The Cypriot Question: Greece
About this Committee
Cyprus has long sat upon a critical position in the Eastern Mediterranean. Immediately west of the Levant, North of Egypt, and South of Annatolia, this island has changed hands innumerable numbers of times in history, and it seems may again. The local Greek Cypriot population has remained the primary culture group of the island since Antiquity, but during the Ottoman conquests, this island, alongside mainland Greece, was annexed by the Ottoman Turks. A sizable Turkish Cypriot population emerged during this period, and the Cypriots lived among each other in many villages, often of mixed communities.
The British gained control of the island from the Ottoman Empire up until 1960, where the Cypriots were granted independence. Following this, tensions began to flare as centuries old rivalries were rekindled. Many Greek Cypriots were convinced of the Greek idea of Enoisis, or the reunification of formerly Greek lands that had Greek majority populations with their homeland, but especially following the disaster of the Greco-Turkish War after the First World War, many were anxious about the issues that could bring. Following the withdrawal of the Turkish Cypriots from government due to ethnic conflict, massacres against Turks broke out in several villages, and thousands were displaced, followed inevitably by general armed conflict between the groups. Only at the last moment was Turkey stopped from intervening by the United States, and tensions were at an all time high for the island. But that was five years ago.
Turkey looms in the minds of even the most devoted and outspoken proponents of Greek nationalism, and Annatolia, preparations began to be put in order, under no circumstances would their own people be massacred or marginalized. Peace is a distant and foreign matter for the people of Cyprus now, and it may be a matter of time before a match lights the island ablaze.