Current Period in Cyprus
Cyprus today is a divided island. The self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which occupies around a third of the island, is still separated from the Greek-controlled area of Southern Cyprus by the UN buffer zone set up in the 1970s. Several attempts have been made through the 80s, 90s and more recently in 2004 to re-unite the two areas. All efforts to do so though have failed.
Yet, life in the North and South continues in relative peace. Southern Cyprus has started to regain its prosperity lost after British rule ended in 1960. Tourism has played an important role in the regeneration of the South, opening up the island's extensive history to the world. With the advent of cheap European flights the golden beaches of Cyprus have become easily accessible too, making the South once more a vacation paradise worthy of Aphrodite's footsteps.
In the North life is peaceful but the people are considerably poorer than their southern counterparts. Years of trade embargoes imposed by the international community have taken their toll on the economy, reducing some Turkish Cypriot families to poverty in the small inland villages. Kyrenia and coastal areas in the North have faired a little better, thanks mostly to the influx of tourists who are now beginning to discover the treasures of the North in a land less scared by hotel developments.
So, what does the future hold for the Cypriot people? If the last 10,000 years of history has taught us anything it is that change is inevitable. Reconciliation between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots is possible, but how, when and even if that situation arises is anyone's guess. One thing is for sure though, no matter what happens religiously or politically on Cyprus during the future nothing can rob it of its astounding historical heritage.