July 22, 2014

A GEOPOLITICS OF CYPRUS


Due to its strategic location, Cyprus has been coveted by various external powers throughout its history. Today shipping routes for oil and competition for control of potential chokepoints make European powers, Turkey, and others very involved with that island country.

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Cyprus is located at the juncture of the world island (Eurasia) with Africa. It is on the sea lane of the great maritime highway connecting the Mediterranean Sea through two sea gates–the Suez and Bab al-Mandab–with the Indian Ocean. From there, it links to two other sea gates. These are the Strait of Hormuz, leading to the Persian Gulf, and the Strait of Malacca, connecting to the Pacific. Due to its geostrategic location, throughout its history, external powers have attempted to project their influence over the island.

Cyprus has maintained its strategic importance in contemporary power politics. The “frozen” conflict between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots has brought involvement by the European Union (EU), United Nations, United States, and Turkey. The parties, each with their own agendas, have attempted to work toward some form of resolution of the conflict. Until this is achieved, however, Cyprus will continue to be a great source of instability and conflict in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Cyprus has also been an arena of rivalry between Western and Eastern civilizations. In this geopolitical context, Cyprus has entered the EU as a divided country, a problem that war and diplomacy has failed to solve. Some would say this failure is the result of conflicting outside powers and their interests, which have perennially plagued the island. This study will consider how Cyprus’ recent history has shown the island’s geostrategic importance.

The “Hinterland,” as shown in Image 1, is the land area situated between the internal Eurasian land mass, the “Heartland,” and the maritime highway, the seas. This Hinterland thus includes the whole string of coastal land around the Eurasian continent from Norway to the Middle East to Asia to Russia.

This area functions as a vast buffer of conflict between sea and land power. It includes the countries of Western Europe, the Middle East, Persian Gulf, Southwest Asia, China, and the Far East. The Hinterland coast and maritime regions are also key strategic locations, as they include important trade routes.[1]

 Image 1: The Eurasian Heartland and Hinterland

 

Since the end of World War II, the U.S. foreign policy objective has been to safeguard its position by making sure that no overwhelming power should have the ability to build itself up to hegemonic status in the Hinterland. Cyprus has thus been wedged between, and torn by, the greater powers’ conflicting foreign agendas.[2] This can explain Cyprus’ fragile Eastern Mediterranean position throughout history. The great powers vied for supremacy over the island. During the Cold War, this conflict took place between the Soviets and the Americans. Yet even in the twenty-first century, conflicting agendas between the British, Europe, the United States, and Turkey have continued to thwart the possibility for Cyprus to reach a secure status.

Furthermore, with Cyprus’ accession to the European Union (EU) in 2004, Cyprus has offered the EU an extended outpost position in the Hinterland maritime region for the projection of European power. Despite gaining independence in 1960, throughout its history, Cyprus has never been a fully independent country. Rather, the country has typically been subject to an external, greater power wishing to project influence. It is no different today, with several powers vying for influence over Cyprus.

 

THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE’S DECLINE AND BRITISH INTERESTS

 

During the mid-1870s, Britain and other European powers were faced with the challenge of preventing Russian expansion into the Hinterland and coastal areas controlled by the weakening Ottoman Empire. Russia was attempting to take advantage of the Ottomans’ weak position in order to fill the power vacuum and expand the czar’s empire westward and southward toward the Hinterland water ports along the Dardanelles, including Constantinople.[3] Initial British ideas regarding the acquisition of Cyprus were mainly influenced by the peace treaty of San Stefano in March 1878, which proved catastrophic for British interests. The territorial changes resulted in the creation of a Greater Bulgaria. This state could only survive as a Russian satellite. Thus, indirectly, Russia would have its own vassal state right on the Black Sea/Mediterranean. With this treaty, the Russians also gained the Black Sea harbor of Batoum and the strategically important towns of Kars, Ardahan, and Bajesid in Armenia–all on the Hinterland or its coast.

