has lived in
freedom only since 1960, following long centuries of foreign
domination. The island’s geopolitical value has turned it into a target of
regional and remote powers that succeeded one another as its masters.
glimpses of political life emerged at the beginning of the British
Under conditions of limited freedoms political development remained
was declared an
independent republic in August
1960, following a four year anti-colonial army struggle and
1959, the first presidential elections took place, and in
July 1960 the first parliament of the Republic was elected.
Inter-communal strife erupted in Christmas 1963 led to a Greek Cypriot
control of power. Presidential elections were suspended until 1968
and parliamentary until 1970.
only organized political force during this period was the communist
party AKEL (Progressive Party of the Working People). In May
1968, the Democratic National Party (DEK) was formed, to be
followed in early
1970 by four new parties, the United Nationalistic Party (Eniaion),
the United Democratic Center Party (EDEK), the Progressive Front and
the Progressive Party.
the upheaval caused by the Turkish invasion of
in summer 1974,
new political forces emerged; the centre Democratic Front (renamed
Democratic Party) and the right wing Democratic Rally were founded in
1976 and along with AEKL and EDEK they occupied the front of the scene
since then. A number of minor parties appeared after 1980, few of them
managed to survive electoral failure.
the crisis of 1963, the Turkish Cypriots organized their own
administrative structures and in December
1967 they declared the “Temporary Autonomous
Administration”. The Turkish invasion and the complete territorial
segregation of Greek and Turkish Cypriots led to a new situation and
the self-proclaimed “
succeeded by the “
” (1983). Only
the United Nations condemned the proclamation as null and void.
major Turkish Cypriot political forces are the Turkish Republican
Party (CTP), formed in 1970,
the National Unity Party (BEP), founded in 1975
by Rauf Denktash, the Communal Liberation Party (1976)
and the Democratic Party, formed in 1992
following a split in National Unity Party and a merger with the New
Down Party, the political umbrella of the Anatolian settlers.
parties and politics are objects of attention and scientific study
only in recent years.