Draft – please inform the author before quoting
Conference on “A Constitutional Convention for Cyprus” organized by the
Research Centre on Direct Democracy of the University of Zurich 3-5 April 2008
Topic: The Convention way and EU membership; UN implications; The view of US, Russia, Turkey, Greece, United Kingdom.
Professor, International Relations–Strategic Studies, University of Piraeus, Department of International and European Studies
1. Constitutional convention, the “principles” and the accession into the EU
2. EU and military disengagement as a conflict-resolution approach
3. A State is not a trap or a prison
4. Foreign intervention is the single most important preventing a lasting and just settlement.
5. “Annihilation” of the peace prospects (2002-2004). Not to be repeated
6. The process towards a Constitutional Conference and the danger to be corrupted
7. Principles and actors involved in the process towards a Constitutional Convention
Appendix: “Slaughters”, “killings” and other made up magic stories
1. Constitutional convention, the “principles” and the accession into the EU
My comments shall not repeat the points made in the “Report: A principled basis for a just and lasting Cyprus settlement in the light of International and European Law” of the international expert panel for a European Solution of the Cyprus Problem. This report offers a full account of international and European rule of law and an “arsenal of arguments”,
a) as to what is a viable solution,
b) as to how rule of law shall prevail in Cyprus and
c) as to how the way of life should unfold in the future in a democratic re-united Republic of Cyprus.
The process towards a Constitutional Convention should be so designed as to lead to an Assembly whose unique mission should be to apply the fundamental principles of International and European rule of law and to establish –for the first time in the history of modern Cyprus– internal and external sovereignty. In the report, “a principled basis for a just and lasting Cyprus settlement in the light of International and European Law” this is analysed in context when it comprehensively explains that:
“The solution of the Cyprus problem must be found by respecting and applying the fundamental principles on which international law and the European Union are founded: these are in brief, the peaceful settlement of disputes; the sovereignty, independence and equality of states; the prohibition of aggression and the non-recognition of its consequences; and respect for human rights, liberty, democracy and the rule of law. Both the present state of affairs in Cyprus and the terms of the current Annan Plan are inconsistent with these fundamental principles. It is also essential to arrive at a solution that fully respects the need for the reconciliation of, and cooperation between, the communities and all relevant parties” (Point 3). (Emphasis added)
1. The accession in the EU and military disengagement as a conflict-resolution approach
The strategy which carried out the full accession of the Republic of Cyprus into the EU was, precisely, a deliberate purposeful approach to conflict resolution which benefits all the citizens of the Republic of Cyprus by bringing the aforementioned principles in the forefront of peace talks.
Let’s be more specific: Conflict-resolution is not an altruistic approach. It could prove productive only if it serves the lawful and legitimate interests of all actors involved. That is, primarily the interests of the Cypriots themselves (Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots and the other communities), of Greece’s (as Greek Cypriot security would be compromised if a conflict between Greece and Turkey erupts) and Turkey’s (the security of the Turkish Cypriots and Ankara’s often declared fear for a possible strategic encirclement by Greece if union takes place). Security, is a core concept of conflict-resolution. Against all trivial approaches to conflict-resolution we could cite the core arguments of Hans Morgenthau as regards diplomacy:
«… 1. Diplomacy must be divested of the crusading spirit. This is the first of the rules that diplomacy can reflect at the risk of war. … 2. The objectives of foreign policy must be defined in terms of national interest and must be supported with adequate power. 3. Diplomacy must look at the political scene from the point of view of other nations. Nothing is so fatal to a nation as an extreme of self-partiality, and the total want of consideration of what others will naturally hope or fear”. 4. Nations must be willing to compromise on all issues that are not vital to them (Five additional prerequisites of compromise) 1). Give up shadow of worthless rights for the substance of real advantage. 2) Never put yourself in a position from which you cannot retreat without losing face and from which you cannot advance without grave risks. 3) Never allow a weak ally to make decisions for you. 4) The armed forces are the instrument of foreign policy, not its master. 5) The government is the leader of the public opinion, not its slave”. (emphasis added)
Precisely, respecting the lawful and legitimate national concerns of all countries involved is a core concept for conflict-resolution. Defining “lawful-legitimate”, however, is not a matter of subjective judgement but a matter of attachment to the principles of international governance which is compatible with international law and to the Charter of the United Nations. In this productive sense, in addition the interests of Cypriots themselves,
a) Greece’s and Turkey’s lawful and legitimate national concerns and the purpose of peace and stability in Cyprus are fully served if they both disengage completely from Cyprus.
b) The interest of the people of Cyprus are served if all armies, the military bases and all external neo-colonial tutelage are swept away.
c) The interests of the people of Cyprus are served in a lasting way if European rule of law –as the Treaty of Accession provides– applies on the whole island. Furthermore, as it is correctly and pointedly noted in the “report “a principled basis for a just and lasting Cyprus settlement in the light of International and European Law”:
“International law, as well as EU law, is founded upon the recognition of independent and sovereign states. Consequential principles include the obligations of non-intervention in the internal affairs of states and respect for the territorial integrity of all states. In addition, the right of self-determination provides that while people within a state have the right to participate in the governance of that state, the free choice of the people of a state, conforming to fundamental international and European values must be respected on the international level” (points 10 and 17) “Democracy refers to the establishment and continued existence of a genuinely representative government responsive to the people. It requires that the basic rules establishing and organizing the state and its relationship with society be accepted by the citizens. It further requires full respect of the will of the people as expressed by the voters and/or their legitimate representatives. Democracy is founded on majority rule, in full recognition and application of individual, minority and group rights, as appropriate. The principle of democracy is an increasingly important part of international law, and at the very heart of European law. Article 3 of the Statute of the Council of Europe refers to pluralist democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law as principles of the Council system”. (Point 15) “the rights enshrined in the European Convention constitute fundamental principles of the European Union, which itself is based upon the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and rule of law. The European legal order, therefore, both through the European Convention of Human Rights and the acquis communautaire, provides the most stringent and efficient system of protection of human and minority rights worldwide. Moreover, both Cyprus and Turkey are parties to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, article 1 of which lays down the right of self-determination, and to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination” (point 15). (Emphasis added).
