Cyprus the Island of Cyprus Term Paper

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There is also physical separation of the Greeks and Turks in some towns and villages, which has been intensified since the communal hostilities in December, 1963. In 1960 Cyprus had 619 villages, out of which 393 were primarily Greek, 120 Turkish, and 106 were mixed (Halil Ibrahim Salih, page 27)."

Equality: Both the communities thought that they belonged to the superior ethnicity and that they have superior rights. Both communities had been unwilling to recognize the rights of others. Halil Ibrahim Salih (1978) writes, "Citizens of the two communities are unwilling to recognize their equality as Cypriot citizens. The average Greek and Turk have stereotyped images of one another: Greeks view the Turks as intruders, brutal barbarians, and the Turks view the Greeks as selfish, degenerate cowards. The literature of the two communities illustrates that each considers its race to be superior and more civilized (Halil Ibrahim Salih, page 27)."

Patriotism: While, both the communities express their love for Cyprus, they demonstrate their utmost loyalty, faithfulness and love for their respective ethnicities. "The public spirit for the love of Cyprus and Cypriotism is absent. Citizens of the two communities love the island, but their supreme loyalty and allegiance is to their respective fatherlands. The Greek and Turkish Cypriots are too preoccupied with strengthening bonds with Greece and Turkey. Some educators of the two communities are opposed to the promotion of Cypriotism and press for either Hellenism of Cyprus to achieve enosis or Kemalism to attain Taksim. Both groups are chauvinistic in their attempts to reach their objectives. The leaders of the two communities are erecting monuments glorifying the heroes of their own people all over the island. Their oratory at national holidays of Greece and Turkey dissipates all hope for Cypriotism (Halil Ibrahim Salih, page 27)."

The lives of the people after the invasion

Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1974 and had been successful in occupying approximately 40% of the territory. This resulted in a massive movement of Turkish Cypriots from the Turkish-minority areas to Turkish-majority areas. Halil Ibrahim Salih (1978) provides an in-depth view of this movement. He writes, "After the invasion of Cyprus by Turkey on July 20, 1974, the Turks occupied 40% of the island and expelled the Greek Cypriots from their homes. The Turkish objective is to settle Turkish Cypriot refugees on the lands occupied by its military forces. Since the inter-communal hostilities of 1963, approximately 20,000 Turkish Cypriots have been moved from about one hundred villages to the Turkish sectors and have been taken care of by the Turkish government. Following the coup against President Makarios, which failed because of the Turkish invasion, thousands of Turkish Cypriots, seeking security and refuge, moved from their homes to the Turkish sectors in the southern part of the island. The Turkish Cypriot refugees consider their settlement in the northern part of Cyprus to be permanent (Halil Ibrahim Salih, page 116)."

The invasion also allowed the Turks to establish their authority on the Greeks. They disallowed the Greek refugees from entering the lands that they had occupied. This is because the Greeks had threatened to wage war against not only the Turkish Cypriots, but also Turkey. Furthermore, both communities of Cyprus started looking up to the Americans for political rewards and punishments. Halil Ibrahim Salih (1978) writes, "The Turks thus hope that the strain of caring for 180,000 refugees will weaken Greek resolve and that Greece will be forced to accept establishment of a bizonal federation on Cyprus. The Greeks, however, hope that American pressure on Turkey will weaken Turkish intransigence. President Makarios is adamantly opposed to a federal system, but Glafkos Clerides is more reconciled to acceptance of the geographical separation of the two communities under their own separate governing systems (Halil Ibrahim Salih, page 117)."

When the Greek Cypriots had been in command (that is, before the invasion), they did not allow political safeguards for the Turkish Cypriots and the Turks had exhibited the same attitude towards the Greek Cypriots after the invasion. Halil Ibrahim Salih (1978) writes, "A unitary system under Greek Cypriot domination with constitutional safeguards for the Turkish Cypriots has been strongly rejected. From 1964 to 1974 the Greek Cypriots did not exhibit a sincere enough interest to gain the trust of the Turkish Cypriots. Therefore, the Turkish Cypriots fear that a unified state under the reign of the majority will relegate them once again to an inferior position and Hellenize the island. The Turkish Cypriots are in favor of a local autonomy within a bizonal federation. Under the bizonal federation, each ethnic group would administer its own internal affairs, while having a common external policy. The Greek leadership's attempt to return to the situation that existed prior to 1974 or prior to 1964 is futile. The Turkish Cypriots, with the strong military backing of Turkey, refuse to be relegated to political impotence under a unified system (Halil Ibrahim Salih, page 117)."

