Cyprus profile - Timeline

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A chronology of key events:

Cyprus President Archbishop Makarios (L, in black hat)reviews troops, September 1960.Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Cyprus became independent after a guerrilla war against British rule. Archbishop Makarios was the first president

1914 - Cyprus annexed by Britain after more than 300 years of Ottoman rule. Britain had occupied the island in 1878, although it remained nominally under Ottoman sovereignty.

1925 - Becomes British colony.

1955 - Greek Cypriots begin guerrilla war against British rule in pursuit of unification with Greece.

1956 - Archbishop Makarios, head of enosis campaign, deported to the Seychelles.

1959 - Archbishop Makarios returns and is elected president.


1960 - Cyprus gains independence after Greek and Turkish communities reach agreement on a constitution. Treaty of Guarantee gives Britain, Greece and Turkey the right to intervene. Britain retains sovereignty over two military bases.

1963 - President Makarios raises Turkish fears by proposing constitutional changes which would abrogate power-sharing arrangements. Inter-communal violence erupts. Turkish community withdraws from power-sharing.

1964 - United Nations peacekeeping force set up. Turkish Cypriots withdraw into defended enclaves.

Turkish troops invade

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Cypriots flee fighting between the island's Greek and Turkish communities in 1974. Cyprus has been divided ever since

1974 - Military junta in Greece backs coup against President Makarios, who flees. Within days Turkish troops land in north. Greek Cypriots flee their homes.

Coup collapses. Turkish forces occupy third of the island, enforce partition between north and south roughly along the "Green Line" ceasefire line drawn up by UN forces in 1963. About 165,000 Greek Cypriots flee or are driven from the Turkish-occupied north, and about 45,000 Turkish Cypriots leave the south for the north.

The UN Security Council unanimously passes a resolution calling on Turkey to withdraw its troops from Cyprus. Turkey refuses to do so, despite repeated UN Security Council resolutions making the same demand over the following decades.

1975 - Turkish Cypriots establish independent administration, with Rauf Denktash as president. Population exchanges agreed.

1977 - President Makarios dies, succeeded by Spyros Kyprianou.

1980 - UN-sponsored peace talks resume.

Turkish Cypriots proclaim republic

1983 - Mr Denktash suspends talks and proclaims Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, recognised only by Turkey.

1994 - European Court of Justice rules that a list of goods, including fruit and vegetables, are not eligible for preferential treatment when exported by the Turkish Cypriot community directly to the European Union.

1998 - EU lists Cyprus as potential member. Government drops plans to install Russian-made anti-aircraft missiles after Turkey threatens military action.

2001 June - UN Security Council renews its 36-year mission. Some 2,400 peacekeepers patrol the buffer zone between Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

2002 January - Clerides and Denktash begin UN-sponsored negotiations after decades of stalled talks. Minds are concentrated by EU membership aspirations.

2002 November - UN Secretary General Kofi Annan presents a comprehensive peace plan for Cyprus which envisages a federation with two constituent parts, presided over by a rotating presidency.

2002 December - EU summit in Copenhagen invites Cyprus to join in 2004 provided the two communities agree to UN plan by early spring 2003. Without reunification, only the internationally recognised Greek Cypriot part of the island will gain membership.

2003 April - Turkish and Greek Cypriots cross island's dividing "green line" for first time in 30 years after Turkish Cypriot authorities ease border restrictions.

2004 April - Twin referendums on whether to accept UN reunification plan in last-minute bid to achieve united EU entry. Plan is endorsed by Turkish Cypriots but overwhelmingly rejected by Greek Cypriots.

EU accession

2004 May - Cyprus is one of 10 new states to join the EU, but does so as a divided island.

2004 December - Turkey agrees to extend its EU customs union agreement to 10 new member states, including Cyprus. The Turkish prime minister says this does not amount to a formal recognition of Cyprus.

2005 August - Cypriot airliner crashes near Athens, Greece, killing all 121 passengers and crew. It is the island's worst peacetime disaster.

2006 July - UN-sponsored talks between President Tassos Papadopolous and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat agree a series of confidence-building measures and contacts between the two communities.

2007 January-March - Greek and Turkish Cypriots demolish barriers dividing the old city of Nicosia. The moves are seen as paving the way for another official crossing point on what used to be a key commercial thoroughfare.

2008 January - Cyprus adopts the euro.

New talks

2008 March - New left-wing President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat agree to start formal talks on reunification.

2008 April - Symbolic Ledra Street crossing between the Turkish and Greek sectors of Nicosia reopened for first time since 1964.

2010 April - Dervis Eroglu, who favours independence, wins the Turkish north's leadership contest, beating pro-unity incumbent Mehmet Ali Talat.

2010 May - Re-unification talks resume with a new hardliner representing the Turkish north.

2011 May - Parliamentary polls. Main right-wing opposition party DISY wins by a narrow margin.

2011 July - Navy chief Andreas Ioannides and 12 others die when people when impounded Iranian containers of explosives blow up at the main naval base and the country's main power plant.

2011 September - Cyprus begins exploratory drilling for oil and gas, prompting a diplomatic row with Turkey, which responds by sending an oil vessel to waters off northern Cyprus.

2012 April - The UN cancels plans for a Cyprus conference, citing lack of progress on any of the substantial differences between the two sides.

Turkey's Turkish Petroleum Corporation begins drilling for oil and gas onshore in northern Cyprus despite protests from the Cypriot government that the action is illegal.

Financial crisis

2012 June - Cyprus appeals to European Union for financial assistance to shore up its banks, which are heavily exposed to the stumbling Greek economy.

2013 February - Democratic Rally conservative candidate Nicos Anastasiades wins presidential election.

2013 March - President Anastasiades secures €10bn bank bailout from the European Union and IMF. Laiki Bank, the country's second-biggest, is wound down and deposit-holders with more than €100,000 will face big losses.

2014 October - Cyprus suspends peace talks with Turkish-held Cypriots in protest against what it calls efforts by Turkey to prevent it from exploring gas fields south of the island. The EU and US express concern over the tension.

2015 February - At talks with Russia's Vladimir Putin, President Anastasiades agrees to let the Russian navy have access to Cypriot ports.

2015 May - Government and Turkish Cypriot negotiators resume talks on reunification, which end inconclusively in July 2017.

2016 January - President Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci make an unprecedented joint New Year television address in the midst of reunification talks.

2018 November - First new buffer-zone crossings are opened in eight years at Deryneia in the east and Lefke in the west.

2020 October - Anti-reunification nationalist Ersin Tatar wins narrow victory in Turkish Cypriot presidential election.

2021 September - After a meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and President Anastasiades in New York, Tatar says talks on the future of Cyprus will not start unless they take into consideration "the sovereign equality and international status of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus".