The conflict in Cyprusis remembered in different ways by different groups of people. Memory and forgetting are two sidesof the same coin. Indeed, each provides the presupposition for the existence ofthe other. This is because Greek Cypriots would like to change the present statusquo that the division of the island entails. Moreover, work on modes ofhistoriographical writing, such as that of White (1973) sheds doubts on thetenacity of absolute distinctions between the notion of history as dealingexclusively with facts and the story that belongs to the realm of literatureand imagination. This is not to say that the story is necessarily in theservice of chronology. Instead, the production of any narrative inevitablyrequires the suppression of certain events or themes and the simultaneoushighlighting of others. In 1955, the anticolonial struggle against the Britishcommenced, with the aim of enosis, i.e. uniting Cyprus with Greece. TurkishCypriots (about 18% of the total population) who had no desire of uniting withGreece eventually took the side of the British against the Greek Cypriots. Thescale of interethnic and intraethnic strife was significant. According toPurcell (1969:270-1, 293) of the 287 Greeks Cypriots killed during 1955-60, 60died at the hands of Turkish Cypriots, 106 were killed by the security forcesand at least 112 by EOKA (with a possible maximum of 200), while 84 TurkishCypriots were killed by Greek Cypriots and 7 by the British.At the same time, theTurkish Cypriots had been voicing their own demands for taksim (divisionof the island). The Greek Cypriots saw this, along with Turkish threats ofinvasion and the attack of Greek Cypriot targets by the Turkish airforce in1964, as an attempt to undermine the status of the republic and the fightingsas a legitimate way to prevent the Turkish Cypriots from establishing taksim.After the ascent of the junta in Greece and while being engaged in negotiationswith the Turkish Cypriots, Makarios was less emphatic regarding the desire for enosis.Turkey reacted to these events by launching a military offensive that led tothe division of the island.Moreover, the desire topreserve unity among Greek Cypriots after the Turkish offensive, has made themrather reluctant to delve on the events of the coup and the preceding period. Itis often expressed by the use of the vague phrase 'mes' tin katastasin(during the events)' that Greek Cypriots utilise in oral discourse to refer toany of the events or periods previously discussed. This term is ratherdifferent from that of 'collective memory' used by Halbwachs (1980), thepioneer of the study of memory in a social context. But the views or aims ofdifferent groups with regards to the future are of primary importance inarticulating various accounts of the past. In other words, when talking of thepast one implicitly talks of the future as well. is related to the conceptionof the whole which I choose to think as a story' (1986a:141).As far as the modern periodis concerned what is commemorated is the 1955-60 period and the events of 1974.
Regarding the 1955-60 period two celebrations take place: the start of the EOKAstruggle (on April 1st) and the Independence Day (on October 1st).Years Commemorated inAnnual RitualsThe official discourse inwhich these are set deserves serious attention in order to understand themeaning of such reconstructions of the past. In the first place, the movementis now presented as a struggle of all Cypriots, thus overshadowing theexclusion of the left and the disagreement of the Turkish Cypriots. The meansthey used to pursue this ideal were those of terrorism and the subsequent coup.Thus, it came to be associated by most Greek Cypriots with the pre-1974intracommunal violence and the actions of the putschists that eventuallybrought disaster. A major reason why the pursuit of enosis after 1960 isnow viewed as an embarrassment is that Turkish Cypriots use this in order toshow that the Greek Cypriots themselves were tryinhange the status of therepublic, something prohibited by the constitution of Cyprus. Finally, enosishas been one of the major fears of the Turkish Cypriots and it is only naturalthat part of the policy of rapprochement, that the Greek Cypriot government hasadopted, is to reassure Turkish Cypriots that Greek Cypriots do not desire enosisany more. Two resolutions unanimously approved by the Greek Cypriot House ofRepresentatives provide an indirect, yet firm, repudiation of enosis by'rejecting the annexation in any way of the whole or part of the territory ofthe Republic of Cyprus to any other state' (Republic of Cyprus 1979, 1981) <6>.The second celebrationregarding the 1955-60 period is the Day of Independence marking theindependence of Cyprus. The mood of the Greek Cypriots was sober, almostdepressed'.Indeed, the constitution ofCyprus explicitly stated that the flag was to be of 'neutral design'. The lastofficial commemorative ceremony is one of lament as it refers to the 1974events. These are called 'oi mavres epeteioi tou praxikopimatos ke tiseisvolis (the black anniversaries of the coup and the invasion)', the 15thand 20th of July respectively. 9> What is emphasized in the various speeches is the treason of the juntaand their collaborators in Cyprus, the loss of life and property resulting fromthe Turkish invasion, the desire to return to the areas where Greek Cypriotsused to live but are now under occupation and the wish to see the islandreunited in order to live 'once more peacefully with the Turkish Cypriots'.