CYPRUS, the IRELAND of the MEDITERRANEAN? – VisualPolitik EN

CYPRUS, the IRELAND of the MEDITERRANEAN? – VisualPolitik EN


If I talk about a European island that’s
divided in two, a former British colony where you drive on the left and whose economy has
grown substantially in recent years, what country would you think about? I’m sure many would say… Ireland! Right? Well…sorry we won’t be looking at the
country of Guinness, the Harlings and green leprechauns this time. There’s another island, which isn’t talked
about much, that also fits that description. Dear friends of VisualPolitik, in this video
we’re going to talk about Cyprus, a Mediterranean island that is much hotter than Ireland but
which is also a territory split in two. You see, this story isn’t that well-known.On
the island of Cyprus we can find two … different states: The Republic of Cyprus and the self-proclaimed
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is only recognized as a sovereign country
by Turkey. So, while the southern part is fully integrated
within the European Union, the northern part only interacts with Turkey’s political and
commercial networks. So, as you can imagine, both sides have huge
political and economic differences. Now, surely many of you may be wondering… But how did this small Mediterranean island
become divided? What is the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus? We’ll answer these and many other questions
in this video. So… Listen up. (CYPRUS, A CASUALTY OF THE GREAT EMPIRE) This isn’t a unique case. In many of the colonies of the former British
Empire, decolonization brought a lot of ethnic and territorial problems. This case is just another example. Cyprus was granted to the United Kingdom as
a protectorate following an agreement with the Ottoman Empire, at the end of the 19th
century. It was given control of the island in gratitude
for the support the British had given to the Ottomans in their war against Russia. However, it wasn’t until the beginning of
World War I, in 1914, that the United Kingdom formally declared Cyprus a colony. Now, how was this colonial territory? How did it end? How did it affect Cypriot history? Well… the truth is that the colonization
of Cyprus wasn’t plain sailing. You see, many Cypriots, especially those of
Greek ethnicity, utterly rejected colonial rule, and now that they had been freed from
the Ottoman Empire, they wanted to annex the island to Greece, something known as Enosis. And as you can imagine, the Cypriots of Turkish
origin didn’t like this idea much, as they didn’t identify with Greece at all. We’re talking about a confrontation that
fueled several revolts, which in some cases had to be stifled by British forces. Now, the biggest problem, the final confrontation
happened after they gained independence in 1960. The confrontation for power between the Greek
community and the Turkish community escalated to such a point that just three years after
independence, in 1963, violence broke out. This situation led Turkey to threaten military
intervention in order to protect Turkish Cypriots. Finally, the United States managed to defuse
the situation, but the battle had just begun. After years of intermittent instability and
tense calm, finally in 1974, a controlled coup d’etat from Athens overthrew Archbishop
Makarios III’s government and triggered, just five days later, Turkey’s invasion
of Northern Cyprus. And so, that’s how a division was drawn
which continues to this day, and which was formally recognised in 1983 with the unilateral
creation of the State of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, a country of just 300,000
inhabitants, which is only recognized by Turkey and that 36 years after its independence doesn’t
even have a national anthem. It also explains why, in the capital city
of this island, Nicosia, we can find a Berlin-style wall that divides the city in two. But… Would you like to know how Cyprus handles
this national division today, and what remains of the past tensions? What would we find if we went to Nicosia,
Cyprus’s capital right now? Well… Listen up… (NICOSIA, EUROPE’S LAST DIVIDED CAPITAL?) Walking through some areas of Nicosia today
is the closest thing to walking through old divided Berlin. In many streets, especially those of the old
walled city, you can see barriers, fences and walls made with barrels filled with concrete. It’s the separation between the Greek Cypriot
and the Turkish Cypriot Nicosia. A separation that has a completely abandoned
demilitarized strip that is controlled by the UN, known as the Green Line. (MAP) This line extends from end to end across the
island, and is a Korean-style demilitarized zone, with a maximum width of 7 kilometers,
and which accounts for 3% of the island’s entire territory. But it’s in the capital, Nicosia, where
the Green Line is most apparent. It is there that the worst clashes between
both communities took place during the second half of the 20th century. To give you an idea, in the capital, time
seems to have stopped along the strip. And as a testament of that convulsive past,
you can see, for example, the former airport. A facility that was completely abandoned in
1974 – yes, since the coup and the subsequent Turkish invasion. Now the only function of this airport is to
serve as a backdrop when a few tourists decide to pose for pictures in the old waiting rooms
and in front of the corroded sixties-style check-in desks, which seem to have been leftover
from an apocalyptic movie. Of course, for those who love dark tourism,
it’s a “must see”, because you can get some impressive images from that place. And that’s not all. In the old workshops and car dealerships of
the Green Line in Nicosia, you can see old imported and abandoned models that nobody
has touched since 1974. There are also bars, restaurants and abandoned
