The New York Times, July 29, 1878, p.2:|
THE ISLAND OF CYPRUS.CLIMATE, SOIL, AND PRESENT CONDITION
OF ENGLAND'S NEW ACQUISITION.
A correspondent, describing himself as for many years a Consular Agent and merchant in the Island of Cyprus, writes thus of its condition and resources to the London Standard:.
"The climate is very similar to that of Crete; the Winter is short and cold, the Summer long and hot, but not oppressively so on account of the sweet Mediterranean breezes, which make the evenings particularly cool; and people of regular habits will find it not only free from sickness, but beneficial, if they do not indulge too freely in the beautiful fruit which grows nearly wild in every part of the island.
"The English farmer will reap a good harvest, with moderate toil and careful study of the seasons; labor is cheap and plentiful, but the natives, like most Orientals, are lazy and want looking after. Manures and artificial manures are unknown, the soil being rich in itself. Farmers should provide themselves with tools, &c. before starting; but as horses and mules are cheap, and the surrounding countries rich in them, English animals ought not to be taken there, except for breeding purposes.
"The vines are richer than in any other country, and, when properly cultivated, will supply us with the wine Homer praised so much. Throughout Turkey in Europe it is used as a cure for consumption, and the Americans have of late been drawing large supplies of it. Aromatic tobacco of the most delicate quality is extensively grown, principally for the St. Petersburg market.
"Fine hard timber is plentiful, notwithstanding the enormous quantities that have been recklessly cut down by the Government, and a Turin firm are now exhibiting some rare specimens in Paris; sleepers for railway and other purposes will be found in abundance, especially when the existing roads are repaired and others constructed; rice, beans, wheat, barley, olives, raisins, locust-beans, cotton, hemp, wool, silk, bees-wax, honey, madder, and beet-root are extensively exported.
"The mines are rich in copper, and a proof of gold existing is that large pieces of the precious metal are daily washed down by the mountain streams; capitalists will find the mines, once worked by the Greeks and others, but now abandoned, a source of unlimited wealth.
"Coal is also found, but, through a lack of enterprise, the mines, have never been touched; mineral and lake salt is abundant, and ozokerit exists not far from Lefcosia, also at Citti.
"The buildings are not worth mentioning, and accommodation will no doubt be in demand, but with English builders, cheap and plentiful materials, villages will soon grow into towns.
"Intending settlers should provide themselves with a good supply of Malta outfit, also some warm Winter clothing.
"On account of the harbors being nearly useless, also for want of break-waters and quays, vessels lie at a distance, and load and discharge their cargoes by lighters, the operation being often stopped during bad weather. The remedy of this evil now becomes a necessity, and should be one of the first works the present Government undertakes.
"England will supply Cyprus with every description of goods, and merchants may rely upon getting good returns for their capital if they select suitable articles--coal, hardware, provisions, wines, spirits, oil-men's stores, drapery, drugs, agricultural implements, household furniture, petroleum, glass, and other such goods are certain to be in great demand.
"The inhabitants may be roughly estimated at 90,000, of whom 60,000 are Greeks, 25,000 Turks, and the rest Fellahs and Arabs. They are good-natured, honest, quiet, and hospitable, but must be taught to work. The principal language is Greek; Turkish and Italian being spoken by the upper classes only."
The New York Times, August 11, 1878, p.5:|
THE GIRLS OF CYPRUS.From the Pall Mall Gazette of July 25.
The Cyprian damsel is a curious compound of fascinations and oddities. Seen at her best, on one of those innumerable salut's days when she does no work beyond tricking herself out in fine clothes and assisting her mother to dispense hospitality, she looks like a masquerade heroine, whatever be her station.
She weaves up her hair with gold coins, twists it, plaits it, and contrives, with a red and yellow kerchief, a head-dress which looks like a turban, but is made top-heavy by being surmounted with an embroidered muffin-cap and tassel. She wears baggy breeches, sky-blue or pink, which descend to the knee, the rest of the legs and feet being bare, except when to honor company she reluctantly dons a pair of babouches, in which she feels uncomfortable.
She is generally fat, and wears a short jacket profusely braided, which does not reach to her waist; she rouges and whitens her creamy complexion till it looks like the face of a wax image; she paints her eyebrows deep black, and, by some cunning pencil touches at the corners of her eyes, contrives to make them look twice their proper size. Then she feels happy, and giggles when complimented.
She cannot read or write, but she can sing, play on a triangular guitar, and spin round in a fantastic dance which takes her breath away and makes her cry "Hoo!" while the stranger who watches her turns giddy from sympathy. Nor is she without religion; for during the long Lenten fast and on Fridays throughout the year she lives on bread and olives, considering it deadly sin to eat "anything that has breathed"—fish included.
