Tag Archives: Cyprus

Why Turkey will not de-escalate its aggression towards Greece. Analysis


For decades, the Hellenic Republic and the Republic of Turkey have been in dispute about maritime jurisdiction and other issues in the Aegean Sea. With the discovery of large hydrocarbon deposits in some parts of the Eastern Mediterranean, the relationship between the two states has become even more strained. As their continental shelf entitlements in the Eastern Mediterranean overlap to a significant extent, Greece and Turkey also clash over the reach of their sovereign rights and jurisdiction in this region.

The Geography and the Sovereignty Issue

The evolution of the Law of the Sea, which gives countries new spaces of sovereignty and areas of jurisdiction without specifying their delimitation, is the source of the dispute between Greece and Turkey in the Aegean Sea. The disputed areas include the waters south and south-east of the islands of Rhodes, Karpathos, Kasos, and Crete. Another hotspot of the conflict is the island of Kastellorizo (Megisti), which is Greece’s most eastern outpost, located about 330 nautical miles (nm) away from Piraeus and only 1.25 nm from the Turkish coast.

Map of Islands between Greece and Turkey, source Wikipedia 

Turkey asserts that its continental shelf extends directly to the outer limits of these islands’ 6-nm territorial sea.  In the view of the Greek government, Turkey tried ‘to usurp Greece’s ipso facto and ab initio sovereign rights over its continental shelf and to deprive the Greek islands of their maritime zones, in blatant violation of international law’.

The list of countries suffering from Turkish aggression during the last years is long. Turkey occupies one-third of Cyprus. It has used its F-16s and Special Forces against Armenians. Iraqi officials say Turkey has now established numerous outposts on its territory, ranging in size from small platoon-level posts to a full-size base. The Turkish Air Force bombs Iraq nightly. Turkey ethnically cleanses entire districts in northern Syria.

Greece and Turkey are members of NATO, an organization that promises to come to the help of a member state if any country threatens its security. But when two member states of NATO are at loggerheads and cannot arrive at any solution to the dispute, the question becomes complicated for NATO and the US to deal with. They are reluctant to choose between the two.

The Treaties and clashes through recent History

Turkish-Greek relations have always been tense and open to conflict and military escalation though there had been smooth times in the past. We should not forget that two countries are historical rivals to each other due to their nation-creation process.  Nonetheless, after Turkey’s victory against invading Greek powers in 1923, two visionary statesmen Atatürk and Venizelos were able to establish friendly relations. Two countries were both acted as United States (U.S.) allies against the expansionism of communism and Soviet Union during the Cold War. However, this did not prevent two countries to engage in a political/diplomatic clash in 1974 when Turkey rightfully intervened into the island of Cyprus as a guarantor state following a military coup organized by Greek Cypriots aiming to annex the island to Greece (an idea known shortly as “enosis”).


According to the Treaty of Lausanne concluded in 1923, after WWI, Greece was obliged to keep the islands demilitarized.

Turkey is the only country that refers to and demands the demilitarization of the eastern Aegean islands.

With regard to the militarization of the islands in the Eastern Aegean, various international agreements apply. In particular :
• the status of the islands of Limnos and Samothrace was governed by the 1923 Lausanne Treaty on the Straits, but was been replaced by the 1936 Montreux Treaty;
• the status of the islands of Lesvos, Chios, Samos and Ikaria, is governed by the 1923 Lausanne Peace Treaty; and
• the status of the Dodecanese islands is governed by the 1947 Paris Peace Treaty.

At the same time, civilian shipping passage in the Turkish Straits mandated Turkey to demilitarize the Straits. The warring countries adhered to the clauses of the treaty. After WWII, another treaty of 1947 gave 12 islands to Greece with the condition of their total demilitarization.

Hindsight shows that Greece has agreed to be a member of NATO because it believed that would provide her security against the belligerent neighbor who does not stop short of claiming its right to most islands and islets in the Aegean Sea.

While Turkey recognized both treaties, the stand of Greece was that Turkey gave the wrong interpretation of various clauses of the treaty. Greece argues that the 1936 Montreux Convention on the regime of the Straits supersedes the Lausanne Treaty (on the Straits) as it gives Turkey the power to militarize the Turkish Straits.

