Friday Dec 02, 2022

9. Rule Britannia: Cyprus in the British Empire with Andrekos Varnava

Held in secret in 1878, the Cyprus Convention negotiated the administrative handover of Cyprus from the Ottoman Empire to the British. It was certainly an opportunity to strengthen British presence in the Eastern Mediterranean. Lulled by romanticized images of what Cyprus was thought to be, they found a very different reality. Some, in fact, would call its first years on the island an unmitigated disaster. Troops were ill-prepared for the island's oppressive heat, swarms of mosquitoes that infested swamps and deadly bouts of malaria.  Roads were virtually non-existent and there was hardly a functional port. How were the British received? And how did they cope with the island's challenges? This month's episode, we're joined by Professor Andrekos Varnava from Flinders University who sheds some light onto Cyprus in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

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