Dr Savvas Michael


The article firstly focuses on the British colonial era in Cyprus, predominantly from the 1950s to the implementation of the Treaty of Guarantee. It argues that Britain played an active role in Greek-Turkish divisions, shown in particular by events between 1954 and 1958. The article then takes a legal analysis, focussing on the Treaty of Guarantee in 1960. It discusses British (and American) involvement in post-colonial Cyprus in the 1960s and 1970s, notably their support for a Turkish invasion. Crucially, it examines potential breaches of Public International Law through British actions, addressing both Treaty Law and Customary International Law. It is accepted amongst the international community that Turkey breached the Treaty of Guarantee when they invaded Cyprus in 1974. This is uncontroversial and will be briefly discussed, but the main intention of this article is to provide an original perspective on how the British also breached the Treaty of Guarantee.



Treaty of Guarantee, public international law, Greek-Turkish relations, British colonial rule, British foreign policy

Primary Sources
Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (signed 4 November 1950, entered into force 3 September 1953), CETS No. 5, 213 UNTS 221.
Emin V. Yeldag (Attorney-General and Secretary of State For Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Intervening) Family Division [2002] 1 Flr 956, 5 October 2001.
Foreign Relations of the United States 1955-1957, Vol. 24 (Washington: United States Government Printing Office).
Foreign Relations of the United States 1973-1976, Vol. 30: Greece; Cyprus; Turkey (Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 2007).
Hesperides Hotels v Aegean Turkish Holidays [1978] 1 QB 205.
Nicaragua v United States of America - Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua - Judgment of 27 June 1986 - Merits - Judgments [1986] ICJ 1; ICJ Reports 1986, p 14; [1986] ICJ Rep 14 (27 June 1986).
Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Done at Rome on 17 July 1998, in force on 1 July 2002, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 2187, No. 38544.
Treaty of Guarantee between United Kingdom of Great Britain And Northern Ireland, Greece And Turkey And Cyprus, Signed at Nicosia on 16 August 1960.
Treaty of Peace with Turkey Signed at Lausanne, July 24, 1923, The British Empire, France, Italy, Japan, Greece, Roumania and The Serb-Croat-Slovene State, of the one part, and Turkey, of the other part.
Secondary Sources
Asmussen, Jan, Cyprus at War: Diplomacy and Conflict During the 1974 Crisis (London: I.B. Tauris; 2008).
Burke, John, Britain and the Cyprus Crisis of 1974: conflict, colonialism and the politics of remembrance in Greek Cypriot society (London: Routledge; 2017).
Constandinos, Andreas, Examining the Role of the British and American Government's During 1974 (Plymouth: Plymouth University Press; 2012).
Crawford, James, The Cambridge Companion to International Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015).
Crawford, James, The Creation of States in International Law (Oxford: OUP, 2007).
Hitchens, Christopher, Hostage to History: Cyprus from the Ottomans to Kissinger (London: Farrar Straus & Giroux; 1989).
Kareklas, Iakovos ‘International Law & Diplomacy on the Turkish Military Intervention of Cyprus’, Hellenic Foundation for European & Foreign Policy, Working Paper No 18 (April 2011).
Kissinger, Henry, Years of Renewal (London: Simon and Schuster UK Ltd; 2012).
Lindley, Dan and Wenzke, Caroline, Dismantling the Cyprus Conspiracy: The US Role in the Cyprus Crises of 1963, 1967 and 1974 (Indiana: University of Notre Dame; 2008)
Mallinson, William, Kissinger and the Invasion of Cyprus: Diplomacy in the Eastern Mediterranean (Newcastle; Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016).
O’Malley, Brendan and Craig, Ian, The Cyprus Conspiracy: America, Espionage and the Turkish Invasion (London: I.B. Tauris; 2001).
Newman, Philip, A Short History of Cyprus (London: Longmans; 1953).
Rizas, Sotiris, Realism and Human Rights in US Policy Toward Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus (UK: Lexington, Oct 2018).
Rossides, Eugene, Kissinger and Cyprus: a study in Lawlessness (Washington D.C.: American Hellenic Institute Foundation; 2014)
Tsagourias, Nicholas and Morrison, Alasdair, International Humanitarian Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018).
Van Der Bijl, Nick, The Cyprus Emergency: The Divided Island 1955 – 1974 (Barnsley: Pen & Sword; 2010).

How to Cite

“The British Role in Creating Greek-Turkish Divisions in Colonial Cyprus and an Analysis into the Subsequent Breaches of the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee in Post-Colonial Cyprus: A Public International Law Perspective”. 2020. Cyprus Review 32 (2): 77-103. https://cyprusreview.org/index.php/cr/article/view/753.