[Marxism] Cyprus: Are Greeks the only player to blame?

Michael Karadjis mkaradjis at theplanet.net.au
Sun Mar 21 16:53:52 MST 2004

It is certainly a healthy development if Turkish leftists are understanding
these things that Mine Doyran is talking about here, but unfortunately they
seem already to be well ahead of the Greek and Greek Cypriot left. There
have always been certain grouplets on the far left that understood the role
of Greek nationalism in creating the Cyprus catastrophe, but this has always
been overwhelmingly buried behind the veneer that Turkish expansionism was
far more to blame. This view is intensified both by the repressive nature of
most of the US-backed Turkish regimes, and by the fact that since 1974 it
has been Turkey rather than Greece that has maintained an occupation of part
of the island.

The Greek left could of course always attribute fairly equal  blame for the
events in 1974, because it was a CIA-backed military dictatorship in Greece
that launched the coup in Cyprus in 1974 to overthrow the Makarios regime
and bring to power right-wing Greek nationalists, precipitating the Turkish
invasion which could then claim to be defending the Turkish Cypriots from
these pogromists. However, where the Greek and Greek Cypriot left go all
wobbly is in recognising that the makarios government itself, in 1963-64,
had also been responsible for bloody atacks on Tuurkish Cypriot communities.
Certainly the regime was preferable to its right-wing opponents, but its
responsibility was grave - after all, iit was in 1963-64 that much of  the
forced separation of the two communities, consolidated in 1974, began.

Of course the Turkish-nationalist TMT played iits own role in this, and it
is clear from the beginning of the struggle against the British in the 1950s
that both greece and Turkey were backing respectiive right-wing nationalist
forces in the island, but as the majority community with far greater
economic power than the Turkish Cypriots, the Greek-Cypriot right,  but also
the more 'Centriist', left-backed, Makarios regime, must take primary

Michael Karadjis
----- Original Message -----
From: "Mine Doyran" <mine.doyran at verizon.net>
To: "A-List" <a-list at lists.econ.utah.edu>; "Marxmail"
<marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>
Sent: Sunday, March 21, 2004 2:44 PM
Subject: [Marxism] Cyprus: Are Greeks the only player to blame?

> An interesting article on the background of the Cyprus conflict. Clarifies
> some of the issues behind the Turkish intervention in 1974 and how the CIA
> supported it (TMT, underground Turkish resistence organization). The
> also poses (albeit unintentionally) a lot of difficulties for the Turkish
> national question. Some Turkish leftists, who are subconsciously inspired
> Kemalist/nationalist/mainstream/social democratic analysis of Cyprus,
> explain Turkish intervention in terms of a response to a military coup
> plotted by Greece. While this is not totally undeniable, the Turkish view
> leaves out chauvanism and conservative politics on the Turkish side (and
> it was "also" plotted by imperial powers). Of course, an objective
> of both sides requires putting aside your nationalist prejudism behind!!
> Although this article takes a Turkish Cypriot point of view, albeit from a
> progressive side, it is useful to see how colonial  powers organized
> chauvanism on the Island (so greeks were not the "only" player to blame).
> http://www.bianet.org/2004/03/01_eng/index_eng.htm
> A contra-guerrilla organization called the Private War Bureau, hence the
> CIA, played a role in the establishment of TMT (underground Turkish
> resistance organization)
> Till when?
> Till the CIA wanted to organize the Turkish Cypriot community.
> It has also been revealed that the CIA knew about and supported Turkey's
> Peace Operation in 1974.
> Years later, when Bulent Ecevit became the prime minister of Turkey again,
> he revealed at a program he attended on a private television, that the
> contra-guerrilla organization, Private War Bureau, was directed by the CIA
> with the budget of the prime ministry; and that its members were composed
> retired military companions and nationalists. Did Ecevit say something
> "Because I was concerned about my life, I could not find the courage to
> complete the investigation when I was the prime minister." (We have to
> the tape again to find out what the exact and complete sentence was.) He
> must have been warned not to "stir things up."
> The leader, who made us, the youth of the 50s, and the people, protest
> against colonialism, was Dr. Fazil Kucuk. I was one of the people who
> from Girne Kapisi to Sarayonu Dikilitas on January 27-28, 1958 in protest
> the British administration and threw the tear gas bombs back to the
> soldiers.
> ******************************************************
> Mine A. Doyran
> Doctoral Candidate
> Department of Political Science
> Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy
> University at Albany, S.U.N.Y.
> 135 Western Avenue, Milne Hall
> Albany, NY 12222
> mine.doyran at verizon.net
> ******************************************************
> "They always say that time changes things, but you actually
>  have to change them yourself." -- Andy Warhol
> ******************************************************
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