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Kypros in Wikipedia
Cyprus (pronounced /ˈsaɪprəs/ ( listen); Turkish: Kıbrıs, Greek: Κύπρος, Kýpros, IPA: [ˈcipros];, –
officially the Republic of Cyprus Turkish: Kıbrıs Cumhuriyeti), (Greek: Κυπριακή Δημοκρατία, Kypriakī́
Dīmokratía, IPA: [cipriaˈci đimokraˈtia]; – is a Eurasian island country in the Eastern
Mediterranean, south of Turkey and west of Syria and Lebanon. It is the third largest island in
the Mediterranean Sea and one of its most popular tourist destinations. An advanced, high-
income economy with a very high Human Development Index, the Republic of Cyprus was a
founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement until it joined the European Union on 1 May 2004.
The earliest known human activity on the island dates back to around the 10th millennium BC.
Archaeological remains from this period include the well-preserved Neolithic village of Choirokoitia
(also known as Khirokitia), which has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, along with the
Tombs of the Kings. Cyprus is home to some of the oldest water wells in the world, and is the
site of the earliest known example of feline domestication. As a strategic location in the
Middle East, Cyprus has been occupied by several major powers, including the empires
of the Hittites, Assyrians, Egyptians, Persians, Rashiduns, Umayyads, Lusignans, Venetians and
Ottomans. Settled by Mycenean Greeks in the 2nd millennium BC, the island also experienced long
periods of Greek rule under the Ptolemies and the Byzantines. In 333 B.C., Alexander the Great took
over the island from the Persians. The Ottoman Empire conquered the island in 1570 and it remained
under Ottoman control for over three centuries. It was placed under British administration in 1878
until it was granted independence in 1960, becoming a member of the Commonwealth the following
In 1974, following 11 years of intercommunal violence and an attempted coup d'état by Greek
Cypriot nationalists, Turkey invaded and occupied the northern portion of the island. The
intercommunal violence and subsequent Turkish invasion led to the displacement of hundreds of
thousands of Cypriots and the establishment of a separate Turkish Cypriot political entity in the
north. These events and the resulting political situation are matters of ongoing dispute.
The Republic of Cyprus has de jure sovereignty over the entire island of Cyprus and its surrounding
waters except small portions, Akrotiri and Dhekelia, that are allocated by treaty to the United
Kingdom as sovereign military bases. The Republic of Cyprus is de facto partitioned into two main
parts; the area under the effective control of the Republic of Cyprus, comprising about 59% of the
island's area, and the Turkish-occupied area in the north, calling itself the Turkish Republic of
Northern Cyprus, covering about 36% of the island's area and recognized only by Turkey.
The etymology of the Greek name Kypros is unknown. Suggestions include
the Greek word for the Mediterranean cypress tree (Cupressus sempervirens), κυπάρισσος (kypárissos)
the Greek name of the henna plant (Lawsonia alba), κύπρος (kýpros)
an Eteocypriot word for copper. Georges Dossin, for example, suggests that it has roots in the
Sumerian word for copper (zubar) or for bronze (kubar), from the large deposits of copper ore found
on the island.
The earliest attested reference to Cyprus is the Mycenaean Greek ku-pi-ri-jo, meaning "Cypriot",
written in Linear B syllabic script.
Through overseas trade, the island has given its name to the Classical Latin word for copper through
the phrase aes Cyprium, "metal of Cyprus", later shortened to Cuprum. Cyprus, more specifically
the shores of Paphos, was also one of the birthplaces of Aphrodite given in Greek mythology, who was
known as Kupria, since according to Phoenician mythology, Astarte, goddess of love and beauty, who
was later identified with the Aphrodite.
The standard demonym relating to Cyprus or its people or culture is Cypriot. The terms Cypriote and
Cyprian are also, less frequently, used.
Ancient times -
The earliest confirmed site of human activity on Cyprus is Aetokremnos, situated on the south coast,
indicating that hunter-gatherers were active on the island from around 10,000 BC, with settled
village communities dating from 8200 BC. The arrival of the first humans correlates with the
extinction of the dwarf hippos and dwarf elephants. Water wells discovered by archaeologists in
western Cyprus are believed to be among the oldest in the world, dated at 9,000 to 10,500 years old.
Remains of an 8-month-old cat were discovered buried with its human owner at a separate Neolithic
site in Cyprus. The grave is estimated to be 9,500 years old, predating ancient Egyptian
civilization and pushing back the earliest known feline-human association significantly. The
remarkably well-preserved Neolithic village of Choirokoitia (also known as Khirokitia) is a UNESCO
World Heritage Site dating to approximately 6800 BC.
The island was part of the Hittite empire during the late Bronze Age until the arrival of two waves
of Greek settlement. The first wave consisted of Mycenaean Greek traders who started visiting
Cyprus around 1400 BC. A major wave of Greek settlement is believed to have taken place following the
Bronze Age collapse of Mycenaean Greece in the period 1100–1050 BC, with the island's predominantly
Greek character dating from this period. Cyprus occupies an important role in Greek mythology
being the birthplace of Aphrodite and Adonis, and home to King Cinyras, Teucer and Pygmalion.
Beginning in the 8th century BC Phoenician colonies were founded on the south coast of Cyprus, near
present day Larnaca and Salamis.
Cyprus was ruled by Assyria for a century starting in 708 BC, before a brief spell under Egyptian
rule and eventually Persian rule in 545 BC. The Cypriots, led by Onesilos, king of Salamis,
joined their fellow Greeks in the Ionian cities during the unsuccessful Ionian Revolt in 499 BC
against the Achaemenid Empire. The revolt was suppressed without bloodshed, although Cyprus managed
to maintain a high degree of autonomy and remained oriented towards the Greek world.
The island was brought under permanent Greek rule by Alexander the Great and the Ptolemies of Egypt
following his death. Full Hellenization took place during the Ptolemaic period, which ended when
Cyprus was annexed by the Roman Republic in 58 BC...
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