houses where you can still see old bottles of Coca-Cola on the table and gunshot blasts
on the facades. But, we aren’t just talking about an abandoned
strip of land. Even though the tensions have remained dormant
in recent years, the issue goes much deeper. Allow me to explain, despite being in the
Mediterranean, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is one of the most isolated places
on earth. It hasn’t been recognized by any countries
and has been internationally sanctioned for the past four decades. From an international point of view, its only
access is Turkey, its inhabitants lack their own passport and, any establishment with international
brands and franchises is prohibited. (AUDIO: “At all levels, economically, socially
and politically, it’s as if we didn’t exist. […] We live in a country where regular contact
with the rest of the world is severely compromised.” Ozdil Nami, special Turkish Cypriot representative
in the negotiations for resolving the Cyprus dispute) In fact, it wasn’t until 2003, when some
restrictions were relieved, that the green line was crossed for the first time in more
than 30 years. Now, at this point, the question that crops
up is… What can be done to resolve this? Could this division end soon? Well… If you look at the history, it seems hard. Even with the help of the Secretary General
of the United Nations who is determined to achieve reunification. António Guterres has set himself the challenge
of achieving an agreement to reunify Cyprus under a bi-communal and bi-zonal federal system. And to do so, 2020 could either be a turning
point or just another year on the already long list of Cyprus’s diplomatic failures. For now, the UN has set itself the objective
of resuming negotiations in mid-2020. (AUDIO: UN hails ‘frank’ Cyprus talks, vows
to seek peace effort restart – Al Jazeera) However, in recent years a new player has
emerged, further complicating the issue. Listen up. (REUNIFICATION, AN IMPOSSIBLE ROAD?) When anything breaks, putting it back together
is very complicated. And, of course, if we’re talking about countries,
it can be an almost impossible mission. That’s exactly what’s happening in Cyprus. You see, even though the tensions between
both communities have greatly decreased, there are still difficult barriers to overcome. What will happen to the Turkish troops, considering
that Turkish Cypriots basically depend on them? How will the issue of the properties seized
from Greek Cypriot owners be resolved? How will both communities be politically organized
so that one isn’t under the other’s control? How will the territory be distributed? What will happen with social policy? Will the south finance the development of
services and infrastructure in the much poorer north? And with all these questions comes a new geostrategic
problem, one that threatens to kill these negotiations and which has a lot to do with
something we’ve already talked about here on this channel. Cyprus is currently involved at a commercial
and economic turning point that Turkey doesn’t approve of. And even though the Turkish Republic of Northern
Cyprus is, in theory, an independent country, the truth is that Turkey rules Northern Cyprus’
interests by aligning them with theirs, especially when it comes to international politics. After all, it’s the only country that recognizes
this republic, while also maintaining more than 30,000 soldiers deployed on the island. The fact is that it’s here that we face
a new obstacle, in the shape of a long, thick tube located under the sea. We’re talking about the EastMed gas pipeline. The EastMed is a pipeline whose construction
could begin very soon, which will allow Israel to export natural gas directly to Europe by
2025. Israel… and Cyprus, which has also begun
to exploit its gas reserves at sea. And, as we’ve already discussed in a previous
video, Israel has managed to boost its gas production, achieving very significant production
figures. In fact, just a short time ago, on January
2nd, 2020, they took a giant step regarding this project. (AUDIO: Leaders From Israel, Cyprus, Greece
Sign EastMed Gas Pipe Deal – Bloomberg) Now, the question is, why could this be a
problem when it comes to conversations about Cypriot reunification? Well, because this clashes directly with the
geostrategic and economic interests of Turkey, which is where the gas pipeline that currently
conducts exported gas from the Middle East to Europe flows. This situation gives Turkey the power to control
the passage of a vital supply to a continent that hasn’t been very friendly to the Turkish
regime in recent years. You can imagine how this goes, right? Well, if we add to this mix the fact that
it’s Israel, ISRAEL, who would benefit the most from this project, then things get even
more complicated. Because, lately Turkey and Israel are getting
on worse than Batman and the Joker. So, if reunification was already a challenge,
this new confrontation between Turkey and the Republic of Cyprus only looks to make
it much more complicated. Anyway, this is how things stand in Cyprus
today. But now it’s your turn: Did you know about
the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus? Do you think these two states should reunify
or should they maintain their independence? Leave your answer in the comments. So I really hope you enjoyed this video, please
hit like if you did, and don’t forget to subscribe to see brand new videos. Don’t forget to check out our friends at
the Reconsider Media Podcast – they provided the vocals in this episode that were not mine. Also, this channel is possible because of
Patreon, and our patrons on that platform. Please consider joining them and supporting
our mission of providing independent political coverage. And as always, I’ll see you in the next
video.

