Movement Against Nationalism
Comment on the Statement by the President
of Greek Cypriot Southern
April 13, 2004
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It is our belief that the content of the statement issued by Mr. Papadopoulos,
President of the Greek Cypriot area of Cyprus, being in harmony with
the statements of both Mr. Lysaridis and the Archbishop of the Cypriot
church, is not conducive to the cause of peace in our region.
In respect of the ideological creed of Mr. Papadopoulos, we are beginning
to feel that it presents certain similarities with that of Mr. Lysaridis.
Mr. Lysaridis, himself the leader of an illegal paramilitary group,
despite having been a doctor, and indeed the very doctor who attended
President Makarios, collaborated militarily in 1963 with the armed paramilitary
units of Georgatzis and Sampson, attempting to impose on the Cypriot
problem the solution of genocide of the Turkish-Cypriot civilian population.
Fortunately for Lysaridis there was at that time no international court;
had there been such a court he, together with Georgatzis and Sampson,
would have risked being extradited to the Hague to stand trial for his
Although previously Mr. Papadopoulos had declared to the Greek Cypriot
people his intention to expound honestly and in full the consequences
of a yes or no vote in respect of the Annan proposal, in his latest
statement he confined himself to maintaining why the Greek Cypriots
should vote against it.
What is most strange is that Mr. Papadopoulos, after an exhaustive
enumeration of what he believed to be the negative points of the Annan
proposal, cited as the only positive point the fact that it would assist
Cyprus to become, on 1 May 2004, a full member of the European Union.
He added that the accession of Cyprus as a full member to the EU would
allow it to compel Turkey, just by exercising its veto, to adopt a more
accommodating stance towards the Greek Cypriot demands, if Turkey also
wishes to become a member of EU.
At the end of his TV appearance the President addressed himself, almost
with tears in his eyes, to his Turkish Cypriot compatriots, assuring
them that the pressure to be exerted by Cyprus on Turkey, through the
EU, would be solely in their interest.
This Shakespearean performance by the President represented the finest
expression of his theatrical talent.
With regard to the content of his objections, the President cited as
one negative aspect of the Annan proposal the clause which would allow
just a small percentage of Greek Cypriot refugees to return to their
birthplace. He omitted to mention that, if would be a more auspicious
solution of the problem for the Greek Cypriot refugees, whether in that
hypothetical case the Turkish Cypriot refugees were to return to the
'enclaves' where they lived for eleven years in isolation and misery,
deprived of even the essentials of life.
The unfortunate thing is that in the past the European Union, pursuing
its own interests, ignored the human rights of the Turkish Cypriot community
and the negative consequences of the prospective unification of the
island, approving at Helsinki a decision which stated that Cyprus might
become a member of the EU even if the issues between the two communities
remained unresolved. Of course it was emphasised in this decision that
the resolution of the problem before 1 May 2004 was very much to be
This European philosophy was founded on western rationalism, manifested
in the belief that the island's accession to the EU would offer a historic
opportunity to resolve the conflict through honourable compromise and
Sadly the reality of the Balkans or the Middle East has taught us to
expect the very opposite of this. It is unacceptable that the European
Union should condemn the Turkish Cypriot people to the embargo imposed
by the nationalist Cypriots of the south.
In the event that the Greek Cypriot people should reject the Annan
proposal, which is of course their democratic right, then the proposal
put forward by the Greek politician Mr. Manos must be adopted, namely
that Turkish northern Cyprus should be recognised as an independent
state and member of the European Union, on just the same terms as Greek
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