Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

Partition through Foreign Aggression. the Case of Turkey in Cyprus

Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

Partition through Foreign Aggression. the Case of Turkey in Cyprus

Article excerpt

Partition through Foreign Aggression. The Case of Turkey in Cyprus. By William Mallinsoa Minnesota Mediterranean and East European Monographs. No. 20 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2010). 126 pp. $30, paper.

While Hesiod identified Cyprus as the first home of the goddess Aphrodite, the island has been inhabited by many who are not lovers. Already a bone of contention between ancient Greeks and Persians, later Venetians and Ottomans, Cyprus has maintained a strategic significance in the struggle between East and West, and therefore has attracted the attention of modern powers, such as Britain, the United States, and, of course, Greece and Turkey.

Mallinson, a former British diplomat now teaching history at a Greek university, has written a monograph lamenting the partition of Cyprus as a largely unjust and cynical machination of great power politics. At the same time, he acknowledges that the island is populated by two ethno-religious communities hardly in love with each other - Greeks and Turks - but then proceeds to ignore his own findings.

In an era where nationalism and religion still play an important role in international politics, it is foolhardy to assign blame simply to outsiders who have sought to dominate the isle. For example, the author suggests that Cyprus should be treated in a post-nationalist "European spirit," allowing for a reunification that obfuscates the ethno-religious differences. …

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