Cyprus

Cyprus

Overview
Cyprus officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasia
Eurasia
Eurasia is a continent or supercontinent comprising the traditional continents of Europe and Asia ; covering about 52,990,000 km2 or about 10.6% of the Earth's surface located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres...

n island country, member of the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

, in the Eastern Mediterranean
Eastern Mediterranean
The Eastern Mediterranean is a term that denotes the countries geographically to the east of the Mediterranean Sea. This region is also known as Greater Syria or the Levant....

, east of Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, south of Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, west of Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 and north of Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

.

The earliest known human activity
Prehistoric Cyprus
The Prehistoric Period is the oldest part of Cypriot history.This article covers the period 10,000 to 800 BC and ends immediately before written records of civilizations, such as the first mention of Cyprus by the Romans.-Epipalaeolithic:...

 on the island dates back to around the 10th millennium BCE. Archaeological remains from this period include the well-preserved Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 village of Khirokitia, which has been declared a World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

 by UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

, along with the Tombs of the Kings
Tombs of the Kings (Paphos)
The Tombs of the Kings is a large necropolis lying about two kilometres north-west of Paphos harbour in Cyprus...

.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Cyprus'
Start a new discussion about 'Cyprus'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Recent Discussions
Timeline

1489   The Queen of Cyprus, Catherine Cornaro, sells her kingdom to Venice.

1878   Cyprus Convention: The Ottoman Empire cedes Cyprus to the United Kingdom but retains nominal title.

1955   The EOKA rebellion against The British Empire begins in Cyprus, with the goal of obtaining the desired unification ("enosis") with Greece.

1959   The United Kingdom grants Cyprus independence, which is then formally proclaimed on August 16, 1960.

1959   Archbishop Makarios becomes the first President of Cyprus.

1960   Cyprus gains its independence from the United Kingdom.

1961   Cyprus enters the Council of Europe.

1964   Greeks and Turks begin fighting in Limassol, Cyprus.

1974   In Nicosia, Cyprus, Greek Junta-sponsored nationalists launch a coup d'état, deposing President Makarios and installing Nikos Sampson as Cypriot president.

1974   In Nicosia, Cyprus, Greek Junta-sponsored nationalists launch a coup d'état, deposing President Makarios and installing Nikos Sampson as Cypriot president.

 
Encyclopedia
Cyprus officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasia
Eurasia
Eurasia is a continent or supercontinent comprising the traditional continents of Europe and Asia ; covering about 52,990,000 km2 or about 10.6% of the Earth's surface located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres...

n island country, member of the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

, in the Eastern Mediterranean
Eastern Mediterranean
The Eastern Mediterranean is a term that denotes the countries geographically to the east of the Mediterranean Sea. This region is also known as Greater Syria or the Levant....

, east of Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, south of Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, west of Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 and north of Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

.

The earliest known human activity
Prehistoric Cyprus
The Prehistoric Period is the oldest part of Cypriot history.This article covers the period 10,000 to 800 BC and ends immediately before written records of civilizations, such as the first mention of Cyprus by the Romans.-Epipalaeolithic:...

 on the island dates back to around the 10th millennium BCE. Archaeological remains from this period include the well-preserved Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 village of Khirokitia, which has been declared a World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

 by UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

, along with the Tombs of the Kings
Tombs of the Kings (Paphos)
The Tombs of the Kings is a large necropolis lying about two kilometres north-west of Paphos harbour in Cyprus...

. Cyprus is home to some of the oldest water wells in the world, and is the site of the earliest known example of feline
Felinae
Felinae is a subfamily of the family Felidae which includes the genera and species listed below. Most are small to medium-sized cats, although the group does include some larger animals, such as the Cougar and Cheetah....

 domestication
Domestication
Domestication or taming is the process whereby a population of animals or plants, through a process of selection, becomes accustomed to human provision and control. In the Convention on Biological Diversity a domesticated species is defined as a 'species in which the evolutionary process has been...

. At a strategic location in the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

, Cyprus has been occupied by several major powers, including the empires of the Hittites
Hittites
The Hittites were a Bronze Age people of Anatolia.They established a kingdom centered at Hattusa in north-central Anatolia c. the 18th century BC. The Hittite empire reached its height c...

, Assyrians, Egyptians
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

, Persians
Achaemenid Empire
The Achaemenid Empire , sometimes known as First Persian Empire and/or Persian Empire, was founded in the 6th century BCE by Cyrus the Great who overthrew the Median confederation...

, Rashidun
Rashidun Caliphate
The Rashidun Caliphate , comprising the first four caliphs in Islam's history, was founded after Muhammad's death in 632, Year 10 A.H.. At its height, the Caliphate extended from the Arabian Peninsula, to the Levant, Caucasus and North Africa in the west, to the Iranian highlands and Central Asia...

 and Umayyad Arab caliphates, Lusignans, Venetians
Republic of Venice
The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic was a state originating from the city of Venice in Northeastern Italy. It existed for over a millennium, from the late 7th century until 1797. It was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and is often referred to as La Serenissima, in...

, and Ottomans
Ottoman Cyprus
The Eyalet of Cyprus was created in 1571, and changed its status frequently. It was a sanjak of the Eyalet of the Archipelago from 1660 to 1703, and again from 1784 onwards; a fief of the Grand Vizier , and again an eyalet for the short period 1745-1748.- Ottoman raids and conquest :Throughout the...

. Settled by Mycenean Greeks in the 2nd millennium BCE, the island also experienced long periods of Greek rule under the Ptolemaic Egyptians
Ptolemaic dynasty
The Ptolemaic dynasty, was a Macedonian Greek royal family which ruled the Ptolemaic Empire in Egypt during the Hellenistic period. Their rule lasted for 275 years, from 305 BC to 30 BC...

 and the Byzantines
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

. In 333 BCE, Alexander the Great conquered the island from the Persians. The Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 conquered the island in 1571 and it remained under Ottoman control for over three centuries. It was placed under British administration
Modern history of Cyprus
This article covers the modern history of Cyprus, from 1878 to the present.-Cyprus as a Protectorate:In 1878 as a result of the Cyprus Convention, the United Kingdom received as a protectorate, the island of Cyprus from the Ottoman Empire in exchange for United Kingdoms military support to the...

 in 1878 until it was granted independence in 1960, becoming a member of the Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 the following year.

In 1974, following 11 years of intercommunal violence
Cypriot intercommunal violence
Cypriot intercommunal violence refers to periods of sectarian conflict between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots on the island of Cyprus from 1963 to 1974.-Background:...

 between Greek Cypriots
Greek Cypriots
Greek Cypriots are the ethnic Greek population of Cyprus, forming the island's largest ethnolinguistic community at 77% of the population. Greek Cypriots are mostly members of the Church of Cyprus, an autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church within the wider communion of Orthodox Christianity...

 and Turkish Cypriots
Turkish Cypriots
Turkish Cypriots are the ethnic Turks and members of the Turkish-speaking ethnolinguistic community of the Eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus. The term is used to refer explicitly to the indigenous Turkish Cypriots, whose Ottoman Turkish forbears colonised the island in 1571...

, an attempted coup d'état
Coup d'état
A coup d'état state, literally: strike/blow of state)—also known as a coup, putsch, and overthrow—is the sudden, extrajudicial deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military—to replace the deposed government with another body; either...

by Greek Cypriot nationalists
EOKA B
EOKA-B was a Greek Cypriot paramilitary organisation formed in 1971. It followed a right-wing nationalistic ideology and had the ultimate goal of achieving the enosis of Cyprus with Greece...

 and elements of the Greek military junta
Greek military junta of 1967-1974
The Greek military junta of 1967–1974, alternatively "The Regime of the Colonels" , or in Greece "The Junta", and "The Seven Years" are terms used to refer to a series of right-wing military governments that ruled Greece from 1967 to 1974...

 with the aim of achieving enosis
Enosis
Enosis refers to the movement of the Greek-Cypriot population to incorporate the island of Cyprus into Greece.Similar movements had previously developed in other regions with ethnic Greek majorities such as the Ionian Islands, Crete and the Dodecanese. These regions were eventually incorporated...

(union of the island with Greece) took place. Turkey used this as a pretext to invade
Turkish invasion of Cyprus
The Turkish invasion of Cyprus, launched on 20 July 1974, was a Turkish military invasion in response to a Greek military junta backed coup in Cyprus...

 the northern portion of the island. Turkish forces remained after a cease-fire, resulting in the partition of the island; an objective of Turkey since 1955. The intercommunal violence and subsequent Turkish invasion
Turkish invasion of Cyprus
The Turkish invasion of Cyprus, launched on 20 July 1974, was a Turkish military invasion in response to a Greek military junta backed coup in Cyprus...

 led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Cypriots and the establishment of a separate Turkish Cypriot
Turkish Cypriots
Turkish Cypriots are the ethnic Turks and members of the Turkish-speaking ethnolinguistic community of the Eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus. The term is used to refer explicitly to the indigenous Turkish Cypriots, whose Ottoman Turkish forbears colonised the island in 1571...

 political entity in the north. These events and the resulting political situation are matters of ongoing dispute
Cyprus dispute
The Cyprus dispute is the result of the ongoing conflict between the Republic of Cyprus and Turkey, over the Turkish occupied northern part of Cyprus....

.

The Republic of Cyprus has de jure
De jure
De jure is an expression that means "concerning law", as contrasted with de facto, which means "concerning fact".De jure = 'Legally', De facto = 'In fact'....

sovereignty
Sovereignty
Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided...

 over the island of Cyprus and its surrounding waters, except for the British military bases of Akrotiri and Dhekelia
Akrotiri and Dhekelia
The Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia are two British-administered areas comprising a British Overseas Territory on the island of Cyprus administered as Sovereign Base Areas of the United Kingdom...

. The Republic of Cyprus is de facto
De facto
De facto is a Latin expression that means "concerning fact." In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established." It is commonly used in contrast to de jure when referring to matters of law, governance, or...

partitioned into two main parts; the area under the effective control of the Republic of Cyprus, comprising about 59% of the island's area, and the Turkish-controlled area in the north, calling itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and recognised only by Turkey, covering about 36% of the island's area.

Cyprus is the third most populous island in the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

 and one of its most popular tourist destinations. An advanced
Developed country
A developed country is a country that has a high level of development according to some criteria. Which criteria, and which countries are classified as being developed, is a contentious issue...

, high-income economy with a very high Human Development Index
Human Development Index
The Human Development Index is a composite statistic used to rank countries by level of "human development" and separate "very high human development", "high human development", "medium human development", and "low human development" countries...

, the Republic of Cyprus was a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement
Non-Aligned Movement
The Non-Aligned Movement is a group of states considering themselves not aligned formally with or against any major power bloc. As of 2011, the movement had 120 members and 17 observer countries...

 until it joined the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 on 1 May 2004. On January 1 2008, Cyprus joined the Euro
Euro
The euro is the official currency of the eurozone: 17 of the 27 member states of the European Union. It is also the currency used by the Institutions of the European Union. The eurozone consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg,...

.

Etymology



The earliest attested reference to Cyprus is the Mycenaean Greek ku-pi-ri-jo, meaning "Cypriot", written in Linear B
Linear B
Linear B is a syllabic script that was used for writing Mycenaean Greek, an early form of Greek. It pre-dated the Greek alphabet by several centuries and seems to have died out with the fall of Mycenaean civilization...

 syllabic script.
The classical Greek form of the name is .

The etymology of the name is unknown.
Suggestions include:
  • the Greek word for the Mediterranean cypress tree
    Cupressus
    The genus Cupressus is one of several genera within the family Cupressaceae that have the common name cypress; for the others, see cypress. It is considered a polyphyletic group...

     (Cupressus sempervirens
    Cupressus sempervirens
    Cupressus sempervirens, the Mediterranean Cypress is a species of cypress native to the eastern Mediterranean region, in northeast Libya, southeast Greece , southern Turkey, Cyprus, Northern Egypt, western Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Malta, Italy, western Jordan, and also a disjunct population in...

    ), κυπάρισσος (kypárissos)
  • the Greek name of the henna
    Henna
    Henna is a flowering plant used since antiquity to dye skin, hair, fingernails, leather and wool. The name is also used for dye preparations derived from the plant, and for the art of temporary tattooing based on those dyes...

     plant (Lawsonia alba), κύπρος (kýpros)
  • an Eteocypriot
    Eteocypriot
    Eteocypriot was a pre-Indo-European language spoken in Iron Age Cyprus. The name means "true" or "original Cyprian" parallel to Eteocretan, both of which names are used by modern scholarship to mean the pre-Greek languages of those places. Eteocypriot was written in the Cypriot syllabary, a...

     word for copper
    Copper
    Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

    . Georges Dossin, for example, suggests that it has roots in the Sumerian
    Sumerian language
    Sumerian is the language of ancient Sumer, which was spoken in southern Mesopotamia since at least the 4th millennium BC. During the 3rd millennium BC, there developed a very intimate cultural symbiosis between the Sumerians and the Akkadians, which included widespread bilingualism...

     word for copper
    Copper
    Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

     (zubar) or for bronze
    Bronze
    Bronze is a metal alloy consisting primarily of copper, usually with tin as the main additive. It is hard and brittle, and it was particularly significant in antiquity, so much so that the Bronze Age was named after the metal...

     (kubar), from the large deposits of copper ore found on the island.


Through overseas trade, the island has given its name to the Classical Latin
Classical Latin
Classical Latin in simplest terms is the socio-linguistic register of the Latin language regarded by the enfranchised and empowered populations of the late Roman republic and the Roman empire as good Latin. Most writers during this time made use of it...

 word for copper through the phrase aes Cyprium, "metal of Cyprus", later shortened to Cuprum.
Cyprus, more specifically the shores of Paphos
Paphos
Paphos , sometimes referred to as Pafos, is a coastal city in the southwest of Cyprus and the capital of Paphos District. In antiquity, two locations were called Paphos: Old Paphos and New Paphos. The currently inhabited city is New Paphos. It lies on the Mediterranean coast, about west of the...

, was also one of the birthplaces of Aphrodite
Aphrodite
Aphrodite is the Greek goddess of love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation.Her Roman equivalent is the goddess .Historically, her cult in Greece was imported from, or influenced by, the cult of Astarte in Phoenicia....

 given in Greek mythology, who was known as Kupria, since according to Phoenician mythology
Canaanite religion
Canaanite religion is the name for the group of Ancient Semitic religions practiced by the Canaanites living in the ancient Levant from at least the early Bronze Age through the first centuries of the Common Era....

, Astarte
Astarte
Astarte is the Greek name of a goddess known throughout the Eastern Mediterranean from the Bronze Age to Classical times...

, goddess of love and beauty, was later identified with
Interpretatio graeca
Interpretatio graeca is a Latin term for the common tendency of ancient Greek writers to equate foreign divinities to members of their own pantheon. Herodotus, for example, refers to the ancient Egyptian gods Amon, Osiris and Ptah as "Zeus", "Dionysus" and "Hephaestus", respectively.-Roman...

 Aphrodite.

The standard demonym
Demonym
A demonym , also referred to as a gentilic, is a name for a resident of a locality. A demonym is usually – though not always – derived from the name of the locality; thus, the demonym for the people of England is English, and the demonym for the people of Italy is Italian, yet, in english, the one...

 relating to Cyprus or its people or culture is Cypriot. The terms Cypriote and Cyprian
Cyprian (disambiguation)
Cyprian can refer to:*A synonym for Cypriot, someone or thing from Cyprus**The Cyprian, an epithet for Aphrodite, because of her association with Cyprus*St. Cyprian , bishop of Carthage*Cyprian, Metropolitan of Moscow...

are also, less frequently, used.

Ancient times



The earliest confirmed site of human activity on Cyprus is Aetokremnos
Aetokremnos
Aetokremnos is a rock shelter near Limassol on the southern coast of Cyprus. It is situated on a steep cliff site ca. 40m above the Mediterranean. The name means "Cliff of the eagles" in Greek.Ca. 40 m2 have been excavated. Of the four layers found, No...

, situated on the south coast, indicating that hunter-gatherer
Hunter-gatherer
A hunter-gatherer or forage society is one in which most or all food is obtained from wild plants and animals, in contrast to agricultural societies which rely mainly on domesticated species. Hunting and gathering was the ancestral subsistence mode of Homo, and all modern humans were...

s were active on the island from around 10,000 BCE, with settled village communities
Village communities
The study of village communities has become one of the fundamental methods of discussing the ancient history of institutions.- Wales :Frederic Seebohm has called our attention to the interesting surveys of Welsh tracts of country made in the 14th century, soon after these regions passed into the...

 dating from 8200 BC. The arrival of the first humans correlates with the extinction of the dwarf hippos
Cyprus Dwarf Hippopotamus
The Cyprus Dwarf Hippopotamus or Cypriot Pygmy Hippopotamus is an extinct species of hippopotamus that inhabited the island of Cyprus until the early Holocene....

 and dwarf elephants
Cyprus Dwarf Elephant
The Cyprus Dwarf Elephant is an extinct species of elephant related to the living Asian Elephant.-Description:Believed to be descended from the Straight-tusked Elephant, this much smaller species inhabited Cyprus and some other Mediterranean islands after the Messinian salinity crisis, during the...

. Water wells discovered by archaeologists in western Cyprus are believed to be among the oldest in the world, dated at 9,000 to 10,500 years old.

