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John Pettitt holding the “Ryder Cup” 1985

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Cyprus Republic

THE CYPRUS REPUBLIC (1960-)

This came into being on August 16th 1960 with Archbishop Makarios elected as the first president of Cyprus and Dr Kutchuk as the Vice-President. Under the terms laid down by the Constitution the government and civil service were divided between the two communities in a 70-30% split. The same applied to the police, but the army was split 60-40%. In relation to the minority of 18% to the Turkish-Cypriots they received a very fair share of the island's representation of affair. This could only be accounted for by Turkey's close position and the importance of Turkey at the time.

Also the Vice-President shared the same right of veto as the President over foreign policy affairs, defense or international security issues.

However by 1963 there was a deterioration of relations between Greek and Turkish relations and this was followed in Cyprus too with the two Cypriot communities and thus fighting broke out between the two. By 1964 a UN peacekeeping force was sent to the island but this could not prevent the tragic culmination of events that occurred in 1974.

On July 15th that year a coup was carried out by the Greek National Guard, which overthrew President Makarios. He fled and a former EOKA man, Nicos Samson, imposed an impromptu regime on the island. This pro-Enosis atmosphere on the island became highly provocative to the Turks and so took advantage of the situation to engage military action. On July 20th 1974 the Turkish army invaded Cyprus occupying a third of the island which led to the collapse of the pro-Enosis regime with a transfer of the two ethnic groups so that the northern part of the island consisted of Turkish-Cypriots and thus enclosing this section of the island off to the Greek-Cypriots separating the two communities, as we know it today.

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