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An Odious British Policy

Open letter

To María Angela Holguín Cuéllar – Personal Envoy of the UN SG on Cyprus

Dear Madam, welcome to my native country Cyprus (Republic of Cyprus)

María Angela Holguín Cuéllar

In your statement of 16.3.24 you noted that “At times it seems that all the paths have been tried and that change is not possible.

However, there are always voices that reveal the resilience of societies that dream of a different life and that show that hope is a necessity and an obligation. The past brings memories of pain and frustration, but also provide us lessons to help build the future and achieve solutions for the benefit of all Cypriots…”

I agree.  But unfortunately during your visits to the Republic of  Cyprus  you failed to meet the very first victims of Turkish aggression, the displaced Kyrenians. We do dream of a different life, but not in a nightmare of recognition of two states. We dream of a life free from Turkish occupation, by return to our stolen properties. Not in an apartheid bi-communal, bi-zonal federation or confederation/two states. We do have a dream of a life in freedom, governed by the rule of law, in a democracy of one man one vote, one Government.  This is the necessity of Cyprus and the obligation of all foremost the UN according to its Charter…

To build the future one must respect history and justice. “Justice delayed is justice denied”.  The UN Security Council and its “solutions” cooked up by the British Foreign Office (as penholders for Cyprus) as proposed over the decades following the two Turkish invasions as per the Turkish demand of a BBF leading to two states (“Ghalli Ideas” – “Annan Plan”) do not offer justice. They legalise the Turkish crimes, covered by unprecedented impunity for 50 years …

The“Annan Plan” was a crime against humanity. Dr.Claire Palley’s book  An International Relations Debacle: The UN Secretary-general’s Mission of Good Offices in Cyprus 1999-2004”, suffices.  This so called ”Annan Plan”  was legally rejected by a 76% vote by the Greeks of Cyprus.

Dr. Claire Palley’s book

Ms.Maria Holguín Cuellar,

I appreciate your degrees in Political Science from the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá, the Centre d´Études Diplomatiques et Stratégiques and the Université Paris–Sorbonne in Paris, but I doubt these prestigious establishments taught you the origins of the bloody history of my native country or that the British Foreign Office will inform you adequately.

Here is a sample of our country’s past history that haunts its “future” to this day

  1. 1.1950. Although the British Government did not accept the results of the Plebiscite organised by the Church of Cyprus, when 96% of the people voted for Union with Greece, the Colonial Office told the American State Department that the result represented the genuine aspiration of the people of Cyprus but Gt. Britain did not support it for strategic reasons. On 28 July 1954 Undersecretary of State for the Colonies Henry Hopkinson stated in the House of Commons that Cyprus could “never” expect to be fully independent. On 1.4.1955 the Greeks took up arms against the colonial rule for Union of Cyprus with Greece.

27 August 1955. The British violating the Lausanne Treaty brought cunningly Turkey back as an interested party in the case of Cyprus and encouraged Turkey to raise its voice in support of the 18% Turkish minority on the island…

21.6.1955. The British told the Turks not to worry and they planned to bring the Turks on an equal footing with the Greeks.

31.5.1955. British Official Sir Ivone Kirkpatrick admitted that it was he who first thought of partitioning Cyprus.

June/July 1956. London instructed the Governor of Cyprus to prepare various maps of partitioning Cyprus. The first maps arrived in London in November 1956.

1.11.1956 – Sir Ivone Kirkpatrick told the Turkish Ambassador in London that it was he personally who first “vendilated” the idea of partition.

November 1956 –Turkish Constitutionalist Dr. Nihat Erim delivered to Turkish Prime Minister A. Menderes his Plan to “recapture Cyprus”. *

This map published in Turkish Halkin Sesi, reproduced in Greek “Fileleftheros” 20.1.1957
Front cover of Dr. Fazil Kuchuk’s book published 1957 for partitioning Cyprus. Dr. Kuchuk became the first Vice-President of the Republic of Cyprus on 16.8.1960.

Continued secret talks and agreements between London and Ankara led to the statement in London by the Colonial Secretary in the House of Commons on 19.12.1956 that partition of the island and separate self-determination to the Turkish minority of 18% on the island would not be excluded in a final solution   He laid the seed of apartheid segregation by introducing “two communities”.

An odious British policy

On the 30th April 1958, J. M. Addis, a Foreign Office official submitted to the Cabinet meeting on Cyprus of the day after a damning minute. His criticism stood the length of time to this very day.

“…I do not believe that any settlement based on a division of the island in any form could now be a permanently stable solution. I do not believe that if the island were partitioned along a line acceptable to the Turkish Government, the two halves of the island could then settle down in harmony to live as good neighbours…The Turkish Cypriots and the Turkish Government would use it as a base for interfering into the affairs of the rest of the island.

