Letter sent by TRNC President Rauf Denktas to the Greek Cypriot Leader Glafkos Clerides, 22 September 1996
Dear Mr. Clerides,
This is in reply to your letter of 11 September 1996 in which, very significantly, the non-committal ending of “yours etc” was omitted. Nevertheless, having been given this opportunity of writing to you I wish to state my thoughts and feelings, most sincerely, on some aspects of the Cyprus problem because I feel that Greek and Greek Cypriot exertions are leading us in the opposite direction to a negotiated settlement. I feel it is essential that the Greek Cypriot side, especially the youth who have no knowledge of the 1963-1974 period, should have an inner view of Turkish Cypriots feelings and apprehensions, and understand that we have vested rights under the Partnership Republic of 1960 and why we cannot afford to let go of these basic rights. I am sure you will agree that a solution can only be viable and permanent if based on reality, hence this rather long “round-up” of how we see the whole problem including the lamentable events of the last few weeks.
My repeated calls, over the years, for face-to-face talks for a negotiated settlement on the basis of the parameters put forward by the UNSG have constantly been ignored on the ground that there is no “common basis” for negotiations.
For us the reason for this course of action by your side is quite clear; the Greek Cypriot leadership would rather retain the title of “the Government of Cyprus” than “condescend” to share power with the Turkish Cypriot ex-partner on a new basis” Hence an “admirable” way of changing the agenda each time, while, all concerned are made to believe that the Greek Cypriot side has the political will to reach a new partnership agreement while the Turkish Cypriot side runs away from it. We experienced this in 1984-1985, then in 1986 with the proposals put to us by the UNSG, and, then again, in 1992-93 with the UN Set of Ideas and the Confidence Building Measures. That Makarios’ “will and testament” to the Greek Cypriot leadership still guides your way is quite clear to us. Makarios is on record for proudly confessing that he had brought Cyprus to the nearest point to Enosis by destroying the partnership Republic in 1963 and by presenting to the world an administration composed 100% of Greek Cypriots as “the Government of Cyprus”. As you know, he ordained his successors not to change this except for Enosis. Kyprianou, when he lost the elections against Vassiliou, was honest enough, in line with the will of Makarios, to say that he had never believed in federation and that he had followed the path of the “great leader” Makarios.
Vassilou, who played with us and with the world by pretending for five years that he was all for a settlement, kicked back when the time had come for us to state categorically whether we agreed with the UN Set of Ideas, then replied that he had agreed to nothing. We stated that we could accept 91% of it and that we wanted to negotiate the rest. At that time you were bombarding Mr. Vassiliou and presenting the Set of Ideas as a sell-out-unless drastic changes were made to it. To this day we do not know what your final position is on the Set of Ideas. We do know, however, that both the Greek Cypriot leadership and Greece are not on the way to a federal solution and that you aim at a unitary state in which Turkish Cypriots will have minority rights, while Turkey’s vested rights in Cyprus and her right to defend us and to defend Cyprus from “enemies from within” should be abrogated.
Indeed you have been truthful enough to state in your memoirs that the conflict between the two communities is one of principle for both sides and that, rather than compromise on this principle, the parties would prefer to fight. This is the quotation from your memoirs “MY DEPOSITION,” Vol 3, page 105:
“Just as the Greek Cypriot preoccupation was that Cyprus should be a Greek Cypriot state, with a protected Turkish Cypriot minority, the Turkish preoccupation was to defeat any such effort and to maintain the partnership concept, which in their opinion the Zurich Agreement created between the two communities. The conflict, therefore, was a conflict of principle and for that principle both sides were prepared to go on arguing and even, if need be to fight, rather than compromise.
The same principle is still in conflict, even today, though a federal solution has been accepted -and though a federation is nothing more than a constitutional partnership of the component states, provinces or cantons which make up the federation.”
This having been acknowledged and put so succinctly in your memoirs, I have looked, over the years, for signs from the Greek Cypriot side that would indicate a change of heart or, at least, a change of policy, but unfortunately, I saw none. On the contrary, all signs indicated to us a one-way traffic in the direction of your one-sided pre-occupation as explained in the above-quoted passage. What is worse is that you have made your people really to believe that you are the legitimate Government of Cyprus and that as such you are entitled to speak for the whole island and take decisions and enter into Agreement with Greece which, if valid, would mean the end of us in Cyprus.
Hence, the continuous attempt to consolidate your position against us as “the Government of Cyprus”; forcing on us your false title, while maintaining the illegal and immoral embargoes against us; the signing of the defence doctrine with Greece; the build-up of arms and armaments; the encouragement of a policy (which runs contrary to the High-Level Agreements and all the parameters on the table) of redeeming “every house, every village, every hamlet etc.” with your promises to all Greek Cypriots to return to their lands as a pre-condition for a settlement, when you well know that no Turkish Cypriot will return to the South to suffer the indignities and harassment of the 1963-1974 period.
In October 1994 the UNSG had invited us to face-to-face talks with his letter of 10 October 1994, the relevant paragraph of which reads:
“Accordingly, I have asked my Deputy Special Representative, Mr. Feissel, to invite you and Mr. Clerides to join him for a number of informal consultations at his residence with a view to exploring in a practical and concrete manner ways in which progress might be made both in respect of the implementation of the Confidence Building Measures and the long-contemplated overall settlement of the Cyprus problem.”
