By William Mallinson
This narrative historical past of Cyprus--the such a lot thorough and updated account at the moment available--examines the trendy historical past of the island in the course of a interval of large swap. issues lined variety from the British acquisition of Cyprus in 1878, whilst its strategic significance used to be cemented, to the more moderen American and Soviet involvement throughout the chilly conflict. It focuses fairly at the interval top as much as and following the Turkish invasion of 1974, the plain strikes in the direction of reunification, and the transforming into significance of the european either for Cyprus and for Turkey. The ebook can be an important reference instrument for all these drawn to Cyprus and the rising politics of the jap Mediterranean.
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Additional info for Cyprus: A Modern History
30 Early the following year, there was an anti-monarchist mutiny among the Greek forces in Egypt, followed by Tsouderos’ resignation. 31 The British, apart from supporting the king (who was to return in 1946, following a controversial plebiscite), had more immediate concerns, namely to ensure their interests in the Eastern Mediterranean as a whole. As the Soviet armies approached Germany, Britain started to get the jitters and British policy in Greece began to get somewhat confused. In a top secret memorandum in June 1944, the foreign secretary, Eden, wrote: In recent months I have become disturbed by developments which seem to indicate the Soviet Government’s intention to acquire a dominating influence in the Balkans […] We should not hesitate to make our special interests in the Eastern Mediterranean and therefore in Greece and Turkey, and indeed our interests elsewhere in the Balkans, clear to the Russians: but in any step we take to build our influence we must be most careful to avoid giving the impression of a direct challenge.
What happened during these three days was going to strongly influence at least the following fifty years. The initial reaction of the Greek government was one of suspicion. On 1 July, the Greek ambassador in Washington, Melas, went to see Dulles to say that he was resigning his post since he ‘did not wish to have anything to do with what would turn out to be the funeral of Greek–Turkish friendship’. Dulles told him that it had been agreed with the British that Cyprus would be handed to Greece, and that Turkey was only being invited as a witness.
The first stage of the Greek civil war had already passed, with a tenuous and ill-fated agreement at Varkiza, and there was considerable resentment among many Greeks, particularly BRITISH PROPERTY AND THE RUSSIAN FACTOR the left wing, towards Britain’s role in fighting the Greek wartime resistance movement, EAM-ELAS. This resentment stemmed from the fact that the British Operations Executive had assisted the Greek resistance (of which ELAS was the largest part) in fighting the occupiers, but that the British army had subsequently turned against them (see pages 15–19).