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Getting It Wrong: Fragments from a Cyprus Diary 1964
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 17 January 2009
For anyone interested in the history of the ' Cyprus problem' this book is an essential read. For those intimately acquainted with the events between 1963 and 1974, the book provides independent evidence of much that has often been asserted but denied by official sources and a hostile western press. The bulk of Greek and Turkish Cypriots were quite capable of living in harmony. Extremist elements, aided and encouraged by external powers in pursuit of their own agendas, made harmony impossible. Martin Packard provides hope for the current efforts at reconciliation on the ill-fated island.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 9 March 2009
Martin Packard has produced a book which not only illuminates the current history of Cyprus but also provides a rare inside glimpse of the way in which the close relationship between British and American intelligence services since WW2 has led to a most unfortunate continuity between the ancient colonial policies of the UK and the newer disguised colonialism pursued by the US in other theatres, not least of which in the Middle East since 2001.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 18 January 2013
I believe no one should express a personal view on the problems of Cyprus without having first read this book. Whilst it is easy to condemn or applaud participants in hindsight, Martin Packard was there and worked with the people towards a solution for these problems
I found the book both moving in the depiction of how individuals and communities suffered, and illuminating in the manipulations of the Powers and people from all sides that lead to the current impasse. Reading of the slow, gradual success of his 'ground-up' approach I am left convinced that this is the logical way forward for any divided community.
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on 3 March 2013
Of all the books I've read on 'The Cyprus Problem' this has been one of the most unbiased and detailed views. It makes clear that the majority (not all) of the problems derive from the actions of extremists on both sides. Each had active paramilitary organisations 'Secret Army' and 'TMT'. Both were encouraged in their pursuits by foreign powers driven by fear of communist incursion into the Mediterranean. The author/participant clearly had an agenda. Unlike most, his agenda was to see the problems of Cyprus, resolved by the Cypriots, in the best interests of the Cypriots. Sadly, he was not backed by his own country/employers, leaving me to face the uncomfortable truth that Britain is accountable for a considerable proportion of the causes of division. Indeed encouraging Turkey to show an interest in partition when prior to the 1950s Turkey had no interest in the island or the Turkish Cypriots and promoting communal division leading up to and after the 1958 troubles.

The degree of trust afforded him by Greek and Turkish Cypriots alike is impressive. That he was able to promote dialogue even between Secret Army and TMT is astounding, but most of all his becoming an unoffical go-between for Kutchuk and Makarios shows, to me anyway, that this man's mediating skills and methods could have brought a unified Cyprus. That he wasn't allowed to is testament to the commitment of 'outside agenices' to partition in Cyprus.

My interest has just come about from living near Limassol as a toddler as my dad worked at Akrotiri. While I can't claim to remember that much I do know we were made very welcome by the Greek Cypriots in our village. Some 40 years later I have had 3 holidays in the last 5 years in TRNC, similarly, the Turkish Cypriots have been so friendly I could not help but wonder how two such peoples have ended up with a divided island. I think I have a better idea of why it all happened, what happened and some of the questionable things both sides have done under the banner of nationalism. Over the last few years of reading about Cyprus all I'm left with is a sense of incompleteness regarding Cyprus and a growing feeling of guilt as the depth of British involvement becomes increasingly clear.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 25 April 2012
I have read many books about the recent history of Cyprus. 'Getting it Wrong' by Martin Packard it is the best and I admire and congratulate Martin Packard for his courage and honesty. The so called National Interests of others with the help of the extrimists on the island put the decent people of Cyprus through over 60 turbulent years.
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on 4 July 2014
difficult to comment on a book - it's as we ordered
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 29 October 2012
I should have stopped reading after I noted that the foreward gave a very defensive mention of the fact that the author's wife is Greek. But then he'd been there and the title suggests he is on 'everyone's' side, so I foolishly carried on expecting an even-handed account from someone caught in the middle. Someone who genuinly wanted to find a 3rd way between Enosis (the Union of Cyprus with Greece) and Taksim (Separation). I needn't have bothered.

