Cyprus Timeline

Cyprus Timeline

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  • c. 7000 BCE

    First human settlement of Cyprus.

  • 7000 BCE - 2500 BCE

    Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods on Cyprus.

  • 2500 BCE - 1100 BCE

  • c. 1600 BCE - c. 1200 BCE

    Ugarit has close ties with Egypt and Cyprus.

  • 709 BCE - 699 BCE

    Cyprus pays tribute to the Assyrian Empire.

  • 560 BCE - 546 BCE

    Cyprus pays tribute to the Egyptian Empire.

  • 546 BCE

    The Persians occupy Cyprus, being invited by Cypriot leaders.

  • 478 BCE

    Spartan general Pausanias is given command of a force and takes both Cyprus and Byzantium.

  • 450 BCE

    Athenian general Cimon dies on Cyprus fighting the Persians.

  • 323 BCE

  • 306 BCE

    Demetrius I of Macedon defeats Ptolemy's fleet at Salamis, off the coast of Cyprus.

  • 58 BCE - 648 CE

    Cyprus is a Roman province.

  • 115 CE - 117 CE

    Cyprus suffers heavily in the Second Jewish-Roman War.

  • 648 CE - 965 CE

    Cyprus is under Arab rule.


Remains of the oldest known settlement in Cyprus dating from this period can be seen in Khirokitia and Kalavassos (Tenta), off the Nicosia-Limassol road. This civilization had developed along the North and South coasts. First only stone vessels were used. After 5000 B.C., the art of pottery was invented.


Most Chalcolithic establishments are found in Western Cyprus, where a fertility cult develops. The copper of the island begins to be exploited and used.

2500-1050 BC BRONZE AGE

Copper is more extensively exploited bringing wealth to Cyprus. Trade is built up with the Near East, Egypt and the Aegean. After 1400 BC, Mycenaeans from Greece reach the island, perhaps as merchants. During the 12th and 11th centuries several waves of Achaean Greeks come to settle on the island bringing with them the Greek language, their religion, their customs. They build new cities like Paphos, Salamis, Kition. Kourion. The island from now on is progressively hellenised.


There are ten Kingdoms in the island. Phoenicians settle at Kition. The 8th century B.C. is a period of great prosperity.


The era of prosperity continues, but the island falls prey to several conquerors. Cypriot Kingdoms try to preserve their independence but come variously under the domination of Assyria, Egypt and Persia. King Evagoras of Salamis (who ruled from 411-374 BC) rebels against Persia and unifies the island but, after a great siege has to conclude peace with Persia and loses control of the whole island.

333-325 BC

Alexander the Great defeats Persia and Cyprus becomes part of his empire.


After the succession struggles, between Alexander's generals, Cyprus eventually comes under the Hellenistic state of the Ptolemies of Egypt, and belongs from now onwards to the Greek Alexandrine world. The capital is now Paphos. This is a period of wealth for Cyprus.


Cyprus becomes part of the Roman Empire, first as part of the province of Syria, then as a separate province under a proconsul. During the missionary journeys by Saints Paul and Barnabas, the Proconsul, Sergius Paulus is converted to Christianity and Cyprus becomes the first country to be governed by Christian. Destructive earthquakes occur during the 1st century B.C. and the 1at A.D. and cities are rebuilt. There is a great loss of life when the Jews who lived in Salamis rebel in 116, and from the plague in 164 AD. In 313 the Edict of Milan grants freedom of worship to Christians and Cypriot bishops attend the Council of Nicaea in 325.


After the division of the Roman Empire in two parts, Cyprus comes under the Eastern Roman Empire, known as Byzantium, with Constantinople as its capital. Constantine the Great's mother, Helena is said to have stopped in Cyprus on her journey from the Holy Land, with remnants of the Holy Cross and founded the monastery of Stavrovouni. More earthquakes during the 4th century A.D. completely destroy the main cities. Cities lose their splendour and remain in ruins. New cities arise, Constantia is now the capital, and large basilicas are built as from the 4-5th century A.D. In 488, after the tomb of St. Barnabas is found, Emperor Zeno gives the Archibishop of Cyprus full autonomy and privileges including holding a sceptre instead of a pastoral staff, wearing a purple mantle and signing in red ink. In 647 Arabs invade the island under Muawiya. In 688 Emperor Justinian II and Caliph al-Malik sign a treaty neutralising Cyprus, but violations are reported, and the island is also attacked by pirates until 965 when Emperor Nicephoros Phocas expels Arabs from Asia Minor and Cyprus.


