End of Empire - British Attempts at Controlling Cypriot Sovereignty, 1945-1974

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Seething Cauldron of Cypriot Sovereignty Independence was granted to the Republic of Cyprus in August 1960, more than five years after the outbreak of a guerilla revolt against the British, who had governed the island for the previous eighty-two years. Independence, however, came not as the realization of a cherished goal but as a compromise settlement arranged over the heads of the Cypriots by Greece and Turkey, in conjunction with Britain. Greek Cypriots, who comprised about four-fifths of the colony's 600,000 inhabitants in 1960, had aspired to union with Greece, whereas Turkish Cypriots, a minority making up most of the rest of the island's inhabitants, had advocated partition of the island as the only acceptable alternative to continued British rule.1

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1. Frederica M Bunge, ed., Cyprus: A Country Study (Washington, D.C.: The American University, 1980), xxi. Return to place


UN Process of Decolonization : Peacekeeping by the UN : The World in 1945 (pdf) : UN-I-QUE : UN Bibliographic Information

Ideas, Comments, Work

The Turkish Cypriot community had consistently opposed the Greek Cypriot enosis movement, but had generally abstained from direct action because under British rule the Turkish minority status and identity were protected. The expressed attitude of the Cyprus Turkish Minority Association was that, in the event of British withdrawal, control of Cyprus should simply revert to Turkey. (This position ignored the fact that Turkey gave up all rights and claims in the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne.)(Solsten) Get text of Lausanne treaty

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Of Interest

Cultural heritage ethics in a divided Cyprus

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