Cyprus


Figure 1.--This photograph shows 12-year old Greek Cypriot schoolboys dancing the Sickle Dance representing the harvest. The reader who sent it to HBC tells us, "In my youth, I recall seeing the old men, usually shepherds, wearing the Vraka. It always looked as if the garment was a skirt with the front hem pulled between the legs and then with the back hem, tucked into the waist at the back. It was secured with a long band wrapped around the waist. There was an old wives tale that when Christ came again he would be born of man and the Vraka would be where he would be found!"

Cyprus is the principal island in the eastern Mditerranean south of Turkey. Which means that it was the principal island known to the early Mesopotamian and Egyptian civilizations and of some importance because of copper deposits. The island is a wide plain set between two mountain ranges. Mt. Olympus is the highest elevation. Cyprus has a rich history. Neolithic remains date to 4000 BC. The island has been ruled by many countries over time, including Phoencia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, including many more powers in modern history. Christianity was introduced during the Roman era by the Apostles. Cyprus has had an agricultural economy similar to Greece and Anatolia, including wine, wheat, and olives and after the European maritime outreach to America (16th centyry), tobacco. There are also mineral deposits, especially copper which derives it names from the island. The econnomy has changed notably since World War II, diversifying from agriculture to services. There is mow a popular tourist sector as well as light manufacturing. In recent years Cyprus has begun to develop an important financial sector More recently it has also developed into an important offshore financial sector catering to Russian and Eastern European investors. The population includes a Turkish north and Greek south. Tensions between the two groups led to the Turkish Army intervening (1974) and the country is now partioned between Turkey and Greek Cyprus. A British reader as a little boy remembers spending a few years on the island in the early 1970s.

Geography

Cyprus is the principal island in the eastern Mditerranean south of Turkey. Which means that it was the principal island known to the early Mesopotamian and Egyptian civilizations and of some importance because of copper deposits. The island is a wide plain set between two mountain ranges. Mt. Olympus is the highest elevation.

History

Cyprus is an important eastern Mediterranean island. Cyprus unlike Crete is not part of the Balkans. It is located closer to Turkey and the Middle East than to Europe andcthe Balkans. Even so its history has often been associated with the Balkans. Like the Christian Balkans, Cyprus was for years a part of the Ottoman Empire. Britain assumed administration of the island from the Ottomans (1878), subsequently annexing it (1914) after the Ottomans entered World War I on Germany’s side. After the War under the Treaty of Lausanne (1923), Turkey relinquished all rights to Cyprus. Cyprus became a Crown Colony (1925). During World War II, Cypriot volunteers served in the British forces. Hopes for self-determination by the Cypriot people however, were denied by the British, who considered the island strategically vital. A national liberation struggle began against Colonial rule and for the union of Cyprus with Greece (1955). The struugle lasted until 1959. Independence from the U.K. was approved with constitutional guarantees by the Greek Cypriot majority to the Turkish Cypriot minority (1960). A Greek-sponsored attempt ito seize the government (1974) was met by military intervention from Turkey, which soon controlled almost 40 percent of the island. The Turkish-held area declared itself the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" (1983), but it is recognized only by Turkey. UN-led talks on the status of Cyprus resumed (December 1999). The goal was to prepare the ground for meaningful negotiations leading to a comprehensive settlement.

Economy

Cyprus has had an agricultural economy similar to Greece and Anatolia, including wine, wheat, and olives and after the European maritime outreach to America (16th centyry), tobacco. There are also mineral deposits, especially copper which derives it names from the island. Tne Bronze age meant that copper was a very valuable commodity. Every power wanted access to it. Which made Cyprus a tatget for every great power wguch arose in the region. The econnomy has changed notably since World War II, diversifying from agriculture to services. There is mow a popular tourist sector as well as light manufacturing. In recent years Cyprus has begun to develop an important financial sector More recently it has also developed into an important offshore financial sector catering to Russian and Eastern European investors.

Garments


Ethnicity

The population includes a Turkish north and Greek south. Tensions between the two groups led to the Turkish Army intervening (1974) and the country is now partioned between Turkey and Greek Cyprus.

Schools

Cyprus is a eastern Mediterranean island. It was for years a part of the Ottoman Empire. After World War II it was controlled by the British. Independence from the UK was approved in 1960 with constitutional guarantees by the Greek Cypriot majority to the Turkish Cypriot minority. In 1974, a Greek-sponsored attempt to seize the government was met by military intervention from Turkey, trsulting in partitioin of the island. We have litle information on school uniform trends, but assume they follow Greek and Turkish styles.

Personal Experiences

A British reader as a little boy remembers spending a few years on the island in the early 1970s.






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Created: 8:09 PM 1/15/2017
Last updated: 8:09 PM 1/15/2017