Background: Independence from the UK was approved in 1960 with constitutional guarantees by the Greek Cypriot majority to the Turkish Cypriot minority. In 1974 a Greek-sponsored attempt to seize the government was met by military intervention from Turkey, which soon controlled almost 40% of the island. In 1983 the Turkish-held area declared itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, but it is recognized only by Turkey. Cyprus talks resumed in December 1999 to prepare the ground for a comprehensive settlement.
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