North Cyprus

History of (North) Cyprus

History of (North) Cyprus

History is a major theme in Cyprus, the island having been repeatedly invaded throughout its turbulent the centuries, and the legacies of the past continue to this day.



But despite the past, Northern Cyprus is a peaceful place, which has seemingly sidestepped the pressures of modernity. The peace of life is show, as if the 200,000 or so inhabitants have more time than they know what to do with. So, if you are visiting Northern Cyprus, don’t be in a hurry, and prepare yourself for a relaxing break from the grind of modern life.







c.8,500 - 8,000 BC

Hunter Gatherers




7,000 - 5,300 BC

The first settlers: the Khirokitians



4,000 - 2,500 BC

Chalcolitic (Copper) Age: stone crucifix pendants are carved



2,700 - 1,600 BC

Cypriot Bronze Ages, Early and Middle: cattle, horses, and bronze making are introduced as well as highly individual pottery style



1,600 - 1,050 BC

The Late Bronze Age: period of sophisticated literate city states such as Enkomi-Alasia and Kition



1,500 - 1,450 BC

Hittite rule in Cyprus



1,450 - 1,000 BC

Beginning of the Egyptian domination of the island



1,200 - 1,000 BC

Establishment of the city states of Salamis (capital at the time), Soli, Marion, Paphos, Kurium, and Kyrenia; arrival of Greek colonies



1,000 - 850 BC

Iron Age - Cypro-Geometric Period. The coming of Iron, the Dorians and a Dark Age also known as Cypro-Geometric I and II



850 - 750 BC

Iron Age - Cypro-Geometric Period. The Phoenician-led Renaissance and Assyrian rule on the island.



750 - 475 BC

Iron Age - Cypro-Archaic Period. Time of the city-kingdoms despite the island being ruled by a succession of foreign countries for much of the period (Assyrians, from 709 BC; Egyptians, from c.570 BC; and Persians, from 545 BC).



568 - 525 BC

Egyptian domination



525 - 333 BC

Iron Age - Cypro-Classical Period sees the Persian occupation and the rule of the island and the duel between the city kingdoms of Kition and Salamis.



333 - 58 BC

Hellenistic rule: the heirs of the Alexander the Great rule the island



58 BC - 395 AD

Roman Empire ruling Cyprus: 350 years of quiet provincial prosperity



395 - 649 AD

Island becomes a part of the Byzantine Empire when Cyprus is gradually converted from paganism to Orthodox Christianity (Early Byzantine period)



649 - 965 AD

A second Dark Age: the island is caught on the frontier between the two warring empires of Byzantium and Islam



965 - 1191

Return of the island to Byzantium (Late Byzantine period)



1191 - 1192

Rule of the island by Richard I (the Lionheart), of England and later by the Knights Templars



1192 - 1489

Rule of the island by the Frankish Lusignan Dynasty



1489 - 1570

Venetian domination of Cyprus



1571 - 1878

Conquest of the island by the Ottoman Empire



1878 - 1925

In accordance with a defence-alliance between Britain and the Ottoman Empire, the administration of Cyprus passes to Britain



1925 - 1960

Cyprus is annexed by Britain when Ottoman Empire enters into the World War I on the side of Germany; subsequently the island becomes a Crown Colony and under the British rule




Foundation of the Republic of Cyprus (by the Turkish and Greek-Cypriot communities)




Inter-communal strife in Cyprus and the subsequent collapse of the constitutional rule




Coup d'etat by Greek army officers stationed on the island to overthrow the President (Makarios) with the aim of uniting the island with Greece; subsequent Turkish Military intervention (under the provisions of the Treaty of Guarantee of the Republic of Cyprus)




Division of the island into Turkish-Cypriot North and Greek-Cypriot South




Declaration of the Turkish Federated State of Cyprus, to pave way for a federal settlement on the island




Foundation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus




The 'Republic of Cyprus' (effectively the Greek-Cypriot South Cyprus) applied for full membership to the EU on 4th July 1990. This application was made without the consent of the Turkish-Cypriot Community as was required by the Constitution of the 'Republic of Cyprus'.




Dialogue and negotiations between Presidents Denktash & Klerides to unify the North & South before EU entry




After 30 years, borders open between North and South Cyprus on 23 April 2003, following the Turkish-Cypriot Authorities' easing of the restrictions.




Twin-Referendums on uniting the island under the UN Annan's Plan - accepted by Turkish-Cypriots, but rejected by Greek-Cypriots. Island (effectively Greek-Cypriot Southern Cyprus) becomes a member of the EU.





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