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Chronology for Turkish Cypriots in Cyprus

Publisher Minorities at Risk Project
Publication Date 2004
Cite as Minorities at Risk Project, Chronology for Turkish Cypriots in Cyprus, 2004, available at: [accessed 30 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.
Date(s) Item
1001 - 2000 Mycenaean Greeks colonized Cyprus.
1570 The Ottoman Turks gained control over Cyprus and ruled it for the next 300 years.
1878 Turkey gave control over Cyprus to Britain while maintaining nominal sovereignty over the island.
1915 Britain offered Cyprus to Greece as an inducement to enter WWI on its side, but King Constantine declined the offer.
1923 Turkey recognized British annexation of Cyprus through the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne
1931 There were mass protests and violence at Britain's proposal to raise taxes in Cyprus. Riots left six dead, dozens injured, and buildings torched. Some two thousand Cypriots were later convicted of crimes related to the violence.
1940 Greece was invaded by Axis powers; Cyprus remained a staunch supporter of the Allies during WWII.
1941 Political meetings were allowed in Cyprus, and the Progressive Party of Working People (AKEL), which has historical ties to the communist movement of the 1920s, was founded.
1946 Britain announced plans for liberalizing the colonial administration of Cyprus and to allow Cypriots to form a Consultative Assembly in order to form a new constitution.
Oct 1947 Makarios II became archbishop of Cyprus after the death of Leontios.
Aug 1954 Greece formally requested the self-determination of Cyprus be included on the agenda of the next UN General Assembly meeting.
Apr 1, 1955 EOKA (Greek Cypriot National Organization of Cypriot Fighters) began a violent campaign for independence. The revolutionary struggle, led by Col. George Grivas, lasted four years. Grivas advocated enosis (union with Greece).
Mar 1956 After failed peace talks, authorities seized Bishop Makarios and exiled him to the Seychelles. His removal left less moderate forces in control of EOKA, and the level of violence subsequently increased.
Feb 1959 Talks between the foreign ministers of Greece and Turkey led to a compromise agreement supporting independence for Cyprus.
Aug 16, 1960 Cyprus gained independence from Britain. The constitution provided for a Greek Cypriot president, a Turkish Cypriot vice president, a council of ministers with seven Greeks and thee Turks, and a House of Representatives of 50 members. Bishop Makarios became the first president on 13 December 1959.
1961 Underground organizations of both the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities were revived.
Dec 21, 1963 Serious violence erupted in Nicosia after Greek Cypriot policemen killed two Turkish Cypriots on the edge of the Turkish quarter. Communal tensions arose in November when President Makarios introduced a thirteen-point proposal to amend the constitution in a way that would ensure the dominance of Greek Cypriots.
Jan 1 - Mar 31, 1964 The UN authorized a peace-keeping force for Cyprus under the direction of the Secretary General. In March and April, severe communal violence occurred. After the violence, Turks began moving from isolated rural areas into Turkish enclaves. The Greek Cypriot leadership felt the establishment of the peace-keeping force set aside the rights of intervention granted to Britain, Greece, and Turkey by the Treaty of Guarantee, while the Turkish Cypriot leadership felt the UN presence had reinforced the provisions of the treaty.(Cyprus, 1993)
Jun 1964 The Greek Cypriot government formed the National Guard. Greek Army soldiers were clandestinely transferred to Cyprus. At the same time, Turkish Cypriots organized militarily under the TMT (Turkish Resistance Organization). Sporadic violence continued through 1967.
1967 The Greek government was overthrown in a military coup d'etat.
1969 On Cyprus, Vassos Lyssarides founded the United Democratic Union of the Center (EDEK)
Jan 1 - Jun 30, 1970 By the early 1970s, Cyprus was effectively a partitioned country with Makarios as legal president of the country, but de facto president of the Greek side.
1970 The Republican Turkish Party (CTP) was formed in the north.
1971 With funding from the military junta controlling Greece, Grivas began to rebuild his guerrilla organization EOKA.
Jan 27, 1974 Rebel leader Grivas died of natural causes.
Jul 2, 1974 President Makarios was overthrown with the help of the Greek military junta. Makarios fled to London and appealed to the UN Security Council for help.
