The Cyprus Problem: What Everyone Needs to Know

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For nearly 60 years--from its uprising against British rule in the 1950s, to the bloody civil war between Greek and Turkish Cypriots in the 1960s, the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in the 1970s, and the United Nation's ongoing 30-year effort to reunite the island--the tiny Mediterranean nation of Cyprus has taken a disproportionate share of the international spotlight. And while it has been often in the news, accurate and impartial information on the conflict has been nearly impossible to obtain.

In The Cyprus Problem: What Everyone Needs to Know®, James Ker-Lindsay--recently appointed as expert advisor to the UN Secretary-General's Special Advisor on Cyprus--offers an incisive, even-handed account of the conflict. Ker-Lindsay covers all aspects of the Cyprus problem, placing it in historical context, addressing the situation as it now stands, and looking toward its possible resolution. The book begins with the origins of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities as well as the other indigenous communities on the island (Maronites, Latin, Armenians, and Gypsies). Ker-Lindsay then examines the tensions that emerged between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots after independence in 1960 and the complex constitutional provisions and international treaties designed to safeguard the new state. He pays special attention to the Turkish invasion in 1974 and the subsequent efforts by the UN and the international community to reunite Cyprus. The book's final two chapters address a host of pressing issues that divide the two Cypriot communities, including key concerns over property, refugee returns, and the repatriation of settlers. Ker-Lindsay concludes by considering whether partition really is the best solution, as many observers increasingly suggest.

Written by a leading expert, The Cyprus Problem brings much needed clarity and understanding to a conflict that has confounded observers and participants alike for decades.

What Everyone Needs to Know® is a registered trademark of Oxford University Press.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199757169
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/21/2011
  • Series: What Everyone Needs to Know Series
  • Pages: 152
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

James Ker-Lindsay is the Eurobank EFG Senior Research Fellow on the Politics of South East Europe at the London School of Economics. He is the author of Crisis and Conciliation: A Year of Rapprochement Between Greece and Turkey and EU Accession and UN Peacemaking in Cyprus.

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Table of Contents


Social and Historical Background
What and where is Cyprus?
Who are the Greek Cypriots?
Who are the Turkish Cypriots?
What other communities live on the island?
Who ruled Cyprus in the past?
How did Cyprus become a part of the Ottoman Empire and what were its effects?
When and why did Cyprus come under British control?
What were Enosis and the Megali Idea?
How did British rule develop in Cyprus?
What was EOKA campaign and how did it develop?
Was the EOKA uprising anti-Turkish?
How did Britain respond to the uprising?
What were the Zürich-London Agreements and why did they emerge?
How did the 1960 Constitution divide powers between the communities?
Who and what are the Guarantor Powers?
What sort of military presence were the Guarantor Powers granted on the island?

Constitutional Collapse, 1960-1974
What did the two communities think of their new state?
How did the constitution break down?
What were the 13 constitutional amendments proposed by Makarios?
How did fighting start between the two communities in 1963, and was it planned?
Did the Turkish Cypriot leave the government or were they forced out?
How did the UN establish a peacekeeping presence on the island?
Why is UN Security Council Resolution 186 so important?
What was the Acheson Plan?
How did the UN Mission of Good Offices emerge?
What led to the Greek military coup in Cyprus in 1974?
How did the Turkish invasion happen?
Was the Turkish invasion legal and was it a conspiracy?

What were the effects of the invasion on the two communities?
What were the High Level Agreements?
When and why did the Turkish Cypriot unilaterally declare independence?
What was the 'Draft Framework Agreement'?
What was the 'Set of Ideas'?
What was the Loizidou case?
How did Cyprus become a candidate for EU membership?
What was the Turkish response to the EU decision to accept Cyprus as a candidate?
How did the EU accession affect the reunification talks?
Why was the Green Line opened?
How did the final version of the Annan Plan emerge?
What did the Annan Plan propose?
What support did the proposals receive?
Why did the Greek Cypriot oppose the Annan Plan?
What were the consequences of the vote for the two sides?
Should Cyprus have been allowed to join the European Union still divided?
What was the July 2006 agreement?
How did new talks emerge in 2008?

The Key Issues
What is meant by a bizonal, bicommunal federation?
What does 'political equality' mean in terms of a solution?
What sort of federal system and governmental structure do the sides want?
Will the Republic of Cyprus continue to exist after a settlement?
Will the territory of the states correspond to the current division of the island?
How will property issues be addressed?
Will there be freedom of movement and settlement across the island?
Will all Turkish settlers have to leave the island?
Will the Treaties of Guarantee and Alliance continue?
What assurances will exist that an agreement be implemented?
Will Britain have to give up its military bases as part of a settlement?
What will be the relationship between Cyprus and the EU?
How will the economic aspects of a solution be managed?

Current and Future Settlement Efforts
Will the UN retain responsibility for peacemaking and peacekeeping?
What part does the UN Security Council play in settlement efforts?
What is the 'European Solution' to the Cyprus Problem?
Has EU accession changed the parameters of a solution?
Is a settlement linked to Turkey's EU membership?
What role does Greece play in settlement efforts?
Can the current status quo continue indefinitely?
Will future settlement efforts be based on a federal solution?
Could a solution be based on a confederation or a unitary state?
Are enosis or taksim still possible options?
Could the TRNC be recognized?
Is formal partition a 'fair and viable' solution?

Suggestions for Further Reading

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