Remains of an 8-month-old cat
Cat
The cat , also known as the domestic cat or housecat to distinguish it from other felids and felines, is a small, usually furry, domesticated, carnivorous mammal that is valued by humans for its companionship and for its ability to hunt vermin and household pests...

 were discovered buried with its human owner at a separate Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 site in Cyprus. The grave is estimated to be 9,500 years old, predating ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

ian civilization and pushing back the earliest known feline-human association
Domestication
Domestication or taming is the process whereby a population of animals or plants, through a process of selection, becomes accustomed to human provision and control. In the Convention on Biological Diversity a domesticated species is defined as a 'species in which the evolutionary process has been...

 significantly. The remarkably well-preserved Neolithic village of Khirokitia is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

 dating to approximately 6800 BCE.

The island was part of the Hittite empire during the late Bronze Age until the arrival of two waves of Greek settlement. The first wave consisted of Mycenaean Greek
Mycenaean Greece
Mycenaean Greece was a cultural period of Bronze Age Greece taking its name from the archaeological site of Mycenae in northeastern Argolis, in the Peloponnese of southern Greece. Athens, Pylos, Thebes, and Tiryns are also important Mycenaean sites...

 traders who started visiting Cyprus around 1400 BCE. A major wave of Greek settlement is believed to have taken place following the Bronze Age collapse
Bronze Age collapse
The Bronze Age collapse is a transition in southwestern Asia and the Eastern Mediterranean from the Late Bronze Age to the Early Iron Age that some historians believe was violent, sudden and culturally disruptive...

 of Mycenaean Greece
Mycenaean Greece
Mycenaean Greece was a cultural period of Bronze Age Greece taking its name from the archaeological site of Mycenae in northeastern Argolis, in the Peloponnese of southern Greece. Athens, Pylos, Thebes, and Tiryns are also important Mycenaean sites...

 in the period 1100–1050 BCE, with the island's predominantly Greek character dating from this period. Cyprus occupies an important role in Greek mythology
Greek mythology
Greek mythology is the body of myths and legends belonging to the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. They were a part of religion in ancient Greece...

 being the birthplace of Aphrodite
Aphrodite
Aphrodite is the Greek goddess of love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation.Her Roman equivalent is the goddess .Historically, her cult in Greece was imported from, or influenced by, the cult of Astarte in Phoenicia....

 and Adonis
Adonis
Adonis , in Greek mythology, the god of beauty and desire, is a figure with Northwest Semitic antecedents, where he is a central figure in various mystery religions. The Greek , Adōnis is a variation of the Semitic word Adonai, "lord", which is also one of the names used to refer to God in the Old...

, and home to King Cinyras
Cinyras
In Greek mythology, Cinyras was a king of Cyprus. Accounts vary significantly as to his genealogy and provide a variety of stories concerning him; in many sources, however, he is associated with the cult of Aphrodite on Cyprus, and Adonis, a consort of Aphrodite, is mentioned as his son.In the...

, Teucer
Teucer
In Greek mythology Teucer, also Teucrus or Teucris , was the son of King Telamon of Salamis Island and his second wife Hesione, daughter of King Laomedon of Troy. He fought alongside his half-brother, Ajax, in the Trojan War and is the legendary founder of the city Salamis on Cyprus...

 and Pygmalion
Pygmalion (mythology)
Pygmalion is a legendary figure of Cyprus. Though Pygmalion is the Greek version of the Phoenician royal name Pumayyaton, he is most familiar from Ovid's Metamorphoses, X, in which Pygmalion was a sculptor who fell in love with a statue he had carved.-In Ovid:In Ovid's narrative, Pygmalion was a...

. Beginning in the 8th century BCE Phoenician colonies
Colonies in antiquity
Colonies in antiquity were city-states founded from a mother-city—its "metropolis"—, not from a territory-at-large. Bonds between a colony and its metropolis remained often close, and took specific forms...

 were founded on the south coast of Cyprus, near present day Larnaca and Salamis.

Cyprus was ruled by Assyria for a century starting in 708 BCE, before a brief spell under Egyptian rule and eventually Persian
Persian people
The Persian people are part of the Iranian peoples who speak the modern Persian language and closely akin Iranian dialects and languages. The origin of the ethnic Iranian/Persian peoples are traced to the Ancient Iranian peoples, who were part of the ancient Indo-Iranians and themselves part of...

 rule in 545 BCE. The Cypriots, led by Onesilus
Onesilus
Onesilus was the brother of king Gorgos of the Greek city-state of Salamis on the island of Cyprus....

, king of Salamis
Salamis, Cyprus
Salamis was an ancient Greek city-state on the east coast of Cyprus, at the mouth of the river Pedieos, 6 km north of modern Famagusta. According to tradition the founder of Salamis was Teucer, son of Telamon, who could not return home after the Trojan war because he had failed to avenge his...

, joined their fellow Greeks in the Ionia
Ionia
Ionia is an ancient region of central coastal Anatolia in present-day Turkey, the region nearest İzmir, which was historically Smyrna. It consisted of the northernmost territories of the Ionian League of Greek settlements...

n cities during the unsuccessful Ionian Revolt
Ionian Revolt
The Ionian Revolt, and associated revolts in Aeolis, Doris, Cyprus and Caria, were military rebellions by several regions of Asia Minor against Persian rule, lasting from 499 BC to 493 BC...

 in 499 BCE against the Achaemenid Empire
Achaemenid Empire
The Achaemenid Empire , sometimes known as First Persian Empire and/or Persian Empire, was founded in the 6th century BCE by Cyrus the Great who overthrew the Median confederation...

. The revolt was suppressed, but Cyprus managed to maintain a high degree of autonomy and remained oriented towards the Greek world.

The island was brought under permanent Greek rule by Alexander the Great and the Ptolemies
Ptolemaic dynasty
The Ptolemaic dynasty, was a Macedonian Greek royal family which ruled the Ptolemaic Empire in Egypt during the Hellenistic period. Their rule lasted for 275 years, from 305 BC to 30 BC...

 of Egypt following his death. Full Hellenization
Hellenization
Hellenization is a term used to describe the spread of ancient Greek culture, and, to a lesser extent, language. It is mainly used to describe the spread of Hellenistic civilization during the Hellenistic period following the campaigns of Alexander the Great of Macedon...

 took place during the Ptolemaic
Ptolemaic Kingdom
The Ptolemaic Kingdom in and around Egypt began following Alexander the Great's conquest in 332 BC and ended with the death of Cleopatra VII and the Roman conquest in 30 BC. It was founded when Ptolemy I Soter declared himself Pharaoh of Egypt, creating a powerful Hellenistic state stretching from...

 period, which ended when Cyprus was annexed by the Roman Republic
Roman Republic
The Roman Republic was the period of the ancient Roman civilization where the government operated as a republic. It began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, traditionally dated around 508 BC, and its replacement by a government headed by two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and...

 in 58 BCE.

Middle Ages



When the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 was divided into Eastern and Western parts in 395, Cyprus became part of the East Roman, or Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

, and would remain part of it until the Crusades
Crusades
The Crusades were a series of religious wars, blessed by the Pope and the Catholic Church with the main goal of restoring Christian access to the holy places in and near Jerusalem...

 some 800 years later. Under Byzantine rule, the Greek orientation that had been prominent since antiquity developed the strong Hellenistic-Christian character that continues to be a hallmark of the Greek Cypriot community. Beginning in 649, Cyprus suffered from devastating raids launched from the Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

, which continued for the next 300 years. Many were quick piratical raids, but others were large-scale attacks in which many Cypriots were slaughtered and great wealth carried off or destroyed.

No Byzantine churches survive from this period, thousands of people were killed, and many cities – such as Salamis – were destroyed and never rebuilt. Byzantine rule was restored in 965, when Emperor Nikephoros II Phokas scored decisive victories on land and sea. In 1191, during the Third Crusade
Third Crusade
The Third Crusade , also known as the Kings' Crusade, was an attempt by European leaders to reconquer the Holy Land from Saladin...

, Richard I of England
Richard I of England
Richard I was King of England from 6 July 1189 until his death. He also ruled as Duke of Normandy, Duke of Aquitaine, Duke of Gascony, Lord of Cyprus, Count of Anjou, Count of Maine, Count of Nantes, and Overlord of Brittany at various times during the same period...

 captured the island from Isaac Komnenos of Cyprus
Isaac Komnenos of Cyprus
Isaac Komnenos or Comnenus , was the ruler of Cyprus from 1184 to 1191, before Richard I's conquest during the Third Crusade.-Family:He was a minor member of the Komnenos family. He was son of an unnamed Doukas Kamateros and Irene Komnene...

 He used it as a major supply base that was relatively safe from the Saracen
Saracen
Saracen was a term used by the ancient Romans to refer to a people who lived in desert areas in and around the Roman province of Arabia, and who were distinguished from Arabs. In Europe during the Middle Ages the term was expanded to include Arabs, and then all who professed the religion of Islam...

s. A year later Richard sold the island to the Knights Templar
Knights Templar
The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon , commonly known as the Knights Templar, the Order of the Temple or simply as Templars, were among the most famous of the Western Christian military orders...

, who, following a bloody revolt, in turn sold it to Guy of Lusignan
Guy of Lusignan
Guy of Lusignan was a Poitevin knight, son of Hugh VIII of the prominent Lusignan dynasty. He was king of the crusader state of Jerusalem from 1186 to 1192 by right of marriage to Sibylla of Jerusalem, and of Cyprus from 1192 to 1194...

. His brother and successor Amalric
Amalric II of Jerusalem
Amalric II of Jerusalem or Amalric I of Cyprus, born Amalric of Lusignan , King of Jerusalem 1197–1205, was an older brother of Guy of Lusignan....

 was recognized as King of Cyprus
Kingdom of Cyprus
The Kingdom of Cyprus was a Crusader kingdom on the island of Cyprus in the high and late Middle Ages, between 1192 and 1489. It was ruled by the French House of Lusignan.-History:...

 by Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor
Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor
Henry VI was King of Germany from 1190 to 1197, Holy Roman Emperor from 1191 to 1197 and King of Sicily from 1194 to 1197.-Early years:Born in Nijmegen,...

.

Following the death in 1473 of James II
James II of Cyprus
James II of Cyprus or Jacques II le Bâtard de Lusignan , was the illegitimate son of John II of Cyprus and Marietta de Patras.-Archbishop of Nicosia:...

, the last Lusignan king, the Republic of Venice
Republic of Venice
The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic was a state originating from the city of Venice in Northeastern Italy. It existed for over a millennium, from the late 7th century until 1797. It was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and is often referred to as La Serenissima, in...

 assumed control of the island, while the late king's Venetian widow, Queen Catherine Cornaro
Catherine Cornaro
Nobil Donna Catherine Cornaro was Queen of Cyprus from 1474 to 1489 and declared a "Daughter of Saint Mark" in order that Venice could claim control of Cyprus after the death of her husband, James II .-Family:She was born in Venice in 1454 and was the daughter of a well-known and powerful family of...

, reigned as figurehead. Venice formally annexed Cyprus in 1489, following the abdication of Caterina. The Venetians fortified Nicosia
Nicosia
Nicosia from , known locally as Lefkosia , is the capital and largest city in Cyprus, as well as its main business center. Nicosia is the only divided capital in the world, with the southern and the northern portions divided by a Green Line...

 by building the famous Venetian Walls, and used it as an important commercial hub. Throughout Venetian rule, the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 frequently raided Cyprus. In 1539 the Ottomans destroyed Limassol
Limassol
Limassol is the second-largest city in Cyprus, with a population of 228,000 . It is the largest city in geographical size, and the biggest municipality on the island. The city is located on Akrotiri Bay, on the island's southern coast and it is the capital of Limassol District.Limassol is the...

 and so fearing the worst, the Venetians also fortified Famagusta
Famagusta
Famagusta is a city on the east coast of Cyprus and is capital of the Famagusta District. It is located east of Nicosia, and possesses the deepest harbour of the island.-Name:...

 and Kyrenia
Kyrenia
Kyrenia is a town on the northern coast of Cyprus, noted for its historic harbour and castle. Internationally recognised as part of the Republic of Cyprus, Kyrenia has been under Turkish control since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974...

.

During the almost four centuries of Latin rule, there existed two societies on Cyprus. The first consisted of Frankish nobles and their retinue, as well as Italian merchants and their families. The second, the majority of the population, consisted of Greek Cypriots, serfs and laborers. Although a determined effort was made to supplant native traditions and culture, the effort failed.

Ottoman Empire



In 1570, a full scale Ottoman assault with 60,000 troops brought the island under Ottoman control, despite stiff resistance by the inhabitants of Nicosia
Nicosia
Nicosia from , known locally as Lefkosia , is the capital and largest city in Cyprus, as well as its main business center. Nicosia is the only divided capital in the world, with the southern and the northern portions divided by a Green Line...

 and Famagusta
Famagusta
Famagusta is a city on the east coast of Cyprus and is capital of the Famagusta District. It is located east of Nicosia, and possesses the deepest harbour of the island.-Name:...

. 20,000 Nicosians were put to death
Capital punishment
Capital punishment, the death penalty, or execution is the sentence of death upon a person by the state as a punishment for an offence. Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital offences. The term capital originates from the Latin capitalis, literally...

, and every church, public building, and palace was looted. The previous Latin elite was destroyed and the first significant demographic change since antiquity took place when Ottoman Janissaries were settled on the island.

The Ottomans abolished the feudal system previously in place and applied the millet system
Millet (Ottoman Empire)
Millet is a term for the confessional communities in the Ottoman Empire. It refers to the separate legal courts pertaining to "personal law" under which communities were allowed to rule themselves under their own system...

 to Cyprus, under which non-Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 peoples were governed by their own religious authorities. In a reversal from the days of Latin rule, the head of the Church of Cyprus was invested as leader of the Greek Cypriot population and acted as mediator between Christian Greek Cypriots and the Ottoman authorities. Ottoman rule of Cyprus was at times indifferent, at times oppressive, depending on the temperaments of the sultans and local officials, and during this period the island fell into economic decline.

In 1828, modern Greece’s first president Ioannis Kapodistrias
Ioannis Kapodistrias
Count Ioannis Antonios Kapodistrias |Academy of Athens]] Critical Observations about the 6th-Grade History Textbook"): "3.2.7. Σελ. 40: Δεν αναφέρεται ότι ο Καποδίστριας ήταν Κερκυραίος ευγενής." "...δύο ιστορικούς της Aκαδημίας κ.κ...

 whose maternal ancestors were Greek Cypriots
Greek Cypriots
Greek Cypriots are the ethnic Greek population of Cyprus, forming the island's largest ethnolinguistic community at 77% of the population. Greek Cypriots are mostly members of the Church of Cyprus, an autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church within the wider communion of Orthodox Christianity...

, called for union of Cyprus with Greece, and numerous minor uprisings took place. Reaction to Ottoman misrule led to uprisings by both Greek and Turkish Cypriots, although none was successful. By 1872, the population of the island had risen to 144,000 comprising 44,000 Muslims and 100,000 Christians. Centuries of neglect by the Turks, the unrelenting poverty of most of the people, and the ever-present tax collectors fuelled Greek nationalism, and by 19th century the idea of enosis
Enosis
Enosis refers to the movement of the Greek-Cypriot population to incorporate the island of Cyprus into Greece.Similar movements had previously developed in other regions with ethnic Greek majorities such as the Ionian Islands, Crete and the Dodecanese. These regions were eventually incorporated...

, or union, with newly independent Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 was firmly rooted among Greek Cypriots.

British Empire


In the aftermath of the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878) and the Congress of Berlin
Congress of Berlin
The Congress of Berlin was a meeting of the European Great Powers' and the Ottoman Empire's leading statesmen in Berlin in 1878. In the wake of the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78, the meeting's aim was to reorganize the countries of the Balkans...

, Cyprus was leased
Cyprus Convention
The Cyprus Convention of 4 June, 1878 was a secret agreement reached between the United Kingdom and the Ottoman Empire which granted control of Cyprus to Great Britain in exchange for their support of the Ottomans during the Congress of Berlin...

 to the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 which de facto
De facto
De facto is a Latin expression that means "concerning fact." In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established." It is commonly used in contrast to de jure when referring to matters of law, governance, or...

 took over its administration in 1878 (though, in terms of sovereignty
Sovereignty
Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided...

, it remained a de jure
De jure
De jure is an expression that means "concerning law", as contrasted with de facto, which means "concerning fact".De jure = 'Legally', De facto = 'In fact'....

 Ottoman territory until 1914, together with Egypt and Sudan
Khedivate of Egypt
The Khedivate of Egypt was an autonomous tributary state of the Ottoman Empire.- Rise of Muhammad Ali :The Egypt Eyalet was an eyalet of the Ottoman Empire. The eyalet was ruled locally by the Mamluk military caste and their various beys , who started to fight amongst themselves for control of...

) in exchange for guarantees that Britain would use the island as a base to protect the Ottoman Empire against possible Russian aggression. The island would serve Britain as a key military base in its colonial routes. By 1906, when the Famagusta harbour was completed, Cyprus was a strategic naval outpost overlooking the Suez Canal
Suez Canal
The Suez Canal , also known by the nickname "The Highway to India", is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Opened in November 1869 after 10 years of construction work, it allows water transportation between Europe and Asia without navigation...

, the crucial main route to India which was then Britain's most important overseas possession. Following the outbreak of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 and the entry into it of the Ottoman Empire on the side of the Central Powers
Central Powers
The Central Powers were one of the two warring factions in World War I , composed of the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Bulgaria...

, Great Britain
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

 formally annexed the island on 5 November 1914.
In 1915, Britain offered Cyprus to Constantine I of Greece
Constantine I of Greece
Constantine I was King of Greece from 1913 to 1917 and from 1920 to 1922. He was commander-in-chief of the Hellenic Army during the unsuccessful Greco-Turkish War of 1897 and led the Greek forces during the successful Balkan Wars of 1912–1913, in which Greece won Thessaloniki and doubled in...

 on condition that Greece join the war on the side of the British, which he declined. In 1923, under the Treaty of Lausanne
Treaty of Lausanne
The Treaty of Lausanne was a peace treaty signed in Lausanne, Switzerland on 24 July 1923, that settled the Anatolian and East Thracian parts of the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire. The treaty of Lausanne was ratified by the Greek government on 11 February 1924, by the Turkish government on 31...

