We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Should I Know About Northern Cyprus?

By Brendan McGuigan
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
CulturalWorld.org is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At CulturalWorld.org, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Northern Cyprus is a small de facto republic on the island of Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean. The island covers 1300 square miles (3360 sq. km), making it a bit larger than the state of Rhode Island. Northern Cyprus shares the island with the Republic of Cyprus, and the British controlled military regions of Akrotiri and Dhekelia.

Cyprus was first settled in the 8th millennium BCE, and by the time of the Phoenicians and the Greeks in the 2nd millennium BCE it had become an important port island. The island was fought over by various Mediterranean civilizations for the next few thousand years. It was an important trading post in the Roman Empire, and later passed to the Byzantine Empire in the 4th century.

In the 12th century the island was seized by Richard the Lionheart, to be used as an important base for the Crusades. The island was administered by the Templars, until it was sold to Guy of Lusignan after he lost his kingdom in Jerusalem. His line held control of Cyprus until the late-15th century, when the island came under the control of Venice.

The Ottoman Turks began raiding Cyprus almost immediately after Venice took control. Their first few large-scale attacks were unsuccessful, and the Venetians increased the fortifications immensely, but by the end of the 16th century the Ottomans had seized control of Cyprus completely. The Ottomans immediately began offering land to Turks who promised to stay on the island, and quickly injected the population with a large Turkish component.

The population of the island became fairly split between Christians and Muslims over the next two hundred years, and a number of small uprisings occurred. In the late 19th century, in return for their support of the Ottomans against the Russians, Cyprus was given to the British to control, although it still technically remained under Ottoman sovereignty. In the aftermath of World War I, Cyprus fully passed to Britain.

A strong Greek nationalist movement on the island led to a push for unification with Greece, but Britain resisted through both the first and second World Wars. Unification never was achieved, but in 1960 Britain agreed to grant Cyprus independence, save for two small regions set aside for British military use. Following independence, large groups of the population continued to push for unification with Greece. The Turkish portion of the population, much of them in Northern Cyprus, saw this as an intolerable situation, and instead proposed that the country be split between a Greek controlled region, and a Turkish controlled region in Northern Cyprus.

Only a few years after independence had been declared, the situation had devolved drastically. Violence had taken the lives of hundreds on both sides, and the Turkish members of the government had stepped down, leaving Greek Cypriots in charge of the government. Violence targeted towards Turkish Cypriot communities in Northern Cyprus led to large numbers of ethnic-Turks to protect themselves in heavily-armed communities.

Following the Greek-backed coup in Cyprus in 1974, which Turkey held violated the treaty that had established independence, Turkey invaded Northern Cyprus. The military forces of Turkey seized nearly 40% of Northern Cyprus, provoking a large population of Greek Cypriots to flee to the south, and a large population of Turkish Cypriots to flee to the north.

In 1983 Northern Cyprus declared itself independent, in spite of a lack of international recognition from any nation save Turkey. The country has remained divided since, in spite of a strong push towards unification prior to the country’s entrance into the European Union.

The island of Cyprus is beautiful and offers many fascinating historical sites of interest. The threat of imminent violence has been reduced greatly in the past few years, and the UN mediated Green Line is now open for free passage, making the entire island accessible.

CulturalWorld.org is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
CulturalWorld.org, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

CulturalWorld.org, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.