Portal:Cyprus

The Cyprus Portal

Cyprus (/ˈsprəs/ (listen)), officially the Republic of Cyprus, is an island country located south of the Anatolian Peninsula in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. It is geographically in Western Asia, but its cultural ties and geopolitics are overwhelmingly Southeastern European. Cyprus is the third-largest and third-most populous island in the Mediterranean. It is located north of Egypt, east of Greece, south of Turkey, and west of Lebanon and Syria. Its capital and largest city is Nicosia. The northeast portion of the island is de facto governed by the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

The earliest known human activity on the island dates to around the 10th millennium BC. Archaeological remains include the well-preserved ruins from the Hellenistic period such as Salamis and Kourion, and Cyprus is home to some of the oldest water wells in the world. Cyprus was settled by Mycenaean Greeks in two waves in the 2nd millennium BC. As a strategic location in the Eastern Mediterranean, it was subsequently occupied by several major powers, including the empires of the Assyrians, Egyptians and Persians, from whom the island was seized in 333 BC by Alexander the Great. Subsequent rule by Ptolemaic Egypt, the Classical and Eastern Roman Empire, Arab caliphates for a short period, the French Lusignan dynasty and the Venetians was followed by over three centuries of Ottoman rule between 1571 and 1878 (de jure until 1914).

Cyprus was placed under the United Kingdom's administration based on the Cyprus Convention in 1878 and was formally annexed by the UK in 1914. The future of the island became a matter of disagreement between the two prominent ethnic communities, Greek Cypriots, who made up 77% of the population in 1960, and Turkish Cypriots, who made up 18% of the population. From the 19th century onwards, the Greek Cypriot population pursued enosis, union with Greece, which became a Greek national policy in the 1950s. The Turkish Cypriot population initially advocated the continuation of the British rule, then demanded the annexation of the island to Turkey, and in the 1950s, together with Turkey, established a policy of taksim, the partition of Cyprus and the creation of a Turkish polity in the north. (Full article...)

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Turkish Cypriots or Cypriot Turks (Turkish: Kıbrıs Türkleri or Kıbrıslı Türkler; Greek: Τουρκοκύπριοι, romanizedTourkokýprioi) are ethnic Turks originating from Cyprus. Following the Ottoman conquest of the island in 1571, about 30,000 Turkish settlers were given land once they arrived in Cyprus. Additionally, many of the island's local Christians converted to Islam during the early years of Ottoman rule. Nonetheless, the influx of mainly Muslim settlers to Cyprus continued intermittently until the end of the Ottoman period. Today, while Northern Cyprus is home to a significant part of the Turkish Cypriot population, the majority of Turkish Cypriots live abroad, forming the Turkish Cypriot diaspora. This diaspora came into existence after the Ottoman Empire transferred the control of the island to the British Empire, as many Turkish Cypriots emigrated primarily to Turkey and the United Kingdom for political and economic reasons.

Standard Turkish is the official language of Northern Cyprus. The vernacular spoken by Turkish Cypriots is Cypriot Turkish, which has been influenced by Cypriot Greek as well as English. (Full article...)
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