, the nascent Turkish republic
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 relinquished any claim to Cyprus, and in 1925 it was declared a British crown colony
Crown colony
A Crown colony, also known in the 17th century as royal colony, was a type of colonial administration of the English and later British Empire....

. Many Greek Cypriots fought in the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 during both World Wars, in the hope that Cyprus would eventually be united with Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

. During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 many enlisted in the Cyprus Regiment
Cyprus Regiment
The Cyprus Regiment was created by the British Government during the Second World War and made part of the British Army structure. It was mostly volunteers from the Greek and Turkish Cypriot inhabitants of Cyprus but also included other Commonwealth nationalities.The Cyprus Regiment was founded on...

.

In January 1959, the Church of Cyprus organized a referendum, which was boycotted by the Turkish Cypriot community, where over 90% voted in favor of "enosis
Enosis
Enosis refers to the movement of the Greek-Cypriot population to incorporate the island of Cyprus into Greece.Similar movements had previously developed in other regions with ethnic Greek majorities such as the Ionian Islands, Crete and the Dodecanese. These regions were eventually incorporated...

", meaning union with Greece. Restricted autonomy under a constitution was proposed by the British administration but eventually rejected. In 1955 the EOKA
EOKA
EOKA was an anticolonial, antiimperialist nationalist organisation with the ultimate goal of "The liberation of Cyprus from the British yoke". Although not stated in its initial declaration of existence which was printed and distributed on the 1st of April 1955, EOKA also had a target of achieving...

 organisation was founded, seeking independence and union with Greece through armed struggle. At the same time the Turkish Resistance Organisation (TMT), calling for Taksim, or partition, was established by the Turkish Cypriots as a counterweight. Turmoil on the island was met with force by the British.

Independence


On 16 August 1960, Cyprus attained independence after the Zürich and London Agreement
Zürich and London Agreement
The Zürich and London Agreement for the constitution of Cyprus started with an agreement on the 19 February 1959 in Lancaster House in London, between Turkey, Greece, the United Kingdom and Cypriot community leaders...

 between the United Kingdom, Greece and Turkey. The UK retained the two Sovereign Base Areas
Sovereign Base Areas
The Sovereign Base Areas are military bases located on territory in which the United Kingdom is sovereign, but which are separated from the ordinary British territory....

 of Akrotiri and Dhekelia
Akrotiri and Dhekelia
The Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia are two British-administered areas comprising a British Overseas Territory on the island of Cyprus administered as Sovereign Base Areas of the United Kingdom...

, while government posts and public offices were allocated by ethnic quotas, giving the minority Turkish Cypriots a permanent veto, 30% in parliament and administration, and granting the three mother-states guarantor rights.

In 1963, inter-communal violence broke out, partially sponsored by both "motherlands". As a result, Turkish Cypriots were forced into enclaves
Turkish Cypriot Enclaves
The Turkish Cypriot enclaves were enclaves inhabited by Turkish Cypriots before the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus.-Events leading to the creation of the enclaves:...

 and Cypriot President Archbishop Makarios III
Makarios III
Makarios III , born Andreas Christodolou Mouskos , was the archbishop and primate of the autocephalous Cypriot Orthodox Church and the first President of the Republic of Cyprus ....

 called for unilateral constitutional changes as a means to ease tensions over the whole island. The United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

  forces deployed in Cyprus (UNFICYP) at flash points.

In 1964, Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 tried to intervene in Cyprus in response to the ongoing Cypriot intercommunal violence
Cypriot intercommunal violence
Cypriot intercommunal violence refers to periods of sectarian conflict between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots on the island of Cyprus from 1963 to 1974.-Background:...

. But Turkey was stopped by a strongly worded telegram from the US President Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon Baines Johnson , often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States...

 on 5 June, warning that the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 would not stand beside Turkey in case of a consequential Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 invasion of Turkish territory.

Contemporary era


On 15 July 1974, the Greek military junta carried out a coup d'état in Cyprus, to unite the island with Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

. The coup ousted president Makarios III
Makarios III
Makarios III , born Andreas Christodolou Mouskos , was the archbishop and primate of the autocephalous Cypriot Orthodox Church and the first President of the Republic of Cyprus ....

 and replaced him with pro-enosis
Enosis
Enosis refers to the movement of the Greek-Cypriot population to incorporate the island of Cyprus into Greece.Similar movements had previously developed in other regions with ethnic Greek majorities such as the Ionian Islands, Crete and the Dodecanese. These regions were eventually incorporated...

 nationalist Nikos Sampson
Nikos Sampson
Nikos Sampson was the de facto president of Cyprus who succeeded Archbishop Makarios, President of Cyprus, in 1974. Sampson was a journalist and a member of EOKA, which rose against the British colonial administration, seeking Enosis of the island of Cyprus with Greece...

.. Five days later, on the 20th July 1974, the Turkish army invaded
Turkish invasion of Cyprus
The Turkish invasion of Cyprus, launched on 20 July 1974, was a Turkish military invasion in response to a Greek military junta backed coup in Cyprus...

 the island on the pretext of restoring the constitutional order of the Republic of Cyprus by claiming a right to intervene as one of the guarantors of the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee
Treaty of Guarantee
The Treaty of Guarantee is a treaty between the Republic of Cyprus, Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland promulgated in 1960. Article I bans Cyprus from participating in any political union or economic union with any other state. Article II requires the other...

.

The Turkish air force began bombing Greek positions on Cyprus, hundreds of paratroops were dropped in the area between Nicosia and Kyrenia
Kyrenia
Kyrenia is a town on the northern coast of Cyprus, noted for its historic harbour and castle. Internationally recognised as part of the Republic of Cyprus, Kyrenia has been under Turkish control since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974...

, where well-armed Turkish Cypriot enclaves had been long-established, while off the Kyrenia coast, 30 Turkish troop ships protected by destroyers landed 6,000 men as well as tanks, trucks, and armored vehicles.

Three days later, when a ceasefire had been agreed, Turkey had landed 30,000 troops on the island and captured Kyrenia, the corridor linking Kyrenia to Nicosia, and Turkish Cypriot quarter of Nicosia itself. The junta in Athens, and then the Sampson
Nikos Sampson
Nikos Sampson was the de facto president of Cyprus who succeeded Archbishop Makarios, President of Cyprus, in 1974. Sampson was a journalist and a member of EOKA, which rose against the British colonial administration, seeking Enosis of the island of Cyprus with Greece...

 regime in Cyprus fell from power. In Nicosia, Glafkos Clerides assumed the presidency and constitutional order was restored, removing the pretext for the Turkish invasion. But during the negotiations, the Turks reinforced their Kyrenia bridgehead and prepared for a second invasion. The invasion began on 14 August and resulted in the seizure of Morphou, Karpass
Karpass Peninsula
The Karpass Peninsula , also known as Karpasia or Kırpaşa is a long, finger-like peninsula that is one of the most prominent geographical features of the island of Cyprus. Its farthest extent is Cape Apostolos Andreas, and its major population centre is the town of Rizokarpaso...

, Famagusta
Famagusta
Famagusta is a city on the east coast of Cyprus and is capital of the Famagusta District. It is located east of Nicosia, and possesses the deepest harbour of the island.-Name:...

 and the Mesaoria. The Greek-Cypriot forces were unable to resist the Turkish advance.

International pressure led to a ceasefire, and by then 37% of the island had been taken over by the Turks and 180,000 Greek Cypriots had been evicted from their homes in the north. At the same time, around 50,000 Turkish Cypriots moved to the areas under the control of the Turkish Forces and settled in the properties of the displaced Greek Cypriots. Among a variety of sanctions against Turkey, in mid-1975 the US Congress imposed an arms embargo on Turkey for using American-supplied equipment during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus
Turkish invasion of Cyprus
The Turkish invasion of Cyprus, launched on 20 July 1974, was a Turkish military invasion in response to a Greek military junta backed coup in Cyprus...

 in 1974.

After the restoration of constitutional order and the return of Archbishop Makarios III to Cyprus in December 1974, the Turkish troops remained on the island occupying the northeastern portion of the island. In 1983, Turkish Cypriots proclaimed the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is recognised only by Turkey. As of today, there are 1,534 Greek Cypriots and 502 Turkish Cypriots missing as a result of the fighting. The events of the summer of 1974 dominate the politics
Cyprus dispute
The Cyprus dispute is the result of the ongoing conflict between the Republic of Cyprus and Turkey, over the Turkish occupied northern part of Cyprus....

 on the island, as well as Greco-Turkish relations
Greco-Turkish relations
The relations between the Greek and the Turkish states have been marked by alternating periods of mutual hostility and reconciliation ever since Greece won its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1821...

. Around 150,000 settlers from Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 are believed to be living in the north in violation of the Geneva Convention and various UN resolutions
United Nations resolution
A United Nations resolution is a formal text adopted by a United Nations body. Although any UN body can issue resolutions, in practice most resolutions are issued by the Security Council or the General Assembly.-Legal status:...

. Following the invasion and the capture of its northern territory by Turkish troops, the Republic of Cyprus announced that all of its ports of entry
Port of entry
In general, a port of entry is a place where one may lawfully enter a country. It typically has a staff of people who check passports and visas and inspect luggage to assure that contraband is not imported. International airports are usually ports of entry, as are road and rail crossings on a...

 in the north were closed, as they were effectively not under its control.

The Turkish invasion and occupation and the self-declaration of independence of the TRNC have been condemned by several United Nations Resolutions. The Security Council reaffirms this every year. The last major effort to settle the Cyprus dispute
Cyprus dispute
The Cyprus dispute is the result of the ongoing conflict between the Republic of Cyprus and Turkey, over the Turkish occupied northern part of Cyprus....

 was the Annan Plan in 2004. It gained the support of the Turkish Cypriots but was rejected by the Greek Cypriots, who perceived it to disproportionately favor Turks.

On May 1, 2004 Cyprus joined the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 together with nine other countries. In July 2006, the island served as a safe haven for people fleeing Lebanon because of the conflict between Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 and Hezbollah.

In March 2008, a wall that for decades had stood at the boundary between the Republic of Cyprus and the UN buffer zone
Buffer zone
A buffer zone is generally a zonal area that lies between two or more other areas , but depending on the type of buffer zone, the reason for it may be to segregate regions or to conjoin them....

 was demolished. The wall had cut across Ledra Street in the heart of Nicosia and was seen as a strong symbol of the island's 32-year division. On 3 April 2008, Ledra Street
Ledra Street
Ledra Street is a major shopping thoroughfare in central Nicosia, Cyprus, which links North and South Nicosia....

 was reopened in the presence of Greek and Turkish Cypriot officials.

Geography




Cyprus is the third largest island
Island
An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, cays or keys. An island in a river or lake may be called an eyot , or holm...

 in the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

, after the Italian
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 islands of Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

 and Sardinia
Sardinia
Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea . It is an autonomous region of Italy, and the nearest land masses are the French island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, Tunisia and the Spanish Balearic Islands.The name Sardinia is from the pre-Roman noun *sard[],...

 (both in terms of area and population). It is also the world's 81st largest by area and world's 49th largest by population. It measures 240 kilometres (149 mi) long from end to end and 100 kilometres (62 mi) wide at its widest point, with Turkey 75 kilometres (47 mi) to the north. It lies between latitudes 34°
34th parallel north
The 34th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 34 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Africa, the Mediterranean Sea, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America and the Atlantic Ocean....

 and 36° N
36th parallel north
The 36th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 36 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Africa, the Mediterranean Sea, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America and the Atlantic Ocean....

, and longitudes 32°
32nd meridian east
The meridian 32° east of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Europe, Turkey, Africa, the Indian Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

 and 35° E
35th meridian east
The meridian 35° east of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Indian Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

.

Other neighbouring territories include Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 and Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 to the east (105 kilometres (65 mi) and 108 kilometres (67 mi), respectively), Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 200 kilometres (124 mi) to the southeast, Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 380 kilometres (236 mi) to the south, and Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 to the northwest: 280 kilometres (174 mi) to the small Dodecanesian
Dodecanese
The Dodecanese are a group of 12 larger plus 150 smaller Greek islands in the Aegean Sea, of which 26 are inhabited. Τhis island group generally defines the eastern limit of the Sea of Crete. They belong to the Southern Sporades island group...

 island of Kastelorizo
Kastelorizo
Kastelorizo, , is a Greek island and municipality located in the southeastern Mediterranean. It lies roughly off the south coast of Turkey, about 570 km southeast of Athens and east of Rhodes, almost halfway between Rhodes and Antalya and to Cyprus...

 (Megisti), 400 kilometres (249 mi) to Rhodes
Rhodes
Rhodes is an island in Greece, located in the eastern Aegean Sea. It is the largest of the Dodecanese islands in terms of both land area and population, with a population of 117,007, and also the island group's historical capital. Administratively the island forms a separate municipality within...

, and 800 kilometres (497 mi) to the Greek mainland.

The physical relief of the island is dominated by two mountain ranges, the Troodos Mountains
Troodos Mountains
Troodos is the biggest mountain range of Cyprus, located in the center of the island. Troodos' highest peak is Mount Olympus at 1,952 metres.The Troodos mountain range stretches across most of the western side of Cyprus...

 and the smaller Kyrenia Range, and the central plain they encompass, the Mesaoria
Mesaoria
The Mesaoria is a broad, sweeping plain which makes up the centre of the island of Cyprus.-Geography:The Mesaoria plain is bounded on the east and west by the Mediterranean Sea, on the south by the Troodos mountains and on the north by the Kyrenia mountains. It has an area of approximately...

. The Mesaoria plain is drained by the Pedieos River, the longest on the island. The Troodos Mountains cover most of the southern and western portions of the island and account for roughly half its area. The highest point on Cyprus is Mount Olympus
Mount Olympus (Cyprus)
Olympus, or Chionistra, at , is the highest point in Cyprus. It is located in the Troodos Mountains of Cyprus. A British long range radar currently operates at Mount Olympus' peak....

 at 1952 m (6,404.2 ft), located in the centre of the Troodos range. The narrow Kyrenia Range, extending along the northern coastline, occupies substantially less area, and elevations are lower, reaching a maximum of 1024 m (3,359.6 ft).

Geopolitically
Geopolitics
Geopolitics, from Greek Γη and Πολιτική in broad terms, is a theory that describes the relation between politics and territory whether on local or international scale....

, the island is subdivided into four main segments. The Republic of Cyprus occupies the southern two-thirds of the island (59.74%). The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
Northern Cyprus or North Cyprus , officially the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus , is a self-declared state that comprises the northeastern part of the island of Cyprus...

 occupies the northern third (34.85%), and the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

-controlled Green Line provides a buffer zone that separates the two and covers 2.67% of the island. Lastly, two bases under British sovereignty
Sovereign Base Areas
The Sovereign Base Areas are military bases located on territory in which the United Kingdom is sovereign, but which are separated from the ordinary British territory....

 are located on the island: Akrotiri and Dhekelia
Akrotiri and Dhekelia
The Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia are two British-administered areas comprising a British Overseas Territory on the island of Cyprus administered as Sovereign Base Areas of the United Kingdom...

, covering the remaining 2.74%.

Climate


Cyprus has a subtropical climate
Subtropics
The subtropics are the geographical and climatical zone of the Earth immediately north and south of the tropical zone, which is bounded by the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, at latitudes 23.5°N and 23.5°S...

 – Mediterranean
Mediterranean climate
A Mediterranean climate is the climate typical of most of the lands in the Mediterranean Basin, and is a particular variety of subtropical climate...

 and Semi-arid type (in the north-eastern part of island) – according to Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

 signes Csa and Bsh, with very mild winters (on the coast) and warm to hot summers. Snow is possible only in the Troodos Mountains in the central part of island. Rain occurs mainly in winter, with summer being generally dry.

Cyprus has the warmest climate (and warmest winters) in the Mediterranean part of the European Union. The average annual temperature on the coast is around 24 °C (75.2 °F) during the day and 14 °C (57.2 °F) at night. Generally – summer's/holiday season lasts about 8 months, begins in April with average temperatures of 21–23 °C (69.8–73.4 F) during the day and 11–13 °C (51.8–55.4 F) at night, ends in November with average temperatures of 22–23 °C (71.6–73.4 F) during the day and 12–14 °C (53.6–57.2 F) at night, although also in remaining 4 months temperatures sometimes exceeds 20 °C (68 °F). Among all cities in the Mediterranean part of the European Union, Limassol has the warmest winters, in the period January–February average temperature is 17–18 °C (62.6–64.4 F) during the day and 8–9 °C (46.4–48.2 F) at night, in other coastal locations in Cyprus is generally 16–17 °C (60.8–62.6 F) during the day and 7–9 °C (44.6–48.2 F) at night. In March and December in Limassol average temperatures is 19–20 °C (66.2–68 F) during the day and 10–11 °C (50–51.8 F) at night, in other coastal locations in Cyprus is generally 17–19 °C (62.6–66.2 F) during the day and 8–11 °C (46.4–51.8 F) at night. Middle of summer is hot – in July and August on the coast the average temperature is usually around 33 °C (91.4 °F) during the day and around 23 °C (73.4 °F) at night (inside the island, in the highlands average temperature exceeds 35 °C (95 °F)) while in the June and September on the coast the average temperature is usually around 30 °C (86 °F) during the day and around 20 °C (68 °F) at night. Large fluctuations in temperature are rare. Temperatures inside the island are more stringent, with colder winters and more hot summers compared with the coast of the island.

