Cyprus during its turbulent long history, has always been the bone of contention for many invaders (Franks, Romans, Byzantines, Turks, British), but kept its Greek character, religion, language, culture and habits which were first introduced on the island by the ancient Greeks thirty-three centuries ago. The main reasons for these many invasions of the island were its strategic position and its rich mineral reserves (Cyprus – which is named after the metal copper – has many copper reserves which were discovered and exploited from the very ancient years).
As a result of the various occupations, all the different conquerors have left their characteristics on the island.
Cyprus become a British colony in 1878 and remained one until 1960 when Cyprus became an independent republic. The British influence is still found in the way of living, from driving on the left side of the road, to commercial law and business aspects of life.
The Cypriot ingenious spirit, within a well structured environment and infrastructure, resulted in tremendous growth of the Cyprus economy, with a very high level of quality of life for the Cypriots. This period was not cloudless however, due to the intervention of Turkey in the affairs of the island. These interventions resulted in the Turkish invasion of 1974, which led to the separation of the island, with approximately 37% of the land being occupied by Turkish troops since then.
The conditions were very difficult due to the refugee problem created by the invasion. Government and the people of the island were determined to prosper and achieve the quality of life they had enjoyed before the invasion.
The recovery and subsequent prosperity of the island was based on two separate pillars:
The establishment of Cyprus as the business centre of the Mediterranean with generous concession to foreign business people electing to use Cyprus offshore companies and Promotion of Cyprus as a tourist destination by encouraging the construction of new hotels.