Greece has a very valid point. Turkey cannot enjoy the right to militarize the Straits through the Montreux Convention and then ask Greece to stick to the Lausanne Treaty stipulating the non-militarization of islands.

In 1995 Greece ratified the UN Convention on Law of the Sea called UNCLOS. It provided a legal framework to recognize the limits of maritime zones of coastal nations. One hundred sixty countries, except Turkey, became a party to the UNCLOS.

The Current Geopolitical Shifts of the Greco-Turkish relations

Turkey is heading toward a set of twin elections that could have momentous consequences for the country’s future. In June 2023 at the latest, Turkish voters will be asked to choose a new president and a new parliamentary majority. For the past two decades, the Turkish political landscape has been dominated by the Justice and Development (AK) Party and its uniquely successful leader, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. After having ruled the country single-handedly since 2002, Erdoğan became the first executive president of Turkey in 2018, following a tightly contested constitutional change. He has come out victorious in every round of elections since the start of his political career. And yet, after two decades, his popularity is faltering, raising the prospect of political change. 

Erdoğan’s political alliance with ultranationalists in Turkey has strongly influenced the militarization of Turkish foreign policy, including toward Greece. Since 2015, Erdoğan has relied on ultranationalist political actors to win elections, and he has empowered them at the expense of more moderate factions within the foreign ministry and the military. Also, the prevailing sentiment among opposition parties is that Turkey has lost considerable ground on the diplomatic front in the Eastern Mediterranean and that, conversely, Greece and Cyprus have played their cards more wisely.

The institutionalization of Erdoğan’s presidential system in 2018 has given ultranationalist factions an outsized influence over foreign policy decision-making. In response to tensions in the eastern Mediterranean, such factions fashioned a maximalist and aggressive new doctrine called the “Blue Homeland,” which argues that Turkey is entitled to expansive territorial waters and maritime rights in the eastern Mediterranean and encourages the government to defend these rights through military aggression and, when necessary, use of force.

The purpose of the Blue Homeland strategy is that Turkey should dominate the Mediterranean and reclaim the mercantile and maritime power once held by the Ottomans, writes Antonia Colibasanu.

Additionally, in line with the ultra-nationalist, imperialist conception generated since the 19th century by Ziya Gökalp which seeks to create a “Greater Turkey” that would encompass all Turkish people, since October 2020, Erdogan has worked to consolidate an organization with principles and objectives similar to those of NATO, but whose membership would consist exclusively of nations of Turkish origin. This so-called “Army of Turan,” under Turkish leadership, would include Azerbaijan and Turkish republics in Central Asia. In addition to a group whose principles of pan-Turkish cultural affinity could easily take a chauvinist turn, the creation of a new military alliance led by Turkey is, or should be, considered a violation of NATO’s principles, or even as a kind of Trojan horse; that is, a member of NATO that seeks to create and lead a military organization some members of which would also be allies of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) – such as Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan – the opposing military alliance commanded by Russia.

The Treaty of Lausanne and the compulsory exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey became the basis both for the reorientation of their foreign policies and for the establishment of close relations of friendship and cooperation between the two countries. But the Cyprus question and the Aegean conflict affected bilateral relations. It had a negative impact on the Treaty of Lausanne.

Conflict between the NATO allies grew stronger and then weakened during the last decades, peaking with crises over the island nation of Cyprus in 1974 and the island of Imia-Kardak in 1995. After the two countries once again came to the brink of war over maritime rights in the eastern Mediterranean in 2020, the newly elected Biden administration, seeking to solidify NATO unity, stepped in to encourage dialogue between Ankara and Athens. The intervention appeared to work: At the NATO summit in June 2021, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan praised the revival of diplomatic engagement with Greece.

