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Revisiting 1974: A reflective and long-lasting reading against the morbid revisionism of history


The intervention focuses on three interrelated levels of analysis. What happened in Cyprus in 1974 has to be placed in a broader context, while at the same time giving room for action and highlighting domestic issues and correlations that shaped the Cypriot social formation. First, we need to read what happened at the time within the global and regional changes and contradictions of the specific time juncture, two parallel processes: the long conflict between the revolutionary and the counter-revolutionary process, as this has impacted on the Cyprus problem. Secondly, we have to approach the coup and the Turkish invasion from a long-standing perspective that dates back a decade before, i.e. since 1964 with the intercommunal conflicts, the de facto abolition of bicommunalism and the invention of multiple Cypriot exception regimes. The Cyprus problem is the predominantly social-class issue within which the political- national issue is embedded.

The third level concerns the newly emerging, but equally morbid, attempts for the revisionism of history. One approach denies/underestimates the existence of specific patterns, structures and trends in history, or even in the cases it admits that they exist, history is merely a consequence of chaotic and random events. Another tendency sees everything as pre-planned as conspiratorial scenarios, roughly as kismet, mostly by cynics, far-rightists and nationalists who equalize persons, policies, and society. History is personified, since they think it is written by great men (rarely women), either stupid or malicious where everything is a puppet show or a cartoon. In none of the above morbid revisionisms is there any room for social and political forces, for resistance and struggle - we are simply living the end of history. Yet, there is history and struggle. Half a century after 1974, this time can only be interpreted as a political milestone, undoubtedly catastrophic, but at the same time, containing a complex temporality that imposed new facts through which we ought to soberly see the prospects for the present and the future.

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