Isaac Comnenus, self proclaimed governor of Cyprus, is discourteous to survivors of a shipwreck involving ships of Richard I's fleet on their way to the Third Crusade. Richard defeats Isaac and takes possession of Cyprus, marrying Berengaria of Navarree in Limassol, where she is crowned Queen of England. Richard then sells the island to the Knights Templars for 100,000 dinars but they resell it at the same price to Guy de Lusignan, one of the Crusader Knights.


Cyprus is ruled on the feudal system and the Catholic church officially replaces the Greek Orthodox, although the latter manages to survive. Many beautiful gothic buildings belong to this period including the Cathedrals of Ayia Sophia in Nicosia, Saint Nicholas in Famagusta and Bellapais Abbey. The city of Famagusta becomes one of the richest in the Near East, and Nicosia becomes the capital of Cyprus and the seat of the Lusignan Kings. The Lusignan dynasty ends when the last queen Catherina Cornaro cedes Cyprus to Venice in 1489.


Venetians see Cyprus as a last bastion against the Ottomans in the east Mediterranean, and fortify the island tearing down lovely buildings in Nicosia to bring the city into a tight encircled area defended by bastions and a moat which can still be seen today. They also build impressive walls around Famagusta which were considered at the time as works of military art.


In 1570 troops attack Cyprus, capture Nicosia, slaughter the population (20,000) and lay siege to Famagusta for a year. After a brave defense by Venetian commander Marc Antonio Bragadin, Famagusta capitulates to the Ottoman commander Lala Mustafa, who first gives free passage to the besieged but when he sees how few they are, orders the flaying, drawing and quartering of Bragadin and puts the others to death. On annexation to the Ottoman Empire, the Latin hierarchy are expelled or converted to Islam and the Greek Orthodox faith restored in time, the Archibishop as leader of the Greek Orthodox, becomes their representative to the Porte. When the Greek War of Independence breaks out in 1821, the Archibishop of Cyprus, Kyprianos, three bishops and hundreds of civic leaders are executed.


Under the 1878 Cyprus Convention, Britain assumes administration of the island, which remains formally part of the Ottoman Empire until 1914 when Britain annexes Cyprus, after the Ottoman Empire enters the First World War on the side of Germany. In 1923 under the Treaty of Lausanne, Turkey renounces any claim to Cyprus. In 1925 Cyprus is declared a Crown colony. In 1940 Cypriot volunteers serve in various branches of the British Armed Forces throughout the Second World War. Hopes for self-determination now being granted to other countries in the post-war period are shattered by the British who consider the island vitally strategic. An Armed Liberation Struggle, after all means of peaceful settling of the problem are exchausted, breaks out in 1955 which last until 1959.


According to the Zurich-London Treaty, Cyprus becomes an independent republic on 16th August 1960. It is a member of the United Nations, the Council of Europe and the Commonwealth as well as the Non-Aligned Movement. According to the above Treaty, Britain retains in the island two Sovereign Bases, (158.5 sq km) at Dhekelia and Akrotiri-Episkopi.

The 1960 Constitution of the Cyprus Republic proves unworkable in many of its provisions, and this made impossible its smooth implementation. When in 1963, the President of the Republic proposed some amendments to facilitate the functioning of the state, the Turkish community responded with rebellion (Dec. 1963), the Turkish ministers withdrew from the Cabinet and the Turkish civil servants ceased attending their offices while Turkey threatened to invade Cyprus. Ever since then, the aim of the Turkish Cypriot leadership, acting on instructions from the Turkish Government, has been the partitioning of Cyprus and annexation by Turkey. In July 1974, a coup is staged in Cyprus by the Military junta, then in power in Athens, for the overthrow of President Makarios. On 20 July 1974, Turkey launched an invasion with 40,000 troops against defenseless Cyprus. Since 1974, 37% of the island is under Turkish military occupation and 200,000 Greek Cypriots, 40% of the total Greek Cypriot population, were forced to leave their homes in the occupied area and were turned into refugees. The invasion of Turkey and the occupation of 37% of the island's territory as well as the continuing violation of the fundamental human rights of the people of Cyprus have been condemned by international bodies, such as the UN General Assembly, the Non-aligned Movement, the Commonwealth and the Council of Europe.

