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Cyprus Time Line

Famagusta being the capital of Cyprus was laid siege to by the Ottoman forces. After a protracted siege the Venetian commander, General Bragadino, realised that defence was now futile and arranged the terms of surrender. Subsequently there occurred one of the worst examples of treachery in history when Bragadino and his officers were seized by the Pasha, tortured and executed. Thus Cyprus moved from being a Venetian, catholic dominion to an Ottoman Turkish Islamic one.
Perhaps surprisingly, the capture was welcomed by the 150,000 Greek Cypriot inhabitants who had been subjected to serfdom by the Venetians and who had actively supported the take over of the island by the Ottomans. Following the surrender, the Greeks were given back all their lands and rights. Anatolian Turks were brought in to colonise the island but only in numbers that left the Greeks in a majority of 5 to 1, similar to today.
17th & 18th C
During this time the Orthodox church and the archbishop gained in importance and influence and by the late 18th century the perception was that the archbishop was in control of the administration of the island.
In order to help protect the declining Ottoman empire from the threat of Russian aggression, Britain offers to station a supporting force on Cyprus. This concealed Britain’s true agenda of wanting to defend its interests in the Suez canal.
Britain formally absorbed the former Ottoman province of Egypt into its empire and although still nominally part of the Ottoman empire, Cyprus became increasingly seen as British, albeit of less importance now that they were in control of Egypt.
At the outbreak of the Great War, Britain formally annexed Cyprus as Turkey joined the enemy.
Britain offered to cede Cyprus to Greece if it agreed to attack Bulgaria to aid Serbia. Greece refused and so the earliest chance of enosis was declined.
Cyprus formally became a crown colony following the Treaty of Lausanne which recognised Britain’s annexation of the island.
Following an increase in taxes, ostensibly to help Britain out of the Great Depression, and new regulations reducing the influence of Cypriots on local politics, the archbishopric called for enosis with Greece and a campaign of civil disobedience. This surprised the administration who felt that the islanders were content with what they had done to improve living conditions for them. Following minor incidents these calls strengthened into a demand for an uprising against their British masters. A large crowd gathered in Nicosia and marched to government house. Following failed talks to get the crowd to disperse, shots were fired and in the ensuing commotion Government House was set on fire and totally destroyed. Buoyed by the success, disturbances spread to other parts of the island and the situation remained tense until the Royal Navy sailed four ships to the island to restore order. Following the quelling of the uprising, new laws were introduced which further restricted the rights of the islanders. During this time the Turkish Cypriot population remained quiet in an attempt to avoid alienating the protection they received from the British.
Despite the subjugation of their rights following the 1931 riots, 50,000 Cypriots joined the Allied forces during the second world war.
The British, wanting to reward Cyprus for its efforts in supporting the war effort, planned for a limited degree of self-governance for the island. Greek Cypriots rejected this while still calling for enosis with Greece. During this time leading up to full independence Britain failed to understand the feelings behind the desire to join with Greece. Time after time they offered what they felt to be meaningful concessions but ones that were based in the desire to still maintain strategic control over the island.
Makarios III was elected as Archbishop of Cyprus and was to become a key figure in the struggle for independence.
The church organised a referendum on enosis which returned results showing 97% in favour. Documentation that has come to light since then has shown that a high level of influence was put on Greek Cypriots to vote in favour including threats of excommunication if they didn’t comply. The result of the referendum at the time was enough to strengthen the resolve of the pro-enosis faction and lead any who were unconvinced that this was the route the island must take.
In the intervening years, Greece had actively commented on the situation stoking the fires of enosis and the British, concerned at the increasingly strong calls for action countered with half measures which came too late to address the concerns of the Greek Cypriots. Finally Greece raised the topic of self-determination for Cyprus at the UN hoping that, if achieved under the auspices of the UN, enosis would follow. Talk of enosis began to worry the Turkish Cypriots and stir the concern of Turkey. Cyprus increased in significance to Britain following its withdrawal from Egypt leading to a greater will to hold on to its only platform in the Eastern Mediterranean.
On April 1st, EOKA, an organisation formed by George Grivas, a former Greek Army Colonel, to persuade Britain to grant independence to Cyprus through violent means began its campaign with simultaneous bomb attacks on the Cyprus Broadcasting Station, The Wolseley Barracks and Famagusta followed by a leaflet distribution explaining their campaign and demanding total support for it from The Greek Cypriots. A state of emergency was declared by Sir John Harding and the Cypriot police force strengthened with the recruitment of Turkish Cypriots giving them a disproportionate majority in the force. A conference was organised between Greece Turkey and the UK to try to solve the problem but failed in its intentions
The involvement in the struggle of Turkish Cypriot policemen and ensuing deaths amongst their ranks encouraged the growth of a Turkish movement equivalent to EOKA called TMT. This became the operational arm of those who now sought partition as the only way to avoid secession of the whole island and populace to Greece. The British meanwhile, considered Makarios to be heavily involved in the organisation of the EOKA campaign and exiled him to the Seychelles. In a separate situation the island was used as a launch pad for the ill thought out Suez campaign. New proposals were detailed by Lord Radcliffe later in the year which offered a quasi-government for the island giving the Greek Cypriots an automatic majority in parliament as the largest proportion of the populace. However, the wish to retain Cyprus as a strategic military base influenced the detail and the proposals still retained the British governor as overall leader of the island. Understandably this was rejected by both the Greek Cypriots for not allowing self-determination and by the Turkish Cypriots for not allowing partition.
Makarios was allowed to leave the Seychelles but was still barred form Cyprus. At last the British government, under Harold Macmillan realised that the problem could not be resolved without handing sovereignty of the island back to its inhabitants. He grudgingly accepted that a compromise might be to retain bases in Cyprus whilst handing the island over to self government. Makarios had by now softened his stance and instead of promoting enosis, worked for an independent Republic of Cyprus, free from the constraints of Turkey, Greece and Britain. Eventually this compromise was accepted by all parties as long as Britain could retain the sovereign base areas.
On the 15th August, the Union jack was lowered from Government House for the last time. Makarios was invested as president with Dr Fazil Kucuk made vice president. The independent Republic of Cyprus was born.