But that conciliatory tone lasted less than a year. Tensions flared up again in May 2022, when Erdoğan lashed out at Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, saying that the Premier “no longer exists” for him. Then, in September, he explicitly threatened Greece with open conflict, warning ominously that Turkey could “come down suddenly one night.” The following month, Erdoğan created a scene at a private dinner of the European Political Community in Prague, interrupting Mitsotakis’s speech by accusing him of insincerity in settling bilateral disputes, starting a shouting match, and repeating his threats against Greece.

On September 5-6, 2022, the Greek Foreign Minister Mr. Nikos Dendias sent letters to the EU, NATO, and the UN to bring to their attention public statements made by Turkeys President Recep Tayyip Erdogan whose “openly threatening nature and tone are more than obvious, thus dispelling any doubts as to their intended purpose.” More specifically, the letters refer to statements by President Erdogan that Turkey could “come all of a sudden one night” and “What I’m talking about is not a dream … If what I said was that we could come one night all of a sudden (it means) that, when the time comes, we can come suddenly one night.” Such statements and a series of similar remarks are part of Turkey’s political and military strategy towards Greece, signaling the possibility of military action

Why Turkey adopted this aggressive rhetoric toward Greece?

Given the bellicose nature of the statements by Turkish officials, combined with the declared casus belli as well as Turkey’s aggressive acts towards Greece and the hostile relations that currently persist between the two countries, the only reasonable inference from the sum of these concerted statements and acts is that Turkey is threatening Greece with force. Turkey has not put forward any legal justification to support its threats. Instead, the projected use of force is offensive and targets the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Greece. It therefore breaches Article 2(4) of the UN Charter.

The context is the differences between Greece and Turkey regarding the extent of the territorial sea, exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelf in the Aegean Sea. In 1995, the Turkish Parliament adopted a declaration granting the Turkish government powers to use all means including military forces to safeguard the vital interests of Turkey should Greece extends its territorial sea in the Aegean Sea from 6 nautical miles to 12 nautical miles (for the text see Tsagourias, “The Prohibition of Threats of Force”. See also Art 92 of Türkiye’s Constitution).

President Erdogan seeks to revise—always in Turkey’s favor—the century-old Lausanne Treaty that established Turkey’s borders with Greece and Bulgaria. He falsely claims Greece violates demilitarization agreements, and Turkish politicians up to and including Erdogan coalition partner and nationalist party leader Devlet Bahceli and Defense Minister Hulusi Akar further argue that they should possess all islands east of a median line in the Aegean Sea. Turkey does not limit such provocations to maps. Turkish jets regularly violate the airspace of Greek islands like Kastellorizo. State Department statements infused with bothsiderism make matters worse. Simply put, Turkey is violating Greek airspace and occupying Cypriot territory, not the other way around. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken should make this clear. Moral equivalence and lies are no basis for peace and justice.

Furthermore, the Biden administration has misplayed its hand regarding Turkey’s aggression toward Greece. Whereas Joe Biden entered office more resistant to Erdogan’s whispered charms than Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, or Donald Trump, his team has taken a significant step backward in recent months, especially with its endorsement of an F-16 sale to Turkey.

Perhaps Biden and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan believed this would assuage Erdogan after Turkey’s loss of the F-35 and encourage Turkey to help Ukraine. It has had the opposite effect, though: Erdogan interpreted Biden’s move both as a green light to ratchet up attacks on his neighbors and as a signal Turkey could purchase additional S-400 missiles from Russia without consequence. Meanwhile, Turkey plays a double game with Ukraine, doing as much to help Russia escape the diplomatic and economic consequences of its actions as China, Iran, or North Korea.

In an interview, Constantinos Filis, director of the Institute of Global Affairs, pointed out that, in recent months, Turkey has instead overflown Agathonisi, Farmakonisi, Kandeliousa, and Kinaros. The Turks utilize both manned fighter jets and drones in their overflights, usually probing the islands between three and five in the morning. Each is small. Agathonisi, the northernmost island of the Dodecanese, lies just eight miles off the Turkish coast and is home to fewer than 200 Greeks. The community of Farmakonisi, just under 14 miles to the south, is even smaller. A decade ago, it was home to just ten residents.

