The Cyprus Problem: What Everyone Needs to Know

The Cyprus Problem: What Everyone Needs to Know

The Cyprus Problem: What Everyone Needs to Know

The Cyprus Problem: What Everyone Needs to Know

Synopsis

For nearly 60 years - from its uprising against British rule in the 1950s, to the bloody civil war between Greek and Turkish Cypriots in the 1960s, the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in the 1970s, and the United Nation's ongoing 30-year effort to reunite the island - the tiny Mediterranean nationof Cyprus has taken a disproportionate share of the international spotlight. And while it has been often in the news, accurate and impartial information on the conflict has been nearly impossible to obtain. In The Cyprus Problem, James Ker-Lindsay - recently appointed as expert advisor to the UN Secretary-General's Special Advisor on Cyprus - offers an incisive, even-handed account of the conflict. Ker-Lindsay covers all aspects of the Cyprus problem, placing it in historical context, addressing thesituation as it now stands, and looking toward its possible resolution. The book begins with the origins of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities as well as the other indigenous communities on the island (Maronites, Latin, Armenians, and Gypsies). Ker-Lindsay then examines the tensions thatemerged between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots after independence in 1960 and the complex constitutional provisions and international treaties designed to safeguard the new state. He pays special attention to the Turkish invasion in 1974 and the subsequent efforts by the UN and the internationalcommunity to reunite Cyprus. The book's final two chapters address a host of pressing issues that divide the two Cypriot communities, including key concerns over property, refugee returns, and the repatriation of settlers. Ker-Lindsay concludes by considering whether partition really is the bestsolution, as many observers increasingly suggest.Written by a leading expert, The Cyprus Problem brings much needed clarity and understanding to a conflict that has confounded observers and participants alike for decades.

Excerpt

For almost sixty years, the small Mediterranean island of Cyprus has been a regular feature in the news. From the anticolonial uprising against British rule in the 1950s through the emergence of fighting between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities in the 1960s, the Turkish invasion of the island in the 1970s, and the subsequent thirty-year effort by the United Nations to reunite the island, Cyprus has received a disproportionate degree of international attention.

For the most part, this interest has little to do with the intrinsic importance of the island itself. It has no significant mineral wealth. Nor is it a vital transit route to the Middle East, as it once was. Instead, the island’s significance is due to wider geopolitical factors. Throughout the Cold War, conflict on the island had the potential to ignite an armed confrontation between NATO allies Greece and Turkey. More recently, the division of the island has played a central role in Turkey’s aspirations to join the European Union. This is significant inasmuch as the relationship between the EU and Turkey could well determine how the union evolves as a regional body and what sort of ties it will have with its neighbours and the wider world. However . . .

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