Ipso facto and rightly so, these points answer adequately and satisfactorily the claims for the so called “equality clause”. Equality in a federation could not possibly mean “a right for veto” in line with racists and national criteria. Paralyzing the state along these lines is self-defeating and self-destructing. Furthermore, it contradicts all conceivable ideas regarding the
State as a normative structure appropriate for a collective way life. One should not confuse safeguard clauses or the need for check and balances with the right of some groups to paralyze the functioning of the political institutions. A principle purpose of the Accession of Cyprus in the EU where rule of law prevails was, precisely, the creation of opportunities for additional safeguards, in both legal and political terms.
3. A State is not a trap or a prison
Designing a normative structure which safeguards equality of the citizens and its constituent groups should not therefore be conceptualized as two states trapped in a single and non-independent “federal state” whose institutions could not possibly function. This is self defeating, dead ended and a prescription of conflict and bloodshed.
There is no limit for arrangements which provide adequate decentralization and self-governance in a multitude of issues and levels as long as it does not lead decision-making into a stalemate, an impasse and a conflict. It is not the purpose of this paper to describe and elaborate methods and approaches pertinent for Cyprus. Certainly, however, in the context of governance involving decentralization and self-governance compatible to International and European rule of Law, there are innumerable thoughts as regards approaches which provide procedures, co-decisions among the various levels irrespective nationalityand methods of qualified majorities, simple majorities and checks and balances that implicate all the citizens and groups of the Cyprus Republic irrespective of national origin.
Let’s however not go further. These questions should be answered in the context of a Constitutional Convention acting independently and involving the people of Cyprus. What is important at this stage and in the context of an academic conference reflecting on the process leading to a Constitutional Convention, it is to stress the compatibility to International and European Rule of Law. Likewise, it is important to stress that self-autonomy and self-governance in the context of a federal structure could not possibly mean splitting the people or worse, inserting divisive logics which could cause conflict and bloodshed. This was the intention of the colonial power when they imposed the unworkable constitution of 1959 (see appendix). Let’s not repeat the same mistake by accepting, this time voluntary, a dynastic and divisive institutional structure. Nowadays the Cypriots dispose a state, the Republic of Cyprus, a member of the EU where rule of law prevails. Let’s not abandon it but just reform it in order to make compatible to the concerns of the composing communities.
4. Foreign intervention is the single most important preventing a lasting and just settlement.
Before proceeding, let’s make it abundantly clear that invoking International and European Rule of Law and other principles or approaches to conflict-resolution has nothing to do with legalistic ideas which overlook the dynamic political character of international relations or the causes of war that cause conflicts in inter-state or intra-state relations.
The principles to which we appeal here are legally binding clauses for all states involved in the Cyprus conflictand the citizens of the Republic of Cyprus should claim that they should apply in full. In fact the principles of International and European Rule of Law are, as already mentioned, the core idea of “conflict-resolution through accession into the EU”.
Cypriots, irrespective nationality or culture, properly understanding their common interests, by accepting to apply these principles –and this is a politically and legally binding purpose for both the process which leads to the Constitutional Convention and of the Constitutional Convention itself– shall immediately and effectively terminate the main cause of war in Cyprus, that is external interferences and external interventions.
The Cypriots have vested interests in claiming to apply International and European Rule of Law, an approach that by and large offers the framework of binding rules which could establish internal-external sovereignty, democracy, popular sovereignty and thus real independence. By so doing if the succeed they have a chance to take their fortune in their hands by setting up a process leading to a Constitutional Convention free for all external interferences. The accession of the Republic of Cyprus into the EU, precisely, secures all legal and political necessary to fulfil all these noble purposes.
In fact, owing to external interference and intervention, fulfilment of the purpose to take up this opportunity and solve the conflict in Cyprus in a just, viable and lasting approach, is not easy at all. In this academic conference here, we shall serve this noble purpose, if we stick, precisely, to the aforementioned academic ethics and face off corrupting political inputs.
5. “Annihilation” of the peace prospects (2002-2004). Not to be repeated
Understanding the nature of the dangers lying ahead during the process leading to a Constitutional Convention and of the Constitutional Convention itself, it is important to make a flashback on lost opportunities as regards conflict-resolution in Cyprus. Above, I just referred to the “European option as a conflict-resolution” approach. It is time to understand the causes, in fact, the causes of war, that intervened in 2001-2004, when the Republic of Cyprus concluded the accession negotiations. Foreign interferences had the following results:
a) Transformed the UN into a depended variable of hegemonic interests which contradict International Law by producing proposals incompatible to Rule of Law and the Chapter of the UN (ironically so, submitted in the name of the GS of the UN).
b) Created a negative momentum which if the Anan plan would have been accepte it would have nullified the aquis of EU membership prior to full entry on May 1st 2004 (and thus nullify all prospects for a viable conflict-resolution).
c) Created a divisive logic along the logic of the illegal fait accompli of 1974 instead of a logic of unity in accordance to European rule of law.
The opportunities for conflict-resolution created in 2001-2004 when the Republic of Cyprus effectively entered the EU were annihilated owing, once more, to foreign interference, alas, often academically veiled. If we do not reach the correct conclusions out of this unfortunate experience, the only chance left for a peaceful conflict-resolution in Cyprus, that is, “a Constitutional Convention by the Cypriots for the Cypriots”, shall also disappear.
The correct conclusion –and the majority of Cypriots (at least as regards the Greek community) agree with this, even after former President Tassos Papadopoulos was replaced by a new president– is that the spirit and letter of the Anan plan should completely eclipse from the peace process at all levels and instances. Despite the fact that some politicians and some intellectuals who are deeply implicated in supporting the illiberal Anan plan continue to pay lip service for this abortive divisive approach, the logic that incarnated in the plan which was basically drafted by the British diplomat Lord Hanay, is not appropriate for a process leading to a Constitutional Convention or the Constitutional Convention itself.
The abortive Anan plan incorporated all causes of war of modern times:
a) Strategic planning intended to establish full control of an independent state, its people and its resources.
b) Unscrupulous proposals to abolish democracy, human rights, the acquis communautaire, the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and the High Principles of International Law.
c) Imposition of the fait accompli imposed on a sovereign state (by using illegal force and by committing war crimes).
d) Coercive diplomacy to which the United Nations became an accomplice.
e) Transformation of many members of the Academic community into a dependent soft power tool in the service of abusive and unlawful purposes so well exposed in the report “a principled basis for a just and lasting Cyprus settlement in the light of International and European Law” of the international expert panel for a European Solution of the Cyprus Problem”.