Average annual temperature of sea is 21–22 °C (69.8–71.6 F), from 17 °C (62.6 °F) in February to 27–28 °C (80.6–82.4 F) in August (depending on the location). In total 7 months – from May to November – the average sea temperature exceeds 20 °C (68 °F).

Sunshine hours on the coast is around 3,400 per year, from average 5–6 hours of sunshine / day in December to average 12–13 hours in July. This is about double that of cities in the northern half of Europe, for comparison: London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 – 1,461, however in winter up to some times more sunshine, for comparison: London has 37 hours while coastal locations in Cyprus has around 180 hours of sunshine in December (that is, as much as in May in London).

Water supply


Cyprus is suffering from an ongoing shortage of water. The country relies heavily on rain to provide household water and for many years now, the average annual rainfall seemed to be falling. Between 2001 and 2004, exceptionally heavy annual rainfall pushed water reserves up, with supply exceeding demand, allowing total storage in the island's reservoirs to rise to an all time high by the start of 2005.
However, since then demand has increased annually – a result of local population growth, foreigners relocating to Cyprus and the number of visiting tourists – while supply has fallen. Cyprus has a total of 107 dams (plus one currently under construction) and reservoirs, with a total water storage capacity of about 330000000 cubic metre. Dams remain the principal source of water both for domestic and agricultural use. Water desalination plants are gradually being constructed in order to deal with recent years of prolonged drought.
The Government has invested heavily in the creation of water desalination plants which have supplied almost 50 percent of domestic water since 2001. Efforts have also been made to raise public awareness of the situation and to encourage domestic water users to take more responsibility for the conservation of this increasingly scarce commodity.

Politics




Cyprus is a Presidential republic. The head of state and of the government is elected by a process of Universal suffrage
Universal suffrage
Universal suffrage consists of the extension of the right to vote to adult citizens as a whole, though it may also mean extending said right to minors and non-citizens...

 for a five-year term. Executive power is exercised by the government with legislative power vested in the House of Representatives whilst the Judiciary is independent of both the executive and the legislature. The 1960 Constitution provided for a presidential system of government with independent executive, legislative and judicial branches as well as a complex system of checks and balances including a weighted power-sharing ratio designed to protect the interests of the Turkish Cypriots. The executive was led by a Greek Cypriot president and a Turkish Cypriot vice president elected by their respective communities for five-year terms and each possessing a right of veto over certain types of legislation and executive decisions. Legislative power rested on the House of Representatives who were also elected on the basis of separate voters' rolls.

Following clashes between the two communities the Turkish Cypriot seats in the House remain vacant since 1965. Turkish Cypriots refused to establish the state of affairs before the invasion of Cyprus as is evident in the Secretary-General of the United Nations who said "The Turkish Cypriot leaders have adhered to a rigid stand against any measures which might involve having members of the two communities live and work together, or which might place Turkish Cypriots in situations where they would have to acknowledge the authority of Government agents. Indeed, since the Turkish Cypriot leadership is committed to physical and geographical separation of the communities as a political goal, it is not likely to encourage activities by Turkish Cypriots which may be interpreted as demonstrating the merits of an alternative policy. The result has been a seemingly deliberate policy of self-segregation by the Turkish Cypriots." By 1974 the two communities had returned to a more tolerant state of living.
In 1974 Cyprus was divided de facto when the Turkish army occupied the northern third of the island. The Turkish Cypriots subsequently declared independence in 1983 as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
Northern Cyprus or North Cyprus , officially the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus , is a self-declared state that comprises the northeastern part of the island of Cyprus...

 but were recognized only by Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

. In 1985 the TRNC adopted a constitution and held its first elections. The United Nations recognises the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus over the entire island of Cyprus.

The House of Representatives currently has 59 members elected for a five year term, 56 members by proportional representation
Proportional representation
Proportional representation is a concept in voting systems used to elect an assembly or council. PR means that the number of seats won by a party or group of candidates is proportionate to the number of votes received. For example, under a PR voting system if 30% of voters support a particular...

 and 3 observer members representing the Armenian
Armenians in Cyprus
Armenians in Cyprus or Armenian-Cypriots are ethnic Armenians that live in Cyprus. Armenian-Cypriots maintain a notable presence of about 3.500 on the island , mostly centred in the capital Nicosia, but also with communities in Larnaca...

, Latin
Roman Catholicism in Cyprus
The Roman Catholic Church in Cyprus is part of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope and curia in Rome.There are around 10,000 Catholic faithful in Cyprus, corresponding to just over 1% of the total population...

 and Maronite
Maronites in Cyprus
The Maronites in Cyprus are members of the Maronite Church whose ancestors migrated from the Levant during the Middle Ages. They traditionally speak their own variety of Arabic in addition to Greek...

 minorities. 24 seats are allocated to the Turkish
Turkish people
Turkish people, also known as the "Turks" , are an ethnic group primarily living in Turkey and in the former lands of the Ottoman Empire where Turkish minorities had been established in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Romania...

 community but remain vacant since 1964. The political environment is dominated by the communist AKEL
Progressive Party of Working People
The Progressive Party of Working People is a communist party in Cyprus. It supports an independent, demilitarized and non-aligned Cyprus, and a federal solution of the internal aspect of the Cyprus problem. It places particular emphasis on rapprochement with the Turkish Cypriots. It supported...

, the liberal conservative Democratic Rally
Democratic Rally
The Democratic Rally , is a centre-right political party in Cyprus, led by Nicos Anastasiades.The party was founded on 4 July 1976 by veteran politician Glafkos Klerides. Clerides served as Cyprus president from 1993 until 2003....

, the centrist
Centrism
In politics, centrism is the ideal or the practice of promoting policies that lie different from the standard political left and political right. Most commonly, this is visualized as part of the one-dimensional political spectrum of left-right politics, with centrism landing in the middle between...

 Democratic Party
Democratic Party (Cyprus)
The Democratic Party is a centrist political party in Cyprus, founded in 1976 by Spyros Kyprianou. As it is reported in its founding statement , the Democratic Party proposes to the Cypriot society the political philosophy of "social centrism", which constitutes “a total of attributes and values...

, the social-democratic
Social democracy
Social democracy is a political ideology of the center-left on the political spectrum. Social democracy is officially a form of evolutionary reformist socialism. It supports class collaboration as the course to achieve socialism...

 EDEK
Movement for Social Democracy
The Movement for Social Democracy EDEK is a Social Democratic party in Cyprus. It was originally founded by Dr Vasos Lyssaridis in 1969 as the United Democratic Union of Centre, EDEK and it was socialist party. It has gradually evolved into a social-democratic political party...

 and the centrist EURO.KO
European Party (Cyprus)
The European Party is a centrist political party in Cyprus founded in 2005, largely out of the parties New Horizons and European Democracy....

.
On 17 February 2008 Dimitris Christofias
Dimitris Christofias
Dimitris Christofias also Demetris is a left-wing Greek Cypriot politician and the current and sixth President of the Republic of Cyprus. Christofias was the General Secretary of AKEL and is Cyprus's first, and the European Union's first and so far only, communist head of state. He won the 2008...

 of the AKEL
Progressive Party of Working People
The Progressive Party of Working People is a communist party in Cyprus. It supports an independent, demilitarized and non-aligned Cyprus, and a federal solution of the internal aspect of the Cyprus problem. It places particular emphasis on rapprochement with the Turkish Cypriots. It supported...

 was elected President of Cyprus, on AKEL's first electoral victory without being part of a wider coalition. Christofias took over government from Tassos Papadopoulos
Tassos Papadopoulos
Tassos Nikolaou Papadopoulos was a Cypriot politician. He served as the fifth President of the Republic of Cyprus from February 28, 2003 to February 28, 2008.His parents were Nicolas and Aggeliki from Assia. He was the first of three children...

 of the Democratic Party
Democratic Party (Cyprus)
The Democratic Party is a centrist political party in Cyprus, founded in 1976 by Spyros Kyprianou. As it is reported in its founding statement , the Democratic Party proposes to the Cypriot society the political philosophy of "social centrism", which constitutes “a total of attributes and values...

 who had been in office since February 2003.

Administrative divisions



The Republic of Cyprus is divided into six districts: Nicosia
Nicosia
Nicosia from , known locally as Lefkosia , is the capital and largest city in Cyprus, as well as its main business center. Nicosia is the only divided capital in the world, with the southern and the northern portions divided by a Green Line...

, Famagusta
Famagusta
Famagusta is a city on the east coast of Cyprus and is capital of the Famagusta District. It is located east of Nicosia, and possesses the deepest harbour of the island.-Name:...

, Kyrenia
Kyrenia
Kyrenia is a town on the northern coast of Cyprus, noted for its historic harbour and castle. Internationally recognised as part of the Republic of Cyprus, Kyrenia has been under Turkish control since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974...

, Larnaca
Larnaca
Larnaca, is the third largest city on the southern coast of Cyprus after Nicosia and Limassol. It has a population of 72,000 and is the island's second largest commercial port and an important tourist resort...

, Limassol
Limassol
Limassol is the second-largest city in Cyprus, with a population of 228,000 . It is the largest city in geographical size, and the biggest municipality on the island. The city is located on Akrotiri Bay, on the island's southern coast and it is the capital of Limassol District.Limassol is the...

 and Paphos
Paphos
Paphos , sometimes referred to as Pafos, is a coastal city in the southwest of Cyprus and the capital of Paphos District. In antiquity, two locations were called Paphos: Old Paphos and New Paphos. The currently inhabited city is New Paphos. It lies on the Mediterranean coast, about west of the...

. These are not the same as those of Northern Cyprus.
District Map of Cyprus Districts Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 name
Turkish
Turkish language
Turkish is a language spoken as a native language by over 83 million people worldwide, making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. Its speakers are located predominantly in Turkey and Northern Cyprus with smaller groups in Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo,...

 name


File:Cyprus districts not named.svg|370px|
poly 173 585 62 531 59 484 24 449 20 396 11 339 68 374 118 321 131 301 172 336 162 361 185 392 183 438 198 451 208 458 220 443 242 462 198 512 212 520 174 556 174 585 Paphos
Paphos District
Paphos District is one of the six districts of Cyprus and it is situated in the western part of Cyprus. Its main town and capital is Paphos. The entire district is controlled by the internationally recognized government of Cyprus...


poly 141 304 170 337 161 362 187 397 185 439 205 454 219 443 234 452 239 422 252 421 303 432 318 423 336 426 353 445 379 453 395 458 417 440 455 448 485 428 509 432 520 411 561 411 561 380 564 340 594 345 601 331 577 319 589 296 581 249 539 249 510 270 410 264 306 254 286 306 260 323 206 301 177 291 Nicosia
Nicosia District
For the district of Northern Cyprus, see Lefkoşa District.Nicosia District is one of the six districts of Cyprus. Its main town is the island country's capital city, Nicosia...


poly 174 584 175 561 204 537 211 520 199 511 241 464 234 454 238 426 246 420 278 433 295 433 315 422 333 425 340 438 352 440 363 460 377 454 391 460 394 476 427 483 453 510 454 536 457 551 400 556 344 582 314 597 313 583 323 588 329 586 330 573 313 572 304 579 288 580 266 561 254 560 237 576 226 571 223 584 204 594 Limassol
Limassol District
Limassol District is one of the six districts of Cyprus. Its main town is Limassol. Part of the British overseas territory of Akrotiri and Dhekelia forms an enclave on the Akrotiri peninsula, under the sovereignty of the United Kingdom....


poly 393 472 414 445 428 451 441 449 453 457 473 445 478 435 482 431 490 438 514 436 524 429 519 414 534 421 549 412 561 419 569 395 555 367 565 343 592 349 604 338 622 337 629 364 654 391 649 410 622 436 604 497 475 553 457 551 457 517 431 481 Larnaca
Larnaca District
Larnaca District is one of the six districts of Cyprus. Its main town is Larnaca. A small part of the district was occupied by the Turkish army in 1974....


poly 299 179 307 250 483 270 532 261 534 252 583 245 637 215 627 205 517 218 386 203 334 199 Kyrenia
Kyrenia District
Kyrenia District is one of the six districts of Cyprus. Its main town is Kyrenia . It is the smallest of Cyprus' districts, and is the only one fully controlled by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, recognised only by Turkey....


poly 582 239 589 300 577 323 621 337 632 365 680 373 693 369 736 410 781 406 817 419 780 362 740 266 765 224 809 213 846 169 917 133 964 91 972 72 1034 43 1042 15 919 76 716 173 684 170 630 201 634 209 Famagusta
Famagusta District
Famagusta District is one of the six districts of Cyprus. Its main town is the island's most important port, Famagusta. The city of Famagusta is currently controlled by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus ....


poly 224 587 225 572 237 578 261 560 287 579 319 576 328 578 317 588 338 595 351 638 308 636 282 585 Akrotiri
Akrotiri and Dhekelia
The Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia are two British-administered areas comprising a British Overseas Territory on the island of Cyprus administered as Sovereign Base Areas of the United Kingdom...


poly 649 410 654 395 638 371 652 358 656 378 667 368 690 373 737 418 723 428 681 409 Dhekelia
Akrotiri and Dhekelia
The Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia are two British-administered areas comprising a British Overseas Territory on the island of Cyprus administered as Sovereign Base Areas of the United Kingdom...


Famagusta
Famagusta District
Famagusta District is one of the six districts of Cyprus. Its main town is the island's most important port, Famagusta. The city of Famagusta is currently controlled by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus ....

   
Αμμόχωστος (Ammochostos)    Gazimağusa/Mağusa   
Kyrenia
Kyrenia District
Kyrenia District is one of the six districts of Cyprus. Its main town is Kyrenia . It is the smallest of Cyprus' districts, and is the only one fully controlled by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, recognised only by Turkey....

 
Κερύvεια (Keryneia) Girne
Larnaca
Larnaca District
Larnaca District is one of the six districts of Cyprus. Its main town is Larnaca. A small part of the district was occupied by the Turkish army in 1974....

 
Λάρνακα (Larnaka) Larnaka/İskele
Limassol
Limassol District
Limassol District is one of the six districts of Cyprus. Its main town is Limassol. Part of the British overseas territory of Akrotiri and Dhekelia forms an enclave on the Akrotiri peninsula, under the sovereignty of the United Kingdom....

 
Λεμεσός (Lemesos) Limasol/Leymosun
Nicosia  Λευκωσία (Lefkosia) Lefkoşa
Paphos
Paphos District
Paphos District is one of the six districts of Cyprus and it is situated in the western part of Cyprus. Its main town and capital is Paphos. The entire district is controlled by the internationally recognized government of Cyprus...

 
Πάφος (Pafos) Baf/Gazibaf

Exclaves and enclaves


Cyprus has four exclaves, all in territory that belongs to the British Sovereign Base Area of Dhekelia
Akrotiri and Dhekelia
The Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia are two British-administered areas comprising a British Overseas Territory on the island of Cyprus administered as Sovereign Base Areas of the United Kingdom...

. The first two are the villages of Ormidhia
Ormidhia
Ormideia , sometimes also rendered Ormidhia is a village in Larnaca District in south-eastern Cyprus. It is one of the three exclaves surrounded by the Eastern Sovereign Base Area of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, a British Overseas Territory administered as a Sovereign Base Area. The others are the...

 and Xylotymvou
Xylotymvou
Xylotymvou is a small town in Larnaca District in south-eastern Cyprus. It is one of the three exclaves surrounded by the Eastern Sovereign Base Area of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, a British Overseas Territory, administered as a Sovereign Base Area. The others are the village of Ormidhia and Dhekelia...

. The third is the Dhekelia Power Station which is divided by a British road into two parts. The northern part is an exclave, like the two villages, whereas the southern part is located by the sea and therefore not an exclave although it has no territorial waters
Territorial waters
Territorial waters, or a territorial sea, as defined by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, is a belt of coastal waters extending at most from the baseline of a coastal state...

 of its own.

The UN buffer zone runs up against Dhekelia and picks up again from its east side off Ayios Nikolaos and is connected to the rest of Dhekelia by a thin land corridor. In that sense the buffer zone turns the Paralimni
Paralimni
Paralimni is a town situated in the South East of Cyprus, a little way inland, within the Famagusta District. Since the Turkish invasion and occupation of the Republic of Cyprus in 1974, it has increased in size and status, due to the migration of many refugees fleeing from the North...

 area on the southeast corner of the island into a de facto, though not de jure
De jure
De jure is an expression that means "concerning law", as contrasted with de facto, which means "concerning fact".De jure = 'Legally', De facto = 'In fact'....

, exclave.

Foreign relations



The island nation
Island nation
An island country is a state whose primary territory consists of one or more islands or parts of islands. As of 2011, 47 of the 193 UN member states are island countries.-Politics:...

 Cyprus is member of: Australia Group
Australia Group
The Australia Group is an informal group of countries established in 1985 to help member countries to identify those of their exports which need to be controlled so as not to contribute to the spread of chemical and biological weapons .The group, initially consisting of 15 members, held its first...

, CN
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

, CE
Council of Europe
The Council of Europe is an international organisation promoting co-operation between all countries of Europe in the areas of legal standards, human rights, democratic development, the rule of law and cultural co-operation...

, CFSP, EBRD, EIB
European Investment Bank
The European Investment Bank is the European Union's long-term lending institution established in 1958 under the Treaty of Rome. A policy-driven bank, the EIB supports the EU’s priority objectives, especially European integration and the development of economically weak regions...

, EU, FAO
Fão
Fão is a town in Esposende Municipality in Portugal....

, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC
International Chamber of Commerce
The International Chamber of Commerce is the largest, most representative business organization in the world. Its hundreds of thousands of member companies in over 130 countries have interests spanning every sector of private enterprise....

, ICCt
International Criminal Court
The International Criminal Court is a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression .It came into being on 1 July 2002—the date its founding treaty, the Rome Statute of the...

, ITUC
International Trade Union Confederation
The International Trade Union Confederation is the world's largest trade union federation. It was formed on November 1, 2006 out of the merger of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions and the World Confederation of Labour...

, IDA
International Development Association
The International Development Association , is the part of the World Bank that helps the world’s poorest countries. It complements the World Bank's other lending arm — the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development — which serves middle-income countries with capital investment and...

, IFAD, IFC
International Finance Corporation
The International Finance Corporation promotes sustainable private sector investment in developing countries.IFC is a member of the World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C., United States....

, IHO, ILO
International Labour Organization
The International Labour Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that deals with labour issues pertaining to international labour standards. Its headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland. Its secretariat — the people who are employed by it throughout the world — is known as the...

, IMF
International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world...

, IMO
International Meteorological Organization
The International Meteorological Organization was the first organization formed with the purpose of exchanging weather information among the countries of the world. It was born from the realization that weather systems move across country boundaries and knowledge of pressure, temperature,...

, Interpol
Interpol
Interpol, whose full name is the International Criminal Police Organization – INTERPOL, is an organization facilitating international police cooperation...

, IOC, IOM
International Organization for Migration
The International Organization for Migration is an intergovernmental organization. It was initially established in 1951 as the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration to help resettle people displaced by World War II....

, IPU, ITU
Itu
Itu is an old and historic municipality in the state of São Paulo in Brazil. The population in 2009 was 157,384 and the area is 641.68 km². The elevation is 583 m. This place name comes from the Tupi language, meaning big waterfall. Itu is linked with the highway numbered the SP-75 and are flowed...

, MIGA, NAM
Non-Aligned Movement
The Non-Aligned Movement is a group of states considering themselves not aligned formally with or against any major power bloc. As of 2011, the movement had 120 members and 17 observer countries...

, NSG
Nuclear Suppliers Group
Nuclear Suppliers Group is a multinational body concerned with reducing nuclear proliferation by controlling the export and re-transfer of materials that may be applicable to nuclear weapon development and by improving safeguards and protection on existing materials.- History :It was founded in...

, OPCW, OSCE, PCA
Permanent Court of Arbitration
The Permanent Court of Arbitration , is an international organization based in The Hague in the Netherlands.-History:The court was established in 1899 as one of the acts of the first Hague Peace Conference, which makes it the oldest institution for international dispute resolution.The creation of...

, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

, UNHCR, UNIDO
United Nations Industrial Development Organization
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization , French/Spanish acronym ONUDI, is a specialized agency in the United Nations system, headquartered in Vienna, Austria...

, UPU
Upu
Upu, also called Apu , was the region surrounding Damascus of the 1350 BC Amarna letters. Damascus was named Dimašqu/Dimasqu/ etc. Upu, also called Apu (and Ubi or Upi by some authors), was the region surrounding Damascus of the 1350 BC Amarna letters. Damascus was named Dimašqu/Dimasqu/ etc. Upu,...

, WCL
World Confederation of Labour
The World Confederation of Labour was an international labour organization founded in 1920 and based in Europe. Totalitarian governments of the 1930s repressed the federation and imprisoned many of its leaders, limiting operations until the end of World War II...

, WCO
World Customs Organization
The World Customs Organization is an intergovernmental organization headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. With its worldwide membership, the WCO is recognized as the voice of the global customs community...

, WFTU
World Federation of Trade Unions
The World Federation of Trade Unions was established in 1945 to replace the International Federation of Trade Unions. Its mission was to bring together trade unions across the world in a single international organization, much like the United Nations...

, WHO
Who
Who may refer to:* Who , an English-language pronoun* who , a Unix command* Who?, one of the Five Ws in journalism- Art and entertainment :* Who? , a 1958 novel by Algis Budrys...

, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO.

Human rights


In "Freedom in the World 2011", Freedom House rated the democracy of Cyprus as "free". The constant focus on the division of the island can sometimes mask other human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 issues. Prostitution is rife in both the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish-controlled regions leading to the government being criticised for its lack of controls and for the role of Cyprus in the sex trade as one of the main destinations for human trafficking
Human trafficking
Human trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings for the purposes of reproductive slavery, commercial sexual exploitation, forced labor, or a modern-day form of slavery...

 from Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

.

There have been reports of mistreatment to the Turkish Cypriots in the Republic of Cyprus. The US Department of State report about human rights in Cyprus in 2002 said that:
Domestic violence
Domestic violence
Domestic violence, also known as domestic abuse, spousal abuse, battering, family violence, and intimate partner violence , is broadly defined as a pattern of abusive behaviors by one or both partners in an intimate relationship such as marriage, dating, family, or cohabitation...

 legislation remains largely unimplemented and mistreatment of domestic staff, mostly immigrant workers from developing countries
Developing country
A developing country, also known as a less-developed country, is a nation with a low level of material well-being. Since no single definition of the term developing country is recognized internationally, the levels of development may vary widely within so-called developing countries...

, are sometimes reported in the Cypriot press and are the subject of several campaigns by the anti-racist charity KISA
KISA (NGO)
The Movement for Equality, Support, Anti-Racism , is a Cypriot Non-Governmental Organisation. It was founded in 1998 in response to changes in Cypriot society, which saw large waves of immigration from Eastern European and Third World countries....

.

Military


The Cypriot National Guard
Cypriot National Guard
The Cypriot National Guard , also known as the "Greek Cypriot National Guard" or simply as "National Guard", is the combined arms military force of the Republic of Cyprus...

 is the main military institution of the Republic of Cyprus. It is a combined arms
Combined arms
Combined arms is an approach to warfare which seeks to integrate different branches of a military to achieve mutually complementary effects...

 force, with land, air and naval elements. The National Guard is a required 24 month service for all men upon completing their 18th birthday. The land forces of the Cypriot National Guard comprise the following units:
  • First Infantry Division (Ιη Μεραρχία ΠΖ)
  • Second Infantry Division (ΙΙα Μεραρχία ΠΖ)
  • Fourth Infantry Brigade (ΙVη Ταξιαρχία ΠΖ)
  • Twentieth Armored Brigade (ΧΧη ΤΘ Ταξιαρχία)
  • Third Support Brigade (ΙΙΙη Ταξιαρχία ΥΠ)
  • Eighth Support Brigade (VIIIη Ταξιαρχία ΥΠ)


The air force includes the 449th Helicopter Gunship Squadron (449 ΜΑΕ) – operating SA-342L
Aérospatiale Gazelle
The Aérospatiale Gazelle is a five-seat light helicopter, powered by a single turbine engine. It was designed and manufactured in France by Sud Aviation . It was also manufactured under licence by Westland Aircraft in the United Kingdom , by SOKO in Yugoslavia and ABHCO in Egypt...

 and Bell 206
Bell 206
The Bell 206 is a family of two-bladed, single- or twin-engine helicopters, manufactured by Bell Helicopter at its Mirabel, Quebec plant. Originally developed as the Bell YOH-4 for the United States Army's Light Observation Helicopter program, the 206 failed to be selected...

 and the 450th Helicopter Gunship Squadron (450 ME/P) – operating Mi-35P, BN-2B
Britten-Norman Islander
The Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander is a 1960s British light utility aircraft, regional airliner and cargo aircraft designed and originally manufactured by Britten-Norman of the United Kingdom. The Islander is one of the best-selling commercial aircraft types produced in Europe. Although designed in...

 and PC-9. Current Senior officers include Supreme Commander, Cypriot National Guard, Lt. General Stylianos Nasis, and Chief of Staff, Cypriot National Guard: Maj. General Mihalis Flerianos.

Economy




The Cypriot economy is prosperous and has diversified in recent years. According to the latest International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world...

 estimates, its per capita GDP (adjusted for purchasing power
Purchasing power parity
In economics, purchasing power parity is a condition between countries where an amount of money has the same purchasing power in different countries. The prices of the goods between the countries would only reflect the exchange rates...

) at $28,381 is just above the average of the European Union. Cyprus has been sought as a base for several offshore businesses for its highly developed infrastructure. Tourism, financial services, and shipping are significant parts of the economy.
Economic policy of the Cyprus government has focused on meeting the criteria for admission to the European Union. The Cypriot government adopted the euro
Euro
The euro is the official currency of the eurozone: 17 of the 27 member states of the European Union. It is also the currency used by the Institutions of the European Union. The eurozone consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg,...

 as the national currency on 1 January 2008.

In recent years significant quantities of offshore natural gas have been discovered in the area known as Aphrodite in Cyprus' exclusive economic zone (EEZ), about 175 km south of Limassol at 33°5′40″N and 32°59′0″E. Cyprus demarcated its maritime border with Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 in 2003, and with Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 in 2007. Cyprus and Israel demarcated their maritime border in 2010, and in August 2011, the US-based firm Noble Energy
Noble Energy
Noble Energy, Inc. of Houston, Texas, United States is the modern name of Noble Affiliates Inc., by which it was known through the 1990s, and it is now an oil and natural gas exploration and production company with almost US$3 billion in revenue at #660 on the 2007 Fortune 1000 list of the largest...

 entered into a production-sharing agreement with the Cypriot government regarding the block's commercial development. Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, which does not recognize the border agreements of Cyprus with its neighbors, threatened to mobilize its naval forces in the event that Cyprus would proceed with plans to begin drilling at Block 12. Cyprus' drilling efforts have the support of the US, EU, and UN, and on September 19 2011 drilling in Block 12 began without any incidents being reported.

The economy of the Turkish-occupied areas operates on a free-market
Free market
A free market is a competitive market where prices are determined by supply and demand. However, the term is also commonly used for markets in which economic intervention and regulation by the state is limited to tax collection, and enforcement of private ownership and contracts...

 basis although it continues to be handicapped by the lack of private and public investment, high freight costs and shortages of skilled labor. Despite these constraints the economy turned in an impressive performance in 2003 and 2004 with growth rates of 9.6% and 11.4%. The average income in the area was $15,984 (S₣16,289) in 2008. Growth has been buoyed by the relative stability of the Turkish new lira
Turkish new lira
The new Turkish lira was the currency of Turkey and the de facto independent state of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus between 1 January 2005 and 1 January 2009 which was a transition period for the removal of six zeroes from the currency. The new lira was subdivided into 100 new kurush...

 and by a boom in the education and construction sectors.
The island has witnessed a massive growth in tourism over the years and as such the property rental market in Cyprus has grown alongside.
Added to this is the capital growth in property that has been created from the demand of incoming investors and property buyers to the island.

Transport



Available modes of transport are by road, sea, and air. Of the 10663 km (6,625.7 mi) of roads in the Republic of Cyprus as of 1998, 6249 km (3,883 mi) were paved, and 4414 km (2,742.7 mi) were unpaved. As of 1996 the Turkish occupied area had a similar ratio of paved to unpaved, with approximately 1370 km (851.3 mi) of paved road and 980 km (608.9 mi) unpaved. Cyprus is one of only four EU nations in which vehicles drive on the left-hand side of the road
Driving on the left or right
The terms right-hand traffic and left-hand traffic refer to regulations requiring all bidirectional traffic to keep either to the right or the left side of the road, respectively. This is so fundamental to traffic flow that it is sometimes referred to as the rule of the road. This basic rule eases...

, a remnant of British colonisation, the others being Ireland, Malta and the United Kingdom.

There are several modern motorways in Cyprus. A series of motorways runs along the coast from Paphos east to Ayia Napa, with two motorways running inland to Nicosia, one from Limassol and one from Larnaca.
  • A1
    A1 motorway (Cyprus)
    The A1 motorway marked the beginning of an ambitious government project to link all the main cities on the island with modern 4 lane highways. It is 73 km long and is free of any at-grade intersections...

     Nicosia
    Nicosia
    Nicosia from , known locally as Lefkosia , is the capital and largest city in Cyprus, as well as its main business center. Nicosia is the only divided capital in the world, with the southern and the northern portions divided by a Green Line...

     to Limassol
    Limassol
    Limassol is the second-largest city in Cyprus, with a population of 228,000 . It is the largest city in geographical size, and the biggest municipality on the island. The city is located on Akrotiri Bay, on the island's southern coast and it is the capital of Limassol District.Limassol is the...

  • A2
    A2 motorway (Cyprus)
    thumb|leftThe A2 motorway branches off the A1 at Pera Chorio-Nisou and connects to the A3. It is locally referred to as the Nicosia - Larnaca motorway . It is also called "the tube" due to its mostly straight with a very limited number of exits....

     connects A1 near Pera Chorio with A3 by Larnaca
    Larnaca
    Larnaca, is the third largest city on the southern coast of Cyprus after Nicosia and Limassol. It has a population of 72,000 and is the island's second largest commercial port and an important tourist resort...

  • A3
    A3 motorway (Cyprus)
    The A3 motorway is a modern motorway linking Larnaca International Airport, the largest airport in Cyprus, and Ayia Napa, a very popular clubbing paradise. It is 55 km long. The road was built in five phases and took about 10 years to be completed...

     Larnaca
    Larnaca
    Larnaca, is the third largest city on the southern coast of Cyprus after Nicosia and Limassol. It has a population of 72,000 and is the island's second largest commercial port and an important tourist resort...

     to Agia Napa
  • A5
    A5 motorway (Cyprus)
    The A5 links the A1 motorway with the A3 near Larnaca. It serves as the main route linking the cities of Limassol and Larnaca . It runs parallel to the older B5 Main Road....

     connects A1 near Kofinou with A3 by Larnaca
    Larnaca
    Larnaca, is the third largest city on the southern coast of Cyprus after Nicosia and Limassol. It has a population of 72,000 and is the island's second largest commercial port and an important tourist resort...

  • A6
    A6 motorway (Cyprus)
    The A6 highway marked the ending of an ambitious government project to link all the main cities on the island with modern four-lane, high-speed highways. It is 66 km long and is free of any at-grade intersections...

     Pafos to Limassol
    Limassol
    Limassol is the second-largest city in Cyprus, with a population of 228,000 . It is the largest city in geographical size, and the biggest municipality on the island. The city is located on Akrotiri Bay, on the island's southern coast and it is the capital of Limassol District.Limassol is the...

  • A9
    A9 motorway (Cyprus)
    A9 is a highway under construction which is planned to connect Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus, with the Troödos Mountains. Currently this highway is completed until the small village of Dhenia. The project has stopped until the safety of planers will be established...

     Nicosia
    Nicosia
    Nicosia from , known locally as Lefkosia , is the capital and largest city in Cyprus, as well as its main business center. Nicosia is the only divided capital in the world, with the southern and the northern portions divided by a Green Line...

     to Astromeritis
    Astromeritis
    Astromeritis is a large village in the Morphou Department of the Nicosia District of Cyprus. It is located from the capital Nicosia...



Per capita private car ownership is the 5th highest in the world. There are approximately 344,000 privately owned vehicles, and a total of 517,000 registered motor vehicles in the Republic of Cyprus. In 2006 extensive plans were announced to improve and expand bus services and restructure public transport throughout Cyprus, with the financial backing of the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 Development Bank. In 2010 the new revised and expanded bus network was implemented.

In 1999, Cyprus had six heliports and two international airports: Larnaca International Airport
Larnaca International Airport
Larnaca International Airport is an international airport located southwest of Larnaca, Cyprus. Larnaca International Airport is Cyprus' main international gateway and the larger of the country's two commercial airports, the other being Paphos International Airport on the island's southwestern...

 and Paphos International Airport
Paphos International Airport
-Public transport:A bus serviceis available from the airport to Karavella station in Paphos where one may change bus to other destinations in the island. Information regarding these buses is available at .-External links:*...

. Nicosia International Airport
Nicosia International Airport
Nicosia International Airport is a largely disused airport located to the west of the Cypriot capital city of Nicosia. It was originally the main airport for the island, but commercial activity ceased following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974...

 has been closed since 1974 and although Ercan airport was still in use it was only for flights from Turkey.

The main harbours of the island are Limassol
Limassol Port
-Limassol New Port:Geographical Location: .Although a title held by Famagusta Port for centuries, Limassol Port has now become the principal seaport in Cyprus. This was largely a direct result of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 leaving the port of Famagusta within occupied territory and...

 and Larnaca
Larnaca
Larnaca, is the third largest city on the southern coast of Cyprus after Nicosia and Limassol. It has a population of 72,000 and is the island's second largest commercial port and an important tourist resort...

, which service cargo, passenger, and cruise ship
Cruise ship
A cruise ship or cruise liner is a passenger ship used for pleasure voyages, where the voyage itself and the ship's amenities are part of the experience, as well as the different destinations along the way...

s.

Communications



Cyta
CYTA
CYTA is the national telecommunications provider of Cyprus.The Cyprus Telecommunications Authority , a semi-governmental organisation incorporated by law, is the leading provider of Integrated Electronic Communications in Cyprus...

, the state-owned telecommunications company, manages most Telecommunications and Internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

 connections on the island. However, following the recent liberalisation of the sector, a few private telecommunications companies have emerged including MTN, Cablenet
Cablenet
Cablenet is a privately owned company that offers telecommunication and entertainment services for the retail market and provides a full range of telecommunication services for the corporate market. Cablenet is the alternative provider with the largest international capacity in Cyprus...

, OTEnet Telecom, Omega Telecom and PrimeTel
PrimeTel
PrimeTel is a private Cypriot telecommunications carrier. Through their partnership with Electricity Authority of Cyprus , they have built their own fiber-optic network and ADSL2+ platform...