This time you found the excuse of EU membership for changing the agenda by asking me to agree to support your unlawful and unilateral application for membership as a pre-condition for continuing the dialogue.
Your assessment that EU countries have been adequately hoodwinked (or blackmailed by Greece) to believe that “Cyprus” is politically and economically ready to be accepted as a member of the EU -even though there is no solution at hand, and in the absence of Turkish Cypriot consent- has encouraged your side to turn its back on the whole process of a negotiated settlement.
This belief that others, misled or deceived by your extensive and successful propaganda, will help you convert Cyprus into a Greek Cypriot Republic irrespective of the Treaties, human rights and the Rule of Law, has been, as you know, the cause of your onslaught on us and on the partnership state back in 1963. As Mr Pickard, the then Acting British High Commissioner in Nicosia reported to London, it was only the “Turkish Battalion’s movement, threat of invasion and overflight of jet aircraft (which) stopped Greek attack at Christmas”. But for these, you know Mr. Clerides, that the Turkish Cypriots in the Turkish part of Nicosia would have been wiped off the map of Cyprus. I was at hearing distance of the telephone conversation between your Police Commander Pantelides and his counter-part on our side Mr. K.Nami, informing Mr. Nami that if we did not surrender by the morning mortar shelling would start and a great number of civilians would be killed. Your authorities knew by then that we had come to the end of our ammunition and they believed that Turkey could do nothing to save us. Mr. Pickard continued in his above stated report, now part of history, as follows: “But now they are consoling themselves with myths that Greeks, US, Soviets, UN, Afro-Asians or in the last resort British will prevent Turkish intervention”.
Resting on this myth, the atrocities against my people continued unabated while your police and Security Forces (armed pro-Enosis thugs fed and encouraged by the Church and by each one of the party leaders) proudly declared that Cyprus had become Greece and Greece was Cyprus. The clandestine importation of Greek troops to Cyprus was sufficient proof of this belief.
Now I notice that your refusal to treat us (your ex co-founder partner of the 1960 Republic) as your sole interlocutor at the inter-communal talks is aimed at showing the rest of the world that the Cyprus problem is not an inter-communal conflict, but that it is a problem between Turkey and Cyprus and that the world (EU) should help you solve it on those basis! You may well afford to forget the years between 1963 and 1974, but forgetfulness is no excuse for running away with Cyprus and abrogating our vested rights.
Statements from Greek Cypriot political party leaders to the effect that what you now seek is a “European kind of federation”, and not a bi-zonal and bi-communal federation as foreseen in the UNSG’s parameters for Cyprus, are undoubtedly a result of this “myth”. The harm done to Cyprus and to the negotiating process by the EU’s treatment of the unilateral Greek Cypriot application for membership as an application proper by “Cyprus” is quite obvious. Your actions based on this myth have now become quite evident, specially in the way you turned your back on the inter-communal talks! Your priority now is “EU membership as soon as possible” so that Cyprus becomes a member, without our rights and status being established, so that your life-long ambition of converting Cyprus into, and having it treated as a unitary Greek Cypriot State, is fulfilled through EU membership -thus rendering us into a minority in a Greek Cyprus, which was (and is) your pre-occupation as set out in your above-quoted memoirs.
You are on record as telling us publicly what you expect to achieve from EU membership in the following excerpts from your statements:
a)”If it becomes certain that the accession of Cyprus into the Union will be achieved… than her (Turkey’s) intervention in a EU member country is unthinkable”.
From an interview to a PIK TV
and Radio team who were visiting
you on the occasion of your birthday
25 April, 1994
Turkish Cypriots know too well what would have happened to them if this right of intervention was not there!.. How can you expect us to go along with your policy at this stage when for 33 years all our basic rights have been denied and trampled upon so mercilessly!
b)”The drama which Cyprus is living through originates from the guarantor powers. If I am proposed a solution which will free Cyprus from these guarantors, I would accept this. A strengthened UN force could replace the guarantor countries.”
From an interview given to the
French newspaper Dernieres
Nouvelles D’Alcase, published in
it’s issue of August 9, 1994
and Alithia of 12 August, 1994
Mr. George Ball had his eyes quite open to similar tactics back in 1964. We learn from British Document No. 1057 of 15 February 1964 that: “Mr. Ball thought that Makarios’ aim was to get the Cyprus problem into UN orbit where the slogan of self-determination, supported by the bloc and the neutralists, could exert pressure towards the establishment of an independent unitary State, where he could do what he liked with the Turkish Cypriots”. You are now trying to do exactly the same thing through the EU by pretending that Cyprus is a unitary State, and a Greek Cypriot one at that!
c)”What we want is a Cyprus free from Turkish troops, settlers and the right of intervention which Turkey claims she has.”
From a speech made during
the unveiling of the bust of one of
the EOKA lenders, Kyriakos Matsis
2 December, 1994
d)”…if the Greek Cypriots enter the EU, this would give the Greek Cypriots major cards to play on many constitutional issues…”
23 July, 1994
Can we forget that the Cyprus problem was originated by your side when you tried to amend the Constitution of Cyprus in order to abrogate our vested rights as a co-founder partner of the Republic? It takes no great imagination on our part to know how “the major cards” will be played against us once you enter the EU.