In retrospect, and in order not to repeat the same mistakes, one should always have in mind that the Anan plan served two distinctive strategic purposes: a) The perpetuation of Great Britain’s military bases and the acquisition of neo-colonial control over the island’s sea and air resources and b) the often proclaimed of nationalist-chauvinists posture of officials in Ankara that Cyprus is a vital strategic space for Turkey (even if a single Turkish Cypriot was not living there!).
6. The process towards a Constitutional Conference and the danger to be corrupted
The Constitutional Conference is, to my view, the only approach which is appropriately offered as a tool to reform the constitution of the Republic of Cyprus. It is the only approach offered, moreover, to reach a socially defined (by the Cypriot citizens), viable, just and lasting solution of the Cyprus conflict. The Cypriots nowadays are gifted because the dispose the Cyprus Republic, a member of the EU, and it is up to them to claim and fight for the application of European Rule of Law. Everything else concerning transformation of the constitution, new laws and so on, is the prerogative of popular sovereignty
Let’s therefore not allow space for the same huge mistakes to be repeated: As an academic forum, we could help by sticking to the principles or Rule of Law advising the Cypriots that everything else is the prerogative of popular sovereignty. Foreign actors implicated in drafting the so called Anan plan in the name of the SG of the UN –and their colourful political underpinnings in the “academic world”– either consciously or unconsciously worked against a free-independent state in Cyprus. I remind that as it was correctly stated by the organizers when they announced this academic conference,
“failure to respect such principles (outlined in the aforementioned report) is likely not only to prejudice the success of any particular settlement plan by internalising contradictions with international law and thus weakening its sustainability, but also to constitute a destabilising element for the future. The precedent of a political settlement contrary to accepted international and European legal principles may well be resorted to in other dispute situations with serious consequences for the stability of the international order”.
I do hope that the organizers and all others who accepted the invitation to participate respect these principles and that none reproduces the spirit and the letter of past abortive plans that violated them: In order that the process towards a Constitutional Convention is not corrupted a priori, the sole aim of the present academic conference should be to work out criteria fully compatible with International and European Rule of Law.
That is why, some points in the “c2d Working Paper: «On the Way to a Constitutional Convention for Cyprus” should be corrected and be in lined with the “Report: A principled basis for a just and lasting Cyprus settlement in the light of International and European Law”. Simply stated, the “c2d Working Paper” despite the declared commitment to Rule of Law is not fully compatible to it. It introduces concepts contiguous to fait accompli of illegal violence exercised in 1974 first by the Greek junta’s coup d’ etat and then by Turkey when this state invaded the island. As it stands now, the “C2d Working paper”, despite the fact that it mentions rule of law as the basis of our academic discussions, in reality it adopts a separatist logic, and, overall, it directs the constitutional conference towards a non viable confederation founded on internal national boundaries, a kind of state structure to be found nowhere else on earth. The “Scientific Committee for a European Solution of the Cyprus Problem” (Professors Kassimmatis, Ifestos, Perrakis, Giallourides), both as a group and individually, already submitted their reservations as regards this deviation and I do hope that they shall be fully taken into account.
In sum, if this conference has any chances to prove successful it should reject normative postures running against International and European Rule of Law and revert to a logic of peaceful conflict-resolution of the Cyprus question which is fully compatible to the report “a principled basis for a just and lasting Cyprus settlement in the light of International and European Law”. This report drafted and signed by professor Andreas Auer, the principle organize of the present academic conference, and a dozen of other European scholars –including the members of the aforementioned “Greek Scientific committee for a European Solution to the Cyprus problem”– is the sole orientation if the constitutional convention is going to prove successful and the only approach for a final viable solution thereafter.
May I observe that I comprehend, understand and have full sympathy with the “difficulties” of my Turkish friends present here. However, what is important to be understood by our Turkish colleagues present here, is that if we spent this asset by sacrificing rule of law on the altar or illegal and abusive claims of Turkeyand Great Britainwe shall dress academically a non viable approach and we shall be guilty of contributing to a non viable solution likely to lead, once more, to bloodshed.
Let’s therefore –even if this means making some personal sacrifices– be careful and let’s fully commit ourselves by basic academic norms and standards pertinent to our scientific status.
Peace in Cyprus could only be served if we use the principles of Rule of Law as the means to achieve a viable and lasting solution in Cyprus. That is why this academic Conference aiming at working out the process towards a Constitutional Convention is two edged: It could either lead to such a peaceful resolution of the conflict, or, once more, deviate in courses that feed the causes of war.
To be more specific, in accordance to standard academic deontology, not only for those who drafted and signed the report “a principled basis for a just and lasting Cyprus settlement in the light of International and European Law” in 2005, but also for everyone else participating in this academic conference, the high principles of International Rule of Law is the sole normative or ethical basis, to comment or submit ideas for a viable solution of the Cyprus problem (and of the process that leads to a Constitutional Convention).
To put it otherwise either we stick to our academic function and our ethical attachment to Rule of Law or honestly strip off our academic robes and start fighting on political and ideological grounds. If we do this we shall inevitably thereafter start speaking in our personal, national or ideological capacity exposing our views on issues such as the claims to split Turkey in two or three new states, the claims to shift the ownership of Northern Ireland, the claims to return parts of Poland to Germany and so on. However, I suggest, we should not move towards such slippery grounds.
6. Principles and actors involved in the process towards a Constitutional Convention
Let’s end by summing up some additional principles.
Procedure is not a substitute of substance and the process that leads towards a Constitutional Convention is not a politically neutral procedure. To be more specific, neither the process towards the Constitutional Convention nor the Constitutional Conference itself is a nation-building process. Nations are not artificial constructs and the Cyprus Republic is not nationally empty. In Cyprus there are Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots proud of their identity and their culture. This is the ontological and anthropological structure of Cyprus. Inside this sanctuary, in short, we have ontology which is beyond academic and moral judgement. Not without reason, international law presciently provided such a safeguard when the non intervention clause was included in the Charter of the United Nations.
