Latest Plan Recalls a Flawed One
UNITED NATIONS, N.Y. — The 100-point United Nations unification proposal for the island of Cyprus, which calls for a federation of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot sides under a weak central authority, appears designed to allow for the greatest autonomy - and for the least interaction - of the two sides.
The arrangement would include separate foreign policies, allowance for Greek and Turkish troops for each side, separate flags, and separate "community-based" votes in the central legislature in Nicosia.
But to many officials, that recalls an earlier plan, drawn up by the British and Swiss after the island's independence from British rule in 1960. Under that plan, efforts to evenly divide political rule of the island proved a disaster.
Greek Cypriots, claiming the island as their own - based on their overwhelming population majority, as well as on the island's historic ties with Greece - rebelled. The fighting that erupted in 1964 led to the arrival of UN monitors.
The tension culminated in a Greece-engineered coup against the Greek-Cypriot leadership in the summer of 1974.
Citing fears for the Turkish Cypriot minority, Turkish troops landed on the island, eventually annexing about 40 percent of the land and leaving some 35,000 troops, who remain there to this day.