments do best!

Beşparmak Media Services

Chris Green
Besparmak Media Services – All Rights Reserved 2013