Klearchos A. Kyriakides
Among the many reports to emerge from the House of Commons in recent years, one of the most remarkable is Bad Language: The Use and Abuse of Official Language (hereafter ‘Bad Language’). This was completed in Westminster in 2009 by the cross-party House of Commons Select Committee on Public Administration.
Bad Language railed against any use of language which ‘can prevent people from understanding the implications of policies’. It admonished efforts ‘to use language to disguise or distort meaning’. It also derided ‘the attempt to use… terms to hide unpleasant realities’.
Against this background, Bad Language recommended that ‘the use of language that distorts or disguises meaning should be exposed and condemned …’. The author of this article has dutifully acted upon this specific British parliamentary recommendation. He has done so by writing the analysis which follows – for the sake of an accurate public record and in the interests of an enlightened as well as informed democratic citizenry.
(Source: House of Commons Select Committee on Public Administration, Bad Language: The Use and Abuse of Official Language (HC17, The Stationery Office Ltd, London, 30 November 2009), paragraphs 16, 18, 19 and 32. Published online by the UK Parliament at: www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmpubadm/17/17.pdf)
While Bad Language did not explore the abuse of certain words in the context of the Republic of Cyprus, the core themes of Bad Language are clearly applicable to that small but significant Member State of the United Nations, the Commonwealth, the Council of Europe and the European Union. Indeed, Bad Language is particularly relevant to the abuse of three inter-related words; these are ‘reunification’, ‘reunify’ and ‘reunite’. For many years, these words have been routinely deployed by diplomats, politicians, journalists, academics and others to describe the envisaged outcome of any ‘settlement’ which transforms the Republic of Cyprus into a ‘bi-communal, bi-zonal federation’.
No less significantly, words such as ‘reunification’ have been regularly recycled by the so-called ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ (hereafter the ‘TRNC’). The latter is the de facto subordinate administration of Turkey which was purportedly established in 1983 in the parts of the Republic of Cyprus which were occupied and ethno-religiously cleansed by Turkey following two invasions carried out on 20 July and 14 August 1974.
For evidence to support the assertions made in the previous two paragraphs, the reader is invited to read the sample of five publications of the ‘TRNC’ available below. All five were published within the space of just three months – from January to March 2016.
(Sources: ‘Schulz: “If we achieve the reunification of Cyprus this will be encouraging for everyone”’, 15 January 2016: http://mfa.gov.ct.tr/schulz-if-we-achieve-the-reunification-of-cyprus-this-will-be-encouraging-for-everyone/ ;‘Schwachöfer: “We hope Cyprus will be reunified in 2016”’, 18 January 2016: http://mfa.gov.ct.tr/schwachofer-we-hope-cyprus-will-be-reunified-in-2016/ ;‘The re-unification of Cyprus: a success Europe really needs’, 23 February 2016: http://mfa.gov.ct.tr/the-re-unification-of-cyprus-a-success-europe-really-needs/ ; ‘We want reunification in 2016’, 1 March 2016: http://mfa.gov.ct.tr/we-want-reunification-in-2016/ ; ‘Schulz: a “Reunification of Cyprus has become a realistic possibility”’, 30 March 2016: http://mfa.gov.ct.tr/schulz-reunification-cyprus-become-realistic-possibility/)
In the light of the above, a number of questions arise in relation to the Island of Cyprus, the Republic of Cyprus and the proposed ‘bi-communal, bi-zonal federation’. Of these, two questions will now be explored with the ultimate aim of shedding light on the true meaning of ‘reunification’. Firstly, when, why and how did the concept of ‘reunification’ emerge? Secondly, why is the concept of ‘reunification’ misleading or apt to mislead?
Read the whole article here.