A smashing majority of Cypriots, moreover, rightly and legitimately so think and function as Greeks and Turks and this fact is not, as aforementioned, the cause of conflict in Cyprus (see also a short account in the appendix). Only distorted political thinking could consider Cypriots –or any other people for that matter– as “guinea pigs” in torturous nation-building experimentations. Some radical and chauvinistically designed post-modern writings, nonetheless, aim doing just that. Academics, however, do not dispose normative or ethical basis, as already stressed, to intervene or even judge the anthropological structures and the national feelings of Cypriots, or for that matter, of any other society’s national status. This, as just mentioned, is ontology and a moral sanctuary. Academics should abide by ontology and abstain from judgement as regards civilized people’s and civilized society’s historic formation and distinctiveness of their historical character.
Likewise, it goes without saying, that foreign officials of former colonial powers or hegemonic powers engaged in practices running against the High Principles of International Law –non interference, non violation of internal-external sovereignty of independent states– have no jurisdiction and are not qualified to participate in the forthcoming Constitutional process. They are not qualified, whatsoever, to tell to the citizens of an independent state as to how they should function in their own domestic life. The latter issue, that is, historic identities, qualifies for some additional comments which are further elaborated in the appendix.
Firstly, any presumption that the causes of war in Cyprus have the roots in the nationalist-chauvinist feelings of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots is either based on grossly mistaken a-historic assumptions or is intentionally propagating erroneous perceptions in order to serve unlawful political expediencies (see below and appendix). As regards the specific case of Cyprus, it is unworthy of academic forums not to see straight on the main cause of war which was British divide and rule, Turkey’s interference, and Greece’s coup d’ etat in 1974 by the junta stirred by the United States. The culmination is that the coup d’ etat was followed by the Turkish invasion, that is, a double violation of Rule of Law that lasted more that three decades.
Secondly, the Cyprus Republic is not a future candidate for tutelage, trusteeship or guardianship in the context of the so called guarantees. These are colonial relics that should be rejected by all Cypriots irrespective nationality. They contradict, moreover, Rule of Law. As an academic I would have said exactly the same arguments with regard to all other societies, including Turkey. In fact I tell this daily to my students. All Cypriots should therefore reject forcefully and angrily, any insolence or pretention that stability in a sovereign state depends upon destructing the ontologically founded societal distinctiveness and historic anthropological structures. There is no conflict-resolution through by, inter alia, destructing national feelings, by turning the face away from national symbols, by abandoning national identity, by declining religious beliefs, by giving up one’s language and by spoiling one’s cultural heritage. All Cypriots should keep at bay external interventions and external interferences attempting to attack their culture and anthropological structures. There is abundant historical evidence that the two communities lived in peace, basically until the late 1950s and early 1960s when divide and rule and foreign interference intensified.
The key term for a viable solution the conference should focus on, therefore, is the re-unification of the Republic of Cyprus and its people. To the extend the Republic of Cyprus is a member of the European Union, the form and the content of a just, viable and lasting solution is one way. Designing a Constitutional Conference should take this crucial fact fully into account: Only application of International and European Rule of Law shall re-establish Cypriot internal and external sovereignty and safeguard against future foreign interventions or interferences. As already noted, there is no limit for domestic arrangements which safeguard both democracy and the legitimate interests of all the citizens respecting at the same time their historic and cultural identities.
Like all peoples on earth, Cypriots as well, are not political masochists, that is, they are not willing and they are not able to construct the Political on a monstrous institutional setting in a way that all decisions shall depend upon unanimity along internal vertical national/racial lines. If Cypriots do not understand this relentless truth they should the soonest possible talk for permanent divorce. Such a course, however, does not guarantee peace and it would be utterly unfortunate to follow such a course. There is still time to reunite Cyprus. Our support for the entry into the EU purported, precisely, to provide another, maybe the last, chance. This chance has a name: Full and immediate application of International and European Rule of Law, something we should claim without delay.
“Slaughters”, “killings” and other made up magic stories
The process towards the Constitutional Conference and the Conference itself should be immunized against venomous propaganda which distorts truth. One of the most serious problems impairing peace in Cyprus is confusion owing to propagandistic historical accounts, myths as regards relations between the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots and naïve or simplistic and incorrect accounts about “nationalism” as the cause war. The “issue of nationalism”, in fact, is often used to overshadow the real causes of war, to distort facts and to distract from truth. Truth as regards the Cyprus question is as follows:
First, the two communities lived in peace for many centuries. “Structures of conflict”, in fact, were established in 1959-60 when the colonial power imposed an unworkable “constitution” destined to create conflict and to perpetuate British strategic presence. The Anan plan drafted by Lord Hanay, a distinguish British diplomat, is a repetition of this political crime and, in fact, it was an abortive attempt of coup de grace against all Cypriots. The absolute truth is that British divide and rule practices (ceaselessly since the 1940s) was the main cause of inter communal divisions, conflict and killings.
Second, before and after 1974, almost exclusively, inter-communal conflict is caused by foreign interference and foreign intervention. “Mistakes” committed by Cypriots were of secondary character and only a by byproduct of foreign interventions. Intersubjective knowledge in Cyprus is telling: Like most societies on earth, victimized due to hegemonic antagonisms, Cypriots have always been a peace-loving society. They were never “nationalists” and much more nationalists-chauvinists. To argue the opposite is an outrageous insult. Cypriots were pushed by Britain into a tragic course which shall cease as soon as all foreigners are withdraw from Cyprus and mechanisms are established to prevent interferences.
Third, the main causes of the present division of the Cyprus Republic are, a) divide and rule which politically culminated with the Constitution in 1959 and the Anan plan in 2004, b) the Greek junta’s coup d’ etat and c) the Turkish invasion that followed this coup
Facing out mischievous historical accounts academically veiled, Cypriots themselves could easily establish intersubjective truth as regards killing and murders committed during turbulent phases of foreign intervention. They do not need biased historians to tell them their own history. Without the aid of any academically veiled distorted narration, older Cypriots do Know, for example, that a) Cypriots lived in peace until 1958 and even thereafter, b) “killing” had as starting point the year 1958 due to foreign intervention (see below), c) escalated during 1960-1964 owing, again, to organized foreign intervention and d) climaxed owing to the double invasion in 1974.
Starting a process towards a Constitutional Convention, a project could be initiated in this context whereby Cypriots could establish simple facts. For example, without overlooking the inevitably tragic historical character of some aspects of their conflict, they could establish a simple but factually unshakable true narration which could serve as the basic assumption of their debates: For centuries and until1958 the two communities were co-existing in peace. On the basis of a systematic inter-Cypriot testifying and on the basis of the findings of archives research in a common project, they could establish commonly known facts a) as to who incited conflict and b) as to what were the effects on their owing to these incitements. This shall be their common history, not post-modern and ideologically biased deconstruction of their distinct culture and identity.
