CAPTURE OF CYPRUS: 1571-73 A.D.
The crisis which then opened with Ottoman expedition against Cyprus (1570), was the turning point both for Christendom and the Ottomans, considered above all the difficulty of stopping a crusading fleet which they expected to bring assistance from the West. Venice, Spain and the Papacy, were slow in fitting out their fleets, and the Ottoman fleet ferried unhindered a large army from Southern Turkey to Cyprus in July, 1570. Nicosia was captured, but the castle of Famagusta resisted for a year. In the same year the Ottoman fleet sailed to the Adriatic to intercept the fleet of .the Crusaders
The great crusading fleet, finally brought, attacked Ottomans in Lepanto on 7 October, 1571. In the great naval battle which followed, the Ottoman fleet was destroyed. 438 warships took part in the battle, of which 230 were Turkish. Only 30 Turkish ships managed to escape. The casualties given by both sides amounted to 59,000 dead and wounded. Under the Triennial treaty of alliance the Christian states were to fit out every year 200 galleys carrying 50,000 troops. When the Christian allies set out for Cyprus, the following year, they were surprised to find facing them a new Turkish fleet, and hesitated to renew assualt. In the third year Venice preferred to make peace (1573). Under the peace treaty, Venice renounced all its rights in Cyprus and agreed to pay heavy compensation.