The Cyprus Convention 1878

The Cyprus Convention was a secret agreement that was reached between the United Kingdom and the Ottoman Empire on 4 June 1878. Under this agreement, the Sultan of Ottoman Empire granted administrative control of Cyprus to the Britain in exchange for guarantees by Britain that it would use the island as a base to protect the Ottoman Empire against possible Russian aggression. At the time, the Tsar of Russian was expanding his empire both West and South into areas controlled by a weakening Ottoman Empire. The offer of Cyprus to the British was intended to elicit their help to stall Russia’s expansion. Cyprus was proclaimed a British protectorate and was integrated into the British Empire.

Following the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, Britain found itself at war with the Ottoman Empire when the Sultan decided to join the war on the side of Germany and its allies.  On 5 November 1914 Britain formally annexed Cyprus from the Ottoman Empire declaring it completely within the British Empire, albeit under a military administration status.

Britain’s annexation of Cyprus was verified twice, firstly in the Treaty of Sevres in 1920 and then again in the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923. Finally Cyprus was declared a Crown Colony of the British Empire in 1925.

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