Anti-Colonial Struggle

In 1955, after a long but unsuccessful struggle to attain their freedom by peaceful means, the people of Cyprus took up arms against the colonial power. The British Government, in its attempt to thwart the Cyprus people's aspirations for self-determination, exploited the presence in Cyprus of the Turkish Cypriot minority, and sought assistance from Turkey in obstructing the natural trend of events in Cyprus. After some hesitation the Turkish Government accepted the invitation to intervene in Cyprus, in defiance of its solemn undertaking under the Treaty of Lausanne, and a section of the Turkish Cypriot minority in Cyprus became the instrument both of British colonialism and of a new expansionist tendency in Turkey. The British Government, moreover threatened that if selfdetermination were ever to be achieved in Cyprus the result would be the partition of the island since the Turkish Cypriot minority would be offered the right to self-determination separately. That threat might have been intended to discourage the Cypriot people's struggle for freedom, but its consequences were quite different. Instead, the partition of Cyprus became an objective of Turkish foreign policy and a number of Turkish Cypriots took up arms against the Cypriot freedom fighters while the Turkish Cypriot leadership advocated either partition or the continuation of British colonial rule.


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Giorgos Zacharia ( 1995-1999.