The treaty threatened Britain’s route to India, the empire’s lifeline. The best solution thus seemed to be the acquisition of a place d’armes in the Eastern Mediterranean, one of the most geostrategic points along the Hinterland maritime region.[4] The British concluded that Cyprus was the most suitable place. The island offered several advantages, including influence in the Mediterranean and the Levant due to its proximity and the prospect of increased commerce. The island was easy to defend. Moreover, the presence of a British force would help protect the Suez Canal, so the Hinterland seas could be kept open for maritime traffic.[5]

The British decided to put pressure on the Ottoman sultan to conclude an alliance, which came to be known as the Cyprus Convention. The central provision was that as long as the Russians occupied those towns in Armenia, Great Britain would help the sultan militarily in case of further Russian advances into Asia. The sultan agreed for Cyprus to be occupied and administered by Britain so that the British could execute this engagement effectively.[6]

However, the British occupation of Egypt in 1881 altered the situation in Cyprus and the wider region, since once gaining control over the Suez Canal and Alexandria harbor, the British no longer viewed Cyprus as vital for a place d’armes.[7] Nonetheless, the British soon realized that Cyprus could be used as a trade-off for greater interests. They proposed ceding Cyprus to Greece in return for the right to use Hinterland maritime Argostoli Harbor in Cephalonia (an Ionian Island) in order to improve the British position in the Mediterranean against the Triple Alliance (Germany, Italy, and Austro-Hungary) and to defend the British Empire from possible attack.[8] Despite concerns in the British Cabinet regarding the Muslim population in Cyprus, an official offer was made to Greece in October 1915, but was rejected by the Greeks.[9]

The question over what to do with the Hinterland Ottoman Empire ended with its collapse in 1923.[10] Since taking control of Cyprus, Britain faced calls from the island’s majority Greek community to allow union (enosis) of Cyprus with Greece.  In 1923, British sovereignty over the island was formally recognized by the Republic of Turkey under the Lausanne Treaty. In 1925, the island became a British Crown Colony politically formalizing British presence in the maritime region of Cyprus.[11]

In 1937, the Royal Institute of International Affairs outlined Cyprus’ importance: Its possession prevented its use as bases for attacks on shipping or on parts of the British Empire of greater value. In a period when the Suez Canal, the empire’s main route, along the maritime highway of the Hinterland, was securely under British control, this was Cyprus’ main value to Britain. Cyprus was to acquire direct strategic importance only in 1945, when the loss of Egypt was imminent, and the British were seeking to maintain their presence in the Eastern Mediterranean.[12]

 

BRITISH AND AMERICAN INTERESTS AND CYPRIOT INDEPENDENCE

 

Britain had tried at any cost to retain its predominance in the strategic Hinterland area of the Middle East in the 1950s.  Britain considered that control of at least one important region of the globe was necessary to maintain its status as a world power. The Middle East was crucial in the British perception of power, and even after the British departure from India, Cyprus remained important in London’s policy.[13]

The epicenter of British defense in the region was the Middle East headquarters at Suez, which, as well as guarding the critically important Suez Canal, maintained a strategic reserve of troops that could be deployed to reinforce British garrisons and airfields around the Levant and the Persian Gulf. However, the election of a nationalist government in Egypt in 1951 forced Britain to shift its regional headquarters to Cyprus.[14] Furthermore, the international antagonism of the Cold War, namely Moscow’s effort to take advantage of Arab Nationalism and infiltrate the region, created even greater strains for London to maintain its dominant position in the region.[15]

British Prime Minister Eden’s speech in 1956 along the lines of “no Cyprus no oil” seems to have been an effort to provide an easy explanation to the British public for Britain’s reason to stay on the island. Despite this statement, another prominent reason was Cyprus’ “stabilizing role” in an area of British power. Britain tried to remain in Cyprus in order to cover an extremely important need. This was the necessity to support its Middle Eastern position, which was considered of utmost importance in order to keep Britain in the concert of world powers. Its presence in Cyprus also enabled it to project power to some of the very geostrategic areas on the Hinterland coast and maritime regions.[16]

Soon after the Suez Crisis in 1956, the British realized if they were to maintain their Middle East position, they had to rely not only on their alliance with the United States, but also with Turkey, and they did not want to alienate the Turks over the issue with regards to Cyprus. Turkey was a strong deterrent against Communism and Arab nationalism, preventing these movements from developing any level of hegemony along the Mediterranean coast. According to London, the British position in the Middle East largely depended on Turkish friendship.[17]

Following the wave of self-determination after World War II, Cyprus’ declaration of independence occurred in August 1960. The Cyprus constitution of 1960 and the Treaties of Establishment and Guarantee were not to give independence and democratic freedoms to Cypriots as was witnessed in other newly independent countries. Instead, they were viewed as a set of provisions about how to safeguard Western defense interests on the island. The 1960 settlement prevented enosis (union with Greece) and taksim (partition of the island). The four guaranteeing powers were Britain, Cyprus, Turkey, and Greece–all in some way competing for power that could be maintained by influence over Cyprus.[18]

