How Cyprus (Kypriaki in Greek) got its name most is somewhat uncertain. One suggestion is that it comes from the Eteocypriot word for copper due to the large deposits of copper ore found on the island. Through trade in olden times, Cyprus gave its name to the Classical Latin word for copper, aes Cyprium, "metal of Cyprus" and later shortened to Cuprum. Another suggestion is that it comes from the Greek word for the Mediterranean cypress tree υπάρισσος (kypárissos) or even from the Greek name of the henna plant (Lawsonia alba), κύπρος (kýpros
With Cyprus Car Rental you can explore all the historic sites in leisure and comfort.
Cyprus has a rich history that can be traced back over 10,000 years. Like many Mediterranean islands, Cyprus has long been seen as an important strategic base with various civilisations having swept through over the years from the Ottoman Turks to the British, the Greeks to the Romans.
You can explore all the ancient traces of history throughout the island and talk to the people of recent history sitting with them in the tavernas. You are free doing this with Cyprus Car Hire.
Cyprus was the site of early Phoenician and Greek colonies. For centuries its rule passed through many hands. It fell to the Turks in 1571, and a large Turkish colony settled on the island.
In World War I, Britain annexed the island and in 1925 declared it as its Crown colony. The people mostly Greek speaking and who regarded Greece as its mother country, sought self-determination and union with Greece and in 1955 there was a revolt against British by the National Organization of Cypriot Combatants (EOKA). In 1958, Greek Cypriot Archbishop Makarios began calling for Cypriot independence rather than union with Greece. During this period, Turkish Cypriots began demanding that the island be partitioned between the Greek and Turkish populations.
Cyprus became an independent nation on Aug. 16, 1960, after Greek and Turkish Cypriots agreed on a constitution, which excluded both the possibility of partition as well as of union with Greece. Makarios became the country's first president. Fighting between Greek and Turkish Cypriots flared up in the early 1960s, and a UN peacekeeping force was sent to the island in 1965.
On July 15, 1974, Archbishop Makarios was overthrown in a military coup led by the Cypriot National Guard. On July 20, Turkey invaded Cyprus, asserting to protect the Turkish Cypriot minority and gained control of 30% of northern Cyprus and displaced some 180,000 Greek Cypriots. A UN-sponsored cease-fire was established on July 22, and Turkish troops were permitted to remain in the north. In Dec. 1974, Makarios again assumed the presidency. The following year, the island was partitioned into Greek and Turkish territories separated by a UN-occupied buffer zone.
It is good to talk to the locals about recent history. You can reach them conveniently in their locale with Cyprus Car Rental.
Turkish Cypriots proclaimed a separate state under Rauf Denktash in the northern part of the island on Nov. 15, 1983, naming it the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.” The UN Security Council, in its Resolution 541 of Nov. 18, 1983, declared this action illegal and called for withdrawal. No country except Turkey has recognized this entity.
In 1988, George Vassiliou, a conservative and critic of UN proposals to reunify Cyprus, became president. The purchase of missiles capable of reaching the Turkish coast evoked threats of retaliation from Turkey in 1997, and Cyprus's plans to deploy more missiles in Aug. 1999 again raised Turkey's ire.
The continued strife between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots threatened Cyprus's potential EU membership—it had met all the economic standards—and provided incentive to both sides to resolve their differences. UN-sponsored talks between the Greek and Turkish leaders, Kleridas and Denktash, continued intensively in 2002, but without resolution. In Dec. 2002, the EU invited Cyprus to join in 2004, provided the UN plan was accepted by February 2003. Without reunification, only Greek Cyprus was to be welcomed into the EU. But just weeks before the UN deadline, President Kleridas was defeated by right-wing candidate Tassos Papadopoulos, a hard-liner on reunification. The UN deadline passed, and the UN declared that the talks had failed. In April 2004, dual referendums were held, with the Greek side overwhelmingly rejecting the most recent UN reunification plan, and the Turkish side voting in favour. In May, Greek Cyprus alone became a part of the EU.
In April 2005, Turkish Cyprus elected pro-reunification leader Mehmet Ali Talat as their president, ousting long-time leader Rauf Denktash, who staunchly opposed reunification. In July 2006, the UN sponsored talks between President Papadopolous and Talat.