AFR0005

Written evidence submitted by Prof. Marios L. Evriviades[1] and Dr Klearchos A. Kyriakides[2]

 

 

Summary

 

  1. In our capacity as academics affiliated to the higher education sector of the Republic of Cyprus, we have composed this Written Evidence in response to the Call for Evidence issued on 24 April 2023 by the House of Commons Defence Committee (hereafter ‘the Committee’).  The Call of Evidence is in connection with the Armed Forces Readiness Inquiry (‘the Inquiry’).[3]    Our Written Evidence draws upon research conducted by each of us individually as well as jointly. 

 

  1. At the outset, we emphasise that our views are personal.  Accordingly, they must not be interpreted as being those of our respective universities or any other bodies with which we have – or have had – ties.  We also emphasise that any criticism we direct towards the United Kingdom (‘UK’), the UK Parliament and the UK Government is not directed towards any past or present personnel in the UK’s armed forces. 

 

  1. In its Call for Evidence, the Committee invites responses to five questions.  This Written Evidence addresses only the first of these five namely the following (which we have highlighted in bold): ‘Are the armed forces sufficiently capable, resourced and ready to protect the UK and our allies?’  In the light of this question, this Written Evidence raises a number of concerns – and poses a number of related questions – about three issues, which we invite the Committee to fold into the scope of the Inquiry.

 

  1. To borrow the phraseology of the Committee, the first issue is whether the UK’s armed forces are ‘sufficiently capable, resourced and ready to protect’ the UK Overseas Territories including the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia (‘SBAs’), two remnants of the British Crown Colony of Cyprus which jointly constitute one UK Overseas Territory over which UK has continued to assert sovereignty since 16 August 1960.  That was the date when the Republic of Cyprus was established on 97 per cent of the territory of the Crown Colony of Cyprus, pursuant to what the second of the above named authors of this Written Evidence – a London-born dual citizen of the UK and the Republic of Cyprus – has depicted as the ‘camouflaged partition’ of the Island of Cyprus.[4]  (See Image 1.)

 

  1. The second issue is whether the UK’s armed forces, including British Forces Cyprus, are ‘sufficiently capable, resourced and ready to protect’ the Republic of Cyprus, a Member State of the UN, the Commonwealth, the Council of Europe and the European Union (‘EU’) but not the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (‘NATO’).  The issue is connected to the fact that the UK Government considers the Republic of Cyprus to be a ‘partner’, but not an ‘ally’, and the beneficiary of a UK undertaking to ‘recognise and guarantee the independence, territorial integrity and security of the Republic of Cyprus.’ 

 

A map of cyprus with black text

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Image 1: This map effectively portrays the ‘camouflaged partition’ of the Island of Cyprus, as effected on 16 August 1960 when the UK retained sovereignty over two portions of the Crown Colony of Cyprus stretching across 3 per cent of the Island and the Republic of Cyprus was established in the remaining 97 per cent.  Source of Image: US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/cyprus  (accessed on 10 February 2021).

 

  1. The third issue is whether the UK’s armed forces, including British Forces Cyprus, are ‘sufficiently capable, resourced and ready to protect’ themselves, the SBAs and the Republic of Cyprus in the face of an array of existing as well as emerging threats presented by Turkey, the occupying power in the north of the Republic of Cyprus (as per Image 2), a Member State of NATO and, supposedly, an ‘ally’ of the UK.  This Written Evidence pays particular attention to three of these threats:

 

6.1             one threat arises from the potentially toxic ‘dust’ and other sources of poor air quality which, from time to time, adversely affect the Republic of Cyprus and SBAs after emanating from Turkey or elsewhere (as depicted in Image 4 and Image 5);

 

6.2             a second threat emerges from the Russian-built Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant on the southern coast of Turkey (as displayed in Image 6);

 

6.3             a third threat stems from the seemingly irredentist, neo-colonial and hostile Turkish Governmental outlook which falsely portrays all of the Republic of Cyprus and both of the SBAs as forming integral parts of Turkey (as illustrated by Image 7 and Image 8).

 

The issue of whether the UK’s armed forces are ‘sufficiently capable, resourced and ready to protect’ the SBAs

 

 

UK's relationship with its overseas territories - House of Lords Library

 

Image 2: The UK Overseas TerritoriesSource of Image: ‘Figure 1 in Eren Waitzman, ‘In focus: UK’s relationship with its overseas territories’, House of Lords Library, 18 May 2023, UK Parliament website, https://lordslibrary.parliament.uk/uks-relationship-with-its-overseas-territories/ (accessed 2 June 2023).

 

  1. In common with other UK Overseas Territories (See Image 2), the SBAs are not considered to be part of the UK although they have been described as ‘part of the Realm’.[5]  Nor are the SBAs considered to be ‘allies’ of the UK.  Accordingly, by asking whether the UK’s armed forces are ‘sufficiently capable, resourced and ready to protect the UK and our allies’, the Committee has implicitly failed to ask whether the UK’s forces are ‘sufficiently capable, resourced and ready to protect’ the UK Overseas Territories, including the SBAs.  This is a grave omission.  It sends the wrong message to any state or any non-state actor which may wish to threaten, attack or otherwise harm any of the UK Overseas Territories, including the SBAs.  The message is that, in the eyes of the UK Parliament, the UK Overseas Territories are not given as high a priority as ‘the UK and our allies’.

 

  1. We remind the Committee that only two Member States of the Commonwealth are simultaneously Member States of NATO – Canada and the UK.  In 1960, the Republic of Cyprus came within a whisker of applying to join NATO, but it did not do so for reasons outlined by one of the authors of this Written Evidence in an academic article.[6]

 

  1. We also remind the Committee that, after Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister of the UK on 4 May 1979 and, even more so, after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan on 24 December 1979, the UK Government was so pre-occupied with the Kremlin and, conversely, NATO that it allowed the impression to be created that the UK Dependent Territories (as UK Overseas Territories were then known) and the Member States of the Commonwealth outside NATO were of less importance than the UK and its allies within NATO.  What followed the creation of this impression were two invasions with profound implications for the UK.  One was the Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands, a UK Dependent Territory, on 2 April 1982.  The second was the US invasion of Grenada, a Member State of the Commonwealth, on 25 October 1983.  Even though the UK launched a successful military campaign to oust Argentine occupation forces from the Falkland Islands, that operation resulted in the loss of many lives, including those of 237 British service personnel.[7]

 

  1. By way of evidence, we refer to the Falkland Islands Review, which was completed by a Committee of Privy Counsellors under the chairmanship of Lord Franks before being presented to the UK Parliament in January 1983.  In its analysis of the pre-invasion period, the Falkland Islands Review comments that ‘Argentina’s growing military power coincided with an increasing concentration on the part of the United Kingdom on its NATO role and the progressive restriction of its other defence commitments.’  The same Review also points to ‘signals that could be read by Argentina as evidence of diminishing British interest in protecting its sovereignty in the [South Atlantic] area.’[8]

 

  1. An obvious lesson of this history is that the UK Government should not be so pre-occupied with the Kremlin, with an invasion for which the Kremlin is responsible or with NATO that the UK Government downplays or overlooks actual or potential threats emanating from within or outside the Kremlin but with actual or potential implications for the UK’s Overseas Territories or for the Member States of the Commonwealth which are outside NATO. 