While Kandelioussa is uninhabited, it is strategic and part of the Nisyros municipality, which has approximately 1,000 residents. Because Kandelioussa is further west than many other Greek islands, a Turkish outpost would effectively leapfrog over Greek islands to the east, tightening a noose around them and enabling Turkey to blockade. Kinaros, also uninhabited, is still farther West, the second most western Dodecanese island after Astypalea.

Erdogan may land marines or special forces on the island and then dare Greece to remove them. That diplomatic crisis could reinvigorate Erdogan’s religious base and Turkish nationalists. Erdogan could simultaneously insist that any criticism of him or his record was treasonous. Should the crisis lead to a military skirmish, Erdogan could declare a state of emergency and cancel elections entirely.

Too often, the United States and NATO allow themselves to be distracted, a tendency from which other aggressors seek advantage. It is essential that both Washington and Brussels be proactive: Any Turkish move on Greek islands will trigger a military response against the Turkish contingents on those islands that would humiliate Erdogan and hasten his downfall, elections or not. Erdogan may want to be embraced as a sultan and remembered as more consequential than Ataturk, but he must understand today that if he pursues this course of action, his legacy will be that of Argentine dictator Leopoldo Galtieri who fell from power and was imprisoned after failing to seize the Falkland Islands.

Today, Erdoğan has a strong reason to let these hawkish security officials run wild on Greece. He is facing presidential and parliamentary elections in mid-2023, and the country’s economy is in dire straits. As a result of the devastating economic crisis, Erdoğan’s popularity among the electorate has dropped to its lowest point in two decades. To win, Erdoğan needs to distract the electorate from the mess he has made of the Turkish economy. Showing his keen awareness of Erdoğan’s motives, Mitsotakis told reporters this month, “If we had inflation running at 85 percent in Greece, I would also be trying to change the subject.”

A show of force against Greece would not only satisfy the ultranationalists already allied with Erdoğan but also potentially appeal to secular nationalists among the opposition. For years, Turkey’s opposition parties have been using Greece’s militarization of the disputed Aegean islands as a stick with which to beat Erdoğan, while opposition-aligned media have long bashed his government for failing to confront Greece more forcefully on the issue. Such a narrative has helped boost suspicions about Greece across the political spectrum in Turkey. 

As war remains very unlikely, a warm military incident between Turkey and Greece is likely coming, not because of anything Athens has done but instead because Erdogan is desperate to distract from failure and bankruptcy. The questions the Biden administration will likely need to answer within a year are what can be done to prevent Turkey’s aggression, what the United States can do to enable Greece better to blunt Turkey’s drone, aircraft, and missiles, and whether the United States can really sit on the sidelines if one NATO member attacks a faithful NATO ally.


The Legacy of the Treaty of Lausanne in the Light of Greek-Turkish Relations in the Twentieth Century: Greek Perceptions of the Treaty of Lausanne

Hardly predictable and yet an equitable solution: Delimitation by judicial process as an option for Greece and Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean

Political Change and Turkey’s Foreign Policy

Aegean Dispute- Wikipedia


Le parti politique au pouvoir à la République de Chypre est en train de nier la réalité après l’échec des pourparlers à Genève sur l’avenir de l’île divisée

Préambule: Les négociations sur la sempiternelle question de Chypre restent dans l’impasse. Au terme de trois jours de réunion à Genève en Suisse ayant lieu en Avril 2021, les dirigeants chypriotes grecs et turcs n’ont pas réussi à trouver de terrain d’entente sur le statut de l’île divisée depuis 1974. Le chef de l’ONU a lui-même conduit les pourparlers informels. Il a reconnu cet échec tout en appelant à reprendre les discussions d’ici deux ou trois mois.

Au cours des négociations à Genève, tous les espoirs d’une solution basée sur les paramètres convenus (qui ont été construits principalement grâce aux concessions de la partie grecque) ont été brisés, visant de construire un État fonctionnel dans les années à venir au sein de l’Union Européenne.

