The legendary birthplace of the love goddess has been dominated by disharmony and dichotomy between its Greek and Turkish inhabitants. Forty-five years since the anniversary of the Turkish invasion of the island, we remember its modern history.


1878 – Britain occupied the island, but it remained under Ottoman sovereignty.
1914 – Cyprus annexed after more than 300 years of Ottoman rule.
1925 – Becomes crown colony.
1955 – Greek Cypriots begin guerrilla movement against Britain. The National Organisation of Cypriot Combatants (EOKA) want unification with Greece. Archbishop Makarios, head of the campaign is deported to Seychelles from 1956-1959 and Britain arms a paramilitary police force of Turkish Cypriots.
1960 – Greek and Turkish communities agree on a constitution and Cyprus gains independence. Britain retains sovereignty over two military bases.

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1963 – Archbishop Makarios proposes constitutional changes to abrogate power-sharing arrangements. Turkish side withdraws from power-sharing.
1964 – UN peacekeeping force is set up.
1974 – Military junta in Greece backs coup against Archbishop Makarios, who escapes, leading Turkish troops to land in north and Greek Cypriots to flee their homes. In 1975, Turkish Cypriots establish independent administration under leader Rauf Denktash, who agrees to population exchange with Cyprus President Glafkos Clerides.

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1980 – UN-sponsored peace talks resume on numerous occasions only to collapse again on each occasion in 1983, 1989 and 1992.
1994 – European Court of Justice rules that goods from Turkish Cypriot community will not receive preferential treatment when exported to the EU.
1996 – Increased tension, violence along buffer zone, followed in another round of failed talks in 1997 between President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Denktash.
1998 – Cyprus starts EU accession talks.
2001 – UN Security Council renews its 36-year mission as 2,400 peacekeepers patrol the Greek-Turkish Cypriot buffer zone. The same year sees protests at British military base at Akrotiri over plans to build telecommunications masts that pose a health hazard. Meanwhile, Turkey threatens to annex north if Cyprus joins EU.
2002 – Clerides-Denktash begin UN-sponsored negotiations. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan unveils a peace plan of a federation with two constituent parts and a rotating presidency. Meanwhile, without reunification EU accession is announced for only the Greek Cypriot part of the island.
2003 – Turkish and Greek Cypriots cross “green line” for the first time after Turkish Cypriots ease border restrictions.

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2004 – Twin referendums on UN reunification plan approved by Turkish Cypriots but overwhelmingly rejected by the Greek side, which goes on to EU accession.
2007 – Row over oil drilling rights off Cyprus erupts, but Turkey denies sending extra warships to the eastern Mediterranean. Meanwhile, Greek and Turkish Cypriots demolish barriers dividing the old city of Nicosia.
2008 – Cyprus adopts the euro, while the symbolic Ledra Street crossing of Nicosia is reopened for first time since 1964. Reunification negotiation begins afresh.
2011 – Cyprus begins exploratory drilling for oil and gas, and Turkey responds by sending an oil vessel to northern Cyprus.