100 thoughts on “CYPRUS, the IRELAND of the MEDITERRANEAN? – VisualPolitik EN

  1. the current problem is that the Cypriots want an independent, factional and European Republic when Turkey wants to have rights on this state, military bases, and the political power to block future Cypriot political decisions demanding veto power over all political decisions for the TurkCypriot Community which is 20% of Cyprus population.
    Nowadays citizens on both sides of the occupation Line follow a European way of life, a civilised way, they don't give a damn for the old crisis and fake dilemma.

  2. So the turks genocide and colonize all their neighbors and now I'm supposed to shed a tear because they were almost kicked off an island they didn't belong in?

  3. How could you miss the Annan reunification plan referandum which is accepted by the Turks (65%) and rejected by the Greeks (75%) in 2004?

  4. Just split an annexx the island into greece and turkey. That's literally what everyone on the island wants, to be a part of their real country. Turkey and greece can handle a land border like every other country in the world already does.

  5. I'm not so fond 0f those weird X's and lines that pop up during the footage of The Green Line (6:00). Very distracting and not cool at all. Am I alone?
    Thanks for the video though of course.

  6. Why would anyone want to unify 2 fundamentally different peoples who agree on nothing, hate each other and have been at war for 30 years. It's like unifying the United States and Mexico but way worse. Two state solution is clearly the way to go.

  7. One of the biggest IPTV piracy sites was based there until a coupe of years ago. Great place to stay under the radar. Interpol busted them eventually sadly.

  8. Why would the greeks cypriots ever want to join Northern Cyprus? They are more numberous, richer and do not share their culture. Only the turkish cypriots would ever really benefit from reunification as an independant state.

  9. Either both entities should unify and enter NATO, making the British sovereign bases irrelevant, or each half should be annexed to their respective ethnic mother country.

  10. I like how the video goes by Turkey's side of the story.
    The coup the US cooked up, in order for turkey to have an excuse to invade.
    Funny how the first appointed prime minister of northern cyprus publicly thanked the US for "all their help".
    The turkish minority was so small and being slowly incorporated in the island's overall culture, naturally.

    Not to mention that over the years turkey has been financially incentivizing migration from mainland turkey to the occupied part of cyprus.
    I cant even imagine being one of the people who lost their home and lands, which now are owned by some tresspasser.

    Turkey's ideals have always been about expanding. You can even see this by all their current laughable territorial/economic claims, which disregard any international law and treatie that doesnt suit them.

    At least back then with cyprus they tried to justify their misdeeds, while lately they're like "i know i'm wrong, so sue me! haha"
    All while affected countries like cyprus, syria, greece, libya, the kurds, and the UN just go "tsk tsk, bad turkey! this was not right!" …for the millionth time.