Plus précisément, la politique de repli s’est avérée être une politique de misère et d’accumulation d’échecs sans qu’un accord apportant une solution mutuellement acceptable n’ait pu être trouvée. Les politiciens qui ont insisté pendant des années sur le fait que “grâce aux pourparlers, nous allons sortir gagnants et que si la Turquie présente des propositions inacceptables, cette dernière, sera tenue responsable par l’ONU”, préfèrent adopter le silence comme une réponse.

Le pire de tout, c’est qu’ils refusent encore d’admettre la nouvelle réalité. Ainsi, ils sont obligés de s’attendre à la bonne attitude du régime « islamo-fasciste » qui est au pouvoir en Turquie et de son représentant dans les territoires occupés par la Turquie … à qui on doit faire des nouvelles concessions pour « coincer » ainsi la Turquie, selon cette logique.

Cependant, en niant le fiasco d’échec des négociations, ils sont en désaccord avec le constat de la grande majorité des citoyens. Parmi ces négateurs de la réalité, on trouve des politiciens «recrutés» par l’ancienne et de la nouvelle génération qui ont adopté la politique de la misère (ils ont trahi leurs promesses et leurs électeurs en appauvrissant la société au profit d’une petite caste corrompue ) et des concessions qui nous a amené à un pas avant d’adopter la «solution» proposée par la Turquie avec laquelle même une grande partie des Turcs-Chypriotes est en désaccord.

Un exemple typique de ce mode opératoire, est le chef du parti au pouvoir, qui a « cloué la République de Chypre sur son dos », insistant pendant lés négociations pour que nous acceptions l’égalité politique avec les Chypriotes turcs, alors que cela a été convenu depuis 1991 sur la base de spécifications, pour arriver à une solution totale du problème chypriote, comme cette dernière a été prescrite par l’ONU et non par les prétentions de la Turquie.

La résolution spécifique du Conseil de Sécurité de l’ONU, qui n’est actuellement qu’un prétexte des Turcs pour revendiquer l’ « égalité politique » ayant comme but ultime la « coopération entre les deux États » est apparue être le gros problème car celle-là doit être mise en place dans un contexte global d’une solution au problème de la question chypriote. En même temps, les autres décisions et résolutions du Conseil de sécurité et de l’Assemblée générale des Nations Unies appelant au retrait des troupes turques et au retour des réfugiés dans leurs foyers dans des conditions de sécurité, ont disparu.

Ainsi, la Turquie a obtenu un «avantage» à Genève, faisant de la question chypriote un problème de coexistence des deux communautés et non pas principalement « un problème d’occupation et de colonisation illégales » au sein d’un État membre de l’Union Européenne.

Dans les semaines à venir, les Britanniques et les Turcs vont essayer de constituer un « point de rencontre » qui trouvera bien sûr une réponse positive de la part des politiciens de la misère à Chypre pour commencer à vendre leur nouveau point de vue sur la question chypriote. Les politiciens de la misère refusent de se rendre compte que leur politique qui vise à faire davantage pression et exercer davantage de contraintes sur le peuple chypriote afin qu’ils fassent de nouvelles concessions permet à la Turquie de demander constamment plus.

Il est temps pour les citoyens d’agir ! Soit nous acceptons le résultat de la politique de misère avec une “solution de partenariat à deux États” basée sur la rhétorique turque ayant un contenu déguisé qui vise à éliminer la République de Chypre pour rendre la Turquie souveraine à Chypre, soit nous procédons à une politique anti-occupation rationnelle pour constituer un état fonctionnel au sein de l’UE, avec un respect d’alignement sur l’acquis communautaire pour tous les citoyens de la République de Chypre. La légalisation de l’occupation et de la colonisation sera le début d’un nouveau problème chypriote, celui qui va mettre les Chypriotes grecs et turcs dans une voie d’élimination.