In addition to your statements, your spokesman Yannakis Kasulides is also on record for stating on 14 November, 1993 in the Periodiko Journal that once Cyprus becomes a member of the EU, even if Turkey had the right of unilateral intervention in Cyprus, it would not be able to exercise such a right against a country which is a member of the EU. He also stated that the linkage and integration between members of the EU go beyond economic integration and embrace such areas as common foreign and defence policy -hence your defence doctrine with Greece “replacing” (!) the guarantee system of 1960! How can you expect us to fall into these Hellenistic traps?
In this context, I would also like to remind you that Greece’s then Foreign Ministry European Affairs Under-Secretary Yorgos Mangakis, in an interview published in AGON newspaper on 13 August 1995, stated:
“The Cyprus problem which is our important national cause has been in a ‘mortal unstable state’ for 21 years… With the coming of the EU into operation, the Cyprus problem has become independent of the ‘mortal unstable state’. I feel free to say that Cyprus has come out of the ‘grave’, revived and from now on it is not on its own. With the commencing of the dialogue for EU membership, Cyprus has reached the stage of being a member of the European family. At present Cyprus is part of Europe. It is not on her own.”
So we know, on good authority, that, while we were made to sit at the inter-communal talks hoping to solve the problem, your side and Greece looked upon the process of inter-communal talks as “a mortal unstable state”, a “grave” for your ambitions of converting Cyprus into a Greek Cypriot Republic! Now the EU will give you that chance you all seek, while the world at large wonders why we oppose this unilateral, illegal and immoral move for EU membership!..
Our position on EU membership is quite clear: Cyprus, which has been divided since 1963, can only evolve into a one Cyprus State again through a negotiated settlement, before it can have the mandate from its component peoples for applying to the EU for membership, and it can do so only within the limits accorded to it by the 1960 Agreements. There has not been a legitimate “Government of Cyprus”, representing the two politically equal communities, since 1963. Through unilateral exertions you may have deceived the world that the Greek Cypriot wing of a bi-communal, bi-religious, bi-lingual partnership state can be represented by only the Greek Cypriot wing, as a prize for deliberately destroying the partnership state, but, expecting us, as the Turkish Cypriot co-founder partner of that state, to go along with such deception, is a little too much.
It is in this light that I read and evaluated your letter of 17 December 1993 to the UNSG on demilitarisation which you attached to your letter under reply. That you signed it as “the President of Cyprus” is as irrelevant to the Cyprus dispute as its contents, at this stage. The crux of the inter-communal dispute is the attempt of the Greek Cypriot side to impose itself on us as “the Government of Cyprus” contrary to the Rule of Law and in complete disregard of the “state of affairs” created by the 1960 Treaties, which gave certain rights to each of the interested parties, namely, Turkish Cypriots, Turkey, Greek Cypriots, Greece and, of course, Great Britain. This balanced distribution of rights and obligations was necessary in view of the facts on the ground and the nature of the inter-communal conflict preceding the 1959-60 accord. Cyprus had to be protected from destroying itself in the name of Enosis or partition. Hence the balance and equality struck between the two motherlands vis-a-vis Cyprus and the respective communities, and the dictum that the two communities are politically equal partners, neither of them having the right to dominate the other. As the threat to this partnership Republic from within was a permanent threat (in view of the Enosis movement and the persistent belief that Cyprus is a land of Hellenes in which Turkish Cypriots have no place), it was necessary to evolve a permanent guarantee system. Hence, the Treaties of Guarantee and of Alliance and the consequential restrictions of the right Cyprus to unite with any other country, in whole or in part, AND to enter any union in which both motherland guarantors are not members. On this crucial point y can quote no higher authority than the following extract from the mutinies of preparatory meetings held in London between the Foreign Ministers of the three Guarantor Powers – Turkey, Greece and Great Britain. At this meeting both Mr. Averoff and Mr. Zorlu emphasised that:
“The intention was to exclude ore favorable bilateral agreements between Cyprus and countries other than the Three Powers, and also to avoid the possibility of either Greece or Turkey securing a more favorable economic position in Cyprus than the other – of Greece, for example, establishing a kind of economic enosis.” (See the last complete paragraph on page 4, of the minutes of the meeting held in London on 12 February 1959.)
The consequence of this wise approach was the veto rights given to each community in order to avert such indirect Enosis, which you are now trying to achieve through the EU.
The Greek Cypriot application for EU membership is a clear act of enmity towards the Turkish Cypriots as it aims to destroy their vested rights under the 1960 Treaties as a co-founder partner of the defunct state called “the Republic of Cyprus.” The fact that by misfortune the Greek Cypriot side has been allowed to use this title as if it represents the bi-communal Republic is quite irrelevant because the whole dispute is that what is now called “the Republic of Cyprus” is NOT in fact the bi-communal Republic of 1960, and the Turkish Cypriot side is not going to bow to any process or agreement which treats the Greek Cypriot side as “the Republic of Cyprus”. We are ready to recognize you as the Greek Cypriot Republic in the South but never as the Republic or the Government of the whole island. Our stand is based on the Rule of Law, the sanctity of International Treaties and in defence of our vested rights as a democratically constituted co-founder partner of the defunct Republic of 1960!.
As you stated in your above-quoted memoirs our pre-occupation is to prevent you from converting Cyprus into a Greek Cypriot Republic in which you will enjoy the luxury of treating the Turkish Cypriots as a “protected minority”.
