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  • From the Editor
  • Constantine A. Pagedas

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Ambassador C. Edward Dillery, a member of the board of Mediterranean Affairs, Inc., the parent organization of this journal. Joining the Department of State in 1955, Dillery was a foreign service officer who served in the United States government both in Washington, DC, and abroad for nearly forty years. His early diplomatic assignments included a successful tour in Japan (1957–61) at a time when the foundational 1960 Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security was negotiated between the two governments. He was in Brussels (1966–67) during some early growing pains of the European Economic Community (EEC), the forerunner of the European Union. His service took him to Quang Ngai Province in Vietnam (1968–69) at the height of the Vietnam War, and to London (1973–76), when the United Kingdom successfully entered the EEC on its third attempt.

It was during his time in London, in the summer of 1974, when the Greek Junta tried to overthrow Archbishop Makarios of Cyprus in order to have the island declare enosis, or union, with Greece, and which in turn led to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. UK forces stationed on the island helped the archbishop escape to exile in the Seychelles and later restored him to power in Nicosia after Turkish troops occupied 39 percent of the island nation’s territory. It was from his perch in London that Dillery witnessed firsthand his British counterparts’ response to this complex crisis that nearly brought two North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies to war with each other. Dillery’s hard work in London saw him promoted to the position of US deputy chief of mission to Nicosia (1976–78). It was an extremely difficult posting, being at [End Page 1] ground zero of enormous tensions among Cyprus, Greece, and Turkey in the aftermath of 1974. According to accounts by several of his State Department contemporaries, however, Dillery handled the delicate situation with the calm and equanimity that were essential to the job. Afterward, Dillery returned to Foggy Bottom to head the State Department’s Office of Southern European Affairs, and then the Office of United Nations Political Affairs, where debates continued to rage regarding the thorny issues that were created by the tragic events of 1974 in the eastern Mediterranean. These experiences earned Dillery a strong reputation in Greek- Turkish- Cypriot affairs in numerous diplomatic circles and were a touchstone for his involvement with the Mediterranean Quarterly later in retirement. Dillery’s last overseas posting came when he was appointed US ambassador to Fiji, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Kiribati from 1984 until 1987 before he retired from government service in 1994.

Ambassador Dillery was a close friend of Professor Nikolaos A. Stavrou, the founder and long- time editor of the Mediterranean Quarterly, and was brought on to the board of Mediterranean Affairs, Inc. to share his wealth of experience in the eastern Mediterranean, both in terms of his contributions to the pages of this journal as well as at important events in Washington requiring a balanced, veteran State Department perspective. His detailed knowledge of the key people and issues that have plagued relations between and among Cyprus, Greece, and Turkey over the past several decades will be sorely missed, especially as the issues that face these countries both individually and collectively have taken on new dimensions over the past couple of years.

Indeed, the various challenges confronting Turkey, Greece, and Cyprus today are challenging to even the most seasoned of diplomats. The first essay in this issue is “The Ottoman Empire from 1923 to Today: In Search of a Usable Past” by Nick Danforth, highlighting how the current government is appropriating Ottoman history as a means to shape the Turkish Republic’s present and future. Many are beginning to see President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as becoming too authoritarian as he has led the charge to restrict the Turkish press that has been critical of the government, to instigate grand building projects such as his new presidential palace, and to curb the Turkish military in such ways that it may no longer be the secular guarantor the Turkish Republic...


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Archived 2019
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