1914-1918 1939-1945

Cyprus 1918-1939

In 1918 the Ottoman Government had surrendered; in the TREATY OF SEVRES (1920) it formally accepted the British annexation of Cyprus of 1914. This, however, was of little effect, as the Ottoman Empire disintegrated, replaced on the territory left to it by the young TURKISH REPUBLIC, which under the leadership of MUSTAFA KEMAL fought for her very existence. The Cypriot population was split in her sympathies, the Cypriot Greeks (c. 80 %) favouring the Greeks, the Cypriot Turks favouring the Turks. In 1923 the TREATY OF LAUSANNE was signed; in it, the Republic of Turkey recognized British rule over Cyprus. The island was proclaimed a CROWN COLONY in 1925.
The administration of the colony was deficitary; when Governor Sir Ronald Storrs in 1931 wanted to impose a law raising the customs tariffs in order to balance the budget, his move was opposed both by the Greek and the Turkish representative in the Legislative Council. Cyprus' Turkish population established a (Cypriot Turkish) NATIONAL CONGRESS to represent her interests, fearing further Greek agitation for ENOSIS (unification of Cyprus with Greece). The same year Greek Cypriot radicals set the house of the British governor in Nicosia on fire, declaring a revolution. British forces were brought in from Egypt, the rebellion suppressed, the constitution suspended. From 1931 to 1940, the British Governor ruled by decree.

In 1928 the principles of British common law were introduced on Cyprus.
In 1931 the Cypriot population numbered 347,959, in 1937 371,000. In 1931, of them 284,000 were Greek Orthodox Christians, 64,000 Muslims. Nicosia was the largest city with 23,507 inhabitants. In 1935, Cyprus had 114 km of railway lines, over 4,000 km of roads; in 1938 the number of cars and trucks combined was 2,051. In 1936 government revenues amounted to 820,847 Pound Sterling, expenses to 756,737.

The British Period, from History of Cyprus
History, from Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Website
DOCUMENTS An Appeal From Mar Eshai Shimun XXI Catholicos Patriarch of the Assyrians to all the Christian Churches, Nicosia, Cyprus, 1933, from Assyrian Historical Documents
Cyprus Postcards, from Janus, mostly from c 1926
REFERENCE Hübner's Weltstatistik, 73rd edition, edited by Ernst Rösner, Wien 1939, in German, [G]
Article : Cyprus, in : Statesman's Yearbook 1919 pp.110-113, 1924 pp.113-116, 1925 pp.115-117, 1926 pp.104-107, 1928 pp.105-108, 1929 pp.105-108, 1932 pp.106-109, 1937 pp.112-116 [G]
Article : Cyprus, in : New International Year Book 1921 pp.180-181, 1923 p.188, 1925 pp.189-190, 1928 p.202, 1930 p.211, 1932 pp.226-227, 1933 pp.203-204, 1934 p.179, 1935 p.180, 1938 p.191, 1939 pp.180-181 [G]
Article : Cyprus, in : Funk & Wagnall's New Standard Encyclopedia Year Book 1932 pp.203-204, 1933 p.152, 1934 pp.173-174, 1935 p.163, 1936 p.143, 1937 p.150, 1938 pp.146-147, British Empire (on Cyprus) 1939 p.80 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2002, last revised on August 25th 2007

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