Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 07/2010

Britain and the 1960 Cyprus Accords: A Study in Pragmatism

Michael Moran

May 2009

Global Political Trends Center


One of the main factors that led directly to the present status quo in Cyprus tends to be forgotten. Th is was the extraordinary display of timidity on the part of Great Britain in the 1960s when confronted with determined Greek Cypriot attempts to make Cyprus Greek. And, needless to say, the subsequent forceful division of the island by Turkey in 1974 should always be seen in this earlier context: not, that is, as some kind of unforeseeable interruption in the island’s natural and peaceful progression towards its Hellenic ‘redemption’; least of all as the result of a brutal and arbitrary interference in a sovereign state on the part of a ‘foreign power’, both of which notions still circulate among many Greeks and their political sympathisers.