Cyprus. According to countryaah, the current population of Cyprus is 1,207,370. Work on a reunion agreement, which was revived in 2015, continued. The optimism that a contract could be finalized before the end of the year increased when it emerged that conversations during the summer led to concrete results in terms of compensation for properties lost in connection with the partition of the island. Other unresolved issues concerned the security and presence of around 35,000 Turkish soldiers in the northern part of the island. In September, Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and his Turkish Cypriot counterpart Mustafa Akinci held a meeting in New York, together with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon. A round of negotiations with the two presidents began in November in Switzerland, again with the UN chief present.
A concern for those supporting the peace process was that small parties opposing a reunification emerged in the Greek Cypriot parliamentary elections in May. Among them was a right-wing party, ELAM, which was in parliament for the first time. ELAM’s leader was a former member of the neo-fascist party Golden Dawn in Greece. The two leading parties, Conservative DISY (Democratic Assembly) and Left Party AKEL (Workers’ Progress Party), both lost voter support even though they remained the largest and DISY continued to dominate the government. Voter turnout was significantly lower than usual; Despite voting duty, almost 67% of the voters participated.
At the beginning of the year, Cyprus received a clearance for yet another installment of the emergency loans it received for 2013. But in March it was found that Cyprus has now had a good order of the economy. The rescue program was canceled, despite the fact that 2.7 billion out of a total of 10 billion euros granted by the EU and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have not been paid.
- Abbreviation Finder: Check to see how the 3-letter abbreviation of CYP stands for the nation of Cyprus in geography.
The Contemporary History of Cyprus
The contemporary history of Cyprus is the time after 1974, when the northern part of the island was occupied by Turkey and in 1983 declared an independent republic under the name of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. State formation has not been recognized by countries other than Turkey, and its establishment was condemned by the UN Security Council. Cyprus is currently divided into a Greek-Cypriot part (Cyprus) and a Turkish-Cypriot part (Northern Cyprus). Since 1964, the UN has had peacekeeping forces in Cyprus, United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).
The Turkish-Cypriot community has struggled financially because the unrecognized state has been the subject of an international boycott, and has been entirely dependent on assistance from Turkey, which has contributed about 75 percent of its annual state budget. Repeated attempts at mediation have failed to unite the two parts of the island.
In 1960, Cyprus, which had been a British colony since 1914, became an independent state. Greek Cypriot Archbishop Makarios became president and Turkish Cypriot leader Fazil Küçük became vice president. Despite independence, many Greek Cypriots were dissatisfied that Cyprus did not become part of Greece, as they had been agitating for many decades. The semi-military groups were not liquidated, and tensions between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots continued.
The right-wing militant group EOKA B (established in 1971 by paramilitary hero Georgios Grivas), who fought for union (“enosis”) with Greece, was supported by the Athens military junta. They were dissatisfied with Makarios, who they thought was too moderate, and after several attempts to assassinate, carried out a coup d’état in July 1974.
Following the coup, which was led by Greek officers and apparently with Greek support, Nikos Sampson was appointed president; General Grivas died earlier this year. Archbishop Makarios fled to the United Kingdom, and Greece sent reinforcements to the Cypriot National Guard. Vice President since 1973, Rauf Denktaş, called for British and Turkish military intervention to prevent Greece from unilaterally introducing enosis, but Britain’s guarantee power was unwilling to intervene. Thus, on July 20, 1974, Turkish forces invaded Cyprus.
The UN force failed to prevent Turkish advance even after the UN-sponsored ceasefire came into force on July 22. The entire northern part of the island, the area north of what became known as the Attila Line, came under Turkish occupation. In several places there were massacres and abuses in clashes between the groups.
The invasion contributed to the military regime in Greece going off on July 23, and at the same time Nikos Sampson resigned as president. Glafkos Klerides was appointed new president until Archbishop Makarios returned in December to take over the position. The new civilian government in Greece announced that it was unwilling to go to war with Turkey over the Cyprus issue. According to thereligionfaqs, Turkey claimed that the country had only used its right as one of Cyprus’ three guarantee powers to intervene, with the aim of restoring the constitutional order and defending the rights of the Turkish Cypriot minority.
The invasion, and the division of land that followed, led to about 225,000 Cypriots being fled in both directions; About 184,000 of these were Greek Cypriots.