The struggle for independence: 1955-1959

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Nicosia during the EOKA (National Organisation of Cypriot Fighters) struggle, 1955-1959.
The referendum organised by the Church in 1950, in which the majority of Greek Cypriots voted in favour of union with Greece, prepared the ground for the popular uprising in April 1955, which erupted violently. 

As the seat of government and the Ethnarchy, Nicosia became the main theatre of political conflict.
Talks between the British Governor of Cyprus, Sir John Harding, and Archbishop Makarios began at the Ledra Palace Hotel in October 1955 and ended six months later with his exile to the Seychelles. 

At the same time, the continued violence and declaration of a state of emergency in November 1955 turned Nicosia into an embattled capital with armed security forces. Curfews and barbed wire, sirens, murders and arrests became part of daily life. The city’s long commercial zone, Ledra Street, became known as ‘Murder Mile’.