It is clear to all students of the Cyprus problem that the Greek Cypriot attempt to convert Cyprus into a Greek Cypriot Republic has not ceased and that the unilateral application for EU membership has been made in order to “sign, seal and deliver” Cyprus into Greek Cypriot hands, in complete disregard of the Treaty rights of the other interested parties. What Makarios tried to do by attacking us, you are now trying to complete through the EU, believing that the EU will declare the Treaties of 1960 as invalid, especially the guarantee system established under them. Your letter to the UNSG on demilitarization is a clever ruse in that direction. Our answer on that score is set out in some detail In my letter of 9 April, 1996 to Lord Finsberg, which is attached for your information (Appendix 1).
But for this guarantee system, the Turkish Cypriot side would not have agreed to a partnership Republic in 1959-60 because it was clear to us that Makarios would destroy this partnership Republic at the first opportunity. We knew, all along, as Mr. Pickard of the British High Commission was to find out and report to London in January 1964, that “the assurances of Makarios are as worthless as previous assurances”. We knew, as Mr. Pickard had discovered later, that “this anachronistic Byzantine prelate is danger in the modern world because he miscalculates as well as he misleads”. But believing in myths that Greece, US, the Soviets, UN, Afro-Asians or the British will prevent a Turkish intervention, Makarios was to defy the Rule of Law and the Treaties in question in trying to convert Cyprus into a spring-board for Enosis. I am indeed sorry to see that after the bitter experiences of the last three decades you still believe that you national goal is attainable and that unilateral resolutions obtained on Cyprus by your side will suffice to divest us and Turkey of our Treaty rights and obligations in and over Cyprus.
It was with such unfounded beliefs that all through those years your side proposed demilitarisation or “the withdrawal of the Greek Contingent if Turks would also withdraw its contingent”, but, as seen from old documents, now made public, the British and American diplomats were quite awake to the intentions of Makarios: “Makarios wanted to abrogate the agreements so that Turkey would not have the right to intervene while he destroys the Turkish Cypriot community” they said quite rightly. In fact George W. Ball, the then US Under-Secretary of State, wrote in his memoirs that “The Greek Cypriots do not want a peace-keeping force; they just want to be left alone to kill Turkish Cypriots” (“The past Has another Pattern”, Norton and Co. 1982, pages 341-347).
So, your continued attempt to change the guarantee system of 1960 gives us no confidence for the future. We cannot afford to change a system which was meant to prevent you, and finally did prevent you, from doing to co-existence (if it is wanted) must rest on this permanent system of guarantee because the danger to Cyprus continues to exist from within and there is no assurance that this state of affairs, this mentality that Cyprus is Greek or is Hellene, will ever change unless the impossible is achieved: the Church abandons its adventurous policy; the Greek Cypriot education system stops poisoning the youth against Turkey and us; and the Megali Idea is abandoned. We cannot rely on miracles. On the contrary, your own statements regarding the victory of Hellenism in Cyprus, etc. only help to perpetuate the division and help to dynamite efforts to reach a negotiated settlement while further deepening the mistrust and suspicion that we have towards your policies. I give you bellow another glaring example of your divisive and destructive statements:
“From time to time, pressures are exerted on us to make concessions on issues which cannot be compromised on; but no pressure will be yielded to. I would like to reiterate once more before all of you; the compass of our goal is to safeguard the future of Greek Cypriots, to be in tight and close cooperation with Motherland Greece and to stand jointly, within the framework of the joint Defence Doctrine, against dangers threatening us in the Aegean and other places.
I want you to know that: consultations are going on at present, at the headquarters of UN, for future resolutions to be adopted by the Security Council.
However, the ultimate decision will be taken Glafkos Clerides, the President of the Cyprus Republic, who is proud of having been given the codename “Hiperides” (a Greek hero of Greek mythology) by General Grivas.
Neither American nor British pressures will make us yield. We will continue our struggle, in trenches and our heads-up, until the final victory of Cyprus Hellenism.
All the decisions to be made on Cyprus will be taken by us here in Cyprus.”
Your statement as published
in the Greek Cypriot press of 20 June
It is in this context that the events of 11 August 1996, and thereafter, resulting in the deaths of three young men (two Greek Cypriots and one Turkish Cypriot, with another Turkish Cypriot fighting for his life in hospital), have to be judged.
The fact than the motorcyclists’ demonstration was organized with the approval and financial support of your administration, and that of the Church, needs no further proof other than statements made by you and your authorities, including Church leaders. But just the record I wish to quote from an interview of the President of the Greek Cypriot Motorcyclists Federation as reported in the Periodiko journal on 21 August, 1996:
“…Mr. Kasulides had promised us 10 thousand Cyprus pounds from state funds to help us finance the demonstrations… furthermore, we were promised that the Greek army would provide us transport to Germany in a Herkules transport plane of the Greek Air Force.”
That these pre- planned demonstrations were conceived and executed in a violent and provocative manner cannot be disputed. The slogans used were a direct threat to our very existence and a violation of each and every concept on which a federal structure could be established. You cannot, in defiance of the mutually agreed principles of bi-zonality and bi-communality, claim the right of return to your homes and property without threatening Turkish Cypriots who were forced to abandon all their properties in the South and who do not wish to return having not forgotten the days of harassment and indignity through which they went for eleven years. That is why we agreed on a future set-up based on bi-zonality and that is why we agreed to curtail “the three freedoms” (of movement, settlement and property ownership) in other to establish a viable of discarding a federal solution and, as I stated earlier, this is quite clear from the statements of political leaders and your spokesman to the effect that the federation sought by your side is not be the one foreseen in the UN Set of Ideas.