Par M. Costas Mavrides. M. Mavrides est député européen chypriote au sein de la famille de l’‘Alliance progressiste des socialistes et démocrates au Parlement européen (S&D) . Il est également Président de la Commission Politique pour la Méditerranée. costas.mavrides@europarl.europa.eu

How Racism Is Fueled By Fear 

Cyprus, New York Times, 1964:

WAS Aphrodite, who rose from the sea at Paphos on the island of Cyprus, really the Goddess of Love? As bullets cracked through the air and spattered the mud‐brick walls of Ayios Theodoros; as 18‐year­old Mustapha, the son of the Turkish mukhtar (headman) of the village, lay nn his iron bedstead steadying his rifle on the windowsill and took aim at a window down the street (where in all probability a Greek youth of the same age, with whom he had talked in friendship a matter of days before, was steadying his own gun); as one gazed down on the waxen, lifeless face of Andreas, a Greek youth with dark curly hair and long black eyelashes, shot in the back as he tried to run for his life, it seemed that the island of Cyprus was bewitched with evil, hate and fear.

I’m writing this not because I’m writing anything new. In fact, I don’t even write that much. I’m writing because I see no other way to express myself.When i asked my mother what happened back in 1974 in Cyprus she simply answered to me two worlds  “war” and “religion conflict” but she never mentioned what happened during that war and she always kept telling me about her life before the war and how simple were their lives back then before the killings, before Junta before the Turkish army.

In a reality of fear and terror, it’s easy to forget that sometimes fear can lead to racism. Living in constant fear can influence our attitude towards the source of our stress. Sometimes the source of the stress is another social group that we have political conflict with. Often we call them terrorists or murderers, and we generalize all the people of their ethnicity as potential terrorists. That’s why we need to be careful about justifying racist acts as self defense.

Racism and discrimination have been used as powerful weapons encouraging fear or hatred of others in times of conflict and war, and even during economic downturns.


The illusion of equality in recent years has been shattered and the whole European Union is forced to look itself in a mirror that had been avoiding for years: the mirror of racism, intolerance toward others, toward the diverse in color, religion, sexual orientation, economic status of other member states. Each country has lights and shadows inside and has to mediate between these two forces as the Cyprus case.

I keep an eye while i read some blogs or news sites around the web and here to find where’s the truth and where there is an indoctrination of propaganda in the text. Sometimes people who come from outside the Near East and they present theirselves  as experts are often one-sided experts who follow pathetically the thoughts of someone without any critical thinking and this without talking with both sides of the story but just hear and read or watched a video somewhere. But this is their “truth” or how the world is represented/ given to them and is hard to change their minds or their truth or is even harder to change the truth of the far-right wing nationalists as they believe that they are always correct when they spread fear and hate. Sometimes you just need to intervene and say “Stop” but they are going to tell you you are a “mongol” as well and you should keep your mouth shut. Indeed, the present time is not favourable for leftish “Princess and the Pea” fairytales in the Near East.

Racism hides a great fear beneath it, a fear to face what is unknown, a fear to leave certainties. It is the intolerance of who is convinced of its superiority and fears to abandon the rigid structures that supports it. Without a shadow of doubt, fear is the number one factor that creates ignorance. And once ignorance is involved then people get hurt…or even die.

Walter Lippmann:“We must remember that in time of war what is said on the enemy’s side of the front is always propaganda, and what is said on our side of the front is truth and righteousness, the cause of humanity and a crusade for peace.”

Two worlds coexist today in Cyprus. Probably every conflict is fought on at least two grounds: the battlefield and the minds of the people via propaganda. The good guys and the bad guys can often both be guilty of misleading their people with distortions, exaggerations, subjectivity, inaccuracy and even fabrications, in order to receive support and a sense of legitimacy.

Whether we are talking about ethnic cleansings, group hatred or retraction of equity laws under the guise that these are unfair, the underlying issue is the same. One group, threatened by the perceived loss of power, exercises social, economic and political muscle against the Other to retain privilege by restructuring for social advantage. The majority of Turkish Cypriots has left the island and the Turkish Cypriot Youth which remains in the North struggles with the embargo and the new dictatorship in Turkey under Erdogan’s new Era.

