Vanishing Cyprus Series: “Refugee Exploitation”



           Guest writer:  Andreas C. Chrysafis

Andreas C. Chrysafis was born in Cyprus and lived in the UK and Canada for most of his life. He’s a published author but today, he devotes his entire time in producing works of art.

Refugee Exploitation…

In accordance to the UN, “a refugee is a person who has been forced to leave their home and seek refuge and protection elsewhere due to persecution, acts of external aggression, occupation, and domination by foreign powers”. During such a process, uncalled for violence against innocent persons is the result of an ugly human trait. This inhumane behavior can be eliminated by humans but unfortunately, not enough effort has been put in motion to stop recurring war atrocities from happening.

Without a doubt, refugees are the most affected by these brutalities. Vulnerable and terrified, victims who no longer control their own destiny, develop a dependency on charity workers and officials in which they often become easy targets for exploitation; be it in the hands of enforcement officials, citizens of the host country, and even United Nations peacekeepers. Instances of human rights violation, child labour, mental trauma and sexual exploitation especially of children are not entirely unheard of.

On July 20, 1974, the nation of Cyprus shared the bitter experience of such an aggression of terror – the mighty military invasion of the Turkish army. As the 43.000 troops advanced forward, atrocities became part of their duty. With brains pumped up on amphetamines, soldiers captured civilians, tortured, killed and buried them in mass graves, while others raped young girls and women, but not before stamping the red Turkish flag on their breasts and private parts; just like branding cattle!  Yet, the world remained idle: a classic case of sheer indifference by civilized nations!

Sadly, after 37 years of military occupation the tragedy continues with no end in sight. Years from now, the invasion will most probably turn into a bad memory and fade away into history books – an effective and well-recognized policy that always seems to work for Turkey! Adolf Hitler, on August 22, 1939 cited Turkey’s tactics on exterminating 1.5 million Armenians by saying: “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?” Equally, one can ask: who after all, speaks today of Turkey’s expulsion and ethnic cleansing of the Greeks in Asia Minor…or Constantinople… or Smyrna? And, who after all, shall speak tomorrow of Kerynia, Morphou, Vasoshia, Karpasia and Rizokarpaso whose fate is about to be sealed by the present government who has entered into negotiations to hand over another trophy to Turkish aggression?

Wedged between dogmatic political parties and foreign influences, the hapless refugees are trapped right in the middle of a political chess game. Unfortunately for them, they have failed to organize themselves into one powerful lobby to demand their rights: – at the time, they represented nearly half the population of Cyprus!  They had “vote-power”, a precious democratic political commodity, but did not recognize its power; instead, they put their trust in the government! That was mistake then and continues to be so today. They should have been in the centre of the negotiating team from the very start and not to be sidelined by politicians. If so, they could have used their precious “refugee-veto” to ensure that no temporary petty-politician signs away their properties and homes for political expediency. No-one and not even the government has the legitimacy or the mandate to do that!

Covered in a cloud of darkness and secrecy, the ongoing negotiations attempting to create a two-component state solution, based on a Bi-Zonal, Bi-Communal Federation (Partition) will certainly guarantee the abandonment of human rights for thousands of refugees. Without transparency or public approval, the president makes irrational concessions and a string of bad decisions affecting the nation. He simply does not have what it takes to make an effective leader or a commanding opponent to Turkey’s cunning diplomacy and negotiating skills. Meanwhile, the refugees are in a limbo…

In response to the government’s mishandling of a raft of issues, thousands of people are now out in the streets each night rebelling and calling for the president’s resignation including his entire cabinet. Such vociferous demand clearly shows how angry people have become with the status quo. Historically, this has never happened before in Cyprus.

Yet, the president (the ex-communist/socialist AKEL leader) who has lost the confidence of the electorate believes that, it’s his god-given right to “negotiate” the Cyprus issue. A weak leader – and a shunned one at that – should not be permitted to face his adversary under such conditions and to pretend that he speaks for all the people. The United Nations on the other hand, have had enough and finally introduced a shotgun clause (a form of political blackmail) on the table: if no agreement is reached by October of this year, the UN may wash its hands of the entire issue. This will certainly provide a bright green light for Turkey’s next strategic political move.

With the United Nations out of the way and no longer an obstacle, the floodgates will be flung wide open for Turkey’s “final solution” to the Cyprus problem! That is: the official recognition of an independent Turkish-Cypriot State, or alternatively, Turkey’s annexation of the entire occupied area. The United Nations, America, Britain and the European Union most likely will puff and huff, but will do nothing to stop Turkey.

As for the Greek Cypriot refugees, their destiny has been sealed a long time ago and it is naïve to believe otherwise; no matter what happens to the negotiations, most will not return back to their homes! Regrettably, Cyprus does not have statesmen with a clear vision to protect and lead the nation forward.

Ultimately, the island shall remain divided and the process of Islamization shall begin systematically. There are already over 350.000 Anatolian settlers living in the occupied area. Ankara’s plan for Cyprus is to flood the northern part with more than one million settlers. As for the Turkish Cypriots, settlers have already overwhelmed their community at the cost of losing their own identity. Ultimately, the treasured demographic character of the island shall disappear forever.

A solution between the two parties is desperately needed now, because time is running out in favour of Turkeys’ long-term geopolitical plans of the area. Ankara is anxious to put its plan in force by next year and has announced that “Plan B” – whatever that means, but certainly cannot be good – will be put in motion by January…

However, if an agreement is signed that does not allow for the return of all refugees back to their ancestral homes, no-one can anticipate the consequences of such a makeshift solution. The social consequence of this happening is unimaginable!

Have the refugees in Cyprus been exploited? Absolutely, and in more ways than one!

Author of:

WHO SHALL GOVERN CYPRUS – Brussels or Nicosia? -Political analysis

ANDARTES – a revolutionary
riveting novel

PORPHYRA in PURPLE – a
metaphysical spellbinding novel

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Other published articles can be found on Google
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3 COMMENTS

  1. Turks are foreign invaders known worldwide for systemic genocide.  Eventually the US will no longer need them and the upcoming major powers of India, China and Russia certainly have no love of the turk.

  2. why cant we all come together now and fight for what our parents and grand parents worked all their lives for????