Cyprus, The Island
Cyprus (Greek: Κύπρος, Kypros – officially the Republic of Cyprus (Greek:: Κυπριακή Δημοκρατία, Kypriakī́ Dīmokratía, Turkish:Kıbrıs Cumhuriyeti) is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean, south of Turkey and west of Syria and Lebanon. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and a very popular tourist destination.
The earliest known human activity on the island dates back to around the 10th millennium BC. Archaeological remains from this period include the well preserved Neolithic Village of Chirokoitia, which has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, along with the Tombs of the Kings. Cyprus is home to some of the oldest water wells in the world, and is the site of the earliest known example of feline domestication.
The island’s strategic position, its copper deposits and its timber attracted the first Greeks who came to the island over 3.000 years ago at the end of the Trojan wars. They settled down bringing in with them and establishing the Greek identity, language and civilisation. Over the centuries Cyprus came under the sway of various rulers including the Egyptians, Assyrians, Persians, the successors to Alexander the Great and the Romans, before Cyprus became part of the Byzantine Empire. Later came the Crusaders, the Frankish Lusignans and Venetians, Ottomans and British. Cyprus won its independence in 1960, for the first time in 3.500 years, but the Greek identity of language and culture has been retained. In July 1974 Turkey invaded Cyprus and since then 37% of the island in the North is being illegally occupied by Turkish troops who acted in violation of all principles governing international relations.
A short video introducing Cyprus and the places to visit follows.