    Sadly, the republic of cyprus has nothign to gain from a re-unification.
    Since they stand on their own, while "northern cyprus" is a branch of Turkey.

  11. A bi-communal solution is not going to work – see Israel/Palestine. The better solution is to focus on what was originally lacking…a cohesive Cypriot identity. Make English the official language of government and education to breech the language barrier (see Canada's bilingual problems). This would also set them up for international business as English is far more widespread than Greek or Turkish. Create a unity flag and other national symbols, spread the gas proceeds across the country, and require a year of national service from the youth to bring people together.

    The government should be made up of a bicameral house with equal representation in one and population based in another (like the U.S.). Use first-past-the-post elections to make forming a government faster and less corrupt. The final point to creating a cohesive Cypriot identity could even include forming a constitutional monarchy to build up the idea that Cyprus will not be subject to Turkey or Greece. A monarch is duty bound to represent all their subjects and is able to rise above squabbling which promotes the idea of citizenship above party politics.

    Both sides would probably hate it a little bit, but the it would have the best chances of ending the divisions within a generation or two.

  12. Thank you for covering this. I am from Cyprus and I must say that the dispute in Cyprus is very underreported, though it provides a great example of the clash of great powers interests (NATO and USSR for instance wanting control over it during the Cold War) and also how resources can be an asset or liability as they can shape foreign policy in sometime detrimental ways. Great work, keep it up!

  13. I don't know enough about the issue and what happens doesn't affect me directly, but if you were looking for my opinion, here it is. What's really the point in merging the two parts? Let them have their own systems and governing styles. I would say the same about Scotland and England. In most of these cases, one of the two simply ends up being a burden on the other. I'm always in favour of ending the dispute as if nothing happened whenever a stalemate is reached.

  14. Yes, I have been very aware of the Turkish Republic Of Northern Cyprus since a friend from college was from there. Your reporting forgot to cover a couple of genocides that occurred there. They also did not include that it was a military dictatorship from Greece that prompted the invasion to protect the Turkish Cypriots. However, I am glad you reported on this because the key to resolution is for the world to know about the situation.

  15. In this video it felt like Simon was forced to make this video. i didn't see any enthusiasm in the video, even a few important details and genocides were skipped.. I guess Simon doesnt like cyprus much

  16. I don’t know if you’ve covered this but why is Turkey in NATO? They don’t seem to be much of an Ally to the US or Greece.

  17. i say let the north continue to stew in their own poo. You shit your pants , now you have to sit in it. actions have consequences.

  18. Nice video! It would be nice a video for the current aggressive actions of Turkey because not many people knows them except maybe Greeks, Cypriots Greeks and Turks. Actually one of the main reason of these actions is EastMed. And that even leads to the current Libyan civil war how turkey affects it.

  19. Nice video. You missed only 200.000 displaced and more than 2000 missing persons as a result of the invading and occupying Turkish troops.
    You should rename your channel "one sided visualpolitik"
    Should have unsubscribed long ago. Bye it was an awful ride

  20. Turkey is the virus in the region, wants to expand "barbaric kingdom" to Europe. Cyprus is first step in plan. Europe is flooded with refugees – A soft aggression. By the time EU realises, it's well under refugee rulers.

  21. Been to TRNC for holidays. So funny that an eu flight can not go directly there, not allowed. Has to stop in turkey and make a “domestic” second flight.

  22. Only one side of the story. Why did you not mention Ulta-nationalists' mass killings of Turkish civilians?
    Imagine IRA killing mass English families in Ireland. Wouldn't it be unexpected for the English government to save their people's lives?

  23. All bla bla, in the end cyrprus is a natural aircraft carrier and military base in the middle of Mediterranean…noone, not the Turks,not the greeks nor the brits will let such valuable asset go.

  24. How can you not talk about neither Annan Plan which was the closest point of reunification and how EU destroyed any future reunification by accepting Cyprus to the union.