Myths and propaganda on “killings” and “slaughtering” should thus be demolished by establishing intersubjective knowledge: Following foreign intervention some hundreds Cypriots, alas, died in a) battles, b) feuds and c) accidents. “Nationalism” has nothing to do with this “killing”. Τo put it simply as already stressed, until 1958 –and despite the fact that the struggle for freedom against the colonial power was carried out by Greek Cypriots claiming self-determination in accordance to the decolonization principle of one man one vote”–, the two communities, continued to cohabitate in peace. In 1958 at Kionelli, 15 young Greeks were murdered. Revenge feelings and calls for vendetta expectably flared-up. Ankara is wholly responsible for this unfortunate start up. Robert Holland provides sufficient evidence that until 1958 London was on the one hand continually manipulating and trapping Greek diplomacy whereas at the same time Ankara –despite standing Treaties excluding all rights– was encouraged by London to interfere in Cypriot affairs. Intensification of Turkish action, however, was running out of (Britain’s) control and in 1958, Ankara attempted a repetition of the events in Constantinople three years earlier. The method was the following: Provocation by attacking Turkish “targets”, which in turn was used as a pretext to execute national cleansing. This is precisely what happened in 1955 events in Constantinople and Turks should study Vryonis, The mechanism of catastrophe, the Turkish pogrom of September 6-7, 1955, and the destruction of the Greek Community of Instanbul. The starting-point of inter-Cypriot strife is thus 1958. The aforementioned mass crime which caused the death of 15 young Greek Cypriots, should be seen in conjunction with the provocative burning of the “Turkish News Bureau” by a friend of Denktash, the personality that later became the leader of the Turkish Community (and whose close attachment to Ankara’s military establishment are well known). What more needs to be said, if one reads the narration by a Turkish Cypriot –an honest individual who was afterwards murdered–, in an editorial written in a Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper following Denktash’s celebrated confession in an interview. Kutlu Adali testimony is as follows:
“Watching the documentary “Cyprus: Britain’s Grim Legacy” on Television I felt ashamed at having heard from the TRNC president Denktash’s own mouth which secret bands and for what purpose the bomb was thrown at the Turkish News Bureau on the night of 7-8 July 1958, just 26 years ago; and I also felt ashamed at having learnt how history was hoodwinked for such a long time. As was also published in YENIDUZEN newspaper, the bomb thrown at the Turkish News Bureau was the work of a very close friend of Denktash! It has now transpired that the aim behind planting of the bomb was to heighten the political tension of the Turkish Cypriots. The reason why I, as a person who has experienced those days, felt ashamed at this disclosure was that after this bomb incident many innocent Turks and Greek Cypriots died, many persons were wounded and crippled and thus for the first time the separation of the Turks and Greek Cypriots by barbed-wires was secured and the non-solution extending to our days was created. The history professor, Dr Fahir Arnaouglou, who came to Cyprus a while ago and visited Denktash wrote in his book “the Cyprus problem” that the bomb in question was thrown at the Turkish news agency by EOKA terrorists! The rebuttal of a historian by Denktash is yet another cause of shame for me. We cannot Know whether or not during the visit Denktash revealed this historic truth to Arnaotoglu, however, we can only read with anguish and shame the bloody incidents created by the bomb incident on the page 452 of Arnaoglu’s work called “the Cyprus problem”».
This shaking and soul-stirring words written by an honest Cypriot, fully explains the causes of so called “slaughters” and the origin of the real instigators. In fact no “slaughter” took place. Certainly one could question the political logic of the civil war that followed –and it is clear that I question this political logic, especially in the light of the established fact that the inciters of the strife were Britain and Turkey– but it is not serious to overlook that the innocent victims were killed mainly in battles and vendetta in an incontrollable turbulent political environment that reached a climax owing to the unworkable character of the constitution imposed by the colonial power.
It could be added that, there are innumerable accounts, especially writings based on the British archives, substantiating divide and rule practices before 1958 but also after independence. Inter alia, important evidence derives from the writings of Martin Packard, former British leader of the tripartite mediating initiative in Cyprus. Commenting revelations in a BBC Radio 4 program about conflicting British roles in Cyprus, Martin Packard explains that British encouragement of the Turkish Cypriots to claim a separate entity goes back in 1931. Later on in 1943, the British encouraged the formation of an organization called KATAK, which later was called VOLKAN and then TMT, encouraging Turkish Cypriots to claim division of Cyprus and “double union”. Interference in domestic affairs was particularly intensive during the period prior to the 1963 inter-communal strife. As Packard notes, British military personnel,
“had been involved in the covert delivery to TMT of weapons, ammunition, training and tactical advice. This process had apparently begun in mid-1963 and has included the facilitating of clandestine deliveries into Cyprus, via the Kokkina-Mansoura coastal strip, of Turkish army materials and personnel.
It follows that, Turkey’s interference and British parallel divide and rule practices, continued after independence. Years later in the “Milliet” (11.6.1995) it was revealed that immediately after the Zurich agreements and until October 1960, Ankara dispatched illegally into Cyprus weapons enough to equip 10.000 soldiers. The vicious circle of battles started in Christmas 1963 and spread throughout the island. It was the inevitable outcome of a) the aforemetioned British divide and rule, b) Turkey’s interference, c) the problematic constitution which for all practical purposes was not functioning and d) the vicious circle of feud and revenge that followed each killing in incontrollable circumstances of intensive foreign interferences.
Internal and external factors intermingled creating a turbulent trap Cypriots couldn’t really escape. Under these circumstances, it is a miracle that so “few” people were killed. Which is exact number, however, and what are the real circumstances people were killed? A rather credible field research was carried out by Richard Patrick. His account discredits the dubious myth of mass “slaughters” on “nationalist” grounds: No surprise, as in all other analogous situations some hundreds died, deaths which as aforementioned occurred during a) battles, b) in feuds and c) in accidents.
To put it otherwise, during this unfortunate civil war initiated by Ankara under Britain’s nose, Greek Cypriots despite bitterness –owing to the fact that the legitimate, according to the Greeks, claim for self-determination was not allowed–, were defending the young Republic of Cyprus. Turkish Cypriots, on the other hand, were pushed around in unfortunate circumstances and came into conflict with their Greek compatriots in a way that neither side’s interests were served.