 

The symbiotic relationship between the SBAs and the Republic of Cyprus

 

  1. Just as the SBAs are not part of the UK, they are not part of the Republic of Cyprus.  However, since 16 August 1960, the SBAs have largely enjoyed a symbiotic relationship with the Republic while arguably reflecting an ongoing failure, on the part of the UK, to decolonise the whole of the Island of Cyprus.  In turn, that failure arguably constitutes an ongoing check on the ability of the people of the Republic to exercise self-determination.  More to the point, for the purposes of this Written Evidence, the SBAs have been – and remain – inextricably linked to British defence policy as well as British Forces Cyprus, the British military infrastructures at Akrotiri and Episkopi in the Akrotiri SBA, the British military infrastructures at Dhekelia and Ayios Nikolaos in the Dhekelia SBA and, outside the SBAs, the remaining Retained Sites, Installations, Training Areas, Range Areas and other strategic interests of the UK situated on the sovereign territory of the Republic of Cyprus.[9] 

 

  1. In the light of the preceding analysis, we hereby reiterate our concern that the SBAs and the other UK Overseas Territories appear to have been excluded from the scope of the Inquiry.  In response to this concern, we invite the Committee to investigate the following questions. 

 

13.1         Are the UK’s armed forces ‘sufficiently capable, resourced and ready to protect’ every UK Overseas Territory, including the SBAs, from any imminent or actual armed attack or any other type of threat?  If not, why not and what should be done to address this matter? 

 

13.2         Are the UK’s armed forces, including British Forces Cyprus, ‘sufficiently capable, resourced and ready to protect’ each one of the remaining Retained Sites, Installations, Training Areas, Range Areas and other strategic interests of the UK which are situated outside the SBAs but within the sovereign territory of the Republic of Cyprus?  If not, why not and what should be done to address this matter? 

 

The issue of whether the UK’s armed forces are ‘sufficiently capable, resourced and ready to protect’ the Republic of Cyprus  

 

  1. By asking whether the UK’s armed forces are ‘sufficiently capable, resourced and ready to protect the UK and our allies’, the Committee has implicitly failed to ask whether the UK’s armed forces are ‘sufficiently capable, resourced and ready to protect’ the Republic of Cyprus, which the UK Government views as a ‘partner’, but not as an ‘ally’, and as a Member State of the Commonwealth which is outside NATO but nonetheless subject to an undertaking granted by the UK to ‘recognise and guarantee the independence, territorial integrity and security of the Republic of Cyprus.’  This is another grave omission which sends the wrong message to any state or non-state actor which may wish to threaten, attack or otherwise harm the Republic of Cyprus.  The message is that the UK Parliament is not giving enough attention to the UK’s role as a ‘Guarantor Power’ of the Republic of Cyprus.  Nor is the UK Parliament adequately acknowledging the special status of the Republic of Cyprus in support of the UK, the SBAs and the UK’s armed forces, including British Forces Cyprus.

 

  1. The special status of the Republic of Cyprus has come into view in support of several UK military operations or UK-backed US-led operations.  A classic historical example is provided by the role of both the Seaport and the Airport at Larnaca – in the sovereign territory of the Republic of Cyprus – in support of the US-led but UK-backed deployment of forces to Lebanon from 1982 until 1984.[10]  A more recent example was provided in the Spring of 2023 when the Republic of Cyprus and its national infrastructure were instrumental in support of the major British military operation which evacuated British and other citizens from Sudan. 

 

  1. On 26 April 2023, the British High Commissioner to the Republic of Cyprus, Irfan Siddiq, wrote on Twitter that ‘Support from the Republic of Cyprus Government for the evacuation of Brits from Sudan has been exceptional. Fantastic testament to the strength of the UK-Cyprus relationship.’[11]

 

  1. On 30 April 2023, the British High Commission to the Republic of Cyprus posted a message which disclosed that: ‘The British High Commissioner was at Larnaca Airport again today, thanking staff on the ground for their efforts in the operation to evacuate UKNs [UK Nationals] and others from #Sudan and speaking to evacuees boarding flights to the UK.’  Accompanying the message was a video of British High Commissioner Siddiq, who spoke of this ‘fantastic operation to bring life-saving support to British nationals and others who are trapped in a terrible situation in Sudan’.  Then, after paying tribute to the British personnel involved, High Commissioner Siddiq expressed ‘a huge thank you to the Republic of Cyprus authorities who have provided a platform here for us at Larnaca Airport [where High Commissioner Siddiq was standing] to make this possible.’[12]

 

  1. On 2 May 2023, Andrew Mitchell MP, the Minister of State in the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, responded to a question put to him by Jeremy Corbyn MP by confirming that as ‘at 5 o’clock this morning, 2,187 people had been evacuated by the RAF from Wadi Saeedna and 154 from Port Sudan [in Sudan]. That total of 2,341 people arrived in Larnaca, and 1,858 are confirmed as back in the UK.’[13]

 

  1. To put the number of ‘2,341 people’ into context, it suffices to point out that on 15 May 2023, by which time the operation had ended, Ben Wallace MP, the UK’s Defence Secretary, not only reported on ‘the success of the wider Government effort to evacuate British passport holders and other eligible persons from Sudan’ but he also clarified that: ‘A range of UK military assets and capabilities were deployed in our response, resulting in the evacuation of more than 2,400 people – the longest and largest evacuation of any western nation from Sudan.’[14]  In other words, almost all if not all ‘British passport holders and other eligible persons’ were evacuated from Sudan to Larnaca Airport in the Republic of Cyprus.  This is but one of many reasons why the Republic of Cyprus is so much more than a mere ‘partner’ of the UK.

 

  1. Despite all this, there is plenty of evidence to support the proposition that, in the eyes of the UK Government, the Republic of Cyprus is considered to be a ‘partner’, but not an ally, of the UK.  To quote from the official transcript of a lecture delivered on 28 April 2011 by David Lidington MP, the Minister for Europe in the UK Government: ‘Cyprus is an important partner for the UK both in the EU and the Commonwealth: alongside Malta we are the only countries that are members of both of these organisations.’[15]  Since Brexit, Malta and the Republic of Cyprus have remained as the only sovereign states in both the EU and the Commonwealth.  However, whereas the UK is a ‘Guarantor Power’ of the Republic of Cyprus, the UK does not perform any equivalent role in relation to Malta.  Nor does Malta co-exist with any British SBAs. 

