History

Cyprus is rich with so much history dating back 10,000+ years.  I won’t go into detail about its history, since I am not a historian or archeologist.  But I will give an undergraduate paper version  (i.e., very, very brief summation of some highlights) about the country’s history.

Several different periods defined much of Cyprus’ history:

–       Prehistoric Age/Ancient Period/Classical, Hellenistic, Roman Periods  (Feel free to ask Prof about any details regarding all that “old” stuff.)

–       The Middle Ages:  Cyprus went back and forth between several rulers during the Crusades.  When the Republic of Venice ruled Cyprus, Catherine Cornaro ruled as the last queen of Cyprus.  Venetians sought importance in using the island as a port to supply goods to the Eastern Mediterranean.

–       Ottoman Rule:  In 1571, Ottomans expelled the Latins and ruled the island. The Orthodox church of Cyprus was given political and religious authority, which pushed out the Roman Catholic Church’s foothold in the country.

Ottoman misrule led to several unsuccessful uprisings by Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots.

–       British Rule:  In 1878, as a result of the Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878) and the Congress of Berlin, the British Empire took over Cyprus.

IMPORTANT PART:

–       1960s to Today:  On August 16, 1960, The Republic of Cyprus became independent after the signing of the Zurich and London Agreement between the UK, Greece, Turkey.  However, internal fighting broke up in the 1960s between the Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots.

In 1974, a Greek military junta group tried to stage a coup in order to unite Cyprus to Greece.  Turkey saw the coup as a pretext for war, which led to a Turkish invasion on the northern side of the island.

During a ceasefire, while undergoing negotiations between the two sides, Turkey invaded a second time.  International pressure led to another ceasefire, and Turkish troops remained on the northeastern part of the island.

In 1983, Turkish-Cypriots proclaimed the northern part of the island as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), which is recognized only by Turkey.  The international community recognizes that the Republic of Cyprus rules the entire island. The green line divides the island in two.

May 2004, Cyprus joins the European Union.  In 2008, Ledra Street is reopened for Turkish-Cypriots and Greek-Cypriots to cross the border.

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyprus

Cyprus Tourism Book

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