Jul 20, 1974 Turkey invaded Cyprus. Three days later, the military junta in Greece collapsed. Glafcos Clerides was sworn in as acting president of Cyprus. The Turkish invasion led to the complete partition of the island and resulted in thousands of dead, and one-third of the population displaced (Cyprus, 1993). Negotiations to reunite the island began in the mid-1970s, but have failed to make any progress to the present.
1975 The National Unity Party was founded by Rauf Denktas in the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus (TRNC).
1976 The Democratic Party (DIKO) was founded by Syprios Kyrianou. Glafcos Clerides founded the Democratic Rally (DISY). In the TRNC, Alpay Durduran founded the Communal Liberation Party(TKP). It has a moderate platform and urges greater contacts with Greek Cypriots.
Oct 5, 1982 Anti-war demonstrations in Nicosia and other towns were held to demand the abolition of foreign bases on the island, the withdrawal of all foreign troops, and complete demilitarization of the island. Greek Cypriot President Spiro Kyprianou demanded at the General Assembly the complete demilitarization of the island. (BBC)
Nov 15, 1983 The Turkish Republic of North Cyprus was proclaimed. It is recognized only by Turkey.
1984 The New Dawn Party (YDP) was formed in the TRNC. It represents Turkish settlers on the island.
May 29, 1988 Foreign Minister Kenan Atakol of the TRNC told a news conference he would protest to UN Secretary General Perez de Cuellar over the negligence of UN peacekeepers at the buffer zone in Cyprus. Greek Cypriot police stormed a house in a disputed area of the buffer zone killing a Turkish soldier who had taken refuge inside after killing one Greek Cypriot soldier and wounding another. (Reuters)
Feb 27, 1989 Turkish Cypriots in the TRNC demonstrated against increasing costs of living. A press report stated that the average difference in annual income between Greek and Turkish Cypriots had widened from $425 in 1976 to $4841 in 1987. (Reuters)
Mar 20, 1989 Over 3000 Greek women demonstrated at the green line. It was the third demonstration in three years organized by the women walk home group. Fifty-four were arrested during the protest. (Reuters)
Jul 1989 A Greek Orthodox bishop and nine others went on a hunger strike in TRNC to protest the lack of places of worship for them. They were the last of 111 people seized by Turkish police during a protest at the UN buffer zone on the eve of the 15th anniversary of Turkey's invasion. More than 80 women were bussed to the Greek Cypriot side of the island. The UN Security Council expressed its concern at heightened tensions on the island and called for restraint and the immediate release of all detained persons. (Reuters)
Jul 24, 1989 A group of Greek Cypriot students studying in Bulgaria protested in front of the Turkish embassy in Sofia demanding the release of women arrested during a demonstration at the buffer zone in Cyprus. (BBC, 7/26/1989)
Nov 1989 UN sponsored negotiations on the reunification of Cyprus have been stalled since July after Turkish Cypriots rejected a set of UN proposals. The Cypriot government accused TRNC Prime Minister Dervis Erogulu of seeking a permanent partition of the island. (Reuters, 11/14/1989)
Jul 14, 1991 Over 4000 Greek Cypriots demonstrated in London against the presence of Turkish troops in TRNC. (Reuters)
Jan 1992 Turkey's Minister of State for Cyprus Affairs Orhan Kilercioglu was in TRNC to discuss economic conditions. Dissatisfaction with the cost of living continued. (Reuters, 1/13/1992)
Nov 1992 The Security Council of the United Nations adopted a resolution (789) on the conflict in Cyprus. President Vasiliou called it the most important resolution on the Cyprus problem to date. A recent Secretary General report concluded that attempts to negotiate a solution to the conflict are blocked largely because of the TRNC's refusal to abandon its negative position. It recommended the implementation of measures including a 50% reduction in all occupation forces, disengagement from the front line, the return of Farmagusta to the government of Cyprus, and free movement across the buffer zone to promote good will. (BBC, 11/28/1992)
Feb 15, 1993 Conservative challenger Glafcos Clerides narrowly upset President George Vasiliou to win the presidency of Cyprus. Clerides, who won 50.3% of the vote to Vasiliou's 49.7%, said he would postpone UN sponsored peace talks with TRNC President Denktas and launch an intensive effort to gain entry to the EU. (Financial Times)
