The Dynamics of Radicalization: A Relational and Comparative Perspective

By Eitan Y. Alimi; Chares Demetriou et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 4
The Cypriot Enosis Movement
and EOKA (1945–1959)

The blood which was being shed was the result of [Under-Secretary of State at the Colonial
Office] Hopkinson’s famous “never” [of 1954] which Secretary of State at the Colonial Office
Lennox-Boyd repeated, albeit using other words, when in the Parliament meeting of May 5,
1955, asserted that the position of the government of Great Britain was that the British con-
trol of the island must not be reduced—and this against the views of the Labor, which the
former Secretary of State at the Colonial Office, Creech Jones, presented in Parliament, that
there must be a referendum on a timetable, the result of which the British government would
have to accept
.

Georgios Grivas, 1962

The movement championing the political union of Cyprus with Greece, which became known by the Greek word “enosis” (union), is a historical child of the so-called Eastern Question. Referring to the fate of southeastern Europe at the time of the Ottoman Empire’s decline, the Eastern Question was relevant for Cyprus as it stood for changes in the regional balance of power that led to the creation and expansion of the Greek state. The project of Greek state-formation was overall successful since the incipient state more than doubled the size of its territory, mostly at the expense of the Ottoman Empire, during the first century of its existence (1832–1932). Still, Cyprus, though inhabited by an 80 percent majority population that considered itself to be Greek, would not easily fit this irredentist pattern. A forceful claim was never laid on the island by the Greek state nor was there nationalist agitation on the island itself during the Ottoman rule (1571–1878). By the time such agitation began to build, the

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