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Word Count: 218
The independent Republic of Cyprus came into being in August 1960 Its first President was Archbishop Makarios Over the first three years of independence relations between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots deteriorated mainly as a result of flaws in the constitution which gave disproportional rights to the Turkish Cypriot community including the right to block the passing of laws In 1963 intercommunal violence broke out following which many Turkish Cypriots withdrew to enclaves Attempts to bring the two sides back together were made through the United Nations who sent a contingent to the island On 15 July 1974 the Junta ruling Athens at the time organised a coup to overthrow Archbishop Makarios A week later Turkey invaded the island claiming this was to restore constitutional order However when the rightful government was restored Turkish troops stayed on implementing a long-held policy of partitioning the island They went on to occupy more than a third of Cyprus forcing 200000 people to lose their homes and become refugees The area under Turkish occupation unilaterally declared independence in1983 an act condemned by the UN and other international organisations No country in the world other than Turkey has recognised this illegal state The political issue despite efforts to solve it remains virtually frozen since 1974 and the occupation of part of Cyprus by the Turkish army still continues
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