29 Pages

Creating official images of the past in Greek Cypriot historical narratives and school texts

WithJohn Burke

When considering the contemporary representation of British actions and influences on Cyprus during the crisis of 1974, the predominant popular concept of 'foreign conspiracies' operates in somewhat of a contrast to the content of Greek Cypriot school texts. Although the process of history education is but one of the many means used by the state to construct a form of historical awareness and a sense of identity among its populace, the power of the structured content of school textbooks should not be underestimated. In moving beyond the politics of history construction to the actual content of these texts, it is important to consider the dual level of meaning associated with 1974; its causes and its consequences. The social impact of conflict was significant, as a History of Cyprus describes: The victims of the invasion in battle dead, massacred, people executed in cold blood, raped women, amount to some 2,000.