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Facts about Cyprus


Area: 9,251 sq km
Capital: Nicosia
Language: Greek, Turkish
Currency: Euro
  Turkish Lira
Population: 784,301
Coastline: 648 sq km

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British Control

The British, worried that the Russians would clap a threat to the Suez Canal, assumed the administration of Cyprus proposed by the Ottoman Empire, in return for military aid against Russia. After the agreement between Great Britain and Turkey in 1878, Cyprus came under British control and occupancy. A new constitution was established including a new court. There were two judges presiding, one Christian and one Muslim. In 1882 an efficient judicial system was introduced, the legislative council was modified, consisted of six British, nine Greek and three Turkish members. These unfair proportions caused the considerable outrage.

In 1914 the island was annexed by the British and the Ottoman Empire joined WWI on Germany’s side. The agreement of 1878 was cancelled and in 1915 Britain offered Cyprus to the Greek provided they would fight with the Allies in the WWI. As Greece refused the offer, Cyprus was declared a Crown Colony in 1925 under a control of a newly appointed governor.
During the British administration an effective police force was launched, while significant improvement in agriculture, education and public services were achieved. There existed an extensive building program consisting new road and bridge construction.

Nicosia town enlarged beyond the enclosed walls, some Government Departments were founded and a new road network made a connection from Nicosia to all towns and large villages. The railway line was built to link Famagusta with Nicosia and further west with Morphou (Guzelyurt) and Evrychou. There was a branch line to service the copper mining area of Lefke from Morphou. The mining industry, for instance, the Skouriotissa mine, offered employment to thousands out of job Cypriots. During the British control new water pipelines for both drinking and crop irrigation were established, and some light industries appeared as well as some activities for the tourists.

Early settlers

Expansion and trade

The Iron Age

Persian Rule

Hellenistic Period

Roman period

Byzantine rule

Three Hundred years of French Rule

Venetian Rule

Ottoman Rule

British Control

Union with Greece

The country remains divided

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