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Cyprus Island Information Politics
  Politics

Cyprus is an independent sovereign Republic with a presidential system of Government. The structure of Government is similar to other western democracies where human rights, political pluralism and private property are safeguarded. There is a multiparty system of democracy based on proportional representation.

The Head of State is the President of the Republic (Mr. Tassos Papadopoulos) who is elected by universal suffrage for a five-year term of office. The Council of Ministers, which is appointed by the President, is the executive organ of the Republic. Legislative power lies with the House of Representatives whose members hold office for a period of five years. Cyprus is a member of the United Nations, and its specialized agencies, the Council of Europe and the Commonwealth. The island also has an association agreement with the European Union which provides for the abolition of all barriers to trade and the establishment of a customs union between the two sides by 1998. Cyprus is represented through full diplomatic missions in 29 countries, 9 major international organizations and several consulates general around the world.

The Republic of Cyprus gained its independence in 1960 when Britain relinquished its colonial rule and granted independence to the island. This was the latest scenario in a succession of major acts in which the island featured, because of its geographical position - attracting foreign invaders and colonizers throughout its history that can be traced back to the sixth millennium BC.

But it was not destined to be the last act. Once again, it was foreign intervention that brought it about; in 1974 the dictators who then ruled Greece staged an abortive coup against Archbishop Makarios, then President of Cyprus, and Turkey launched an invasion "to restore constitutional order". Since then 37% of the island still remains under the invaders' occupation in defiance of United Nations Resolutions of unequivocal substance.

Along with the Czech Republic , Estonia , Hungary , Latvia , Lithuania , Malta , Poland , Slovakia , and Slovenia, the Republic of Cyprus entered the EU on May 1, 2004. The EU's acquis communautaire is suspended in north Cyprus pending a settlement of the island's division.

 