Brief Overview of the Cyprus Problem

Turkish and Greek Cypriots lived together on the island for almost five centuries. They were dispersed all over the island, mosques and churches can still be found side by side and members of one community worked in the business of the other (Gradshaw N. "The Cyprus Revolt").

Turkey invaded Cyprus on July 20, 1974. As an explanation to this brutal act, Turkey offered the restoration of the constitutional structure of the Republic of Cyprus that was damaged by a coup d' etat, and the protection of an 18% Turkish-Cypriot minority on the island. Just like the Nazis in 1939 when they invaded Czechoslovakia, proclaiming themselves "protectors" of the "oppressed" German minority. The international community strongly condemned the military invasion and rejected Turkey's explanations. In Resolution 353 that was adopted on the day of the invasion, the United Nations (UN) Security Council "equally concerned about the necessity to restore the constitutional structure of the Republic of Cyprus" calls upon all States to "respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Cyprus" and demands "an immediate end to foreign military intervention in the Republic of Cyprus".

Turkey not only ignored the international community but launched a second offensive in August, 1974 and managed to seize more than one third of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus. Moreover the Turkish army in order to "protect" the Turkish-Cypriot minority on the island, employed deliberate means of terror and indiscriminate cruelty against the Greek-Cypriots. The goal was the ethnic-cleansing, 17 years before the term was even coined, of the occupied northern part of the island. When one reads the report, adopted on July 10, 1976, after months of investigation by the European Commission of Human Rights, one understands why thousands of Greek Cypriots fled their homes at the approach of the Turkish army. The Commission accepted that there were "very strong indications" of killings "committed on a substantial scale." The atrocities of the Turkish army included wholesale and repeated rapes of women of all ages, systematic torture, savage and humiliating treatment of hundreds of people, including children, women and pensioners during their detention by the Turkish forces, as well as looting and robbery on an extensive scale, by Turkish troops and Turkish Cypriots.

Thousands of Greek-Cypriots lost their lives, 1619 are still missing (BILL H. R. 2826 on missing persons since the Turkish invasion in Cyprus, 1, 2, 3), 200,000 Cypriots fled their homes leaving behind their belongings (the 200,000 refugees in terms of percentage to the population of Cyprus correspond to 110,000,000 in the USA).

As if all this were not enough, the Turkish-Cypriots later declared the occupied part of the island "a Federated Turkish State". The reaction of the international community is strongly negative. The UN Security Council in Resolution 367/1975 "regrets the unilateral decision of 13 February 1975 declaring a part of the Republic of Cyprus would become a Federated Turkish State". Turkey, once again showing its respect to international law and order, is the only country in the whole world that has recognized this pseudo-state!

It is important to realize that Turkey has always planned the invasion of Cyprus and events prior to 1974 just served as a pretext. Taxim, (partition in Turkish) of the island was always in Turkey's plans. Cyprus has not yet come".--> In 1956 the Turkish Cypriot leader F. Kutchuck submitted on a map Taxim proposals dividing Cyprus to North and South (Hitchens "Cyprus: Hostage to History"). In 1974 the Turkish troops divided the island to north and south deviating from the 1956 plan only in minor details. It is therefore clear that the 1974 invasion was a part of a plan and not the result of any actions of the Greek-Cypriots in the sixties. The current Turkish Cypriot leader Denktash agreed when he stated: "Even if the Turkish-Cypriots did not exist, Turkey would not have left Cyprus to Greece" ( Turkish newspaper "Milliyet" 7/23/1985).

Currently, 22 years later, 30,000 Turkish troops are stationed on the occupied part of the island making it "one of the most highly militarized areas in the world", according to the June 1994 report of the UN Secretary General to the Security Council. The island is thus still divided, the refugees still away from their homes, the whereabouts of the missing still unknown. The Turkish-Cypriots are also victims of this invasion and imposed separation. More than 110,000 Turkish settlers have been transported to the occupied areas, in an attempt to change the demographic character of the island. These settlers, while Turks, they are completely different culturally from the Turkish-Cypriots whose culture is very similar to their Greek counterparts. The Turkish-Cypriots are becoming a minority in the occupied areas and are migrating to other western countries. On the other hand their leaders, under Turkey's direction, continue to bring the negotiations in the UN to a deadlock. The reason is simple: they are satisfied with the status quo.

The goal of the reunification of the island is the only acceptable solution to the Cyprus problem by the international community. The UN Security Council in Resolution 939/1994 clearly "reiterates that the maintenance of the status quo is unacceptable" and "reaffirms its position that a Cyprus settlement must be based on a State of Cyprus with a single sovereignty and international personality and a single citizenship". It recommends that this state should comprise "two politically equal communities" "in a bi-communal and bi-zonal federation, and such a settlement must exclude union in whole or in part with any other country or any form of partition or secession".

TIMELINE: Key events in Cyprus

(Reuters) - Britain has offered to cede almost half of its sovereign territory in Cyprus to help peace negotiations between now estranged Greek and Turkish Cypriots in the former British colony.

The offer would be conditional on a settlement to the conflict, which is an obstacle to Turkey’s bid to join the EU.

Following is a chronology of key events in Cypriot history since independence:

1960 - Britain grants independence to Cyprus under a power-sharing constitution between Turkish and Greek Cypriots.

1963/1964 - Power sharing crumbles amid fighting government formed without Turkish Cypriots and recognized worldwide as only legitimate authority on island. U.N. peacekeeping force (UNFICYP) established.

1974 - Military junta in Greece backs July coup against President Archbishop Makarios. Five days later Turkish troops invade Cyprus.

-- Turkey and Greece come close to war. The coup quickly collapses, as does the Athens junta. Turkish forces occupy the northern third of the island.

1983 - Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash declares a breakaway state in northern Cyprus. Only Turkey recognizes it.

1996 - Two Greek Cypriots are killed in separate demonstrations along the United Nations-controlled ceasefire line in the worst outbreak of violence since 1974.

2002 - U.N. presents a peace plan for Cyprus calling for broad power-sharing and a return of territory to Greek Cypriots.

2003 - Turkish Cypriot side authorizes opening checkpoints along the ceasefire line for day trips.

April 24, 2004 - Greek Cypriots reject U.N. power-sharing plan in referendum. Turkish Cypriots, under new leadership of Mehmet Ali Talat, accept it.

-- May 1 - Cyprus joins the EU, still partitioned.

October 4, 2005 - Turkey starts EU entry negotiations. Cyprus says Turkey must open its ports and airports to Cypriot traffic.

February 24, 2008 - Communist party leader Demetris Christofias wins presidential election and agrees to revive reunification efforts.

-- April 3 - Greek and Turkish Cypriots pull down barricades that have separated them in capital for half a century

-- September 3 - Greek and Turkish leaders launch direct peace negotiations which continue at slow pace.

April 19, 2009 - Turkish Cypriot hardliners sweep to victory in parliamentary elections, suggesting a fall in popularity for Talat, whose presidential term ends in April 2010.

-- October 13 - Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides cancel annual rival war games to avoid disrupting talks

-- November 4 - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says Cyprus talks making “good progress.”

-- November 10 - Britain revives offer made in past negotiations to cede almost half its sovereign territory on Cyprus, which represents about 3.0 percent of the island.

New talks

2008 March - New left-wing President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat agree to start formal talks on reunification.

2008 April - Symbolic Ledra Street crossing between the Turkish and Greek sectors of Nicosia reopened for first time since 1964.

2010 April - Dervis Eroglu, who favours independence, wins the Turkish north's leadership contest, beating pro-unity incumbent Mehmet Ali Talat.

2010 May - Re-unification talks resume with a new hardliner representing the Turkish north.

2011 May - Parliamentary polls. The the main rightwing opposition party DISY wins by a narrow margin.

2011 July - Navy chief Andreas Ioannides and 12 others die when people when impounded Iranian containers of explosives blow up at the main naval base and the country's main power plant. 2011 September - Cyprus begins exploratory drilling for oil and gas, prompting a diplomatic row with Turkey, which responds by sending an oil vessel to waters off northern Cyprus.

2012 April - The UN cancels plans for a Cyprus conference, citing lack of progress on any of the substantial differences between the two sides.