 

  1. A more recent post-Brexit example is provided by the bilateral ‘Memorandum of understanding … establishing a strategic cooperation’, as published on 15 November 2022.  Under the heading ‘New arrangements’ (spelt in bold in the original), this proclaims that: ‘This memorandum establishes a joint framework to guide and enhance our bilateral partnership and strengthen our international co-operation over the coming years.’[16]  An even more recent post-Brexit example is the message posted on Twitter by Leo Docherty MP, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Europe) in the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office following his meeting with the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Cyprus on 10 May 2023.  ‘The UK and Cyprus are close friends and partners in the Commonwealth.  Looking forward to working together and growing our collaboration …’.[17] 

 

  1. In all three of the texts quoted above, the Republic of Cyprus is not described as an ‘ally’ of the UK.  By contrast, despite Australia not being a Member State of NATO, the UK Government has repeatedly described it as an ‘ally’.  For example, in a speech devoted to Australia and the UK, which he delivered on 24 January 2014, William Hague MP, the Foreign & Commonwealth Secretary, proclaimed that ‘Our countries are strategic and global allies’ and ‘Our membership of the Commonwealth means that we are not just allies, we are also family.’[18]  More recently, on 14 March 2023, Alex Chalk KC MP, the UK’s Minister for Defence Procurement, made a statement about the AUKUS [Australia-UK-US] defence partnership’ in which he categorically stated that: ‘For the UK, AUKUS represents an historic opportunity for a deep, enduring and mutually beneficial partnership with two of our closest allies ….’.[19] 

 

  1. Australia and the Republic of Cyprus are both in the Commonwealth but outside NATO.  Why, then, has the UK Government characterised Australia as an ‘ally’ but the Republic of Cyprus as a mere ‘partner’?  Is this a surreptitious formula which enables the UK to seek to avoid defending or otherwise protecting the Republic of Cyprus?  Or is there another explanation?  We invite the Committee to find out. 

 

  1. In the meantime, we hereby underline our concern that the Republic of Cyprus has ostensibly been excluded from the scope of the Inquiry which throws the spotlight onto ‘the UK and our allies’, but not ‘partners’ of the UK, such as the Republic of Cyprus.  With that in mind, we respectfully invite the Committee to clarify and address a related question.  Has this exclusion been made by the Committee intentionally or unintentionally?  If it has been made intentionally, what were the underlying motives?  Irrespective of the answers, we call upon the Committee to ensure that the Republic of Cyprus is swept into the compass of the Inquiry. 

 

  1. One reason is that, on at least one occasion, the Republic of Cyprus has been portrayed as an ‘ally’ by British Forces Cyprus and the Sovereign Base Areas Administration, both of which have daily dealings with the Republic within a neo-colonial but largely amicable bilateral framework.  This was demonstrated on 2 April 2020, as the Covid-19 pandemic was unfolding.  The official Twitter account for British Forces Cyprus and the SBAs posted a ‘A message to our ally, partner and friend The Republic of #Cyprus from [Major General Rob Thomson] SBA Administrator and Commander British Forces Cyprus.’[20]  At an exceptionally difficult time, this honest choice of words reflected a largely unspoken reality.  However, it was out of line with the phraseology normally used by Ministers of the Crown who have traditionally described the Republic of Cyprus as a ‘partner’ and sometimes as a ‘friend’ but not as an ‘ally’.  

 

  1. A second reason arises from the legal and moral obligations of the UK dating back to 16 August 1960 when the UK become a party to two of the three neo-colonial Treaties signed in Nicosia on 16 August 1960 and effectively imposed on the Republic of Cyprus as non-negotiable pre-conditions of a limited form of independence – the Treaty Concerning the Establishment of the Republic of Cyprus (‘the Treaty of Establishment’)[21] and the Treaty of Guarantee (‘the Treaty of Guarantee’);[22] the third Treaty, which the UK did not sign, is the Treaty of Alliance (‘the Treaty of Alliance’).[23]

 

  1. For the purposes of this Written Evidence, we reproduce below one Article of the Treaty of Establishment and two Articles of the Treaty of Guarantee.

 

  1. Under Article 3 of the Treaty of Establishment: ‘The Republic of Cyprus, Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom undertake to consult and co-operate in the common defence of Cyprus.’ 

 

  1. Under Article II of the Treaty of Guarantee:

 

‘Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom, taking note of the undertakings to the Republic of Cyprus set out in Article I of the present Treaty, recognise and guarantee the independence, territorial integrity and security of the Republic of Cyprus, and also the state of affairs established by the Basic Articles of its Constitution.

 

‘Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom likewise undertake to prohibit, so far as concerns them, any activity aimed at promoting, directly or indirectly, either union of Cyprus with any other State or partition of the Island.’

 

  1. Article II of the Treaty of Guarantee must be read in the light of other provisions in the same Treaty.  These include Article IV under which the UK issued an undertaking (in the first paragraph) and reserved a right (in the second paragraph):

 

‘In the event of a breach of the provisions of the present Treaty, Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom undertake to consult together with respect to the representations or measures necessary to ensure observance of those provisions.

 

‘In so far as common or concerted action may not prove possible, each of the three guaranteeing Powers reserves the right to take action with the sole aim of re-establishing the state of affairs created by the present Treaty.’

 

  1. Since 16 August 1960, the relationship between the UK and the Republic of Cyprus has been supplemented by other treaties, agreements and texts.  Mention has already been made of the ‘Memorandum of understanding … establishing a strategic cooperation’, as published on 15 November 2022.  Another relatively recent example is the Agreement on the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community.  One its three Protocols is the Protocol relating to the Sovereign Base Areas of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Cyprus.[24]  All of which reinforces our thesis that the Republic of Cyprus is so much more than a mere ‘partner’ of the UK.

 

‘We are a Guarantor Power’

 

  1. All three of the neo-colonial Treaties signed in Nicosia on 16 August 1960 are controversial, to put it mildly.[25]  Perhaps the most controversial of all is the Treaty of Guarantee.  Indeed, an array of question marks hover above it, one of which is whether it will be formally retained or rescinded as part of any future ‘settlement’ of the so-called ‘Cyprus Problem’.  It is not the purpose of this Written Evidence to explain why each Treaty is controversial.  What matters, for present purposes, is that Ministers of the Crown have created the impression that, as far as they are concerned, the Treaty of Guarantee remains binding and that the UK retains its status as a ‘Guarantor Power’, this being the term normally used by Ministers of the Crown despite the Treaty of Guarantee embracing the term ‘guaranteeing Power’.

 

  1. For example, on 27 October 2016, Baroness Goldie, a solicitor by profession and the Government Whip in the House of Lords for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for Exiting the European Union and the Ministry of Defence, asserted: ‘While no agreement exists [to settle the so-called ‘Cyprus problem’], the guarantor powers system remains.’ 

