The young lawyer that defended EOKA fighters in British colonial courts, the first president of the Cypriot House of Representatives, and for ten years the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Glafkos Clerides met with the Turkish Cypriot Professor Niyazi Kizilyurek in an intellectual journey in the modern political history of Cyprus. They discussed the most important aspects of the Cyprus problem. The narration of Glafkos Clerides covers the period from 1950 up to the referendum on the Annan Plan 2004. He indicates and analyzes the responsibilities of each political leadership. At the same time, the account of the Turkish Cypriot professor for the responsibilities of the Turkish and the Turkish Cypriot side in the Cyprus deadlock completes the whole historical and political picture.
The book, Glafkos Clerides: The Path of a Country, is an important document for anyone who wants to understand the long-standing Cyprus problem and derive their own lessons for the future.
'Essential reading for all diplomats posted to Cyprus.' - Ingemar Lindhal, Swedish Ambassador to Cyprus.
Some books deal with theory or recount history but this book seems to be largely the transcript of a long conversation between Niyazi Kizilyürek and Glafkos Clerides. Because it is so simple, different, and unique, it is a tad difficult in some ways to criticise. It does not pretend to be a...
CYPRUS MAIL - 'A most devoted couple’
December 17, 2013
GLAFCOS Clerides' lost his wife of 60 years, Indian-born Lila Irene in June 2007 at the age of 86.
Lila's marriage to former RAF wireless operator/gunner Glafcos, was considered among the most loving in Cyprus. The couple had one daughter Katy, herself a well known figure...
FINANCIAL MIRROR - Glafkos Clerides: The Path of a Country
December 10, 2008
Niyazi Kizilyurek was born in the mixed village of Potamia near Nicosia and became a refugee when his family moved to the Turkish Cypriot ghetto Louroujina where he lived until 1974. He studied social and political science in the University of Bremen in and since 1995 has been a lecturer and is...
I'm on my way home from Cyprus, and while I was there picked up and read two books which give considerable and vivid detail on two aspects of the island's recent history. One was Glafkos Clerides: The Path of a Country
A relatively minor figure in Birand's book, but a major figure in Greek Cypriot politics, Clerides was temporarily the acting Greek Cypriot president in Makarios' absence after the collapse of the 1974 coup, and was subsequently elected in his own right in 1993 and 1998, losing in 2003. He had also been the speaker of parliament and chief negotiator with the Turkish Cypriots at various times. His autobiography, My Deposition, has intimidated me with its size, so I was glad to acquire this book of interviews with Clerides by Turkish Cypriot academic Niyazi Kizilyurek, as a taster.
Again, I couldn't recommend the book to Cyprus novices; a great deal of background knowledge is assumed of the reader. Clerides' record is on the whole a good one - he got EU membership, he got closer to a solution than any previous leader, and he campaigned vigorously in favour of the Annan Plan in 1974. It is not completely positive: he excluded the Turkish Cypriot MPs when they tried to return to parliament in 1965, and he wasn't able to deliver a settlement despite having come so close more than once. He also ruthlessly disposed of his predecessor as President in the 1993 election by a tactical appeal to the right.
But the biographical detail is fascinating - the young Clerides, educated in London, an RAF prisoner of war, a lawyer for prisoners of the British in the 1950s, opposing his own father who stood against Makarios in the 1960 election, his memories of Makarios and Denktash who he worked with so closely (and the rather more lightweight Fazil Kuçuk who was Denktash's predecessor), and his involvement with ongoing peace efforts, hampered always by his eventual successor as president, Tassos Papadopoulos. The book ends on a pessimistic note, written as it was in 2005 and 2006 when prospects for a solution seemed more distant than ever before. I'm glad to say that things are looking up now.
Interestingly Kızılyürek's book sports only one endorsement on the back cover - from none other than Birand.