BBC news service - Sample Essay

In 1963 President Makarios proposed constitutional changes which would have abrogated the power sharing agreement then in place. Violence flared between the two groups and the Turks withdrew into enclaves in the north in 1964 when a United Nations peace keeping force was set up. According to a report by Ata Atun at that time there were about 18% of villages where the population was mixed, but even so cross cultural marriages were more or less unknown as were business partnerships that crossed the cultural divide even though, in many cases, people lived at very close quarters with those of the other side.

There were however trade unions, though even these would be disrupted by disputes. As well as the mixed villages there were also 392 purely Greek villages and some 123 where only Turkish Cypriots lived, although often these single race villages would be cheek by jowl with each other. Ten years later in 1974 the junta in Athens backed a coup against President Makarios. This led within days to troops from Turkey landing in the north and many Greek Cypriots being forced to flee out of the Turkish occupied areas and the president was forced into temporary exile.

The President of the House of Representatives, Glafcos Clerides acted as president until Archbishop Makarios was able to return late in 1974. In 1975 the Turkish Cypriots established an independent administration, with Rauf Denktash as its president. Denktash and Clerides were able to agree on an exchange of population. The Archbishop died in 1977 and was succeeded by Kypros Spirianou. In 1980 a prolonged series of peace talks were instigated by the United Nations.

Eventually Denktash brings the talks to a halt three years later and declares the northern part of the island to be the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. This is only recognized by the Turks. There flowed several years of talks between the two sides which would collapse from time to time. By 1996 there were frequent violent incidents along the buffer zone between the two states. Despite this in 1998 the European Union accepted Cyprus as a possible future member.

Glafcos Clerides was president by this time and he declared that he would install Russian made anti-aircraft missiles on the island. Turkey was provoked by this threat into threatening further military action. Once again United Nation peacekeepers were needed to patrol the buffer zone. In 1991 there were protests because the United Kingdom wanted to install tall communication masts on its bases. These were perceived as possibly injurious to health. The protests were so violent that many police officers were injured in the clashes.

In the same year Turkey stated that it might annex the north if the Republic of Cyprus joined the EU, because if this came before any reunification settlement it would violate the treaty signed in 1960 but the two leaders were once again in negotiation. In November 2002 the then Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Annan presented a plan for a federated Cyprus with two constituent parts , these being presided over by a rotating presidency. The article by Ioannis Ioannou of 2004 notes the similarities of this situation and the Annan plan of 2004 to the situation in 1964.

The latter plan was also rejected but the basis of it eventually came to pass. He writes:- Once again, our side is rejecting the plan, but the consequences of this action in the long term are not at all visible right. A cause for hope came early in 2002, when then President Glafcos Clerides agreed to travel to Turkish occupied territory in order to dine with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, the first time since partition that such a move had been made according to a report from the BBC news service in February 2003 ‘What is the current state of the peace process?

The whole island became part of the European Union in May 2004, although it must be said that the EU acquis , that is the body of common rights and obligations applies at present only to the areas under direct official government administration, that is it does not apply and in the regions to the north which are administered unofficially, except in Turkey, by the Turkish Cypriots.

Despite this any Turkish Cypriots who are able to show that they qualify for citizenship within the Republic of Cyprus receive legally all the rights available to any other individuals within European Union states according to the World Fact Book, Cyprus web page.

A new Cypriot president was elected in 2008 and this served as needed opportunity for the United Nations to encourage the Turkish and Greek Cypriots to reopen once more the unification negotiations. In September of that year the leaders of both the Greek and Turkish communities on the island talks under the auspices of the United Nations aiming at a final reuniting of the divided island.