The Cyprus Problem

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  • Topic: Cyprus, Turkish Cypriots, Greek Cypriots
  • Pages : 3 (791 words )
  • Download(s) : 18
  • Published : October 8, 1999
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The Eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus is the homeland of two distinct peoples: the Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots. Their relationship is not one of a majority and minority, but one of equal partnership. The Turkish Cypriots speak Turkish, are Muslims and share the culture of their motherland, Turkey. The Greek Cypriots, on the other hand, speak Greek, are Orthodox Christians and profess the culture of their motherland Greece. After more than 300 years of Turkish rule, the island came under British influence in 1878, but sovereignty was formally transferred by Turkey to Britain in 1923. British colonial administration continued until 1960 when as a joint bi-communal state, the DRepublic of Cyprus was founded under international treaties, signed by Great Britain, Greece and Turkey, and by the leaders of both the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities in their separate capacities. The 1960 arrangements created a political partnership between the two national communities which would enable them to share power and cooperate in a bi-communal state, with the necessary checks and balances and guarantees. Unfortunately, this political partnership and the internationally sanctioned regime lasted only three years. The Greek Cypriots continued unlawfully to campaign against a bi-communal independent state and on 21 December 1963 put into effect their plan for a general onslaught on the Turkish Cypriot community. The aim was to abrogate the constitution of the country through the use of force and bring about ENOSIS (annexation of Cyprus to Greece). Turkish Cypriot members of the joint Parliament and the joint Government were expelled from their offices, the entire state machinery being unilaterally usurped by the Greek Cypriots. The brutality of Greek attacks was such that the Turkish Cypriot people in no less than 103 villages had to escape for their lives into the security of small enclaves scattered all over Cyprus and an extensive refugee problem was...
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