Three Monkeys Online

A Curious, Alternative Magazine

Cyprus – A recent history.

During the ten-year period 1964 – 1974 UNFICYP kept the peace between the two factions who remained within their various enclaves throughout the island. Although the island developed economically, primarily as a consequence of the tourist trade, politically it remained highly unstable. In 1974 the Greek military regime in Athens staged a coup d’état with the aim of toppling Makarios. He escaped the attempt to kill him by his erstwhile colleagues and fled the island. The new president was Nicos Samson, a former EOKA gunman with a deep antipathy towards all Turkish Cypriots. Samson’s stated goal was enosis and this led to the direct intervention by the Turkish Army. The Turks invaded and forcibly portioned the island, driving an estimated 200,000 Greek Cypriots from the north to the south of the island. From Xeros in the west, to Famagusta in the east, a line of demarcation runs through the island and also divides the city of Nicosia. The Turks declared the north to be an independent Turkish state but this declaration is recognised only by Turkey. The Turkish invasion led to the overthrow of Samson and the return of Makarios.

On his death in 1977 the presidency passed to Spyros Kyprianou. Rauf Denktash had assumed the leadership of the Turkish Cypriots.

The future of Cyprus cannot now be separated from the European Union. Cyprus will join the Union on 1 May whether reunited or not. Turkey aspires to membership of the EU and a settlement in Cyprus is vital to that ambition. It is to be hoped that the long suffering of the peoples of Cyprus will find a solution in the European-wide union.

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