British Rule

When Turkish rule came to an end in Cyprus, the Island became a British Protectorate with a British High Commissioner and a partly elected Legislative Council. There was also a nominated Executive Council which included both Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

In November 1914 it was annexed by Britain, and in 1925 became a British Crown Colony with a Governor (instead of a High Commissioner). In 1931 the Legislative Council was abolished, and thereafter the Governor remained in sole charge of the Island`s affairs, advised by his Executive Council and, for a short time, by a nominated Advisory Council.

The Turkish element was able to participate in a limited way at the local level in the colonial administration. Even during this period, the Greek community, in complicity with the Greek Government in Athens, made plain its intention of taking over the Island for itself through the suppression of the Turkish community.

In 1931 Greek Cypriots, under the pretext of budgetary disagreements, resigned from the Legislative Council. With the leadership of the Greek Orthodox Church and other Enosis agitators they surrounded the Government House, ribted, and burned it to the ground on 21 October 1931. Subsequently additional rioting broke out in other towns and villages. Later, the British authorities restored order and forced into exile leaders of this revolt.

Turkish Cypriots objected to union with Greece (Enosis) because they did not want either any change in the status quo or a new colonial power. Therefore they opposed this attempted project of Greek imperialism). However, under the directives of Archbishop Makarios and with the assistance of Greece, the newly formed Greek terrorist organization EOKA commenced a war of terror in Cyprus on 1 April 1955. A state of emergency was declared by the British in November 1955 which continued for four years.

However, these attempts of the Greek Cypriots to achieve Enosis through terrorism were met with determined resistance on the part of the Turkish Cypriots. Their view was that if the Greeks were seeking union with Greece, it was only fair that they should be allowed to unite with Turkey. As the conflict grew in intensity, Turkey was forced to intervene to counter the influence of Greece and defend its own rights as well as the rights of the Turkish community. Turkey wished to arrive at a balanced solution in which the rights and interests of both communities in Cyprus would be safeguarded.

Between 1954 and 1958, the question of Cyprus was brought before the United Nations. purpose of Greece in bringing this question before the United Nations was to seek a solution which would deny the rights of the Turkish Community and 6rodeAhe interests of Turkey in Cyprus. However, these intentions wer~ thwarted by the adoption of a resolution which called on the interested parties to arrive at a peaceful and democratic solution based on justice.

After four years of Greek terrorism for Enosis against the British and the Turkish community a settlement was reached at Zurich between the representatives of Turkey and Greece in consultation with the respective leaders of the Turkish and Greek Cypriot communities in Cyprus and thus the foundations of an independent State were laid down.