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Greek and Turkish Cypriots

Reader comment on item: Forty Years after the Invasion of Cyprus

Submitted by Malcolm Lowe (Israel), Jul 22, 2014 at 07:37

Not that the Greek Cypriots were guiltless in the affair. Shortly after independence in 1960, the Turkish minority was forced into enclaves under interntional protection. So the coup of 1974, sponsored by the military junta ruling Greece with the aim of annexing Cyprus, inevitably provoked a Turkish invasion.. The invasion, of course, led directly to the fall of the junta and the restoration of liberty to Greece a few months later.

The Turkish Cypriots accepted, but the Greek Cypriots rejected, the Annan plan of 2004, which would have turned the island into a federation somewhat like Belgium. The EU must bear much of the blame: It announced that Cyprus could join the EU regardless of how the the Greeks voted, but only if the Turks voted in favor. So the Greeks thought they could have their cake and eat it. To the credit of the Greek Cypriots, they imitated Palestinians in their intransigence but not in their addiction to ceaseless violence. Rather than devoting their resources to endless warfare against an invincible enemy, they made the best of the territory that they retained.

The coup and invasion displaced some180,000 Greeks to the south and 50,000 Turks to the north. The Annan plan envisaged a "limited right of return," something else that the Palestinians might learn from, but will not. Given their experience, the Turkish Cypriots will hardly agree to anything less than the Annan plan. Erdogan may be crazy, but Turkish Cypriots are not going to turn their backs on him because they know that he is 100% crazy on their behalf and their only sure protection.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Daniel Pipes replies:

Agreed that the Greek Cypriots have made their share of mistakes, but none of them justify a 40-year occupation of their country.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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