Tassos Papadopoulos, ex-EOKA terrorist and ex-politician who ran for office (and won) under the cheery slogan of "Death to the Turks" is actually passed off here as a moderate. Its comedy gold. Apparently he's the one who could have made this work if only they'd listened to Martin Packard. Of course, lets ignore the uncomfortable fact that he single-handedly buried the Annan Plan of Reunification when (the Greek part of) Cyprus ascended to the EU. He'd obviously changed by then. No longer was he that man who had supported Nicos Sampson when he usurped the Presidency after the bloody Greek-led coup in 74 and proclaimed that, "had Turkey not intervened when they did they'd have found no Turks left on the island". Obviously all a terrible misunderstanding.

Its much the same with the Akritas Plan (look it up for yourself), which is passed off as quite inconsequential, albeit with a Note at the back of the book confirming that some crazies have suggested it might contain some 'genocidal' tendencies. Ive no idea where they got that idea though. Suggesting that the Turks be "violently subjugated before foreign powers could intervene" is perfectly OK for a Government plan.

He also clears up the start of the plan going in to force; December 1963, when 133 Turkish Cypriots were killed and 103 villages attacked over Christmas (when it was expected that world opinion would be too slow to react). Apparently that was all propaganda. The Turks were killing themselves in order to give Turkey the excuse to invade. 11 years later. Clever sods. And the press of the day obviously fell for it when they wrote stories such as:
"We went to-night into the sealed-off Turkish quarter of Nicosia in which 200 to 300 people had been slaughtered in the last five days. We were the first Western reporters there and we have seen sights too frightful to be described in print as horrors so extreme that the people seemed stunned beyond tears and reduced to an hysterical and mirthless giggle that is more terrible than tears."

So, no, its not really that funny at all. It is laughable though.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 29 October 2012
I should have stopped reading after I noted that the foreward gave a very defensive mention of the fact that the author's wife is Greek. But then he'd been there and the title suggests he is on 'everyone's' side, so I foolishly carried on expecting an even-handed account from someone caught in the middle. Someone who genuinly wanted to find a 3rd way between Enosis (the Union of Cyprus with Greece) and Taksim (Separation). I needn't have bothered.

Tassos Papadopoulos, ex-EOKA terrorist and ex-politician who ran for office (and won) under the cheery slogan of "Death to the Turks" is actually passed off here as a moderate. Its comedy gold. Apparently he's the one who could have made this work if only they'd listened to Martin Packard. Of course, lets ignore the uncomfortable fact that he single-handedly buried the Annan Plan of Reunification when (the Greek part of) Cyprus ascended to the EU. He'd obviously changed by then. No longer was he that man who had supported Nicos Sampson when he usurped the Presidency after the bloody Greek-led coup in 74 and proclaimed that, "had Turkey not intervened when they did they'd have found no Turks left on the island". Obviously all a terrible misunderstanding.

Its much the same with the Akritas Plan (look it up for yourself), which is passed off as quite inconsequential, albeit with a Note at the back of the book confirming that some crazies have suggested it might contain some 'genocidal' tendencies. Ive no idea where they got that idea though. Suggesting that the Turks be "violently subjugated before foreign powers could intervene" is perfectly OK for a Government plan.

He also clears up the start of the plan going in to force; December 1963, when 133 Turkish Cypriots were killed and 103 villages attacked over Christmas (when it was expected that world opinion would be too slow to react). Apparently that was all propaganda. The Turks were killing themselves in order to give Turkey the excuse to invade. 11 years later. Clever sods. And the press of the day obviously fell for it when they wrote stories such as:
"We went to-night into the sealed-off Turkish quarter of Nicosia in which 200 to 300 people had been slaughtered in the last five days. We were the first Western reporters there and we have seen sights too frightful to be described in print as horrors so extreme that the people seemed stunned beyond tears and reduced to an hysterical and mirthless giggle that is more terrible than tears."

So, no, its not really that funny at all. It is laughable though.
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