May 27, 1993 Presidents Denktas and Clerides met with UN special envoy Joe Clark and then Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghali to discuss confidence building measures. (BBC)
Aug 1993 Cyprus protested to the UN over alleged looting of part of the TRNC town of Farmagusta by Turkish soldiers. Recent peace talks have focused on the opening of Farmagusta to Greek Cypriots who wish to return to their homes there. The talks stalled in June when TRNC President Denktas walked out of the negotiations. (Reuters, 8/17/1993)
Sep 1993 At a news conference, TRNC President Denktas said he proposed amending the already approved election and referendum bill to the Republican Assembly. He also reiterated that he does not have the authority to abolish the Assembly. (BBC, 9/14/1993)
Oct 20, 1993 Greek Cypriot protestors crossed Greek Cypriot police barricades to enter the buffer zone before being evicted by UN forces. Some 300 TRNC protestors staged a counter-demonstration. (BBC)
Jan 1994 The Cyprus government protested to the UN over rumors that Turks in the TRNC forced Greek Cypriots from the enclave of Karpas to serve in the military. The UN State Commissioner on Humanitarian Affairs assured the government that Greeks would not be forced to serve in the Turkish army. (BBC, 1/31/1994)
1994 The European Court of Justice ruled that no EU country could buy goods from the TRNC without the approval of the Greek Cypriot government. The ruling hurt the north's economy, especially the fruit and clothing sectors.
Jul 1994 Approximately 500 Greek Cypriot refugees from the north had a confrontation with police during a protest march in which they tried to return to their homes in the TRNC. UN peacekeepers intervened to prevent their passage across the buffer zone. (Reuters, 7/24/1994) On the 20th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, about 2000 Turkish Cypriots staged a rally on a deserted beach. They carried placards saying not an inch of land would be returned to Greek Cypriots. There was also a military parade of Turkish troops. About 1600 people are still missing from the time of the invasion. The Greek Cypriot government insists the conflict must be resolved through a federation while the Turkish Cypriot government insists it will be resolved only through a confederation of two independent states. (DPA, 7/20/1994)
Sep 1994 Turkey restated its commitment to the defense of the TRNC. The TRNC parliament recently voted to scrap the idea of a federation between north and south and to discontinue negotiations brokered by the UN. (DPA, 9/1/1994)
Dec 7, 1994 More than two dozen trade unions staged an eight hour strike in TRNC in protest over the high rate of inflation and high unemployment. (Associated Press (AP))
Aug 6, 1995 More than 2000 cyclists broke past UN peacekeepers in the buffer zone and were involved in stone-throwing incidents. They were protesting the occupation of the TRNC by Turkey. (BBC, 8/8/1995)
Nov 9, 1995 Turks threw stones at students from Nicosian secondary and high schools who were staging demonstrations against the disappearance of a Greek Cypriot National Guardsman from a guard post on the confrontation line. The UN said the guard, Yeoryios Karotsakis, was being held by Turkish Cypriots. (BBC)
Dec 8, 1995 President Clerides lodged a protest with the UN special representative after a group of Turkish Cypriots gathered to throw stones at Greek Cypriot pedestrians and drivers in the Greek Cypriot controlled area of the island. Soldiers in the south also said they were shot at from the Turkish Cypriot side of the city. (Reuters)
May 1 - Jun 30, 1996 Four small bombs exploded June 1st at the offices of the Democratic Party and a nightclub in Nicosia. On May 2nd, two bombs exploded at the office of the Republican Turkish Party which is in favor of more cooperation with the Greek Cypriot government. Both the Democratic Party and the Republican Turkish Party are coalition partners in the government of TRNC. (Reuters, 6/1/1996)
Jun 3, 1996 A Greek Cypriot guardsman was shot and killed in Nicosia. TRNC spokesman Osman Ertus said the man was in TRNC territory and not the buffer zone at the time of the shooting. The Greek Cypriot government said the man was unarmed and killed without warning. (Reuters, 6/7/1996)
Jul 1996 Hundreds of demonstrators blocked the main street in the Turkish Cypriot section of Nicosia in protest at the killing of a left-wing journalist. Kutlu Adali was killed July 6th near his home and a shadowy right-wing group has claimed responsibility. The protest was organized by trade unions and civic groups. (Reuters, 7/29/1996)
