Letter: Cyprus conflict

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The Independent Culture
Sir: You say that "After 25 years, there is little hope for Cyprus" (leading article, 20 July). Perhaps, however, you might consider the views of the distinguished Greek administrator and historian Alexander Pallis who, writing in the 1930s about the Greek invasion of Turkey in 1919 and the exchange of populations which followed Mustafa Kemal's victory in 1922, took a much less politically correct but perhaps more realistic view:

"For a hundred years, the Balkan Peninsula and the countries round the Aegean had been convulsed by the struggles of rival nationalities which, during the course of centuries, had been implanted there by successive invasions, in an inextricable mixture of races.

"The exchange of populations, by re-grouping the various nationalities within the frontiers of the states to which they racially belonged, has undoubtedly contributed, to no small degree, to the final elimination of what had been the principal cause of friction and conflict in the Balkans. After the exchange ... the old Eastern Question, as it presented itself during the course of the break-up of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires, finally disappears."

The eastern Mediterranean does not need post-colonial, guilt-ridden British inputs on multi-culturalism and multi-ethnicity.

And Cyprus, just like Greece and Turkey, is now at peace - thanks to being divided on mono-ethnic lines.


London W1