No, the UK does not control Cyprus. Cyprus gained independence from the UK in 1960.
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No, the UK does not control Cyprus. Cyprus gained independence from the UK in 1960 after a four-year campaign by the Cypriot people against British colonial rule. The independence was followed by intercommunal violence and Turkish military intervention in the island’s northern part, resulting in the partition of Cyprus.
According to the Cyprus government’s official website, “The Republic of Cyprus is a fully independent sovereign state, with a presidential system of government that is closely modeled on western democracies.” While the UK maintains and operates two military bases in Cyprus, these are considered to be sovereign British territory, and their administration is subject to bi-lateral agreements between the UK and Republic of Cyprus.
In 2019, the UK government reiterated its commitment to the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Cyprus in the face of violations perpetuated by Turkey, which continues to occupy around 37% of Cyprus’ territory.
As for interesting facts about Cyprus, here are just a few:
- Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean
- The island has been inhabited since prehistoric times, with evidence of settlement dating back to around 9,000 BC
- Cyprus was under the control of a wide range of civilizations throughout its history, including the Mycenaeans, the Phoenicians, the Assyrians, the Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, and the Ottomans, among others
- The island’s flag features a copper-colored silhouette of the island (a nod to the country’s name, which is derived from the Greek word for copper)
- Cyprus is known for its wine, particularly Commandaria, which has been produced on the island for thousands of years
- Famous Cypriots include philosopher Zeno of Citium, novelist Lawrence Durrell, and singer Anna Vissi.
|1925||Cyprus became a Crown colony|
|1955-1959||The EOKA campaign against British rule|
|August 16, 1960||Cyprus gains independence from the UK|
|July 15, 1974||Greek military junta-backed coup d’état is staged in Cyprus|
|July 20-August 14, 1974||Turkish military intervention in response to the coup, resulting in division of the island|
|November 15, 1983||Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus unilaterally declares independence (not recognized by the international community)|
Answer in video
Cyprus became divided after tensions rose between the Greek and Turkish populations following the country’s independence from Britain, leading to a Greek-backed coup in 1974. Turkey intervened unilaterally to protect the Turkish minority, which embarrassed the military government in Greece and led to international condemnation when Turkey continued to push further across the island. The Turkish Cypriot administration was created, and many people were forced out of their homes and cleared from the north. In 1983, the Turkish Cypriot government declared independence, which was only supported by Turkey, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Despite international condemnation, the island remains divided today.
Other options for answering your question
Cyprus gained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1960, after 82 years of British control. The two countries now enjoy warm relations; however, the continuing British sovereignty of the Akrotiri and Dhekelia Sovereign Base Areas has continued to divide Cypriots.
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Akrotiri and Dhekelia are two areas on the island of Cyprus that comprise the Sovereign Base Areas Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom.