With the world watching the ramifications of outcry at the Iranian presidential elections, an equally difficult and important war has also been rejuvenated by another presidential election this year, one which has been out of the spotlight of the headline media for some time.
It has emerged that a referendum is signposted for end of year talks in 2009 regarding the current state of Cyprus as a divided country. Ongoing talks between Turkish and Greek Cypriot authorities are expected to reach a final conclusion this year in the aftermath of the recent presidential elections. These elections are now being used as leverage for fresh impetus in solving this divisive problem, although whether much of a solution has been offered is contestable. While the negotiations look likely to be sealed under a politically correct agenda, the mask this charade is being paraded out in is under the guise of “stabilising international relations” between Turkey and Cyprus. And overseeing all these changes is once again, the ‘reputable’ board that is the EU.
The EU have been playing a dangerous game for a number of years, in which they have continued to dictatorially change the rules as and when they suit. This would be a point of protest if this was a little game show we’re talking about. But these are the historical paths of countries, nations and peoples at hand here. It is inexplicably unfathomable how the EU have come to possess so much power as a board of directorates who fail as miserably as did the League of Nations during the Cold War. Cyprus did not come under co-habitation in 1974; they were invaded. Technically speaking, the division of the country was not a stalemate conclusion between Turkey and Cyprus, it is the cause and effect of a nation which is still under invasion, and has been for the last 35 years. Tassos Papadopoulos’ defeat this week has incensed my fury and sent acid rushing through my gullet; he has been the mouthpiece for the majority of Greek Cypriots rejecting the reunification for four years. Now their future representation has been been thrown into doubt and the EU do not look likely to take any of this into consideration.
The argument still stands unanswered: why in the world, is it acceptable to have Auschwitz as a recognized site of the Jewish Holocaust, is it acceptable to have the complete destruction of Rotterdam recognized under the Luftwaffe invasion, but yet Turkey’s responsibilities for their atrocities are none? At the peak of the Turkish invasion of Northern Cyprus, the Greek people were horrifically tortured, raped and murdered, often in full view of their families. Families were subjected to grisly cruelty in full view of young children, some of whom were indescribably made to watch their parents undergo rape and torture. This is the side of the argument kept out of the media, the evidence the EU has strained to sweep under the carpet. These events took place in Cyprus during a relatively peaceful time in the world, where Britain was enjoying it’s hippie revolution and America was still in the throes of industrial revival. Meanwhile Greek Cypriot churches were being annihilated by the Turkish, monasteries destroyed, cemeteries and graves dug up and the dead dishonoured along with the living. Who cares to fight for the recognition of these atrocities? Perhaps we live in a different age where international relations between countries are strained because of current political agendas. But while we attempt to move forward in forgiveness and unison, let us not fall into complete foolishness and degradation as to ignore that these events even took place. There are Greeks still alive today who are living evidence and witnesses of these heinous crimes committed by Turkey. One fact remains out of this horrific historical tragedy: the Turkish have been living in Northern Cyprus by their own self-righteousness and indignation. Is that political correctness that the EU are prepared to honour?
Should these talks result in the forcing of the Greeks to live amongst their invaders and perpetrators, the ascession of Turkey to the EU will not only be a blow to the Cypriot people, but to Armenia also. For years, Turkey have staunchly denied the Armenian genocide of 1915. As officially recognised by 21 countries so far, one and a half million Armenians were massacred under the Turkish authorities, which were then Ottoman, as part of a brutal attempt at ethnic cleansing. The ‘dhimmi’ system of the Ottoman Empire ordered that Christians–in this case, Armenia, Assyria and Greece–were considered second-class citizens and unequal to Muslims. The grisly massacres were carried out extensively with deaths occurring between 1914-1918. Turkey still deny any responsibility for their actions in this gruesome genocide; this was a sticking point for them with regards to becoming part of the EU. Now even this is being thrown into question with this week’s changes in Cyprus.
While this event has opened a narrow door for Turkey, there is still a long way to go before any such development can take place. It is my hope that justice is done for the innocent victims of 1915 and 1974 in this region, that the current governing bodies do not completely sell their morality for power, the way they have done in the past. If Germany can acknowledge the sins of their past, offer repentance to the nations of their affliction and go on to build strong friendships with them, Turkey need to be measured by the same judgment in order to have any degree of acceptance in Europe.