Historical Background

  • James Ker-Lindsay
Part of the Rethinking Peace and Conflict Studies book series (RCS)

Abstract

On 1 April 1955, a series of explosions around Cyprus marked first salvoes of what would become a bitter four year military campaign by the majority Greek Cypriots to end British rule and bring about the island’s union with Greece (Enosis).1 Although fiercely resisted at first, by late 1958 Britain had all but given up its hopes of retaining Cyprus. As well as fending off attacks by the Greek Cypriots, the colonial authorities were increasingly at odds with the minority Turkish Cypriot community, which had by this point taken up arms in an attempt to secure the island’s partition (Taksim) between Greece and Turkey. Naturally, the tensions on the island led to strained relations between Athens and Ankara, which in turn was destabilising NATO’s south eastern flank. What at first appeared to be a small anti-colonial insurgency on a seemingly insignificant Mediterranean island was now posing a major threat to the security of the West. It was therefore with considerable relief that Britain received the news, in early 1959, that the Greek and Turkish Governments had reached a compromise solution. Rather than Enosis or Taksim, Cyprus would become an independent state.

Keywords

Turkey Lasso Concession 

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Notes

  1. 2.
    Colonial Office, Conference on Cyprus: Documents Signed and Initialled at Lancaster House on February 19, 1959, Command 679 ( London: HMSO, 1959 ).Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    Kyriacos C. Markides, The Rise and Fall of the Cyprus Republic ( London: Yale University Press, 1977 ), p. 88.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    Clement Dodd (editor), The Political, Social and Economic Development of Northern Cyprus ( Huntingdon: The Eothen Press, 1993 ), p. 6.Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    Diana Weston Markides, Cyprus 1957–1963: From Colonial Conflict to Constitutional Crisis ( Minnnesota: University of Minnesota, 2001 ), p. 129.Google Scholar
  5. 7.
    James Ker-Lindsay, Britain and the Cyprus Crisis, 1963–64 ( Mannheim: Bibliopolis, 2004 ), pp. 47–48.Google Scholar
  6. 10.
    Claude Nicolet, United States Policy Towards Cyprus, 1954–1974: Removing the Greek-Turkish Bone of Contention ( Mannheim: Bibliopolis, 2001 ), p. 247.Google Scholar
  7. 18.
    Stavros Panteli, The Making of Modern Cyprus: From Obscurity to Statehood ( London: Interworld Publications, 1990 ), p. 224.Google Scholar
  8. 19.
    Brendan O’Malley and Ian Craig, The Cyprus Conspiracy: America, Espionage and the Turkish Invasion ( London: IB Tauris, 1999 ), pp. 131–9.Google Scholar
  9. 35.
    Rauf R. Denktash, The Cyprus Triangle ( London: Allen & Unwin, 1988 ), p. 142.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© James Ker-Lindsay 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Ker-Lindsay
    • 1
  1. 1.Civilitas ResearchCyprus

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