The Cyprus Portal

Cyprus (/ˈsprəs/ (listen)), officially the Republic of Cyprus, is an island country located in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. It is geographically in Western Asia, but its cultural ties and geopolitics are overwhelmingly Southeastern European. Cyprus is the third-largest and third-most populous island in the Mediterranean. It is located north of Egypt, east of Greece, south of Turkey, and west of Lebanon and Syria. Its capital and largest city is Nicosia. The northeast portion of the island is de facto governed by the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, a claim not recognised by the international community.

The earliest known human activity on the island dates to around the 10th millennium BC. Cyprus was settled by Mycenaean Greeks in two distinct waves in the 2nd millennium BC. These waves of Greek settlement left a lasting impact on the island's culture, language, and architecture. Archaeological remains include the well-preserved ruins from the Hellenistic period such as Salamis and Kourion, and Cyprus is home to some of the oldest water wells in the world. As a strategic location in the Eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus was occupied by several ancient powers. The island was successively ruled by the Assyrian, Egyptian, and Persian empires before Alexander the Great seized it in 333 BC. Subsequently, Cyprus was included in the Ptolemaic Kingdom before becoming a part of the Classical and Eastern Roman Empire. During part of this period, Arab caliphates briefly held joint control of the island along with the Romans. The thousand year long Roman presence on Cyprus was brought to an end during the Third Crusade, after which the French Lusignan dynasty took control of the island. Then followed rule by the Venetians, from which Cyprus was subsequently conquered by the Ottomans in 1571.

Cyprus was placed under the United Kingdom's administration based on the Cyprus Convention in 1878 and was formally annexed by the UK in 1914. During British rule, the future of Cyprus became a matter of disagreement between the island's inhabitants; with the Greek Cypriot majority, which consisted of 77% of the total population, pursuing union with Greece (Enosis), while the Turkish Cypriot minority (18%) initially favoured British rule and later the partition of Cyprus. (Full article...)

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Hellenistic mosaics discovered in 1962 close to the city of Paphos depicting Dionysos, god of wine
The Cypriot wine industry ranks 50th in the world in terms of total production quantity (10,302 tonnes), and much higher on a per-capita basis. The wine industry is a significant contributor to the Cypriot economy through cultivation, production, employment, export and tourism. (Full article...)
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