The 1974 Cyprus War: A Turning Point in Greek-Turkish Relations.

Cyprus is a beautiful country with a rich history, culture, and warm welcoming people. 

I have been fortunate enough to visit this country for the past two decades and have seen firsthand
how it has evolved over time. I am grateful for the kindness and hospitality of
the Cypriot people, who have opened their homes and hearts to my family and me. 

One thing that has always intrigued me is the story of the 1974 War and the mass of land that was off-limits to everyone. As a teenager, I was curious and tried to sneak in a few times, but
UN soldiers chased me off. Now that Varosha is open, my family and I were able
to drive through what was once a thriving city and one of the most affluent in
the Mediterranean. It was heartbreaking to see it in ruins after all these

However, the reopening of Varosha is a step towards healing and rebuilding Cyprus into the jewel it once was in the Mediterranean Sea. The people involved in this project deserve peace and
prosperity, and I hope this will be a turning point for the country. I am
inspired by the Cypriot people’s resilience and determination, and commitment
to making their country a better place. It is an honour to have the chance to
hear about their experiences during the 1974 conflict. Thanks to their dedication
and resilience, I have faith that Cyprus will start to heal, prosper, and
thrive for years to come. 

The conflict between Greece and Turkey over the island of Cyprus has a long and complex history. One of the major episodes in this ongoing dispute was the Cyprus War of 1974. This blog
post aims to shed light on the events that unfolded during this critical period
and explore its impact on Greek-Turkish relations.

Cyprus, a meditation island strategically located between Greece and Turkey, has been a point of contention between the two nations for decades. In 1925, Britain declared Cyprus a crown
colony, and in the years that followed, the determination of Greek Cypriots to
achieve unification (enosis) continued. In 1931 this led to an open revolt. A
riot resulted in the death of six civilians, injuries to others and the burning
of Britain’s Government House in Nicosia. The efforts by the Greeks to bring
about enosis now intensified, helped by the active support of the Church of
Cyprus, which was the leading political voice of the Greek Cypriots at the
time. However, it was not the only organisation claiming to speak for the Greek
Cypriots. The Church’s main opposition came from the Cypriot Communist Party,
which also wholeheartedly supported the Greek national goal of enosis. 

By 1957 several Turkish mainland institutions were active in the Cyprus issue, and the Turkish trade unions were to prepare the right climate for the main Turkish goal, the island’s division
into Greek and Turkish parts, thus keeping the British military presence and
installations on the island intact. By this time, a special Turkish Cypriot
paramilitary organisation, the Turkish Resistance Organisation (TMT), was also
established to counterbalance the Greek Cypriot enosis fighting
organisation of EOKA. The UN General Assembly announced the decision “not
to consider the problem further for the time being because it does not appear
appropriate to adopt a resolution on Cyprus”. Reaction to the setback at
the UN was immediate and violent, resulting in the worst rioting in Cyprus
since 1931. Turkish Cypriot identification with Turkey had grown more assertive in response to the overt Greek nationalism of Greek Cypriots, and after 1954 the Turkish government had become increasingly involved. In the late summer and early autumn of 1974, the Cyprus problem

In July of that year, the Greek military-backed coup on the island
aimed to unite Cyprus with Greece, known as the Enosis. This move triggered a
swift and forceful response from Turkey. Turkish armed forces invaded the
northern part of Cyprus, citing the need to protect the Turkish Cypriot
population. This led to a division of the island, with the Turkish The Republic
of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) established in the occupied territory. 

In August of that year, Greek Cypriot forces launched a major offensive against the Turkish
Cypriots in an attempt to regain control of the north. This sparked a fierce conflict
that lasted for several weeks. The war resulted in heavy casualties on both
sides and caused significant damage to infrastructure and communities. The
international community closely monitored the escalating conflict in Cyprus and
attempted to broker a peaceful resolution. Under the supervision of the United
Nations, negotiations took place, leading to a ceasefire agreement in September

This agreement established a buffer zone, the Green Line, separating the
Greek and Turkish Cypriot territories. United Nations peacekeeping forces
patrolled the buffer zone to maintain stability and prevent further
hostilities, which the Turkish side has recently opened up for tourists and
considerations of new developments. The events of 1974 had a profound and
enduring impact on Cyprus’s social, political, and cultural fabric. The
division of the island into the internationally unrecognised Turkish Republic
of Northern Cyprus and the internationally recognised Republic of Cyprus
perpetuated a state of uncertainty and continued displacement for many. The
issue of refugees and the search for a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus
problem remain unresolved, creating ongoing challenges for all parties

The conflict further strained relations between the two countries and
resulted in the continued division of Cyprus, with lasting consequences for the
people of the island. While efforts for reconciliation and reunification
persist, the legacy of the 1974 war continues to shape Cyprus’s political,
social, and cultural landscape and the wider Eastern Mediterranean region. As
we reflect on this tale of conflict and its far-reaching consequences, we must
strive for understanding, compassion, and a genuine commitment to finding a
comprehensive solution. May the story of Cyprus serve as a reminder of the
importance of peace, unity, and the pursuit of shared prosperity in a world
marred by division.

Ref:  Firsthand experiences from participants, Cypriot national museum, wiki 

Endangered Crafts

 My journey began with history, a deep desire to discover the history of our traditional arts and crafts movement and who were the artists keeping the endangered crafts revived today. The first place to look is, of course, the Heritage Crafts Association. Which is a volunteer-led foundation, working in partnership with Government and key agencies to protect and work towards a healthy sustainable framework for future generations. They offer sponsorships and fund projects that support and endangered crafts such as Clog Making with Jeremy Atkinson, Swill Basket Making with Owen Jones and becoming a WheelWright with Phill Gregson.