The provocations of the motorcyclists started in January 1996 and multiplied in tenor and dimension until our people got really agitated and felt threatened. The false implications and propaganda to the effect that “the Turkish minority (!) is living under occupation” and that all will be well once the “occupier” leaves Cyprus, and the false pretence that it is the Turkish Army which prevents the freedom of movement and the enjoyment of ownership while, in truth and in fact, we live under a cease-fire agreement (which ordains us to keep the status quo pending a settlement) with a buffer-zone manned by UNFICYP separating us, are matters of grave concern to us-especially as we see the Greek Cypriot side, hiding behind and using the false tittle of “the Government of Cyprus”, give priority to initiatives and measures for robbing us of our vested rights through such tactics.
The threat of the motorcyclists (7000 of them) to dive into our territory at all costs, and statements to the effect that they were not afraid of us and would not be deterred by the measures which we were taking, spread an atmosphere of imminent war amongst our people who knew that the police and soldiers of the TRNC would not yield to these misguided people. Finally, our people took it upon themselves to show to the Greek Cypriot side that they would not become refugees a fourth time in three decades and that they were determined to protect their lives and properties.
My appeal to you directly through the press and through diplomats to stop this irresponsible and most provocative venture fell on deaf ears. The last minute attempt to stop the demonstrations cannot divest you from full responsibility of all that happened, because, after the two deaths you were able to take necessary measures (which I knew you were always in a position to take but for your full support of the demonstrations), thus proving that the provocations through the demonstrations were with the full support of the Greek Cypriot authorities. Had you not supported the demonstrations, had you taken those precautions on the first day, and had you prevented Greek Cypriots from attacking the buffer-zone and UNFICYP personnel, there would have been no injuries, no deaths and no killings in revenge by Greek commandos, as admitted now by publications in Greece, and I quote:
“The attack of 8 September against the Turks was done by Greek Commandos in order to revenge the killings of 11 and 14 August, 1996.” (From a report in Stohos newspaper, published in Greece, based on a pamphlet distributed in Limassol on 16 September 1996.)
The President of the Greek Cypriot Biker’s Federation, Yorgos Hadjicostas, has said that he had anticipated the consequences of their actions, but carried them out in spite of this. Asked during an interview he gave to Selides magazine whether he had not thought that their actions would claim victims, Hadjicostas responded.
“Of course I did. But I said to myself it this journey will benefit the Cyprus problem, and if this will cost the lives of 3,5,10 or more motorcyclists, so be it. As you know, approximately 40 bikers die on the roads every year. Let some of them die for the country. It is well worth it.”
(From Selides of
27 August, 1996)
Can you visualize how the Turkish Cypriot side feels when your official spokesman so blatantly confirms the view (which is fully supported with your amassing of arms and armaments) that when you feel capable of doing so you intend to overrun the North. Here is what Mr. Cassoulides told the Astra Radio in the South:
“If we are sure that our armed forces will victoriously reach Kyrenia, and the reverse will not happen enabling the Turks to reach Limassol then we may resort to armed struggle”.
This statement is directed at Turkey, and the Turkish Cypriot side, which is capable at any time to go to Limassol but has not done so for 22 years; which states at every opportunity that it has no intention, no plan, no desire and no reason for threatening the South; and confirms that its duty is to guard the North against such dangerous policy makers as depicted by the events under discussion and as confirmed by your spokesman’s above-quoted statement to Astra Radio.
The oath of vengeance in the so-called “National Guard” camps on 15 August, 1996 “to drink Turkish blood” should have alerted you to the fact that something was amiss and that you should have taken measures to stop such commando raids on our sentries. Nothing was done and Turkish blood was thus drank by Greek Commandos! And as I am writing this letter to you today (22 September 1996) we see in your daily press that T-shirts are being sold in your Army Camps depicting slogans to the effect that they are hungry and thirsty for Turkish blood. What “healthy” ground you are all preparing for a future settlement!..
Revenge is an ugly monster and unfortunately we have a great number of people who have lost their loved ones by being lined up and shot just because they were Turkish Cypriots. This was in accordance with Makarios’ publicised dictum back in August 1964 that “If Turkey came to save Turkish Cypriots, Turkey would find no Turkish Cypriots to save”. We were hostages in your hands with only one alternative – bow to your illegal and immoral rule and accept to be “a protected minority in a Greek Cypriot Republic”. If we did not do so and resisted your illegal authority, as it was our right to do, then our punishment would be subjugation through force of arms and illegal embargoes. Turkey had a right to rescue us and to prevent the conversion of the partnership Republic into a Greek Cypriot Republic. But if Turkey moved in order to fulfill her obligation, then by the time Turkey arrived we would be “neutralised” in Cyprus. The word “neutralise”, let me remind you, is a quotation from you when we were in Rome at a conference in 1972 while the Turkish Cypriot Community was still the underdog. You then backed up Makarios’ above referred dictum by saying, to the surprise of all, that Makarios was right and Turkish Cypriots hat to be “neutralised” if Turkey came to Cyprus.
I append hereto an envelope of photographs of “neutralised” Turkish Cypriots. Even sixteen day old babies, 1,2,3 year olds were not spared. 80-90 years old people were mercilessly gunned down.
