Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Independence of Cyprus (August 16th)

After the Russo-Turkish War ended in 1878, Cyprus was leased to the British Empire from the Ottoman Empire during the Congress of Britain. Cyprus would be used as a base for the British to protect the Ottoman Empire from Russian aggression.

By 1906, Cyprus had become a strategic colonial point for Britain. When the Famagusta harbor was finished, Cyprus was a strategic naval outpost to both overlook the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean. In 1914, Britain contained full control of Cyprus from the Ottoman Empire. During World War II, Britain offered Cyprus to Greece in exchange for military aid. Though Greece refused the offer, many Greeks enlisted in the British Army in hopes that the island would be united with Greece.

On August 16th, 1960, Cyprus was given independence in the Zurich and London Agreement between the UK, Greece, and Turkey. Though there were movements to reunite with both "motherlands," Cyprus remained independent, even withstanding an Invasion from Turkey.

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