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BBC News Online looks at the history and issues surrounding the unresolved conflict

History Independence Invasion Peace process Referendum

Tensions escalated, with Greece sending 20,000 troops to the island and Turkey launching air strikes after attacks on Turkish Cypriot areas.

In July 1974 Archbishop Makarios was deposed in a coup backed by Greece's military junta. Turkey responded by sending troops to the island and enforcing a partition of the island between north and south.

The island was divided along a line stretching from Morphou in the west through Nicosia to Famagusta.

Around 180,000 Greek Cypriots in the north fled south as Turkish Cypriots in the south sought refuge in the north. Talks to find a diplomatic solution failed and, in February 1975, the Turkish Cypriots announced the establishment of their own state, later to become the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus - recognised only by Turkey.

Turkish tanks roll into Nicosia, 1974
Turkey launched a full-scale invasion of Northern Cyprus in 1974


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