 

  1. In a Written Answer, dated 5 June 2018, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, a Minister of State in the then Foreign & Commonwealth Office, affirmed: ‘The Government considers the Treaty of Guarantee to be binding on all its signatories.’  In an implicit reference to the first paragraph of Article II of the Treaty of Guarantee, this Minister of the Crown added: ‘The UK’s principal responsibility under the Treaty of Guarantee is to recognise and guarantee the independence, territorial integrity and security of the Republic of Cyprus.’[26]

 

  1. More recently, while in Nicosia on 4 February 2021, Dominic Raab MP, another solicitor by profession and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Secretary, claimed that ‘[t]he UK-Cyprus relationship is strong’ with ‘a lot of history, a lot of water under the bridge’, ‘shared values’, ‘shared legal systems’, ‘joint membership of the Commonwealth’, ‘a very big web of people-to-people relations’, ‘great partnerships’ and ‘a network of personal relations’.  Foreign Secretary Raab went on to proclaim that ‘we are a Guarantor Power.’[27]

 

  1. In the light of the treaty provisions and grand Ministerial utterances quoted above, we make three points with implications for the UK’s armed forces.

 

  1. Firstly, despite the post-1960 status of the UK as a ‘Guarantor Power’, which has undertaken to ‘recognise and guarantee the independence, territorial integrity and security of the Republic of Cyprus’, the UK Government abjectly failed to authorise any military action in defence of that Member State of the Commonwealth and its de jure Government after each of three cataclysmic events which arose during the Summer of 1974 – the coup d’état staged in Nicosia on 15 July by the then Junta governing Greece, the invasion launched by Turkey on 20 July in purported response to the coup and the second Turkish invasion launched by Turkey on 14 August, three weeks or so after the cease-fire declared on 22 July and the downfall of the coupist regime in Nicosia and the junta in Athens on 23 and 24 July respectively.

 

  1. Operating in tandem the US,[28] the UK thereby enabled Turkey to occupy and ethnically cleanse 36 per cent of the territory and as much as 57 per cent of the coastline of the Republic of Cyprus, i.e., the occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus, the latter being the term expressly woven into UN Security Council Resolution 550 (1984).[29]  In the years after 1974, the occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus has been arbitrarily transformed into a de facto Turkified, Islamised, colonised and militarised extension of the Turkish mainland.[30]  Since the Erdogan regime came to power in 2003, this process has accelerated.[31]

 

 

A picture containing map, text

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Image 3: A map effectively portraying both the ‘camouflaged partition’ of the Island of Cyprus, as effected on 16 August 1960, and the de facto partition of the Republic of Cyprus, as effected upon the cease-fire declared on 16 August 1974, following the two Turkish invasions of 20 July and 14 August 1974.  Source of image: Sovereign Base Areas Administration website, archived on 3 January 2018, National Archives of the UK website, Kew Gardens, Surrey,
https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20180103163958/https://www.sbaadministration.org/index.php/maps (accessed 19 June 2021).

 

  1. Secondly, the abject failings of the UK during the Summer of 1974 were products of the policy pursued by Harold Wilson, the Prime Minister, James Callaghan, the Foreign & Commonwealth Secretary, Roy Mason, the Defence Secretary, and other Ministers of the Crown in the UK Government.  These Ministers intentionally or recklessly failed to authorise the UK’s armed forces to spring to the defence of the Republic of Cyprus – either in honour of the undertaking to ‘recognise and guarantee the independence, territorial integrity and security of the Republic of Cyprus’ (as per Article II of the Treaty of Guarantee) or pursuant to ‘the right to take action with the sole aim of re-establishing the state of affairs created by the present Treaty’ (as per the second paragraph of Article IV of the Treaty of Guarantee).  

 

  1. In his book providing a history of the Royal Marines published in 2000, Major-General Julian Thompson (Retired) implies that after what he depicts as ‘the Turkish invasion on 20 July 1974’[32] the UK’s armed forces were capable of confronting the invading armed forces of Turkey.  Indeed, Major-General Thompson expressly discloses ‘those who were present in 40 Commando [Royal Marines], and others including the CO [i.e., the Commanding Officer] of the 1st Battalion The Royal Scots, have expressed the view that they could have stopped the Turks dead in their tracks well short of Nicosia had they been allowed to.’[33]  However, consistent with UK Government policy, the UK’s armed forces were not ‘allowed’ to confront the invading Turkish armed forces and thereby defend the Republic of Cyprus.

 

  1. Thirdly, it is remarkable that in successive defence and security reviews published since 2010, the UK Government has failed to make any express mention of either the status of the UK as a ‘Guarantor Power’ or the implications of this status for the UK’s armed forces, including British Forces Cyprus.  We cite three examples.

 

  1. Securing Britain in an Age of Uncertainty: The Strategic Defence and Security Review was published in October 2010, during the Premiership of David Cameron.[34]  It makes no mention whatsoever of the Republic of Cyprus, let alone the obligations of the UK towards it.  By contrast, it does mention the SBAs, but only in one paragraph, which we reproduce in full below:

 

Overseas bases

 

‘We will maintain our network of permanent joint operating bases, including: in Gibraltar; in the Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus; British Forces South Atlantic Islands, based on the Falkland Islands and Ascension Island and maintaining a regular presence in South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands; and on Diego Garcia in British Indian Ocean Territory. These bases give us and in some cases our allies wide geographical reach and logistic support hubs for deployed forces. They will continue to be central to our ability to deploy military force around the world and respond to changing strategic circumstances.’[35]

 

  1. Global Britain in a competitive age: The Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy was published in March 2021 during the Premiership of Boris Johnson.[36]  While this includes a somewhat veiled but unmistakable commitment to defending the SBAs,[37] it makes no equivalent commitment to defending the Republic of Cyprus, the latter of which is noticeable by its omission from Global Britain in a competitive age.  In a similar vein, whereas this text describes ‘[t]he UK’s independent nuclear deterrent’ as a means of ‘helping to guarantee our security and that of our Allies’ and as something which ‘remains essential in order to guarantee our security and that of our Allies’,[38]  the same text omits any mention of the UK’s undertaking to guarantee the security of the Republic of Cyprus.

 

  1. Integrated Review Refresh 2023: Responding to a more contested and volatile world was published in March 2023, during the Premiership of Rishi Sunak MP.[39]  Therein, there is no express mention of the SBAs.  Nevertheless, there is one passing reference to ‘Cyprus’.  Under the heading ‘Revitalising the UK’s ties in Europe since Brexit’, a ‘non-exhaustive’ list of bilateral agreements appears, including two with Cyprus listed as ‘MoU on Strategic Cooperation’ and ‘Information-Sharing Agreement’.  On the same page, only the western half of the Island of Cyprus appears within the accompanying map of Europe.  The map omits the eastern half, which includes the SBA, over which the UK asserts sovereignty.[40]  This visual image sums up what appears to be the half-hearted approach of the UK towards the Republic of Cyprus, the status of the UK as a ‘Guarantor Power ’and the protection of the SBAs.

 

  1. We invite the Committee to investigate the following questions as part of the Inquiry: 

 

45.1         Why, in successive defence and security reviews since 2010, have successive UK Governments failed to mention the UK’s undertaking to ‘recognise and guarantee the independence, territorial integrity and security of the Republic of Cyprus’, let alone the implications of this undertaking for the UK’s armed forces, including British Forces Cyprus?

