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Cyprus Island:-

Cyprus Island has hit the world headlines several times because of the violent troubles that broke out there for the past several decades. The conflicts in the island have cost thousands of lives that have been lost excuse of Turkey's invasions and power games.The consequences can be felt even today, and Greek and Turkish Cypriots refuse to let go of the traumatic memories. The essay focuses on the history of the Cyprus Island, why it remains divided and why the conflicts refuse to dissolve.

 Background of the Cyprus conflict:-

During the First World War, the Cyprus Island was annexed by United Kingdom and it was agreed that Cyprus belonged to United Kingdom in 1923 (Zeka 145). The Greek Cypriots later struggled against British rule which continued until the end of the Second World War. Turkish Cypriots, on the other side wanted the island o unite with ‘motherland’ Turkey’. The period saw the beginning of the clash between Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots as stated by Zeka (145). The community of the island is made of Greek Orthodox community, Latin and Armenian minorities and Turkish Moslem community. The Greek community and the Turkish Moslem community have been in conflict with one another as asserted by Stavrinides (1). The root cause of the conflict lies in the political structure of Cyprus that is made of shared powers between the Turkish and Greek Cypriots (Bozkurt 215).

Cyprus was declared an independent country in 1960 amidst the frictions among Turkish and Greek Cypriots. However, problems for Cyprus started in 1960s with the Turkish Cypriots trying to give a minority status to the Greek Cypriots’. There have been several incidences of violence between the two sides. During the 1970s, Cyprus witnessed a coup which was engineered by the Greek military regime and it was followed by Turkish invasion a stated by Kitromilides (291). Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriot hardliners have clashed with each other because of the fear and insecurity as well as limited bi-communal experience (Zeka 142). The Greek Cypriots have complained of forced occupation and Turkish Invasion all these years. Both groups carry rigid views of their collective trauma in their stubborn memories. Turkish invasion and British and American agreement not to resist the Turks shows that Turkey was more important to Western allies (Mallinson 101). Cyprus was falsely projected as unified when it had become more powerless because of the continuing games of power politics.

Cyprus Island:-

Impact of the conflict:-

The Government of Cyprus implemented Emergency Plans to handle the challenges thrown up because of the continued conflicts and the resulting displacements among the masses (Loizos 40). Men and women, children and the elderly from every strata of the society have been affected. Farmers and refugees have lost their homes, agricultural land while businessmen were forced to bear the economic burden. Unemployment rose and there was a sharp decline in salaries and jobs as asserted by Loizos (41). The economic stability and social strength of the island was put to test because of the complex political and cultural relations. There was a continuous reshuffling of the power balance during the seventh- and eighth-century in the island in the history of the Mediterranean (Zavagno 6). Cyprus changed into a diverse and overlapped politically, socially and economically dominated land. The Turkish-Cypriot community experienced economic and social inequalities a sated by Hadjipavlou (151).

 Efforts made:-

According to Zeka (141), the island of Cyprus is witness to one of the longest standing conflicts ever since the founding of United Nations. There have been military coupes, forced occupation and military interventions that have seen numerous efforts and agreements getting failed. International relations and history offer Cyprus a unique space because of the ongoing conflicts due to geopolitical importance of Greece and Cyprus. British foreign policy focused on the Greek Civil War and is seen as a foreign interference that used communist threat to bring in the Americans and hang on to Cyprus(Mallinson 100). The role of France and Soviet intentions are looked upon with suspicion too. United Nations has been involved in the long-standing problem of Cyprus ever since the 1960’s (Bozkurt 215). Although U.N. mediation has kept the inter-communal negotiations continue, Cyprus remains divided even today between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots as stated by Bozkurt (216). The United Nations Peace Keeping Force has created a buffer zone between the two parties.

The situation today:-

Several factors are seen behind the Cyprus conflicts. External factors include the selfish motives of the British and its divide-and-rule policy and the interventions of foreign powers. Internal causes include the nationalism of both Turkish and Greek Cypriots and bad decisions taken under Greek/Turkish-Cypriot leaderships (Hadjipavlou 353). Other factors include Turkey/Greece’s expansionism and involvement of Greece and Turkey. The religious and cultural differences between Greek and Turkish Cypriots and their social and economic inequalities only added to the issues. Separate educational systems and lack of communication between the two communities only deepened the rift and built up mistrust. Today, the island remains divided between Greek and Turkish Cypriots. It is true that the situation is not so volatile because of the efforts being made by the US and the U.N. negotiators as asserted by Zeka (151).However, the negotiations and talks between the leaders of Greek and Turkish factions remain futile. There exists an appropriate environment for strengthening of a culture of conflict, mistrust, and suspicion as the Greek Cypriots run the Republic of Cyprus. They look at Turkey as a constant threat. While the majority of the Turkish-Cypriot community voted in favor of the Annan Plan, the Greek-Cypriot community voted against it (Hadjipavlou 151). The society remains deeply divided with police checkpoints and barbed wires that prevent freedom of ideas and building of trust.

Cyprus has seen more than four decades of conflict and remains a divided nation between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. The United Nations Peacekeeping Force monitors the demilitarized buffer zone that has seen no development over the last forty years. It is made of abandoned ghost towns and checkpoints (The Indian Express Ltd. “Cyprus: Divided Island”). Talks are on between the Cypriot leaders, but with no solution in sight. The refugees live with memories of their lost homes and lands, and are not likely to trust the other side. One can only hope for a seemingly impossible peaceful Cyprus (Stavrinides 82).


The Cyprus situation reflects that it is not easy to make peace between two ethnic groups harboring their own collective trauma shaped by different and individual experiences of Turkish military interventions and traumas during the sixties and seventies. Several internal and external factors only increased the deep-rooted conflicts that became complicated and multifaceted. Cyprus conflict resolution efforts would mean to make serious florets to bring those parties together, acknowledge the past atrocities on each group and convey a universal narrative to the current and future generations to encourage peaceful solutions. Cyprus conflict could be resolved only under an ideal condition which sees Greek and Turkish Cypriots giving up their nationalism and communalism to build a coherent nation.

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