Ninety-eight square miles were retained under British sovereignty in accordance with the treaty concerning the Establishment of the Republic of Cyprus. Cyprus remains the only part in the world where the United Kingdom actually retains Sovereign Base Areas (Akrotiri and Dhekelia), and it appears to be the only place where any military presence is guaranteed by a multi-party treaty of guarantee.[19] For the British, these bases were important in the context of the declining British Empire. As the Empire declined, this point of power projection (Cyprus) became increasingly important, both for projecting power to the Middle East and potentially to the Persian Gulf and Asia. The military bases were also secure geographical locations, offshore British sovereign areas, where Britain could follow its strategic interests along the Hinterland and maritime surrounds.[20] Today, the British share information (from the southern Greek side of divided Cyprus) with the United States, but the Americans also established spy-posts in the Turkish-occupied North after the Turkish invasion of 1974.

It was upon the 1974 Greek Cypriot coup d’état and its move towards enosis (union with Greece), backed by Greece, that Turkey as an international guarantor of Cyprus’ sovereignty forcefully entered the island with its military. This invasion was ostensibly to support the Turkish Cypriot population and thwart enosis (union) of Cyprus with Greece. Still, Turkey has tens of thousands of troops in northern Cyprus, giving credence to the assertion that Turkey invaded the island to fulfill its own agenda, for geopolitical reasons, to maintain and actually expand Turkish influence in the region. It seems that Turkey therefore, will not be in a hurry to withdraw from Cyprus or to support fruitful politics or negotiations for Cyprus to be reunited. Cyprus therefore, continues to be divided, and though a full member of the EU, this is only fully implemented in the southern Greek Cypriot administered section. The events of 1974 and their aftermath arguably defined Cyprus until its new-found era began with accession to the EU in 2004. However, the world still waits to see how the EU and Turkey will cooperate or conflict as they handle affairs for a solution to the division of Cyprus.[21]

The U.S. occupation of Iraq, the conflict in Palestine and Afghanistan, NATO’s expansion east, terrorist attacks in Turkey, increasing U.S. pressure on Iran, and Washington’s concerns about oil as well as other U.S. economic interests in the region have once again made Cyprus a key intelligence and logistics center. Also, the 2011 revolutions throughout the Arab world suggest Cyprus’ increasing importance for maintaining a European presence for the projection of power into an increasingly unstable region containing most of the world’s oil, strategic maritime trade routes, and chokepoints.

Western powers want to have influence in Cyprus as a way to ensure the safety of strategic sea lanes at a time of growing radicalism and instability–especially regarding the growing number of Islamist governments–in the Middle East.[22]

 

IMPORTANCE OF CYPRUS IN THE CONTEXT OF GREECE AND TURKEY

 

Cyprus is only 65 kilometers from Turkey. The island is close to Turkey’s southern harbors, such as Mersin.[23] All the Turkish southwestern ports are under the cover of Cyprus. Whoever controls the island is able to have command over, or at least exert pressure on, these Turkish ports. If the power that controls this island were also in control of the Aegean islands, Turkey would be effectively surrounded on two fronts. Therefore, Cyprus has significance for Turkey not only because of a Turkish community on the island, but more importantly on account of its geostrategic bearing and its position in relation to Greece in the Eastern Mediterranean.[24]

It should be of no surprise then that it has been a prime and long-standing Turkish objective that the island does not succumb to any potentially hostile power, especially the traditional enemy Greece. Common membership of NATO, with Turkey’s powerful allies, or even the unlikely accession of Turkey to the EU, has never diminished Turkish concerns about those geostrategic issues.[25] On a recent visit to northern Cyprus, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed this stating that Turkey has “strategic interests in Cyprus.”[26] Holding a stake in Cyprus is not only important to Turkey for defense purposes but also for influence and at least a sense of control in the Eastern Mediterranean along the Hinterland and its coasts.[27]

