Formalizing the Partition of Cyprus
Perceptions, Vol. 6, No. 3 (September-November 2001), pp 35-55
Cyprus has been divided between Turks and Greeks since the UN-supervised Green Line partitioning Nicosia, the capital city, was drawn in 1963 after the Greek onslaught against the Turks and the collapse of the now-defunct Republic of Cyprus. Over a decade later, in July 1974, the Turkish intervention only extended the scope of this division to the entire island. The existence of two separate administrations in Cyprus since 1964, when the UN Forces in Cyprus (UNFCYP) were deployed in the buffer zone, and two separate states since 1983, when the Turks declared independence, means a de facto partition of Cyprus is already well in place. A broader dimension of this division encompassing distinctions of national history, culture, ethnicity and religion dates back to the day the first Ottoman Turk landed on the island in 1571. Neither during the long Ottoman rule, nor in the British period or the brief era of the Republic was the civilization gap between the two nations bridged. Considering these historical realities, equally reflected in the situation today, the creation of two separate states in Cyprus offers the hope of a long-lasting political settlement of Cyprus within Europe. The division of British India into India and Pakistan in 1947 can be a precedent for formalizing the partition of Cyprus: the two cases of partition seem to be a replica of each other in a number of ways. Full Text

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