The Turkish solution which is at present advocated by the Turkish Cypriots and the Turkish government, namely partition, is not therefore acceptable as a permanent, stable solution. The choice therefore ought to lie between the “Greek” solution of self-determination leading to ~Enosis and the other extreme solution, which is the return of Cyprus to Turkey…

Our general policy in non-self-governing territories is to lead them forward to self-government and to the stage when they can decide their own future. It is quite against our traditions to limit the freedom of choice when the time comes for independence. Strategic and other special considerations can delay the process, as in Gibraltar and Hong Kong, but do not inhibit it altogether. The principle of “communal self-determination” to which the December 1956 Statement subscribes is odious because it denies the possibility of unity in a mixed community. It is the antithesis of what we are trying to do in South East Asia, Africa and the West Indies. Division is particularly objectionable in an area as small as Cyprus and in a Mediterranean context.

For these reasons my own view is that the only right ultimate solution for Cyprus is self-determination leading to Enosis. I realise, of course, that it is quite impossible for the present Government to declare this as the ultimate aim, if only because of the December 1956 Statement. It seems to me that the only way for H.M.G to get out of the difficulty is to declare publicly that all attempts to reach an agreed compromise… having failed we are going to continue to govern the island in the way that we think best … for a stated term of years at the end of which the possibility of working for a final solution will be reviewed again… on the broad principles of general policy.”

The British Government ignored the advice of its official. Ignored the American rejection of its plans for partition and informed the American Secretary of State John Foster Dulles that they could not abandon the promises they gave to the Turks on the 19 December 1956. And asked Dr. Nihat Erim to be patient to gain his objectives with… gradual constitutional arrangements…

Following the Zurich and London Agreements signed on 19 February 1959 in London without democratically consulting the people of their colony declared Cyprus Independent on 16 August 1960.  Dr. Nihat Erim who took part in the formation of the Cyprus Constitution as head of the Turkish delegation began receiving dividends to his plan with the super-privileges afforded to the 18% Turkish minority whilst Turkey clandestinely trained and armed Turkish Cypriots to topple the RoC and create two states… This they attempted in December 1963/64 but failed,  hence SC Resolution 186 of March 1964…Ecuadorian UN mediator Galo Plaza in 1965 rejected the Turkish demand for two states…

3.1.1964. However the  Planning Department of the Foreign Office began preparing plans for the reconstruction of the RoC into two constituent states! In parallel with the Turks of Cyprus issuing documents for two states in Cyprus.  The years that followed Turkey openly demanded a federation of two states and following its two barbaric Turkish invasions of 20th July and 14 August 1974 respectively the Foreign Office on 16 August 1974 decided unilaterally that the solution would be one and only: The Turkish demand for a bicommunal, bizonal federation.

O Sir Michael Calver (Sir Carver served as Commander of the Truce Force in Cyprus in 1963/64 and Deputy Commander and initiator of the UN Force established in 1964).

Sir Michael Carver to James Callaghan

On 2.8.1974 Sir Michael Carver in a letter to Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary James Callaghan under sub-title “Turkish Aims” wrote “ I am convinced that the Turks do not care tuppence for the real interests of the Turkish Cypriots. Their motives are: National pride. Cyprus was theirs… Having expelled the Greeks from Turkey in 1922 and removed the Turks from Greece in the subsequent exchange of population, they cannot tolerate subservience in Cyprus…”

  1. H.G. Edmonds (Foreign Office) 4.9.1974 wrote: “… The primary Turkish interest in Cyprus since the Second World War has been strategic …no Turkish Government has ever given a fig about for the Turkish Cypriots (whom they regard with contempt and irritation as pampered provincials”.

Many UN representatives like yourself came and went.  “Educated” by the Foreign Office what to ask us to do.  At the end of the day it is not the so called “NGOs” with foreign or domestic backers who matter Mrs Maria Cuellar but the indigenous population, primarily the displaced victims of two barbaric Turkish invasions. Loathed because they demand JUSTICE, LIBERATION from TURKISH OCCUPATION and not a fake “re-unification” in a Two States solution since the 1950s…

Our country was never split into two to need a fake “re-unification”.

* Dr. Nihat Erim’s 1956 reports/plans to “recapture Cyprus” in Greek and English translations in the first two links, “Cyprus has been Greek well over 3,000 years”, British Ministry of Defence, third link.   

Sources –  British official documents released and available at the British National Archives at Kew, Richmond TW9 4DU.  Book  by the writer “Bitonality vs Democracy  – Bizonal execution of the Republic of Cyprus 1955-2019”, published in Greek  in Limassol/Cyprus in 2019 by PASTELL EDITORIAL LIMITED.

Yours sincerely,

Fanoulla Argyrou

Researcher/journalist/author – London – 24.3.2024

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