Sep 10, 1996 A Turkish Cypriot soldier was shot dead near the buffer zone. After his funeral, protestors tried to march to Ledra Palace but were pushed back by UN peacekeepers. (Reuters)
Nov 6, 1996 The TRNC closed a checkpoint to Greek Cypriots and Maronites living in the north in response to the Greek Cypriot government's discouraging tourists from visiting the north. More than 600 mostly elderly Greek Cypriots live in Karpasia peninsula and they are allowed to visit the south only on certain days with the permission of the TRNC government. The ban was later lifted. (Reuters)
Dec 1996 According to a report President Clinton presented to Congress, communal violence in Cyprus is worsening. Over the past six months, a number of civilians and soldiers on both sides of the buffer zone have been killed, and protests and other violent incidents have been on the rise. (DPA, 12/14/1996; Reuters, 12/11/1996)
Jan 1997 U.S. State Department officials arrived in Cyprus to try to diffuse tensions over the Greek Cypriot decision to buy Russian anti-aircraft missiles. Turkey has maintained air superiority over Cyprus since its invasion. In recent years, the Greek Cypriot government has gone on an arms buying spree totally disproportionate to its size. (The Times, 1/12/1997)
1997 A good will agreement between Glafcos Clerides and Rauf Denktas was signed which allow Greek and Turkish Cypriots to visit holy places located in each others territory. (DPA 11/30/1998)
Jan 19, 1997 Police used teargas to disperse Greek Cypriots trying to prevent diplomats from crossing into the north at UN checkpoints in Nicosia. The demonstrators were protesting the refusal of the Turkish Cypriot administration to allow two Maronite Christians into the southern area for medical treatment. Greek Cypriots have been staging weekend protests at the checkpoint for the past three months to discourage people from crossing into the north. All access points remain open. (Reuters)
Feb 1997 The TRNC government has threatened to settle people in the abandoned town of Varosha if the government in the south deploys anti-aircraft missiles purchased from Russia. Tensions between the two sides have been high over the past year when 4 people were killed in communal clashes along the buffer zone. It was the heaviest death toll in political violence since 1974. (Reuters, 2/27/1997)
Mar 1997 At a UN sponsored forum, Greek and Turkish Cypriot trade unionists agreed to proceed with efforts aimed at reunification. Trade unionists from both sides of the island stressed the advantages of reunifying the island and warned against new conflict.(BBC 3/19/1997)
May 1997 A UN sponsored concert in the buffer zone featuring Greek and Turkish Cypriot artists was angrily protested by both Greek and Turkish Cypriots. Fifty-five people, including 39 policemen, were injured during three hours of confrontation between police and youths in Nicosia. Fifty-four people were arrested. The Greek Cypriot protest attracted about 5000 people while the concert itself attracted only 4000 from both sides of the island. On the Turkish side, Grey Wolf nationalists stoned the bus carrying a Turkish singer who was to perform along with a Greek pop star at the concert. (BBC, 5/20/1997)
Jul 11, 1997 Clashes took place between Kurdish university students and radical Turkish Cypriots, including members of the Grey Wolves, in the TRNC. The clashes took place after the Kurds protested against the Turkish military invasion of northern Iraq in search of the PKK. More than 120 people were detained by police in the incident. (DPA)
Aug 1997 About 400 Turkish Cypriots crossed into the south to honor their dead who were killed thirty years ago in civil strife. (DPA, 8/8/1997)
Mar 1998 As the Turkish community boycotted negotiations, the EU decided to press ahead with talks about granting membership to Cyprus. The talks will last several years, and the EU hopes a solution to the division of Cyprus will be found in the meantime. (DPA, 3/14/1998)
Aug 1998 TRNC President Denktas and Cyprus President Clerides agreed to terms over humanitarian issues on the island. (DPA, 8/8/1998)
Sep 1998 The Republican Turkish Party in the TRNC conducted an assessment of the past five years and concluded that a confederation is not a feasible solution to the problem of the division of the island. (BBC, 9/19/1998) President Clerides led a delegation to the UN General Assembly in the hopes of reviving negotiations between the north and south. Talks broke down last year after the EU began talks with Cyprus about membership. (DPA, 9/15/1998)
