The island nation of Cyprus can be summed up in one word: divided. Since gaining independence from Great Britain in 1960, tensions between the ethnically Greek and Turkish sides of the island escalated to a Greek coup d’Etat attempt and invasion by Turkey in 1974. This conflict has resulted in the island being split, monitored, and guarded by the UN and a reunification debate that continues to this day.

At the same time, however, Cyprus is a relatively prosperous nation, a member of the European Union, and a popular tourist destination. The dichotomy between Cyprus’ conflict zone and first-world nation status makes this island a unique case study.

In this episode, we explore the history of Cyprus and the roots of conflict in this historically conquered island. We then look into the key debates and disagreements between various stakeholders of the island. Lastly, we discuss past failed peace plans and the various factors impacting reunification efforts.

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About the Author
John is a graduate student in International Affairs at The George Washington University and serves as the Director of Public Relations for Matters of State. Originally from Central Texas, John earned a B.A. in linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin. He lived in South Korea for nearly three years, teaching English on Jeju Island before studying Korean in Seoul. John’s academic and professional interests are international security and East Asian affairs.