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Harbour at Kyrenia (Girne), northern Cyprus History of Cyprus: Some key dates

1. British control

1914 - Cyprus was formally taken over by Britain. Before this it was part of the Ottoman Empire, which was run from Turkey.

1925 - The island became a crown colony.

1955 - Greek Cypriots began an undercover war against British rule. The guerrilla army wanted Cyprus to become part of Greece.

1959 - Archbishop Makarios was elected president, he was in favour of joining with Greece.

2. Independence

1960 - Cyprus got its independence when the Greek and Turkish communities agreed on a set of rules for running the country.
Britain said it would still own the land that two military bases were on.

1963 - President Makarios said he wanted to change the rules about how the country was run.

The Turkish Cypriots were worried they would no longer have a say. Violence started between the two communities and the Turkish Cypriot side quit the government.

1964 - The United Nations set up a peacekeeping force to prevent violence.

3. Division of the island

1974 - A group of Cypriots who wanted the island to become part of Greece tried to kill the president and take over Cyprus.

Five days later Turkish troops landed in Northern Cyprus. They said they had come to protect the Turkish-Cypriots.

The attempted takeover didn't work, the president escaped.

The Turkish soldiers stayed and occupied a third of the island.

1975 - The Turkish Cypriots set up their own government and presidency.

1980 - The United Nations held peace talks about the future of Cyprus.

1983 - The Turkish side walked out of the UN talks. Their president said that the part of Cyprus that the Turkish army occupied was actually a separate country. They called it the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).
It was recognised only by Turkey.

4. The European Union

1998 - The European Union listed Cyprus as a potential member.

2001 July - Dozens of police officers were injured when protesters attacked a British military base at Akrotiri. They were protesting because they feared new transmitters that were being built on the base would damage their health.

2002 UN-peace talks begin. It was hoped that sorting out the problems in Cyprus would allow Cyprus and Turkey to join the EU.

2002 - UN Secretary General Kofi Annan presented a peace plan for Cyprus. The EU then invited Cyprus to join in 2004. But only if the two communities agreed to the UN plan.

2003 March - The deadline for agreement to the UN plan passed. There was no agreement so only Southern Cyprus will join the EU.

5. Opening the Green Line

2003 23 April - The Turkish Cypriot authorities allowed Turkish and Greek Cypriots to cross the island's dividing "Green Line" for the first time in 30 years. In the first three days 17,000 people had crossed the boundary.

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