35 Pages

Framing the ‘Cyprus Problem’

WithJohn Burke

When considering the history of division on Cyprus, one is faced with a ­multitude of different perspectives, arguments and questions. At the political level for example, the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash wrote in 1982 that: There is not, and there never has been, a Cypriot nation. When Cyprus emerged as a state in 1960 through the British imposition of independence over the Cypriot national desire for enosis or taksim, it did so without the creation of a clearly defined or unified concept of a nation. Indeed, at a state level there are effectively two dominant imagined communities within Greek Cypriot society. One that embraces Greece as a natural national extension of Cyprus, and one that is close to but distinct from its historic 'motherland'. Ultimately, the main difference is one of national orientation, and whether Greece is embraced as a national partner or thought of as a foreign one.