Cyprus embodies a state that has endured problematic ethnic conflicts. Cyprus gained independence from Great Britain in 1960 and since then the inhabitants, the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots have been clashing frequently…
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Conflicts that arise between two different ethnic groups are always a challenge to resolve and Cyprus Island was not an exception. Moreover, the strategic location and the island’s unique history have played a part in the involvement of many parties in Cyprus and the challenges in settling the disputes. Present conflicts between the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots have been sparked by this historical environment that was between them. The legacy of the many wars and conflicts has created a destabilized situation where both communities cannot trust each other. Pre-war period. Greeks were seen to desire domination over the Turkish Cypriots.in 1878 the British created a legislative council in Cyprus the Greeks demanded more representation and in 1882 the British decided to give the Greeks 9 members and the Turkish Cypriots three. The Turkish Cypriots protested as was expected as they saw its risky having the Greeks dominate. This defensiveness became a primary characteristic in the Turkish Cypriots behavior a notion that the Greek Cypriots did not really comprehend. After the war against the British came to an end the Greek Cypriots did not bother to have talks with their Turkish counterparts or give them assurance. This thus led to a state where although the island was Great Britain’s colony, and both groups were under colonisation, independence was not the outcome of the mutual cooperation by both communities. The two groups were never willing to cohabit as one state as both communities had different objectives. For many years the Turkish Cypriots never understood the Greek Cypriots desire for enosis. They thought that this desire to unite with Greece reflected the Greek Cypriot’s attempts to govern them. In the years 1878-1960, the Turkish Cypriots affiliated themselves with British, which was a serious mistake. This move is what made the constitution contain to privileges leaning on the Turkish Cypriots. If they hadn’t aligned themselves with the British they may have entered independence jointly with the Greek Cypriots. They on their side showed little interest of the powers they were given under the Zurich constitution. Conscious of Turkish government support and Turkish troops in the island they were unyielding in claiming their rights as a separate group even in situations where these rights were unrealistic or conflicted with the state’s interests. The populace of the Turkish Cypriots was small but their leaders still insisted on having the 30% positions in the civil service though qualified people were unobtainable. Between 1960 and 1963, using their veto powers they utterly paralyzed the government (Amussen, 2008). This sparked president Makarios proposals The Greek Cypriots agreed that the constitution had to be revised and was not necessary to be a compromise with the Turkish Cypriots. They made a blunder and continued their discussion to reunite with Greece, a move that was prohibited by their constitution. Turkish had control of 40% of the island and was entitled to 30% of the civil service position, a 40% share in the army with just being 18% of the whole populace. The Greek Cypriot’s actions were even more fueled by this privileges the Turkish Cypriots were liable to in the constitution but had the Greek Cypriots been content with the status quo and accepted those privileges and let go of their desire for the union with Greece, then the Turkish Cypriots just might have been more receptive for some compromise (James, 2011). Nevertheless, this never happened. Instead the leader of the Greek Cypriots, president Makarios attempted to review thirteen amendments of the constitution. The Turkish Cypriot leaders and the Turkish government
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