THE GORDIAN KNOT: AMERICAN AND BRITISH POLICY CONCERNING THE CYPRUS ISSUE: 1952-1974
Abstract (Summary)This study examines the role of both the United States and Great Britain during a series of crises that plagued Cyprus from the mid 1950s until the 1974 invasion by Turkey that led to the takeover of approximately one-third of the island and its partition. Initially an ancient Greek colony, Cyprus was conquered by the Ottoman Empire in the late 16th century, which allowed the native peoples to take part in the island’s governance. But the idea of Cyprus’ reunification with the Greek mainland, known as enosis, remained a significant tenet to most Greek-Cypriots. The movement to make enosis a reality gained strength following the island’s occupation in 1878 by Great Britain. Cyprus was integrated into the British imperialist agenda until the end of the Second World War when American and Soviet hegemony supplanted European colonialism. Beginning in 1955, Cyprus became a battleground between British officials and terrorists of the pro-enosis EOKA group until 1959 when the independence of Cyprus was negotiated between Britain and the governments of Greece and Turkey. The United States remained largely absent during this period, but during the 1960s and 1970s came to play an increasingly assertive role whenever intercommunal fighting between the Greek and Turkish-Cypriot populations threatened to spill over into Greece and Turkey, and endanger the southeastern flank of NATO. The American policy in Cyprus was primarily to avert such a war from taking place, and not to broker a long lasting, an approach that frequently put the U.S. in conflict with Great Britain, which still retained two military bases on the island. Research for this study has relied heavily on recently declassified documents from both the U.S. and British governments and secondary materials that analyze the ongoing Cyprus issue from a number of different perspectives.
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:01/01/2006