chapter  8
8 Pages

The Cypriot Community in Britain

The island of Cyprus is the third largest in the Mediterranean after Sicily and Sardinia, with an estimated population of 657,000 (1981 figures). Because of its geographic proximity to Europe, Asia, and Africa, Cyprus attracted over the centuries numerous conquerors; the most recent being the Turks, who conquered the island in 1571, and the British, who succeeded the Turks in 1878. The British retained control of the island until 1960 when Cyprus was declared an independent republic. Britain still has two large bases at Acrotiri and Dhekelia, which comprise 2.8 per cent of the island’s total area.