Is it the Turkish troops or the Greek Cypriot administration whose existence is illegal in Cyprus?
On behalf of the Greek Cypriot administration spokesman Vassilis Palmas challenged Turkey to take the “Cyprus issue” to the Interna-tional Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague after a threatening remark by the Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos declaring the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) “the sole enemy” of his people.
Actually Mr. Papadopoulos, who practiced law for years, knows quite well that Turkey is a guarantor country with Britain and Greece and that the presence of the TSK on the island is based on interna-tional agreements and fully complies with international rules and regulations and Part IV of the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee of the Consti-tution of the Republic of Cyprus and is thus legal.
The question is whether the Greek Cypriot administration estab-lished on Dec. 21, 1963 is legal.
The answer is crystal clear: “No, it is not.”
Soon after the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus, it became apparent that the Greek Cypriots had not given up their long-standing goal of “enosis” (union with mainland Greece). The president of the republic, who had taken the solemn oath to uphold the constitution, proceeded to destroy the very foundations of the bi-communal set-up. The Greek Cypriot leadership tried to render the constitution unwork-able in accordance with a preconceived plan to achieve enosis, which had been prohibited by the constitution itself.
The Greek Cypriot authorities were fervently opposed to the rights of Turkish Cypriots guaranteed by the Constitution. The Constitution was to be rendered inoperative by a concerted action at all levels of government and local administration to undermine the relevant pro-visions designed to protect the rights of Turkish Cypriots.
It was not the Constitution that prevented the cooperation of the two communities but the Greek Cypriot leaders who used their author-ity to paralyze the constitutional rights of the Turkish Cypriot commu-nity. Implementation of certain constitutional provisions was delibe-rately hindered, thus preventing the smooth-functioning of the state and causing inter-communal friction.
During the first three years of the republic, the Greek Cypriots created spurious problems in the implementation of the various provi-sions of the Constitution. Administration of justice was obstructed at every level. The Supreme Constitutional Court was rendered powerless.
Supreme Constitutional Court President Dr. Ernst Forsthoff was forced to resign from his post on May 21, 1963. He had been under pressure and intimidation from the Greek Cypriot side, following his ruling on April 25, 1963, in connection with the dispute created by Makarios’ refusal to extend the law providing for separate municipali-ties in five main towns.
Glafkos Klerides, who was the speaker of the House of Repre-sentatives at the time, summarizes Makarios’ priorities in attempting to amend the constitution:
“Reduction of the excessive rights granted to the minority and abolition of the equal status of the two communities… and the abolition of the Greek Communal Chamber and the creation of a Ministry of Education, thus creating the image that the education of the State was Greek… His third objective was the abolition of those articles which created difficulties, such as separate majorities, the 70 to 30 ratio, municipalities and the army of the Republic.”
The 1960 Republic of Cyprus no longer exists. It was destroyed on Dec. 21, 1963, and is now under the occupation of the Greek Cypriots. It is widely known that Papadopoulos is currently occupying the common administration which was destroyed by the Greek Cypriot side in 1963 and that his efforts to hinder the realization of peace by making such declarations will remain futile.
Turkey has not recognized the legal authority of the ICJ since the late 1970s and thus Turkey taking the issue to The Hague is out of question. On the contrary, the Greek Cypriot administration can take the issue to The Hague if they are really confident in their strong posi-tion and claims.
This is a completely diplomatic tactic.
In the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee signed by Turkey, and under whose terms the Turkish military intervened in the island in 1974, there is no clause saying that parties will go to a peacemaker in the event of a dispute.
What the Greek Cypriots are doing is trying to put pressure on Turkey and looking for means of recognition by Turkey. If Turkey takes the case to The Hague, it will mean a political recognition of the illegal Greek Cypriot administration by Turkey.
Papadopoulos is playing a Byzantine game, aimed at misleading both his own public opinion and the global public opinion.