I am writing to you in relation to your article on page 13 published on November 14 in which you again blame our side for intransigence on the Cyprus problem.
I am a regular reader of your newspaper as well as the Sunday Mail and in my humble opinion both your newspapers are of the best we have in Cyprus regarding information, morality, quality of reporting, protecting political freedom and human rights and stance on the issues that fester in our Banana Republic.
I await with eagerness on Sundays to read the comments and criticisms of ‘Patroclos’ whom I rank and respect more than most distinguished English journalists.
One matter though on which I do not share with your paper is the view, attitude and stance you have towards the Cyprus problem.
For years now, I noticed that all your journalists, and in all your articles and reports you blame the Greek side and you write nothing about the positions taken by the Turkish side.
I am not a nationalist at all and I have nothing against the Turks whom I honestly reckon to be real brothers and relatives. We have a common heritage and very similar cultures.
Asia minor used to be dominated by the Greek civilisation. The Greek language and Christian religion, fomented during the Hellenistic period and later during the Byzantine period, as well as large Greek settlements from ancient times, made Asia minor, today’s Turkey, our second motherland.
The Turks were ruling Greece for centuries and large numbers of Turkish people lived side by side with Greeks. Our music, dances, food and way of life is nearly identical. Also according to reports we share common genetics. The global map was created, delineated and written by blood most often drafted by the mighty victorious against the defeated.
Until today, neighbouring countries throughout the globe, besides Europe that solved the problem of National Boundaries by the Helsinki Treaty of 1975, have boundary disputes both on land as well as in territorial waters. This condition is reasonable, natural and part and parcel with the evolution of human race and human societies. All wars, either regional or global, were the natural result of human evolution. They were made either for survival, wealth or glory, security and defence of social or moral principles or religious beliefs.
I do understand very well why we have disputes with the Turks and Turkey. As neighbours the cause is which nation and state controls more of the disputed boundaries on land and sea as it happens with most countries in every part of the earth. We have long common boundaries and each side asserts that its position is the correct one. We fought each other wars for survival, glory, wealth and values. Again, I repeat this is reasonable and natural and part of our evolution n. We are fighting with the Turks ever since they occupied Constantinople and later Greece and ever since we have disputes on such as the above matters.
From ancient times we learnt from the Greek political philosophers that in city (now state) politics we are ruled by the mighty. The justice of the mighty. The same applies to international relations.
Nowadays though and gradually, the rule of force and the Justice of the Mighty is conceding to the rules of morality in international relations. The colonial era has been nearly eliminated. Majority rule applies to most civilised states. Democracy and human rights steadily gain ground and hopefully one day they will prevail throughout the globe. Injustice in international relations is losing ground.
You keep writing all the time that our side is intransigent and you keep blaming our politicians. This attitude of yours with all due respect, is utterly wrong. We have given to our Turkish brothers much more than fairness and justice are worthy of and deserve. In this respect I do kindly request you to answer to me the following questions:
- Is it just and equitable a minority of eighteen per cent to control as a state thirty per cent of the Republic’s territory?
- Is it fair and just a minority of eighteen per cent to exclusively elect the president of the whole of the Republic?
- Is it fair and right the minority of eighteen per cent to block the decisions of the government and the Parliament and lead the government and the state to stalemate?
- Is it fair and right that those who invaded our small and defenceless island and cold-bloodedly killed so many innocent people, old men, women and children, displaced one third of our people from their villages and ancestral homes and stole their properties and raped our women, to grant to them the right to become citizens of the Republic and become presidents of our country or hold political or judicial offices?
For decades throughout the world people and leaders were shouting at and fighting the Boers (whites) of South Africa to press them to succumb to the majority rule and in the end of the day, after so many years of struggle justice prevailed? The black majority was vindicated. Why this fair, simple and reasonable internationally accepted rule not to apply to us?
You may say that we committed mistakes and we must pay. I do admit that during the dark political era of our small island we committed many mistakes. Let’s take all the responsibility on our shoulders. Are these mistakes though committed more than half a century ago by our grandparents a valid reason why we should be restricted from our civil and human rights and grant to the victorious Turks so many rights and privileges against us?
You may say again that we lost a war and we must compromise. Is it your suggestion that the solution of the Cyprus issue must be the draft of the terms and conditions of our defeat and surrender?
If the solution is not democratic and just, can it be viable? Will our future generations compromise and accept such injustice forever, or such an unfair solution will be the seed and the cause of new bloodshed?
The Turks must be well protected for eternity from the hotheads of the majority community of this island. Their homes, their properties, their lives, their religion and culture must be safeguarded and secured strongly and forever. There are many safe and secure means in this respect though. We can accept international army appointed by the Security Council or by the European Union to be settled forever in Cyprus or stay for as long as our Turkish brothers wish with specific objective and mandate to protect primarily and mainly and most importantly the minority Turkish Community.
The security factor for our Turkish brothers should not be a pretext for depriving or restricting our rights and making Cyprus a Turkish protectorate and we at the same time face much more risks than the Turks, as bitter experience teaches.
If the Turks want a solution they must abandon the idea that Cyprus will constitute forever a Turkish province or protectorate of Turkey and an extension of their boundaries as far as Paphos and Limassol.
They must abandon the idea that any amendments to the Cyprus Constitution must be approved by the Grand Turkish National Assembly, as it was provided in the Annan Plan. Is this notion compatible with sovereignty and democracy or any sense of dignity or justice?
It is time that they comprehend that we are brothers and sisters from their point of view. That we have common genetic and cultural heritage. That they must treat us fairly and like brothers and not like prisoners of war and as defeated and humiliated people. For their own benefit too, they must agree to a really fair and just solution and not to insist on imposing on us the terms and conditions of a military victory and the pact of our surrender. Such a solution shall not be fair and just and shall not be viable. It shall be the cause of future troubles.
The rotating presidency is absolutely wrong and unfair. What must be done and would be fair and right is that any Turkish Cypriot (not the settlers) may be a candidate for the Presidency of the Republic of Cyprus at any time and not to wait eight or twelve years when the Turks’ rotation comes in place.
Such a provision also is against globally accepted human rights and agreed by treaties. One fundamental political right is that all citizens have the right to elect and be elected to public offices. With the rotating presidency citizens for long period of time shall not be eligible to stand as candidates. This right to become president should by no means be unfair to the Turkish minority. Minorities in democratic societies quite often decide the outcome of presidential elections and the formation of governments. With a minority of eighteen per cent of the population, the Cyprus Turkish community will always have a decisive role as to who will be the next president of the Cyprus Republic. Either a Greek or a Turk.
So dear Editor please cease to be always unfairly negative towards our side and all the time blame our leaders because you may raise the suspicion that you want to sell a few more papers to Turkish readers. You are most successful in courageously serving the public interest and promoting democracy, human rights and justice, which is the reason I am one of your staunchest readers and supporters. It is high time though that you support justice for the refugees and for all Greek people of the island who have suffered so much throughout their history (our history) from foreign invaders including the Ottomans and Turkey.
George Pittadjis, Paralimni