Greek Cypriot politicians and high-level bureaucrats have been nagging for years about the presence of the Turkish army in the terri-tories of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) and some of the citizens they nicknamed “settlers.”
Most of these people, who were on purposely nicknamed settlers by Greek Cypriot as a form of degradation, were of Cypriot origin. Their parents immigrated to Turkey after the Lausanne Treaty, signed by the new Republic of Turkey and leading European countries in 1923. At that time the island of Cyprus was under British colonial rule and the efforts of Greek Cypriots for enosis were seeing their hay days.
These people preferred to live under Turkish yoke rather than English or Greek and immigrated to Turkey.
For them 1974 was a good opportunity to return to their own country and live under the newly born government called the Turkish Federated State of Cyprus, later the KKTC, which consisted solely of Turkish Cypriots, their kin.
Historically, and particularly since 1961, Greece has systemati-cally pursued a deliberate policy of colonizing and annexing Cyprus (a process they term “enosis”), due to which 60,000 Turkish Cypriots were forced to leave their homes, memories and belongings in 1964 after fierce attacks from Greek militia. A further 60,000 were displaced in 1974 as the result of the notorious coup d’etat against Archbishop Makarios III, staged by Greek generals in Greece.
This is being done in order to change the demographic structure of the island, to control and adulterate the 1960 Treaty of Establish-ment of the Republic of Cyprus. Such attempts at consolidating the transformation of Cyprus’s demographic character continued even after the events of 1974.
Under international law, mass transfers by a country of its own civilian population into territories outside its boundaries to change demographic structure is illegal. Greece sent over its own population to the island of Cyprus in the early 1900s, and more consistently since 1961.
When the backgrounds of the 500,000 voters in the May 2006 Greek Cypriot elections were analyzed, a stunning outcome surfaced, clearly revealing the number of Greek settlers clandestinely accumu-lated on the island since 1961.
The breakdown of “Greek settlers” on the island is approximately as follows:
Pontus Greek Cypriots: 60,000- 70,000
Citizens of the former Soviet Republic: 30,000
Christians who fled Lebanon: 15,000-20,000
Immigrants from Greece: 100,000
Asylum-seeking Kurds: 2,500-3,000
Asylum-seeking citizens from third countries: 9,500
Total “Greek settlers in Cyprus”: approximately 230,000
According to the existing but unpublished Greek Cabinet Decision of 1964, any Greek citizen who has done his military service in Cyprus or served in the Greek National Army (Ethniki Fruro) automatically becomes a citizen of the Republic of Cyprus (Greek Cyprus).
For years one Greek regiment and two battalions of Greek Com-mandos were deployed on the island and thousands of Greek officers served in the Greek Cypriot National Guard. These privates and army officers, who change every two years, have,since 1964 automatically become citizens.
Most Greek Cypriots go to study in Greece, get married and return to Cyprus. Their partners also immediately become citizens.
The Pontus Greeks (Pontii) and citizens of the former Soviet re-publics were made citizens soon after they settled on the island from 1974 and 1982, respectively.
Opening their arms to the wealthy Christians who fled the war in Lebanon, the Greek Cypriots also made them citizens. Furthermore, according to EU norms, Kurds and citizens from third countries who seek asylum automatically become citizens.
Why are only Turkish Cypriots consistently blamed for bringing in 40,000 settlers from Turkey while the Greek Cypriots are not, although around 230,000 non-Greek Cypriots are living in the south and dramatically changing the demographic structure of the island?
When will these “Greek Settlers” of around 230,000 and the “Greek mercenaries,” numbering officially 7,000 and unofficially prob-ably 15,000, go back?