Cyprus also has a dual strategic importance to Greece. In addition to the majority Cypriot population’s connection with its Greek heritage, Athens sees Greek influence over Cyprus as adding to Greece’s geostrategic importance in practice. This makes Greece even more important in the eyes of its EU and NATO partners. Another strategic value for Greece is that the island is not only situated close to the Turkish mainland, but as mentioned before, it is also in Turkey’s so-called “soft underbelly.” This would thus create a significant degree of insecurity for Turkey if the island were increasingly under Greek influence, not to mention if any weapons systems–from Greece or the EU–were installed, which could be seen as a threat to Turkey.[28] It would be naive to expect Turkey would easily withdraw its “on-the-ground” military and political influence in Cyprus as an occupier of the north, and promptly work toward a political settlement to reunite the island.[29]

 

INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS AND CYPRUS

 

In recent history, Cyprus has been impacted by three international organizations: the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and the United Nations (UN). While they have attempted to influence circumstances at specific times of insecurity, none of these organizations have brought a lasting peace and security to the country or its region along the Hinterland in the Mediterranean Middle East. Cyprus decided not to join Greece and Turkey as a member of NATO and does not seem to have any intention of doing so in the near future. Instead, it became one of the 25 founding members of NAM when the organization was established at the Belgrade Conference in 1961. This membership strengthened the island’s relations with a number of Middle Eastern states and gave an alternative foreign-policy direction, which attempted not to link itself to the Soviet Union or the United States.

Through NAM, Cyprus attempted to stand its own ground and enlist support for the island’s campaign for self-determination. However, the single most important factor determining Cyprus’ relations and its foreign policy has been the political conflict between the island’s two communities, the Greeks and the Turks.[30] Ultimately, NAM failed to bring security to Cyprus.

The UN has had UNFICYP (United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus) in Cyprus since 1964, when inter-communal fighting between Greeks and Turks erupted.  Since 1974, with the coup in Cyprus and the Turkish invasion, the UN extended the presence of UNFICYP, and it is still ongoing. This UN presence has maintained the military status quo and so prevented any serious outbreak of hostilities sine the 1974 war. However, there is little evidence that the players in this political and military standoff have been brought closer to peace by the UN involvement. Hence, even today, the fossilized peace process continues to be entrenched by defying political remedy.[31]

The Mediterranean Middle East’s strategic appeal has been an obvious crucible for NATO and the UN to be involved, in order to create a power distribution that satisfies the international objectives of the great powers and at the same time other serious regional players (like Turkey). However, with such conflicting objectives among the claimants to the island and wider region, it has been impossible to create lasting secure peace in the region, especially in Cyprus. The region’s strategic Hinterland is in a continual state of “no-final-settlement” and thus has not been solidified into a lasting balance of power for maintaining Western interests.[32]

 

IMPORTANCE OF CYPRUS AS AN EU MEMBER

 

The conflicting vested interests of Greece and Turkey has led to a stalemate in the peace process to reunite Cyprus following the 1974 internal civil war, when a Greek coup on the island led to Turkish invasion and occupation ever since. Despite Cyprus’ geostrategic importance to the EU and Cyprus’ full EU membership since 2004, the complex relationship between the EU and Turkey has allowed the stalemate to remain.[33]

Though the EU is a burgeoning superpower, Europe wants a good relationship with Turkey as a buffer to the Islamic Middle East and also as a barrier against easy Russian expansion into the Mediterranean.[34] Turkey also offers a large potential market and possibly even a good offshore site for outsourcing European industrial production to cheap labor.[35] Nonetheless, it seems Europe will not risk Turkish entry into the EU. First, it fears freedom of movement of Turks could result in uncontrolled immigration of too many Turks into Europe. This could in turn lead to interracial and interreligious conflict between Christian Europeans and immigrant Muslim Turks. Second, the cultural and religious differences between Europe and Turkey may not integrate harmoniously into the European political system.[36]

 

THE GEOPOLITICAL IMPACT OF THE 2011 ARAB REVOLUTIONS

 

The Muslim world, from North Africa to Iran, experienced instability in 2011. The initial uprising in Tunisia, particularly when it proved successful, emboldened populations elsewhere in the region. Instead of bringing the advance of liberal democracy, the situation has offered opportunities for revolutionary Islamists to gain power.[37]

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has suggested that Muslim countries might gain control of such important maritime chokepoints as the Bab al-Mandab, the Suez, and the Strait of Hormuz, creating a potential threat to the world economies.[38] In certain ways, Iran would try to take advantage of the situation. Given these changes and scenarios, Cyprus becomes even more important in geostrategic terms, especially regarding the control of sea lanes and choke points.[39]

 

