9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
A sketchy and unsatisfying account of the EOKA Uprising and a little (very little) of it's aftermath.,
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This review is from: The Cyprus Emergency: The Divided Island 1955 - 1974 (Hardcover)
I must admit to having found this book thoroughly disappointing.
Boldly titled 'The Cyprus Emergency'; which, by definition covered the four year period of the EOKA rebellion, April 1955 - March 1959; it also has a sub title, 'The Divided Island 1955 - 1974.'
By including the 14 year post Independence period up to and including the'Turkish Intervention',one might assume that the book would tell the story of what occurred during this period. It does not. Why the author chose to include this period in a book ostensibly about the Emergency is a mystery.
Throughout, the book relies heavily on bare facts; for instance, exhaustive details of the arrivals and departures of military units and changes of command, but little in the way of narrative accounts of what they actually did.
Similarly; on the EOKA side, whilst Grivas takes centre stage, from whichever cave or hole in the ground he happened to be hiding in, and Grigoris Axfentiou is portrayed as being EOKA's main hero; whilst simultaneously, a thorn in Grivas' side, we learn little of the rest.
Considering his dual reputation, first as EOKA's psychopathic killer of Britons, and subsequently as leader of his own Greek Cypriot murder gang intent on the liquidation of the Turkish Cypriot presence from the island, Nicos Sampson's activities are given little mention.
Following his nomination by the coupists as 'President of Cyprus' during the 1974 Greek Army/ Cyprus National Guard coup that deposed Makarios; it was Sampson's fearsome reputation amongst the Turkish Cypriots that is regarded as the catalyst for Turkey's intervention on the island. They were under no illusions as to what he; now ostensibly 'leader' of the Greek Cypriots, was capable of doing to Turkish Cypriots, and now that he had the chance, would!.
Sampson, who escaped the gallows twice, was fond of boasting that whilst in EOKA he had killed someone for every year of his life. We are given no insight into who his victims were or where these killings took place.
Sampson does however feature in a very clear and revealing photograph,in his guise as a youthful photojournalist at the scene of the July '56 murder of a special constable in Nicosia. (It has been suggested elsewhere that he was the actual killer).
The post Independence period was in many ways the most contentious in the island's modern history. It was during this time that the seeds of the islands self destruction were sown; as, with Makarios still intent on enosis with Greece, the old EOKA was resurrected as EOKA-B, with the new enemy being the Turkish Cypriots.
Eleven years of increasingly bitter inter-communal violence followed; but also with factional in-fighting amongst the Greek Cypriots themselves, with Sampson heavily involved on both counts.
This period, including the 1974 coup and Turkish 'Intervention' is covered in just 17 pages!
Little is new in this book, although the description of Axfentiou's demise is at variance with other accounts I have read. A case I suppose of, you pays your money.........!
Apart from that, for those who wish to learn more there is a bibliography, but of mostly out of print or otherwise inaccessable publications.