In Appendix 2 you will find the reports of foreign journalists on “neutralised” Turkish Cypriots.
In Appendix 3 you will find the statements of two lucky men who escaped the massacres by chance.
In Appendix 4 you will find the pictures of elementary school- children lined up and shot. The school is now a museum in their memory. Mass graves or monuments commemorate these tragedies all over the North!.
As you will see from these documents the names of “the heroes” who committed these crimes under your leadership are well known and these were given to you at the time. I do not remember any action being taken against any of these “heroes”, most of whom were in military uniform or acted as “special policemen” enlisted unconstitutionally for Turk-hunting.
It is our responsibility as the two leaders of our communities to curb down feelings of vengeance and not to upset the equilibrium established under the Guarantee System of 1960. To my people who escaped the above-described atrocities only by virtue of the Guarantee System, you cannot advocate a new guarantee system and hope that it will be accepted.
If co-existence is to be the essence of a future settlement, you should not play with the idea that the 1960 Guarantee System “did not work and has to be changed”. The system was established in order to prevent exactly what you had set out to do and did to us from 1963 to 1974.
Your complaint that the Treaties of Guarantee and of Alliance, by providing for unilateral intervention, has done harm to Cyprus is untenable. Just ask the question to yourself as to what would have happened to Turkish Cypriots had there been no such guarantee and have a look at the above pictures and statements again. And in case you choose to argue that all these happened after the arrival of Turkey in 1974, I enclose for your eyes, the pictures of mass graves in Ayios Vasilios where in December 1963 the Turkish Cypriot civilians (women and children, old men and women) were taken from their homes, lined up and shot. The number of Turkish Cypriots killed and wounded and the missing during 1963 to 1974 runs into several thousands. The number of Turkish villages destroyed is 103 and desecrated mosques run into 107. You must know the names of other mixed villages where the same “cleansing operation” was carried out. You were then in charge of “the Organization” (under the notorious Akritas Plan which is also published in your own memoirs) actively engaged in making Cyprus a Greek colony. You were honoured by the code-name of Hiperides and you had taken the oath to unite the island with Greece. We were regarded as enemies of Cyprus because we said “never” and stood up to defend our four centuries old homeland.
On the Treaty of Guarantee, I would like to repeat that a unilateral intervention under Article 4 would never have arisen if everyone had played their part as they had undertaken to do. You did not merely fail to play your part as the Greek Cypriot wing of a bi-communal government, but you set out to destroy what was guaranteed and with it to destroy the Turkish Community. You had undertaken to maintain security within the island and to observe the Constitution, but you preferred to declare the Constitution to be “dead and buried”. So what legitimate right have you got to complain that the Guarantee System has failed you. The system prevented you from destroying us and from converting the island into a Greek Republic! This threat to us and to Cyprus still continues unabated and we feel that, as stated in your memoirs, rather than compromise on your “principle” of converting Cyprus into a unitary Greek Cypriot state, you are, true to your word, preparing a military action in order to achieve your “national l Hellenistic aim”.
Please study again the videos of the events of 11 and 14 August 1996 and look again at the faces and behaviour of the knife-brandishing Greek heroes and the one’s who stripped themselves with appropriate words of insult to our religion and women. Is there any change in this attitude of enmity against Turkish Cypriots from what it was in 1963? Please look at the following excerpt from the Guardian Newspaper (April 2, 1988) and decide whether you are ready, under these circumstances and with this state of mind, to enter the EU. Cyprus has to cleanse itself, morally and politically, by agreeing to a settlement which will never give the Greek Cypriot side the chance to do to the Turkish Cypriots what they set out to do over the years.
The following excerpt from a hitherto secret report by Commander Packard, who was a high-ranking British officer serving on the island, published In The Guardian newspaper of April 2, 1988, is testimony to the horrendous nature of the events between 1963-1974:
“One of Packard’s first tasks was to try to find out what had happened to the Turkish hospital patients. Secret discussions took place with a Greek Minister in the collapsed government. After a brief investigation, he was able to confirm local rumours.
It appeared that Greek medical staff had slit the Turkish patients throats as they lay in their beds, their bodies here loaded on to a truck and driven to a farm north of the city where they were fed into mechanical choppers and ground into the earth”.
As lawyers we both know that accusations and pictures on videos by themselves prove little or nothing unless corroborated by real evidence.
It appears that practically all Turks that you guessed or suspected to be in the vicinity of the events of 11 and 14 August 1996, without mention of your provocation’s and incitement’s, have been lined up for accusation. The list of names given by you are not sustained by facts or the pictures. I could give you are not sustained by facts or the pictures. I could give you a similar list putting down the names of all those who have caused, provoked and incited the events of 11 and 14 August 1996.
In the usual one-sided and selfish manner, as threats of proceedings against some individuals (and I don’t know at what constitutionally valid courts of law) continue, you will appreciate that I have no right to prejudice anyone’s defence by disclosing their version of events. All I can say is that on some of the photographs produced there are indications of “doctoring” through computers, and names mentioned by you do not match with the actual pictures. What is important is that you (and the Greek media) have already decided on the guilty ones, and convicted and sentenced them to vengeance killings. Is this the right way to defuse an escalation of a dangerous situation caused by you in the first place? Secondly, how can you be so selective regarding the incident of 14 August 1996, and call our legitimate right of defence a “case of murder” against your untold provocation’s lasting for months and culminating in arson, stone throwing, possession of arms during demonstrations, threats to life and property by people wrapped up in or carrying Greek flags which to us mean a threat to our liberty and life and amount to colonisation by Greeks.
