The Reunification Of Cyprus: Plausible But Not Probable

1877 words - 8 pages

In 1858, Abraham Lincoln delivered a speech in Illinois at a Republican State Convention. Within his speech were the words, "A house divided against itself cannot stand." This speech referred to the differences among the North and South over the issue concerning slavery. He continued, “I believe this government cannot endure, permanently,” 8 if the two halves do not come to agreement as one. The United States would not be able to be a prosperous country until there is unity. A strong difference within a country does not make for stability, no matter if it concerns slavery, strong religious differences, or ethnicities. The latter is certainly as issue today concerning many countries.

Throughout history, difficulties are seen between the mismatching of ethnicities with country borders, including countries such such Pakistan, Iraq, and Afghanistan. 6,7 This causes competition and conflict between the two ethnic groups, which leads to instability of the government if both groups cannot be equally represented. Just as the North and South could not be represented equally as one United States of America with conflicting views on slavery, it is difficult to equally represent each part of a strong ethnically diverse country. Another example of this conflict is the island of Cyprus. While it would be convenient to refer to it as the country of Cyprus, only half of the island is considered such by the rest of the world. Since 1974, Cyprus has been divided, Turkish Cypriots in the north and Greek Cypriots in the South. On March 18, 2011 the leaders of Turkish Cyprus and Greek Cyprus met to talk about unification. 4 Despite the efforts, it can be argued that while reunification might seem plausible, it is not probable.

The difference between the two latter words is that plausible is “superficial apparency” while probable implies that there is potential in the future. Despite efforts, it does not seem that it would be probable to bring the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the southern Republic of Cyprus together in the conditions that currently lie. In order to understand the argument that this is improbable, one must understand the split that occurred and more importantly, the split of ethnicity upon the island.

In the early history of Cyprus, the island was colonized by Phonecians and Greeks. This can be dated back to the Bronze Age (2500-1000BC) when the Ancient Greeks settled, bringing over their language, religion, and customs 10 . It was not until the late 1500s AD that the Turks emerged in Cyprus. As the main leader of the Ottoman Empire 7, Turkish troops seized Cyprus, killed much of the people, “lay siege to Famagusta for a year”10. This was the first large Turkish colony which settled on Cyprus. Cyprus remained part of the Ottoman Empire until after WWI when it sided with The Central Powers and lost the war. The Ottoman Empire was divided among Britain, France, and other countries 7, Cyprus was annexed by...

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