On the other hand some Greeks still say that Cyprus should be unified with Greece as it’s greek That’s why a vote passed through the Cypriot Parliament to “celebrate” every year the referendum that took place back in 1950 in which 97% of masculine voters (Greek Cypriots) voted  in favor of the Union with Greece (Enosis). Some stupid Greeks burnt Turkish Cypriot houses back in 1963 after the independance. Historically speaking the Greek government rejected  twice the demand of Greek Cypriots for Enosis even when they had the opportunity to claim it.

turkish cypriot


missing cypriots
1974: credit: ΔΩΡΟΣ ΠΑΡΤΑΣΙΔΗΣ

Indeed, many Greek Cypriots blame the nationalist ideology of the military dictatorship of Greece 1967-1974 as ultimately responsible for dividing their country in the name of Enosis, destroying its political force as a national aspiration in the process.

The recent vote in the Cypriot parliament is a bad piece of legislation sponsored and supported by people with hate in their hearts with the sole aim of scuppering the talks currently taking place to bring peace and reconciliation in Cyprus.

For the history, Great Empires as the British one, have always conquered by dividing and ruling.  Without giving an excuse to anyone,  British wanted to keep their colonialism on the island by any means. Therefore they hired Turkish Cypriots to fight against the Greeks. It has been documented that Kissinger planed the coup d’état in Cyprus by the  US-controlled Athens military junta and the turkish invasion at the same time just 5 days later. The fear of the other won prevailed and we’re still living the result of this conflict until today. This may be an example of how many years other countries around will have to wait until finding a peaceful solution.

invasion of cyprus

cyprus children british military
cyprus children british military


 Oranges and apples can not live together they say. But i don’t see something different that one nose two legs one face two hands : too simple for them.  Some Turkish as the Grey Wolves “commando” Bahceli say that Cyprus is Turkish and we must throw all Greeks into the sea again as they did one century ago in Turkey:

“If they (Greeks) want to fall into the sea again, if they want to be hunted down, they are welcome, the Turkish army is ready. Someone must explain to the Greek Government what happened in 1921 and 1922. If there is no one to explain it to them, we can come like a bullet in the Aegean and teach them history all over again,” Bahceli threatened.

The greater the tension, the more the Turkish current government needs new enemies, the more it divides society.

Abroad, the continual drive to find enemies for domestic consumption leads to haphazard foreign policy. Today, Erdogan invests in division, in fear, in populism. Cynicism benefits the government for as long as citizens tolerate it.

In the past, before the border opening in Cyprus, as a very young boy, I had thought about meeting a Turkish and been horrified about them and wished that there was some way to remove them from the planet. That is what they used to teach you at school: fear. But I had never understood their fear. Why Turkish are afraid of us? I had never seen them as fellow human beings struggling with the issues of being human and having fears just as I struggled with being human and my fears. As we know, if fear is allowed to rule in our life it leads to much negative and violent behavior. But for those of us who believe in God or to humanity, there is a call to us to work to find positive ways to channel the energy that is generated in us by fear.

Fear breeds misunderstanding of different people, different races. And, it is this misunderstanding that then breeds hatred. This type of hatred is founded on lies, mistruths and mistrust of ‘others’, simply because of religion, skin colour or nationality. Again, the lack of communication between people of different religions and cultures is stark. This breeds animosity, misunderstanding and hostility – which then leads to hatred.

Greece and Cyprus were for more than 400 years occupied by Turks (Ottomans), and we were taught to believe that for every crime committed towards the Greeks, Islam was responsible. The Turks were Muslims and their crimes were reflecting their religious beliefs.

Fear is immobilizing and it keeps us separated. Our “them and us” mentality has no place in a country that is working to be a democracy, an EU state and it certainly has no place in our communities. We are challenged by the difficulties to see everyone as being connected to us and to understand that our overall wellbeing is related to theirs.

It is unsurprising that the black shirts of the Greek Cypriot nazi party  Elam sponsored legislation for children to celebrate the plebiscite that treated Turkish Cypriots as non existent. Their ideology holds that it is right to discriminate against whole sections of the population on grounds of race and religion and to wallow in the celebration of such hateful intolerance.

The Nazis used to do it on the back of Jewish people and celebrated their intolerance in the torch-lit marches of the Hitler Youth. Racism has played its part in the destruction of whole generations of families who knew nothing but fear.

