Cyprus Mail

Why would you want guarantees if you are an EU member state?

Given the latest talks on the possible reunification of Cyprus the TC and their sponsor state Turkey are not sure what they want. One minute Turkey is threatening to annex the north of Cyprus then they want a two state solution and the third option reunification with guarantees.  Many TC commentators on the Cyprus Mail website love to accuse the GC side of committing atrocities trying to force them out of Cyprus not treating them as equals and so forth. The GC side takes another view on those accusations with their version of historical events.

A united Cyprus will mean one nationality “Cypriot” a new constitution a new national anthem a new flag, two official languages as well as EU and Eurozone membership for the TC. Unfortunately the TC side is hung up on guarantees. Why would you want guarantees if you are an EU member state and then apply for Nato membership?

Now let’s have a look at how Turkey treats its largest minority the Kurds.

The Kurds comprise 15% and 20% of the population of Turkey between 14 to 20 million. Most Kurds are mainly concentrated in the east and southeast of the country the region of northern Kurdistan. The Kurds were offered autonomy in the Treaty of Sevres 1920 but Kemal Atatürk prevented such a move as he preferred integration.

Since the establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 1923 successive Turkish governments have attempted to deny their existence, the Turkish government categorised the Kurds as “Mountain Turks” until 1991 and the words “Kurds”, “Kurdistan”, or “Kurdish” were officially banned by the Turkish government.  In Turkey, it is illegal to use Kurdish as a language of instruction in both public and private schools. Kurdish language is only allowed as a subject in some schools.

Since the 1980s, Kurdish movements have included both peaceful political activities for basic civil rights for Kurds in Turkey as well as armed rebellion and guerrilla warfare, including military attacks aimed mainly at Turkish military bases, demanding first a separate Kurdish state and later self-determination for the Kurds. According to Human Rights watch, The Turkish Army in the 1980s wiped out an estimated 3,000 Kurdish villages in Turkey causing the displacement of more than 378,000 people as well as the death of 37,000 mainly Kurds.

Mr Erdogan loves to talk about the establishment of a Palestinian state but he denies the Kurds statehood. The Kurds are the largest stateless people on the planet estimated at 30 million. Why does he deny them statehood or autonomy because it would mean “the breakup” of one fifth of Turkish territory even though the Kurds were in that region for centuries. Now for the mainland Turks and TC to lecture the GC’ side on atrocities and denying them equal rights is full of hypocrisy.

The establishment of a Kurdish state will eventually happen and Mr Erdogan will be toppled sooner or later.


GK Georgiou, Australia

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