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Cyprus

Under the half-moon

Henrik R. Clausen & Liz Schmidt


Society for Danish Culture & Constitution, EuropeNews
An island divided
Brief historical outline 1

● 1878: End of Ottoman rule


● 1923: Turkey writes of all interest in Cyprus
● 1925: British Crown Colony
● 1950: Turkey declares: “No interest in Cyprus”
● 1954: Britain forces Turkey to want Cyprus back
● 1956: Turkey decides to retake Cyprus
● 1958: Turkey establishes TMT underground army
● 1960: Cyprus gains semi-independence
Brief historical outline 2

● 1960-1964: Escalating conflicts


● 1964: Turkey bombs Cyprus with Napalm
● 1964: UN deploys peacekeeping mission
● 1974: Turkish invasion on pretext of coup by
Greek junta against Archbishop Makarios.
● Turkey should have left when the coup collapsed.
● Rather, Turkey went from Attila 1 to Attila 2 and
conquered 36 % of the island – the best parts.
Images of an invasion
● 200,000 Cypriots displaced
● 6,000 civilians killed, 1,000 raped,
1,619 still missing
● 70 % arable land lost
● 65 % tourism lost
● 83 % port capacity lost
What United Nations said

Security Council Resolution 353:


“Calls upon all States to respect the sovereignty,
independence and territorial integrity of Cyprus.”
“Requests the withdrawal without delay from the
Republic of Cyprus of foreign military personnel
present otherwise than under the authority of
international agreements, […]”
Security Council Resolution 360:
“Noting that all states have declared their respect for
the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity
of the Republic of Cyprus,”
Taksin implemented: TRNC

● UN Resolution 541:
“calls upon all states not to
recognise any Cypriot state other
than the Republic of Cyprus;”
● TRNC is illegal, but seeks to use
any situation to change that.
● Rauf Denktash:
“If we would accept merely being
a minority, a solution could be
found within a week.”
What United Nations said

Resolution # 541:
Article 2: Considers the declaration referred to above as
legally invalid and calls for its withdrawal;
Article 7: Calls upon all States not to recognize any
Cypriot state other than the Republic of Cyprus;
Isolation of TRNC is UN-mandated, because its
existence is an open violation of international law.
Thus, it is also self-imposed by the Turks.
Cultural destruction: A war crime

● Protecting the cultural heritage of occupied territory


an obligation under international law.
● Destruction of cultural property a war crime.
● Turkey turns a blind eye to theft,
for it aids its long-time objective.
● UNESCO and others report:
“In the area occupied by the
Turkish army, museums and
monuments have been
pillaged or destroyed.”
● Long-term objective:
Eradicate the Cypriot past.
Cultural destruction: Genocide?

“Genocide [is] a coordinated plan of different


actions aiming at the destruction of essential
foundations of the life of national groups, with the
aim of annihilating the groups themselves.”
“The objectives of such a plan would be disintegration
of the political and social institutions, of culture,
language, national feelings, religion, and the economic
existence of national groups, and the destruction of the
personal security, liberty, health, dignity, and even the
lives of the individuals […]”
Raphael Lemkin, “Axis Rule in Occupied Europe”, 1944
Neglect, misuse, theft
Collapsing churches – who cares?
Respect for Christianity? HAH!
The Kykkos Monastery
A UNESCO World Heritage site
UNESCO: Church of Archanglos

● Discreet outside, magnificent inside


● Also to avoid attracting invaders, plunder
● Many such places destroyed in the north:
The Turkish invasion
took place just as
UNESCO was
preparing to
designate sites.
Inside the
ancient church:
Not all problems are Turkish:
Omerie Mosque
● Former Augustine Church
● Run by Libyans
● Requesting Sharia
● Against dialogue and
peaceful coexistence
● Refuses renovation
● Garden a garbage dump
● No sign of reverence
Cyprus vs. Turkey in the EU

● 2004: Turkey accepted as EU candidate


● 2005: Negotiations started despite widespread
public opposition in Europe.
● 2006: Recognition of Cyprus and customs
union become a stumbling block.
● 2011: Turkey still does not recognize Republic
of Cyprus, occupies 1/3 of its territory.
● The situation is fundamentally absurd.
2004 Annan Plan = Partition

● Abolishes the Republic of Cyprus


● Establishes loose federal state
● Restricts Cypriots' right of return
● Legalizes Turkish settlers, TRNC
● Retroactively legalizes the invasion
● Fails to address cultural destruction
● In short: A mockery of international law
Annan Plan referendum:
A result undesired for EU
th

Referendum on the Annan Plan April 24 2004
● To be “null and void” in case of rejection
● Widely rejected by Cypriot politicians
● North: 65 % in favor
● South: 76 % against
● (Greek) Cypriots blamed for rejection
● Has been talking point by Turkey against any
further progress on Cyprus.
Severe violations of international law

● A war of aggression is a crime against international


peace.
● Aggression gives rise to international responsibility.
● No territorial acquisition […] resulting from
aggression is or shall be recognized as lawful.
● Geneva convention forbids “The transfer by the
Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian
population into the territory it occupies.”
● Rights to property, homeland, cultural heritage etc.
A question of property rights

● Cypriots deprived the use of their property


● Private property, property of Church of Cyprus,
Republic of Cyprus etc. still theirs.
● 2010 UK verdict against Oram family requires:
– Cease trespassing the land of Mr. Apostolides;
– Deliver up possession of the land to Mr. Apostolides;
– Pay Mr. Apostolides rent of the land (€ 1.2 million)
– Knock down what has been built on the land.
● Sets a significant and useful legal precedent.
Opening the Ledra
Street crossing

● Opened in 2003
● Easy passage for EU
citizens
● 15 million crossings
● Many have visited their
old family property
● Feared unrest did not
materialize
Defend Europe: Speak for Cyprus!

● A test case for international law


● UN Resolutions from 1974 & 1983 are good
● Annan Plan and 2004 referendum cooked
● Recognizing Republic of Cyprus is crucial
● Cultural destruction and theft a big issue
● The tough question of the settlers
● Upholding fundamental property rights
● Let the Cypriots have the final word!