 

45.2         Are the UK’s armed forces, including British Forces Cyprus, ‘sufficiently capable, resourced and ready to protect’ the Republic of Cyprus from any imminent or actual armed attack or any other type of threat, whether in honour of the guarantee granted by the UK by means of the Treaty of Guarantee, in response to an invitation issued by the Cypriot Government after invoking Article 51 of the UN Charter[41] or otherwise?  If not, why not and what should be done to address this matter?  

 

45.3         In the event of any new invasion of the Republic of Cyprus launched by Turkey, would the UK Government authorise the UK’s armed forces, including British Forces Cyprus, to take any military action in defence of the Republic of Cyprus?  Or would the UK Government decline to do so as it did during the Summer of 1974?

 

45.4         Is the ability of the UK’s armed forces to protect the Republic of Cyprus, as well as the SBAs, adversely affected by the status of the UK as a Member State of NATO but of not the EU and by the status of the Republic of Cyprus as a Member State of the EU but not of NATO?  If so, why and what should be done about it?

 

The issue of whether British Forces Cyprus are ‘sufficiently capable, resourced and ready to protect’ themselves, the SBAs and the Republic of Cyprus in the face of an array of existing as well as emerging threats presented by Turkey

 

  1. Turkey is the source of multiple threats to the Republic of Cyprus, the SBAs and British Forces Cyprus.  However, to limit the length of this Written Evidence, we shall only flag up three of the threats which British Forces Cyprus appear to be exposed to while being intrinsically incapable of eliminating or otherwise effectively addressing them.

 

Turkey’s toxic dust’

 

  1. The first threat is represented by the potentially toxic and, thus, potentially dangerous ‘dust’ or other sources of poor air quality which from time to time, are blown into the Republic of Cyprus and the SBAs from Turkey as well as from other locations.  (See Image 4.)  One of the authors of this Written Evidence has composed a peer-reviewed academic article – in the form of an open letter to the Prime Minister of the UK – which addresses this subject from a largely politico-legal perspective.[42]  That article was published in 2020 but, since then, additional light has been shed on this particular threat which, we stress, British Forces Cyprus are exposed to but are seemingly incapable of preventing or eliminating. 

 

Dust near Cyprus

 

Image 4: A NASA image published on 25 August 2008, which illustrates the threat faced by the Republic of Cyprus, the SBAs and British Forces Cyprus as a result of ‘dust’ blowing in from Turkey.  To quote the caption accompanying the above image, as published by NASA: ‘Dust blew off the coast of Turkey toward the island of Cyprus in late August 2008. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image on August 25, 2008. In this image, the dust appears as a ball of haze that stretches a tendril toward the Mediterranean island, which is partially hidden by clouds. The origin of the dust storm is unclear in this image, but it might have originated from dry lake bed sediments farther inland.’  Source of image: ‘NASA image courtesy MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center. Caption by Michon Scott’, as reproduced in ‘Dust near Cyprus’, 25 August 2008, NASA website, https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/20419/dust-near-cyprus (accessed 3 June 2023)

 

 

Earth

 

Image 5: A NASA image published on 14 July 2022, which illustrates the threat faced by the Republic of Cyprus, the SBAs and British Forces Cyprus as a result of potentially toxic and, thus, potentially dangerous ‘dust’.  To quote the accompanying caption published by NASA: ‘A dust plume stretches over the eastern Mediterranean, shrouding parts of Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus. The June 2020 image has been cropped and enhanced to improve contrast, and lens artifacts have been removed. NASA’s EMIT mission will help scientists better understand how airborne dust affects climate.’  Source of image: ‘NASA’s New Mineral Dust Detector Readies for Launch’, 14 July 2022, NASA website, www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/nasa-s-new-mineral-dust-detector-readies-for-launch/ (accessed 3 June 2023)

 

  1. To take one example, an article published by the Turkish Thoracic Journal in November 2021 has affirmed what was already known, namely that ‘air pollution levels are higher in Turkey compared to the EU.’[43]  To take a second example, in July 2022, NASA published an image and an accompanying set of comments which speak for themselves.  (See Image 5.)  To take a third example, on 11 May 2023, three months or so after the devastating earthquakes which struck south-east Turkey and northern Syria on 6 February 2023, Reuters published a detailed article with a self-explanatory title: ‘Turkey’s toxic dust: Its deadliest quakes in modern times may have unleashed a health catastrophe for a generation’.  The article quoted Ali Kanatli, described as ‘head of the delegation of the Turkish Doctors’ Association in the quake-hit areas’, who has warned:Respiratory diseases, eye diseases, asthma attacks, allergic reactions, and lung diseases will increase. … We will face these problems in the coming years.’  Inserted into the report is drone footage which dramatises the scale of the reported problem.[44]

 

  1. We invite the Committee to investigate the following questions:

 

49.1         How, why and to what extent are persons physically in the Republic of Cyprus and the SBAs, including personnel in British Forces Cyprus, exposed to ‘Turkey’s toxic dust’, as detailed in the aforementioned article by Reuters, and to other sources of poor air quality emanating from Turkey or elsewhere? 

 

49.2         Are the UK’s armed forces, including British Forces Cyprus, ‘sufficiently capable, resourced and ready to protect’ themselves, the SBAs and the Republic of Cyprus from the ‘dust’ and other sources of poor air quality which, from time to time, enter the Island of Cyprus, having blown in from Turkey or elsewhere?  If not, why not and what should be done to address this matter?

 

Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant

 

  1. A second threat stemming from Turkey is the Russian-built Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant together with its four nuclear reactors.  At the time of writing, these are under construction no more than 85 or so kilometres to the north of the coast of the occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus, 110 km north of Nicosia (where British service personnel are deployed in support of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus), 130 km north of the Dhekelia Garrison within the Dhekelia SBA and 180 km north of RAF Akrotiri within the Akrotiri SBA.  (See Image 6.)

 

middle east nuclear power plants, as explained in the article text

 

Image 6: The Nuclear Power Plants in the Middle East which, in the eyes of the US Energy Information Administration, as at 5 March 2018, were ‘operational’, ‘under construction’ or ‘planned’.  Since then, construction work has begun at El Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant along the Mediterranean coast of Egypt.  In common with the Plant at Akkuyu, the Plant at El Dabaa is Russian-built.  Source of image: ‘Middle East countries plan to add nuclear to their generation mix’, 5 March 2018, US Energy Information Administration, website, www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=35192# (accessed 3 June 2023).

 

  1.   The vast project construction site at Akkuyu is springing up pursuant to the Agreement, dated 13 January 2010, between the Government of the Republic of Turkey and the Government of the Russian Federation on Cooperation in relation to the Construction and Operation of a Nuclear Power Plant at the Akkuyu Site in the Republic of Turkey (‘the 2010 Turkish-Russian Nuclear Agreement’).[45]  This Agreement symbolises an increasingly intimate bilateral relationship between Turkey and Russia, as spearheaded by Messrs Erdogan and Putin, both of whom have served as Prime Minister and as President of their respective countries.  In turn, this relationship reflects the estrangement of Turkey from ‘the West’ to which Turkey nominally belongs as part of NATO and as a candidate country to join the EU.  

