In Association with amazon.co.uk


Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean with an area of 9.251 square kilometers. It lies in the north-eastern corner of the East Mediterranean basin, at the meeting point of three continents - Europe, Asia and Africa. Cyprus' population at the end of 1992 was 718.000. Population distribution by ethnic group is 81,7% Greek Cypriots including Maronites, Armenians, Latins and others and 18,3% Turkish Cypriots.

Since early times Cyprus has had an eventful history, mostly the result of its geographical position. It appeared for the first time in the history of civilisation in the 7th millennium B.C. during the Neolithic period. This period, which lasted three millennia, was followed by the Chalcolithic period.

The Bronze Age followed which lasted until 1100 B.C. During the last phase of this period, in the 13th century B.C., the Mycenean Greeks came for this first time to Cyprus as merchants and immigrants. They settled and they introduced the Greek language and culture both of which have been preserved to this day.

At the end of the 4th century B.C. Cyprus became part of the Kingdom of Alexander the Great. During the first century B.C. it became a province of the Great Roman Empire and remained as such until the 4th century A.D. when it was included in the eastern part of the Roman Empire.

This marks the beginning of the Byzantine period, which lasted until the 12th century A.D. when, during the Crusades, King Richard Coeur de Lion, conquered the island. Very soon, however, Cyprus came under the rule of the Lusignan family. In 1489 Cyprus became part of the Republic of Venice and in 1571 it was conquered by the Ottomans.

In 1878 Cyprus was handed over to the British. At the outbreak of the First World War, Cyprus was annexed to the British Empire, and in 1925 it was formally declared a British Crown Colony.

In 1955, after a long but unsuccessful struggle to attain their freedom by peaceful means, the people of Cyprus took up arms against the colonial power.

Cyrpus became an independet republic in 1960, following an agreement between Britain, Greece and Turkey. The Republic of Cyprus was consisted by two communities ( Greek and Turkish). The three countries that signed the agreement took upon them the responcibility to protect the indepentence and security of Cyprus.

Using as a pretext the coup of 15 July 1974, Turkey invaded Cyprus allegedly as a "guarantor" of the island's independence. On 20 July 1974, 40.000 Turkish troops landed on the island assisted by Turkish air and naval forces, in violation of the U.N. Charter. On 14 August, Turkey launched a second invasion in violation of the Security Council resolutions calling for a cease-fire and troop withdrawal.

As a result, approximately 40% of the total territory of the Republic of Cyprus, which in economic terms is much more significant than its size (accounting for 70% of the economic potential), came under Turkish military occupation and about 40% of the total Greek Cypriot population was displaced. Moreover, thousands of people, including civilians, were killed or ill-treated and many more disappeared and are still missing. Turkey also pursued a deliberate policy aimed at turkifying the occupied areas and at destroying the cultural heritage of Cyprus




[about] [view] [contact]

The A.Malecos collection
copyright 1999-2000


Copyright Information about the site go home