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Cyprus - The Road to Peace

The two major Cypriot communities, possessed by the Greek and Turkish ‘Motherland Syndrome’, unable to break away from historical ethnic enmity, and fed by the attitude of winning-over-the ‘other’, have engaged in an ongoing conflict  for over fifty years now. What follows, is our philosophy for the Greek Cypriot part of the road to peace. Since our dream for a common Peace Organisation is still politically not possible, we will wait for the Turkish Cypriot members of the Centre to define the road to peace for their own community. 

In conditions of unequal power and military occupation, a Peacebuilding Attitude could be interpreted as a ratification of oppression and capitulation to injustice. This is not the case. A Peacebuilding Attitude is simply the denial of war and the adoption of alternative approaches to defence and conflict resolution.

The adoption of a Peace Culture begins by acknowledging our side’s responsibility to the conflict; forgiveness of the past; substituting the idea of a single ethnic state with that of a multicultural state; and accommodating the rights of the ‘other’ in our proposals for a solution.

Resorting to nationalism and calls for ‘patriotism’, apart from failing to resolve the conflict may, over time, jeopardise the very existence of the Greek Cypriot community on the island. On the contrary, we need to redefine ‘patriotism’ as the defence of the human rights of whoever lives on the island.

The self-deception that “we are okay as we are – us here and them over there”, instead of seriously engaging in negotiating a resolution of the current Cyprus conflict, is a denial of the real danger of losing our existence and common distinctive identity as a Cypriot people.

A policy of Unilateral Disarmament on the Greek Cypriot side will obviously be opposed on grounds of the risks it entails. The question is: Does a policy of defense by a constant build-up of the War Infrastructure pose lower risks?