 

  1. The first of the four nuclear reactors under construction at Akkuyu is scheduled to come into operation in 2024, i.e., within the next few months.  At that moment, British Forces Cyprus, the SBAs, the Republic of Cyprus and the wider region will immediately be exposed to a number of actual or potential risks.  Perhaps the most serious one is the risk of a nuclear accident or other nuclear catastrophe with drastic ramifications for national security, public health and the environment – in the Republic of Cyprus, the SBAs and elsewhere.  Indeed, it is not inconceivable that, after it becomes operational, Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant may succumb to a nuclear accident or other catastrophe as a result of a military attack (of the type which struck the Osirak Nuclear Power Plant under construction in Iraq in 1981), negligence (as occurred at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine in the then USSR in 1986), an earthquake or tsunami (of the type which hit the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in Japan 2011) or for another unforeseeable reason. 

 

  1. On 30 April 1986, four days after the start of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, Baroness Young, the Minister of the State in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, responded to a question about ‘British subjects in Kiev’ by confirming that ‘we believe that for safety’s sake it is right to move our people out of Kiev and Minsk, which means an area of about 200 miles radius [i.e., a 322 km radius] from Chernobyl.’[46]  By this logic, if Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant becomes operational and is thereafter struck by a comparable nuclear accident or other nuclear catastrophe, the whole of the Island of Cyprus – i.e., all of the Republic of Cyprus and both of the SBAs – may have to be evacuated.  

 

  1. By means of a peer-reviewed academic article[47] and other contributions to the public dialogue, one of the authors of this Written Evidence has already raised a series of concerns about Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant.  Even so, his concerns do not appear to have aroused any interest in the UK Parliament which appears to be in denial over this matter.  This denial is illustrated by what happens if one visits the ‘Find in Hansard’ page on the UK Parliament website, types in ‘Akkuyu’ into the online search engine and narrows the search to the period from Wednesday 13 January 2010, the date when the 2010 Turkish-Russian Nuclear Agreement was signed, and Friday 2 June 2023 before pressing ‘Search’.  In response, the following wording appears: ‘No results were found for the specified criteria.’[48]  It would seem that the last occasion when Akkuyu was last raised in the UK Parliament by a Minister of the Crown, an Opposition frontbencher or a backbench Parliamentarian was in June 1999 when a forerunner of the current project was being contemplated.[49] 

 

  1. We invite the Committee to investigate the following questions as part of the Inquiry: 

 

55.1         Why, since the conclusion of the 2010 Turkish-Russian Nuclear Agreement, has the UK Parliament failed to devote any Parliamentary time to Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant and the actual or potential threat it may present to the Republic of Cyprus, the SBAs, British Forces Cyprus and others? 

 

55.2         Are the UK’s armed forces, including British Forces Cyprus, ‘sufficiently capable, resourced and ready to protect’ themselves, the SBAs and the Republic of Cyprus from any actual or potential threat emanating from Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant or from any of the other nuclear power plants which are in the pipeline in the Eastern Mediterranean and Greater Middle East (including the Russian-built Nuclear Power Plant under construction at El Dabaa on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt, which is not shown on Image 6)?  If not, why not and what should be done to address this matter? 

 

A seemingly irredentist, neo-colonial and hostile Turkish Governmental outlook

 

  1. As for the third threat stemming from Turkey, this boils down to a seemingly irredentist, neo-colonial and hostile Turkish Governmental outlook which portrays all parts of the Island of Cyprus, including both of the SBAs, as forming integral parts of Turkey.  This threat is illustrated by the poster presented as Image 7, which was published by the Ministry of National Defence of Turkey on 27 February 2019, and by the photograph presented as Image 8, which was published by the same Ministry as recently as 15 May 2023.  Alarm bells ought to be ringing in Westminster and Whitehall, especially if one recalls two realities.  One is the tendency of the Turks to invade Cyprus from time to time.  In July 1570, the Ottoman Turks invaded the then Venetian-administered Island of Cyprus before completing the Ottoman conquest of the Island in August 1571 and administering it as part of the Ottoman Empire until the Summer of 1878, whereupon the administration of the Island passed from Ottoman into British hands; the UK annexed the Island on 5 November 1914, the annexation being a move which Turkey subsequently recognised under Article 20 of the Treaty of Lausanne of 24 July 1923.  In the Summer of 1974, Turkey invaded and re-invaded the Republic of Cyprus on 20 July and 14 August 1974 respectively.  The second reality is the blend of authoritarianism, neo-Ottomanism, irredentism and militarism regularly exhibited by the post-2003 Erdogan regime.  Images 7 and 8 are visual manifestations of these proclivities.

 

  1. Despite the matters we have presented in this Written Evidence – and so much more – the UK Government continues to treat Turkey as an ‘ally’, ostensibly because of Turkey’s ongoing membership of NATO.  For instance, on 29 May 2023, after Recep Tayyip Erdogan had been re-elected as President of Turkey – following an election process tainted by the appearance of unfairness and impropriety – 10 Downing Street disclosed that not only had Prime Minister Rishi Sunak MP spoken to President Erdogan in order ‘to congratulate him on his re-election.’  Prime Minister Sunak also ‘reiterated’ that the UK and Turkey enjoyed ‘a strong relationship … as economic partners and close Nato allies.’[50]   

 

  1. We must, therefore, turn the first question posed by the Committee on its head.  Are UK’s armed forces, including British Forces Cyprus, ‘sufficiently capable, resourced and ready to protect’ the Republic of Cyprus and the SBAs from any new armed attack which is launched or covertly supported by Turkey, one of ‘our allies’?  Irrespective of the answer to this question, is the ostensibly hostile conduct of Turkey, as exemplified by Image 7 and Image 8, commensurate with its purported status as a ‘close ally’ of the UK?  

 

Εικόνα

 

Image 7: On 27 February 2019, the Ministry of National Defence of Turkey published this poster to publicise the Mavi Vatan (Blue Homeland) doctrine.  It falsely portrays the territory of Turkey as encompassing the whole of the Island of Cyprus and, thus, the Republic of Cyprus and both of the SBAs.  Source of image: Official Twitter Account of the Ministry of National Defence of Turkey, 27 February 2019, https://twitter.com/tcsavunma/status/1100827859503980549 and https://twitter.com/tcsavunma (accessed 3 June 2023).

 

Εικόνα

 

Image 8: On 15 May 2023, the Ministry of National Defence of Turkey published this photograph.  The map on the wall falsely portrays the territory of Turkey as encompassing the whole of the Island of Cyprus and, thus, the Republic of Cyprus and both of the SBAs.  Source of image: Official Twitter Account of the Ministry of National Defence of Turkey, 15 May 2023, https://twitter.com/tcsavunma/status/1658069233043996678?cxt=HHwWjIC8idjL0oIuAAAA and https://twitter.com/tcsavunma (accessed 3 June 2023).

 

  1. In closing, we reiterate our call for the Committee to investigate each one the concerns we have raised in this Written Evidence and to address each one of the questions we have asked.

