Cypriot politics are among the most contentious in Europe, and frequently attract the attention of the international community. Here, Yiannos Katsourides traces the historical development of the Cypriot party system, and in particular the growth of the Communist Party, now known as AKEL – the first formally organized political party on the island. Under the British Empire, the party was illegal, but continued to struggle for Cypriot independence until this was achieved in 1960. Based on new archival research, Katsourides addresses the social, religious, economic and political environment in which communist and working class politics existed on the island, and locates them within the context of a country connected inextricably with Turkey, Great Britain and Greece. This book will be of significant interest to anyone interested in the history of Cyprus, European communist movements or British colonialism and diplomacy in the Mediterranean.