|an island in the E Mediterranean: ceded to Britain by Turkey in 1878 and made a colony in 1925; became an independent republic in 1960 as a member of the Commonwealth; invaded by Turkey in 1974 following a Greek-supported military coup, leading to the partition of the island. In 1983 the Turkish-controlled northern sector declared itself to be an independent state as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus but failed to receive international recognition. Attempts by the UN to broker a reunification agreement have failed. Cyprus joined the EU in 2004. The UK maintains two enclaves as military bases (Akrotiri and Dhekelia Sovereign Base Areas), which are not included in Cyprus politically. Languages: Greek and Turkish. Religions: Greek Orthodox and Muslim. Currency: euro and Turkish lira. Capital: Nicosia. Pop (Greek): 675 000 (2001 est); (Turkish): 198 000 (2001 est). Area: 9251 sq km (3571 sq miles)|
Note: People of Greek origin make up four-fifths of the population, and those of Turkish origin compose the other fifth. Conflict between the two led to a Turkish invasion that divided the island in the 1970s.
one of the largest islands of the Mediterranean, about 148 miles long and 40 broad. It is distant about 60 miles from the Syrian coast. It was the "Chittim" of the Old Testament (Num. 24:24). The Greek colonists gave it the name of Kypros, from the cyprus, i.e., the henna (see CAMPHIRE ØT0000701), which grew on this island. It was originally inhabited by Phoenicians. In B.C. 477 it fell under the dominion of the Greeks; and became a Roman province B.C. 58. In ancient times it was a centre of great commercial activity. Corn and wine and oil were produced here in the greatest perfection. It was rich also in timber and in mineral wealth. It is first mentioned in the New Testament (Acts 4:36) as the native place of Barnabas. It was the scene of Paul's first missionary labours (13:4-13), when he and Barnabas and John Mark were sent forth by the church of Antioch. It was afterwards visited by Barnabas and Mark alone (15:39). Mnason, an "old disciple," probaly one of the converts of the day of Pentecost belonging to this island, is mentioned (21:16). It is also mentioned in connection with the voyages of Paul (Acts 21:3; 27:4). After being under the Turks for three hundred years, it was given up to the British Government in 1878.