Presidential Republic, independent since 1960, associated with the Commonwealth, Cyprus has seen a succession of periods of relative tranquility with waves of guerrilla warfare and violence, which have not failed to have repercussions on the economic life and distribution of the residents. The last census (December 1960) counted 577,615 residents, of which 76.6% of the Greek language and 18.1% of the Turkish language. An estimate of June 1973 estimated the residents at 659,000, with an annual increase of about 10%. Nicosia in 1971 had 117,000 residents.
The conflict between the two elements which occurred in November 1963, following which UN troops intervened on the island (1964), had a notable consequence on the settlement. It caused considerable displacements with the tendency on the part of the Turks to abandon the villages in which they lived mixed with the Greeks or the small villages away from the main roads, and to create a certain number of enclaves exclusively Turkish. Major movements took place in the summer of 1974, when, following the Turkish occupation of two fifths of the island (north of a line running from Famagusta in the east to Kokkini in the west, passing through Nicosia) about 200,000 Greek-speaking Cypriots took refuge in the southwestern part of the island, while 15,000 remained in the area occupied by the Turks; 30,000 Turks instead remain in the area occupied by the Greeks.
Economy. – Agriculture remains the basis of the economy, but since the property is too divided (with waste of time by the farmers who have to move from one land to another), an attempt has been made to reunite the separate parcels, creating larger farms. The contribution made by industries and mines (especially iron pyrites) is modest. More consistent is that deriving from remittances from Cypriots, who emigrated mainly to London, from expenses incurred by foreign military contingents, from the rental of ships (3.2 million tonnes in 1975) and, in normal times, from tourism. The cultivation of both citrus fruits (1.3 million q, of oranges in 1972), and of vines (which extends over 40,350 hectares and supplies wine, table grapes, raisins and a local brandy) is in progress.
Tourism, which in the past could count on a limited number of presences (English, attracted in winter by the mild climate; vacationers who find a cool climate in the Troodos in summer), had been developing recently following the possibility of accessing to the island by air (524,000 people passed through Nicosia airport in 1971). In addition to the English, Germans and Scandinavians had also begun to come in large numbers, especially to Varosha, a Greek quarter of Famagusta which has a beautiful beach, surrounded by orange groves. Numerous hotels have sprung up along an avenue parallel to the coast (with 10,000 beds and 380,000 overnight stays in 1971). Kyrenia had also progressed, attracting mostly British clientele.
History. – The constitution on which the new independent state of Cyprus was founded, proclaimed on August 16, 1960, did not prevent the relations between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities from remaining tense and the intentions of collaboration between the two rapidly dissolving ethnic groups. It soon became evident that the Greeks and Turks did not consider themselves to be parts of a new national entity that exceeded the aspirations of enosis (union with Greece) of the former and those of taksim (partition) of the latter, but saw in the constitutional order of 1960 a phase interlocutory while waiting for one’s respective point of view to prevail; nor the constitution, which had established a kind of apartheid between the two collectivities, it turned out to be a suitable instrument to draw them out of their particularistic vision, from their mutual secular mistrust, and to make them identify their own development with the parallel development of the other collectivity within the framework of a common state. Vice President Kutchuk (Turkish) immediately began to widely use the veto right recognized by the constitution towards the political and legislative initiatives of President Makarios (Greek), the two branches of the administration tended to boycott each other, while the extremists of the two national groups clashed, often in a bloody way, each seeing a threat to their own interests in every initiative of the opposite group. The crisis escalated when, on November 30, 1963, Makarios proposed thirteen amendments to the constitution. For Cyprus history, please check areacodesexplorer.com.
However, it was a simple truce, of which the US Secretary of State Acheson took advantage, but without success, to put forward (August 17) a solution plan on the basis of the annexation of Cyprus to Greece and the granting of a base to Turkey. military and the island of Castelrosso: the advent of the military dictatorship in Greece in April 1967 favored the nationalistic revival of the Greek Cypriots who, while accusing Makarios of obeying his patriotism of power rather than his duty as a Greek, attacked repeatedly Turkish villages and attacked Turkish Cypriot exponents guilty of carrying out a de facto separation. The UN intervened again and with its mediation the negotiations between Makarios and the Turkish leader Rauf Denktash resumed. Makarios’ flexibility in the negotiation – as a skilled politician he realized that the Cypriot internal reality and international interests at stake required it – accentuated the reactions and suspicions of both Athens and the more intransigent Greek Cypriots towards him: the Greek government he accused (February 11, 1972) of connivance with communism and induced the Cypriot bishops to declare, in a synod of March 3 of the same year, the exercise of presidential powers incompatible with his archbishopric dignity; and the Greek Cypriot extremists began, after the clandestine landing on the island of col. Grivas, the old leader of the anti-English liberation struggle, exerted bitter pressure, also based on attacks and kidnappings, to impose a fundamental political change in the pro-Greek sense. L’ the epilogue of this maneuver took place on July 15, 1974 with a coup d’état by the Cypriot national guard under Greek command. The ethnarch, who adventurously escaped an assassination attempt and fled to London, was replaced by a journalist, Nicos Sampson.
But the consequences of the gesture of force were not those foreseen by Athens and Grivas (the latter had died on the previous January 27 in his refuge in Limassol); in fact, instead of strengthening the military regime in Greece, it overwhelmed it (July 24), and also offered a valid immediate reason for the Turkish military intervention in Cyprus (July 20). This intervention, despite the prompt ceasefire imposed by the UN Security Council (22 July), was expanded and consolidated for the first time on 24 July and a second time on 14 August, after a conference failed in Geneva. Anglo-Turkish-Greek tripartite sponsored by the British government (25 July-14 August). At the request of the UN Assembly (1 November), a phase of negotiations began between the two Cypriot communities, intensified after Makarios returned to Nicosia in December; but they were conditioned by the Turkish desire not to re-discuss the practical partition of the island, which had been achieved in the previous months with the concentration in the northern part of the island of the Turkish Cypriot population groups scattered in the different areas and with the forced removal from this part of the Greek Cypriots who lived there, and then unilaterally consecrated, on February 13, 1975, with the proclamation of the “secular and autonomous Turkish Cypriot state”, presented as a preparatory act for the transformation of Cyprus into an “independent federal republic”. In March, the Security Council entrusted Secretary General Waldheim with a “mission of good offices” through negotiations led by him, between representatives of the two communities. The meetings promoted by Waldheim took place in Vienna on several occasions, but until the spring of 1976 they were unable to unblock the situation, especially as regards the choice between a multi-regional federation (Greek-Cypriot thesis) and a bi-regional federation. (Turkish Cypriot thesis), the extension of the powers of the central government, the international guarantees of the future statute and the return to the areas of origin of the 200,000 Greek Cypriots forced by the Turks in 1974 to leave them.