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Guide to Cyprus ancestry, family history, and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.

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Cyprus is a Mediterranean island off the southern coast of Turkey, inhabited since ancient times by Greeks. Cyprus has been occupied by many conquering powers; Assyrians, Egyptians, Persians, Romans, Franks, Venetians, Turks, and the British. During the period of Ottoman Turkish rule the island gained a substantial minority of Turks, mostly in northern Cyprus. Since the birth of the Greek nation in1830 Greek Cypriots have campaigned for union with Greece. Ottoman Turkey captured the island in 1571 and held it until 1878 when they were defeated in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878. Fearing greater expansion by Russia, Turkey induced the British to administer Cyprus in 1878. In 1915, the British offered Cyprus to Greece if Greece would enter the war on the Allied side but when the decision was delayed the British withdrew the offer. After World War II the issue of union with Greece again created tensions between the Greeks and Turks in Cyprus. After talks between Britain, Turkey and Greece, Cyprus became an independent republic in 1960. In July of 1974 Turkey invaded Cyprus to protect the interests of Turkish Cypriots who feared a potential union with Greece and gained control of the northern, Turkish area of the island. Since then Cyprus has been divided into two areas, Greek and Turkish. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was declared independent in 1983 but is recognized only by Turkey. The government of the Republic of Cyprus has continued as the internationally recognized authority but, in practice, its power extends only to the Greek Cypriot controlled areas.[1]

Getting started with Cyprus research

A former British colony, Cyprus became independent in 1960 following years of resistance to British rule. Tensions between the Greek Cypriot majority and Turkish Cypriot minority came to a head in December 1963, when violence broke out in the capital of Nicosia. See more through the CIA Factbook at:


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  1. The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Cyprus,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1994-1998.


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  • This page was last modified on 2 June 2015, at 20:10.
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