The economic cooperation between the Turks and the Greeks had been considered to be important because of the emerging threat of communism. Therefore, both communities had been asked to settle their differences amicably so that the communists do not take advantage of this position. Halil Ibrahim Salih (1978) writes, "Greco-Turkish economic cooperation and military alliance are of paramount importance for their sovereign independence against the Soviet Union's imperialism." Both the communities had been, "forced to reevaluate their placing complete dependence for security on the United States because of the American refusal to prevent the communist onslaught against the South Vietnamese in 1975. As stated in Kissinger book American Foreign Policy, (1969): 'Regional groupings supported by the United States will have to take over major responsibility for their immediate areas, with the United States being more concerned with the overall framework of order than with the management of every regional enterprise (Halil Ibrahim Salih, page 117).'"

The cultural values of both the communities have been unchanged and they have been very reluctant to enhance cooperation and harmonization with Cyprus. Both the communities have yet to grasp their love for the island and still identify themselves with their ethnic origins and race. "The hostilities were the result of the two communities' inability to function under the formula for self-government as provided for by the Zurich-London Agreements of 1959. Cooperation between the two communities never materialized because of their distrust and unwillingness to unite for the success of the Cyprus Republic, the persistent demand for enosis, the long-standing antagonisms, and the intrusion of foreign interests (Halil Ibrahim Salih, page 119)."

Summary and Conclusion

One can summarize the entire situation; form the beginning to the present by quoting Andrew Borowiec (2000). He writes, "The Greek Cypriots, backed by Greece, feel that their island was raped by the Turkish invasion of 1974, which was in answer to a coup staged by the regime at the time in power in Athens in order to link Cyprus with Greece, a concept known as enosis. Although the Greek side says that it would accept a federation of the two increasingly hostile communities, in effect it wants the Turkish army to leave and would prefer to see the island return to the pre-1974 status quo, when the Turkish Cypriots were an inconvenient but powerless minority. The Turkish side would like to see a confederation (a concept looser than federation) based on the equal partnership of two separate Cypriot states, one Greek and the other Turkish. There have been no indications that after 25 years of an off-again on-again debate either side is considering a significant departure from its oft-stated positions. If anything, the positions are hardening (Andrew Borowiec, 14)."

The situation had worsened for many people as a large number of refugees had lost many aspects of what comprised their personal identity, that is, their way of life, wealth, people, status, places, power, as well as, in some instances, culture and language. Majority of the Cypriots have been facing difficulties in finding jobs and dwellings for themselves and their families as well. They also have had to face political problems pertaining to legal authority and also have had to confront "identity crisis" (Tasoulla Hadjiyanni, 2002).

Lastly, it will be worthwhile to understand that Cypriots need to assess their situation from a completely different perspective so that that may put forth a positive solution to the aging crisis. Halil Ibrahim Salih (1978) writes "The absence of the rudiments of nationalism will prevent the formation of Cypriotism. Cypriotism can become a reality if methods to induce nationalism are utilized. The instruments that can be employed are: The two communities can cooperate in the establishment of integrated schools which use literature that is not biased, preferably books that are published in the West. The pageantry that inflames the unhappy memories of the past can be modified, and the development of Cypriot ritualism can be encouraged."


Andrew Borowiec. Cyprus: A Troubled Island. Praeger Publishers, 2000.

Ali L.…

Sources Used in Document:


Andrew Borowiec. Cyprus: A Troubled Island. Praeger Publishers, 2000.

Ali L. Karaosmanoglu. The Evolution of the National Security Culture and the Military in Turkey. Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 54, 2000.

Halil Ibrahim Salih. Cyprus, the Impact of Diverse Nationalism on a State. University of Alabama Press, 1978.

Tasoulla Hadjiyanni. The Making of a Refugee: Children Adopting Refugee Identity in Cyprus. Praeger, 2002.

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