Hill in his History of Cyprus after referring to the capture of Nicosia, at which the massacre and looting went on for three days, writes that “the reader may be spared description of horrors which were such as usually occurred at the capture of any Christian city by the Turks” and after the fall of Famagusta observes that ” the history of Cyprus is rich in episodes of horror, and this was an age inferior to no other in barbarity: but as an example of cold-blooded ferocity, in which the childishness of the savage combines with the refinements of the sadist, the martyrdom of the hero of Famagusta by Mustafa Pasha yields the palm to none. It was inspired not by momentary fury, but by deliberate blood lust. Some details may have been exaggerated by anti-Moslem sentiment, but the main facts are not open to doubt”.
With the fall of Nicosia and Famagusta the rest of the island was occupied without opposition.
The Turkish conquest brought many radical changes to Cyprus In spite of atrocities the Turks supported the Greek-Orthodox Church, which replaced the Roman Catholic as the official Church of the island.
The Archbishop was allowed to return to his seat at Nicosia from Soli and the bishops also returned to their sees-Kyrenia, Larnaca and Paphos, from the villages to which they had been posted by the Franks. The island’s first Archbishop after the conquest was Timotheos and a synod convened by him in Cyprus declared the subjugation of the Orthodox Church to the Roman Catholic Church invalid and resolved the restoration of its bonds with the Orthodox Church at Constantinople.
The Archbishop of Cyprus was given similar privileges as those conferred on the Patriarch at Constantinople.
In Cyprus the Archbishop, to whom a Berat was issued on his election outlining his secular powers, was considered as the Head of the ” Rayas and their representative” and as such was responsible for imposing and collecting the taxes.
During the Turkish occupation a system of wide local government was existing and operating.
The Turkish rule in Cyprus ended in 1878.
By the Convention of defensive alliance between Great Britain and Turkey with respect to the Asiatic provinces of Turkey signed at Constantinople on the 4th June 1878, Turkey consented “to assign the Island of Cyprus to be occupied and administered by England ” for enabling her to make the necessary provision for executing her engagements under the Treaty. By an Annex to this Convention signed at Constantinople of the l st July 1878 between the same Contracting Parties the conditions under which England would occupy Cyprus are provided and a provision was made that ” if Russia restores to Turkey Kars and other conquests made by her in Armenia during the last war, the Island of Cyprus will be evacuated by England and the Convention of the 4th June 1878 will be at an end “.
By an additional Article signed at Constantinople on tho l4th August 1878, it was agreed between the High Contracting Parties that for the term of the occupation and no longer, full powers were granted to the Great Britain for making Laws and Conventions for the Government of the Island and for the regulating of its Commercial and consular relations and affairs.
In July 1878 Cyprus was occupied by Great Britain.
During all the years of foreign occupation many conquerors passed through Cyprus and she came across many civilizations. Though they left their traces, which may be witnessed by the various silent monuments, nevertheless Cyprus never has lost its own character. As the modern Greek poet says: “You have changed many despots but you have never changed your heart”.
Stanley Casson rightly observes that ” there is always perceptible an undercurrent of influence which, for good or bad, remains Cypriot. Nothing that Cyprus adopted remained unaffected. Instead it will be incorrect to say that Cyprus “has absorbed anything, she rather absorbed and then transformed”.