The Cyprus dispute: A resolution in sight?

Drogheda445

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Amidst the recent upheavals in international politics and escalating tensions between world powers, at least in one part of the world people appear to be mending fences. Talks are ongoing between the two governments of Cyprus to end their 43-year-long partition and reunite the island under a federal arrangement; "a bizonal, bicommunal confederation". These negotiations have been continuing on and off for the past few months, and a recent summit in Switzerland ended in failure, but nevertheless the heads of both the Greek and Turk Cypriot governments are determined to broker a deal within the next few weeks.

Cyprus can be reunified, if Turkey

The dispute itself dates back to the middle of the 20th century, but its roots stem from recent colonial history. Many aspects bear close and fascinating resemblance to disputes over sovereignty and identity here in Ireland. The ethnic Greek presence in Cyprus dates to the days of Ancient Greece, at least to 1000 BC; the island was subsequently ruled by a number of non-Greek empires, namely the Romans, the Byzantines, Western European Crusaders, the Venetians, and finally the Ottomans. It was during this period that a large Turkish community began to settle on the island, constituting about a quarter of the population at the beginning of the 20th century, compared with Greeks who made up three-quarters of the population.



The British took control of the island in 1878, and Greek Cypriot nationalists quickly began to demand enosis (union) with their Hellenic relatives in Greece (an independent state since the 1820s). Tensions began to mount between the two communities over the course of British rule, with riots and general outbreaks of violence commonplace. Fearful of their place in a Orthodox-dominated, Greek-ruled Cyprus, a growing number of Turkish Cypriots were calling for the island to be divided should it go independent, whilst Greeks under the Archbishop Makarios III (pictured below) passionately supported union with Greece.

After mounting tensions in the 1950s, verging on near civil war at times as Greek Cypriot nationalism grew violent, it was agreed that the island would become an independent state, neither partitioned nor united with Greece. After the British left in 1960, conflict continued to simmer, despite the presence of a power-sharing government (with a Greek PM and a Turk deputy-PM). The arrival in power of a military junta in Greece in 1967 only exacerbated tensions until finally, in 1974, a coup d'état took place in Cyprus which overthrew Makarios and placed a Greek nationalist regime in charge that favoured enosis. As a result, Turkey invaded the island and took control of much of the north, eventually controlling roughly a third of the island. Thousands were killed in the conflict and a massive forced population exchange took place, with Greek Cypriots moving south and Turks moving North.



The island has remained divided ever since, with a UN buffer zone separating the two sections. The British retain two military bases on the island as well at Akrotiri and Dhekelia. In 1983, the Turkish section was declared an independent state, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Recognised only by Turkey, the vast majority of the international community regard it as occupied territory of the southern Republic of Cyprus (which since 2004 has been a member of the European Union). The largest city, Nicosia, lies along the division and is split into Turkish and Greek Cypriot sections; it also serves as the official capital of both countries.

So what now for Cyprus? Tensions run deep, and all attempts at reunification up until the present day have failed. A UN-brokered plan in 2004 failed to pass in a referendum in the south, largely because of the role that Turkey would retain in the unified state. Indeed, if there is any major stumbling block to achieving a reunified Cyprus, Turkey's presence appears to be top of the list.

The controversial Turkish President, Recip Tayyip Erdogan, has been notably stubborn on the role of Turkish troops in the island. Turkish Cypriots have sought security arrangements that would involve at least some Turkish presence; some suggested compromises include a multinational police force, but thus far Erdogan has remained defiant. The role of Greek Cypriots is also questionable; many have no recollection of the days before division and thus feel they have little in common with their Northern neighbours. However, both share an affinity to Cyprus and identify as Cypriots; unification remains a long-term goal in principle.



Even from a dispassionate standpoint, the division of this small island of less than 1 million people seems tragic and unnecessary; wholesale ethnic cleansing has taken place and age-old communities abandoned. If these talks bear fruit, it could well set andexample for other conflict zones around the world and would be a welcome break from the seemingly relentless news of worldwide conflict and chaos. In a world where inflammatory rhetoric and irreconcilable feuds are now widespread, a small victory for pragmatism would certainly be very uplifting.
 