A CONTEMPORARY APPLIED GEOPOLITICS OF CYPRUS

 

Cyprus has been occupied by many major powers over the millennia, including the empires of the Hittites, Assyrians, Egyptians, Persians, Rashiduns, Umayyads, Lusignans, Venetians, and Ottomans.[40] In the axial Eastern Mediterranean, at the Middle Eastern core of the world continent “Afro-Eurasia,” is where, in the contemporary world, three civilizations meet, to yet proffer Cyprus a geostrategic history and legacy. In modern times, Cyprus has been moving closer to Europe, culminating in 2004, with its acceptance as a full EU member. This makes Cyprus the far eastern point of the EU, projecting European power into the Middle East and beyond, into the coveted Persian Gulf, rich in fossil fuels. The remainder of this study will discuss Cyprus’ geostrategic importance based on the island’s topography, size, location, climate, and natural resources.[41]

 

Topography and Size

 

Cyprus, similar in size to Lebanon or Puerto Rico and with a population of fewer than one million, is a long sausage-shaped island in the far Eastern Mediterranean. It is located on the southern underbelly of Turkey, just west of Syria, Lebanon, and Israel, and north of Egypt and Libya. It truly is in the Middle East, though its Greek population considers itself European and looks to Europe for culture and political direction.

There are two mountain ranges, the Kyrenia Range in the north, and the Troodos Range farther south with the Nicosia plain in the middle. The maximum altitude of the Troodos Range, at Mount Olympus, offers ideal circumstances for wide-scale aerial surveillance, as discussed later. The capital of the Greek area is Nicosia, located more or less in the center of the central Nicosia plain. These physical characteristics are shown in Image 2.

 Image 2: A Physical Geography of Cyprus

 

The following map shows that Cyprus is a divided island. While EU accession is fully implemented in the south, it remains unimplemented in the north, which is occupied by tens of thousands of Turkish troops in the internationally unaccredited Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. This is a legacy of the 1974 war with Turkey, during which Cyprus was ethnically cleansed, with the Muslim Cypriot Turks moving to the north, and the Greek Orthodox Cypriots gravitating to the south. Turkey’s occupation of an EU member country is a problematic situation; Turkey does not recognize the sovereignty of that member, and yet at the same time pursues EU membership.

A closer look at the island’s built facilities (Image 3) further attests to Cyprus’ strategic importance. The major OTH (over-the-horizon) radar installations in the Troodos Range–such as on Mount Olympus–the commercial seaports of Limassol and Larnaca, two military bases of Akrotiri and Dhekelia (once British but surely soon to become EU military bases), and a primary international standard airport in Larnaca are all further enhancements to Cyprus’ geostrategic value.[42]

 Image 3: Divided Cyprus and Strategic Sites

 

It should also be noted that Cyprus, as an island, is only accessible by air or water, and so it is utterly buffered against land invasion. The island could be described as a huge military base and aircraft carrier, with formidable fortifications, and especially so if the military bases house nuclear weapons.

 

Location

 

Cyprus’ location is its quintessential geostrategic factor. It lies in the Eastern Mediterranean in Middle East, and so is an ideal location for Europe to project its presence and power into the region. First, due to this ideal position along with the altitude of the Troodos Range, at Mount Olympus, a large range for OTH radar surveillance is achieved. This is shown in Image 4. The radar range of 6,000 kilometers makes possible aerial surveillance of the skies from the Atlantic to the northwest of India.[43] This includes all the volatile yet important areas of the Middle East, North Africa, and the Persian Gulf. It has been joked that “a mosquito can’t take off in Tehran without the radar watchers in Cyprus knowing.”

 Image 4: OTH Radar Range from Cyprus

 

Cyprus is also a listening post from which to monitor electronic communication media, very helpful for signals intelligence. With the surveillance technology installed in Cyprus, for decades, Britain has been able to share intelligence data with the United States, and now, no doubt, with the EU, as a member state.[44] Thus, in addition to the OTH radar surveying the skies for air traffic, the signals intelligence can survey communications across the broader area. All this helps the UK, United States, and the EU to understand what the present circumstances may portend along this Mediterranean region.

The location is also important for air-borne missions into the Middle East and Persian Gulf. The Eurofighter Typhoon EF 2000 has a maximum combat range (radius) of about 1,400 kilometers, and this can be doubled with mid-air refueling.[45] These two ranges are shown in Image 5. Thus, in good weather and with mid-air refueling, the entire Middle East and most of the Persian Gulf is within maximum combat range (radius) from Cyprus. Again it is Cyprus’ proximity to this strategic region that enables this.

