The Cyprus Portal

Cyprus (/ˈsprəs/ (listen)), officially the Republic of Cyprus, is an island country in the eastern Mediterranean Sea south of the Anatolian Peninsula. It is the third-largest and third-most populous island in the Mediterranean, and is south of Turkey and west of Syria. Its capital and largest city is Nicosia.

The earliest known human activity on the island dates to around the 10th millennium BC. Archaeological remains from this period include the well-preserved Neolithic village of Khirokitia, 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 UK'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. Following nationalist violence in the 1950s, Cyprus was granted independence in 1960. The crisis of 1963–64 brought further intercommunal violence between the two communities, displaced more than 25,000 Turkish Cypriots into enclaves and brought the end of Turkish Cypriot representation in the republic. On 15 July 1974, a coup d'état was staged by Greek Cypriot nationalists and elements of the Greek military junta in an attempt at enosis. This action precipitated the Turkish invasion of Cyprus on 20 July, which led to the capture of the present-day territory of Northern Cyprus and the displacement of over 150,000 Greek Cypriots and 50,000 Turkish Cypriots. A separate Turkish Cypriot state in the north was established by unilateral declaration in 1983; the move was widely condemned by the international community, with Turkey alone recognising the new state. These events and the resulting political situation are matters of a continuing dispute. (Full article...)

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The Republic of Cyprus (Cyprus) and Turkey have been engaged in a dispute over the extent of their exclusive economic zones (EEZ), ostensibly sparked by oil and gas exploration in the area. Turkey objects to Cypriot drilling in waters that Cyprus has asserted a claim to under international maritime law. The present maritime zones dispute touches on the perennial Cyprus and Aegean disputes; Turkey is the only member state of the United Nations that does not recognise Cyprus, and is one of the few not signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which Cyprus has signed and ratified.

Turkey claims a portion of Cyprus' EEZ based on Turkey's definition that no islands, including Cyprus, can have a full 200 nautical mile EEZ authorized to coastal states and should only be entitled to their 12 nautical mile territorial seas. Turkey's definition creates a dispute over the rights to waters south of Cyprus containing an offshore gas field. This definition is not shared by most other states. Furthermore, the internationally unrecognized Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), which was created as result of the Turkish Invasion of Cyprus, also claims portions of Cypriot EEZ. Cyprus and other countries including Israel, France, Russia and Greece view these claims on Cyprus' land and sea as illegal under international law and urge Turkey to refrain from illegal drilling for gas in the island's EEZ. The European Union has threatened Turkey with economic and political sanctions for violating the Cypriot EEZ. (Full article...)
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Cyprus news

7 July 2022 –
The Cypriot House of Representatives approves the seventeenth amendment to the Constitution of Cyprus, which involves a reform of the judiciary, the recovery of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Cyprus and the creation of the Court of Appeal of Cyprus. (Cyprus Mail)
8 June 2022 – 2022 monkeypox outbreak
Uganda and Cyprus report their first suspected cases of monkeypox. (Dispatch Uganda) (Financial Mirror)

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