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Dame_Enda

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Recent reports that Russia may block the deal to make sure Cyprus stays out of NATO. They have access to Greek Cypriot ports under existing bilateral agreements. They are known to be funding and holding meetings with anti unification politicians.
 

gleeful

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Recent reports that Russia may block the deal to make sure Cyprus stays out of NATO. They have access to Greek Cypriot ports under existing bilateral agreements. They are known to be funding and holding meetings with anti unification politicians.
Interesting. Link?
 

derryman

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Amidst the recent upheavals in international politics and escalating tensions between world powers, at least in one part of the world people appear to be mending fences. Talks are ongoing between the two governments of Cyprus to end their 43-year-long partition and reunite the island under a federal arrangement; "a bizonal, bicommunal confederation". These negotiations have been continuing on and off for the past few months, and a recent summit in Switzerland ended in failure, but nevertheless the heads of both the Greek and Turk Cypriot governments are determined to broker a deal within the next few weeks.

Cyprus can be reunified, if Turkey

The dispute itself dates back to the middle of the 20th century, but its roots stem from recent colonial history. Many aspects bear close and fascinating resemblance to disputes over sovereignty and identity here in Ireland. The ethnic Greek presence in Cyprus dates to the days of Ancient Greece, at least to 1000 BC; the island was subsequently ruled by a number of non-Greek empires, namely the Romans, the Byzantines, Western European Crusaders, the Venetians, and finally the Ottomans. It was during this period that a large Turkish community began to settle on the island, constituting about a quarter of the population at the beginning of the 20th century, compared with Greeks who made up three-quarters of the population.



The British took control of the island in 1878, and Greek Cypriot nationalists quickly began to demand enosis (union) with their Hellenic relatives in Greece (an independent state since the 1820s). Tensions began to mount between the two communities over the course of British rule, with riots and general outbreaks of violence commonplace. Fearful of their place in a Orthodox-dominated, Greek-ruled Cyprus, a growing number of Turkish Cypriots were calling for the island to be divided should it go independent, whilst Greeks under the Archbishop Makarios III (pictured below) passionately supported union with Greece.

After mounting tensions in the 1950s, verging on near civil war at times as Greek Cypriot nationalism grew violent, it was agreed that the island would become an independent state, neither partitioned nor united with Greece. After the British left in 1960, conflict continued to simmer, despite the presence of a power-sharing government (with a Greek PM and a Turk deputy-PM). The arrival in power of a military junta in Greece in 1967 only exacerbated tensions until finally, in 1974, a coup d'état took place in Cyprus which overthrew Makarios and placed a Greek nationalist regime in charge that favoured enosis. As a result, Turkey invaded the island and took control of much of the north, eventually controlling roughly a third of the island. Thousands were killed in the conflict and a massive forced population exchange took place, with Greek Cypriots moving south and Turks moving North.



The island has remained divided ever since, with a UN buffer zone separating the two sections. The British retain two military bases on the island as well at Akrotiri and Dhekelia. In 1983, the Turkish section was declared an independent state, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Recognised only by Turkey, the vast majority of the international community regard it as occupied territory of the southern Republic of Cyprus (which since 2004 has been a member of the European Union). The largest city, Nicosia, lies along the division and is split into a Turkish and Greek Cypriot section; it also serves as the official capital of both countries.

So what now for Cyprus? Tensions run deep, and all attempts at reunification up until the present day have failed. A UN-brokered plan in 2004 failed to pass in a referendum in the south, largely because of the role that Turkey would retain in the unified state. Indeed, if there is any major stumbling block exists to achieving a reunified Cyprus, Turkey's presence appears to be top of the list.

The controversial Turkish President, Recip Tayyip Erdogan, has been notably stubborn on the role of Turkish troops in the island. Turkish Cypriots have sought security arrangements that would involve at least some Turkish presence; some suggested compromises include a multinational police force, but thus Erdogan has remained defiant. The role of Greek Cypriots is also questionable; many have no recollection of the days before division and thus feel they have little in common with their Northern neighbours. However, both share an affinity to Cyprus and identity as Cypriots; unification remains a long-term goal in principal.