The two communities, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, were the victims and not the victimizers. The unfortunate Cypriots that died were mostly killed in battles whose imported political logic was, to paraphrase Clausewitz, neither “war as a continuation of politics by other means” nor the “continuation of Cypriot politics”. To argue, as some essays imply, that the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot Communities consist of maniacs and murderers, a position utterly presumptuous, insolent and propagandistic. These presumptuous accusations –shamefully propagated by bearers of academic titles in scientifically shameful essays– serve specific purposes: By fabricating a picture of Cypriots as semi-wild murderers if not barbarians, some intend to serve the purpose of imposing and perpetuating neo-colonial occupancy. The “final solution” attempted by the abortive Anan plan was a permanent tutelage if not a return to slavery. Foreign intervention is the A to Z cause of conflict in Cyprus. Searching for a lasting solution of the Cyprus question, foreign intervention should be dealt with as a priority problem, both at the level of the proposed process towards a Constitutional Convention as well as at the level of historical investigation of truth and reality.
 Since 1983 the undersigning published hundreds of texts along these lines. For a representative essay in English see here.
 In another occasion, I supported that if a viable solution is not agreed, if the Cyprus Republic is abrogated and given that exterminating Greek Cypriots is not a conceivable option for Turkey, the concerns of Turkey could not be satisfied by continuing an aggressive posture and by illegally stationing its army on the island. Its interests are better served if a viable solution is agreed upon and if both Greece and Turkey disengage from Cyprus. In all other cases and especially if experimental institutional structures lead to the abrogation of the Republic of Cyprus, the only logical way for the Greek majority of the island is to revert to the claim for union with Greece. This point should be absolutely clear: The only alternative to a viable solution in Cyprus is to seek security through union with Greece. Ankara and Turkish Cypriots should reflect on this logical inference.
 NB: Quoting Edmund Burke.
 Hans Morgenthau, Politics among nations, The struggle for power and peace, revised by K. Thompson and D. Clinton (McGraw Hill 2005), citations from pages 559-566.
 See especially here ibid.
 Those supporting that there is an acquis of “equality” violating the principle of democracy are mistaken. As it was correctly explained by the GS of the UN –para. 11 report of 3.4.1992 (S/23780), confirmed in SC resolutions beginning with 774 – 1992, 26.8.1992– is not an arithmetic equality of the 82% to the 18% (which is an aberration improper for democratic states). What was said in the past is that a) Changes of the constitution shall be agreed by both communities. b) That both communities should have an adequate participation in all Federal structures. c) Provision of safeguards that no decision could be taken at the Federal level which turn against the two communities. d) Identical functions and jurisdictions. May I add that if anything else is meant it should be abandoned even if the Security Council decides so. According to the Charter of the UN article 2 the SC has no right to define the internal regimes of its member-states. However, this is not the case and we should stick on ideas which secure viability, democracy, security for all, safeguards and institutions that are not unworkable.
 This was precisely the divide and rule heritage of the colonial era along the lines of which the former colonial power designed a state structure doomed to conflict, interference and intervention (see appendix). No surprise that the separatist logic of the colonial era combined with foreign interference led to conflict and bloodshed few years after the Republic of Cyprus was created. The historical evidence proving this strategy of foreign powers is abundant and Cypriots should close their ears to innumerable propagandistic accounts dressed in academic veils. An additional prerequisite to conflict-resolution in Cyprus it is, precisely, to understand the real causes of war and the real sources of mistakes. Foreign powers wishing to perpetuate rights and methods of intervention that serve unlawful strategic footholds, are the only beneficiaries of wrong, distorted and ideologically driven and thus perverse historical accounts that overlook the real causes of war. For example, such macabre hegemonic purposes are served when supposedly academic accounts of the conflict in Cyprus attribute to the peace loving historic communities of Cyprus nationalist-chauvinist intentions. Those are, argue some unhistorical essays, the causes of war. No surprise these essays often end up supporting foreign intervention and eventually abolition of democracy, human rights, popular sovereignty and external-sovereignty. The embodiment of this absurd logic is the Anan plan. Regarding this abortive plan I need not elaborate further because it is abundantly substantiated in our report “A principled basis for a just and lasting Cyprus settlement in the light of International and European Law”.
 The Treaty of the EU is a source of inspiration of such approaches providing for cooperation which do not lead to a stalemate along national or racist lines. See CONSOLIDATED VERSION OF THE TREATY ESTABLISHING THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY. For example, Article 12: non-discrimination on grounds of nationality, which stipulates that: “Within the scope of application of this Treaty, and without prejudice to any special provisions contained therein, any discrimination on grounds of nationality shall be prohibited”. Further on, article 251 defines methods of decision making which could serve as an inspiration for approaches compatible to the principle of rule of law, which exclude impasse and which provide innumerable checks and balances and safeguards against abuse and arbitrary decisions. Even in the EU which hitherto consists of sovereign states, splitting along national or racist criteria is rejected. To put it otherwise, at the federal level, dividing the people of the Cyprus Republic is a self defeating approach to governance contrary to the acquis of the European Union of which Cyprus is full member.
 This is the political rational, precisely, of the supporters of the “accession of the Republic of Cyprus to the EU as a conflict-resolution approach”, when they advocated, at the same time, a credible deterrence strategy against revisionist acts, threats and claims.
 See point 10 of the “Report: A principled basis for a just and lasting Cyprus settlement in the light of International and European Law”, cited above.
 Lord Hanay was the key actor in drafting, promoting and attempting to impose the illiberal Anan plan which aimed at terminating the internal and external sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus, perpetuating the colonial military installations of Great Britain in Cyprus and imposing a tutelage of foreign powers by perpetuating the so called guarantees and by abolishing democracy and popular sovereignty. One could read Lord Hannay’s book, the first ever he wrote by him after the Anan plan was rejected by the Cypriots. More and more books come up floodlighting this dark phase of Cypriot history. For an academic work proper see An International Relations Debacle: The UN Secretar-General’s Mission of Good Offices in Cyprus 1999-2004. By Claire Palley. Oxford, UK and Portland Oregon, USA. Hart Publishing, 2005.