 Image 5: Eurofighter EF 2000 Maximum Combat Range

 

Upon further investigation, it is shown that this whole Hinterland and its coastal region is of even greater importance when considering the sea lanes and chokepoints along the trade route of imports and exports to and from Europe. Image 6 shows there are three main chokepoints in this wider region: the Strait of Hormuz, the Bab al-Mandab, and the Suez Canal.[46]

 Image 6: Cyprus and Chokepoints

 

Much of the imports from the Pacific and Indian Ocean, and the Persian Gulf pass through these chokepoints. Forty percent of the EU’s oil comes from the Persian Gulf and must pass through these three chokepoints. Any threats along these sea lanes and particularly around the chokepoints could severely disrupt the supply of imports and oil into Europe.[47] This could lead to critical shortages of energy, food, and other commodities crucial to the Europe’s continued industrial and economic development. In addition, any blocking of these chokepoints would stifle EU exports beyond the Suez into the Persian Gulf and Asia, and so further hamper Europe’s ongoing economic viability.

 

Climate and Natural Resources

 

Cyprus’ climate is Mediterranean with typically cool, moist winters and hot, dry summers. This means that Cyprus is generally sunny with clear days, offering good atmospheric visibility. For air and sea military missions this is generally ideal.

Cyprus is small without any significant resources. Thus, any industry that exists is on a small scale and does not have economic impact on the EU nor elsewhere. The biggest industry in Cyprus is tourism, mainly supported by the great, sunny weather, and touristic services and infrastructures in seaside resorts. However, this may be about to change. With likely oil and gas reserves offshore from Cyprus to the south, east, and west, the island nation may not only be geostrategically placed, but may also sought after for its potential commercial and resource booty in fossil-fuel supplies.

Of course development of future offshore fields would take up to a decade, but surely this would attract the EU in particular to secure such coveted resources to its own benefit from a member country. Also it must be noted that any such finds are north of the Suez Canal in the easily monitored and controlled European pond, the Mediterranean Sea. Such developments would be extremely irksome to Turkey, though it is difficult to see if they could do anything about it. Surely Turkey would not openly engage in a military conflict against Cyprus, and therefore the EU.

One strategic advantage of Cyprus’ tourism industry has already been the resulting development of infrastructures, including seaports, airports, and roads. Any industrial and commercial development, from the fossil-fuels industry, would further enhance these infrastructures significantly. This could all contribute input to the nation’s potential to support civilian and military activities, at the national level and with links to surrounding locations along the Hinterland and its maritime surrounds.

 

CONCLUSION

 

Cyprus is situated on the great maritime highway in proximity to the world’s three great sea chokepoints. In this area, European Christendom and Middle East Islam had their borderland and engaged in periodic conflict for over a millennium. This division is expressed in Cyprus itself, divided between Islam in the north and Christianity in the south.

Throughout history, Cyprus has often been taken West or East. In the present epoch, however, it is rooted firmly in the Western Christian civilization of the EU, at least officially for the whole island, as this is not yet fully implemented in the north. However, Turkey is still a claimant and occupant of at least part of the island, in the north. The EU and Turkey have increasingly become the main direct players, and occupants, in the shaping of the island’s future.

Cyprus may yet again function as a military outpost for Europe and the West in a time of upheaval and revolution, this time for the EU. It could serve as a base for any military missions or campaigns for Europe’s show of strength and desire to thrust into the wider Mediterranean region, the Middle East, and the Persian Gulf, for the maintenance of imports and exports to continue to fire up Europe’s economies. With its favorable topography, climate, civilian and military installations, geostrategic position, and possibly future supply of offshore oil and gas, Cyprus is the ideal geostrategic military outpost for the EU to project its power into this quintessential geopolitical section of the Hinterland and its maritime region.

 

*Dr. James Leigh is an Assistant Professor of Cultural Geography at the University of Nicosia, Cyprus. His specialty is energy geopolitics and post globalization civilization clash. Previously, he was a consultant largely to the oil industry across the Arab world and Persian Gulf. His webpage, http://www.freewebs.com/jas4, includes additional articles, books, and resources.

