Sunday, 1 July 2018
Cyprus, officially the Republic of Cyprus, is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean and the third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean.
The earliest known human activity on the island dates to around the 10th millennium BC. Archaeological remains from this period include the well-preserved Neolithic village of Khirokitia. Cyprus was settled by Mycenaean Greeks in the 2nd millennium BC. As a strategic location in the Middle East, it was subsequently occupied by several major powers, including the empires of the Assyrians, Egyptians and Persians, from whom the island was seized in 333 BC by Alexander the Great. Subsequent rule by Ptolemaic Egypt, the Classical and Eastern Roman Empire, Arab caliphates for a short period, the French Lusignan dynasty and the Venetians, was followed by over three centuries of Ottoman rule between 1571 and 1878 (de jure until 1914).
Cyprus was placed under British administration based on the Cyprus Convention in 1878 and was formally annexed by Britain in 1914. Cyprus was granted independence in 1960. In 1963, the 11-year intercommunal violence between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots started. On 15 July 1974, a coup d'état was staged by Greek Cypriot nationalists and elements of the Greek military junta. This action precipitated the Turkish invasion of Cyprus on 20 July, which led to the capture of the present-day territory of Northern Cyprus in the following month, after a ceasefire collapsed, and the displacement of over 150.000 Greek Cypriots and 50.000 Turkish Cypriots. A separate Turkish Cypriot state in the north was established by unilateral declaration in 1983.
The British administration of Cyprus began on 11 July 1878 and initially British stamps were used which may be identified by the numbered cancels used. The first postage stamps marked Cyprus were British stamps overprinted CYPRUS from 1880. The first postage stamps produced specifically for use in Cyprus, rather than being overprinted British stamps, were issued on 1 July 1881.
During the Briefmarken-Messe in Essen in May 2017 I left stamped envelopes at almost every foreign postal administration hoping they would send them back when they arrived home. The stamp is issued for the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development on 4 May 2017. A refugee stamp has to be put on every piece of mail that is sent from Cyprus to another country. The proceeds go to the Refugee Fund to help the (Greek) Cypriots that were displaced as a result from the Turkish invasion. The stamps were postmarked with a normal datestamp from the capital Nicosia. The priority label was added by Cyprus Post.
This and other stamps can be found on the philatelic website of Cyprus Post: cypruspost.post.
Date sent: 11 May 2017
Date postmark: 15 May 2017
Date received: 23 May 2017
Number of days: 12