On the 35th anniversary of Turkey’s illegal invasion and occupation of Cyprus a fog of collective insomnia, stirred up by Turkey’s paid acolytes in the media, public relations and academia, slowly sweeps across the international landscape.
On the 35th anniversary of Turkey’s illegal invasion and occupation of Cyprus a fog of collective insomnia, stirred up by Turkey’s paid acolytes in the media, public relations and academia, slowly sweeps across the international landscape. Suddenly the 200,000 Greek Cypriot refugees are no longer victims of the events of 1974. Instead the Turkish Cypriot leadership shouts they are ‘isolated’ and demands international recognition, a claim brilliantly demolished by Vassilis Fouskas and Alex Tackie in their book Cyprus: The Post-Imperial Constitution
Whilst the geographical north of Cyprus may be politically adrift, Turkish Cypriots from families living in Cyprus pre-1974 retain Republic of Cyprus nationality and possess EU passports. They receive free medical care and social security payments from the Republic.
And then there are the likes of foreign nationals such as the Orams who allegedly bought Greek Cypriot owned land in the occupied area at next to nothing and face court cases by refugees and legitimate property owners such as Meletis Apostolides from occupied Lapithos. So who are the real victims of 1974? Those who stole the land or those from whom the land was stolen?
The Cypriots have been victims of international power politics and exploitation by the major powers who regard Cyprus as a strategic ‘unsinkable battleship’ in the Eastern Mediterranean. But opportunists such as those who have illegally sold and acquired Greek Cypriot land and properties serve only to complicate matters further in efforts to negotiate a Cyprus settlement that will benefit all Cypriots on the island.