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Colonial Legacies and Independence

  • 7 Pages
  • Published On: 12-12-2023

Cyprus is an island nation in the eastern Mediterranean Sea and is considered to be third largest and one of the most populous islands in the Mediterranean. Cyprus was a part of the British Empire under Military occupation from the year 1914 to 1925 and remained a Crown Colony between the years 1925 and 1960 (Varnava 2017). After its independence in the year 1960, Cyprus came to be known as the Republic of Cyprus. In the year 1878, the Cyprus Convention resulted to the release of a protectorate land, island of Cyprus in the hands of United Kingdom in exchange for the military support that UK provided to the Ottoman Empire for preventing the Russians to take control over the ottomans in Asia.


Therefore, the land of Cyprus was gained by UK in exchange for the military support that the same provided to the Ottomans while fighting against the Russians. At the beginning, it was found that the Cypriots believed that the British would bring forth prosperity and development in the lands while welcoming the same on the land wholeheartedly (Yiangou and Heraclidou 2017). However, UK imposed large amount of taxes on the Cypriots as a compensation for the paying the Sultan on their acquisition of Cyprus. Moreover, it has been observed that the people in Cyprus were not even provided with the capability of engaging in the administration of the land while the posts were kept reserved for the High Commissioner and London. The aspects have been affecting the interests of the common Cypriots which resulted to the upheaval and drive out the colonial rule.


The economy of Cyprus has been gaining stability between the years 1960 and 1973 through the development of the free- enterprise economy which is based on agriculture and trade. It has been observed that the standard of living of the people in the economy increased through the development of the free economy. Cyprus’s economic freedom rate is 71.4 while making it 33rd freest economy in the 2020 global index (Nunziata 2020). The development of the free economy has significantly contributed towards the growth and development of the trade and commerce in the nation. On the other hand, it has also been observed that the financial support that is offered by the IMF and the World Bank has significantly supported the economic growth and development of the nation in terms of trade and commerce.

The economy of Cyprus also attracted the attention of different foreign investors which has empowered the growth of different industries. The diversification of the different industries in Cyprus has significantly contributed towards the growth and development of its economic situation. The current GDP (PPP) of the nation is $36.9 billion with a growth rate of 3.2% growth and a five year compound growth rate of 4.4% standing to around $41,254 per capita (Nunziata 2020). The current unemployment rate in Cyprus is 7.3% but with an FDI inflow of around $24.2 billion which has been reflected as the developing prospects towards minimizing the unemployment rate in most of the regions (Nunziata 2020). Most importantly, Cyprus holds around 45 trade agreements to date, being a member of the EU, which has been one of the most influential factors that contributed towards the growth and development of the same among the neighbouring nations.


Cyprus is being identified as a prudential republic where the head of the state and the government is elected through a universal suffrage of a five year term. Executive power is being exercised by the government of Cyprus with the legislative powers being handled by the House of Representatives. The constitution that was formed in the year 1969 provided for the presidential system of governance in the nation (Katsourides 2017). It has been observed that there is an increased stability in the governance in Cyprus which has greatly contributed towards the growth of trade and commerce in the economy. It has been observed that Cyprus is being divided into six districts Nicosia, Famagusta, Kyrenia, Larnaca, Limassol and Paphos which has enabled the government in simplifying the terms of their jurisdiction while improving the degree of governance (Marovich 2018). The stable governance structure and the democratic interventions have supported Cyprus in developing their overall capabilities.

Social structure

A small group of Ottoman bureaucracy governed the island of Cyprus which is aided by the Greek Orthodox clergy men. Some of the Greek Cypriots took the initiative of developing commerce. Largely, the population in the island consisted of small scale farmers (Ekici 2019). It has been observed that Cypriots holds an inclination towards higher education in order to improve their social status and livelihood. Workers commuted to the urban areas from their rural homes with the purpose of getting employed which have significantly improved the employability, trade and commerce in the island. Currently, the people in the island are more inclined towards improving their professional development and skills with the purpose of increasing the scope of getting employed in diverse range of businesses that emerged in the economy (Ioannides 2018).

Efforts made to reject or oppose colonial influence and reclaim pre- colonial identity and culture
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The governments of the island have take the initiative of influencing the growth of their own pre- colonial culture and heritage through empowering the farmers and developing employment scopes for the people. It has been observed that the colonial rule under the British has curbed the people in the island in involving themselves in administrative decisions or the like2018 (Trimikliniotis). In this connection, the government of the island has taken the initiative of developing democratic form of government while empowering the cultural aspects through monetary funding and grants which has allowed in developing the pre- colonial culture while opposing the colonial influence on Cyprus and its people.


Therefore, from the above research it might be stated that Cyprus is a growing nation after the colonial rule of the British government, which ended up in the year 1960. the discussion identified the economy, politics and the social structure of Cyprus while developing insights on the means through which the government has taken the initiative of opposing the colonial influence and induced the pre- colonial culture among the people.


Ekici, T., 2019. The Political and Economic History of North Cyprus: A Discordant Polity. Springer.URL:

Katsourides, Y., 2017. The Greek Cypriot Nationalist Right in the Era of British Colonialism. Springer, Cham, Switzerland. URL:

Marovich-Old, I., 2018. Nationalism as resistance to colonialism: A comparative look at malta and cyprus from 1919 to 1940. In Cypriot Nationalisms in Context (pp. 261-281). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. URL:

Nunziata, D., 2020. Colonial and Postcolonial Cyprus. Springer International Publishing. URL:

Trimikliniotis, N., 2018. The national question, partition and geopolitics in the 21st century: the Cyprus problem, the social question and the politics of reconciliation. Global Discourse, 8(2), pp.303-320. URL:

Varnava, A., 2017. British imperialism in Cyprus, 1878–1915: the inconsequential possession. Manchester University Press. URL:

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