Wednesday, 30 April 2014

‘Partition or Death’

Above is a Pathe News clip showing a Turkish Cypriot demonstration in London in 1958 demanding the partition of Cyprus. The crowd of Turks is motivated by slogans such as ‘Cyprus is Turkish and will remain so’; ‘Partition Now’; ‘We don’t mind all or half but no less’; ‘If forced, Turkey will step in’; ‘Partition or Death’; ‘Partition our last sacrifice’; ‘We want what we like’; ‘26 million Turks are backing us’; ‘Give the Turks their due’; and ‘Cyprus has never been Greek’.

It’s worth drawing attention to this film because it exposes the myth that the Turkish minority in Cyprus was a passive community, with no political will or agenda of its own, which was targeted by Greek Cypriots and their obsessive push to unite the island with Greece. In fact, as previously demonstrated, the depredations Cyprus has endured are not rooted in Greek Cypriot nationalism but in Turkey’s long-term policy of partition, fervently and violently pursued by Turkish Cypriots. In this scenario, the invasion of Cyprus in 1974 was not a reaction to urgent circumstances – the coup to overthrow Makarios or any peril the Turkish Cypriots were in – but the predetermined means by which Turkey had decided it was going to fulfil its steadfast aim of dividing Cyprus. ‘If forced, Turkey will step in’, the demonstrators assert, two years before Cypriot independence, five years before the Turkish Cypriots claim they were forced out of the Republic of Cyprus and 16 years before Turkey did, finally, feel itself ready and found the opportunity, to step in.

*The film has no sound.


Hermes said...

It is good to see someone has pointed out the West's hypocrisy on annexation and sovereignty when comparing Cyprus and Crimea.

John Akritas said...

It is rare nowadays to find commentators on the left referring to Turkey's invasion of Cyprus. The Labour Party over here used to be quite strong on the issue – but Blairite geopolitics that foresaw a large role for Turkey in the new world order and reluctance to criticise a Muslim power for fear that this might appear to be racist or Islamophobic has changed this.

New Left Review is where Christopher Hitchens used to publish his articles on Cyprus in the 1970s and which Perry Anderson – who's written superbly on Cyprus and Turkey – used to be editor of.

Hermes said...

Interesting discussion from the Modern Greek Studies Association on the execution of two Greek Cypriots by the British. You can follow it on two separate threads

John Akritas said...

What a thoroughly ignorant and arrogant git this Allen bloke is.