The Cyprus War: A Chronology of the Dispute between Greeks and Turks

The conflict on the island of Cyprus has been a source of tension and violence between Greece and Turkey for decades. The dispute has deep historical roots and is due to many complex factors that have developed over the years. In this article, we will take a look at the history of the Cyprus conflict and consider some of the key events and developments over the years.

The beginnings of the conflict: the Turkish invasion and the establishment of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

The Cyprus conflict has its roots in the 1950s, when Greece and Turkey were engaged in a dispute over the island's independence. Greece had ruled Cyprus as a colony since the late 19th century and was eager to make the island an independent Greek state. Turkey, however, was concerned about the impact of Greek independence on the island's Turkish minority and opposed such a development.

In 1974, Turkey carried out an invasion of the island known as "Operation Attila." The invasion led to a rupture in relations between Greece and Turkey and the establishment of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, recognized only by Turkey. Since then, the island has been de facto divided into two parts, with the southern part governed by the Republic of Cyprus and the northern part by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

map of cyprus with the green line as bufferzone in between

The consequences of the invasion: refugees and economic restrictions

The Turkish invasion had profound consequences for the people of Cyprus. Thousands of people were displaced and forced to leave their homes to seek refuge in other parts of the island or abroad. The invasion also led to a massive decline in the economies of both parts of the island. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus had difficulty establishing economic relations with other countries because many countries did not recognize it. The Republic of Cyprus, on the other hand, had to deal with the restrictions created by its separation from its northern neighbor.

Negotiating a settlement: Efforts to find a peaceful solution

Since the establishment of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, various governments on both sides of the island have attempted to reach an agreement and resolve the conflict peacefully. These efforts have included negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations (UN).

One of the most important negotiated agreements was the 2004 Annan Plan, named after Kofi Annan, then UN Secretary-General. The plan called for the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus to be integrated into the Republic of Cyprus and for the two sides to work together as equals in a federation. The plan was accepted by the Turkish side but rejected by the Greek side in a referendum.

Since then, various governments on both sides of the island have repeatedly tried to open negotiations in order to find a peaceful solution. However, in recent years, tensions between Greece and Turkey have increased, making the prospect of reaching an agreement more difficult.

Current Tensions: The dispute over oil and gas reserves in the Mediterranean Sea.

Recently, tensions between Greece and Turkey have again escalated, particularly over the issue of oil and gas deposits in the Mediterranean Sea. Both countries claim the right to exploit oil and gas deposits in the region and have therefore sent military patrols to the area. This has led to confrontations between the two countries and concerns have been raised about a possible military conflict.

Conclusion

The Cyprus conflict is a complex issue that has deep historical roots and is influenced by many complex factors. The dispute over the island's independence and the Turkish invasion in 1974 led to the creation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the de facto division of the island. Since then, various governments on both sides have attempted to reach an agreement and resolve the conflict peacefully, but so far without success. Recently, tensions have once again escalated, particularly over the issue of oil and gas resources in the Mediterranean Sea, raising concerns of a possible military conflict. It remains to be seen whether there will be any future progress in efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Cyprus conflict.

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