chapter
19 Pages

Introduction

WithJohn Burke

On 15 July 1974, after a long period of tension between the governments of Athens and Nicosia, a coup d'état against the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Archbishop Makarios III, signified the beginning of a major international crisis on this small Mediterranean island. In order to fully understand why the concept of 'divide and rule' resonates so strongly, and indeed, why the many conspiracy theories surrounding 1974 are able to generate such popular support, it is important to move beyond the politics and approach these concepts through the prism of memory. In developing from this theoretical base, as Barry Schwartz argued, while the content of newspapers, TV programs and history textbooks can tell people what communicative and academic elites believe about the past, they do not necessarily say what ordinary people believe, or how they feel about what they believe.