Britain and the Cyprus Crisis of 1974 : Conflict, Colonialism and the Politics of Remembrance in Greek Cypriot Society book cover
1st Edition

Britain and the Cyprus Crisis of 1974
Conflict, Colonialism and the Politics of Remembrance in Greek Cypriot Society

ISBN 9780367349387
Published September 11, 2019 by Routledge
236 Pages

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Book Description

This book examines the ideological and socio-political discourses shaping the remembrance and representation of Britain and the Cyprus conflict of 1974 within Greek Cypriot society. By combining the official with the popular and drawing on an extensive range of oral history interviews, this monograph shows that a suspicion born out of Britain’s long (neo-)colonial connection to Cyprus has come to frame the image and understanding of British actions associated with the events, and lasting consequences, of 1974. Indeed, with the island of Cyprus still divided, and the requirement to remember a national imperative, this book has a direct contemporary relevance. However, within the existent literature, while much has been written about the political roots of the Cyprus conflict, no study has yet sought to systematically analyse and understand the influences shaping the history and memory of British actions on Cyprus in 1974. One defined by the existence of 'partitionist' conspiracies, collusive accusations and a series of memory distortions which continue to resonate strongly irrespective of the evidence that is now available. As such, by analysing the influences shaping the image of Britain in 1974, one can begin to understand in ever greater detail the Anglo–Greek Cypriot relationship in a modern context.

Table of Contents

1: Introduction

History and Memory

Methodological Foundations: Oral History

Research Structure

2: ‘One of Our Problems’: The British view of 1974

Roots of Conflict

British Rights and Obligations

An ‘Eternal Balancing Act’

A British ‘scapegoat’?


3: Imagining Conflict and its Causes: Structuring a Popular Greek Cypriot Response

NATO ‘conspiracies’ and the Cold War

The SBAs and (neo)-colonial continuity

Britain and the ‘Big Lie’


4: Creating Official Images of the Past in Greek Cypriot Historical Narratives and School Texts

Politics of History Construction

Consequences of Conflict

Causality of Conflict

A British Legacy


5: Reconciling the Past: Sites of Memory and acts of Public Remembrance

Sites of Memory for 1974: Politics and Mourning

Contested Content

‘Imposed’ Sites of Memory – Peace and Freedom Rally

‘Constructed’ Sites of Memory – The Occupation


‘Stepmother’ Britain: A memorial heritage

‘Forgotten Conflict’

Controversies over Content and Location

Layers of Memorial Meaning


6: Framing the ‘Cyprus Problem’

National Roots of the Problem

‘Who are the Cypriots?’

‘Motherland’ Influences



7: Conclusion

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John Burke is a teacher at Newcastle University, UK.