Full Text


Subject History

Place Southern Europe » Greece

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631209379.1999.x


The attempt to unite Cyprus with Greece. Cyprus was part of the Ottoman Empire in the nineteenth century but came under British control in 1878 and was annexed by Britain in 1914. Around 80 per cent of the population was Greek (nearly all the rest was Turkish) and demanded enosis (union) with Greece. The British wanted to retain Cyprus as a base in the eastern Mediterranean, particularly when they agreed in 1954 to remove their troops from the Suez Canal. Georgios Grivas, a Cypriot-born Greek army officer, therefore began a campaign of civil disobedience and attacks on British installations. Those were carried out by the National Organisation of Cypriot Fighters (EOKA), encouraged (though publicly disowned) by the Archbishop of Cyprus, Makarios III. In March 1956 he was deported to the Seychelles by the British. As the attack on Egypt in the suez crisis was mounted from Cyprus, eoka stepped up its attacks, this time on British troops and Turkish Cypriots. Makarios, released from exile in 1957, took up residence in Athens and in 1958 let it be known that he would accept the independence of Cyprus as an alternative to enosis . A year later an agreement was reached by the British, Greek and Turkish governments and came into effect in 1960. Cyprus was to be an independent republic in the commonwealth , with Britain retaining two bases on the island. There were to be two communal ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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