Cyprus (/ˈsaɪprəs/), officially the Republic of Cyprus, is an island nation in the eastern Mediterranean south of the Anatolian Peninsula. Continentally, it is often found in western Asia, but has cultural and political ties to southeastern Europe. It is the third largest island and the third largest in the Mediterranean Sea, located south of Turkey, east of Greece and west of Syria. Its capital and largest city is Nicosia. The earliest known human activity on the island dates back to the 10th millennium BC. Backwards. Archaeological remains from this period include the well-preserved Neolithic village of Khirokitia, and Cyprus is home to some of the oldest water wells in the world. Cyprus was founded in the 2nd millennium BC. BC was colonized in two waves by the Mycenaean Greeks. A strategic position in the eastern Mediterranean, it was successively occupied by several major powers, including the Assyrian, Egyptian and Persian empires, whose island was conquered in 333 BC. It was conquered by Alexander the Great. Subsequent rule by Ptolemaic Egypt, the Classical and Eastern Roman Empires, briefly the Arab Caliphates, the French Lusignan dynasty and the Venetians was followed by more than three centuries of Ottoman rule between 1571 and 1878 (de jure until 1914). Cyprus was placed under UK administration under the Cyprus Convention in 1878 and formally annexed by the UK in 1914. The future of the island became a point of contention between the two main ethnic communities, the Greek Cypriots, who they made up 77% of the population in 1960, and Turkish Cypriots, who made up 18% of the population. Since the 19th century, the Greek Cypriot population has pursued enosis, union with Greece, which became a Greek national policy in the 1950s along with Turkey, a Taksim policy, the partition of Cyprus and the creation of a Turkish regime in the north. After the nationalist violence of the 1950s, Cyprus gained its independence in 1960. The 1963-1964 crisis led to further intercommunal violence between the two communities, expelling more than 25,000 Turkish Cypriots into enclaves and ending Turkish Cypriot representation in the Republic. On 15 July 1974, Greek Cypriot nationalists and elements of the Greek military junta staged a coup to attempt enosis. This action hastened the Turkish invasion of Cyprus on 20 July, which resulted in the capture of what is now the territory of Northern Cyprus and the expulsion of over 150,000 Greek Cypriots and 50,000 Turkish Cypriots. A separate Turkish Cypriot state in the north was established by unilateral declaration in 1983; This decision was widely condemned by the international community, with only Turkey recognizing the new state. These facts and the resulting political situation are the subject of permanent conflict. The Republic of Cyprus has de jure sovereignty over the entire island, including its territorial waters and exclusive economic zone, with the exception of the Akrotiri and Dhekelia Sovereign Base Areas, which remain under the control of the United Kingdom in accordance with the agreements of London and Zurich Agreements. However, the Republic of Cyprus is effectively divided into two main parts: the area under effective control of the Republic, located to the south and west, covering approximately 59% of the island’s area, and the north administered by the self-governing Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, occupying about 36% of the island’s surface. Almost 4% of the island’s area is covered by the United Nations buffer zone. The international community considers the northern part of the island to be part of the Republic of Cyprus occupied by Turkish forces. The occupation is considered illegal under international law and constitutes an illegal occupation of EU territory since Cyprus became a member of the European Union. Cyprus is a major tourist destination in the Mediterranean. With an advanced, high-income economy and a very high human development index, the Republic of Cyprus has been a member of the Commonwealth since 1961 and was a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement until joining the European Union on 1 May . 2004. On 1 January 2008, the Republic of Cyprus joined the euro area.