Thursday, 28 April 2011

Cyprus Unification - an insolvable problem?

David Lidington, Europe Minister Slimeball, has delivered the 4th Keith Kyle Memorial lecture on the subject of British - Cypriot relations - a lecture which had a hidden agenda. As is well known the European Union is desperate to have Turkey admitted as a member of their 'club' - an idea backed by David Cameron - and as is also well known the EU has what was originally known as "The Barcelona Agreement", now rebranded as "Union for the Mediterranean". This policy includes all the countries bordering the Mediterranean, one of those countries being Turkey.

I have posted previously here and here on the subject of the reunification of Cyprus and the main problem that Turkey has with admission to the EU. It is worth while for readers to refer to the two aforementioned links to gain some insight to the main stumbling block to Cyprus reunification which is Turkey's last stated position that they will never relinquish control of Northern Cyprus.

When Lidington talks about the number of Britons visiting Cyprus he is being his usual disingenuous self. The number of Britons visiting "Cyprus" has nothing to do with links between the two countries - it has everything to do the climate, the way of life and with prices generally in Northern Cyprus being so much cheaper than in the Greek (Southern) sector. As an example, when I was there 20 Malboro Red were 1 Turkish Dollar at the exchange rate of £2.50 Turkish Dollars to the £. One evening the person I was visiting both went out to a seaside restaurant and enjoyed: Starters, Sea Bass, Sweet, two bottles of wine, two large  goblets of brandy (one on the house) and the cost was £29.00! (and we could smoke at the table!). When I was in Northern Cyprus there was the usual water shortage on the island - due to lack of rainfall - a problem solved by Turkey who arranged for tankers to ferry water to the North. An offer was made to the Greek Cypriots to supply them from the North which was refused - that shows how deep is the divide between Greeks and Turkish.

Lidington talks about the Turkish Cypriots being "isolated" - the point is they wish to remain isolated and if readers can obtain a copy of Gibbons' book they will understand why.

But then we all know Lidington is but a politician - supposedly a Conservative but one whose principles, true to form,  have been bought by the lure of ministerial office!


john in cheshire said...

I am lead to believe that a great number of Christian churches and graveyards in Northern Cyprus have been desecrated by the muslim north. Until that attitude changes I personally don't want any muslim country, particularly Turkey to have EU membership. Although, if we could withdraw from the EU, then I couldn't care less which countries are members.

James Higham said...

From speaking to the Greeks there and on another occasion, some Turks, I'd say it's well nigh unsolvable.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

jic: I know not of what you write, nor did I hear of that during my visit.

JH: Agreed!It seems quite an easy matter to decide though; either the Turkish government backs down or they keep their word.

John K said...

No it is quite right, many churches were desecrated and their trasures, such as icons, have turned up in the art market over the years. The Turkish invasion of northern Cyprus was an ethnic cleansing, so why keep any traces of the people who have been dispossessed? Anyone taking a cheap holiday in northern Cyprus is profiting from the misfortune of others.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

JK: You talk of the invasion of Northern Cyprus as ethnic cleansing - methinks you need to go read Gibbons' book!

And as for holidaying in Northern Cyprus being profiteering from the misfortune of others - might I suggest you take your left-wing views elsewhere? Thanks!

John K said...

What is left wing about a statement of fact? Cyprus has been ethnically cleansed, and Christian churches in the north have been destroyed and their art treasures sold on the black market. Anyone who enjoys cheap holidays in northern Cyprus or buys cheap property there is indeed profiting from the misfortunes of others.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

JK: Have you read Gibbons' book? If not, then go read and then come back and debate!

As for your last sentence - you can apply that line of argument to just about any commodity, one way or another - and that is a typical left-wing argument, ie exploitation of others. We are all exploited in one way or another - get used to it! Thats Life - as Esther Rantzen used to say.

John K said...

Mr WW:

To demand that one must have read a certain book before having an opinion makes no sense. This is something I have been following and reading about for years, and, as I said, the desecration of Christian churches in the north of Cyprus is a fact, not an opinion.

I assume that, like me, you would not wish Turkey to join the EU. Why is that? For me, their behaviour in Cypus is cause enough. The fact that cigarettes (which have probably been smuggled anyway) are cheap in north Cyprus does not impress me. Property is cheap too, because it has been stolen. I assume you believe in the rights of private property ownership, I know I do. Why so blase then about the rights of property owners in the north of Cypus who have been dispossessed, ethnically cleansed, and have had their churches and cemetaries desecrated? Would you be happy if the bodies of your deceased family members had been dug up by savages, and their gravestones smashed, or would it perhaps put you off those cheap Marlboros?

WitteringsfromWitney said...

JK: I never said you had to read a book to form an opinion - just read the book, you may find that your opinion is slightly changed, especially as to who started the problem in the first place.

The Greeks were not blameless for what happened, far from it. Neither am I saying that desecration did not take place.

You debase your argument by calling Turks savages - those in Northern Cyprus are not.

As to who joins the EU, I care not - providing of course the UK has left beforehand.

Of course, if we are looking at past behaviour, by your thinking should we not look at the behaviour of Germany or Russia? By the same reasoning, the UK is not blameless, is it? Where does one draw the line, when does one forget? Were we in the wrong to reclaim the Falklands? Was that not done to protect British subjects? All Turkey did was the same thing, to protect their subjects that they perceived were being badly treated.

As to Marlboro - I don't smoke them.

We are obviously not going to agree, so let us agree to disagree?

But I would repeat: try and read the book mentioned, if only to further your education on the subject of Cyprus.

John K said...

Fair enough.

I would say that anyone willing to desecrate a church, steal its icons, and smash cemetaries is a savage, I don't care how nice the people who serve you your dinner might seem (to your face).

As to Germany, at least they have had the decency to admit the Holocaust happened and apologise for it. The Turks refuse even to admit that the Armenian genocide took place. They are very touchy about it to this day, and will put you in prison if you write that it happened. Suitable candidates for EU membership? I think not.

The Turkish Cypriots were not Turkish subjects, just as the Greek Cypriots were not Greek sunjects. The fact is that Cyprus existed as a state under three guarantor powers, Britain, Greece and Turkey. In 1974 two of those powers were under Fascist rule, and, I firmly believe, plotted to split Cyprus between them. The third power, despite having sovereign bases, much bigger armed forces than now, and a legal obligation to protect the integrity of Cyprus, did nothing. No-one comes well out of this.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

JK: First, your comment about the face of who serves me dinner is but a cheap remark and does, once again, you or your argument no credit.

I can but repeat, read the book - it contains examples of mal-treatment by both sides.

In regard to your penultimate and last sentences - agreed (now there's a surprise for you!)

John K said...