Facts about Cyprus

Area: 9,251 sq km
Capital: Nicosia
Language: Greek, Turkish
Currency: Euro
  Turkish Lira
Population: 784,301
Coastline: 648 sq km

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The country remains divided

Having a look at the map of one can notice a divided country of Cyprus and even a Green Line that splits capital in two. Every visitor to Cyprus tends to ask about the events behind such a situation. Achieving its independence in 1960, the population of Cyprus according to the officials was 81, 9 % Greek Cypriots with a few tiny minorities, and 18, 1 % Turkish Cypriots. Comparing the presence of the two populations in Cyprus, the Turkish Cypriots settlement dates back to the 16th century following the Ottoman conquest of Cyprus, while the Greek Cypriots have been living in Cyprus for four thousands years. The Turkish Cypriots are said to have never constituted a majority in any region of Cyprus. Before reaching its independence in 1960, Cyprus was a British colony since 1878. The two communities were living in harmony and friendliness during the colonial stage, the problems strained only a few years before 1960, as the Greek Cypriots started a struggle demanding Cyprus union with Greece, as mentioned earlier.

The hatred between the Turks and the Greeks, after the event of Enosis, resulted in the Turkish invasion in 1974, following a coup d’etat by the junta in power in Greece, and the Turks occupied forty percent of the island, that is to say a large number of settlements in the northern part of the island. Ever since 1974 the Turkish side insists on the “fait accomplis” of the invasion that means no acceptance for the Greeks. Since then, Cyprus has remained divided into two parts, two autonomous states, the northern part is Turkish, and the southern one is Greek. The Turkish Cypriot population definitely moved to the north (approximately 50, 000), as they had been forced to flee their homes between the years 1963 - 1974, while the Greek Cypriots fled to the south (some 150, 000) because of the Turkish intervention. In 1983 the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has been founded. However, no compromise has not been found up to now, that is why Cyprus remains a divided country with the artificial boundary, known as a “Green Line” running through the capital, Nicosia. It still separates the two states and the two nations.

Early settlers

Expansion and trade

The Iron Age

Persian Rule

Hellenistic Period

Roman period

Byzantine rule

Three Hundred years of French Rule

Venetian Rule

Ottoman Rule

British Control

Union with Greece

The country remains divided

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