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Following the Russo-Turkish war (1877 - 1878), Cyprus was leased to the British Empire and was formally annexed by Britain at the end of the First World War.Among the Greek Cypriots, the concept of 'enosis' - union with Greece had been a movement that had taken hold during the previous century, under Ottoman rule.Archaeological remains from this period include the well-preserved Neolithic village of Khirokitia, and Cyprus is home to some of the oldest water wells in the world.Cyprus was settled by Mycenaean Greeks in two waves in the 2nd millennium BC.On 16 August 1960, a cease fire was reached and Cyprus attained independence after the Zurich and London Agreement between the United Kingdom, Greece and Turkey. People may attend church services to remember the efforts of the EOKA to secure Cyprus' independence and special events take place in schools, so that children are made aware of the island's struggle for freedom.
I often call my sister on the phone and say: "Ela (Hi) malaka! Nothing says passion like the hand gestures of a Greek person. Did you know you could have a whole conversation with another Greek, just by using your facial expressions? People had filled the streets by foot and by car, shouting, singing, hooting, waving flags, acting like we had actually won the cup! It normally means our Yiayia (Grandma's) husband has died and she has never worn colour again out of respect for him. On 1 April 1955, the EOKA (Ethniki Organosis Kyprion Agoniston) whose aim was unification with Greece through armed struggle, started their guerilla campaign, targeting British military installations on the island.The campaign against the British lasted for the next four years.