History of the Cyprus Problem

  • Independence

    The Republic of Cyprus is declared as an independent state, ending 82 years of British rule. The new state is to be led by a joint government of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. Britain is granted two military bases in Dhekelia and Akrotiri. Britain, Turkey and Greece are enlisted as guarantor states according to the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee, which allows all guarantors, either collectively or unilaterally, the right to militarily intervene in Cyprus to protect the status quo.
  • Government deadlock

    Government deadlock
    President Archbishop Makarios proposes new 13-point plan on constitutional reforms to the guarantor states Britain, Turkey and Greece to enable, what he argued, a better functioning government. The plan would have stripped the Turkish Cypriots of a number of rights, including that of veto, and was thus rejected by Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots.
  • Bloody Christmas

    Bloody Christmas
    Failure to agree on Makarios' plan raises tensions between Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities. Fighting breaks out. Days of violence leaves 133 Turkish Cypriots dead and over 18,000 are forced to leave their homes.
  • UN peacekeepers deployed

    UN peacekeepers deployed
    The UN deploys a peacekeeping force to the island and reaffirms the legitimacy of the Cypriot government despite the withdrawal of Turkish Cypriots in protest against the withholding of their rights.
  • Greece military coup

    Greece military coup
    A military coup in Greece brings to power a new government in Athens with an expansionalist, nationalistic agenda
  • Grivas massacres Turks

    Grivas massacres Turks
    The head of the Greek Cypriot National Guard, George Grivas, leads his forces to massacre 27 Turkish Cypriots in the island's south. He is later commanded to return to Greece after Turkey threatens to intervene.
  • Turkish Cypriots announce self-rule

    Turkish Cypriots announce self-rule
    In response to the escalating tensions, Turkish Cypriots declare the establishment of a Temporary Turkish Cypriot Administration.
  • Cyprus military coup

    Cyprus military coup
    After falling out with his army over the feasibility of annexing Cyprus to Greece, President Archbishop Makarios is deposed in a coup led by the Greek junta. A puppet-regime led by Nikos Sampson takes control.
  • Turkish intervention

    Turkish intervention
    Having failed to convince Britain to participate in a military intervention to restore the status quo to Cyprus in response to the Greek-led coup, Turkey decides to take unilateral action and secures the northern third of the island as a safe haven for Turkish Cypriots.
  • Greek junta collapses

    Greek junta collapses
    Defeat to the Turkish army in Cyprus leads to political turmoil in Greece and the collapse of the military junta in both Athens and Nicosia.
  • Turkish Federated State of Cyprus

    Turkish Federated State of Cyprus
    The Turkish Cypriots led by Rauf Denktas announce the establishment of the Turkish Federated State of Cyprus despite condemnation from the internationally recognised Greek Cypriot administration and the international community
  • Turkish Cypriot independence

    Turkish Cypriot independence
    After years of failed talks to end the Cyprus dispute, Turkish Cypriots unilaterally declare the independence of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The UN condemned the move, while only Turkey and Pakistan recognised the new state. Pakistan later gave into international pressure and withdrew their recognition.
  • Turkish Cypriots come under embargo

    Turkish Cypriots come under embargo
    The European Court of Justice imposes restrictions on the export of goods from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus into the European Union, leaving Turkish Cypriots economically isolated.
  • Annan Plan referendum

    Annan Plan referendum
    Years of negotiations to reunite Cyprus come to a climax as a plan of reunification drawn up under the supervision of UN chief Kofi Annan is presented to both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots in a referendum. A 'yes' on both sides would have ended the island's division and allowed Turkey to pull back its troops. Cyprus would have entered the EU as a united state. But while Turkish Cypriots approved the plan, Greek Cypriots rejected it.
  • Cyprus enters the EU

    Cyprus enters the EU
    The internationally recognised Republic of Cyprus joins the European Union while the island remains divided. EU laws are not applied in the north, where the Turkish army maintains control. Turkish Cypriots are given observer status in the European Parliament.
  • Cyprus peace talks resume

    Cyprus peace talks resume
    After over a decade of on-again-off-again talks between the two sides, peace talks resumed under newly elected Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akinci and his Greek Cypriot counterpart Nicos Anastasiades. With newfound hydrocarbon reserves off the island's shores fuelling the negotiations, the two leaders hope to cut a deal which will leave everybody happy.