Chronology of Cyprus (from 1960)
1960
. Cyprus gains independence, becoming an independent republic on 16 August. Britain, Greece and Turkey become guarantors of the constitution and territorial integrity of the Republic under the 1960 'Treaty of Alliance and Guarantee'.
. General elections to House of Representatives, July.
. Cyprus becomes 99th member of the United Nations and joins the Commonwealth.
. Britain retains sovereignty of 99 miles sq of the island for military bases.
1961
. Cyprus becomes a member of the Council of Europe.
1963
. Archbishop Makarios submits proposals for amending the Constitution, November.
. Outbreak of intercommunal fighting.
. 'Green line' dividing the communities in Nicosia established, December.
1964
. Turkish officials withdraw from administration.
. Turkey threatens invasion.
. President Johnson warns Turkish Prime Minister Inonu against invading Cyprus.
. Grivas returns to Cyprus and assumes command of the National Guard, June.
. Fighting in Tylliria area, August.
1965
. Galo Plaza, UN Mediator, publishes report and proposals; rejected by Turkey and Turkish Cypriots, March.
1966
. Joint communiqué signed by the Governments of Greece and Cyprus that any solution excluding enosis would be unacceptable, February.
1967
. Military coup in Greece, 21 April.
. Fighting between National Guard under Grivas and Turkish Cypriots in the Kophinou area leads to Turkish ultimatum; accepted by the Greek Junta, which withdraws troops and Grivas from Cyprus, November.
. Turkish Cypriots announce formation of 'Provisional Cyprus Turkish Administration', December
1970
. Attempt on Makarios' life.
1971
. Grivas returns secretly to Cyprus.
. Start of renewed campaign for enosis by EOKA-B.
1974
. Makarios demands withdrawal of Greek officers.
. Coup d'état against President Makarios, 15 July.
. Turkish Prime Minister Ecevit flies to London, 17 July.
. Illegal Turkish invasion of Cyprus begins, 20 July.Turkish military commits atrocities on Cypriot civilians including mass murder, torture, rape, abductions and ethnic cleansing of over 200,000 Greek Cypriots.
. Turkey is condemned for its actions by the international community including the European Commission of Human Rights and United Nations.
. Glafkos Clerides acting President of Cyprus, 24 July.
. Peace talks between Britain, Greece and Turkey begin in Geneva, 25 July.
. British, Greek and Turkish Foreign Ministers sign the Geneva declaration precluding extension of area under military control and setting up of buffer zones, 30 July.
. Deadlock in negotiations; Turkey launches second invasion of Cyprus, 14 August.
. Turkey occupies 37 percent of the Cyprus's territory
. Declaration of 'Autonomous Turkish Cypriot Administration', 22 August.
. President Makarios in UN Assembly rejects geographical federation, 1 October.
1975
. Greek and Turkish Cypriots agree to resume negotiations on the basis of federal government, January.
. Turkey withdraws from the talks, February.
. 'Turkish federated state of Cyprus' declared in occupied Cyprus, 10 February.
. Partial arms embargo imposed on Turkey by US Congress (in defiance of Henry Kissinger) for using weapons supplied by the US in invasion of Cyprus.
1977
. Death of Archbishop Makarios
. Succeeded by Spyros Kyprianou as president.
1978
. End of US arms embargo on Turkey.
1980
. UN-sponsored peace talks.
1983
. Unilateral declaration of so-called 'Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus' in occupied territories. Pseudo state is unrecognised by the international community.
1985
. No agreement at talks between President Kyprianou and Turkish occupation reprsentative Denktas.
1988
. George Vassiliou becomes president of Cyprus.
1989
. President Vassiliou and Denktash talks fail.
. Greek Cypriot property owner Titina Loizidou applies to European Commission of Human Rights in Strasbourg, filing an individual application against Turkey for violation of her property rights in the occupied areas.
1990
. Cyprus applies to join European Community.
1992
. UN Secretary-General Boutros Ghali 'Set of Ideas' submitted which proposes weak central government.
. Glafkos Clerides elected president of Cyprus.
1993
. Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) submitted by UN Secretary-General. CBMs include the opening of Nicosia airport and return of Famagusta to UN for resettlement by Greek Cypriots. Cyprus Government accepts proposal, which is rejected by Denktash.
1994
. CBMs amended by UN Secretary-General to meet Denktash's objections. Proposal is again accepted by Cyprus Government and rejected by Denktash.
. UN Secretary-General report states "the absence of agreement [is] due essentially to a lack of political will on the Turkish Cypriot side".
. European Court of Justice rules that all direct trade between occupied Cyprus and European Union is illegal.
1995
. European Court of Human Rights delivers first judgment in the Loizidou v Turkey case on 23 March, rejecting Turkey's objections.
1996
. Three unarmed Greek Cypriots are murdered by Turkish regime. Tassos Issaac and Solomos Solomou were killed at anti-occupation demonstrations and Petros Kakoulli was killed after wandering into occupied zone.
. European Court of Human Rights delivers second judgment on 18 December, finding Turkey guilty of violating property rights of Titina Loizidou and reaffirms illegality of Turkey's occupation regime.
1997
. S-300 ground to air missiles are ordered from Russia by Cyprus Government.
. UN sponsored talks between President Clerides and Denktash fail.
1998
. S-300 missiles are located in Crete after threats by Turkey to attack them on arrival.
. President Clerides re-elected to a second term.
. European Union lists Cyprus as a potential member.
2000
. Cyprus Government takes part in UN-sponsored 'proximity talks'.
. Turkey threatens to annex occupied areas.
2001
Turkey threatens to annex the occupied north of the island if the Republic of Cyprus joins the European Union prior to a settlement.
2002
. President Clerides and Denktash commence UN sponsored negotiations. 2002
. United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan presents the Annan plan for Cyprus, envisaging a confederation of two constituent parts.
. European Union summit in Copenhagen invites Cyprus to join the EU in 2004.
2003
. Tassos Papadopoulos defeats Clerides in presidential elections in February.
. No agreement reached on UN sponsored plan which is rejected by Denktash in March.
. Turkish Cypriot regime authorities some easing of restrictions in April on crossing of occupation line. Greek and Turkish Cypriots cross for first time in 30 years.
2004
. Talat forms coalition with Democratic Party which is headed by Serdar Denktash, son Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash in January.
. Twin referenda, 24 April, in government controlled area and in occupied area on the Annan plan. Plan is overwhelmingly rejected by the Greek Cypriots.
. Cyprus joins the European Union with ten other states on 1 May.
. Turkey continues its illegal occupation of 37 percent of the island in violation of over 120 United Nations and Security Council resolutions.

Also see...

Government of Cyprus
Ministries of Cyprus
Cyprus Problem
International Relations


 


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