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The Cyprus Problem 1964-1974: The Divergent Development of the Two Communities and the Quest for Settlement

Citation: Varnava, Marilena (2015) The Cyprus Problem 1964-1974: The Divergent Development of the Two Communities and the Quest for Settlement. Doctoral thesis, University of London.

VARNAVA, M - PhD Thesis FINAL Version 05062015.pdf

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This thesis will examine the development of the Cyprus problem from September 1964, when Galo Plaza assumed the UN Mediatory role, until July 1974, when the coup d’état and the Turkish invasion took place. Its main focus is on the internal aspects of the emerging deadlock. The efforts at peace-making will be examined in three phases: Plaza’s mediation of 1964-1965, the negotiating impasse on the island during the period 1965-1967, and finally the inter-communal talks of 1968-1974. Each of these successive phases, particularly the latter two, were inextricably interwoven with developments within the two main communities. Hence, identifying these developments will be the primary concern of the thesis. Inevitably, the role of Archbishop Makarios III, as the dominant political personality, must be taken into full account during the three phases. Starting with the most critical and hitherto under-explored period of 1964-1968, the thesis will shed light on how the de facto separation of the two communities was established and how the separate administrative and economic structures were consolidated. This divergent development of the two communities produced new realities that had to be confronted by the respective negotiators and peace-makers at all levels. Subsequently, a detailed analysis of the first round of the inter-communal talks, from 1968 until 1971, will explore how and why the two communities missed the crucial opportunity for a settlement which appeared in 1968. Although the negotiations continued until 1974, it will become evident that after 1972, the implications of the internal division within the Greek-Cypriot community meant that any chance for a viable compromise settlement ‘evaporated’. Without ignoring the external aspects of the Cyprus problem, the study will argue that the burden of responsibility for the constant failures to settle the problem until 1972 lies mainly on factors produced within the island itself. Specifically, the Greek-Cypriot political leadership, as the predominant force on the island, crucially failed to grasp the nature of the changes within the island’s post-independence arena, and hence to adapt their goals accordingly. Recurrent attempts within both communities to create faits accomplis favourable to their own bargaining positions before being prepared to embark on a definitive settlement, only served to heighten the barriers to a stable and peaceful outcome. This thesis will, therefore, enlarge our understanding of an underlying failure which the events of 1974 were to throw into stark relief.

Creators: Varnava, Marilena and
Subjects: History
Divisions: Institute of Commonwealth Studies
Collections: Theses and Dissertations
  • 1 January 2015 (submitted)


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