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Subject History

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405189224.2011.x


Island in the eastern Mediterranean, whose current population of more than 900,000 is four-fifths Greek and one-fifth Turkish in origin. Previously part of the Ottoman Empire (see turkey and europe ), Cyprus became a British protectorate in 1878. It provided the UK with an important strategic base, and was formally annexed upon the outbreak of World War I. Following World War II the longstanding tensions between the two rival Cypriot communities became increasingly violent, particularly due to the terrorist activities of the EOKA movement which favored union (see enosis ) with greece . The UK's compromise solution of 1959–60, which made Cyprus an independent republic (albeit with some ongoing provision for British air-bases), continued to be challenged both by those who wanted a full takeover from Athens and by those who favored one from Ankara. By 1964 relations between Greek and Turkish Cypriots had deteriorated to the point where the united nations agreed to make its first European deployment of peacekeeping forces. Ten years later the administration of Archbishop makarios iii , the founding president, was interrupted by the ill-organized bid for enosis launched from Athens under the regime of the so-called greek colonels . The principal result was Turkey's military occupation of northern Cyprus. Though Makarios soon resumed his presidency and retained office until his ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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