Historical prelude on Cyprus
Located in the Eastern Mediterranean, probably in the centre of the ancient world, Cyprus is filled with waves of conquest and colonization. The island of Cyprus is 9.521 km2 approximately 70 km south of Turkey, strategically based at the geographical and cultural crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa. As Clerides stated most nations from Europe who wanted to conquer Africa or Asia stepped over Cyprus, and most Asian nations who wanted to conquer European countries, again, stepped over Cyprus (Clerides, 2000, p.188). In the past historical five thousand years the island of Cyprus was settled and mostly occupied and conquered by Phoenicians, Assyrians, Arabs, Greeks, Normans, Franks, Genovese, Venetians, Ottomans and British.The Ottomans conquered the island from the Venetians in 1571 and Cyprus was part of the Anatolian peninsula until 1878, which lasted the longest and it can be noticed that the Ottomans had influence in architecture and culture as a logical consequence of this long period. Since 1571 the population of Cyprus has been always composed of two distinct national communities- Muslim Turks and Orthodox Greeks.