April 22, 2004

Contrary Greeks

The citizens of Cyprus will be voting day after tomorrow on whether to re-unite the island that has been divided since 1974. Cyprus will be joining the European Union on May 1 either way. However, if the island is not politically reunified, then only the Greek sector will come within the fold of Europe.

A deal was worked out by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. Now it is up to the Cypriots. Ethnically Turkish Northern Cyprus is set to vote "yes" by an overwhelming majority. It is the Greeks in the south who are like to vote "no".

Northern Cyprus has never been recognised by any country other than Turkey. Now that it want to join back with the thrice-larger ethnic Greek majority, the Greeks don't want them. The deal would require the Turkish Cypriot to withdraw from territory to allow 80,000 Greeks back to the homes they abandoned in 1974.

Even though this would benefit the Greeks, they will vote no just to harm the Turks. Otherwise they would be giving Turks a voice in unified Cyprus. I'm not one to generally favour the Turks, but it has to be remembered that Turkey only invaded Cyprus after a coup by Hellenists who were seeking political union with Greece. However, given that Turks gave the Greeks such a raw deal in removing them from Anatolia in the 1920s, the Greeks never want to miss a chance to return the favour.

Posted by david at April 22, 2004 04:31 PM | TrackBack