Cyprus – Eden Eaves

The island of Cyprus is located between the southern coastline of Turkey and the western beach of Syria. Early colonies inhabiting Cyprus were Greek and Phoenician. After being “passed though man hands”, the Turks gained possession in 1571 and settled a large colony there.

Many years later, during WWI, Britain annexed the island and in 1925, proclaiming it a Crown Colony. The large Greek population wanted union with Greece and in 1955 began a guerrilla war against British rule launched by the National Organization of Cypriot Combatants (EOKA).

In 1958, Turkish Cypriots demanded the island be split between the Greeks and Turks, whereas rather than union with Greece, Archbishop Makarois (Greek Cypriot nationalist leader) was calling for Cypriot independence. In 1960, Cyprus became an independent nation with Makarois as the country’s first President.

UN peacekeeping forces were sent to Cyprus in 1965 after Greek and Turkish fighting began in the early 60’s leading up to the President being overthrown in July of 1974 and Turkey invading to protect the Turkish minority only five days later. In December of the same year Makarois resumed his presidency and the island was subdivided into Greek and Turkish territories separated by UN buffer zones.

In 83’ Turkish Cypriots declared a separate state on the northern part of the island naming it the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”. This action was declared illegal by the UN Security Council and no other country has recognized this state apart from Turkey.

After years of UN sponsored talks between the Greek and Turkish leaders trying to unite the two, the Greek side overwhelmingly rejected the reunification plan and they alone became a part of the EU. Between many presidents, there had been no major progress to unify the two until April 4, 2008 when Ledra Street Crossing (the checkpoint dividing Greek and Turkish Cypriots) was taken down.

Cyprus took a dive into bankruptcy during June of 2012 when requesting a $17 billion bailout from the EU, having a response that they could receive $13 billion, but would need to raise almost $8 billion by taxing bank deposits between 6 and 10 percent. This has left Cyprus with an enormous debt.

Cypriot banks made a bad investment and lent money to Greece and after their economy plummeted, in hopes of a bailout, they bought Greek government bonds and now owe more money than the country’s GPD.

The European Union was not excited about having to bailout another country, but gave €3 billion to “maintain financial stability in the euro area and buy time for Cyprus.”

Given that this conflict is between the European Union and Cyprus, there is no need for the United States to stick our nose where it doesn’t belong; this does not involve us and will just end up with our hole of debt being dug even deeper.

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3 thoughts on “Cyprus – Eden Eaves

    • I do not think they will be able to come together and they will eventually either become two separate nations or reunite with Greece/Turkey due to this ongoing dispute between natives and the financial struggles Cyprus is facing.

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  1. I loved your discricription of your summary. It’s crazy how the rivalry between these two dates all the way back to the 1500s. I agree that this political dispute should be settled by itself and left alone by the United States. There is no need to get involved. The wall between Cyprus will eventually come down and Cyprus will either become part of the Turkish or the Greece territory eventually.

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