Chalice, 16th century
Agios Savvas Church

Aikaterini Korano, Queen of Cyprus (1472-1482)
engraving of Johann Paul Reinhards, 1766

Portrait of Dragoman Chatzigeorgakis Kornesios
Oil, 1796



1571-1960 Ad

In 1570 Ottoman troops attack Cyprus, capture Lefkosia, slaughter 20000 of the population and lay siege to Ammochostos for a year. After their defence by Venetian commander Marc Antonio Bragadin, Ammochostos falls to Ottoman commander “Lala Mustafa”, who at first allows the besieged a peaceful exodus, but later orders the flaying of Bragadin and puts all others to death. On annexation to Ottoman Empire, the Latin leadership is expelled or converted to Islam and Greek Orthodox Church restored; in time, Archbishop, as leader of Greek Orthodox, becomes the people's representative to Sultan. When Greek War of Independence breaks out in 1821, Archbishop of Cyprus, Kyprianos, three bishops and prominent Cypriots are executed. Muslim minority during Ottoman period eventually acquires a Cypriot identity.

Under 1878 Cyprus Convention, Britain assumes administration of the island. It remains formally part of Ottoman Empire until the latter enters First World War on the side of Germany, and Britain in consequence annexes Cyprus in 1914.
In 1923 under Treaty of Lausanne, Turkey relinquishes all rights to Cyprus. In 1925 Cyprus is declared a Crown colony. In 1940 Cypriot volunteers serve in British Armed Forces throughout the Second World War.
Hopes for self-determination being granted to other countries in the post-war period are shattered by the British, who consider the island vitally strategic. After all means of peaceful settling of the problem are exhausted, a national liberation struggle is launched in 1955 against colonial rule and for union of Cyprus with Greece, which lasts until 1959.



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