Turkey's Turkish Petroleum Corporation begins drilling for oil and gas onshore in northern Cyprus despite protests from the Cypriot government that the action is illegal.

A Brief History of Cyprus

Maybe small in size, but rich in history and tradition, Cyprus has met, throughout changing eras, tremendous changes, wars, rebellions and invasions, mostly due to its strategic position &ndash as it is situated in the crossroad of three continents (Europe, Asia and Africa). In this article we shall take brief look at the most important phases of its history.

The earliest evidence of human settlement in the island of Cyprus goes back to 9.700BC with the hunter gatherers. In the Pre-pottery Era or Pre-Neolithic Era (8.500-7.000BC) the first signs of permanent settlements and agriculture habits are noticed, while in the Akrotiri Aetokremnou manmade artefacts have been discovered.

The most known settlement which shades light to the way of living of the 6 th millennium BC is found in Choirokitia. Round houses are sorted in an enclosed village, protected by defensive walls, and are built high enough in order to achieve protection from foreign enemies or hostile invasions. The inhabitants produce stone tools and cultivate their land.

Chalcolithic Age (about 3,800 - 2,400 BC)

This period brings small changes in the way of life of the people. Copper is mined in small quanities and locals made the famous cruciform picrolite figurines.

In the 4 th millennium BC copper is widely being used. &Alphamillennium later, immigrants from Anatolia settle in the island and introduce their techniques and way of living to the locals. During the era of Bronze, the first cities are being constructed. Simultaneously, copper is massively exploited and gradually replaces other materials used for various causes (eg. stone). This massive trade of copper and bronze items brings wealth in the island. At this point trading relationships with Egypt and Asia are commencing and will reach a peak during the late Bronze Age. Cyprus goes through one of its most glorious periods: jewellery and pottery is vastly produced, Cypriot-syllabic is utilized for written communication and habitants enjoy prosperity. This form of language is still not entirely deciphered.

Achaean Greeks inhabit Cyprus mostly after the Trojan war, even though they have been colonizing since 1200BC Achaeans are spreading Greek language, religion and customs. The hellenisation of the island was then in progress.

Iron Age is divided in two sub-periods, the Geometric (1050-700) characterised by a continuous use of geometrical shapes in the produced pottery and Archaic (700-525 BC). During this era, the cities of Soloi, Kourion, Salamis, Kition, Paphos are built. Wealth enjoyed in this period can be seen in the finds of the Royal Tombs near Salamis. The cult of the goddess Aphrodite flourished on the island, which was her birthplace.

A series of rulers masters the island: Asssyrians, Egyptians and Persians desire Cyprus accordingly. In these hard times, the Cypriot Kingdoms struggle to preserve their independence against the conquerors. Worth mentioning leaders are Zenon Kitieus and Evagoras, the King of Salamis, known for his strong connections with Greece, who fights the Persians in the early fourth century trying to unify Cyprus, and eventually loses. His death seals the end of Classical Age (475-325). Alexander the Great makes Cyprus a part of his vast empire in 333BC, as he defeats the Persians.

After Alexander&rsquos death, Ptolemy, one of his successors, became ruler of the island and Cyprus belonged from then onwards to the Greek Alexandrine world. The Ptolemies abolished the city-kingdoms and unified Cyprus. Pafos became the capital.

Cypriot Kingdoms suffer from the Ptolemaic dominance for more than 250 years, although new cities are founded, eg. Arsinoe.

The Romans, who took control of Cyprus mainly, exploited its copper mines. Cyprus will remain relatively peaceful for more than 6 hundred years. New buildings arise, theatres and gymnasia (eg. Sanctuary of Apollon Ylatis, Kourion Theatre).

Christianity makes its appearance by Apostle Barnabas and Paul and Cyprus became the first country to be governed by a Christian.

After the division of the Roman Empire, Cyprus comes under the Hellenic Empire of Byzantium, with its capital base in Constantinople, after 330. The church of Cyprus achieves independence at this time: the bishop is finally considered autocephalous. Saint Heleni, Great Constantine&rsquos mother comes to the island carrying remnants of the Holy Cross of Jesus, in a time when Cyprus suffers from draught and earthquakes.

Warmly desired by the Arabs, Cyprus undergoes their invasion in 647. Assorted attacks and various incursions cause great disasters as the island is jointly ruled by Arabs and Byzantines. This period comes to an end in 965, when Emperor Nikiphoros Phokas expels the intruders.

Many governors come and go take the lead, are murdered. Isaac Comnenus proclaims himself emperor of Cyprus and rebels against King of England Richard the Lionheart. Cyprus passes then to the hands of Frank Guy de Lusignan.

Cyprus gradually enjoys another round of prosperity, Orthodox Greek are free to practice their religious habits, new churches and monasteries come up all over the island and decorated them with unique and beautiful frescoes. Nicosia then becomes the capital of the island many beautiful gothic edifices come up, for example the Cathedral of Agia Sophia in Nicosia and the Bellapais Abbey. The last Lusignan King, James II marries a Venetian noblewoman, who becomes Queen of Cyprus and is the last royal member of the Lusignan dynasty. Catherine Kornaro, goes to Venice in 1489.

Cyprus is ruled by the Venetians from 1489 till 1571. Nicosia is fortified with immense walls in an encircled way, but fails to maintain safety, as Ottomans commence to attack. Cypriots continue to suffer under the new dominants.

Greek Orthodox faith becomes stronger against the power of Islam. The Ottomans, ruling Cyprus for about 300 years, restore the hierarchy, suppress the Latin Church and increase the taxes. More than 20,000 Turks settle the island. Corruption and violence mark and this era and climax as the Greek War of Independence breaks in 1821. Cypriot Archibishop Kyprianos and many other Cypriots are executed by the Turks.

Britain signs an agreement with Turkey and &lsquorents&rsquo Cyprus, which is officially declared as a Crown Colony in 1925. The administration of the island is basically carried out by the British. This passing control over the British is initially received with hope, as Cypriots urge for achieving enosis with the mainland Greece and believe that British will not object this aim. Gradually violent pro-enosis insurgences break out (Riot of 1931).

Led by Archibishop Makarios, the demand for enosis becomes even more essential: this is a time of preparation for the Armed Liberation Struggle (1955-1959). EOKA ( National Organisation of Cypriot Fighters ) with George Grivas as a leader, starts fighting against the Governor on the 1st of April 1955. Archbishop Makarios is forced into exile in the Seychelles.

After the end of the rebellion, Zurich and London Agreement/Treaty is signed: Britain abandons the island, although remains a guarantor and maintains its military bases in Dekeleia and Akrotiri-Episkopi. Greek and Turkish military forces are obligated to protect Cyprus. Cyprus becomes an independent state in 1960, with a Greek Cypriot President and a Turkish Cypriot Vice President.

The autonomy of Cyprus, however, is not achieved in a bloodless way, neither is the transition from colony to independent nation unproblematic. The constitution of 1960 has, major inequalities, which gradually causes conflicts between Muslim Turkish Cypriots and Orthodox Greek Cypriots. These conflicts are not peaceful, obliging the United Nations to send peacekeeping forces in 1964 in order to support British troops. This is when "Green Line", a boundary dividing Nicosia, is decided.

As aggression grows stronger, political differences become unbridgeable: a decade later, Military Junta of Greece in collaboration with Greek Cypriots who insisted in Union undertook a military coup, attempts to overthrow President Makarios III. This fact opens the way to Turkey to illegally invade Kyrenia with 40.000 troops.

Cyprus remains since 1974 divided: 37% of the island is under Turkish occupation. Almost 200.000 Greek Cypriots were forced to abandon their homes, thousands of people were injured in the onslaught or immediately killed and others were considered missing &ndash during the past few years, bones of many people who were considered (till recently missing) are found in big common graves. Simultaneously, thousands of Turkish Cypriots were forced to abandon their homes and move to Northern Cyprus or Turkey.

Despite the resolutions of the United Nations, and Cyprus&rsquos continuous efforts against the violations of its sovereignty rights, Turkey still remains the sole country which recognises "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus", declared so in 1983, as a legal state.

Long negotiations regarding the unification of Cyprus have been conducting for many years. In 2004, the Greek Cypriots rejected the suggested by UN and EU plan, while the Turkish side consented. Since 2003, checkpoints at various border points have been opened, allowing both sides to visit one another.

Cyprus becomes an official member of the European Union in 2004 and adopts Euro in 2008.

