Republic of Cyprus

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Republic of Cyprus

Flag of Cyprus
Coat of arms of Cyprus
Coat of arms
Anthem: Hymn to Liberty
Location of Republic of Cyprus (green) in the European Union (light green)  –  [Legend]
Location of Republic of Cyprus (green)

in the European Union (light green)  –  [Legend]

and largest city
Southern Nicosia (νότια Λευκωσία, Güney Lefkoşa)
Official languages
Recognised regional languages
Common languagesEnglish and Russian
Vernacular languages
  • Cypriot Greek
  • Cypriot Turkish
Ethnic groups
77% Greek
18% Turkish
5% others[1]
Demonym(s)Cypriot, Greek Cypriot, Turkish Cypriot
GovernmentPresidential republic
• President
Nicos Anastasiades
19 February 1959
• Proclaimed
16 August 1960
• Total
9,251 km2 (3,572 sq mi) (167th)
• Water (%)
• 2010 estimate
803,147[2] (Does not include North)
1,088,503 (whole island)
• Density
117/km2 (303.0/sq mi) (115th)
GDP (PPP)2010 estimate
• Total
$23.190 billion[3]
• Per capita
GDP (nominal)2010 estimate
• Total
$23.174 billion[3]
• Per capita
Gini (2005)29
low · 19th
HDI (2011)Increase 0.840
very high · 31st
CurrencyEuro2 (EUR)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
• Summer (DST)
Driving sideleft
Calling code357
ISO 3166 codeCY
Internet TLD.cy3
  1. Also the national anthem of Greece.
  2. Before 2008, the Cypriot pound.
  3. The .eu domain is also used, shared with other European Union member states.
A map showing the division of Cyprus
Kyrenia castle, northern Cyprus

The Republic of Cyprus is a island country in the Mediterranean Sea and member state of the European Union. Cyprus is in Asia, but it is often associated with Europe because of the culture and history of the people. It is also closer to Africa than to Europe. The capital is Nicosia. Most of the population speaks Greek and Turkish.

Cyprus is a popular tourist destination in Europe. In 2019, 4 million tourists visited the country. It is estimated, that Cyprus earned 2.7 million euros in that year.[4] Tourism is very important to the country, as tourism made up 23% of its economy in 2020.[5]

History[edit | edit source]

Mycenaeans of Ancient Greece were the first inhabitants of the island. Archaeological evidence shows that Greek settlement began in c. 1400 BC.[6] It represents the first advanced and distinctively Greek civilization in mainland Greece with its palatial states, urban organization, works of art, and writing system. Cyprus is the only place outside England where an English royal wedding took place. That was the wedding of Richard I and Berengaria of Navarre on 12 May 1191.[7][8]

Cyprus gained independence from the British Empire in 1960. The UK, Turkey and Greece became guarantor powers of the island.

In July 1974, Turkey invaded Cyprus. Since then the northern part of the island has been under Turkish occupation. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus became de facto independent in 1983 but it is recognised only by Turkey. When entering by aeroplane, a short stop is made at an airport in mainland Turkey.

The present situation with the island split came about because Cyprus, historically Greek, was conquered and became part of the Ottoman Empire from 1570–1914. The British administered it from 1878 until 1960. Likewise, Greece had been part of the Ottoman Empire for several centuries. Negotiations for a unified island have been held several times without success.

In 2004, Cyprus joined the European Union. On 1 January 2008 Cyprus adopted the Euro, the single European currency.[9] Although the official currency of Northern Cyprus is the Turkish Lira, many shops accept Euros and British pounds.[10][11]

Geography[edit | edit source]

Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after the Italian islands of Sicily and Sardinia.[12]

There are two mountain ranges, the Troodos Mountains and the smaller Kyrenia Range. The Pedieos River is the longest on the island. The highest point on Cyprus is Mount Olympus at 1,952 metres (6,404 feet).

The Republic of Cyprus is only on the southern two-thirds of the island (59.74%). The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is the northern third (34.85%) and rest are Akrotiri and Dhekelia owned by the British.

Politics[edit | edit source]

The Republic of Cyprus is a constitutional presidential republic. Each president is elected for a five-year term. The president has a lot of power. Cyprus is the only member of the European Union that is governed by a presidential system of government. It is one of few countries (along with San Marino) to have had a democratically-elected communist government, in office from 2008 until 2013. Since 2013 governing party has been the Democratic Rally.

The European Union issued a warning in February 2019 that Cyprus, an EU member, was selling EU passports to Russian oligarchs. This would allow allow organised crime syndicates to get into the EU.[13] In 2020 leaked documents revealed a range of former and current officials from Afghanistan, China, Dubai, Lebanon, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and Vietnam who bought a Cypriot citizenship before a change of the law in July 2019.[14][15] Cyprus and Turkey have been engaged in a dispute over the extent of their exclusive economic zones. It was apparently caused by the potential for oil and gas exploration in the area.[16]

Districts[edit | edit source]

The Republic of Cyprus is divided into six districts:[17] Nicosia, Famagusta, Kyrenia, Larnaca, Limassol and Paphos. These are not the same as those of Northern Cyprus.

Cities[edit | edit source]

Related pages[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Cyprus". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 9 February 2010.
  2. "Total population as of 1 January". Eurostat. Retrieved 14 January 2010.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Cyprus". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 21 April 2011.
  4. "Tourism". Retrieved 2021-03-05.
  5. "Cyprus Contribution of travel and tourism to GDP (% of GDP), 1995-2020 -". Knoema. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
  7. Lee, Jessica; Bindloss, Joe; Quintero, Josephine (2018-02-01). Lonely Planet Cyprus. Lonely Planet. ISBN 978-1-78701-175-5.CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  8. "Cyprus: Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games". Glasgow2014. Retrieved 11 July 2020.
  9. "Cyprus and the euro". European Commission - European Commission. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
  10. "North Cyprus Currency | North Cyprus Property Consultants". North Cyprus Property. 2020-04-21. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
  11. "Currency and Money Advice for North Cyprus Villa Holiday". Retrieved 2021-03-05.
  12. "Biggest Islands In The Mediterranean Sea By Area". WorldAtlas. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
  13. "Cyprus 'golden passports' bring Russians into the EU". Al Jazeera. Archived from the original on 4 February 2019. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  14. "Exclusive: Cyprus sold passports to 'politically exposed persons'". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  15. Rakopoulos, Theodoros; Fischer, Leandros (10 November 2020). "In Cyprus, the Golden Passports Scheme Shows Us How Capitalism and Corruption Go Hand in Hand". Jacobin. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
  16. "Cyprus: EU 'appeasement' of Turkey in exploration row will go nowhere". Reuters. 17 August 2020.
  17. "EUROPA – The EU at a glance – Maps – Cyprus". Europa (web portal). Retrieved 27 March 2009.

Other websites[edit | edit source]