- Cyprus has been through a great deal in the last century.
Years of Ottoman and then British Colonial rule ended when the island became
an independent state in 1960. Just 14 years later, after internal squabbles
between the Greek and Turkish speaking communities, Turkey seized the
chance to invade northern Cyprus. The occupied half of the island was declared
the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, or TRNC, but has only been officially
recognised by one nation- Turkey. Apart from several casualties, several
thousands of people were displaced, and more than a thousand Greek- Cypriots
are still missing.
- Even before then, Cyprus had seen many conquerors invade
its shores, including Richard the Lionheart. The island's history dates back
to Neolitithic times.
the two sides, north and south, have tried to patch things up, and people
from one side of the island have been allowed to visit the other. Cyprus'
imminent accession to Europe could do much to hurry negotiations, which have
long reached a stalemate. And, though it will not be without difficulty,
European accession could help Cyprus to develop economically and culturally.