Lobby for Cyprus is a non-party-political human rights organisation campaigning for a reunited Cyprus.
Print this page Print Bookmark and Share

To: Telegraph
27 April 2004
RE: "EU reward"

I refer to your article 'EU "reward" for Turkish Cypriots' in today's edition (Telegraph 27 April 2004). It is correct that the government of the Republic of Cyprus agreed to back a "reasonably equitable plan" to reunite their troubled island. However, you are wrong to suggest, in line with the EU Foreign Ministers, that Cyprus has reneged on the deal. 

The Annan Plan presented to the Greek Cypriots in its 5th version was not an "equitable plan" – it was biased towards Turkey, the very country which invaded Cyprus 30 years ago and has remained in illegal occupation of the north. The Plan would have entitled Turkey to intervene in the affairs of Cyprus whenever it wished; it would have deprived Cyprus as an EU member state of its right to veto Turkey's accession to the EU if it thought fit; it would have allowed 40,000 Turkish colonists from the mainland to remain in Cyprus in the stolen homes of the Greek Cypriots; it provided for the Turkish army to remain for the next 19 years; and it allowed 30% of the island to be retained by Turkey in the guise of a Turkish Cypriot State whilst returning only 7% to the Greek Cypriots.

The UN, the US and the EU in their desire to ensure that Turkish Cypriots and Turkey accepted the Plan accommodated the majority of the Turkish demands while failing to meet the valid concerns of the Greek Cypriots. Why should the people who have lived as refugees in their own country for 30 years and who cannot return to their homes be punished for exercising their democratic right merely because the outcome of the referendum is not to the EU's liking. The Greek Cypriots did not vote against reunification of their island – they more than anyone want to have the right to go back home – they voted against a Plan that would legalise the occupation by Turkey and would effectively cause partition of the island. Why should they be punished for doing what any responsible member of a sovereign state would do? What happened to democracy and respect for UN resolutions (I have in mind 21 of these urging Turkey to withdraw its troops). Or did democracy and respect for UN resolutions both die with the invasion of Iraq?

Yours sincerely
Lobby for Cyprus