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Brand: Nick Van Der Bijl

The Cyprus Emergency

by Nick Van Der Bijl

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The Cyprus Emergency : The Divided Island 1955 - 1974

The UK has been involved in Cyprus for over 125 years. Strategically placed in the Eastern Mediterranean, it was initially ideal for protection of the Suez Canal and more recently as a 'listening post' for the troubled Middle East and southern flank of NATO. The British faced two serious problems - the first, the Greek Cypriots' desire for Enosis, (union with Greece) and, second, the intense rivalry and antipathy between the Greek and Turkish communities.

In 1955 the former resulted in a bitter EOKA terrorist campaign led by Colonel George Grivas. This resulted in the deaths of over 100 British servicemen. Nicosia's 'Murder Mile' was the scene of many shootings.

The Governor Field Marshal Harding narrowly escaped assassination in his residence. Even British families were targeted. The next phase was the Turkish Government's military intervention in 1974 to prevent what they saw as the Greek take-over.

In a bloody invasion which saw widespread 'ethnic cleansing' and displacement of communities, the Island was divided into two sectors policed by the United Nations. This exists today, as do the British Sovereign Base areas at Dhekalia and Atrokiri/Episkopi. This book describes the most troubled years of this beautiful island which is so well known to British servicemen, their families and holiday makers.

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