I had absolutely no intention of going to Cyprus when I started this trip, but I am very glad I did. Cyprus is a wonderful country with an intricate history, major elements of which are playing out as we speak. As best as I can understand, it goes something like this:
Cyprus defines the border between West and Non-West (though not necessarily "East"). Througout history it has been conquered and reconquered by Roman, Turkish, Greek, and just about every other major force in the known world (at least, known to that region) at the time. As such, figuring out who "historically" owns Cyprus is not an easy task. At the end of World War I, at least, Cyprus was owned by Turkey, though the majority of the island's population was of Greek heritage. Turkey, heavily in debt to England, offered England joint ownership of the island in exchange for debt relief.
This continued up until World War II, when Turkey sided with the Germans and England, much put off by this, decided to take ... [more]