. In the Turkish-controlled area of Cyprus, three companies are also present. These are Turkcell
Turkcell
Turkcell is the leading mobile phone operator of Turkey, based in Istanbul. The company has 34.1 million subscribers as of June 30th, 2011.- Company background :...

, Vodafone
Vodafone
Vodafone Group Plc is a global telecommunications company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the world's largest mobile telecommunications company measured by revenues and the world's second-largest measured by subscribers , with around 341 million proportionate subscribers as of...

 and Turk Telekom
Türk Telekom
Türk Telekom is the formerly state owned Turkish telecommunications company. Türk Telekom was being separated from the Post Office in 1995. In November 2005 it was privatized to Oger Telecom....

.

Demographics





It has traditionally been accepted that Greek Cypriots
Greek Cypriots
Greek Cypriots are the ethnic Greek population of Cyprus, forming the island's largest ethnolinguistic community at 77% of the population. Greek Cypriots are mostly members of the Church of Cyprus, an autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church within the wider communion of Orthodox Christianity...

 form up to 80%, Turkish Cypriots
Turkish Cypriots
Turkish Cypriots are the ethnic Turks and members of the Turkish-speaking ethnolinguistic community of the Eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus. The term is used to refer explicitly to the indigenous Turkish Cypriots, whose Ottoman Turkish forbears colonised the island in 1571...

 18% (not including Turkish settlers), and Christian minorities (including Maronites
Maronites in Cyprus
The Maronites in Cyprus are members of the Maronite Church whose ancestors migrated from the Levant during the Middle Ages. They traditionally speak their own variety of Arabic in addition to Greek...

, Latin Catholic and Armenians
Armenians in Cyprus
Armenians in Cyprus or Armenian-Cypriots are ethnic Armenians that live in Cyprus. Armenian-Cypriots maintain a notable presence of about 3.500 on the island , mostly centred in the capital Nicosia, but also with communities in Larnaca...

) 2% of the Cypriot population.

According to the first population census after the declaration of independence, carried out in December 1960 and covering the entire island, Cyprus had a total population of 573,566; of whom 442,138 (77.1%) were Greeks, 104,320 (18.2%) Turkish, and 27,108 (4.7%) others.

Due to the inter-communal ethnic tensions between 1963 and 1974, an island-wide census was regarded as impossible. Nevertheless, the Greek Cypriots conducted one in 1973, without the Turkish Cypriot populace. According to this census, the Greek Cypriot population was 482,000. One year later, in 1974, the Cypriot government's Department of Statistics and Research estimated the total population of Cyprus at 641,000; of whom 506,000 (78.9%) were Greeks, and 118,000 (18.4%) Turkish. After the partition of the island in 1974, Greeks conducted four more censuses: in 1976, 1982, 1992 and 2001; these excluded the Turkish population which was resident in the northern part of the island.

According to the Republic of Cyprus's latest estimate, in 2005, the number of Cypriot citizens currently living in the Republic of Cyprus is around 871,036 In addition to this the Republic of Cyprus is home to 110,200 foreign permanent residents and an estimated 10,000–30,000 undocumented illegal immigrants currently living in the south of the island.

According to the 2006 census carried out by Northern Cyprus, there were 256,644 (de jure
De jure
De jure is an expression that means "concerning law", as contrasted with de facto, which means "concerning fact".De jure = 'Legally', De facto = 'In fact'....

) people living in Northern Cyprus. 178,031 were citizens of Northern Cyprus, of whom 147,405 were born in Cyprus (112,534 from the north; 32,538 from the south; 371 did not indicate what part of Cyprus they were from); 27,333 born in Turkey; 2,482 born in the UK and 913 born in Bulgaria. Of the 147,405 citizens born in Cyprus, 120,031 say both parents were born in Cyprus; 16,824 say both parents born in Turkey; 10,361 have one parent born in Turkey and one parent born in Cyprus.

In 2010, the International Crisis Group
International Crisis Group
The International Crisis Group is an international, non-profit, non-governmental organization whose mission is to prevent and resolve deadly conflicts around the world through field-based analyses and high-level advocacy.-History:...

 estimated that the total population of Cyprus was 1.1 million, of which there was an estimated 300,000 residents in the north, perhaps half of whom were either born in Turkey or are children of such settlers. One source claims that the population in the north has reached 500,000, 50% of which are thought to be Turkish settlers or Cypriot-born children of such settlers.

The village of Pyla
Pyla
Pyla is a village in Larnaca District, Cyprus. It is one of only four villages located within the United Nations Buffer Zone, the other three being Athienou, Troulloi and Deneia. Pyla is located in the eastern part of the island, adjacent to the British Sovereign Base Area of Dhekelia...

 in the Larnaca District
Larnaca District
Larnaca District is one of the six districts of Cyprus. Its main town is Larnaca. A small part of the district was occupied by the Turkish army in 1974....

 is the only settlement in the Republic of Cyprus with a mixed Greek and Turkish Cypriot population.

Y-Dna haplogroups are found at the following frequencies in Cyprus : J
Haplogroup J (Y-DNA)
In human genetics, Haplogroup J is a Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup. It is one of the major male lines of all living men...

 (43.07% including 6.20% J1), E1b1b (20.00%), R1
Haplogroup R1 (Y-DNA)
In human genetics, Haplogroup R1 is a Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup, a subgroup of haplogroup R, associated with the M173 mutation. It is dominated in practice by two very common Eurasian clades, R1a and R1b, which together are found all over Eurasia except in Southeast Asia and East Asia...

 (12.30% including 9.2% R1b), F (9.20%), I
Haplogroup I (Y-DNA)
In human genetics, Haplogroup I is a Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup, a subgroup of haplogroup IJ, itself a derivative of Haplogroup IJK....

 (7.70%), K
Haplogroup K (Y-DNA)
In human genetics, Haplogroup K is a Human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup. This haplogroup is a descendant of Haplogroup IJK. Its major descendant haplogroups are Haplogroup LT and Haplogroup K...

 (4.60%), A
Haplogroup A (Y-DNA)
In human genetics, Haplogroup A refers to a group of y-chromosome lineages that were among the first to branch off from the root of the human y-chromosome phylogeny...

 (3.10%). J, K, F and E1b1b haplogroups consist of lineages with differential distribution within Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

, North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

 and Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 while R1 and I are typical in West European populations.

Outside Cyprus there is a significant and thriving Greek Cypriot diaspora
Greek Cypriot diaspora
The Greek-Cypriot diaspora refers to the Greek Cypriot population of Cyprus, or people who are of Greek Cypriot origins, who live abroad because of either economic reasons, or were part of the Greek population that was uprooted from their homes in Northern Cyprus by the Turkish Invasion of Cyprus...

 and Turkish Cypriot diaspora
Turkish Cypriot diaspora
The Turkish Cypriot diaspora is a term used to refer to the Turkish Cypriot community living outside the island of Cyprus.-History:In 1914, Britain annexed the island of Cyprus when the Ottomans joined World War I against the Allied Forces...

 in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 and Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

.

Religion


Almost all Greek Cypriots are members of the autocephalous Greek Orthodox
Greek Orthodox Church
The Greek Orthodox Church is the body of several churches within the larger communion of Eastern Orthodox Christianity sharing a common cultural tradition whose liturgy is also traditionally conducted in Koine Greek, the original language of the New Testament...

 Church of Cyprus, whereas most Turkish Cypriots are adherents of Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam. Sunni Muslims are referred to in Arabic as ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah wa āl-Ǧamāʿah or ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah for short; in English, they are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis or Sunnites....

. According to Eurobarometer 2005, Cyprus is one of the most religious countries in the European Union
Religion in the European Union
The most common religion in the European Union is Christianity, although many other religions are practiced as well. The European Union is officially secular, though some member states have state churches: these are Malta , Greece , Denmark , and part of the United Kingdom - England...

, alongside Malta, Romania, Greece, and Poland. The first President of Cyprus, Makarios III
Makarios III
Makarios III , born Andreas Christodolou Mouskos , was the archbishop and primate of the autocephalous Cypriot Orthodox Church and the first President of the Republic of Cyprus ....

, was an archbishop
Archbishop
An archbishop is a bishop of higher rank, but not of higher sacramental order above that of the three orders of deacon, priest , and bishop...

.
Given the special legal status of the Church of Cyprus, the country is also one of only six EU states to have an established state church
State church
State churches are organizational bodies within a Christian denomination which are given official status or operated by a state.State churches are not necessarily national churches in the ethnic sense of the term, but the two concepts may overlap in the case of a nation state where the state...

, alongside Finland (Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church
Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church
The Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church of America was established in 1890.The Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church of America was defined more by its Finnish ethnic origin than by any specific theological strain. In 1896, the church established Suomi College and Theological Seminary in Hancock,...

 and Finnish Orthodox Church
Finnish Orthodox Church
The Finnish Orthodox Church is an autonomous Orthodox archdiocese of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. The Church has a legal position as a national church in the country, along with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland....

), Denmark (Danish National Church), Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 (Church of Greece
Church of Greece
The Church of Greece , part of the wider Greek Orthodox Church, is one of the autocephalous churches which make up the communion of Orthodox Christianity...

), Malta
Malta
Malta , officially known as the Republic of Malta , is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya, with Gibraltar to the west and Alexandria to the east.Malta covers just over in...

 (Roman Catholic Church), and within the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

: England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 (Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

) and Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 (Church of Scotland
Church of Scotland
The Church of Scotland, known informally by its Scots language name, the Kirk, is a Presbyterian church, decisively shaped by the Scottish Reformation....

) . In addition to the Greek Orthodox and Muslim communities, there are also small Hindu
Hinduism in Cyprus
The Indian community in Cyprus, which numbered around two hundred a few years ago now stands at around 2,000.-Composition of the Community:While the number of permanent residents is very small, the major chunk of the community consists of professional software programmers and their families. They...

, Sikh
Sikhism
Sikhism is a monotheistic religion founded during the 15th century in the Punjab region, by Guru Nanak Dev and continued to progress with ten successive Sikh Gurus . It is the fifth-largest organized religion in the world and one of the fastest-growing...

, Bahá'í
Bahá'í Faith
The Bahá'í Faith is a monotheistic religion founded by Bahá'u'lláh in 19th-century Persia, emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind. There are an estimated five to six million Bahá'ís around the world in more than 200 countries and territories....

, Jewish
History of the Jews in Cyprus
- Ancient :Cyprus is the large island located in the east Mediterranean Sea. The first inhabitants of Cyprus were most probably, Carians; in historical times, Phoenicians; and later, Greeks. The first Jews settled during the last age of Greek occupancy. The Jews had close relationships with many of...

, Protestant
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

 (including Pentecostal
Pentecostalism
Pentecostalism is a diverse and complex movement within Christianity that places special emphasis on a direct personal experience of God through the baptism in the Holy Spirit, has an eschatological focus, and is an experiential religion. The term Pentecostal is derived from Pentecost, the Greek...

), Catholic
Roman Catholicism in Cyprus
The Roman Catholic Church in Cyprus is part of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope and curia in Rome.There are around 10,000 Catholic faithful in Cyprus, corresponding to just over 1% of the total population...

 (including Latin Rite and Maronite
Maronite Church
The Syriac Maronite Church of Antioch is an Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with the Holy See of Rome . It traces its heritage back to the community founded by Maron, a 4th-century Syriac monk venerated as a saint. The first Maronite Patriarch, John Maron, was elected in the late 7th...

) and Armenian Apostolic
Armenian Apostolic Church
The Armenian Apostolic Church is the world's oldest National Church, is part of Oriental Orthodoxy, and is one of the most ancient Christian communities. Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as its official religion in 301 AD, in establishing this church...

 communities in Cyprus.

Hala Sultan Tekke
Hala Sultan Tekke
Hala Sultan Tekke or the Mosque of Umm Haram is a very prominent Muslim shrine near Larnaca, on the island of Cyprus. Umm Haram was the Islamic prophet Muhammad's wet nurse and the wife of Ubada bin al-Samit....

, situated near the Larnaca Salt Lake
Larnaca Salt Lake
Larnaca Salt Lake to the west of the town of Larnaca. It is a complex network of four salt lakes of different sizes. The largest is lake Aliki followed by lake Orphani, lake Soros and lake Spiro. They form the second largest salt lake in Cyprus after the Limassol Salt Lake...

, is considered by some secular orientalists as the third holiest site in Sunni Islam and an object of pilgrimage
Pilgrimage
A pilgrimage is a journey or search of great moral or spiritual significance. Typically, it is a journey to a shrine or other location of importance to a person's beliefs and faith...

 for both Muslims and Christians.

The current leader of the Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus is Archbishop Chrysostomos II. He is known for his right-wing nationalist views, branding for example, illegal immigrants as "‘interlopers’ who do not belong on the island" and admits espousing several other political ideas of Cyprus' National People’s Front
ELAM (Cyprus)
ELAM , the National Popular Front , is a nationalist movement founded in 2008 in the Republic of Cyprus. It describes its ideology as "popular and social nationalism" and promoting Greek nationalism. The Cyprus Mail describes it as an "extreme right wing party", as "ultra right-wing"...

 (ELAM).

According to the 2001 census carried out in the Government controlled area, 94.8% of the population are Christian Orthodox
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

, 0.9% Armenians
Armenian Apostolic Church
The Armenian Apostolic Church is the world's oldest National Church, is part of Oriental Orthodoxy, and is one of the most ancient Christian communities. Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as its official religion in 301 AD, in establishing this church...

 and Maronites
Maronite Church
The Syriac Maronite Church of Antioch is an Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with the Holy See of Rome . It traces its heritage back to the community founded by Maron, a 4th-century Syriac monk venerated as a saint. The first Maronite Patriarch, John Maron, was elected in the late 7th...

, 1.5% Roman Catholics
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

, 1.0% Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

, and 0.6% Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s. The remaining 1.3% adhere to other religious denominations or did not state their religion.

Languages


The country has two official languages: Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 and Turkish
Turkish language
Turkish is a language spoken as a native language by over 83 million people worldwide, making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. Its speakers are located predominantly in Turkey and Northern Cyprus with smaller groups in Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo,...

. Armenian
Armenian language
The Armenian language is an Indo-European language spoken by the Armenian people. It is the official language of the Republic of Armenia as well as in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The language is also widely spoken by Armenian communities in the Armenian diaspora...

, Cypriot Maronite Arabic
Cypriot Maronite Arabic
Cypriot Arabic, known as Cypriot Maronite Arabic, is a variety of Arabic spoken by the Maronite community of Cyprus. Most speakers are situated in the capital, Nicosia, while others are located in Kormakitis and Limassol...

 and Romani
Romani language
Romani or Romany, Gypsy or Gipsy is any of several languages of the Romani people. They are Indic, sometimes classified in the "Central" or "Northwestern" zone, and sometimes treated as a branch of their own....

 are also recognized as minority languages. In addition to these languages – according the Eurobarometer
Eurobarometer
Eurobarometer is a series of surveys regularly performed on behalf of the European Commission since 1973. It produces reports of public opinion of certain issues relating to the European Union across the member states...

 by European Commission – 76% of the population of Cyprus speak English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

, 12% speak French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

, and 5% speak German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

.

Education


Cyprus has a highly developed system of primary and secondary education
Secondary education
Secondary education is the stage of education following primary education. Secondary education includes the final stage of compulsory education and in many countries it is entirely compulsory. The next stage of education is usually college or university...

 offering both public and private education
Private school
Private schools, also known as independent schools or nonstate schools, are not administered by local, state or national governments; thus, they retain the right to select their students and are funded in whole or in part by charging their students' tuition, rather than relying on mandatory...

. The high quality of instruction can be attributed to a large extent to the above-average competence of the teachers but also to the fact that nearly 7% of the GDP is spent on education which makes Cyprus one of the top three spenders of education in the EU along with Denmark and Sweden.

State schools are generally seen as equivalent in quality of education to private-sector institutions. However, the value of a state high-school diploma is limited by the fact that the grades obtained account for only around 25% of the final grade for each topic, with the remaining 75% assigned by the teacher during the semester, in a minimally transparent way. Cypriot universities (like universities in Greece) ignore high school grades almost entirely for admissions purposes. While a high-school diploma is mandatory for university attendance, admissions are decided almost exclusively on the basis of scores at centrally administered university entrance examinations that all university candidates are required to take.

The majority of Cypriots receive their higher education at Greek, British, Turkish, other European and North American universities. It is noteworthy that Cyprus currently has the highest percentage of citizens of working age
Legal working age
The legal working age is the minimum age required by law for a person to work, in each country or jurisdiction.Some types of labor are commonly prohibited even for those above the working age, if they have not reached yet the age of majority. Activities that are dangerous, harmful to the health or...

 who have higher-level education in the EU at 30% which is ahead of Finland's 29.5%. In addition 47% of its population aged 25–34 have tertiary education, which is the highest in the EU. The body of Cypriot students is highly mobile, with 78.7% studying in a university outside Cyprus.

Culture


The culture of Cyprus is divided between the two distinct cultures of Greek and Turkish Cypriots. Each community maintains its own culture, linked to the cultures of Greece and Turkey, and there is little cultural interchange between the two groups. The Greek culture first has been present on the island since antiquity. The Turkish culture arrived with the invasion of the Ottoman Empire in 1570, and it was under this rule that the divide between the two communities became prominent and encouraged by government policies. The British did nothing to change this, leaving the island in its divided state with no unified culture.

