47 years have passed since the start of the Turkish Armed Forces’ peacekeeping operation in Cyprus, aimed at protecting the rights of the Turkish community of the island.
The events that paved the way for the operation in Cyprus began in 1959: Turkey, Great Britain, Greece, as well as the Turkish and Greek communities of Cyprus signed the Zurich and London Agreements, which became the precondition for the creation of the Republic of Cyprus.
All three countries (Turkey, Great Britain and Greece) acted as guarantors of this process.
The Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus, created in 1960 in accordance with international treaties and on the basis of partnership between Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, gave the two peoples equal political rights and status.
However, since 1963, armed groups of Greek Cypriots in 1963 began to attack members of the Turkish community of the island. By pressure and force, the Turkish Cypriots were removed from power on the island.
The aim of the Greek community was the annexation of Cyprus to Greece. In 1963-1974, pressure on the Turkish Cypriot community increased.
One of the leaders of the EOKA-B group, Nikos Samson, with the support of the military junta in power in Greece, revolted in Cyprus and overthrew the president of the island, Archbishop Makarios.
Immediately after that, a meeting of the Turkish National Security Council was convened in Ankara. At the end of the meeting, Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit instructed to begin preparations for the landing of troops in Cyprus.
Criticism of the world community regarding the military regime of Cyprus created favorable conditions for further actions by Ankara.
However, other guarantor countries did not support Turkey’s initiative. Nevertheless, Ankara exercised its right of guarantor and, taking into account the issue of ensuring the security of the Turkish Cypriots, on July 20, 1974, began a peacekeeping operation in Cyprus.
The head of the Turkish government, Bulent Ecevit, in his historic speech on the start of the operation, expressed confidence that Turkey’s actions will contribute to achieving peace in Cyprus.
“I hope that armed clashes and bloodshed will be avoided. We sent our troops to the island not for war, but for the sake of peace. Turkey stands for peace not only for the Turkish, but also for the Greek community of Cyprus, ”Ecevit said.
The peacekeeping operation in Cyprus was completed at 17:00 on June 22, 1974 at the call of the UN.
Against the background of the failure of negotiations in Geneva on August 14, the second stage of the operation began. A ceasefire was announced on 16 August. The operation was successfully completed and the safety of the Turkish Cypriots was ensured.
After the operation, the Turkish Cypriots created their own administration.
Immediately after the operation that established the current borders in Cyprus, an autonomous Turkish Cypriot administration was established on October 1, 1974.
On February 13, 1975, the Turkish federal state of Cyprus was proclaimed. Turkish Cypriots at that time already had the experience of strengthening the state structure, creating a Constitution and the transition to a multi-party system.
On November 15, 1983, the parliament of the Turkish federal state of Cyprus unanimously decided to establish the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).
The proclamation of the TRNC was an important turning point: with the help of the phenomenon of the state, the Turkish Cypriots announced to the world their political presence on the island.
The right of the Turkish Cypriots to self-determination was also proclaimed.
In 1968, negotiations began on Cyprus, which were never crowned with success.
In June 1968, in Beirut, the founding president of the TRNC, Rauf Denktash, and the leader of the Greek community of Cyprus, Glafkos Clerides, began negotiations to resolve the Cyprus problem.
Greek Cypriots have always, under various pretexts, rejected steps towards a settlement of the Cyprus problem, including the UN proposals. Or the Greek Cypriots came up with proposals unacceptable to the Turkish side.
Thus, for more than 50 years, the negotiations have not been crowned with success, despite the constructive position of the Turkish Cypriots.
TRNC President Ersin Tatar, elected to the post of head of state in October 2020, supports the Ankara-backed model of “creating two states on the island”, which is based on the principles of sovereign equality, coexistence and cooperation.
The Anadolu Agency’s website publishes in a shortened form . .(HAS).