THE GOLDEN APPLE- CYPRUS
A former British colony, Cyprus received independence in 1960 following years of resistance to British rule. Tensions between the Greek Cypriot majority and Turkish Cypriot minority came to a head in December 1963, when violence broke out in the capital of Nicosia. Despite the deployment of UN peacekeepers in 1964, sporadic intercommunal violence continued forcing most Turkish Cypriots into enclaves throughout the island. In 1974, a Greek-sponsored attempt to seize the government was met by military intervention from Turkey, which soon controlled more than a third of the island.
In 1983, the Turkish-held area declared itself the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus," but it is recognized only by Turkey. The latest two-year round of UN-brokered direct talks - between the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities to reach an agreement to reunite the divided island - ended when the Greek Cypriots rejected the UN settlement plan in an April 2004 referendum. Although only the internationally recognized Greek Cypriot-controlled Republic of Cyprus joined the EU on 1 May 2004, every Cypriot carrying a Cyprus passport will have the status of a European citizen. EU laws, however, will not apply to north Cyprus. Nicosia continues to oppose EU efforts to establish direct trade and economic links to north Cyprus as a way of encouraging the Turkish Cypriot community to continue to support reunification.
Welcome to Cyprus, an island of legends that basks year-round in the light of the warm Mediterranean sun. A storied past 10,000 years long has seen civilizations come and go and the likes of everyone from Alexander the Great to Cleopatra stake their claim here - but then, people do tend to get possessive when faced with such beauty. Aphrodite made her home on Cyprus, and travelers throughout antiquity came here just to pay her tribute.
Today Cyprus is a modern country that effortlessly marries European culture with ancient enchantment. Here you will discover a compact world of alluring beaches and fragrant mountain peaks, vineyards studded with olive trees and ancient ruins that stir the imagination , citrus groves and old stone villages where sweet wine flows as freely as conversations at the local café. A carefree place where a sense of timelessness is magnified by the kindness of the people. This official website of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation is designed to be your electronic entry to the quiet beauty of Cyprus in all its dimensions. Step inside for an in-depth look at an island that is as exotic as you imagine - and more accessible than you might think.