Art


The art history of Cyprus can be said to stretch back up to 10,000 years, following the discovery of a series of Chalcolithic period carved figures in the villages of Khoirokoitia and Lempa
Lempa (Lemba)
Lempa is a village in Cyprus located approximately 4 km north of the town of Paphos. It is sometimes written as Lemba, which is also closer to the correct pronunciation. Neighboring villages are Empa, Kissonerga and Chlorakas....

 and the island is also the home to numerous examples of high quality religious icon painting from the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

. Cypriot architecture was heavily influenced by French Gothic
French Gothic architecture
French Gothic architecture is a style of architecture prevalent in France from 1140 until about 1500.-Sequence of Gothic styles: France:The designations of styles in French Gothic architecture are as follows:* Early Gothic* High Gothic...

 and Italian renaissance
Renaissance architecture
Renaissance architecture is the architecture of the period between the early 15th and early 17th centuries in different regions of Europe, demonstrating a conscious revival and development of certain elements of ancient Greek and Roman thought and material culture. Stylistically, Renaissance...

 introduced in the island during the era of Latin domination (1191–1571).

In modern times Cypriot art history begins with the painter Vassilis Vryonides (1883–1958) who studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice. Arguably the two founding fathers of modern Cypriot art were Adamantios Diamantis (1900–1994) who studied at London's Royal College of Art
Royal College of Art
The Royal College of Art is an art school located in London, United Kingdom. It is the world’s only wholly postgraduate university of art and design, offering the degrees of Master of Arts , Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy...

 and Christopheros Savva (1924–1968) who also studied in London, at St Martins School of Art. In many ways these two artists set the template for subsequent Cypriot art and both their artistic styles and the patterns of their education remain influential to this day. In particular the majority of Cypriot artists still train in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 although art schools in Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 are also popular and local art institutions such as the Cyprus College of Art
Cyprus College of Art
The Cyprus College of Art is a post-secondary art instutution located in the Mediterranean island of, Cyprus.-Academics:CyCA offers beginner courses in art, university-entrance programmes in art and design, bachelor degree equivalent programmes in Fine Art , and Master of Fine Art degrees at...

, University of Nicosia
University of Nicosia
The University of Nicosia is the largest private university in Cyprus, with campuses based in the three largest cities in Cyprus: Nicosia, Lemesos and Larnaca. It was formally known, until September 2007, as Intercollege...

 and the Frederick Institute of Technology are becoming more popular.

One of the features of Cypriot art is a tendency towards figurative painting although conceptual art
Conceptual art
Conceptual art is art in which the concept or idea involved in the work take precedence over traditional aesthetic and material concerns. Many of the works, sometimes called installations, of the artist Sol LeWitt may be constructed by anyone simply by following a set of written instructions...

 is being rigorously promoted by a number of art “institutions” and most notably the Nicosia Municipal Art Centre http://www.nimac.com.cy/. Municipal art galleries exist in all the main towns and there is a large and lively commercial art scene. Cyprus was due to host the international art festival Manifesta
Manifesta
Manifesta, the , is a European pan-regional contemporary cultural biennale, described in 2010 by the as "stunning in its scope and uncompromisingly experimental in its approach".-Manifesta History:...

 in 2006 but this was cancelled at the last minute following a dispute between the Dutch organizers of Manifesta and the Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture over the location of some of the Manifesta events in the Turkish sector of the capital Nicosia
Nicosia
Nicosia from , known locally as Lefkosia , is the capital and largest city in Cyprus, as well as its main business center. Nicosia is the only divided capital in the world, with the southern and the northern portions divided by a Green Line...

.

Other notable Cypriot artists include Rhea Bailey, Mihail Kkasialos, Ioannis Kissonergis, Theodoulos Gregoriou, Helene Black
Helene Black
Helene Black is a Cypriot artist and curator working with various media. She has been exhibited in museums and contemporary art centers in Cyprus, Argentina, France, the UK, US, Japan, Greece, Switzerland, Denmark, Russia and Australia.-Overview:...

, George Skoteinos, Kalopedis family
Kalopedis family
The Kalopedis Family are renowned jewelers from Cyprus who specialty is traditional Greek Byzantine style Icons and Ecclesiastic art, found in Orthodox Churches. Stylianos Kalopedis started the business in 1888 which has been passed down from father to son for five generations...

, Nicos Nicolaides
Nicos Nicolaides
Nicos Nicolaides was a Greek painter and writer.-Early life:Nicolaides born the son of poor parents in Nicosia, Cyprus on the April 3, 1884. A sister, Maria, followed him two years later. He was only six or seven when their parents died, one after another. Their maternal aunt took charge of the...

, Stass Paraskos
Stass Paraskos
Stass Paraskos is an artist from Cyprus, although much of his life was spent teaching and working in England.-Early life:Paraskos was born in Anaphotia, on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus in 1933, the son of a shepherd farmer. He went to England in 1953 and became a cook in his brother's...

, Arestís Stasí
Arestís Stasí
Arestís Stasí was born in 1940 in Limassol, Cyprus and spent his first years in the village of Platres in the Troödos mountains...

, Telemachos Kanthos
Telemachos Kanthos
Telemachos Kanthos was born in Alona, a village in the highland Pitsillia area of Cyprus. He was the son of Christodoulos E. Kanthos, a prominent local teacher, and his wife Evgenia Aravi. He is regarded generally as a Father of modern Cypriot painting. His work is varied but his favorite subjects...

, Konstantia Sofokleous
Konstantia Sofokleous
Konstantia Sofokleous, Greek: Κωνσταντία Σοφοκλέους is a Cypriot artist. She has exhibited drawings and two animated movies, and at the 51. Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition. She lives and works in Limassol, Cyprus....

 and Chris Achilleos
Chris Achilleos
Chris Achilleos is a painter and illustrator who specialises in fantasy artwork and glamour illustration. Born in Famagusta, Cyprus, his family emigrated to the United Kingdom in 1959, where he currently resides....

.

Music


The traditional folk music
Folk music
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....

 of Cyprus has several common elements with Greek
Music of Greece
The music of Greece is as diverse and celebrated as its history. Greek music separates into two parts: Greek traditional music and Byzantine music, with more eastern sounds...

, Turkish
Music of Turkey
The music of Turkey includes diverse elements ranging from Central Asian folk music and has many copies and references of Byzantine music, Greek music, Ottoman music, Persian music, Balkan music, as well as more modern European and American popular music influences...

, and Arabic music including Greco-Turkish dances such as the sousta
Sousta
Sousta is the name of a folk dance in Cyprus and Crete which is danced in Greece and generally in the Balkans. The music is generally played with a lyre , laouto, and mandolin ....

, syrtos
Syrtos
Syrtos , is the collective name of a group of Greek folk dances. Syrtos, along with its relative kalamatianos, are the most popular dances throughout Greece and are frequently danced by the Greek diaspora worldwide. They are very popular in social gatherings, weddings and religious festivals...

, zeibekikos, tatsia, and kartsilamas as well as the Middle Eastern-inspired tsifteteli
Tsifteteli
The Tsifteteli , is a rhythm and dance of Anatolia and the Balkans with a rhythmic pattern of 2/4. The dance is probably of Turkish origin and in the Turkish language it means "double stringed", taken from the violin playing style that is practiced in this kind of music...

and arapie. There is also a form of musical poetry known as chattista which is often performed at traditional feasts and celebrations. The instruments commonly associated with Cyprus folk music are the bouzouki
Bouzouki
The bouzouki , is a musical instrument with Greek origin in the lute family. A mainstay of modern Greek music, the front of the body is flat and is usually heavily inlaid with mother-of-pearl. The instrument is played with a plectrum and has a sharp metallic sound, reminiscent of a mandolin but...

 (pictured), oud
Oud
The oud is a pear-shaped stringed instrument commonly used in North African and Middle Eastern music. The modern oud and the European lute both descend from a common ancestor via diverging paths...

 ("outi"), violin
Violin
The violin is a string instrument, usually with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest, highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which includes the viola and cello....

 ("fkiolin"), lute
Lute
Lute can refer generally to any plucked string instrument with a neck and a deep round back, or more specifically to an instrument from the family of European lutes....

 ("laouto"), accordion
Accordion
The accordion is a box-shaped musical instrument of the bellows-driven free-reed aerophone family, sometimes referred to as a squeezebox. A person who plays the accordion is called an accordionist....

, Cyprus flute
Flute
The flute is a musical instrument of the woodwind family. Unlike woodwind instruments with reeds, a flute is an aerophone or reedless wind instrument that produces its sound from the flow of air across an opening...

 ("pithkiavlin") and percussion (including the "toumperleki
Goblet drum
The goblet drum is a hand drum with a goblet shape used mostly in the Middle East, North Africa, and Eastern Europe....

"). Composers associated with traditional Cypriot music include Evagoras Karageorgis
Evagoras Karageorgis
Evagoras Karageorgis , born 20 December 1957, Paphos, Cyprus is a music teacher, famous composer, lute player, singer, and lyricist.He grew up in Tsada, outside of the city of Paphos - Cyprus in 1957. His first influence was his father Γεώργιος Δ. Καράγιωρκης - Georgios D. Karayiorkis from Λάπηθος...

, Marios Tokas
Marios Tokas
Marios Tokas Greek composer of traditional music born in Limassol, Cyprus. In the 1974 invasion, he fought as a soldier against the Turkish invadors. In 1975 he went to Athens in order to study in the philosophical school. At the same time, he studied in the Ethniko Odio because he wanted to...

, Solon Michaelides and Savvas Salides.

Popular music
Popular music
Popular music belongs to any of a number of musical genres "having wide appeal" and is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. It stands in contrast to both art music and traditional music, which are typically disseminated academically or orally to smaller, local...

 in Cyprus is generally influenced by the Greek Laïka
Laika
Laika was a Soviet space dog that became the first animal to orbit the Earth – as well as the first animal to die in orbit.As little was known about the impact of spaceflight on living creatures at the time of Laika's mission, and the technology to de-orbit had not yet been developed, there...

scene with several artists including Anna Vissi
Anna Vissi
Anna Vissi , known as Anna Vishy in Cypriot Greek, is a Greek-Cypriot recording artist and actress...

, Evridiki
Evridiki
Evridiki Theokleous , known professionally as simply Evridiki, is a Cypriot rock, pop, and electro pop singer. She is best known in Europe for representing her home country, Cyprus, in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1992, 1994 and 2007 with the songs Teriazoume, Eimai Anthropos Ki Ego and Comme...

, and Sarbel
Sarbel
Sarbel Michael known professionally as Sarbel, is a Greek Cypriot pop singer of partial Cypriot and Lebanese ancestry. He is well known in Cyprus, Greece and parts of the Arab world for his debut single, "Se pira sovara", and his subsequent albums Parakseno sinesthima, Sahara and Kati san esena...

 earning widespread popularity in Cyprus, Greece and parts of the Middle East
Middle Eastern music
The music of Western Asia and North Africa spans across a vast region, from Morocco to Afghanistan, and its influences can be felt even further afield. Middle Eastern music influenced the music of India, as well as Central Asia, Spain, Southern Italy, the Caucasus and the Balkans, as in chalga...

. Hip Hop
Hip hop
Hip hop is a form of musical expression and artistic culture that originated in African-American and Latino communities during the 1970s in New York City, specifically the Bronx. DJ Afrika Bambaataa outlined the four pillars of hip hop culture: MCing, DJing, breaking and graffiti writing...

, R&B and reggae
Reggae
Reggae is a music genre first developed in Jamaica in the late 1960s. While sometimes used in a broader sense to refer to most types of Jamaican music, the term reggae more properly denotes a particular music style that originated following on the development of ska and rocksteady.Reggae is based...

 are also very popular genres on the island and have been supported by the emergence of Cypriot rap and the urban music scene at Ayia Napa
Ayia Napa
Ayia Napa is a resort at the far eastern end of the southern coast of Cyprus, famous for its sandy beaches. In recent years, apart from being a family holiday destination, it has become a 'party capital' together with Ibiza, Rimini and Mykonos...

. Cypriot rock music
Rock music
Rock music is a genre of popular music that developed during and after the 1960s, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, itself heavily influenced by rhythm and blues and country music...

 and Éntekhno rock is often associated with artists such as Michalis Hatzigiannis
Michalis Hatzigiannis
Michael Hatzigiannis is a popular Greek Cypriot recording artist. From 2000 to 2009, Hatzigiannis has received over 30 certifications in Greece alone, making him one of most successful artists of the decade. Hatzigiannis is also known for representing Cyprus in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1998...

 and Alkinoos Ioannidis
Alkinoos Ioannidis
Alkinoos Ioannidis is a Greek-Cypriot composer, lyricist, singer and orchestrator.He was born in Nicosia on 19 September 1969. His artistic family, with a painter father and poet brother was a source of inspiration for him. He first wanted to study drums, but couldn't due to the lack of a drum...

. Metal
Heavy metal music
Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the Midlands of the United Kingdom and the United States...

 also has a small following in Cyprus represented by bands such as Armageddon(rev.16:16), Blynd, Winter's Verge
Winter's Verge
Winter's Verge is a power metal band formed in Nicosia, Cyprus in 2004. Winter's Verge is one of the best-known bands from Cyprus and one of the few artists signed to an international record label and having participated in overseas tours, most notably with Finnish band Stratovarius...

 and Quadraphonic.

Literature




Literary production of the antiquity includes the Cypria, an epic poem
Epic poetry
An epic is a lengthy narrative poem, ordinarily concerning a serious subject containing details of heroic deeds and events significant to a culture or nation. Oral poetry may qualify as an epic, and Albert Lord and Milman Parry have argued that classical epics were fundamentally an oral poetic form...

, probably composed in the late seventh century BCE and attributed to Stasinus
Stasinus
According to some ancient authorities, Stasinus of Cyprus, a semi-legendary early Greek poet, was the author of the Cypria, in eleven books, one of the poems belonging to the Epic Cycle that narrated the War of Troy...

. The Cypria is one of the very first specimens of Greek and European poetry. The Cypriot Zeno of Citium
Zeno of Citium
Zeno of Citium was a Greek philosopher from Citium . Zeno was the founder of the Stoic school of philosophy, which he taught in Athens from about 300 BC. Based on the moral ideas of the Cynics, Stoicism laid great emphasis on goodness and peace of mind gained from living a life of virtue in...

 was the founder of the Stoic School of Philosophy.

Epic poetry, notably the "acritic songs", flourished during Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

. Two chronicles, one written by Leontios Machairas and the other by Georgios Voustronios, cover the entire Middle Ages until the end of Frankish rule (4th century – 1489). Poèmes d'amour written in medieval Greek Cypriot date back from 16th century.
Some of them are actual translations of poems written by Petrarch
Petrarch
Francesco Petrarca , known in English as Petrarch, was an Italian scholar, poet and one of the earliest humanists. Petrarch is often called the "Father of Humanism"...

, Bembo
Bembo
Bembo is the name given to a 20th-century revival of an old style serif or humanist typeface cut by Francesco Griffo around 1495.The typeface Bembo seen today is a revival designed under the direction of Stanley Morison for the Monotype Corporation in 1929.It is considered a good choice for...

, Ariosto and G. Sannazzaro. Many Cypriot scholars fled Cyprus at troubled times such as Ioannis Kigalas
Ioannis Kigalas
Ioannis Kigalas , , was a Greek scholar and professor of Philosophy and Logic who was largely active in Padova and Venice in the 17th century Italian Renaissance.- Biography :...

 ( ca. 1622–1687) who migrated from Cyprus to Italy in the 17th century, several of his works have survived in books of other scholars.

Hasan Hilmi Efendi, a Turkish Cypriot poet, was rewarded by the Ottoman sultan Mahmud II
Mahmud II
Mahmud II was the 30th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1808 until his death in 1839. He was born in the Topkapi Palace, Istanbul, the son of Sultan Abdulhamid I...

 and said to be the "sultan of the poems".

Modern literary figures from Cyprus include the poet and writer Kostas Montis, poet Kyriakos Charalambides
Kyriakos Charalambides
Kyriakos Charalambides is one of the most known and acknowledged Greek poets and writers. His work sings in the odea of Western culture, yet is most at home upon the stage of Greek civilization. He specifically speaks in the tradition of modern Greek poets Constantine P...

, poet Michalis Pasiardis, writer Nicos Nicolaides
Nicos Nicolaides
Nicos Nicolaides was a Greek painter and writer.-Early life:Nicolaides born the son of poor parents in Nicosia, Cyprus on the April 3, 1884. A sister, Maria, followed him two years later. He was only six or seven when their parents died, one after another. Their maternal aunt took charge of the...

, Stylianos Atteshlis
Stylianos Atteshlis
Dr. Stylianos Atteshlis was a Christian mystic and healer who was born on December 12, 1912 in Cyprus where he spent most of his life. He was a mystic from Strovolos, Cyprus. Educated in Cyprus and abroad, he pursued a career in the Cyprus Government Printing office; but he also spent some years...

, Altheides
Altheides
Altheides was a Cypriot philosopher, primarily known from sayings attributed to him in the works of others. Little is known about the wandering philosopher known as Altheides of Cyprus, and little of his work remains available to modern scholars. His parents were Greek merchants living on the...

, Loukis Akritas and Demetris Th. Gotsis. Dimitris Lipertis
Dimitris Lipertis
Dimitris Theophani Lipertis is a Cypriot born Greek poet and is considered as one of the most prominent poets of the island.-Biography:...