Since 1955 you have died and killed for Enosis. In turn we have died and killed in order to avoid such a fate or not to live under Greek Cypriot domination. How can you belittle the provocation’s which our people, in uniform, or not, faced that day. I wonder whether you saw your boys attacking, with sticks and stones, our policemen who were trying to put out fires set up by your “peaceful demonstrators”. That none of our policemen died was due to the timely arrival of their colleagues who chased away the attackers, young Greek Cypriots who are made to know nothing about the 1963-1974 period and who refuse to concede that we are as much part of Cyprus as they and that we have as much rights as they to live in our homeland and to rule ourselves unmolested, in human dignity!
It is upon us, the leadership, to tell our peoples that there is no other way in Cyprus except co-existence as good neighbours under separate roofs or as co-founder partners under one mutually agreed bi-zonal, bi-communal roof. Rushing our borders and claiming the right to come and sweep us off our properties and demanding submission to brute force, waiving Greek flags and telling us that Hellenism will be victorious in Cyprus, are surely not the way to a negotiated settlement.
As regards your allegation that I have drawn the premature conclusion that the killing of a Turkish Cypriot soldier and the wounding of another on 8 September 1996, was a revenge killing by the Greek Cypriot side, I again feel obliged to remind you of the above-quoted passage from Stohos newspaper, published in Greece.
It is the same kind of commandos, referred to by Stohos, who helped EOKA B, and who staged the coup in 1974. Don’t forget they had all been invited to Cyprus by Makarios in order to convert Cyprus into a Greek land! It is a sad day for Cyprus that these people are still with you and are able to take revenge action against Turkish Cypriots after having Greek Cypriot youth take the oath of vengeance “for drinking Turkish blood”! We shall see what action you will be taking against these “brave ones”!
Your reminder that in 1975 the murderer of two young mothers and their three minor children was arrested, tried and sentenced to death; that his sentence was reduced to life; and that he served part of his sentence, has nothing to do with the events of 11 and 14 August 1996, and of 8 September 1996. This was a case where two young mothers had paid 200 Cyprus pounds per person (1000 Cyprus pounds in all) to this Greek Cypriot driver to be taken to the Turkish Cypriot sector to freedom and liberation in order to escape the harassment of eleven years under Greek Cypriot domination. Your position was that no Greek Cypriot could move from North to South and no Turkish Cypriot could move from South to North, thus forcing our people to resort to such secret ways for coming to liberty in the North, while forcing your people to stay put in North Cyprus, contrary to their wishes and for the sake of your political expediency. Many more Turkish Cypriots perished on their way to the North until we made the Exchange of Population Agreement in Vienna in 1975. The last episode was this. More than thirty Turkish Cypriots were caught by your gunmen while walking to liberty over the Troodos mountains. Those caught were beaten up and taken back to Ktima where they were lined up and exhibited to Greek Cypriots who passed in line and spat in their faces. Can you imagine the great pain and humiliation that these people had to suffer, with bones broken with rifle-butts.
As to the murderer who had killed the young mother and her children in order to steal their valuable possessions, it was significant that when he was arrested for these murders he echoed a surprise by saying. “But they were Turks”! Over the years hundreds of Turkish Cypriots had been lined up and shot with absolute immunity and that is why this man could not understand why he was being arrested for killing Turks. After all, the ones that he had killed were Turks! If my memory does not deceive me the murderer was reprieved after serving for a short time and later died in mysterious circumstances, believed to have committed suicide.
The ill treatment of Turkish Cypriots living in the South had reached such proportions that hardly 200 of them chose to stay in the South, and those due to family, age or other reasons. Nearly 50,000 of them moved to the North. Had the harassment continued and murders of the kind you describe gone unpunished, the young men who had been evacuated to the North after being released from custody, would have dared to go South in order to free their loved ones. Your side’s attempt to stop them by force would probably have caused a new intervention by Turkey. So, it was a wise move by you to go through the motions of prosecuting such obvious crimes against innocent civilians which were committed for the purpose of gain or revenge.
The second example which you give also falls far short of the events of August 1996. In that case, two Turkish Cypriots had stopped on the main road to pass water and were “arrested” by your soldiers, taken to the camp near by and shot just because they were Turkish Cypriots. These Turkish Cypriots were not threatening anyone. They were using a public road.
The treatment of Turkish Cypriots is fully depicted in the articles of foreign journalists which I attached for reference. Hence Turkey’s quick move to save them from the fate of common graves.
You may have forgotten to mention the killing of one of our soldiers at Burhan Tan Street on 4 February 1989 by a member of the Greek Cypriot National Guard. Your Minister of Defence Mr. Aloneftis’s public statement was to the effect that the “National Guard was under orders to fire at anyone who entered the buffer-zone and that this order was to be implemented at all times”. Unlike the event of 14 August 1996, our soldier had not entered the buffer zone and had not crossed the Greek Cypriot cease-fire line. Nothing happened to the National Guardman who apparently had done his national duty!
