In these days there was a hot debate for the unification of Cyprus between Turkish and Greek side. You will ask what makes Cyprus very important. Throughout centuries, Cyprus has a key geographical point in the East of Mediterranean Sea. The history shows that Cyprus had witnessed many wars and massacres. Then in the beginning of the previous century, Ottoman Empire was dominating the island before the Libya War (or “Trablusgarp war”). In 1912 England had the control of the island with the permission of Ottoman side. Unfortunately, Ottoman Empire had no power to retake the control of Cyprus in 1913. After that, until 70’s, there were a silence expectancy for the war and a willingness for land. Both sides had no intention to bring the peace to the island. And the war began. Now everybody thinks that the war is ended successfully, but the truth is not the same. Today everybody could see that the effort for the unification. However, this small island is the reason of meaningless problems. Both sides are confused to unify the island. Turkish side may be doubtful due to the past experiences such as the independence war, massacres. Also Greek side is obsessed with some privilege that Turkish side wants. In my opinion, I do not support the unification of Cyprus for the following reasons: Cyprus is indispensable for Turkey due to it’s strategically importance, there are some economic reasons, and behavior of European Union and Greek side are imbalanced.
I believe that Cyprus is a strategical point in the Middle East of Mediterranean Sea for Turkey. First of all, Turkey has been struggling to have a control in Northern Cyprus since there are 200,000 Turkish citizens on the island. Moreover, there are many areas that will have strategic consideration. In addition, Turkey took the control of the Northern Cyprus with the war which was fateful. This was an intervention but it had been done for the right of Turkish Cypriots. After the intervention, Turkey invested millions for the development of the new republic. For example, large ports built for commercial in the middle east of Mediterranean Sea and these harbors are now strategically important. Finally, the sea region is important for Turkish side. The Greek side has already occupied the region in Aegean Sea. As a result of this, Turkey has to prevent its right in the northern land has a seashore at Mediterranean Sea. All in all, it seems that Turkish side will not agree with the alliance that will treat its right and strategic importance of Cyprus.
I strongly believe that the unification will be harmful both for Turkish economy and harmony in Cyprus Economy. First of all, Turkey has been the only country that legitimizes the Cyprus Republic. Because of this reason, the fundamentals of Northern Cyprus economy were set up by Turkey. Also, according to the explanations from Northern Cyprus Prime Minister, old Rauf Denktash, we can infer that Greek sides want unification for the natural resources of Northern Cyprus and tourism economy. In such this way, Turkish side will not allow to use northern resources and other things by preventing possible unification. In addition, from the economic graphs we will see that there is an enormous difference between two side’s economies. In one side there is Greek Republic which has strong economy and it is about to take visa from the European Community. And in the other side there is weak economy of Northern Turkish Cyprus Republic. If the peacemakers want to make peace, they have to solve economic difference between two countries. If the economic problems are not solved, the unification of Cyprus will be an endless dream. In brief, there are many economic problems which are so complicated, and these problems are alike mountains before the unification.
Finally, the behavior of the European Union and Greek side is out-of-balance. First of all, there are countless current news on television, newspapers and web sites about the subject of the unification of Cyprus. Every night, I heard that there was a convention for unification with the peacemaker; the United Nations. However, these conventions have no end as both sides’ wants astronomical necessities. Nevertheless, it is better to add that there are some negligence’s of the UN. For example, they do what the Greek side wants. The Greek side has asked for more land, and then they did. Moreover, the Greek side has now asking for more economical privileges and political dominance in the possible unified Cyprus. As a result, the UN will accept this offer too. Furthermore, even now there is some confusion about the peace procedure. For example, in previous days meeting, the UN acted by supporting the Greek side. I think that there are some misunderstood situations in Cyprus. Turkish citizens have settled the island since 16th century. The Greek Cypriots have been there more than the Turks have been. According to me, these historical relation makes the UN thought that Greek side is right since they are the previous settler of this island. In brief, for this reason, I do not believe that the unification in this island will be done fairly so that I do not support the idea of unification.
All in all, I believe that the unification in Cyprus is not necessary and it will be harmful for Turkish side. There are three main reasons; Cyprus is very important island placed in an indispensable area, unification could be harmful for Turkish economy, and the unpredictable behavior of the UN and Greek side. In my opinion, “the peace” is beautiful word for Cyprus. However, in reality “the peace” is not suitable for Cyprus. There had been countless war for the island in the history, and this war continues in the universal area like the UN. The best thing that both sides could do is to try to understand the idea of society.
A historical Overview.
Ataturk and Turkish Cypriots
Cyprus Peace Operation
Joseph, Joseph S. Cyprus: Ethnic Conflict and International Politics: From Independence to the Threshold of the European Union, Toronto: Palgrave Publishers, 1997
Kadritkze, Niels, Turkish Cypriots Dream of Europe.
http://mondediplo.com/1998/09/07cyprus September 07, 1998
Turks martyred between 1965 and 1967.