, Vasilis Michaelides
Vasilis Michaelides
Vasilis Michaelides is considered by many and often referred to as the national poet of Cyprus.He was born in Lefkoniko, a village in the Famagusta District of Cyprus, between 1849 and 1853. In 1862 he moved to Nicosia to attend Secondary School. His first contact with the arts came in the form of...

 and Pavlos Liasides are folk poets who wrote poems mainly in the Cypriot-Greek
Cypriot Greek
The Cypriot dialect of Modern Greek, known as Kypriaka , Cypriot Greek is spoken by 750,000 people in Cyprus and diaspora Greek Cypriots.Cypriot Greek is distinct enough that it can be classified as a distinct dialect of the Standard Greek....

 dialect. Lawrence Durrell
Lawrence Durrell
Lawrence George Durrell was an expatriate British novelist, poet, dramatist, and travel writer, though he resisted affiliation with Britain and preferred to be considered cosmopolitan...

 lived in Northern Cyprus from 1952 until 26 August 1956 and wrote the book Bitter Lemons
Bitter Lemons
Bitter Lemons is an autobiographical work by writer Lawrence Durrell, describing the three years he spent on the island of Cyprus...

 concerning his time there which won the second Duff Cooper Prize
Duff Cooper Prize
The Duff Cooper Prize is a literary prize awarded annually for the best work of history, biography, political science or poetry, published in English or French. The prize was established in honour of Duff Cooper, a British diplomat, Cabinet member and acclaimed author. The prize was first awarded...

 in 1957. The majority of the play Othello
Othello
The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in approximately 1603, and based on the Italian short story "Un Capitano Moro" by Cinthio, a disciple of Boccaccio, first published in 1565...

by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

 is set on the island of Cyprus. Cyprus also figures in religious literature such as the Acts of the Apostles
Acts of the Apostles
The Acts of the Apostles , usually referred to simply as Acts, is the fifth book of the New Testament; Acts outlines the history of the Apostolic Age...

 according to which the Apostles Barnabas
Barnabas
Barnabas , born Joseph, was an Early Christian, one of the earliest Christian disciples in Jerusalem. In terms of culture and background, he was a Hellenised Jew, specifically a Levite. Named an apostle in , he and Saint Paul undertook missionary journeys together and defended Gentile converts...

 and Paul preached on the island.

Cinema


The Cypriot cinema was born much later than the cinema of other countries and in the last decades the first coordinated steps have been taken to create a distinct Cypriot cinematography. The main reason for this delay was the belated entry of Cyprus into international society as an independent state in 1960, and the dramatic events that followed which left the island divided in a Greek and Turkish zones that remain divided.

During the late 60s and early 70s production showed a richer crop of films. George Filis produced and directed Gregoris Afxentiou, Etsi Prodothike i Kypros (Cyprus Betrayal), and the Mega Document.

Cinematographic production in Cyprus received a boost in 1994 with the establishment of the Cinema Advisory Committee. The annual amount currently set aside (2000) in the national budget stands at Cy Pounds 500,000 (about 850,000 Euros). In addition to government grants Cypriot co-productions are eligible for funding from the Eurimages Fund, a Council of Europe institution financing European film co-productions. To date four feature-length films in which a Cypriot was executive producer have received funding from Eurimages. The first was I Sphagi tou Kokora (1992) which has been completed in 1996, Hellados (And the trains fly to the sky, 1995), which is currently in the post-production phase and O Dromos gia tin Ithaki (The Road to Ithaka, 1997) of Costas Demetriou which was premiered in March 2000. In September 1999, To Tama (The Promise) of Andreas Pantzis has also received funding from the Eurimages Fund.

Cuisine


Halloumi
Halloumi
Halloumi is a traditional Cypriot cheese that is also popular in Sweden and the rest of the Middle East and Greece, and is now produced in many countries and regions around the world...

 cheese originated in Cyprus and was initially made during the Medieval Byzantine
Byzantine
Byzantine usually refers to the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages.Byzantine may also refer to:* A citizen of the Byzantine Empire, or native Greek during the Middle Ages...

 period, subsequently gaining popularity throughout the Middle-East. Halloumi (Hellim) is commonly served sliced, either fresh or grilled, as an appetiser.
Seafood and fish dishes of Cyprus include squid
Squid
Squid are cephalopods of the order Teuthida, which comprises around 300 species. Like all other cephalopods, squid have a distinct head, bilateral symmetry, a mantle, and arms. Squid, like cuttlefish, have eight arms arranged in pairs and two, usually longer, tentacles...

, octopus
Octopus
The octopus is a cephalopod mollusc of the order Octopoda. Octopuses have two eyes and four pairs of arms, and like other cephalopods they are bilaterally symmetric. An octopus has a hard beak, with its mouth at the center point of the arms...

, red mullet
Red mullet
The red mullets or surmullets are two species of goatfish, Mullus barbatus and Mullus surmuletus, found in the Mediterranean Sea, east North Atlantic Ocean, and the Black Sea. Both "red mullet" and "surmullet" can also refer to the Mullidae in general.Though they can easily be distinguished—M...

, and sea bass
European seabass
The European seabass, Dicentrarchus labrax, also known as Morone labrax, is a primarily ocean-going fish that sometimes enters brackish and fresh waters. It is also known as the sea dace...

. Cucumber and tomato are used widely in salads. Common vegetable preparations include potatoes in olive oil and parsley, pickled cauliflower
Cauliflower
Cauliflower is one of several vegetables in the species Brassica oleracea, in the family Brassicaceae. It is an annual plant that reproduces by seed...

 and beets, asparagus
Asparagus
Asparagus officinalis is a spring vegetable, a flowering perennialplant species in the genus Asparagus. It was once classified in the lily family, like its Allium cousins, onions and garlic, but the Liliaceae have been split and the onion-like plants are now in the family Amaryllidaceae and...

 and Taro
Taro
Taro is a common name for the corms and tubers of several plants in the family Araceae . Of these, Colocasia esculenta is the most widely cultivated, and is the subject of this article. More specifically, this article describes the 'dasheen' form of taro; another variety is called eddoe.Taro is...

. Other traditional delicacies of the island are meat marinated in dried coriander, seeds and wine, and eventually dried and smoked, such as lountza (smoked pork loin
Pork loin
Pork loin is a cut of meat from a pig, created from the tissue along the top of the rib cage. It is very popular in the United States, where it is usually grilled or baked. Pork loins are also sold soaking in marinade. Pork Loin can be used to make many different foods; such as bacon...

), charcoal-grilled lamb, souvlaki
Souvlaki
Souvlaki or souvlakia is a popular Greek fast food consisting of small pieces of meat and sometimes vegetables grilled on a skewer. It may be served on the skewer for eating out of hand, in a pita sandwich with garnishes and sauces, or on a dinner plate, often with fried potatoes...

 (pork and chicken cooked over charcoal), and sheftalia
Sheftalia
Sheftalia is a traditional Cypriot food. It is a type of crépinette, a sausage without skin, that uses caul fat, or omentum, the membrane that surrounds the stomach of pig or lamb, to wrap the ingredients rather than sausage casing.Caul fat is transparent and naturally fatty...

 (minced meat wrapped in mesentery
Mesentery
In anatomy, the mesentery is the double layer of peritoneum that suspends the jejunum and ileum from the posterior wall of the abdomen. Its meaning, however, is frequently extended to include double layers of peritoneum connecting various components of the abdominal cavity.-Mesentery :The...

). Pourgouri (bulgur
Bulgur
Bulgur is a cereal food made from several different wheat species, most often from durum wheat. In the United States it is most often made from white wheat. Its use is most common in Middle Eastern cuisine, Iran, Turkey, Greece, Armenia and Bulgaria...

, cracked wheat) is the traditional carbohydrate other than bread, and is used to make the Cypriot delicacy koubes
Kibbeh
Kibbeh or kibbe is an Arab dish made of bulgur or rice and chopped meat. The best-known variety is a torpedo-shaped fried croquette stuffed with minced beef or lamb. Other types of kibbeh may be shaped into balls or patties, and baked or cooked in broth.Kibbeh is a popular dish in Levantine...

.

Fresh vegetables and fruits are common ingredients in Cypriot cuisine. Frequently used vegetables include courgettes, green peppers, okra
Okra
Okra is a flowering plant in the mallow family. It is valued for its edible green seed pods. The geographical origin of okra is disputed, with supporters of South Asian, Ethiopian and West African origins...

, green beans, artichokes, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and grape leaves, and pulses
Pulse (legume)
A pulse is an annual leguminous crop yielding from one to twelve seeds of variable size, shape, and color within a pod. Pulses are used for food and animal feed. The term "pulse", as used by the Food and Agricultural Organization , is reserved for crops harvested solely for the dry seed...

 such as beans, broad beans, peas, black-eyed beans, chick-peas and lentil
Lentil
The lentil is an edible pulse. It is a bushy annual plant of the legume family, grown for its lens-shaped seeds...

s. The commonest among fruits and nuts are pears, apples, grapes, oranges, mandarines
Mandarin orange
The orange, also known as the ' or mandarine , is a small citrus tree with fruit resembling other oranges. Mandarin oranges are usually eaten plain or in fruit salads...

, nectarines, mespila, blackberries, cherry, strawberries, figs, watermelon
Watermelon
Watermelon is a vine-like flowering plant originally from southern Africa. Its fruit, which is also called watermelon, is a special kind referred to by botanists as a pepo, a berry which has a thick rind and fleshy center...

, melon
Melon
thumb|200px|Various types of melonsThis list of melons includes members of the plant family Cucurbitaceae with edible, fleshy fruit e.g. gourds or cucurbits. The word "melon" can refer to either the plant or specifically to the fruit...

, avocado, lemon, pistachio
Pistachio
The pistachio, Pistacia vera in the Anacardiaceae family, is a small tree originally from Persia , which now can also be found in regions of Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Greece, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, India, Pakistan, Egypt, Sicily and possibly Afghanistan , as well as in the United States,...

, almond
Almond
The almond , is a species of tree native to the Middle East and South Asia. Almond is also the name of the edible and widely cultivated seed of this tree...

, chestnut
Chestnut
Chestnut , some species called chinkapin or chinquapin, is a genus of eight or nine species of deciduous trees and shrubs in the beech family Fagaceae, native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. The name also refers to the edible nuts they produce.-Species:The chestnut belongs to the...

, walnut
Walnut
Juglans is a plant genus of the family Juglandaceae, the seeds of which are known as walnuts. They are deciduous trees, 10–40 meters tall , with pinnate leaves 200–900 millimetres long , with 5–25 leaflets; the shoots have chambered pith, a character shared with the wingnuts , but not the hickories...

, hazelnut
Hazelnut
A hazelnut is the nut of the hazel and is also known as a cob nut or filbert nut according to species. A cob is roughly spherical to oval, about 15–25 mm long and 10–15 mm in diameter, with an outer fibrous husk surrounding a smooth shell. A filbert is more elongated, being about twice...

.

Cyprus is also well known for its desserts, including lokum (also known as Turkish Delight
Turkish Delight
Turkish delight or lokum is a family of confections based on a gel of starch and sugar. Premium varieties consist largely of chopped dates, pistachios and hazelnuts or walnuts bound by the gel; the cheapest are mostly gel, generally flavored with rosewater, mastic, or lemon...

) and Soutzoukos. This island has protected geographical indication (PGI) for its lokum produced in the village of Geroskipou.

Sports




Governing bodies of sports in Cyprus include the Cyprus Football Association
Cyprus Football Association
The Cyprus Football Association is the governing body of football in Cyprus. It organizes the football league, whose top league is Cypriot First Division, Cypriot Cup, Cyprus FA Shield and the Cypriot national football team. It is based in Nicosia. It Football was introduced to Cyprus early in...

, Cyprus Basketball Federation
Cyprus Basketball Federation
The Cyprus Basketball Federation is the governing body for basketball on the island of Cyprus and is a division of the Cyprus Sport Organisation...

, Cyprus Volleyball Federation
Cyprus Volleyball Federation
Cyprus Volleyball Federation is the governing body of volleyball in Cyprus...

, Cyprus Automobile Association
Cyprus Automobile Association
The Cyprus Automobile Association is a non-profit organization governed by an elected council. Founded in 1933, it has the aim of offering assistance to the private motorist, in Cyprus and abroad, and to promote the interests of car owners in general...

, Cyprus Badminton Federation, Cyprus Cricket Association
Cyprus Cricket Association
The Cyprus Cricket Association is the governing body of cricket in Cyprus. It is a member of the European Cricket Council and an affiliate member of the International Cricket Council since 1999. It organises the Cyprus cricket league which has 10 participating teams including some from the British...

 and the Cyprus Rugby Federation
Cyprus Rugby Federation
The Cyprus Rugby Federation the governing body for rugby union in Cyprus. It runs several competitions including a league with teams from the British military bases and three local teams:* Paphos Tigers...

.

Football is by far the most popular spectator sport
Spectator sport
A spectator sport is a sport that is characterized by the presence of spectators, or watchers, at its matches. For instance, Tennis, Rugby, F-1, baseball, basketball, cricket, football , and ice hockey are spectator sports, while hunting or underwater hockey typically are not...

. The Cyprus League is nowadays considered as quite competitive and includes notable teams such as AC Omonia
AC Omonia
Athletic Club Omonoia Nicosia is a professional football club that plays in the Cyprus capital city Nicosia. The club was established in 1948 and became a member of the Cyprus Football Association in 1953...

, APOEL FC
APOEL FC
APOEL F.C. is a professional football club based in Lefkosia , Cyprus and they are one of the founding members of the Cyprus Football Association. APOEL is one of the most popular football teams in Cyprus and they are the most successful with an overall tally of 21 championships, 19 cups and 12...

, AEL Lemesos, Apollon FC
Apollon Limassol
Apollon Limassol is a Greek Cypriot sports club, based in Limassol. It has football, basketball and volleyball teams. Founded in 1954, Apollon F.C...

, Anorthosis Famagusta FC
Anorthosis Famagusta FC
Αnorthosis Famagusta FC is a Cypriot football and volleyball club which is originally based in Famagusta, but is now temporarily based in Larnaca, due to the Turkish invasion. Anorthosis is one of the most successful clubs in Cypriot football, having won 13 league titles, 10 Cypriot Cups and 6...

, Nea Salamis Famagusta FC and AEK Larnaca FC. Stadiums or sports venues in Cyprus include the GSP Stadium (the largest in Cyprus), Tsirion Stadium
Tsirion Stadium
Tsirion Stadium is an all seater multi-purpose stadium in Limassol, Cyprus. It is currently used mostly for football matches and is the home ground of AEL Limassol, Apollon Limassol, Aris Limassol and APEP Pitsilias. In the past, especially in 1990s, it was used as the home ground for the Cyprus...

 (second largest), Neo GSZ Stadium
Neo GSZ Stadium
GSZ Stadium or Gymnastic Club Zenon Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Larnaca, Cyprus. Usually it is referred as the 'neo GSZ Stadium' to distinguish it from the old GSZ Stadium, which it replaced. It is currently used mostly for football matches and is the home ground of AEK Larnaca FC...

, Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium
Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium
Antonis Papadopoulos is an all-seater football stadium in the city of Larnaca. The first phase of the stadium was completed in 1986.The ground is the home of Anorthosis Famagusta it is currently that of the Cyprus national football team. The ground bears the name of an Anorthosis benefactor...

, Ammochostos Stadium
Ammochostos Stadium
Ammochostos Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Larnaca, Cyprus. It is currently used mostly for football matches and is the home ground of Nea Salamis FC.- History :...

 and Makario Stadium
Makario Stadium
Makario Stadium is an all seater Multi-purpose stadium in Nicosia, Cyprus. It was the largest and main sports venue of the capital up to the construction of the new GSP stadium in 1999. At present it is mostly used for football matches and is the home ground of Digenis Morphou and Ethnikos Assia....

. Cyprus, also has a football national team which in the last decade has evolved to a promising squad within the European rankings.

Apart from the main interest in football, Cyprus has exhibited certain accomplishments in other sports. Marcos Baghdatis
Marcos Baghdatis
At the French Open, Baghdatis lost in the second round in five sets to Frenchman Julien Benneteau, 6-3, 4-6, 3-6, 7-6, 4-6.At Wimbledon, Baghdatis defeated British player Andy Murray in the fourth round in straight sets. In the quarterfinals, Baghdatis beat the 2002 champion and former world no. 1...

 is one of the most successful tennis
Tennis
Tennis is a sport usually played between two players or between two teams of two players each . Each player uses a racket that is strung to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court. Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society at all...

 players in international stage. He was a finalist at the Australian Open in 2006, and reached the Wimbledon
The Championships, Wimbledon
The Championships, Wimbledon, or simply Wimbledon , is the oldest tennis tournament in the world, considered by many to be the most prestigious. It has been held at the All England Club in Wimbledon, London since 1877. It is one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments, the other three Majors...

 semi-final in the same year. Also Kyriakos Ioannou
Kyriakos Ioannou
Kyriakos Ioannou is a Cypriot high jumper.His personal best jump and Cypriot national record is 2.35 metres, achieved at the 2007 World Championships held in Osaka where he won the bronze medal. He became the first World Championships medalist from Cyprus...

 a Cypriot high jump
High jump
The high jump is a track and field athletics event in which competitors must jump over a horizontal bar placed at measured heights without the aid of certain devices in its modern most practiced format; auxiliary weights and mounds have been used for assistance; rules have changed over the years....

er achieved a jump of 2.35 m at the 11th IAAF World Championships in Athletics
IAAF World Championships in Athletics
The World Championships in Athletics is an event organized by the International Association of Athletics Federations . Originally, it was organised every four years, but this changed in 1991, and it has since been organised biennially.-History:...

 held in Osaka, Japan
Osaka
is a city in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu, a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and also the biggest part of Keihanshin area, which is represented by three major cities of Japan, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe...

, in 2007 winning the bronze medal. He was recently ranked as 3rd at international level and 2nd in Europe.

See also




External links


Government

Tourism
General information

Official publications