London Agreement

In February 1959 the representatives of Turkey, Greece, and the two communities of Cyprus met with representatives of the British Government in London. The British Government agreed to transfer the sovereignty of the island to the two ethnic communities of Cyprus under the partnership terms which these two communities and Turkey and Greece had agreed upon among themselves.

The agreement took into consideration the fact that there was not and had never been a Cypriot Nation and that the Turks and Greeks of Cyprus had always lived and prospered as two independent ethnic communities, always jealously guarding their national and communal identity with separate languages, customs, culture, historical heritage, and religion. All through the centuries during which these two communities had lived together, they had always been independent of each other and one would not consent to be ruled by the other.

The Constitution of the newly independent State was based on this reality and provided for the participation of the two national communities in the Central Government, the Legislature, the Judiciary, the Public Service, and the Army.