1st Edition

Cyprus 1974: Anatomy of an Invasion

By Vassilis Fouskas, William Mallinson Copyright 2025
    250 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Conventional wisdom and ideologies hold that responsibility for the partition of the Republic of Cyprus in the wake of Turkey’s multiple advances on the island in summer 1974 rests on domestic ethnic and religious tensions between Turks and Greeks. This book, drawing on a wealth of archival material, shows that this is not the case at all. As the detailed report of the United Nations mediator, Galo Plaza, had shown in 1965, Turks and Greeks on the island could easily co-exist if left alone to determine their future. This did not happen. The partition of the island had been inscribed in NATO’s policy since the 1950s, rewarding the strongest component of NATO’s southern flank, Turkey, at the expense of Greece, the weaker component. The volume details the role of CIA agents in Greece and the machinations of the Greek junta of Demetrios Ioannides to overthrow the charismatic leader of Cyprus, Archbishop Makarios, who had been fighting for an independent and non-aligned Cyprus. It also explains how the partition of Cyprus in 1974 has opened up prospects for the partition of the Aegean Sea between Greece and Turkey, with Greece’s eastern Aegean islands becoming ‘NATOlands’ in the service of the war against Russia.

    The volume is an essential read for researchers and students in the history and politics of Cyprus, Greece, Turkey and south-eastern Europe.


    List of Abbreviations

    Dramatis Personae

    Maps and Images


    1 Introduction

    2 Watershed: Constantinople and Sakarya, August 1922

    3 Early days for Turkish sub-imperialism

    4 NATO powers in Cyprus

    5 Makarios’ anti-NATO thrust for independence

    6 Dean Acheson fails

    7 Dictatorship in Greece

    8 The Greek-Turkish junta in Cyprus

    9 When détente can be breached: the conjuncture of 6 October 1973 – 15 July 1974

    10 Ioannides’ blunder

    11 British predicaments

    12 Kissinger’s quirks, pseudo-ceasefire and the strange survival of the junta

    13 The Sisco mission: massaging the “Guarantors”

    14 Geneva I (15-20 July) and Geneva II (8-14 August)

    15 The Greek polity and the lame politics of military operations

    16 You concede bit by bit

    17 The Soviets and Britain’s subaltern position

    18 Conclusion

    Bibliographical Sources



    Vassilis K. Fouskas is a Professor of International Politics & Economics and Co-Director of the research centre for the study of States, Markets & People (STAMP) at the Royal Docks School of Business & Law, University of East London. He is the founding editor of the Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies (Routledge-Taylor & Francis, 8 issues a year, since 1998). His work has been translated into more than 10 languages.


    William D. E. Mallinson, a former diplomat, taught international history and history of ideas in many Universities in Britain, Italy and Greece for decades. He holds a PhD in history from the London School of Economics and he is considered one of the foremost authorities on the Cyprus issue. He shares his time between London, Paris and Athens.