Cyprus Independence Day
Cyprus was a colony of Great Britain from 1878 until 1960. For several centuries, Cyprus had been ruled by the Ottoman, Byzantine, Greek, Egyptian, Persian, Assyrian and Phoenician empires. Sir Hugh Foot, the British governor, read a British proclamation declaring the independence of Cyprus following a nearly 5-year long guerilla war. Archbishop Marakios III, leader of the Greek community was overthrown in a coup organized by the Greek government, meanwhile the Turkish army invaded the northern part of Cyprus. The country is de facto partitioned into two main parts: The area under the effective control of the Republic of Cyprus, comprising about 59% of the island’s area and the Turkish-occupied area in the north, calling itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, covering about 37% of the island’s area and recognized only by Turkey.
The people of Cyprus celebrate their Independence Day with festivals at schools and communities and with a big military parade, which takes place in the capital of Nicosia. Cyprus' flag has the map of its island in yellow (the color of copper, which Cyprus was famous with in ancient times and took its name from: couprum (copper in latin) Òkipros (Cyprus in Greek). There are also two lops of an olive tree, which symbolize peace.