Free «Cyprus 1963 Events» Essay

Cyprus 1963 Events




Background to the crisis

The analysis of the crisis

International Response

Aftermath of the crisis




Cyprus has two types of Cypriots.
Greek Cypriots (80%)
Turkish Cypriots (20%)
In 1963, the country went through major crises characterized by issues of geo-politics, nationalism and ethnicity.
This presentation seeks to explore the crises of 1963.


Cyprus has been ruled under the Ottoman Empire until 1878 when the empire gave the country over to Britain.
In exchange, the British would offer military support to the Ottoman territories in Asia in case the Russians struck.
Cyprus was ruled by the British until 1960.


The Greek Cypriots pressured the British to leave.
A Treaty was signed that would see both Greek and Turkish Cypriots share power in government.
However, the Greek Cypriots, through President Makarios, thought that the other faction enjoyed too many rights.
According to the Akritas Plan, leadership was founded on the basis of religion.
After the plan was announced in November 1963, violence broke out.


The crisis was caused by the 13-point constitution reform suggested by Makarios, who was a Greek Cypriot.
The height of violence began on December 21, 1963.
The initial attacks by the Greek Cypriots were carried out between December 21 and December 23.
On the basis of Makario’s anti-Turkish policy, the sole purpose of the violence was to ensure that the Turskish Cypriots were excluded from the government.
Turkish centers were attacked, telephones disconnected, road blocks erected and people killed.
In order to justify its actions, the government accused the Turkish Cypriots of the revolt.


This was an issue of international relations.
The international community, as independent countries and though the UN, intervened to prevent the massacre in Cyprus.
Turkey threatened to attack Cyprus; as a result, Makarios accepted a ceasefire through British troops who were sent on December 25.
The British response did not end the crisis, but the presence of their military made the attacks fewer and irregular.
The US, although cited that there was need for all the Cypriots to respect law and order, did not have an explicit plan to help with the political settlement.
It asserted that there was need not only to follow law and order but also to respect the Zurich –London agreements.


Between December 21 and 23, 133 Turkish Cypriots were killed by Greek Cypriots.
By the end of the year, mass graves were uncovered.
The January 1964 London Conference deliberated the matter.
International efforts continued to fail until many years later.


The main cause of the 1963 Cyprus crises appears to be ethnicity-President Makarios, and the larger Greek ethnicity, were not willing to share power with the Turkish Cypriots.
Although the manifestation was political, the main thing was ideological: ethnicity.
Indeed, the 1963 crisis polarized the country; something that would last for decades.
The role of the international community, though based on national interests, was a significant element on arriving at a settlement decades later.

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