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To: Those who want to help solve the Cyprus tragedy
From: Andy and Mike Manatos
Re: A simple way to help Cyprus
A simple emphasis on terminology regarding Cyprus can greatly help. In Washington, D.C. and in America, the winner of the battle of terminology usually wins the war. (see why below)
Having one-out-of-four US Senators and Members recently urge the President to improve Cyprus policy was very helpful, but this effort will be as well.
Please read the one-pager below and help us infuse this terminology into the description of Turkey’s actions on Cyprus. Thank you.
Andy and Mike Manatos
Why terminology wins the war:
Terminology provides a shorthand way of communicating large amounts of information. It is crucial to Senators and Members who have little time to consider the many decisions they must make each day. It is crucial to the numerous Executive branch officials whose job is to implement policy positions that may have been incorrectly categorized.
For Example: Progress was made on Ecumenical Patriarchal problems when we succeeded in having the terminology “religious freedom” used to describe the issue rather than focusing on the numerous acts injuring our mother church. And progress on the Cyprus issue regressed when policymakers’ interest in our updates of Turkish injustices on Cyprus waned once Turkey succeeded in labeling our updates as “Turkey bashing.
The Term “Colonialism” Can Facilitate a Cyprus Settlement
Describing Turkish actions on Cyprus as colonialism can help in many ways. This perspective will crystallize for policymakers that Turkey, as a colonizing power, does not have rights to Cyprus’ sovereign prerogatives or territory, through the Turkish-Cypriot minority. This in turn will expose the inappropriateness of many of Turkey’s proposals blocking settlement.
Even the few who see Turkey’s invasion and occupation of Cyprus as analogous to America’s actions in Iraq or Afghanistan will see Turkey’s colonization of Cyprus as more similar to practices left behind in the 15th through early 20th centuries. Colonization terminology will also force a comparison between the minimal privileges colonizing countries retained after their withdrawal and the Cypriot rights and territory Turkey is demanding to control through the Turkish-Cypriot minority in order to withdraw.
Secret colonization far more accurately describes Turkey’s actions on Cyprus than does Turkey’s claim — that it is there to protect Turkish-Cypriots from Greek-Cypriots. The 17 million recent inter-communal visits without violence and a history of peaceful coexistence for all but 16 of their 400 years together expose Turkey’s rationale as false.
Like past colonial powers, Turkey:
Has secretly infused into Cyprus up to 500,000 colonists from Turkey;
Is making a grab for Cyprus’ natural resources (hydrocarbons);
Expends nearly one billion dollars-a-year maintaining its occupation of Cyprus; and Stations over 40,000 occupying troops on the island.
As well, Turkey’s colonization is demographically altering Cyprus — the only non-Muslim country in Israel’s region. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently pressed Turkish-Cypriots resisting his colonization to have at least four children, saying, “If you don’t want us to send people, you need to have babies.”
This country of only 80,000 Turkish-Cypriots now contains up to 500,000 Turkish colonists. Turkey’s claim to having sent fewer colonists lost validity when Turkey stopped an EU census in the part of this EU country under Turkish occupation. Nearly half of Turkish-Cypriots have fled Cyprus since colonization began. Demonstrations against austerity measures last year saw Turkish-Cypriot banners that read, “Ankara, get your hands off our shores.”
For the good of all, it is time that Turkey’s colonization of Cyprus is fully exposed. And it is time for Turkey to realize what absolutely every other colonizing country realized — colonization is against their national interest.