Following a long insurgency against British colonial rule – the so-called ‘Cyprus Emergency’ – Cyprus gained independence in 1960. Almost instantly, high tensions emerged between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots. A complex set of constitutional provisions and international treaties designed to safeguard the new state, and countless attempts to resolve the conflict through diplomacy failed. On the contrary, in 1963–1964, the repeated attempts to solve the disputes failed and fighting erupted between the communities in Nicosia, that soon spread across the rest of the island. As the power-sharing government collapsed, and additional peace-making efforts failed, in 1967 the conflict escalated into armed violence again, this time with the involvement of the Greek and Turkish armed forces. Subsequently, the situation was only made worse, culminating in the Greek coup d'état and the Turkish invasion of 1974.
Positioning this conflict within its historical context, Ripped Apart offers an inclusive, incisive, even-handed, and a richly illustrated account of the military history of Cyprus since independence. Beginning with the tensions that emerged between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots through the 1960s, leading to the events that resulted in the series of bitter armed clashes of 1967, and then the Turkish invasion of 1974, Ripped Apart helps to provide a better understanding of a highly controversial conflict.