It is considered that the structures found in the northern Cypriot range are typical of the Alpine orogenic movements. The conclusion, therefore, of Professor Alagoz that “1′île de Chypre, est physiquement dependante de la Turquie” owing to the similarity of the structure of the Taurus mountain in Asia Minor with the northern range of mountains in Cyprus does not seem to be well founded as it appears that such range is the most external part of the external zones of the Hellenic Alps which extend from New Yugoslavia, western Albania, western Greece, Peloponnesos Crete, Rhodes, Taurus and Amanus.
lt appear that geologically the island of Cyprus has been formed by the joining together of two small islands that of Troodos massif which appeared about 100 million years ago with that of Kyrenia which emerged later about 11 million years ago. These two islands became joined as the uplift continued thus forming the Messaoria plain.
Iron and copper pyrites are the principal minerals but there exist also chrome and asbestos as colored earth (terra-umbra).
The climate of Cyprus is mild in winter with plenty of sunshine and hot in the summer down in the plains though cool on the hills at about 40-50 miles away from the main towns. Its beautiful and variates scenery coupled with the temperance of its climate renders the island an ideal holiday centre and attracts great number of tourists all the year round, for whom now all modern. facilities are provided.
Cyprus is mainly an agricultural country and its wine and citrus fruit are exported to various countries. Its wine has been famous since ancient times and according to one version it was one of the reasons which contributed to the Turkish occupation of the island by Sultan Selim Il in 1571. Among the other goods exported from Cyprus are other agricultural products, such as fresh grapes, potatoes, carrots and other fresh vegetables, carobs (including kibbled carobs) and various minerals and of late various industrial products.
Cyprus is predominantly inhabited by Greeks, who own the greatest extent of land and bear the greater part of expenditure.
According to the last census of 1960 the population of Cyprus was 573,566, out of whom 441,656 were Greeks, I04,942 were Turks and 26,968 of other races. Thus the percentage was 77.0 % Greeks, 18.3 % Turks and 4.7 % other races.
Statistical calculations, however, made in 1975 show that the population of Cyprus has increased to 638,900 out of whom 492,000 are Greeks but the aforementioned percentages do not appear to be materially affected.
The inhabitants were, until the compulsory removal of the Turkish-Cypriots to the part occupied by the Turkish troops on the north, spread over the island intermingled in the various towns and villages and, with the exception of the purely Turkish enclaves artificially voluntarily and temporarily created after the intercommunal troubles in 1963, there were very few purely Turkish villages.
The land owing by area in 1957 (excluding Government land, roads, forests etc.), was 80.6 % by Greeks, 16.6 % by Turks and 2.8 % by others and as far as assessed value of such immovable property is concerned 86.5% by Greeks,13.1 % by Turks and 0.4% by Maronites.
The contribution to public expenditure in the form of direct taxation in respect of the year 1962 was 91.9 % by Greeks and 8.1 % by Turks.
The history of Cyprus begins with the Neolithic times going back to the 6th millennium.
There is no concrete evidence about the first settlers of the Neolithic period. One view is in favor of a distinct group not related to any neighboring region whilst another view suggests that the early settlers came from the Balkans, especially from Thessalia and Macedonia with another group from Cilicia.
It is not also clear to what extent Cyprus was connected commercially or otherwise with the culture of other neighboring countries during this period and it may be simply argued that the Neolithic culture which lasted 3,500 years was developed locally with little influence from abroad.
With the discovery of copper in Cyprus early in the third millennium B.e. the history of Cyprus enters into a new period the Bronze period 2500-1500 B.C.
During that period human settlements began to spread to the interior of the island and there was a change in the composition of the population by the arrival of foreigners from neighboring countries of Aryan race. Commercial and other relations with neighboring countries were maintained during the period.
The most important event during that period was the arrival of Achaean-Mycenaeans around the middle of the second millennium and the Achaean civilization which earlier was ftourishing in Crete now was introduced into Cyprus. The extent of the Mycenaean influence was been shown by the archaeological findings since the last century-tombs, vases and other remains as well as the recent excavation of a complete Mycenaean city in eastern Cyprus.