 In academic life, avowal and acknowledging errors is an honourable stand and a precondition of scientific progress, not a humiliation. The process which produced the Anan plan and the events that preceded its rejection provide the basis for self-criticism of the community of scholars in Europe. A precondition of doing this, however, is our attachment to standard academic ethics. Alas, such virtues are more and more scarce in academic circles, whilst illegitimate mobilization to corrupting ideological and political purposes are more and more frequent. It is not without reason that a scholar deeply committed to the highest academic standards and intellectual values, Hedley Bull, noted: «The search for conclusions that can be presented as “solutions” or “practical advise” is a corrupting element in the contemporary study of world politics. Such conclusions are advanced less because there is any solid basis for them than because there is a demand for them which it is profitable to satisfy. Hedley Bull, The Anarchical Society. A study of order in world politics (Macmillan Press Ltd, London 1995), p. 308. (emphasis added). Our purpose here, precisely, is not to search for practical solutions for the way of life of the Cypriots but to establish a process leading to self-determination of the citizens of Cyprus in accordance to International and European Rule of Law. The present academic conference, I stress once more, should strictly stick to identifying this course.
 This is well understood if ones scrutinizes the Anan plan, especially as regards the proposed –in the plan–new status of the military bases and the so called “guarantee” clauses.
 The signing of the Anan plan by the GS of the UN –a plan that contradicts all aspects of IL, UN provisions and international conventions– is the clearest evidence of the dependent character of international institutions. Academics and the citizens of sovereign states should guard against such trends which compromise the (precious) historic mission of international institutions and international law which, properly understood, are designed to serve peace-loving countries against hegemonic-revisionist claims and hegemonic-revisionist postures and acts. Officials of less powerful states, moreover, defending the principles of IL and the provisions of the Chapter of the UN, should always claim full compliance of UN officials with the principles governing International Rule of Law. If this was done during the period 2002-4 when the Republic of Cyprus was already a full member of the EU –and at a time when Turkey was applying for full membership–, the proposals of the UN would have been compatible to these principles and the Cyprus problem would have probably already been settled.
 http://www.aconstitutionalconventionforcyprus.ch/index.php?content=inner&linkid=52&head =A%20principled%20basis%20for%20a%20just%20and%20lasting%20Cyprus%20settlement%20in%20the%20light%20of%20International%20and%20European%20Law&page_id=5
 I have in mind the provisions of the “Turkish National Security Council” directive on (Turkey’s) national security which in some ways is prescribing certain delimitations as regards views which proclaim the withdrawal of the Turkish army from Cyprus and consider advocacy of such a withdrawal as a principally punishable posture.
 “Cyprus is a vital strategic space even if no Turkish Cypriots were living on the island”. Turkish leaders are guilty of stating this unacceptable position many times since the 1950s. An academician should outwardly reject such unlawful anachronistic views on “vital strategic space”.
 Great Britain in 1959, by following a strategy of divide and rule and by imposing a non viable constitution, aimed at perpetuating its strategic presence on the Island. There is no point in denying this fact which today we all know thanks to British archives. Lord Hannay, an otherwise brilliant diplomat, as he publicly accepted, is responsible for drafting the Anan plan which aimed, precisely, at maintaining military bases, relics of the colonial times. I take opportunity to point out that I do believe that if British people and British intellectuals they were fully aware of the utterly neo-colonial character of the Anan plan would had made steps to check their political leaders. It is my honour that I had the opportunity to work with British colleagues of the highest academic qualities in drafting the “report “a principled basis for a just and lasting Cyprus settlement in the light of International and European Law”. For the undersigning, the academic meetings which worked out this unique report which describes comprehensively International and European Rule of Law, were decisive in stabilizing my view that the virtue of academicians should –irrespective one’s ideology, national origin and philosophical confession– be the scientist’s attachment and commitment to objective criteria.
 By saying this, I am aware of the fact that officials in London who are “carriers” of neo-colonial attitudes, would not love this author or anyone agreeing him. This is reflectively a mutual feeling to the extent I do consider the rejection of illiberal hegemonic-colonial attitudes as an appropriate academic stand compatible with the aquis of our political civilization in interstate relations and with standard academic deontology. This stand, moreover, is fully compatible with the spirit and letter of International Law to which all IR analysts –or at least the academicians– should conform.
 During the period 2002-2004 in numerous gatherings organized by notorious financers academics, intellectuals, “young leaders”, “young politicians”, officials of the former colonial power, officials of the USA administration et al met in congregations to reflect (in reality: decide) on the Cypriot’s … identity. As an academic I refused to take part in such ridiculous and shameful gatherings unworthy one’s academic vocation.
 It is not the place to elaborate this crucial issue. Some points shall be made in the last section. Suffice to point here that the struggle for independence was not turned against Turkish Cypriots, despite the fact that British colonialists in the context of their divide and rule policy mislead young Turkish Cypriots conscripted in the special police forces as torturers of the suspected Freedom Fighters. Inter-communal conflict begun when Ankara ordered the “burning of Nicosia” and when, as it was revealed recently, imported illegally over 10000 weapons between 1960 and 1964. During this period, regrettably so, some hundreds of Cypriot citizens were killed in battles, blood feud for revenge and murders by their own people for personal or political reasons. It is an “academic crime” and mere miserable propaganda to equalize these tragic events with the colonialist crimes and the crimes caused by strife generated by foreign intervention. More importantly, historic reality as regards these tragic events is intersubjective knowledge for most Cypriots. Honest non Cypriot academics referring to them should do that with caution and care for historical truth. First and foremost, they should guard against non credible secondary sources – which regrettably so distort historical truth in order to serve propaganda of those intervening in Cyprus (see below).
 Nationalism is often identified with nationalism-chauvinism. This is absurd. As it was correctly supported by Hans Morgenthau (op.cit.), the “privilege” of being (internationalist-) nationalist-chauvinist belongs to hegemonic powers.
 Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots often fought for social justice on common grounds. A celebrated even is Dervis Kavazoglu and his Greek Cypriot friend Costas Michaoulis. They were killed in 1965 by the TMT on their way to Larnaca near the Turkish Cypriot village of Lourougina. This because they’re working against the British and Turkish policy of partition. Source: www.greece.org/cyprus/Taksim2.htm.
