Turkey Rejects UN s Mediator on Solution of Cyprus Problem
New Round of Intercommunal Talks
Military Junta Takes Over in Greece
Reinforced Talks with Constitutional Experts
Formation of the EOKA B. And Civil Strife
Junta Coup d'Etat and Turkish Invasion
Restoration of Communal Order
EU and the Cypress Problem
Struggle for Justice and Compromise
Where Should the Solution Line be Drawn?
Cyprus is an island in the Mediterranean which has been at the heart of a dispute since 1963. In 1960, the island was given freedom from British control, but since then there has been very little time that has not been plagued by some form of unrest. Since there are two distinct ethnic groups, one which has a clear majority, it has been difficult for them to come to any type of agreement. The lives of the two different sides of the island are different in every aspect including religious affiliation, language, culture and other differences too numerous to mention. Because of these differences it has been impossible for the Greek and Turkish Cypriots to agree on any solution to there many issues. The main issues are that the Turks invaded the island in 1974, and they still have not completely repaid the people they either displaced or hurt in some other way since that time. The Greeks have an 80% to 20% (approximately) advantage in population, so the Turks believe that they would not get fair representation in a coalition government. The UN and other agencies have been trying to assist the two sides with an agreement, but despite the dozens of times that the two factions have met over the years, there has been no agreement. Also, oil and natural gas deposits were recently discovered that could benefit all of Cyprus, but since no coalition exists between the two, they are having problems resolving that also. A long history of strife coupled with a vast cultural gap has caused a problem that Cyprus and negotiators from many other areas have not been able to resolve.
Nature of the Problem
The Cyprus problem already spans three generations of Cypriots and as it is encroaching on the fourth it appears intractable as ever. Divided administratively in 1963 and geographically since 1974, it has defied attempts at solution through bicommunal means with the help of the United Nations and the international community. What is it that makes it so difficult to solve?
Outsiders may find the question perplexing, but for the Cypriots themselves the issue is relatively simple. The Greek Cypriots would like to see their sovereign and civil rights, violated by the 1974 Turkish invasion and the continuing occupation of the northern part of the island, restored and safeguarded. On the other hand, the Turkish Cypriot leadership, under Turkey's direct control, wants to retain the territorial and political advantage it has gained as a result of the Turkish invasion.
To demonstrate this in a historical perspective, the object of the negotiations in the period 1964-1974 was for a solution based on the self-government of the Turkish Cypriot community within a unitary state. Notwithstanding a series of UN General Assembly and Security Council resolutions in the wake of Turkish invasion calling for the withdrawal of the foreign troops and the return of the refugees, the search for a solution after 1974 began to shift toward a federal system of government in which each community would live in its own geographical area. This was formalized with the high level agreements between the leaders of the two communities in 1977 and 1979.
The prospect for a compromised yet just and viable solution began to take shape as the Republic of Cyprus submitted its application to join the European Communities in 1990. The development was rightly described as a "catalyst" for the solution of the Cyprus problem in the sense that the security of the European framework addressed the concerns of both communities. The Turkish Cypriot minority would satisfy its safety consideration while the Greek Cypriot majority could rely on the fundamental democratic principles on which the European Union is founded to safeguard human rights and fundamental freedoms for all the legitimate inhabitants.
This effort was thwarted by Turkey because the Turkish Cypriot community in order to further its own geopolitical interests did not allow for the catalyst effect to come into play. On the contrary, its sole recognition of the illegal regime in the occupied part of the island further titled the solution effort on a compromise far removed from justice. This resulted in the UN Anan plan for Cyprus being rejected by an overwhelming majority of the Greek Cypriot community in 2004.
The recent massive demonstrations in the occupied north show that Turkish Cypriots no longer want the continuing presence of the Turkish army and settlers. The current generation of Cypriot citizens seems to be willing to reach a compromise based on universally accepted rules and principles of international law. Which is precisely why the continuing issues in Cyprus defy explanation on some fronts.
The problem in Cyprus has now lasted close to half a century, and there seems to be no real solution in sight. Cyprus is in a strategic location in the Middle East and Europe due to its proximity to the Suez Canal and how it rests in relation to the nations of Greece and Turkey. Also, there have recently been large deposits of oil found off the Cyprus shore. Thus, solving the problems that have divided this tiny nation for so long are becoming even more complicated.
The UN Security Council has adopted multiple resolutions that have been enacted to try and reach an amicable solution, but there continues to be resistance from both sides. Although the island historically contains more ethnic Greek than Turkish residents, that does not mean that both sides of the issue would not have some concessions. Further, the nations of Greece and Turkey see the island as a personal property which each believes that they should be able to individually manipulate for their own purposes. While the people who inhabit Cyprus become more independent and would rather that they be able to enjoy complete freedom to grow as a nation. The UN has tried repeatedly to iron out all of the issues, but so far they have been largely unsuccessful, and with new developments in energy exploration, there may be further problems.
There needs to be a concerted look at the issues that face the Republic of Cyprus and real solutions need to be drawn from that intense examination. The reasoning behind this present examination is an effort to look at the island in historical and current contexts to see what realistic solutions offer themselves. Determining real solutions may save a crisis that could occur due to the volatile nature of the invested parties on both sides of the Cyprus problem.
Since high level international negotiations have been working to solve the increasingly difficult issues that face the Cypriot people, both Greek and Turkish, it would be illogical and presumptuous to assume that one small research paper could finally find a solution that had been overlooked by the international community already. The general purpose of a research paper or dissertation is to add a new voice to the discussion that has taken a fresh look at some question. That is the purpose of this investigation also. By conducting a thorough search of the literature that exists and critically examining the content, this author hopes to determine what the true nature of the conflict is and present solutions that may not have been previously examined to their full extent.
EU and the Cyprus problem: As Cyprus struggles for justice as opposed to debilitating compromise, where should the solution line between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots be drawn?
Cyprus was first settled more than 12, 000 years ago by typical hunter-gatherers who sailed to the island from the Eurasian coast in order to establish a settlement. These ancient settlers are the first known people to have constructed wells for water and to have domesticated cats (Kyle, 2011). The island became the possession of two waves of Greek settlers, the Hittite empire, the Phoenicians, Assyrians, Persians and the Romans. These disparate empires ruled the island from approximately 8,000 BC until 1570 AD (Hitchens, 1997).
In 1570, Cyprus came under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. This is significant because formerly the island was peopled with nobles from France, Italy and England, with a majority Greek underclass. Following conquest by the Ottoman's, the island began a history of Turkish involvement which has continued, unabated, up to the present (Hitchens, 1997).
Establishment of the Republic of Cyprus
The British "effectively leased the island" nation in 1878 from the Ottoman Empire to…