Cyprus; key historical events
Page last modified 9/5/2020
16/3/2013, To rescue its banks, Cyprus announced a plan that would partially confiscate the savings of its biggest depositors.
1/1/2008, Cyprus adopted the Euro.
2007, Greek and Turkish Cypriots broke down the wall dividing Nicosia.
2004, Cyprus (southern, Greek, portion) joined the EU.
2001, Turkey threatened to annex northern Cyprus.
15/11/1983, The Turkish part of Cyprus declared independence. Led by Rauf Dektash, the ‘republic’ was recognised only by Turkey.
3/8/1977, Archbishop Makarios, religious leader and first President of Cyprus, died.
3/1/1975. The Turkish president, Mr Bulent Ecevic, received a
hero’s welcome as he arrived in
7/12/1974, President Makarios returned to Cyprus; however almost half of it was occupied by Turkey.
22/7/1974. Greece and Turkey agreed to a ceasefire in Cyprus. On 23/7/1974 Sampson was replaced as President by Glafkos Clerides. 2,000 British and foreign residents and tourists were evacuated by the Royal Navy.
20/7/1974. Turkey invaded northern Cyprus, after the overthrow of Makarios.
28/1/1974, President Grivas of Cyprus died aged 75.
8/2/1973. Makarios was re-elected President of Cyprus.
9/8/1964, The United Nations ordered a ceasefire in Cyprus.
8/8/1964. Turkish planes
4/4/1964, Archbishop Makarios rejected the 1960 treaty; fighting broke out in Cyprus.
27/3/1964. A UN peace force
took over in
9/3/1964, Fighting in Ktima, Cyprus.
11/2/1964. Fighting broke out at Limassol, Cyprus, between Greeks and Turks.
22/12/1963, Violent clashes between Greeks and Turks in Cyprus; UN Peace Forces intervened.
24/5/1961, Cyprus joined the Council of Europe.
20/1/1961, Queen Elizabeth II met Archbishop Makarios in
16/8/1960. Cyprus became independent, with Archbishop Makarios as President. Fazil Kuchuk, leader of the Turkish Cypriots, was Vice-President, but relations between the two communities were strained. The island’s Greek population, some 80% of the total, wanted union, or enosis, with Greece. See 15/7/1974 and 3/4/1955. Britain retained military bases on the island.
14/12/1959, Makarios III (1913-1977), Archbishop
1/3/1959. Archbishop Makarios returned to Cyprus, after almost three years exile.
22/2/1959, As part of the Cyprus Agreement, Britain released all EOKA prisoners in Cyprus.
19/2/1959. Greece and
15/2/1959, Archbishop Makarios arrived in
3/10/1958, The wife of a British soldier was shot in the back whilst shopping in Famagusta, Cyprus. After this British soldiers rounded up 650 Greek Cypriots and beat up 250 of them.
3/12/1957, Sir Hugh Foot became the new British Governor of Cyprus.
4/11/1957, Sir John Harding retired as British Governor of Cyprus.
9/8/1957, The State of Emergency in Cyprus ended.
17/4/1957, Archbishop Makarios arrived back in
28/3/1957, Britain freed Archbishop Makarios.
20/3/1957. Britain favoured
UN mediation over
9/3/1956. Archbishop Makarios, implicated in terrorism, was deported by the British from
28/11/1955. A state
of emergency was declared in
17/9/1955, In Cyprus, Greek supporters of Enosis, who had been urged by Archbishop Makarios to embark on a campaign of ‘passive resistance’ against British troops occupying the island, burnt down the British Institute in Nicosia. There were also attacks on British soldiers, mostly 2-year conscripts doing National Service.
13/9/1955, The crisis in the British colony of Cyprus worsened when EOKA called a General Strike. Illegal marches and demonstrations by both Greeks and Turks led to clashes.
1/4/1955, Greek EOKA terrorists led by Grivas set off a series of bombs in Cyprus, starting a 4-year campaign
against British occupation. Ankara sought to defend the minority
Turkish population in
18/12/1954, Greeks rioted in Cyprus, demanding union with Greece instead of British rule. Two rioters were shot by British police as they tore down the Union Jack outside the police station in Limassol, replacing it with the Greek flag. 42 Greek Cypriots were arrested. Athens demanded that Cypriots be allowed to vote on the matter, knowing that Greek Cypriots outnumbered Turks.
1/5/1925. Cyprus became a British
Crown Colony. It had been annexed by
27/1/1924. Rauf Denktash, Turkish-Cypriot politician, was born.
12/7/1878, Turkey ceded Cyprus to British administration.
1764, Insurrection against Tirkish rule in Cyprus was suppressed.
7/3/1573. Venice concluded a peace with the Turks by which Venice recognised Turkey’s sovereignty over Cyprus.
1570, The Ottomans under Selim I took Cyprus. With an army of 60,000 men, most of the island fell quickly. Nicosia fell after a 45 day siege, and 20,000 of its defenders were massacred by the Turks. Fanagusta still held out, only falling in 8/1571 after nearly a year’s siege.
14/4/1489, The Queen of Cyprus, Catherine Cornaro, sold her kingdom to Venice.
1376, Genoa took control of Famagusta, holding it until 1474 when King James II reunited all of Cyprus under his rule. James II married Catherine Cornaro, a high-ranking Venetian lady, to secure the support of the powerful Republic of Venice. However Catherine, after the death of James II, felt unable to stand against the Ottoman Turks and sold her kingdom to Venice. See 14/4/1489.
1194, Amaury, brother of Guy de Lusignan, became ruler of Cyprus. Amaury began a dynasty of feudal monarchs that endured nearly 300 years.
1192, Guy de Lusignan became ruler of Cyprus, until his death in 1194.
1191, Isaac Comenus, Byzantine ruler of Cyprus, angered King Richard I of England by mistreating his Crusaders. Richard I then seized control of Cyrus, taking Comenus captive. He then sold Cyprus to the Knights Templars, who then resold it to Guy de Lusignan, Crusader King of Jerusalem.
600, Cyprus was part of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium). In 644 the Muslim Arab conquests of the eastern Mediterranean began, with control of Cyprus passing between the Arabs and Byzantium for the next 500 years.
1500 BCE, Cyprus was under Egyptian rule.