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Cyprus Emergency

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cyprus Emergency
Part of decolonisation and the Cold War
Street riot in Nicosia 1956.jpg

A street riot in Nicosia during the Battle at Nicosia Hospital in 1956
Date1 April 1955–19 February 1959
Location
Result Independence of Cyprus
London-Zurich Agreement
Enosis not achieved
Belligerents

 United Kingdom

EOKA
Supported by:
Greece
Turkey TMT
Supported by:
Turkey
Commanders and leaders
John Harding Georgios Grivas

Turkey Rauf Denktaş


Ezekias Papaioannou
Strength
c.25,000[1]-40,000[2] 300 fighters[3] fewer than EOKA[4]
Casualties and losses
457 dead[5] 90 EOKA confirmed dead Unknown

The Cyprus Emergency was a period of violent unrest in British Cyprus between 1955 and 1959. It was characterised by a confrontation between the British and the ethnic Greek National Organisation of Cypriot Fighters (EOKA) which sought the end of colonial rule and the unification of Cyprus and Greece (enosis). This was also opposed by Turkish Cypriots who formed the Turkish Resistance Organisation (TMT). The period of conflict ended in 1959 with the signature of the London-Zürich Agreements which established Cyprus as an independent state, but separate from Greece.

History

In 1954 Britain announced its intention to transfer its Suez military headquarters (the office of the Commander-in-Chief, Middle East)[6] to Cyprus. The insurgency began on 1 April 1955. After a series of follow up incidents, the Governor General Sir John Harding declared a state of emergency on 26 November of that year.[7]

The British encountered great difficulty obtaining effective intelligence on EOKA as the majority of the Greek Cypriot population supported and/or feared them. They were also hampered by a drain on manpower caused by the Suez Crisis and Malayan Emergency. Towards the end of the 1950s the British enjoyed more success. Cyprus became an independent republic in 1960 with Britain retaining control of two Sovereign Base Areas, at Akrotiri and Dhekelia.

In January 2019 the British government agreed to pay £1 million to 33 Cypriots who were tortured by British forces during the uprising. They including a woman, aged 16 at the time, who said she was detained and repeatedly raped by soldiers, and a man who lost a kidney as a result of his interrogation. The payout followed the declassification of government documents in 2012, although Foreign Office minister Alan Duncan stated that "the settlement does not constitute any admission of liability" but that "the government has settled the case in order to draw a line under this litigation and to avoid the further escalation of costs".[8]

See also

References

  1. ^ Find your ancestors in Cyprus Emergency Deaths 1955 - 1960
  2. ^ CYPRUS 1954-1959 SGM Herbert A. Friedman (R) and Brigadier General Ioannis Paschalidis
  3. ^ CYPRUS 1954-1959 SGM Herbert A. Friedman (R) and Brigadier General Ioannis Paschalidis
  4. ^ CYPRUS 1954-1959 SGM Herbert A. Friedman (R) and Brigadier General Ioannis Paschalidis "The TMT, though smaller and less well organized, followed EOKA tactics..."
  5. ^ Find your ancestors in Cyprus Emergency Deaths 1955 - 1960
  6. ^ Richard J. Aldrich, Ming-Yeh Rawnsley, The Clandestine Cold War in Asia, 1945–65: Western Intelligence, Propaganda and Special Operations, Routledge, 2013, 106.
  7. ^ "State Of Emergency Declared In Cyprus". The Central Queensland Herald (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1930–1956). Rockhampton, Qld.: National Library of Australia. 1 December 1955. p. 13. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
  8. ^ "UK government pays damages to 33 Cypriot pensioners". BBC News. 23 January 2019.

Further reading

External links

This page was last edited on 10 May 2019, at 20:40
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