Cyprus has a rich and varied history. The first evidence of human habitation in Cyprus can be traced back to the early Neolithic Period or Stone Age around 10,000 BC. Cyprus's geographic position has caused Cyprus to be influenced by differing Eastern Mediterranean civilizations over the millennial. Many invaders, settlers and immigrants have come here over the centuries, and the island has seen Mycenaean-Achaean Greeks, Phoenician, Romans, Byzantines, Assyrians, Egyptians and then the Persians, Lusignans, Genoese, Venetians, Ottomans, British and Turks, all seeking to take a part of Cyprus for themselves. Despite the many conquers and invaders Cyprus continued to be prosper. Officially the Republic of Cyprus is a Greek Orthodox Nation. Greek Orthodoxs make up 78% of the Cypriot population, there are also small Baha'i, Jewish, Protestant (including Anglican), Roman Catholic, Maronite (Eastern Rites Catholic) and Armenian Apostolic communities. Cyprus became an independent Republic on 16 August 1960, but only lasted for 14 years. Now Cyprus is the only divided country in Europe since the Turkish Invasion and Occupation On 15 July 1974.
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