 

*Predrag Vukovic has a Masters in geopolitics from Kings College (London) and is Prof. James Leigh’s research assistant. He is also co-author with James Leigh of the book Beyond Oil Bust: Investigating Crude Oil Economics, Society and Geopolitics (Atlantic, 2011).

 

NOTES



[2] Francis Sempa, “Spykman’s World,” American Diplomacy, April 3, 2006, http://www.unc.edu/depts/diplomat/item/2006/0406/semp/sempa_spykman.html.

[3] Heinz Richter, “The Grand Game, the Balkans, the Congress of Berlin and Cyprus,” in Hubert Faustmann and Nicos Peristianis (eds.), Britain in Cyprus, Colonialism and Post-Colonialism 1878-2006 (Mannheim and Mohnesee, Germany: Bibliopolis, 2006), pp. 11-19.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid; “Cyprus: Its Value and Importance to England,” Manchester Selected Pamphlets, (Diprose and Bateman, 1878)

[6] Richter, “The Grand Game,” pp. 11-19.

[7] Ibid; Andrekos Varnava, British Imperialism in Cyprus, 1875-1915 (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 2009).

[8] Andrekos Varnava, “Cyprus Is of No Use to Anybody: The Pawn, 1878-1915,” in Faustmann and Peristianis (eds.), Britain in Cyprus, pp. 37-54.

[9] Vassilis Fouskas, “Reflections on the Cyprus Issue and Turkish Invasions of 1974,” Mediterranean Quarterly, Vol. 12, No. 3 (2001), pp. 108, 114-116.

[10] Nuri Yurdusev, “From the Eastern Question to the Western Question: Rethinking the Contribution of Toynbee,” Middle East Critique, Vol. 14, No. 3 (2005), pp. 323-24.

[11] James Ker-Lindsay, “A Difficult Transition to a New Relationship: Britain and Cyprus in the European Union,” Journal of Contemporary European Studies, Vol. 15, No. 2 (2007), p. 186.

[12] Naomi Rosenbaum, “Success in Foreign Policy: The British in Cyprus, 1878-1960,” Canadian Journal of Political Science, Vol. 3, No. 4 (1970), p. 622.

[13] Evanthis Hatzivassiliou, “British Strategic Priorities and the Cyprus Question,” in Faustmann and Peristianis (eds.), Britain in Cyprus, pp.  200-07.

[14] Brendan O’Malley, “The Impact of British Strategic Interests on the Cyprus Problem,” in Faustmann and Peristianis (eds.), Britain in Cyprus, pp. 475, 479, 482-83.

[15] Hatzivassiliou, “British Strategic Priorities and the Cyprus Question,” pp. 200-07.

[16] Ibid.

[17] Evanthis Hatzivassiliou, The Cyprus Question, 1878-1960: The Constitutional Aspect. (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2002).

[18] Fouskas, “Reflections on the Cyprus Issue and Turkish Invasions of 1974,” pp. 108, 114-16.

[19] Klearchos Kyriakides, “The Sovereign Base Areas and British Defence Policy Since 1960,” in Faustmann and Peristianis (eds.), Britain in Cyprus, pp. 511-12.

[20] Costas Constantinou and Oliver Richmond, “The Long Mile of Empire: Power, Legitimation and the UK Bases in Cyprus,” Mediterranean Politics, Vol. 10, No. 1 (2005), pp. 68, 74.

[21] “Turkey’s Invasion of Greek Cyprus,” Global Security, July 11, 2011, http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/cyprus2.htm.

[22] Ahmet Davutoglu, “The Clash of Interests: An Explanation of the World (Dis)Order,” Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 2, No. 4 (1998), http://www.sam.gov.tr/perceptions/Volume2/December1997-February1998/davutoglu.PDF.

[23] Sait Yilmaz, Power Politics and Cyprus, Beykent University, 2009,

http://www.beykent.edu.tr/WebProjects/Uploads/saityilmaz2-kasim09.pdf.

[24] Francis Henn, “Cyprus: The Geo-strategic Dimension,” Contemporary Review, Vol. 1, No. 1 (Summer 2007), p.  289.

[25] Fatih Sayin, “Solution of the Cyprus Problem and Turkish Position,” Journal of Qafqaz University, Vol.1, No. 24 (2008), pp. 53-54.

[26] “Anti-Erdogan Demonstration in North Cyprus,” Famagusta Gazette, February 7, 2011,

http://famagusta-gazette.com/anti-erdogan-demonstration-in-north-cyprus-p11199-69.htm.

