Andreas Constandinos


Government documents from the British and American National Archives, currently within the public domain, have provided a revealing insight into Whitehall’s and Washington’s objectives in relation to the geopolitically strategic island of Cyprus. Whilst many continue to argue in favour of a Western conspiracy to overthrow President Makarios and divide the island in the summerof 1974, British and American governments’ documents suggest that whilst the American intelligence community’s role in the coup against Archbishop Makarios remains nebulous, any possible suggestion of collusion, whether British and/or American, with Turkey in its subsequent invasion, can now be largely dismissed.

This article looks at the history of US and British policy on Cyprus from 1964-1974, by  examining the crucial way in which Whitehall allowed its foreign policy vis-à-vis Cyprus to become influenced by decision-makers in Washington, and the role played by the two countries in the infamous and ultimately tragic summer of 1974.



Britain, America, Cyprus, Makarios, Callaghan, Kissinger, Turkish Invation, 1974

Agee, P. and Wolf, L. (1987) Dirty Work, The CIA in Western Europe. New York: Dorset Press.

Argyrou, F. (2000) Conspiracy or Blunder? The Evolution of a Bizonal Bicommunal Federation in Cyprus. Nicosia: Adouloti Kyrenia.

Ball, G. (1982) The Past has Another Pattern. New York: Norton and Company.

Callaghan, J. (1987) Time and Chance. London: Collins.

Clerides, G. (1990) Cyprus: My Deposition, Volume 3. Nicosia: Alithia Publishing.

Congressional Information Service (1975) Crisis on Cyprus: 1975 One Year after the Invasion, Staff Report prepared for the Subcommittee to investigate problems connected with refugees and escapees of the Committee on the Judiciary, US Senate; preface by Edward M. Kennedy. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1975.

Congressional Information Service (1976) US Intelligence Agencies and Activities: The Performance of the Intelligence Community, Hearings before the Select Committee on Intelligence, US House of Representatives Washington, DC: US
Government Printing Office.

Constandinos, A. (2009) America, Britain and the Cyprus Crisis of 1974: Calculated Conspiracy or Foreign Policy Failure? Milton Keynes: AuthorHouse.

Editorial New York Times, 17 July 1974.

Fallaci, O. (1976) Interview with History. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Foreign Relations of the United States (1958–1960) Volume X, Part 1, includ. Cyprus, eds. Ronald D. Landa, James E. Miller, David S. Patterson, Charles S. Sampson (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1993), Documents 169-363.

Hart, P. (1990) Two NATO Allies at the Threshold of War: Cyprus, a Firsthand Account of Crisis Management, 1965-1968. London: Duke University Press.

Hitchens, C. (1984) Hostage to History: Cyprus: From the Ottomans to Kissinger. London: QuartetBooks Limited.

Kissinger, H. (1999) Years of Renewal. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.

Nicolet, C. (2001) United States Policy Towards Cyprus, 1954-1974: Removing the Greek-Turkish Bone of Contention. Mannheim und Moehnesee: Peleus, Studien zur Archaeologie und GeschichteGriechenlands und Zyperns, Band 9, Bibliopolis.

O’Malley, B. and Craig, I. (2004) The Cyprus Conspiracy, America, Espionage and the Turkish Invasion. London: I.B. Tauris.

Packard, M. (2008) Getting it Wrong, Fragments from a Cyprus Diary 1964. Milton Keynes: AuthorHouse.

Richter, H. (2010) A Concise History of Modern Cyprus, 1878-2009. Ruhpolding, Germany: Peleus, Studien zur Archaeologie und Geschichte Griechenlands und Zyperns, Band 50, Verlag Franz Philipp Rutzen.

Stern, L. (1975) ‘Bitter Lessons: How we failed in Cyprus’, an essay by Laurence Stern, Foreign Policy (Summer).

Stern, L. (1977) The Wrong Horse: The Politics of Intervention and the Failure of American Diplomacy. New York: Time Books.

Strigas, A. (1995) Diethneis Synomotes. Athens: Nea Thesis.