  25. I'm half British and half Greek-Cypriot and a long term fan of your videos on toptenz net and Biographics and here too. I thoroughly enjoy your videos and find them very informative and you have done very good research on this topic and explain it very well. You just need to work on your pronunciation though. Many thanks for talking about my country and giving others a chance to learn about this important issue which has sadly been overlooked.

  26. I never understood the point of unifying two countries that clearly don’t want to be together. Forcing them to be one would cause way more problems than they already have.

  27. Yes I knew about it. Read about it in school in 1980s in a project on NATO, the emphasis being how Greece and Turkey, both Nato members came to war over Cyprus.

  28. Dear Simon, some misinformations may be in this video, we have to mention about turkish genocide in 1968 -1974 by greek ENOSIS movement. Also for reunited United Nations Annan plans referendum so greek cypriots said NO; turkish cypritos said YES. Turkey always keen on compromise for Cyprus all time however greeks have always some issues and make trouble for EU and UN.
    This video includes that just regular british opinion.

  29. Keep them independent from each other. International interests rise around fossil fuels exports. Don't make old matters become new matters expanded to other territories and start a new world war 3.

  30. Best way to end this dispute is to permanently partition the island into two and merge the south with Greece and the north with turkey there by ending Cyprus as a nation.. it's better for both

  31. Im Greek Cypriot, alright overview but wish you could include more about what greek cypriots have done to turkish cypriots. Statistics of how many greek cypriots to turkish cypriot ratio and probably more

  32. Well presented and said. Didnt expect our tiny Island to be deputed here. Its an honor..)))
    We messed up big time here and blame everyone else except ourselves. Typical Cypriot behavior….our own ignorance, arrogance and pseudo pride allowed the smartest to play us like a fiddle and dance to the rhythm.

  33. I only learnt yesterday that Cyprus is a Commonwealth country! Not that it helps in any way, but….. well, it's interesting :).

  34. Really interesting and well-done video! It is an enduring and, at the same time, very topical issue due to the current gas dispute between the two countries, with potentially international spill-over effects. On this point, please watch "Cyprus-Turkey Gas Dispute: is arbitration the solution?" https://youtu.be/yOfwEN0MEdk
    Coincidentally, just uploaded today

  35. It's not the turks island, they have done enough to the greeks already. They have a massive homeland that can easily take 300k people. No sympathy

  36. The turkish troops and family should get the f*ck out of Cyprus ! It's a Cristian country , they nothing to do with it !
    who they invaded the island they kick the greek Cypriots and the maronite Cypriots out of their home

  37. Reality, without Western bias, is quite a tad different. Like Greece, the days of destructive tourism by British tour charters and out of control young people, is coming to an end in Cyprus.

    Cyprus is expected to be a key hub for infrastructure connecting Africa, Middle East and Asia via Cyprus and Turkey to Europe.

    Climate change and rising sea levels will turn people's fortunes upside down.

    Saudi Arabia and Egypt are very eager to show the world they are very much part of the global stage. There are plans for the Egypt high-speed rail network and Saudi Arabia's own network to connect to Europe via Israel, across Cyprus then to Turkey, either via Istanbul or via a proposed Another Istanbul at Sarkoy, to reach Europe.

  38. How ironic everywere were the british left their colonies ethnic clashes always seems to explode,i don,t think that it is a coincidence at all.

  39. You mean Isreal is making the situation worse?? Well that's never happened in history of Isreal before….right?….right???

  40. I'm greek cypriot and my answer has evolved over the years. I was a strong supporter for a federal solution but then I realized "my people" in the south were not serious and just fooling turkish cypriots and the entire world, using various gimmicks in peace talks because they did not want real political equality. My hope in the near future is that both north and south can first enjoy equal status, and after that, let's see if they can or want to join together. I hope they can and want, because the world is getting competitive and together we are stronger. As for EastMed pipeline, I think people and countries supporting it are disingenuous because it's economically not viable but is also meant to go against Turkey (because they decided turks are enemies). So, yes, it's complicated but it's time to bring equality back to the island.

  41. Definitely stay independent ! The north is fantastic wit all the best beaches and very friendly 🇬🇧🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿👍

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