Even from a dispassionate standpoint, the division of this small island of less than 1 million people seems tragic and unnecessary; wholesale ethnic cleansing has taken place and age-old communities abandoned. If these talks bear fruit, it could well set and example for other conflict zones around the world and would be a welcome break from the seeming relentless news of worldwide conflict and chaos. In a world where inflammatory rhetoric and irreconcilable feuds are now widespread, a small victory for pragmatism would certainly be very uplifting.
Great OP. Well done.
 

derryman

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Recent reports that Russia may block the deal to make sure Cyprus stays out of NATO. They have access to Greek Cypriot ports under existing bilateral agreements. They are known to be funding and holding meetings with anti unification politicians.
That is the way of superpowers unfortunately.
 

gleeful

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I wonder if May's odd detour to Turkey tonight is connected to this? The UK still control part of the island
 

Drogheda445

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That is the way of superpowers unfortunately.
Indeed, given the war in Syria (only a few hundred miles from the island) the Russians would certainly not approve of a NATO-aligned Cyprus so close to its strategic interests.

There's also the aftermath of the coup in Turkey which has made Erdogan far more paranoid as regards security. Add in the recent clashes with Greece and the EU regarding the extradition of rebels and all this is likely to have a negative impact on Cyprus talks.
 

Drogheda445

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Some drone footage of the town of Varosha, once a thriving tourist destination, but which has been completely abandoned since the war in 1974 and is sealed off by the Turkish military.

[video=youtube_share;AYKC0dsrh4U]http://youtu.be/AYKC0dsrh4U[/video]
 

Catalpast

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Thousands of Irish soldiers served there in the as part of the UN Peace keeping Force from 1964-1973

I hope they can pull this off

- if successful maybe we can use this as a template for own Country?
 

alexyflemming

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Northern Cyprus is legal

Northern Cyprus is legal:

1. LEGALITY AND RECOGNITION ARE TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THINGS
Recognition is completely a political notion/act (as stated by Int’l Court of Justice, Kosovo 2010 decision) and has nothing to do with legality. 1/193 country recognizes Northern Cyprus; but even if 0/193 countries recognize NC, this has nothing to do with legality of NC.
The President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Hisashi OWADA (2010): “International law contains no “prohibition on declarations of independence.”
the International Court of Justice (ICJ) (2010): “while the declaration may not have been illegal, the issue of RECOGNITION was a POLITICAL one”.
Recognition is a political, not a legal matter.
That is to say, “being recognized/not recognized does not affect legality/illegality of a country”. Recognition is a political action.
SINCE NORTHERN CYPRUS IS LEGAL, ALL ITS COURTS AND LAWS ARE ACCEPTED IN THE WORLD: SEE 2 & 3 BELOW.

2. ALL LAWS OF NORTHERN CYPRUS ARE ACCEPTED IN EUROPE (EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS; ECtHR)
In Northern Cyprus, laws of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus are valid: ECtHR’s 02.07.2013 Decision:
“…notwithstanding the lack of international recognition of the regime in the northern area, a de facto recognition of its acts may be rendered necessary for practical purposes. Thus, THE ADOPTION BY THE AUTHORITIES OF THE “TRNC” OF CIVIL, ADMINISTRATIVE OR CRIMINAL LAW MEASURES, AND THEIR APPLICATION OR ENFORCEMENT WITHIN THAT TERRITORY, may be regarded as having a legal basis in domestic law for the purposes of the Convention”.
Note: In the related ECtHR’s decision above, the case application of the Greek Cypriot was IMMEDIATELY REJECTED; i.e., his application was found INADMISSABLE. That is to say, he was expelled by ECtHR just at the beginning; therefore, his case was not handled (no sessions were held) by ECtHR at all.
ECtHR’s 02.09.2015 Decision:
“..the court system in the “TRNC”, including both civil and criminal courts, reflected the judicial and common-law tradition of Cyprus in its functioning and procedures, and that the “TRNC” courts were thus to be considered as “established by law” with reference to the “constitutional and legal basis” on which they operated……the Court has already found that the court system set up in the “TRNC” was to be considered to have been “established by law” with reference to the “constitutional and legal basis” on which it operated, and it has NOT accepted the allegation that the “TRNC” courts as a whole lacked independence and/or impartiality……when an act of the “TRNC” authorities was in compliance with laws in force within the territory of northern Cyprus, those acts should in principle be regarded as having a legal basis in domestic law for the purposes of the Convention..”
Note: Here, what ECtHR means by “laws in force within the territory of northern Cyprus” is the laws that TRNC published and put into implementation, as can be
understood from ECtHR’s above 02.July.2013 decision.