Almost immediately problems began over taxation and the creation of municipalities for the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey began threatening to intervene.
Makarios tabled thirteen amendments to the constitution which, when seen in hindsight favoured the Greek Cypriot people. They included scrapping the veto held by the president and vice president, the municipality plan would go, the civil service would be constituted along proportional lines and the requirement of a majority vote from both communities was abandoned. During this time the Turkish Cypriot authorities had slowly been working towards a system of enclaves, preparing the way to partition should the constitution prove detrimental. The Greek Cypriots were aware that the proposals were likely to provoke further conflict and planned to take swift violent action which they hoped would be finished before any of the guarantor nations could intervene.
Inter-communal violence at the end of the previous year saw tensions rise still further. Turkey had been caught smuggling arms to TMT and the Greeks smuggled 20,000 troops into the island under the command of Grivas. In response Turkey formed a bridgehead at Kokkina and both sides together with their mainland backers prepared for war.
A military coup in Greece overthrew the democratically elected government and called again to Cyprus for enosis with Greece. This time Makarios resisted which led to threats and attempts on his life.
Makarios’s helicopter was shot down but he survived
George Grivas returned to Cyprus to form EOKA B with the aim of achieving enosis with Greece. Now dangerously averse to Makarios’ stand on enosis a failed attempt was made by EOKA B to blow up the archbishop
The Greek junta leader Colonel Papadopoulos was ousted by Brigadier Ioannides giving even greater power to Greece’s wish to incorporate Cyprus.
George Grivas died in January having not seen his dream realised. He would die without the knowledge that his actions helped to precipitate the division of the island and create a problem that lasts to this day.
In July a Greek sponsored coup deposed Makarios installing Nicos Sampson in his place who was declared president a day later. Makarios, who had earlier been reported dead, relied on his old adversaries, the British to airlift him to London. The drama of those days finally forced the hand of Turkey who launched ‘Operation Attila’ to ostensibly safeguard the welfare of its dependents but in reality to prevent Cyprus being annexed by Greece. Two days later with a Turkish beachhead established, Henry Kissinger brokered a ceasefire. Three days afterwards with the country in disarray, the junta fell and Sampson resigned leaving Glafcos Clerides to become the new president. Although peace talks were held to try to resolve the situation, Turkey took advantage of the resignation of Richard Nixon to launch a full scale invasion and claimed 37% of the island. In October the British pulled back form a plan to leave Cyprus under pressure from the Americans and in December Makarios returned to Cyprus.
One year on and with no headway in resolving the dispute because of disagreements over territory and the nature of the central government, the US imposes an arms embargo on Turkey and closes installations in Cyprus and Turkey.
Makarios and Denktash meet and agree a four point plan notably saying that the solution would be based on a federation whose size is determinable upon economic viability and land ownership. Later that year Makarios died.
Short lived talks fall apart on the issue of bicommunality. The TRNC believe that their community should be just Turkish and the Greek part just Greek whereas the Republic want mixed communities in each zone.
Turkish Cypriots, their number swelled by immigrants brought over from the mainland, declare themselves as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Javier Perez de Cuellar plans for the withdrawal of the ‘occupying force’ incenses the Turks but proposals for an assembly and on land ownership are agreed later that year.
Bizonal, Bicommunal, non-aligned federation talks collapse as Kyprianou thought talks were only exploratory.
Talks falter as the Republic of Cyprus declares their intention to join the European Union.
The Republic of Cyprus applies to join the European Community
Accession talks are delayed in the hope that a whole island solution can be agreed. Later that year Denktash and Clerides accept the Confidence Building Measures put together by the UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghali.
The European Courts of Justice impose restrictions on the import of goods from the TRNC to the EU.
The European Court of Human Rights rules Turkey as being an occupying power in Cyprus in the case of Loizidou v Turkey. It orders Turkey to pay $825,000 in compensation for unlawful denial of use of property. Issues for a solution are agreed as follows:
·   Development of a constitutional framework
·   Territorial adjustments
·   Return of pre 1974 property or compensation
·   Return of displaced persons
·   Demilitarization of the island
·   Residency rights or repatriation of Turkish settlers
·   Future peacekeeping arrangements
The Republic order $400m of Russian missiles incurring the wrath of the TRNC.
The first version of the Annan plan is presented and rejected.
Recep Erdogan is elected president of the TRNC and in subsequent meetings the fourth version of the Annan plan is presented and also rejected.
The fifth and final version of the Annan Plan was presented to the two sides. Under the final proposals, The Republic of Cyprus would become the United Cyprus Republic. It would be a loose federation composed of two states. The northern Turkish Cypriot state would control about 28.5% of the island, the southern Greek Cypriot state would control the remaining 71.5%. Each part would have had its own parliament. There would also be a bicameral parliament on the federal level. In the Chamber of Deputies, the Turkish Cypriots would have 25% of the seats. The Senate would consist of equal parts of members of each ethnic group. Executive power would be held by the presidential council. The chairmanship of this council would rotate between the communities. Each community would also have the right to veto all legislation. In May a referendum on the plan was held in both parts of the island. The Turkish Cypriot North accepted it by a majority of 2 to 1 whilst the Greek Republic of Cyprus rejected it by a majority of 3 to 1. Accordingly the plan was not implemented and a week later Cyprus was formally accepted as a member of the EU.
Dimitris Christofias is elected as president of the Republic and immediately vows to restart negotiations for a settlement. Later that year Ledra Street is reopened as a crossing from the south to the north.
The British Court of Appeal upholds the case or a Greek Cypriot landowner whose property in the north has been appropriated and later built upon and sold to the Orams family. Talat describes the judgement as a blow from which talks may not recover. Nevertheless talks continue slowly with agreement on a number of minor issues and with a forecast for when the solution can be put to referendum. At the time of writing, this date has passed without a referendum occurring and a regime change in the TRNC has put the agreement in doubt.
The election of Dervis Eroglu is thought to be damaging to the negotiations. In his election campaign he stated that he felt the TRNC had given too much in negotiations and that he was prepared to harden his stance to ensure a fairer deal was struck. Subsequently he seems to have softened his tone and has begun meetings, starting with an informal dinner with Christofias and their two wives prior to the commencement of unifying talks. Alexander Downer the UN Envoy for Cyprus aids the progression of talks continuing his work between Talat and Christofias.