[27] Svatopluk Soucek, “Naval Aspects of the Ottoman Conquests of Rhodes, Cyprus and Crete,” Studia Islamica, Vol. 98, No. 99 (2004), pp. 226, 233, 237, 247.

[28] Yilmaz, Power Politics and Cyprus.

[29] Sakir Alemdar, “Strategic Importance of Cyprus,” January 21, 2009, http://sakiralemdar.blogcu.com/strategic-importance-of-cyprus/4789775.

[30] Ker-Lindsay, “A Difficult Transition to a New Relationship,” p. 186.

[31] Ibid.

[32] Andreas Theophanous, “A New Start or More of the Same?” In Depth, Cyprus Centre for European and International Affairs, Vol. 2, No. 4 (2008).

[33] Fouskas, “Reflections on the Cyprus Issue and Turkish Invasions of 1974”, pp. 108, 114-16.

[34] James Leigh, Death of Nations in Civilization Clash (Nicosia, Cyprus: Afi Touch Editions, 2009), pp. 15-56.

[35] Michael Emerson and Nathalie Tocci, “Turkey as a Bridgehead and Spearhead: Integrating EU and Turkish Foreign Policy,” CEPS EU-Turkey Working Papers, No. 1 (August 1, 2004).

[36] Tariq Ramadan, “Turkey Is Part of Europe. Fear Keeps It Out of EU,” The Guardian, August 6, 2009,

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/aug/06/turkey-eu-membership. Andreas Theophanous, “Is Turkey Really European?” Cyprus Centre for European and International Affairs, Vol. 8, No. 1 (2011), http://www.cceia.unic.ac.cy/images/newsletter/volume_8_issue_1/article02.pdf.

[37] George Friedman, “Revolution and the Muslim World,” Stratfor, February 22, 2011, http://www.stratfor.com/print/185539.

[38] Davutoglu, “The Clash of Interests.”

[39] Bernard Lewis, “The Sunni-Shiite Split and the Iranian Threat,” YouTube, March 15, 2009, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fPoMAz2KgA&feature=channel_page

[40] Andreas Sophocleous, An Introduction to the History and Geography of Cyprus (Nicosia, Cyprus: Nicoles Publishing House, 1997).

[41] Andrew Wolff, “Geography as a Diagnostic Tool in International Relations: A Geographic Analysis of the European Union’s Eastward Enlargement,” International Studies Association Annual Conference, John Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, San Francisco, California, 2008.

[42] Brendan O’Malley and Ian Craig, The Cyprus Conspiracy: America, Espionage and the Turkish Invasion (London: Tauris, 2007), pp. 140-43.

[43] Gordon Adams, “Tactical Radar Systems,” June 2001, http://www.noding.com/la8ak/e98.htm.

[44] Charles Grant, Intimate Relations: Can Britain Play a Leading Role in European Defence and Keep Its Special Link to US Intelligence? Centre for European Reform, Working Paper, April 2000, http://www.cer.org.uk/sites/default/files/publications/attachments/pdf/2011/cerwp4-2805.pdf; Duncan Campbell, “Inside Echelon: The History, Structure and Function of the Global Surveillance System,” Telepolis, July 25, 2000, http://www.heise.de/tp/artikel/6/6929/1.html.

[45] Federation of American Scientists (FAS), “Typhoon EF-2000 Eurofighter,” Military Analysis Network, March 11, 1999, http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ac/row/eurofighter.htm.

[46] James Leigh and Predrag Vukovic, Beyond Oil Bust: Investigating Oil Economics, Society and Geopolitics (New Delhi: Atlantic Books, 2011), pp. 125-37.

[47] Sven Biscop, The EU and the European Security Strategy: Forging a Global Europe (New York: Routledge, 2008); Peter Kiernan, “The US and Middle East Oil America Is Not as Dependent on Persian Gulf Oil as Some Might Think,” International Affairs, June 4, 2008,

http://peter-kiernan.suite101.com/the-us-and-middle-east-oil-a56014; Michael Richardson, “Asia Tied to Persian Gulf by Energy Lifeline: The Two Regions Are Integral Parts of a Vast Conveyor Belt of Seaborne Commerce,” Institute of South East Asian Affairs, April 4, 2007,

http://www.iseas.edu.sg/viewpoint/mr4apr07.pdf; Leigh and Vukovic, Beyond Oil Bust, pp. 124-29.