 As a student of international relations –beginning with the reading of Thucydides’ masterpiece The Peloponnesian War in which he established a lasting explanation and understanding of the causes of war– I could not possibly overlook the tragic character of some aspects of most international conflicts. Something that one could not overlook, in fact, is that most peripheral conflicts have roots are directly generated by hegemonic antagonism over influence, resources and markets. For a unique book substantiating these historical facts see esp. R. Gilpin, War and Change in World Politics (Cambridge University Press). Also John Mearsheimer, The tragedy of great powers politics (Norton, N.Y. 2001). As regards Cyprus, it was in the nature of international developments of the 1940s and 1950s that the 82% majority claims self-determination on the basis of the legally valid principle “one man one vote”. The assurances of the Greeks when the Freedom struggle started in 1955 were not adequate and certainly did not take into account the dynamics and capabilities of divide and rule practices (see below). I could add that given the state of Greek-Turkish relations during the post-war period, assuring the minority for its rights, its security and its welfare, could not had possibly proved persuasive, credible and effective. Nonetheless, against interpretations of conflict attributing it to “nationalism” there is a fact one could not possibly overlook: As it is stressed elsewhere in this paper, basically, we had inter-communal conflict only after 1958. From 1955 to 1958 and despite the fact that the British colonialists –in the context of their divide and rule practices– were enrolling young Turkish Cypriots as policemen in the auxiliary forces and as torturers of the arrested Freedom fighters, Cypriots did not start killing each other.
 This “story” is not, as yet, widespread in academic analysis. As already argued above, it should be written by the Cypriots themselves and not by ideologically or politically biased, so called, “historians”. For a good academic account establishing facts against the arguments that nationalism is responsible for the strife in Cyprus, see V. Fouskas, Uncomfortable Questions: Cyprus, October 1973-August 1974, Contemporary European History, 14, no 1, 2005.
 There is abundant evidence to do research regarding these fundamental aspects of the conflict. Instead of doing just that ideologically driven or politically directed essays, often academically veiled, oddly and shamefully, as already pointed out, attack the national and cultural feelings of Cypriots as would-be causes of war. Sir Huth Foot, in his book A start in Freedom (Hodder and Stoughton, London 1964), refers to the strategic background of Ankara’s interference. Abundant credible evidence could be also found in Robert Holland’s masterpiece Britain and the revolt in Cyprus 1954-59 (Oxford Univ. Press 1998).
 Turkish Cypriots participating in this conference should not confuse my analysis of the causes of war and of specific historical facts as an expression of “anti-Turkish sentiments” whatsoever. In the same spirit that almost all Greek Cypriots nowadays acknowledge the criminal character of the Greek junta’s coup d’etat, they (the Turks) should likewise acknowledge the tragic character of the 1958 events and the strategy of the interferences thereafter leading to the invasion of 1974, to ethnic cleansing, mass murder and the division of the Cypriot society.
 For the 1955 events see the book Speros Vryonis, The mechanism of catastrophe, the Turkish pogrom of September 6-7, 1955, and the destruction of the Greek Community of Instanbul (N.Y).
 See Ch. Hithchens, “What’ s wrong with partition”, The New Statesman, London, August 21 1987, where he refers to Denktash’s public admission in an interview. In a Turkish Cypriot Press release of 14 July 1984. I reason I refer to Denktash’s privilege relations with the military establishment of Ankara derives from the need to spotlight the fact that Ankara’s interference is complex, complicated and deeply rooted. It certainly has to do with the fact that the claim by Greek Cypriots for self determination facilitated, as aforementioned, British divide and rule (see also below). It also has to do with the fact, already stressed, that in the international and political context of the 1950s a double “self-determination” –though as an idea was excogicated by Britain in the background, see below– was by all means inconceivable. That’s why the EOKA organization tried –though unsuccessfully– to provide assurances to their Turkish Cypriots compatriots.
 Kutlu Adali, “The Bomb incident!”, Turkish Cypriot Press, citing the article published in Turkish Cypriot daily ORTAM, p. 3. See also See Ch. Hithchens, “What’ s wrong with partition”, The New Statesman, London, August 21 1987, where he refers to Denktash’s public admission in an interview and analyses these issues contextually. Adali, the author of the article just cited was murdered!
 Brendan O’Malley and Ian Craig, The Cyprus Conspiracy (I.B. Tauris, London 1999)
 One could point to Britain’s double-faced strategy: On the one hand London attracted thousands of Cypriot soldiers to fight the war against Germany by promising self-determination and in on the other hand they were working in the background to split the island and its society. For the divide and rule practices and the British strategic purposes based on British archives see
 Martin Packard, Friends of Cyprus, Issue No 49, London, Autumn 2006.
 Richard A. Patrick, Political Geography and the Cyprus Conflict: 1963-1971 (Department of Geography, University of Waterloo, 1976).
 Patrick notes that the period from 21 December 1963 to 10 August 1964 was the most violent phase of the Cypriot conflict. Deaths numbered several hundreds. Official records show that 191 Turk-Cypriots were known to have been killed 133 on the Greek side. As Patrick observes Turkish-Cypriot deaths include some who were killed accidentally by other Turk and Greek-Cypriot deaths are probably understated for propaganda reasons. He estimated that overall approximately 350 Turk-Cypriots were killed and about 200 Greek-Cypriots, ibid, see descriptions pp 45-88.
 No doubt, in the momentum created by the struggle for self determination which was not satisfied and in the face of ongoing interferences after 1960 there were many Greek contingency plans (for example Akritas plan). Soon afterwards we had the covert arrival of a division of Greek soldiers. However, it is not the place here to deal with many incoming data which confirms that the arrival of this army intended more to overthrow the president and impose partition of the island in line with American strategic planning and less to succeed union with Greece.
 An important factor was both side’s dissatisfaction with the constitution, the total stalemate of the functioning of the state and the political discontent given Greek plans to reform the constitution, a move strangely enough was encouraged if not motivated by the British. Patrick, op.cit. offers a precise picture when he observes that “by December 1963 both communities were extremely frustrated by the constitutional wrangle, and most Cypriots expected an outbreak of violence to be precipitated by armed extremists of either side. Perhaps there is little to be gained from apportioning blame to one of the communities for starting the fighting” (emphasis added). Altogether, the “constitution” set up by the British in 1959 was non viable, non sufferable and a overall a (British) prescription for conflict. In historical perspective one has to see the effect of all these: Great Britain maintains in Cyprus extensive military instillations which provide the strongest foothold so far for Angloamerican operations in the wider Middle East region. The war against Irak in 2003, for example, would have been possible if British military facilities in Cyprus were not available.