 

5 June 2023


[1]Acknowledgments: This Written Evidence reproduces, refers to or otherwise contains inter alia the following: Crown Copyright material or other public sector information licenced under the Open Government Licence v3.0, website of the National Archives of the UK, Kew Gardens, Surrey, www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3/ (accessed 5 June 2023); UK Parliamentary Copyright material or other UK Parliamentary information licenced under the Open Parliament Licence, www.parliament.uk/site-information/copyright-parliament/open-parliament-licence/ (accessed 5 June 2023); and US Government Works materials re-used in line with inter alia the guidance published by the US Copyright Office at https://copyright.gov/ (accessed 5 June 2023).

See www.nup.ac.cy/faculty/marios-leonida-evriviades/ (accessed 3 June 2023).

[2] See www.uclancyprus.ac.cy/academic/senior-visiting-fellow-school-of-law-cyprus-campus-university-of-central-lancashire-uclan-cyprus/ (accessed 3 June 2023).

[3] ‘Armed Forces Readiness Inquiry’, UK Parliament website, https://committees.parliament.uk/work/7654/armed-forces-readiness/ (accessed 25 May 2023) and ‘Defence Committee inquiry to probe UK’s readiness for war’, 24 April 2023, UK Parliament website, https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/24/defence-committee/news/194873/defence-committee-inquiry-to-probe-uks-readiness-for-war/ (accessed 25 May 2023). 

[4] See Klearchos A. Kyriakides, ‘‘A Longdrawn-Out Game of Chess’ and the Camouflaged Partition of the Island of Cyprus that followed on 16 August 1960: A Review of Achilles C. Emilianides, A Longdrawn-Out Game of Chess: The Secret Negotiations About the British Bases (1959–1960) (Nicosia: Hippasus Communications & Publishing Ltd., October 2021)’, Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, 6 February 2023, 1-23, www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/19448953.2023.2167354 (accessed 3 June 2023).

[5] ‘Foreword by the Prime Minister [David Cameron]’ in The Overseas Territories: Security Success and Sustainability: Presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs by Command of Her Majesty: Cm 8374 (London: Foreign & Commonwealth Office, 2012), 5, UK Government website, https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/32952/ot-wp-0612.pdf and www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-overseas-territories-security-success-and-sustainability (accessed 2 June 2023).

[6] Klearchos A. Kyriakides, ‘NATO and Cyprus: the reaction of the British government to the 1959 Greco-Turkish proposal to admit an independent Cyprus to NATO’, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 6 (1), 1992, 52-63 https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09557579208400076 and https://doi.org/10.1080/09557579208400076 (accessed 3 June 2023).

[7] ‘Falklands official statistics released’, Ministry of Defence News story, 14 May 2013, UK Government website, www.gov.uk/government/news/falklands-official-statistics-released (accessed 3 June 2023).

[8] Falkland Islands Review: Report of a Committee of Privy Counsellors Chairman: The Rt Hon the Lord Franks, OM, GCMG, KCB, CBE: Presented to Parliament by the Prime Minister by Command of Her Majesty: January 1983 (London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1983), paragraphs 278 & 279, Margaret Thatcher Foundation website, www.margaretthatcher.org/document/109481 (accessed 2 June 2023).

[9] See inter alia Klearchos A. Kyriakides, ‘The Sovereign Base Areas and British Defence Policy Since 1960’, in Hubert Faustmann & Nicos Peristianis (eds.), Britain in Cyprus: Colonialism and Post-Colonialism 1878-2006 (Manheim: Bibliopolis, 2006), 511-534 and Conrad Beckett, ‘Overseas Bases in focus: Cyprus’, Strategic Command Blog, 9 February 2023, UK Government website, https://stratcommand.blog.gov.uk/2021/02/09/overseas-bases-in-focus-cyprus/ (accessed 5 June 2023) and the ‘Official Twitter for British Forces Cyprus and the Sovereign Base Areas’ at https://twitter.com/bfcyprus?lang=el (accessed 5 June 2023).

[10] See the references to Cyprus and Larnaca in Benis M. Frank, U.S. Marines in Lebanon 1982-1984 (Washington DC: History & Museums Division, Headquarters, US Marine Corps, 1989), 9, 19, 21, 38, US Marines website, www.marines.mil/Portals/1/Publications/US%20Marines%20In%20Lebanon%201982-1984%20PCN%2019000309800_1.pdf (accessed 5 June 2023).

[11] Message posted on the official Twitter account of Irfan Siddiq, https://twitter.com/IrfanUKAmb/status/1651180326901751813?cxt=HHwWioC90cnwleotAAAA (accessed 5 June 2023).

[12] Message and video posted on the official Twitter account of the British High Commission in Nicosia, https://twitter.com/UKinCyprus/status/1652688635295158274 (accessed 5 June 2023).

[13] Hansard, House of Commons Debates, 2 May 2023, UK Parliament website, https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2023-05-02/debates/80133685-E1F1-4403-8B56-3A84EE00D7A7/Sudan (accessed 5 June 2023).

[14] Hansard, House of Commons Debates, 15 May 2023, UK Parliament website, https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2023-05-15/debates/6805F44E-F93E-47BD-9562-FC8AA59D7BD1/SudanConflict (accessed 5 June 2023).

[15] David Lidington MP, Minister of for Europe, ‘Cyprus: Time to seize the moment’, transcript of the 4th Keith Kyle Memorial lecture on British - Cypriot relations, 28 April 2011, UK Government website, www.gov.uk/government/speeches/cyprus-time-to-seize-the-moment (accessed 25 May 2023).

[16] ‘Memorandum of understanding between the governments of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Republic of Cyprus: establishing a strategic cooperation’, 15 November 2022, UK Government website, www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-cyprus-memorandum-of-understanding-establishing-a-strategic-cooperation/memorandum-of-understanding-between-the-governments-of-the-united-kingdom-of-great-britain-and-northern-ireland-and-the-republic-of-cyprus-establishi and https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-cyprus-memorandum-of-understanding-establishing-a-strategic-cooperation (accessed 2 June 2023).

[17] Twitter account of Leo Docherty MP, 10 May 2023, https://twitter.com/LeoDochertyUK/status/1656327532260540417 (accessed 25 May 2023).

[18] ‘UK & Australia: “Our countries are strategic and global allies”: Foreign Secretary William Hague talked following the Australia - UK Ministerial meeting (AUKMIN) on 23-24 January [2014]’, transcript of a speech published on 24 January 2012, UK Government website,  https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/uk-australia-our-countries-are-strategic-and-global-allies (accessed 5 June 2023).

[19] Hansard, House of Commons Debates, 14 March 2023, UK Parliament website, https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2023-03-14/debates/6A8D1C47-2CE0-4DE6-B9A6-08F9F5286C0C/AUKUSDefencePartnership (accessed 5 June 2023).

[20] See https://twitter.com/bfcyprus/status/1245673972546535426?lang=bg (accessed 5 June 2023).

