Opinion: The Sound of Sirens and Failed States

July 20 and August 14, 1974 – mark a day of remembrance and a morbid recollection of Attila’s military invasion of Cyprus. This is the time when the shrieking sound of sirens blasting across the island wake up ghosts and old memories as a reminder not to forget the past. Each year passing, it is also a time to reflect on the present and to consider what’s in store for Cyprus – both uncertain scenarios and most unpredictable.

For the Turks in the occupied area represents a different mood; one of festivities and jubilant parades in the streets jam-packed with thousands of imported nationalist Turks and Grey Wolves waving a sea of red flags in celebration of Turkey’s “victory.” During those celebrations some EU countries, as well as Canada and other state-representatives arrived as guests to view the official parade and commemorate Turkey’s conquest of the Greek island.

Ankara considers the occupation of Cyprus “fait accompli” but for the Greek Cypriots, Turkey’s stranglehold has become a nightmare. An arrogant Sultan Erdogan – especially after his re-election – has gone one step closer to irrationality and his megalomaniac-deranged delusions of grandeur are becoming bolder by the day. His cronies recently have been calling on Greece and other EU states to accept Turkey’s Neo-Ottoman Islamic rule for a “better quality life”.

The other region under Erdogan’s Islamic aspirations it’s Thrace located northeast of Greece and bordering Bulgaria and Turkey. It has a population of 120.000 Muslims and Erdogan has been hinting for years to “liberate” that Turkish minority of Greece.

Ankara in fact has been using the same tactics applied against the Republic of Cyprus to justify its war threats by citing “irreconcilable differences” between Muslims and Christians. He is using the religious hate card and if Greece falls into his trap to “negotiate a Thracian solution” – like it dishonorably did with Macedonia – Thrace could end up becoming Greece’s own “Cyprus Problem” with unpredictable consequences.

Meanwhile, Erdogan has already announced his plans for Cyprus; he will not abandon Turkey’s war trophy to allow its underbelly unprotected. If no radical steps are taken by the Cyprus government but decides to play into Ankara’s whims for a Bi-Zonal, Bi-Communal Federation (BBF), demographics would set the final nail to the coffin for Hellenism in Cyprus.

High Muslim birth rate and the influx of Turkish nationalists will see to that. Brain drain, unemployment and migration will reduce Greek Cypriots of becoming a minority community in their own country – Cyprus would never be the same again.

In the absence of a credible foreign policy, countries have in fact given up on the Cyprus Issue and are no longer troubled by Turkey’s invasion or its control of the occupied area. For them the issue it’s a thing of the past and does not play a significant role on the world stage; it’s irrelevant and a small fry at that.

A number of allies including the EU have already washed their hands from the Cyprus Problem and prefer to ignore and forget the killing of over 10.000 Greek Cypriot men, women and children or those women and young girls being brutally raped as war trophies of conquest by Turkish soldiers pumped up with zombie – induced amphetamines.

The physical and mental scars of those Greek women compounded by the humiliating experience of mass abortions in hospitals may have subsided but certainly not the psychological trauma they had encountered during those dark days of hell. For forty-four years those forgotten women were treated as “collateral damage” and inconsequential victims of war. Shamefully, no government so far has taken up the issue and the matter has been swept under the carpet.

The sound of sirens on August 14, also remind people of a reprehensible act by the Greek military junta, their Cypriot collaborators and the National Guard’s attempt to topple the Makarios government. The short-lived coup d’etat saw Greeks killing other Greeks because of stupidity, brainwashing and hunger for dictatorial power to serve foreign interests – a despicable act of betrayal.

None of those collaborators were ever brought to justice and not a single person has been prosecuted. In fact, the proverbial “Cyprus File” has been kept top-secret and collecting dust ever since. There lacks the political will to reveal the truth or to expose names behind the Cyprus tragedy and the file it’s well hidden away inside dark closets.

Protectionism, non-transparency, cover-ups and political plotting, have become a national trademark for both debt-ridden Greece and Cyprus. The principle of Rule of Law and Justice have being replaced by the ugly signs of apathy, complacency – and for Cyprus – a national betrayal that ultimately triggered Operation Attila’s occupation of the island.

What was it that caused the erosion of a proud Greek nation to become a nation of EU political drones driven by banksters, cultural corruption and bad politics? People may also ask; what kind of leadership does Greece and Cyprus produces nowadays that continues to fail the people once elected into office? Most importantly, what kind of a strange virus eats away nations and reduces them to failed-states?

Serious questions indeed but only in a failed-state can a government justify robbing its own citizen’s bank accounts (EU Troika Bail-in directive) to save a failing corrupt banking system. What the Anastasiades government did on 25 March 2013, was in fact a criminal act on a grand scale by stealing billions of people’s hard-earned cash without asking – that’s what a failed-state is.

The recent inferno and unspeakable tragedy in East Attica on 24 July 2018, is yet another example of a failed-state shaped by a self-serving culture and ideology. Zoning irregularities and corruption was the reason 100 lives perished senselessly and hundreds of homes burnt to the ground as a crude reminder that Greece has been a failed-state for years. Thousands of terrified citizens were trapped in blazing fires without clear access to reach the safety of the beach. Nearly all approaches to the water were blocked by illegal structures; and so, people burned alive while others drowned in the sea – that’s what a failed state is.

In the Republic of Cyprus a similar culture (or virus) exists where zoning abuses have become the norm by those who consider themselves untouchable and above the law. Recently, a government minister (of all people) spoke publicly demanding the relaxation of zoning by-laws to allow the construction of an illegal hotel in Paphos on the claim that: “if the hotel its not allowed to be completed then half of the island has to be demolished.” That says it all.

The specific case sends signals of blatant corruption in high places. The hotel owners were given a permit to build a two-floor hotel but after an appeal, the planners allowed two additional floors and yet, not satisfied, the hotel owners went ahead and constructed – without council approval – a fifth floor in total disrespect of the law. They hoped backhanders would help their predicament.

Shamefully some parliamentarians and local officials campaigned in support of the development demanding that Paphos Town Planning Department should turn a blind eye to deviations from the law. This is the type of culture that destroys nations and produces failed-states.

Regardless of the outcome, a most important principle is at stake here: to respect and apply the law of the land equally to all or to allow oligarchy and unlawfulness rule the day. In any other law-abiding country no such ugly behaviour would be tolerated but would bring in the bulldozers for demolition – but no so in Greece or Cyprus. Why not?

The Mari/Zygi Naval Base tragedy on 11 July 2011, it’s another fine example of a failed-state at its worse; ninety metal cargo containers full with ammunition and explosives en route to Syria were confiscated and had been stored outdoors under the scorching heat of the sun for over two years. Without proper protection, the bloated metal containers self-detonated killing 13 people as well as injuring over 60 others. The calamity nearly brought Cyprus to its knees and yet, no government official resigned; the matter was covered up to protect political party cronyism.

The sounds of sirens are certainly a reminder of dangers but also fore warnings of things to come. They remind people not to repeat the same mistakes of the past but to re-invent themselves into a transparent meritocratic society that can start building a Nation of Leaders instead of a nation of followers.

For this miracle to happen, Hellenism needs to get rid of the monkey off its back – corruption, political party cronyism and EU/Troika punitive taxation that reduces proud nations into failed-states.