We are in this journey together and we need one another to create the world that supports the highest quality of life for everyone. Our work continues to be that of making it clear that there is no place for any racist ways of thinking and to make the effort to build bridges to one another so we can support the highest quality of life possible for everyone in this country and across this planet.

*Victims pictures are from both communities 


La nouvelle politique énergétique de l’Union Européenne met des obstacles à l’extraction du gaz naturel chypriote

La nouvelle politique de l’Union Européenne concernant le règlement de l’extraction du gaz naturel s’avère être un nouveau problème ayant des implications économiques et politiques énormes pour la République de Chypre, dans l’étape transitoire vers la mise en place de l’approche économique durable à horizon 2050.

En effet, jusqu’à récemment, l’Union Européenne reconnaissait clairement la nécessité des États membres insulaires, en particulier ceux qui sont géographiquement isolés tel que l’état chypriote et elle incluait notamment le gaz naturel à leurs choix énergétiques visant la transition vers une économie verte. Maintenant, la Commission Européenne propose de tels critères techniques admissibles pour tous les polluants, mais qui, dans la pratique excluent le financement ou le soutien européen des projets et des infrastructures pour l’exploitation du gaz naturel.

Les nouveaux critères proposés sont en train de bouleverser la politique d’investissement actuelle de l’Union Européenne dans l’industrie d’approvisionnement en gaz naturel portant sur la transition économique sur un futur durable. En outre, le risque que ces « critères techniques » soient intégrés dans les futures politiques et législations de l’Union Européenne est bien visible, et par conséquent, dans le cadre des futures programmes de financement de l’Union Européenne ayant des impacts défavorables, en plus du niveau de l’investissement des infrastructures de gazoduc et de gaz naturel, dans des secteurs tels que l’eau, l’agriculture et d’autres.

costas mavrides
M. Costas Mavrides au Parlement Européen

Ainsi, lors d’une conversation houleuse ayant pour objet la révision du règlement européen concernant la perspective des orientations pour les infrastructures énergétiques transeuropéennes, (dans lesquelles on trouve le gazoduc East-Med), j’ai été surpris par les … déclarations assez vagues des ministres compétents à Chypre, et en m’appuyant sur leurs déclarations, si je ne connaissais pas la réalité, je pourrais penser que tout va bien !

La semaine dernière, j’ai insisté auprès du Commissaire européen responsable pour signaler que sa proposition ignore la géographie des certains États membres , tels que les Etats membres insulaires isolés et que celle-ci renverse les politiques et la législation européennes en vigueur relatives à la transition écologique pour la croissance verte. En plus, tout en ignorant la position désavantageuse de pays comme la République de Chypre, des pays comme l’Allemagne, disposant d’une infrastructure gazière existante, continueront de bénéficier du gaz naturel. La politique de l’Union Européenne devrait être la reconnaissance de la particularité géographique et de ne pas punir les États membres insulaires isolés.

La décision finale sera prise par l’Union Européenne au cours du mois d’avril. Avec la Représentation permanente de la République de Chypre auprès de l’Union Européenne, nous continuerons de poursuivre notre coopération sur cette question préoccupante ! Cependant, la question a d’énormes implications économiques et politiques pour la République de Chypre et elle ne peut pas être abordée que par un seul député européen, ni seulement par la Représentation permanente. La question doit être soulevée au sein de l’Union Européenne au plus haut niveau politique !

Note: La cheffe du bureau du procureur de la Cour pénale internationale (La Haye) décidera d'ici juin 2021 s'il y a lieu de renvoyer ou non l'affaire (depuis 2014) contre des responsables turcs concernant l'affaire de colonisation illégale à Chypre. Le gouvernement de la République Chypriote est dans un silence absolu. Depuis des semaines, nous demandons au Président et aux ministres concernés de prendre une position officielle sur ce sujet. Préfèrent-ils, dans le cadre d'un bon climat des négociations sur la question chypriote, perdre l'affaire plutôt que de documenter le crime de la colonisation illégale devant la Cour ?

Costas Mavrides, député européen DIKO (S&D), Président de la Commission politique pour la Méditerranée costas.mavrides@europarl.europa.eu

costas mavrides diko