3. UNITED STATES’ FEDERAL COURT: “TURKISH REPUBLIC OF NORTHERN CYPRUS IS A DEMOCRATIC COUNTRY”
USA Federal Court (09.October.2014): “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is a democratic country”
“Although the United States does not recognize it as a state, the TRNC purportedly operates as a DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC with a president, prime minister, legislature and
judiciary…TRNC is NOT VULNERABLE to a lawsuit in Washington”

4. THERE IS “NO PROHIBITION” ON DECLARATIONS OF INDEPENDENCE IN INTERNATIONAL LAW
The President of the Int’l Court of Justice (ICJ) Hisashi Owada, 2010: “International law contains “NO PROHIBITION” on declarations of independence.”

5. NORTHERN CYPRUS BEING A COUNTRY IS NOT DISPUTED
Northern Cyprus being a country is not disputed. The definition of “country” is bigger than whether being a UN member or not. There are countries that are not member of UN. See, “country” definition in WP: A country is a region identified as a distinct entity in political geography. A country may be an independent sovereign state or one that is occupied by another state, as a non-sovereign or formerly sovereign political division, or a geographic region associated with sets of previously independent or differently associated peoples with distinct political characteristics.
That’s why, even the sources from United Nations (UN) cite Northern Cyprus as a different country: World Happiness Report 2015 of United Nations’ Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) ranked Northern Cyprus 66th among 158 countries, directly above the Republic of Cyprus, which was ranked 67th. UN SDSN World Happiness Report 2015 p.27: 2012-2014 country rankings:
United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) World Happiness Report 2016:
See “Figure 2.2: Ranking of Happiness 2013-2015 (Part 2)”
North Cyprus: 62th among 157 countries (1:best, 157:worst)
(South, Greek) Cyprus: 69th among 157 countries.
 

alexyflemming

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Turkey’s operation on Cyprus in 1974 is completely legal

Turkey’s operation on Cyprus in 1974 is completely legal:

(1) Till now, there is NO sanction applied on Turkey due to 1974 Cyprus war
If a country invades another one, UN imposes sanctions on that country. Iraq invaded Kuwait, and UN imposed sanctions on Iraq. Turkey did not invade Cyprus, hence UN did not impose any sanction on Turkey!

(2) There is no UN Security Council resolution that calls the Turkey’s 1974 action as “invasion”!

(3) The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE)(29.07.1974, Resolution 573): “The Turkish military INTERVENTION was the exercise of a RIGHT EMANATING FROM AN INTERNATIONAL TREATY and the fulfilment of a LEGAL and MORAL obligation.”

(4) Greece’s Athens Court of Appeals (21.03.1979; Case No: 2658/79): “The Turkish military INTERVENTION in Cyprus, which was carried out in accordance with the Zurich and London Accords, was LEGAL. Turkey, as one of the Guarantor Powers, had the right to fulfill her obligations. The real culprits . . . are the Greek officers who engineered and staged a coup and prepared the conditions for this INTERVENTION.” Note: Just after 5 years later than 1974, in 1979, Greece’s Highest Court decided Turkish military intervention is legal without making any difference between 1st and 2nd military operation!

(5) Makarios (1ST PRESIDENT OF CYPRUS) (the UN Security CouncilSpeech, 19 July 1974):
MAKARIOS: “CYPRUS WAS INVADED BY GREECE”.

(6) Turkey acted on Cyprus via Art. IV(2) Treaty of Guarantee (“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.”), hence in compatible with Art. 2(4) UN Charter.
 


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