Understanding the Cyprus Problem: A Small Chess Piece on a Huge Board
Posted: 19 Jul 2012 Last revised: 9 Feb 2014
Date Written: September 18, 2009
The island of Cyprus, the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, has witnessed an intermittently-bloody conflict since the latter part of the twentieth century. This island has over the past fifty years turned into a battle ground between the Greek and Turkish ethnic groups. Consequently, hundreds have died and thousands have become refugees and despite various efforts by third-parties, no solution has been achieved to date. This paper looks back to the 1800s to provide background and context to facilitate a contemporary examination of the external and internal history and dynamics of Cyprus. It draws comparisons to the island’s role as a “pawn” or “small chess piece” during the 1800s, to its contemporary role vis-a-vis Turkey and EU-Turkey relations.
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