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Cyprus History

Crusader time

In 1184/85 Isaak Komnenos, a relative of Emperor Alexios II, established a rule in Cyprus that was independent of the Byzantine Empire. In 1191 Richard I the Lionheart conquered the island, with which he enfeoffed Guido von Lusignan in 1192. Guido’s successor Amalrich II., Since 1195 feudal man of the German Emperor Heinrich VI. , was crowned king in Nicosia in 1197. During the 5th Crusade, Emperor Friedrich II landed on Cyprus in 1228, but his troops were defeated by the Lusignan in 1233.

The Teutonic Order received houses in Cyprus and duty-free for the whole island. Under the Lusignan, Cyprus was opened to the West as a crusader state with a Latin hierarchy under the Archbishop of Nicosia (including Gothic buildings in Nicosia and Famagusta). King Hugo III (1267–84) won the crown of Jerusalem (1269–84). – Since the Islamic conquest of Acre in 1291, Cyprus was the last crusader state to be the base of the oriental trade of the Italian sea cities. King Peter I.(1359–69) invaded the coast of Asia Minor to succeed the Christian kingdom of Armenia in 1368; he took over its trade relations as far as the Mongol Empire. The trading metropolis of Famagusta was occupied by Genoa in 1373, formally ceded in 1382 and only returned to the Lusignan in 1464 with Mamluk help. From 1369–1489 the island was fought over between Egypt, Genoa and Venice, and since 1426 it had to pay tribute to the Egyptian sultan. Neither the Crusaders nor the Venetians, the widow of the last Lusignan, the Venetian Caterina Cornaro, succeeded in bridging the social and spiritual gap with the native Greeks, Forced to abdicate and cede the island to Venice in 1489. The Turks were greeted as liberators when they conquered Nicosia in 1570. The last Venetian stronghold fell on August 1, 1571, Famagusta.

Turkish and British rule

Under Turkish rule, the churches of the expelled “Latins” were converted into mosques, those of the Greeks were tolerated and the Frankish property was expropriated. The religious head (Archbishop of Cyprus, now back in Nicosia) was recognized as the spokesman (ethnarch) of the Greek population, but was also made responsible for their good behavior, for example when freedom movements from Greece spread in 1821. Turkish soldiers, later also Turks from Asia Minor, were settled in Cyprus and formed a closed element of the population compared to the Greek majority.

According to Youremailverifier, when Cyprus gained new strategic importance through the construction of the Suez Canal, Great Britain took over under a guarantee agreement concluded on June 4, 1878, which gave the Ottoman Empire British military protection against the expansion policy of Russia v. a. in the Balkans assured the administration of the island, which at that time had an economic boom. In 1914, when Turkey entered the war on the side of the Central Powers, Cyprus was annexed to Great Britain (November 5, 1914) and on March 10, 1925, it was converted into a British crown colony.

The efforts of the Greek Cypriots to unite Cyprus with Greece (Enosis, German unification) led to an uprising in 1931 and triggered unrest and acts of terrorism after the Second World War. Following the tradition of the ethnarch, Archbishop Makarios III took over . the political leadership of the Greek Cypriots.

In 1950 he organized a referendum among them, in which they voted with 95.7% for the connection of the island to Greece. In 1955 the Greek Cypriot underground army E. O. K. A. under General G. Grivas began an underground war against the British colonial power; there were also fights with the Turkish Cypriot minority, which also founded a fighting organization with the Turkish Defense Organization (Türk Mudafa Teskilat, abbreviation TMT). Makarios was charged with supporting terrorism Exiled to the Seychelles in 1956 (return to Cyprus in 1957). After several years of negotiations, Greece and Turkey, the protective power of their respective ethnic groups in Cyprus, as well as Great Britain in the Cyprus Agreement of February 19, 1959 (London Conferences and Agreements), decided to give the island independence on the basis of a presidential constitution. The agreement stipulated the stationing of Greek and Turkish troops; Great Britain secured sovereign rights over two military bases (Akrotiri and Dhekelia).

Cyprus conflict

In the attempts at mediation to resolve the Cyprus conflict (“ethnic group talks”) led by the UN from 1984/85 and 1988-92, intensified since 1993/94 and resumed in 1997, the aim was to overcome the division and achieve a balance between the Cypriot Greeks and the Cypriot Turks. The envisaged accession of Cyprus to the EU (application for membership in the EC July 1990) and the start of accession negotiations on March 31, 1998 caused new tensions, but since 1998/99 both Greece and Turkey have made greater efforts to achieve reconciliation. After the EU accession negotiations were concluded at the Copenhagen summit in December 2002, membership took place on May 1, 2004 (accession treaties ratified by the Cypriot parliament in July 2003); but the EU had pushed for overcoming the division of the island, but without making this a prerequisite for admission. On June 29, 1999, the UN Security Council asked both ethnic groups to start negotiations on promising regulations in 1999; The third round since 1997 was opened in July 2000, and a fourth at the beginning of 2002. Substantial progress was blocked again and again by the request of the Cypriot Turks for recognition of the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”. Because of the Cyprus conflict, Greece blocked the agreement to prepare Turkey for admission to the EU for a long time (partnership agreement of December 2000). In April 2003 the border between the different parts of the country (“Green Line”) was opened. – In 2002 the UN presented a revised “Cyprus Plan”; it aimed at a federation of two equal state units with a loose federal government and a presidency that changes regularly between the two ethnic groups. The final plan that the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, who submitted in March 2004, oriented himself among other things. on the Swiss canton model. Since it was rejected by the Greek part of the population in separate referendums on April 24, 2004 (75.8%), while the Turkish part had agreed (64.9%), on May 1, 2004 only the Greek island part of the EU actually entered the EU at (since January 1, 2008 also member of the Eurozone). In March 2008 the newly elected President of the Republic of Cyprus D. Christofias and the Turkish ethnic group leader M. A. Talat agreed the resumption of talks to overcome the division of the island. After 44 years, the border crossing in Nicosia was opened on April 3rd, 2008, connecting the Greek and Turkish parts of the old town. In the period that followed, numerous rounds of negotiations, some of which were supported by the UN, took place, which brought about rapprochement on many detailed issues, but without reaching a final solution to the Cyprus conflict. After a caesura of around two years, the negotiation process was resumed in 2014. With the choice of M. Akıncıs as President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in 2015, there were improved prospects for conflict resolution. However, the future division of land in particular remained controversial, v. a. the return of houses and properties to Greek Cypriots, as well as the presence of Turkish occupation soldiers. After previous intensive negotiations, two-day talks between M. Akıncı and N. Anastasiades under the auspices of the UN in Mont Pèlerin, Switzerland, ended without result on November 22, 2016, as did expert talks at the same location and an international conference in Geneva in January 2017. To new conversations met M. Akıncı and N. Anastasiades on June 28, 2017 in Crans-Montana with the foreign ministers of Greece, Turkey and Great Britain as well as a representative of the EU. The negotiations conducted under UN mediation again ended without results on July 7, 2017, as v. a. no agreement could be reached on the Turkish troop withdrawal.

Cyprus History