The discussions on the Cyprus issue are getting increasingly heated as the presidential election draws near. The rightists, especially the Dem-ocratic Party (DIKO) of which Greek Cypriot President Tassos Papado-poulos was the chairman, are claiming that comments suggesting a bi-zonal and bi-communal federal state as a solution to the Cyprus issue are made to damage the trustworthiness of the president.
It seems that Mr. Papadopoulos is suffocating from the offensives built up on his fruitless Cyprus policy and for dragging the Cyprus issue to a dead end because of his ideologies still resting on the conditions of the 1950s.
Each candidate plays a different tune on the federation concept. Arch-bishop Hrisostomos II, who is not a politician but an ecclesiastic, also joined the band playing his own tune on the federal solution for Cyprus issue. He made an official call and asked the Greek Cypriots to gather around DIKO. He also commented that the “Cyprus problem” is the only political subject the Cyprus Orthodox Church is fighting about.
These comments of Hrisostomos II clearly show that the Cypriot church is politicized and mixing politics with spiritual matters. According to Hrisostomos II, when Archbishop Makarios signed the 1977 top-level agreement with Denktas there were no settlers from Turkey, and Greek immigrants were supposed to return to the northern territories and Turkish Cypriot immigrants to the south.
As the Greek Cypriots would return to the north, the population ratio would change in favor of the Greeks, and the majority would again be Greek Cypriots in the north as well as the south. The movement of Turkish Cypriots who fled to the north in 1974 heading back south would only contribute to a Greek majority in the north. So by this me-thod the majority in both sections of the island would be Greek Cypriots and, according to Hrisostomos II, this is why Makarios signed the agreement.
In fact he also accepted the intervention right of Turkey as a guarantor government as mentioned in the 1960 Cyprus Treaty of Guarantee. Of course no Greek politician mentions this.
When I read this information, I suddenly remembered a picture taken on Feb. 12, 1977 right before the official meeting producing the 1977 top-level agreement. I haven’t forgotten this picture in the last 30 years, and has it stayed in my memory as fresh as the first day. In this picture Makarios sits in an armchair in the left corner of the photo and looks directly into the camera. UN Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim sits in the middle and is focused on a point somewhere below the camera. Denktas is in the right corner and sits on an armchair, looking to his left with a smile on his face. The reason why I remember this picture so well was the look on the face of Makarios. It was mealy and had no connection at all to visage of the Makarios of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, which tended to be lofty.
The look on Makarios’ face in this picture was totally different than the one taken on Jan. 1, 1960, when Makarios was declaring the invalida-tion of the 1960 Cyprus Agreement, or when he was signing the “cease-fire” agreement with Dr. Fazıl Küçük on Jan. 7, 1964 as if he was a triumphant commandant, or even the one taken on July 26, 1967, in the Greek Parliament right after the unanimous acceptance of an “enosis” resolution, when the look on his face was of the “eternal hero of the Hellenic world.” The look on his face right before the official meeting of the 1977 top-level agreement was not related at all with the face of the vainglorious Makarios during the genocide period for Turkish Cypriots or the dark years between 1963 and 1974.
His face bore the look of a defeated, deplumed hen. In fact he did not live long after signing the top-level agreement with Denktas, passing away a couple months later from a heart attack.The agreement he signed with Denktas consisted of four items that laid out the framework for a bi-zonal, bi-communal federal republic, including the intervention right of Turkey as a guarantor government as mentioned in the 1960 Cyprus Treaty of Guarantee. Spyros Kyprianou and Papadopulos were both hand-in-hand against his signature, claiming this agreement would pave the road to partition on the island.
For the next 25 years, the Greek Cypriots pretended as though they were negotiating on the basis of the 1977 agreement, all in the hope of gaining time to solidify their position being recognized as the only gov-ernment of Cyprus. Now all the three candidates are calling for the Turkish Cypriots to discuss the “federation” as a solution to the Cyprus issue despite having never mentioned it for the past 30 years.
Of course, the “federation” in their minds is totally different than the federation concept in the minds of the Turkish Cypriots. While Greek Cypriots seek a solution, including the withdrawal of Turkish troops, return of the so-called “settlers” and cancellation of the guarantor rights of Turkey, the Turkish Cypriots think the opposite. With the still-fresh bitter experiences of 1963-74 in their minds, they insist on the presence of the Turkish military, their Turkish collateral on the island, and particularly on solid guarantees for Turkey. They no longer trust the Greek Cypriots.