Before the end of the second millennium more Greek colonists arrived to live in Cyprus while others settled on the east and west of Asia Minor. Homer speaks of Cinyras, the King of Paphos, who gave Agamemnon, the Commader-in-Chief of the Greek forces against Troy, a decorated suit of armor and king Cinyras is praised by the Greek poet Tyrtaeous (seventh century s.c.) and Pindar (fifth century s.c.). Legends existed for the foundation of cities in Cyprus by the Greek heroes of the Trojan war such as Salamis by Teucer, brother of Ajax, Paphos by Agapenor from Arcadia, Idalium by Chalcanor, Lapithos by Praxandros of Laconia, Chytri (the present day Kythrea) by Chytrus, Aepeia, near Soli by Demophon and others.
The Greek colonization was very extensive and this is supported by Herodotus who says that the inhabitants of Cyprus had come from Athens, Argos, Arcadia, Salamis, etc. Even Kition, traditionally a Phoenician city, became Mycenaean. Besides the Greeks Phoenicians from Syria also came to Cyprus not earlier than 1000 s.c. and settled in the coasts particularly in Kition and Lapithos.
But as Professor Gjerstad points out, there exists a fundamental difference between the Greek and the Phoenician settlements in that the former were the result of mass migration aimed at political occupation and cultural penetration whilst the latter were of a strictly commercial character.
The Greek colonists brought with them not only the Greek civilization, culture and way of living but also the Greek political ideas and manner of administration. The Phoenicians settlers on the other hand were not numerous and their influence was negligible.
With the establishment of the Achaeans in Cyprus the composition of the population was changed and the autochthonous inhabitants, the Eteocyprians, though survived until. the Hellenistic period, especially in certain places such as Amathus, were in the minority and accepted the Greek civilization and culture.
The change in the life and character of Cypriots was rapid and was not limited to the coastal areas only but it spread to all regions of the island and the bonds with Greece were becoming closer and closer so as to be said that Cyprus became a Greek island.
A new era of wealth and prosperity began and the commercial and other relations of Cyprus with the neighboring countries were increased.
On the model of the Greek city-state and following the Mycenaean system of government many kingdoms have been established and maintained in Cyprus since the first millennium having replaced the previous system of one king reigning over the whole island. Diodoros Siceliotis, the historian, refers to nine such kingdoms in the middle of the fourth century B.C.
The Cyprus kings following the Mycenaean precedent, were at the same time high priests, judges and generals and the institution of Kingship was hereditary.
Gradually the institution of the assembly of the people, the ecclesia, was developed to which the king was referring matters of administration for consideration.
The Kings of Cyprus retained their internal autonomy during the Assyrian conquest of Cyprus about the eighth century B.C. and under the Egyptians and the Persians from the sixth century to the end of the fourth B.C. even after the heroic but unsuccessful revolt under king Onesilus in the fifth century s.c. who tried to unite the Cypriots against the Persian domination.
Next important king who united the cities of Cyprus under the leadership of Salamis was its king Evagoras the First. Evagoras carried a ten years war against the Persian yoke and during this struggle he was greatly assisted by the Athenians who made him a citizen of Athens. But when after the Treaty of Antalkidas in 368 s.c. had to carry on alone, in spite of some temporary successes such as the capture of Tyre in Phoenicia in 382 s.c., was forced to yield and acknowledged by a treaty which he signed as king to king the Great King of Persia as overlord. Evagoras is the most important statesman in the history of Cyprus who not only maintained and spread the Greek culture throughout Cyprus but transmitted it to the neighboring countries.
The kings of Cyprus retained their sovereignty over their own cities during the time of Alexander the Great. When after his death in 323 s.c. a dispute arose over, the possession of Cyprus between his successors Ptolemy and Antigonus, the kings of Cyprus were divided, some of them supporting the former whilst others were assisting the latter, but eventually Cyprus came under Ptolemy who shortly afterwards was proclaimed as king Ptolemy I.
Cyprus remained under Ptolemies for two and half centuries and during that time achieved a great degree of culture and prosperity. The cities preserved a certain degree of autonomy.
During this period the institution of the ” Koinon ” (confederations of the cities of Cyprus-us was introduced the predecessor- of the Koinon Iater developed under the Roman emperors which played an important role in the religious and political. life of the island.
Cyprus was occupied by Rome in 58 s.c., as Greece had been occupied earlier, and became part of the province of Cilicia governed by a proconsul. Among the early proconsuls was the famous orator Cicero, who showed great sympathy to the people of Cyprus. Under August Cyprus became an imperial province and then in 22 s.c. a senatorial province governed by a proconsul. Paphos constituted to be the capital of Cyprus and developed greatly as a result of its trade with neighboring countries. Cyprus under the Romans preserved its Greek character.