The term “ethnic cleansing” entered academic, political and informal discourse in the 1990s with the breakup of Yugoslavia. There is growing consensus in the social sciences about the links between modernity and ethnic cleansing and its distinction from genocide, but the concept still lacks formal classification in public international law.
This research aims to contribute, within the Cypriot context, to understanding ethnic cleansing not as a monolithic process solely aimed at the removal of a targeted group, but as a non-linear, hybrid enterprise that is not constrained to a narrow time period. This examination of the post-1974 Cyprus context, specifically the Greek Cypriot “enclaved” in the Karpass peninsula, leads to the need for a more nuanced understanding of ethnic cleansing.
This research hopes to demonstrate that ethnic cleansing can take place over several decades, in different phases and with different modalities, according to what best suits contemporary political elites and decision-makers controlling the specific territory. It can thus be classified into hard ethnic cleansing and soft ethnic cleansing. The former constitutes a targeted and swift removal of a population from a specific territory, as well as the territory’s “right-peopling” and consolidation of strategic and political power of the instigator-elite behind the cleansing.1 This is demonstrated to have taken place between 1974 and the summer of 1977, after which mass expulsions wound down. Soft ethnic cleansing denotes the incendiary and indirect pressures applied to a targeted population, including “ethnic harassment”2 or “ethnic policing”3 once forced evictions of large groups had stopped. The hostile environment makes conditions for a dignified life very difficult, if not impossible. The discrimination, harassment and intimidation may lead smaller units (family) of the targeted population to take the “personal” choice and leave, without being subjected to direct expulsion orders.
By examining the fate of the Karpass peninsula’s autochthonous Greek Cypriot population, this thesis aspires to contribute to the study of ethnic cleansing in both empirical and conceptual terms. It thus seeks to offer new insights into an understanding of ethnic cleansing both in Cyprus and beyond its shores.
The Modalities of Ethnic Homogenisation in Cyprus: Hard and Soft Ethnic Cleansing
- PhD thesis
- International Relations -- Ethnic Conflict