The Republic of Cyprus was established on 16th August 1960 . . .
Stacks Image 626
Stacks Image 627
... its flag shows the Island of Cyprus in the middle of a white background and under the map there
is a crest with olive tree leaves. The color of the land is that of copper and leaves are in olive green.
Although this site's primary focus is the stamps and through the stamps an approach of Cyprus history , this cannot be done without knowing and understanding and examining the historical background which is reflected on stamps and postal procedures of different periods.
The links lead mainly to English and Greek language pages, and grabbing this opportunity, I want to apologize to my co-patriots for the reason I have chosen english instead of greek as the primary language for Philokypros . . . in fact, I have made my life more difficult with this decision.

Stacks Image 628
One link is a stamp,
which through its philatelic substance, shows that simplifying matters and trying to solve problems having in mind, how only to fit a solution in a pre-given environment, can produce a ridiculous or catastrophic outcome.
The pictured Irish stamp was issued to celebrate the accession of ten countries, amongst them Cyprus, to the European Union. Ireland, running the Presidency of the E.U. in May 2004, hosted the summit of all members old and new in Dublin.
The map shows the islands of Corsica and Sardinia and Sicily, as well as tiny Majorca, Minorca and Ibiza in position on the Europe-Mediterranean map. Of course Crete also is shown. Then, where is Cyprus - one of the ten (and alphabetically first) new member of E.U.?? Interesting is the approach of Ireland's Mail Service to this:

Anna McHugh, spokeswoman for Ireland's mail service, AnPost, insisted that the geographic accuracy of the stamp had to be compromised to get Cyprus, normally deep in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, into the picture at all.
"That
(Crete) really is meant to represent Cyprus, but we've had to take some cartographic license. We simply didn't have room”, Ms McHugh said.
"No country is quite right. Everything's squashed. No part of the thing is to scale."
Stacks Image 629



How "impossible" was to think and apply a "solution" to Anna's problem (sorry Anna this is not your fault), is shown by Poland's success to solve it with no compromise and not any cartographic license at all.

E.U.'s ten new (2004) member Countries have been: Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovak Republic and Slovenia.
Above example has been a fact and although I have not provided a certain link to this (the stamp carries its self message after all), it can serve as a metaphoric link to the methods this Planet's authorities have used to apply a solution to the political problem of Cyprus.
Stacks Image 630
A graphical map showing the three of the four countries that make up the Cyprus political puzzle, the fourth
(though not least) being Britain.

Very interesting is what and how the people think about solving this odd problem.

Searching for a mutually acceptable Comprehensive Settlement in Cyprus
has led www.CyprusPolls.org to organize a survey towards understanding the Greek Cypriot response (76% rejection) to the UN peace plan for Cyprus.
Of course it is the job of inspired political leaders in this island to act and decide for the benefit of the peoples and reject and ignore any interference from outside.





The "
ideal" for an island like Cyprus would be if it was inhabited by a homogenous population, that is a population sharing the same language, beliefs and ideas and carrying its own tradition and expectations.
If this had been so, then of course, the problem of Cyprus would have never existed.

By looking back in the past we can see that from the very ancient times the island has been a passing through place for many different invaders who wanted to either exploit its physical wealth (minerals = copper, and forests = cedar and cypress wood for building ships) or to benefit from its strategic position in the eastern mediterranean crossroad of many great civilizations.
By talking in terms of "who had ruled what" as we know it nowadays would be misleading.

Ancient Greece from the beginning of history up to Alexander's the Great era has never been ruled by a single Greek ruler.
Every city formed a "state" and this was so from Peloponnese in the South right up to the north in Macedonia and Thrace and the city — states of eastern coasts of Aegean. Even the small Aegean and Ionian Islands enjoyed their own sovereignty.
All city-states being either democracies or kingdoms or tyrannies (=dictatorships), shared the same language and alphabet, the same religion and its "bible": the one greek mythology that proves the "all in one" civilization.
This cultural and religious bond though, had not prevented wars amongst the greek states in their pursuit for dominance on each other.

The very same structure of city-states the Greeks brought with them in Cyprus.
Salamis, Amathus, Kition, Kourion, Paphos, Marion, Soloi, Chytroi, Lapithos, Tamasos, Ledra and Idalion have been the twelve ancient kingdoms of the island.
Stacks Image 631
During the early historical times i.e. from 1500 to 1200 B.C., Kypros was colonized by Greek migrants (the Achaeans) sailing from Peloponnese - the greek peninsula - towards Cyprus , thus coming nearer to their eastern neighbors with whom close commercial relations had already been established.
This migration as far as we know has been peaceful and although on the island already the original "Eteocyprians" had had their civilization and language with its own
alphabet (see above), in the long term the newcomers blended harmonically with the older inhabitants and communicated to them the greek language, alphabet culture and tradition.
Stacks Image 632



The ancient theatre of Salamis, east of Famagusta.
Theatres have been the hallmark of Greek civilization.
The cultural bond was so strong between each Greek state and amongst all of them, that more than once during the ancient period unitedly they had embarked to accomplish certain missions. The mythical Trojan war is the very first example we know which has been praised and survived in historical memory through Homer's epical poems.
The kingdoms of
Salamis* and Lapithos where among those states which participated in that mission (the war for the honor of the Greeks as described by Homer).
A later example, this time to confront a common enemy , was the battles fought in 490 B.C. on the plain of Marathon and the sea passage of Salamis* nearby Athens.
The common enemy were the Persians and those battles have been
a significant momentum for Europe exactly like the seize of Constantinople (=Istanbul) by the Ottomans was in 1453 and their later failure to capture Vienna (1529): All these three incidents have marked and defined the history of Europe afterwards.

* The ancient kingdom of Salamis in Cyprus (nearby Famagusta of nowadays) derived its name from the island — city of Salamis near Piraeus and Athens. The Salaminians had established a second homeland in Cyprus during the ancient times.

In the lapse of time not all the kingdoms of Cyprus survived simultaneously.
The great powers of those days like Phoenicians, Persians and in a lesser extent the older Assyrians and Egyptians invaded the island many times trying to gain control on the region. Usually the Cypriot kingdoms managed to survive as near autonomous states by paying heavy tribute which was imposed on them by the powers and also, like in the case of Persians in the 6th century b.C., by placing their military forces at the enemy's disposal. This was the way the Persians managed to proceed to Europe from their distant homeland those days: By collecting the besieged countries wealth and using their forces and manpower to enlarge and strengthen the Persian army.
During this procedure it so happened that many Greek states both in Greece and Cyprus saw themselves fighting against each other as were commanded by the Persians.
Stacks Image 633
Mycenaean type (Achaean Greek) amphoroid crater from Cyprus, 14th cent. B.C. Cyprus Museum, Nicosia.

There is no need to dig further into this critical period of the beginning of written history of Cyprus (and its region).
The sources and the wealth of monuments and other findings have shown that a healthy Greek civilization with an eastern orientation had established in Kypros and has survived through the people and through their culture and language up to nowadays.
And in the centuries that followed, although many more Masters have ruled or conquered the land, no one was able to extinguish the greek character of the people who still speak their Greek language and share the same traditions and folklore.

Only through a real and massive deliberate ethnic cleansing would it be possible to eliminate the Greek character of Kypros.
This could have been done whenever; it happened for a part of Cyprus in 1974 . . .

© 2004-2014 Nicholas Man

top