Posted: August 25, 2010 by Global Administrator | with 2 comments
Global Administrator
About the Author

This article is written by: Global Administrator - Founder, ideas guy, IT specialist. Scott founded way back in 2007 and has steered the ship to where it is today, an award-winning car rental broker that has stood the test of time.

Global Administrator
Posted: August 25, 2010 by Global Administrator | with 2 comments
About the Author -

Founder, ideas guy, IT specialist. Scott founded way back in 2007 and has steered the ship to where it is today, an award-winning car rental broker that has stood the test of time.

If you read all the articles thoroughly you'll see and hopefully accept that through the last century mistakes have been made on all sides to varying extents. If cause and effect are your yardstick it can easily be argued that the British are to blame through their misunderstanding of the relationship between Greek and Turkish Cypriots. I agree entirely that we face the dilution or disappearance of the Turkish Cypriot whose right to live peacefully in Cyprus is theoretically the same as that of a Greek Cypriot. Unfortunately the immigration of mainland Turks is the contention and Turkish Cypriots have been included in any bad feeling towards an immigrant tide that was unwelcome. Had matters developed differently over the decades the situation in which both Turkish and Greek Cypriots find themselves would have proved unnecessary.
11/3/2010 6:11:24 PM
Very unfurtunately Greek Cypriots still not learning from their past mistakes. How many times their ENOSIS plans ended up with a slap in the face and how many times trying to exclude Turkish Cypriots didn't work. Now we ended up with at least 750 000 Turkish mainlanders in the North.... now Turkish Cypriots are under a big threat of loosing their identitiy. As a Turkish Cypriot it makes me so angry to see Greek Cypriots still treating Turkish cypriots unfairly and with great hate....but they need to realise that if they carry on like they are now they are going to be left to deal with 120 million Turks then 150 thousand Turkish cypriots because we will be long gone ...thtas the saddness.
10/30/2010 10:55:38 AM
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