She sees less sin in telling fibs and discussing scandal. It takes some time to familiarize one's self with a Cyprian girl; for something of the Mussulman practice of secluding women prevails among the Greeks, and a bevy of maidens will scurry like frightened poultry if a man approaches them to talk; but once this shyness has worn off the chief conversational topic of the bashful maiden will relate to her neighbor's shortcomings. She will tell you with smothered laughter things which she has learned in the most surreptitious manner; and her dark eyes will sparkle with the fun of mischief-making.
On working days the Cyprian girl dresses loosely in cotton breeches and chemise, and lets her hair fall down her back, tying it just below the neck with a string of beads. She is surprisingly active despite her plumpness, and races about after goats, pigs, and fowls, with a fleetness which would do credit to a boy.
If of marriageable age she will not beg, but at sight of a stranger halloos to her younger sisters to come forth and claim backsheesh; the which having duly obtained, (for those little Greek girls are wonderful coaxers,) she levies her share, which is expended in buying finery of the peddlers.
The New York Times, November 20, 1887, p.14:|
OLD CYPRUS WINE
About 1400 the Venetians estimated the island yield of wine at 400,000 metri. If this metro or measure was the jar of about five old Florentine flasks, the produce had fallen to a tenth of that yield about 1770, under the wrecking of the Venetians themselves and the subsequent fatal recklessness of the Turk.
The wine was, and is, generally sold by the load (though now priced by the oke,) which meant 16 of those jars, or 4 barrels; the ton contained 70 jars.
In 1770 about a fourth of the total yield was Commanderia, and the superior reputation of that wine was doubtless originally due to the superior management of the vineyards of the knights.
A hundred and twenty years ago the greater portion of the red vintage was shipped for Venice before it was 18 months old, and thus, 200 years after the republic had lost Cyprus, it was—and it even still is—in fashion and in great demand in every café there.
This common new wine then cost at Larnaka from ¾ to 1 piastre (of 3½ Florence lire) the jar, but the best and the older wines—5 to 6, 8, and 10 years old—fetched thrice that, and were bought for France, Holland, Italy, and England.
"Le vin dou Quilane"—wine of Kilani—which is mentioned in a statute of the Chapter-General of Limassol, on Nov. 5, 1300, is doubtless represented by the modern Commanderia. Ora and Lefkara are now celebrated for it, but the villages of Zoopii and Orongou had a reputation for the best wine at the end of the eighteenth century.
There may have been the nucleus of the Commanderia plantations on the stony hillsides of blackish and redish earth, mingled with particles of talc, lying on the cretaceous Eocene formation, for the Commanderia grape, wich has twice replanted Medeira, differs from the commoner in having a thinner skin and a compacter pulp.—The Saturday Review.
See also: Greece News - Turkey News - Syria News|
All Cyprus is one
time zone at GMT+2 with
DST from March to October
A former British colony, Cyprus became independent in 1960 following years of resistance to British rule.
Tensions between the Greek Cypriot majority and Turkish Cypriot minority came to a head in December 1963, when violence broke out in the capital of Nicosia. Despite the deployment of UN peacekeepers in 1964, sporadic intercommunal violence continued forcing most Turkish Cypriots into enclaves throughout the island. In 1974, a Greek Government-sponsored attempt to seize control of Cyprus was met by military intervention from Turkey, which soon controlled more than a third of the island. In 1983, the Turkish-held area declared itself the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" ("TRNC"), but it is recognized only by Turkey.
The election of a new Cypriot president in 2008 served as the impetus for the UN to encourage both the Turkish and Cypriot Governments to reopen unification negotiations. In September 2008, the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities started negotiations under UN auspices aimed at reuniting the divided island. The entire island entered the EU on 1 May 2004, although the EU acquis - the body of common rights and obligations - applies only to the areas under direct government control, and is suspended in the areas administered by Turkish Cypriots. However, individual Turkish Cypriots able to document their eligibility for Republic of Cyprus citizenship legally enjoy the same rights accorded to other citizens of European Union states.
CIA World Factbook: Cyprus
Area of Cyprus:
9,250 sq km
about 0.6 times the size of Connecticut
Population of Cyprus:
796,740 July 2009 estimate
Languages of Cyprus:
Greek, Turkish, English
Free Books on Cyprus (.pdfs)
My Experiences of Cyprus Stewart 1908
In An Enchanted Island Mallock 1892
Through Cyprus Lewis 1887
Salaminia (Cyprus) Cesnola 1884
Cruises to Cyprus and Constantinople Brassey 1880
Cyprus: Cities, Tombs, Temples... Cesnola 1878
Cyprus: Historical & Descriptive Löher 1878
Cyprus GB War Office Intel Branch 1878
Online Book Search Engines
Cyprus Reference Articles and Links
Wikipedia: Cyprus - History of Cyprus
The Economist: Cyprus Country Briefing
LOC: Cyprus Country Study
BBC Country Profile: Cyprus
US State Department: Cyprus Profile
Maps of Cyprus
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Governments on the WWW links
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