Oct 1998 President Clerides told the UN resident representative that it wants to discuss a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem, not just its military aspect. The UN has been trying to restart talks between the Greek and Turkish administrations on the island. (DPA, 10/18/1998) The TRNC proposed a non-aggression treaty between the two sides and meetings in order to ease the passage of tourists to both sides. (BBC, 10/20/1998)
Nov 1, 1998 Turkish Cypriots were angered at the entry of a group of Greek Cypriots into the TRNC with the help of British police. The police allowed 10 Greek Cypriots to enter the territory, allegedly with the purpose of farming the land. Five hundred Turkish Cypriots entered the buffer zone to protest the incident, and the Greeks retreated. (BBC)
Nov 10, 1998 The European Union opened talks with Cyprus and five East European nations on enlarging the organization. The TRNC administration disapproves of the dialogue between Cyprus and the EU. (DPA)
Nov 11, 1998 A Greek Cypriot fired at a bust of Attaturk on the 63rd anniversary of his death. The TRNC filed a strong protest against the incident with the UN peacekeeping force stationed in the border zone. (BBC)
Nov 15, 1998 The TRNC celebrated its 15th anniversary as Greek Cypriot leaders condemned the jubilation saying it undermined the international efforts to end the island's division. TRNC president Denktas called again for a confederation of two independent and equal states on the island with special unions with Greece and Turkey. The UN, EU, and Cyprus government have rejected the proposal outright. (DPA) About 5000 Greek Cypriot students held a protest in Nicosia against the division of the island (AFP, 11/16/1998)
Dec 12, 1998 TRNC Prime Minister Dervis Erogulu's National Unity Party gained 43% of the vote in elections for parliament.
Dec 23, 1998 The Cyprus government reacted positively to the U.N.'s decision to extend its peacekeeping mission on the island. At the same time, the TRNC government criticized the resolution because it recognizes the Greek Cypriot administration as the only legitimate government on the island.
Dec 25, 1998 Gunshots were fired from a car near the British base of Dhekelia at two Turkish military posts in the TRNC. (AFP)
Dec 29, 1998 Cyprus decided against deployment of S-300 missiles it had ordered from Russia two years previously. The move is seen as reinforcing President Clerides' pledge to demilitarize the island. He wants to see both the Greek and Turkish Cypriots disarm as well as the withdrawal of the 35,000 strong Turkish army. (DPA) Clerides reshuffled his cabinet after the non-deployment of missiles. The socialist party, Edek, stated its objection to the non-deployment, and later pulled its defense and education ministers from the 11 person cabinet. (DPA, 12/31/1998)
Jan 1999 Cyprus confirmed that it is halting arms purchases for the foreseeable future in order to give the UN a chance to work on solving the division issue. (AFP. 1/14/1999) Meanwhile, TRNC President Denktas said his coalition partners are fighting over which policies to pursue and added that a referendum on whether people want a federation or confederation might be necessary. (BBC, 1/28/1999)
Feb 1999 Foreign Minister Iaonnis Kasoulidhis told reporters that the government is considering a plan to demilitarize the island by placing international troops on it. (BBC, 2/23/1999)
Mar 1999 Cyprus protested to the UN over media reports that Turkish Cypriots plan to resettle a seaside resort that has been abandoned since Turkey's invasion 25 years ago. The future of Varosha is one of the most contentious issues blocking efforts to settle the conflict on the island. (AFP, 3/12/1999) President Clerides reiterated that he would never accept Turkish preconditions for the recognition of the TRNC and the establishment of a confederation. (BBC, 3/15/1999)
Apr 1999 Greece said the S-300 missiles bought by Cyprus had been sent to Crete and would be deployed there. This triggered protests from the government in Ankara. (AFP, 4/22/1999)
May 16, 1999 Thousands of Greek Cypriots participated in a peace march held to condemn Turkey's presence in northern Cyprus, the presence of British bases on the island, and the bombing of Yugoslavia. (BBC)
May 18, 1999 Turkish secret services were linked to a bomb attack on a leading Greek Cypriot official visiting Iran. There were no injuries in the incident, and several people had been arrested in connection with it. (AFP)
Jun 8, 1999 Rauf Denktas announced he would contest the presidential elections in April 2000 in the TRNC. (AFP)

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