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Cyprus recent history (Wikipedia)

In 1878, as the result of the Cyprus Convention, the United Kingdom took over the government of Cyprus as a protectorate from the Ottoman Empire. In 1914, at the beginning of World War I, Cyprus was annexed by the United Kingdom. In 1925, following the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, Cyprus was made a Crown Colony. Between 1955-59 EOKA was created by Greek Cypriots and led by George Grivas to perform enosis (union of the island with Greece). However the EOKA campaign did not result union with Greece but rather an independent republic, The Republic of Cyprus, in 1960.

In 1960, the mostly Muslim Turkish Cypriots were only 18% of the Cypriot population[. However, the 1960 constitution put in place a form of power-sharing, or consociational government, in which concessions were made to the Turkish Cypriot minority, for example there was a requirement the vice-president of Cyprus and at least 30% of members of parliament be Turkish Cypriots. Archbishop Makarios would be the President and Dr Fazil Kucuk would become Vice President. One of the articles in the constitution was the creation of separate local municipalities so that Greek and Turkish Cypriots could manage their own municipalities in the big towns.

Internal conflicts turned into full-fledged armed fighting between the two communities on the island which prompted the United Nations to send peacekeeping forces in 1964; these forces are still in place today. In 1974 Greek Cypriots performed a military coup with the support of military junta in Greece. Turkey used the coup as a pretext to invade the northern portion of the island. Turkish forces remained after a cease-fire, resulting in the partition of the island; an objective of Turkey since 1955. The intercommunal violence and subsequent Turkish invasion led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Cypriots.

The de facto state of Northern Cyprus was proclaimed in 1975 under the name "Turkish Federated State of Northern Cyprus". The name was changed to its present form on 15 November 1983. The only country to formally recognise The "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" is Turkey. Hundreds of thousands of Turkish settlers have been granted right to illegally reside in the 'TRNC' and allowed to reside on Greek Cypriot land and property in order to change the island's demographic in favour of the Turkish Cypriots. The international community considers the North as occupied territory of the Republic of Cyprus and Turkey has repeatedly violated numerous UN Resolutions calling on it to withdraw its occupation.

In 2002 UN Secretary General Kofi Annan started a new round of negotiations for the unification of the island. In 2004 after long negotiations between both sides a plan for unification of the island emerged. The resulting plan was supported by UN, EU and the US. The nationalists in both sides campaigned for the rejection of the plan but Turkish side accepted the plan while Greek side rejected it.

After Cyprus became a member of the European Union in 2004, it adopted the Euro as its currency on January 1, 2008, replacing the previously used Cypriot Pound; whilst the illegally occupied areas continued to use the Turkish Lira and on January 1, 2008 the New Turkish Lira.


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