 All three men have a deep-rooted history in developing their craft. Either it’s been passed down from father to son as a long family tradition, or well-respected friend and member of their community taught them. I could sense the pride and honour they felt from being taught by great masters and the sadness that they were the last of their generation. Without the support of the HCS, the skill these men have required and rich history surrounding the crafts would soon be forgotten with the passing of time.

Meeting ‘The Clog Maker’  Jeremy Atkinson in Hereford was a fantastic experience, his devilish humour and keen intellect kept me laughing well into the evening hours. We spoke as he worked in his cosy workshop lit by the huge roadside window. Jeremy talked about the changing tides of the industry and due to the speed of machinery, he couldn’t keep up with mass production. Therefore, he only deals with bespoke clogs. 

The English clog has always been part wood, part leather, both a locally sourced and traditionally made. Hand-cut leather uppers with hand-carved soles. The English tended to carve welsh and west country alder, the Scottish birch and Lincolnshire willow. The Welsh used alder, birch and sycamore, which Jeremy established would last longer and could take more wear and tear.

Jeremy Atkinson -

Driving along a winding country road, wildflowers engulfing each curb, and the air fragrant with the scent of damp wood, vibrant red roses, and wild blossoms. I turned into a lush green, golden lit cul-de-sac. To be greeted by Owen Jones a ‘Swiller’. A tall eathy man, rough hands with a bright, welcoming smile.


Owen Jones -

As I observed his work, time took on a different quality. Every minute was peaceful and uplifting. Surrounded by enchanting landscapes, playful birds and a babbling river you couldn’t help get lost in time, lost in another world. ‘It’s peaceful’ he says, I agreed. ‘I get so much enjoyment from watching the season change and being surrounded by nature’, and I could understand why.


 The precise origins of the baskets’ are unknown, but they did have much usefulness. Carrying coal in steamships, mines and veg baskets for the local markets. Farmers also made use of the design for broadcast sowing, harvesting root crops and carrying animal feed.
These days, the oak swill basket have adapted once more. Used in the home for everything from laundry to logs and large versions are sometimes used as Moses baskets. Owen mentioned that if you use a sheepskin rug in the bottom, it’s a perfect little nest for a newborn baby. Owen has been a ‘Swiller’ now for the past 30 years, and Owen said it’s still a challenge; every tree is different, and each batch of baskets has its own journey.’ Which makes each basket so much more unique.


Owen Jones -

Phill Gregson -

I was excited to be heading home for the next part of my project, back to Lancashire, there I was to meet a fourth-generation Wheelwright, Phill Gregson. Renowned for his skill and abilities, Phil has travelled all over the world, earning himself the position of Yeoman of the Worshipful Company of Wheelwrights. Not many people can trace their family back to their great-grandfather and still be in the same trade. There is something quite nostalgic knowing you are apart of family tradition, a rich history of craftsmen. Notwithstanding, the fact you carry a responsibility of passing that tradition on, sharing your skills with the next generation, in this modern world of fast-paced technology, that can be a heavyweight to bear.

Phill Gregson -

Phill mentioned that his father didn’t want him to follow in his path as a Wheelwright. Predicting the difficulties that lay ahead within the modern world. However, it’s hard to let go of a family tradition. Those cherished memories from father to son, that history and knowledge that makes you one of a kind. After trying different paths, they all eventually lead back to becoming a Master Certificated Wheelwright. 

A wheelwright has been around for millennia and is one amongst the oldest crafts known to man. The overall appearance of the wheel has barely changed. Except for subtle changes in the 17th and 21st century to help keep up with the demands of a changing world. There are many parts to creating a grand wheel. Firstly you begin with the nave or hub, a well-seasoned piece of elm. Then there are the spokes, two spokes for each felloe. Once they were hammered into position, the wheel had its rim. For the shoeing, the wheel was then set over a pit of water and laid upon it was a red hot strip of curved iron. Hot iron burned into the wood, the wheelwright punched in rose-headed nails and turned the wheel round in the pit of water. This was done repeatedly on both sides. Finally, the wheel had to be boxed. Meaning, a cast-iron box inserted and fixed with wedges with the centre of the nave. And there lay the Axle arm. It was them the responsibility of the wheelwright to make sure his wheels were properly hun for the axle-arms. 

 Phil and Emily, his wife, welcomed me with open arms and captivated me with their many stories of travels across America for their “World Wheelwright” project. As well as their passion for helping others through workshops and charity projects. I couldn’t thank them enough for their time, knowledge and passion for what they do and how to keep it going for generations to come. 

Phill Gregson -

Find more information about their incredible journey
Many thanks to Phill Gregson at

Do you want to work with ethical fashion brands

I had an incredible opportunity to collaborate with an inspirational woman, Molly, founder of Pink City Print.  After nearly a year of chatting about the shoot, Molly and I finally had a
chance to meet. It was one of those surprisingly sunny days in March, and over a coffee, we discuss her brand, her journey and passion for ethical fashion. Molly’s brand works alongside the artisans of Indian, these men and women are involved in every process of creating all the beautifully handmade garments. Molly also works closely with the Women’s Centre teaching them the embroidery skill to help them become more independent, and it creates a new way for the ladies to earn an extra income.

 An embroidered dress can take up to three days to complete, using natural fibre, cotton, silk, and hand-loomed Khadi cotton. Each piece is worked on by hand and completely unique. While shooting in the Canary Islands it got so hot I just had to put one on, and boy did it feel good! It was such an honour to be a part of this brand’s mission, which also reflects my mission. And to think, if I hadn’t followed her on Insta and if she didn’t reach out, then this opportunity might never have happened, but thankfully it did! And we produced amazing visuals that show off the astounding talents of the artisans of India. Check out ”The Process “.

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