History of Cyprus

For the visitor to understand and fully appreciate the island's many historical sites a short introduction to 9,000 years of habitant is very beneficial.

The early settlers most probably came from the nearby Mediterranean countries clearly visible from Cyprus' shores.

The Early and Middle Bronze Ages (2300-1600 BC) saw the first real towns and commercial centers developing going through expansion and trade .

The next stage in development was the Iron Age.

The dawn of the classical period saw an attempt by the islanders to throw off the Persian rule, with the result that large areas in rebellion were defeated and only parts of the island were freed.

After Persian Rule came the Hellenistic Period.

The first Governor from Rome was Marcus Portius Catto who had the task of implementing the annexation of the island. He arrived in 58 BC and began almost four hundred years of the Roman period.

The split with the Roman Empire brought Cyprus under Byzantine rule with the capital city being Constantinople, and the eastern empire ruled from Alexandria. Guy de Lusignan bought the island and began a period of 300 years of French Rule.

Venetian Rule followed. However, all their efforts eventually proved in vain, when after almost eighty years, in which building work had been the main project, the Ottomans landed at Larnaca in 1570. The Ottomans invaded, led by Lala Mustafa Pasa, and put Nicosia under siege. The period of Ottoman rule began.

At the beginning of 19th century it was discovered there was works in secret with the connivance of the Orthodox Archbishop of Cyprus to drive all Turks out of Greece The British, worried that the Russians would pose a threat to the Suez Canal, were quite happy to accept the offer of governorship proposed by the Ottomans. In 1878 an agreement was reached and Cyprus came under British control and occupancy. Enosis, union with Greece which would have taken place had Greece accepted the British offer in 1915 now become an issue of paramount importance to the local people.

EOKA was against continuing British rule, independence was granted to Cyprus in 1959.

In 1974 Turkish armed forces landed on the island and took over 40% of Cyprus. The country remains divided despite frequent attempts of reunification.

Agriculture, forestry, and fishing

More than one-third of the island’s arable land is irrigated, mainly in the Mesaoria Plain and around Paphos in the southwest. Woodlands and forests occupy about one-fifth of the total land area. Landholdings are generally small, highly fragmented, and dispersed under traditional laws of inheritance. A program of land consolidation was enacted in 1969 it met with resistance, particularly from Turkish Cypriot landowners, and was only very slowly implemented, but it has proceeded with considerable success in the Greek Cypriot sector.

The major crops of the Greek Cypriot sector include grapes, deciduous fruits, potatoes, cereal grains, vegetables, olives, and carobs. The area under Turkish occupation produces the bulk of the country’s citrus fruits, wheat, barley, carrots, tobacco, and green fodder.

Livestock—especially sheep, goats, pigs, and poultry—and livestock products account for about one-third of the island’s total agricultural production. Some cattle are also raised.

Cyprus was once famous for its extensive forests, but the demand for timber for shipbuilding by successive conquerors from the 7th century bc onward and extensive felling for building and for fuel have cleared most of them. Under the British administration a vigorous policy of conservation and reforestation was pursued, and the Cyprus Forestry College was established at Prodhromos, on the western slopes of Mount Olympus the Greek Cypriot government continues to operate an ambitious program of forest preservation and development. Forests are found mostly in the mountainous areas and in the Paphos district.

The fishing industry is small, in part because coastal waters are deficient in the nutrients and associated plankton needed to sustain large fish populations. Although the industry has shown some growth in the Greek Cypriot sector, most fish is imported.


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As GAST progressed through the years from Paint manufacturing to Waterproofing manufacturing, it was inevitable that the company would start doing renovations & refurbishments. In 1988 GAST started a large renovation project.

GAST Management signs quality pledge to its customers to ensure GAST's high quality standards of its products & services are upheld. A pledge GAST still follows to this day.

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GAST established numerous offices in Africa from Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho, Mozambique, Ghana to various other offices and operations.

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In 2006 Dr. Gast’s son, Mr. Kevin Gast, was appointed as CEO to handle the day-to-day operations while Dr. Gast took over the role as Chairman of the Board. Mr. Gast with various executive entrepreneurial experiences, has been at the forefront of the modern organization GAST is today. GAST has grown over the last 60 years to a truly international entity, operating in over 28 countries worldwide with over 3 generations of family members still involved in the day-to-day running of the business.