The Turkish Cypriot farmer, who was killed by an Austrian UN soldier while looking after his flock in the buffer-zone in Pergamos (Beyarmudu) in 1988, was compensated by UNFICYP. But those Greek Cypriots who put up this officer to do this murder by supplying him with money and ammunition went scot free. The crime for which this Turkish Cypriot, the father of four, was killed was that he had hoisted the Turkish Cypriot, the father of four, was killed was that he had hoisted the Turkish flag over his “mandra” which was in the buffer-zone!.
All these accounts prove only one thing: that you are not ready for reconciliation because the Greek Cypriot side has not yet abandoned its idea of claiming Cyprus to be Greek and, thus, of converting the island into a Greek Cypriot Republic. Indeed, the belief on your part that through EU membership you will be “home” and that Turkish Cypriots will have to follow you into the EU whether they like it or not-contrary to the Rule of Law and in contravention of the rights vested in them (and in Turkey) under the Treaties of 1960- has blocked the way to a negotiated settlement by making you turn your back to all the parameters on the table.
The way forward is to be sincere with ourselves and with the world at large. We are sincere in declaring that we shall never acknowledge the Greek Cypriot wing of a bi-communal, bi-religious, bi-lingual, bi-cultural partnership states (which was destroyed in 1963 by force of arms) as the legitimate Government of Cyprus, and we shall do our utmost to prevent you from converting Cyprus into a Greek Cypriot Republic and rendering us into a protected minority in that Republic. We shall continue to defend our vested rights as a politically equal community, entitled to rule itself, just like you, and free of harassment from the Greek Cypriot side on its own territory as free people. We shall continue to claim that we are as good a government and as good a state in the North as you are in the South and that we owe no allegiance to your administration and that your presentation of the facts of Cyprus (in complete forgetfulness of the 1963-1974 era) give us no confidence that you intend to re-establish a new bi-zonal set up with us, or that power-sharing is your aim. We shall not bargain off the Guarantee System of 1960 which saved us from common graves and we cannot afford to consider co-existence without the assurance that this system shall continue and that the sui generis restrictions on the independence of Cyprus (in order to prevent self-destruction) shall also continue so that Cyprus shall not unite, in whole or in part, with any other country and will not join any union in which both motherlands are not members.
I feel that a period of confidence building is needed so that we can test each other’s sincerity for re-union. Signatures to any agreement by both of us will not make our communities trust each other while the Church and the media will be free to continue poisoning the Greek Cypriot youth. A period of time is needed for your side to tell the youth that today’s division of the island is not our doing but is the result of Greek Cypriot attempts to convert Cyprus into a Greek Cypriot republic by abrogating all Turkish Cypriot rights as a politically equal community and, therefore, that the exchange of properties is a sine qua non of any settlement so that the Greek Cypriot claim of a right to return will mellow down. We surely cannot have a settlement while the Greek Cypriot side believes that it is the legitimate government of Turkish Cypriots and has all the right to claim to be so.
We have repeatedly presented to the UNSG, both orally and in writing, our views regarding a settlement, but we have no knowledge of what your side wants except that you want the guarantee system to be watered down or abrogated or replaced by a multi-national force; the existence of the Greek Cypriot usurped “Government of Cyprus” to be acknowledged; and all Turkish troops to leave the island even before a settlement, forgetting the time-table on which the UNSG worked, with the consent of both sides, in developing his parameters. You also want our equality not to be on par with your equality but something less, while, according to you, we have no sovereign rights at all although we point to the Swiss model on this point thus disproving your allegation that we are after creating three sovereignties in the island!
I believe that the 17 August 1996 call of the Cyprus Mail to you, concerning the tragic events of August, is relevant regarding your position vis-a-vis the settlement of the Cyprus issue, and I quote:
“… But the real question raised by the events in the buffer-zone and in the occupied areas is whether a group of protesters can we allowed to determine the country’s defence and security policy.
For some public figures, notably the Archbishop and the leader of the socialist Edek party, the events of these past few days are the heroic expression of the outrage of Greek Cypriot youth.
Edek leader Vassos Lyssarides, in particular, hailed the demonstrations as gestures upholding the ethnic pride of Greek Cypriots and demonstrating to the political establishment -and the government- the way forward. What he failed to say. however, as did the pious tenant of the Archbishopric, is whether Greek Cypriots must seek to resolve the Cyprus problem through war. The fiery rhetoric of these two public figures inevitably raises the following question; are they advocating a military campaign to liberate the occupied part of Cyprus?
Only if the answer is “Yes” would the events at Dherynia have served any political purpose… if the Greek Cypriots wish to demonstrate to the outside world that peace and co-existence between the island’s Greeks and Turks are possible, throwing stones and brandishing sticks produces precisely opposite impression. It does not take great intelligence to conclude that the higher the tension between the two communities, and the longer the casualty list, the more remote the chances of reunifying Cyprus become…
Meanwhile, the government, and above all the president, should stop sitting on the fence. The events unfolding before our eyes since Sunday are potentially explosive and the government has a duty to take a responsible approach. If some populist public figures seek to score a few electoral points by encouraging or justifying violent protests by young Greek Cypriots, the elected president must refrain from mimicking their cheap slogans and their pathetic warmongering”.
In the light of the above, and in view of the fact that, before too late, we have to reverse the present dangerous trend of escalation, please let us know, openly and sincerely and as early as possible, how you see any future settlement so that we can evaluate our position correctly.
Rauf R. DENKTAS