By Gayatri G and Jephina P
Prior History Between Greeks and Turks
Cyprus was the site of early Phoenician and Greek colonies. It was controlled by many different governments. The Turkish took over it in 1571, and a large Turkish colony settled on the island. In World War I, at the outbreak of incidents with Turkey, Britain annexed the island. It was declared a Crown colony in 1925. During this period, Turkish Cypriots began demanding that the island be separated between the Greek and Turkish populations.Cyprus became an independent nation on Aug. 16, 1960, after Greek and Turkish Cypriots agreed on a constitution, which excluded both the possibility of partition as well as of union with Greece. Makarios became the country's first president. Fighting between Greek and Turkish Cypriots increased during the early 1960s, and a UN peacekeeping force was sent to the island in 1965. On July 15, 1974, Archbishop Makarios was overthrown in a military coup led by the Cypriot National Guard. On July 20, Turkey invaded Cyprus, stating its right to protect Turkish Cypriots. Turkey gained control of northern Cyprus and displaced 180,000 Greek Cypriots. On July 22, Turkish troops were permitted to remain in the north. In Dec. 1974, Makarios again assumed the presidency. The following year, the island was separated. The Greeks in the south and the Turks in the north.
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