GAST makes its technology that was developed in the 80's commercially available called Clearwater Lagoons™ & Clearwater Technologies. This is specifically focused on the recovering and recycling of different waters, one of our most precious resources on Earth. Our technology is modular and allows us to adapt to property developers’ requirements in designing and implementing the Clearwater Lagoon™ technology, resulting in crystalline waters for inland beaches, public aquatic facilities and other large bodies of water. The technology also enables us to do sophisticated water purifications.

GAST secures numerous large Civil contracts in Africa ranging from 100mil to 300mil, providing significant impetus to its further global expansion program.

As the 4th Industrial Revolution started breaking ground, GAST started heavily investing in A.I., UAV and numerous other advanced technologies, to not only improve our product & service offering, but also for increased efficiency & effectiveness for the benefit of its clients.

Taking their success across the globe, GAST expands into the North American market with the establishment of GAST USA. Which include providing solutions to our customers from our Clearwater Lagoons™ to GAST Pharmaceutical products and Geosynthetics.

GAST upholding to their 2030 future global plan, shifts its entire holding structure to Dublin, Ireland which in turn holds all majority shareholding into newly formed 8 Regional Offices to be launched in 2020.

GAST officially operates in over 32 different countries worldwide, with various offices, satellite offices and representatives. GAST restructures its global operations, amid COVID-19 to 8 new Regional Offices namely: Ireland, South Africa, USA, Canada, Australia, Russia, Japan, Cyprus and the UAE to better service our customers globally.

Cyprus Facts for Kids

  • Cyprus officially named the Republic of Cyprus, is located in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.
  • On August 16th in 1960, Cyprus gained its independence from the British. However, they do not hold their independence day as August 16th. Instead, they celebrate on October 1st every year.
  • The country of Cyprus is divided into two separate parts, the North and the South. The southern part is called the Independent Republic of Cyprus or Greek Cyprus. The northern area is called the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
  • While most island areas are big fishermen, Cyprus is the complete opposite. Locals are famously not interested in fishing.
  • The title of the third (3rd) largest and most populated island in the Mediterranean goes to Cyprus.
  • Cyprus is home to some of the world’s oldest water wells.
  • There is a legend that claims that the Greek goddess Aphrodite, the goddess of love, was born in Cyprus.
  • Each year, Cyprus receives an average of forty (40) days of rainfall total and more than three hundred (300) days of sunshine. Cyprus is famous for its sunshine.
  • The only foreign venue in which a royal wedding has been hosted is the country of Cyprus. This wedding took place in the year 1191.
  • There are only four (4) countries in which you must drive on the left side of the road, Cyprus is one of these countries.
  • Cyprus won its first Olympic medal at the 2012 Olympics in London. The medal was won by Pavlos Kontides.
  • Cyprus is home to an abundance of of flowering plants. One thousand nine hundred and fifty (1,950) species to be exact. Twenty (20) of those species are rare orchids. Another one hundred and forty (140) species cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
  • The first country to ever be governed by a Christian Archbishop was Cyprus. The name of the Archbishop was Makarios III.
  • The largest bank in Cyprus is owned by the Cypriot Orthodox Church.
  • The capital city of Cyprus is Nicosia and is the only capital city to be divided between two nations. The divide is referred to as The Green Line or the UN Buffer Zone.
  • The remains of the oldest known pet cat was found buried with its master in Cyprus. These remains date back nine thousand five hundred (9,500) years.
  • There are more cats than humans in Cyprus. There is a legend that says this is because an entire shipload of cars was set to Cyprus to get rid of their poisonous snake infestation.
  • There is a large tree located at the entrance of the Christian catacombs that can supposedly grant wishes.
  • There is a species of sheep that is only found in Cyprus. This sheep is called the Cyprus Mouflon.
  • Cyprus is home to the world’s oldest wine brand. It dates back at least five thousand (5,000) years and has a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Cyprus is a wonderful and beautiful country and there is much to learn about it.

Here, we have discussed facts such as the capital of Cyprus, popular local legends, some of the country’s history and geography.

There have also been informed about wildlife and plant life (flora and fauna).

All of this information is very important for anyone who wants to learn more about this amazing country.

Hopefully, you have learned some new and interesting facts about one of the beautiful island country of Cyprus.

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