[ilds] evil empire

Michael Haag michaelhaag at btinternet.com
Wed Jul 11 13:52:47 PDT 2007

In 1878 the British occupied Cyprus by treaty arrangement with the 
Ottoman Empire; this arrangement was part of an alliance by which 
Britain gave support to the Ottoman Empire against Russia.  The island 
remained part of the Ottoman Empire until 1914 when the Ottomans 
entered the First World War on the German side, and so the British 
annexed Cyprus.

British expenditure on Cyprus always exceeded revenues from the island; 
British rule was the first in the whole history of Cyprus to be in any 
way benevolent.  The British had an interest, of course, and still have 
an interest, that is in the general situation in the Eastern 
Mediterranean and the Middle East, for which reason Cyprus was to serve 
as a base and indeed still serves as a major British military base.

The argument presented by Durrell in Bitter Lemons is how the British 
could ease themselves from their post-1914 position to one similar to 
today, and in fact he supported a twenty-year transition period.  There 
were powerful real-world reasons for the position advocated by Durrell; 
the Greek Cypriots chose otherwise.  They entirely discounted the Turks 
on the island, and more stupidly still they entirely discounted Turkey.

By choosing to pretend that there are no real-world conditions 
affecting their demands, the Greek Cypriots brought their present 
problems on themselves.  Not that they accept that, and so of course 
they blame.


On Wednesday, July 11, 2007, at 08:47  pm, Vittorio Celentano wrote:

> Nevertheless the Greek assumption that with British goodwill the 
> island could have been swiftly transferred, complete with sleeping 
> Turks, to Greek rule without serious conflict may well be questioned. 
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