Eavesdropping on the diplomats: Cyprus 50 years after

Photo of the Hilton Hotel after the bombing by Turkish planes on July 21, 1974 in Nicosia, Cyprus. [AP]

This coming July marks 50 years since the partition of Cyprus by an invading army, also 50 years since a brutal Greek dictatorship meekly handed over power to civilian politicians. Τhe connection between the two anniversaries was drawn most memorably by the poet-politician Alekos Panagoulis in 1975, when the tragedy was fresh: "Let us hold tight to this little liberty, which was gifted to us with the blood of Cyprus." 

Panagoulis insisted that the Greek nation must never forget its role in triggering the Cyprus tragedy, and he was right to do so despite the pain of that memory. Fifty years later, the Greek state has a much healthier relationship with its nationalist instincts.

Tools exist for turning tragedy into wisdom. One of those tools is an exemplary recent book on the Cyprus question, that of George Kalpadakis' "Cyprus Issue, 1954-1974" ("Κυπριακό, 1954-1974....

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