Tucked away in the top right - hand of the Mediterranean sea, Cyprus is an island whose rich, dramatic history can be traced back over 9000 years. As an island whose archeological stems from the Neolithic Age and the Ancient Greeks, Cyprus has developed a character that is quite unique amongst its neighbors.     

Rich in history, the Cypriot nation traces its generations back 9000 years. The apostoles Matthew and Paul both visited the island, which is famous for its churches and Byzantine art.In approximately 1000 B.C, Greek - speaking settlers arrived in Cyprus and imparted to the island its Hellenic character, which, notwithstanding dozens of invasions and occupations, has remained intact over 30 centuries.    

In 1974 Turkey invade Cyprus and still occupied the northeastern part of the island. At that time, a long – standing feud between Turkey and Greece erupted over the status of Cyprus, which was an independent nation with strong ties to Greece. And on July 20, 1974, Turkish troops, occupying the northeastern 37% of the island. Cypriots were taken prisoner or forced from their homes, and the occupied sector seceded from Cyprus and became a Turkish federated state in 1975. The Turks proclaimed their independence as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in 1983, but the new republic has not gained international recognition. Despite human rights violations, Turkey is the third – highest recipient of US foreign aid in the world. Two bills are before Congress to cut off the funding for Turkey unless the country stops violating the human rights of Cypriots. The bills are under review in the House and Senate.     

So far 1619 people are still unaccounted for since 1974, including five Americans with American passports. "It's been 40 years, and some of the leaders who have been the most vocal and the most dedicated are starting to get tired. It worries me. If people start to get tired, that may be the end of the Cyprus issue. And there are so many paradoxes about Cyprus. The United States is giving $ 900 million in aid to Turkey every year, a third of which supports the Turkish army, which has 37000 Turkish soldiers in occupied Cyprus. How can the United States talk about human rights when it finances the deprivation of human rights itself?", says Dr Crist, founder of the museum.    

References: the content of this articles are from : the issue of February 25, 1999 of the Newspaper "THE GREEK STAR", the issue of May 14, 1995 of the Newspaper "SYNDAY DAILY NEWS", the Magazine "ODYSSEY", and the issue of December 1990 of the Magazine "NEW YORK Greek - American Monthly Review" All these years that the museum is open to the public there are many people who worked and still working hard to make this a success, and there are also the people who gave us and still giving their financial or moral support, so we continue our effort.

Copyright © The Cyprus Museum. All Rights Reserved