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Expats in Cyprus

Expats in CyprusCyprus: An Overview

There is evidence of settlement of Cyprus from about 7000 BC. The island first came into some importance in the Bronze Age due to the presence of copper. In fact, the word ‘copper’ (from aes cuprium in Latin) originally meant ‘metal from Cyprus’. The island’s natural bounty, and later, its strategic importance, would ensure that it would have turbulent history, changing hands frequently.

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Early on, Cyprus was owned by the Egyptians and Assyrians, then became part of the gigantic Persian Empire. In the 4th century, this was conquered by Alexander the Great; after Greek rule, Cyprus was taken over to the Romans. The majority of settlers at this stage were Greek, and have remained so since.

In the early Middle Ages, Cyprus was part of the Byzantine Empire, the successor to Rome. Arabs initally raided then settled on the island. Int he 7th century, this led to an Arab-Byzantine condominium, a highly unusual agreement between two rival powers. Though the Byzantines recaptured Cyprus in the 10th century, there remained a susbstantial Arab influence for some time.

The Crusades saw Cyprus captured by the Anglo-French king Richard I in 1191, who then passed it on to then king of the Crusader state of Jerusalem, Guy de Lusignan. The island was then known as the Kingdom of Cyprus and remained in French possession  for three centuries, during which time it was a major entrepôt and centre of trade between Europe, Africa and Asia. The Greek Orthodox Church, however, was largely dislodged by the Catholic Latin Church.

Then, in 1489, under pressure from Genoese merchants and the Mamelukes, the Kingdom of Cyprus was sold to Venice. The Republic exploited Cyprus and it went into decline to some extent. Then, in 1570-1, the Ottomans conquered Cyprus. They restored the Greek Orthodox partriarchate and their rule was generally peaceful. It was at this time that some Turkish settlers moved onto Cyprus. From 1832, when Greece became independent, some Greek Cypriots talked of enosis, union with Greece.

In 1878, the United Kingdom formed an alliance with the Ottoman Sultan, who agreed to grant British protectorate status to Cyprus. In 1914, after the Ottomans joined the German side in World War I, Britain formally took governance of the island. The Ottoman Empire was formally dissolved in 1922, and, a year later, after the Greco-Turkish War, Turkey renounced any claim to Cyprus. Meanwhile, in 1925, Cyprus became a British Crown Colony. Campaigning for enosis intensified from the 1930s, and Britain made various offers to the Greek Cypriots, none of which they found acceptable.

This changed in 1960, when Cyprus became independent, with a new constitution which guaranteed a deal of power-sharing between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots. Up to this point, Greek and Turkish Cypriots had lived side by side, with Greeks in the majority and Turks scattered throughout the island. However, tensions ran high and inter-community fighting often broke out. Then, in 1974, a Greek Cypriot military coup ousted the elected president, Archbishop Makarios, and installed a junta that favoured enosis. Turkey, which vehemently opposed enosis, invaded the north of Cyprus - a move that was judged illegal according to international law.

Since the cease-fire in August 1974, Cyprus has been divided between the southern, Greek Cypriot two-thirds and the northern Turkish third. In the last few years, there has been an easing of tensions between the two communities. The presidents of both Cyprus and Northern Cyprus have both stated that they desire reunification. Talks began most recently in June 2017, and although they soon broke down, there is still hope that a solution will be found in the near future.


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Financial Considerations In Cyprus

Taxation In Cyprus

Healthcare In Cyprus

Education In Cyprus

Immigration In Cyprus

Employment And Business In Cyprus

Accommodation In Cyprus

Relocation In Cyprus

Social And Cultural Traits In Cyprus

Living In Cyprus



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Moving to Cyprus

If you are considering moving to Cyprus or are soon to depart, you can find helpful information and advice in the Expat Briefing dedicated Cypriot section including; details of immigration and visas, Cypriot forums, Cypriot event listings and service providers in Cyprus.

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From your safety to shoppingliving in Cyprus can yield great benefits as well as occasional drawbacks.  Find your feet and stay abreast of the latest developments affecting expats in Cyprus with relevant news and up-to-date information.

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Working in Cyprus

Working in Cyprus can be rewarding as well as stressful, if you don't plan ahead and fulfill any legal requirements. Find out about visas and passports, owning and operating a company in Cyprus, and general Cypriot culture of the labour market.

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