[21] A copy of the Treaty of Establishment, as ‘Registered by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on 12 December 1960’, appears on the website of the UN at https://peacemaker.un.org/sites/peacemaker.un.org/files/CY_600816_TreatyNicosia.pdf and https://peacemaker.un.org/cyprus-nicosia-treaty60 (accessed 3 June 2023).

[22] A copy of the Treaty of Guarantee, as ‘Registered by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on 12 December 1960’, appears on the website of the UN at https://peacemaker.un.org/sites/peacemaker.un.org/files/CY%20GR%20TR_600816_Treaty%20of%20Guarantee.pdf and https://peacemaker.un.org/cyprus-greece-turkey-guarantee60 (accessed 3 June 2023).

[23] A copy of the Treaty of Alliance, as ‘Registered by Greece and Turkey on 12 June 1961’, appears on the website of the UN at https://peacemaker.un.org/sites/peacemaker.un.org/files/CY%20GR%20TR_600816_Treaty%20of%20Alliance%20%28with%20additionnal%20protocols%29.pdf and https://peacemaker.un.org/cyprus-greece-turkey-alliance60 (accessed 3 June 2023).

[24] Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community2019/C 384 I/01, EU website, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A12019W%2FTXT%2802%29 (accessed 3 June 2023).

[25] Klearchos A. Kyriakides, ‘The 1960 Treaties and the Search for Security in Cyprus’, Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, 11 (4), 2009, 427-439, https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/19448950903382063 and https://doi.org/10.1080/19448950903382063 (accessed 3 June 2023).

[26] Written Answer answered on 5 June 2018 in answer to UIN HL8133, tabled on 22 May 2018, UK Parliament website, https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2018-05-22/HL8133/ (accessed 26 May 2023).

[27] ‘Foreign Secretary’s press conference in Cyprus, [4] February 2021’, transcript of the remarks of the Foreign Secretary at a press conference held in Nicosia on 4 February 2021 but published on 5 February 2021, UK Government website, www.gov.uk/government/speeches/foreign-secretarys-press-conference-in-cyprus-february-2021 (accessed 25 May 2023).

[28] See inter alia the declassified documents reproduced in Keith Hamilton and Patrick Salmon (eds.), The Southern Flank in Crisis, 1973-1976: Series III, Volume V: Documents on British Policy Overseas (Whitehall Histories) (Abingdon, Routledge for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, 2006, 2014 paperback edition).

[29] ‘Resolution 550(1984) / adopted by the Security Council at its 2539th meeting, on 11 May 1984’, UN Digital Library, https://digitallibrary.un.org/record/67600 (accessed 3 June 2023).

[30] See inter alia Christos P. Ioannides, In Turkey's Image: The Transformation of Occupied Cyprus into a Turkish Province (New York: Aristide D. Karatzas Press, 1991).

[31] See inter alia David L. Phillips, An Uncertain Ally: Turkey Under Erdogan’s Dictatorship (Abingdon: Routledge, 2017).

[32] Julian Thompson, The Royal Marines: From Sea Soldiers to a Special Force (London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 2000, 2001 reprint by Pan Books), 547.

[33] Ibid.

[34] Securing Britain in an Age of Uncertainty: The Strategic Defence and Security Review: Presented to Parliament by the Prime Minister by Command of Her Majesty: October 2010: Cm 7948 (London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 2010), (London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 2010), UK Government website, https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/62482/strategic-defence-security-review.pdf and https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-strategic-defence-and-security-review-securing-britain-in-an-age-of-uncertainty (accessed 3 June 2023).

[35] Ibid, 28.

[36] Global Britain in a competitive age: The Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy: Presented to Parliament by the Prime Minister by Command of Her Majesty: March 2021: CP 403 (London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 2021), 71 (par. 12), UK Government website, https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/975077/Global_Britain_in_a_Competitive_Age-_the_Integrated_Review_of_Security__Defence__Development_and_Foreign_Policy.pdf and https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/global-britain-in-a-competitive-age-the-integrated-review-of-security-defence-development-and-foreign-policy (accessed 3 June 2023).

[37] Global Britain in a competitive age The Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy Presented to Parliament by the Prime Minister by Command of Her Majesty March 2021: CP 403 (London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 2021), 71 (par. 12), UK Government website, https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/975077/Global_Britain_in_a_Competitive_Age-_the_Integrated_Review_of_Security__Defence__Development_and_Foreign_Policy.pdf and www.gov.uk/government/publications/global-britain-in-a-competitive-age-the-integrated-review-of-security-defence-development-and-foreign-policy (accessed 3 June 2023).

[38] Ibid, 76.

[39] Integrated Review Refresh 2023: Responding to a more contested and volatile world: Presented to Parliament by the Prime Minister by Command of His Majesty March 2023: CP 811 (London: His Majesty's Stationery Office, 2023): UK Government website, https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1145586/11857435_NS_IR_Refresh_2023_Supply_AllPages_Revision_7_WEB_PDF.pdf and www.gov.uk/government/publications/integrated-review-refresh-2023-responding-to-a-more-contested-and-volatile-world (accessed 3 June 2023).

[40] Integrated Review Refresh 2023, 21.

[41] To quote Article 51 of the UN Charter of 1945: ‘Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.’ A copy of the UN appears at www.un.org/en/about-us/un-charter (accessed 3 June 2023). 

[42] Klearchos A. Kyriakides, ‘Syria, Sarin and Cyprus: An Open Letter to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom’, Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, 20 (3), 2020, 372-414, www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/19448953.2020.1739879?journalCode=cjsb20 and https://doi.org/10.1080/19448953.2020.1739879 (accessed 3 June 2023).

[43] N. Aykaç and Y. Yasin, ‘Persistent Ambient Air Pollution in Turkey: A 4-Year Analysis’, Turkish Thoracic Journal, 22 (6), November 2021, 482-488 at 486, , www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8975334/pdf/ttj-22-6-482.pdf, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8975334/, DOI: 10.5152/TurkThoracJ.2021.21121. PMID: 35110265; PMCID: PMC8975334 (accessed 3 June 2023).

[44] Ece Toksabay, Adolfo Arranz, Jitesh Chowdhury, Sudev Kiyada and Simon Scarr, ‘Turkey's toxic dust: Its deadliest quakes in modern times may have unleashed a health catastrophe for a generation’, 11 May 2023, Reuters website, www.reuters.com/graphics/TURKEY-QUAKE/TOXINS/znvnbmyrzvl/index.html (accessed 3 June 2023).

[45] Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Turkey and the Government of the Russian Federation on Cooperation in relation to the Construction and Operation of a Nuclear Power Plant at the Akkuyu Site in the Republic of Turkey, website of the Official Gazette of Turkey, www.resmigazete.gov.tr/eskiler/2010/10/20101006-6-1.pdf (accessed 26 May 2023).

[46] Hansard, House of Lords Debates, 30 April 1986, Column 270, https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hansard/lords/1986/apr/30/soviet-nuclear-accident-uk-citizens (accessed 3 June 2023).

[47]