From Academic Kids

The Republic of Cyprus (Greek: Κύπρος, Kypros; Turkish: Kıbrıs) is an island nation in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, 113 kilometres (70 miles) south of Turkey and around 120 km west of the Syrian coast.

Κυπριακή Δημοκρατία
Kıbrıs Cumhuriyeti
Republic of Cyprus
Flag of Cyprus Missing image
Coat of Arms of Cyprus

(Flag) (Coat of Arms)
Motto: None
Anthem: Ymnos pros tin Eleutherian 1
Location of Cyprus
Capital Nicosia (pop. 200,686)
Template:Coor dm
Largest city Nicosia
Official languages Greek and Turkish
Government Republic
Tassos Papadopoulos 2
From the UK
16 August 1960
16 August 1960 3
 • Total
 • Water (%)
9,250 4 km² (161st)
 • 2005 est.
 • 2001 census
 • Density
780,133 5 (155th)
689,565 6
84/km² (111)
 • Total
 • Per capita
n/a estimate
$ 16,745 (n/a)
$ 20,669 (n/a)
Currency Cyprus Pound (CYP)
Time zone
 • Summer (DST)
Internet TLD .cy
Calling code +357 7
1. "Ymnos pros tin Eleutherian" is also used as the national anthem of Greece. The TRNC uses the Turkish national anthem

2. The north has a separate president of the TRNC
3. Not recognised by Turkey, which instead recognises TRNC
4. Of which 5,895 km² is in the south and 3,355 km² in the north
5. Number does not include 323,657 inhabitants in the north
6. Number does not include any TRNC inhabitants
7. +90-392 (a Turkish access number) is used in the north


Name and position

The word for the metal "copper" in the English language (and many other languages) stems from the Latin phrase aes Cyprium , "metal of Cyprus", later shortened to cuprum, "copper". Large deposits of copper are found on the island.

Cyprus is geographically in Western Asia (or the Near East), though politically and culturally it is considered as being in Europe. Historically, Cyprus has always been a bridgehead between Europe and Asia, with interchanging periods of Levantine, Anatolian, and Greek influences.

Political division

Cyprus gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1960, with the UK, Greece and Turkey retaining limited rights to intervene in internal affairs.

The Republic of Cyprus is the internationally recognised government of the island, and it controls the southern two-thirds of the island. Almost all foreign governments and the United Nations recognise the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus over the whole island of Cyprus.

Turkish Cypriots, together with Turkey, do not accept the Republic's rule over the whole island and call it the "Greek Authority of Southern Cyprus". They control the northern third of the island, following a military invasion by Turkey in 1974. This happened following a coup sponsored by the military regime of Greece, see: the 1974 crisis between Greece and Turkey.

The Turkish Cypriot area proclaimed its independence in 1975, and the self-styled Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was established in 1983. This state was recognised only by Turkey. Furthermore, Organization of the Islamic Conference granted it observer member status under the name of "Turkish Cypriot State".

The other power with territory on Cyprus is the United Kingdom. Under the independence agreement, the UK retained title to two areas on the southern coast of the island, around Akrotiri and Dhekelia, known collectively as the UK sovereign base areas. They are used as military bases.

See also:


Negotiations have been ongoing for years to reunite the island, but have not as yet seen substantial success. A United Nations plan, announced on 31 March 2004 following talks in Switzerland, was put to both sides in separate referenda on 24 April 2004.

On the referendum, the proposed reunification was favoured by the Turkish Cypriots by a majority of 2 to 1, but was rejected by the Greek Cypriots by a 3 to 1 margin. As a result, while officially the whole of Cyprus entered the European Union on 1 May 2004, the de facto EU border runs along the Green Line, dividing the country between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot parts.

EU law is currently not applied in the Turkish occupied north. The Union has promised to send aid in the form of money and work towards lifting the trade sanctions imposed by the European Court, but they have ruled out diplomatic recognition of northern Cyprus. As to date, the self declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, recognized only by Turkey, has yet to see any promised aid or easing of trade sanctions.

See also:


Main article: History of Cyprus There are but scanty traces of the Stone Age, but the Bronze Age is characterized by a well-developed and clearly marked civilization. The people early learned to work the rich copper mines of the island. The Mycenæan civilization of the West seems to have reached the island around 1600 B.C. The Greek and Phœnician settlements belong to the Iron Age. The island was invaded by Thothmes III of Egypt about 1500 B.C., and was forced to pay tribute. In the eighth century before Christ it was tributary to the Assyrians. Cyprus has been badgered by its powerful nearby nations for more than 3,000 years. In ancient times Cyprus supplied the Greeks with timber for their fleets.

In the sixth century B.C., Amasis of Egypt conquered Cyprus, which soon fell under the rule of the Persians when Cambyses conquered Egypt. Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.) wrested the island away from the Persians. Later, Egypt controlled it, then Rome annexed it in 58-57 BC. During the reign of Trajan (116 AD), an estimated 240,000 people were slain when it was the scene of a rising by the Jews, who were defeated by the Romans everywhere in the Roman Empire about 137 and scattered to many places.

Byzantine emperors took control after the partitioning of the Roman Empire, then Arabs took control in 646. Greeks, Arabs, and Byzantine emperors badgered Cyprus until 1184 when Isaac Comnenus of Cyprus made Cyprus an independent sovereignty. The Republic of Venice took control in 1489, after which the Turks invaded and took control in 1570. Cyprus was placed under British control on July 12, 1878 due to the proceedings at the Congress of Berlin. Compulsory reafforestation has been introduced into Cyprus. The Famagusta harbor was completed in June, 1906. Cyprus was ceded to Great Britain in 1913.

Map of Cyprus
Map of Cyprus


Main article: Geography of Cyprus

The central plain (Mesaoria) with the Kyrenia/Girne and Pentadactylos/Besparmak mountains to the north and the Troodos mountain range to the south and west. There are also scattered but significant plains along the southern coast.

The climate is temperate, Mediterranean with hot, dry summers and cool, variably rainy winters.

See also:

Missing image
MODIS Satellite Image of Cyprus


Main article: Politics of Cyprus

After independence Cyprus became a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement despite all three guarantor powers (Greece, Turkey and the UK) being NATO members. Cyprus left the Non-Aligned Movement in 2004 to join the EU.

Following the independence of Cyprus from the UK, Cyprus had three referendums on the issue of wether they wanted to be annexed by Greece. All three referendums voted on a margin of 9 to 1, to be annexed by Greece, however it said that Greek Prime Minister Kostantinos Karamanlis accepted foreign pressure which did not want Greece to obtain Cyprus, and did not claim Cyprus (see majoritarianism).

Since 1974, Cyprus has been divided de facto into the Greek government-controlled southern two-thirds of the island and the Turkish-Cypriot northern one-third. The Government of the Republic of Cyprus has continued as the internationally recognised authority; in practice, its power extends only to the Greek Cypriot-controlled areas.

The 1960 Cypriot 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, for example, was headed by a Greek Cypriot president and a Turkish Cypriot vice president, elected by their respective communities for 5-year terms and each possessing a right of veto over certain types of legislation and executive decisions.

The House of Representatives was elected on the basis of separate voters' rolls. Since 1964, following clashes between the two communities the Turkish seats in the House have been vacant after their unilateral withdrawal from the government and the Greek Cypriot Communal Chamber was abolished. The responsibilities of the chamber were transferred to the newfounded Ministry of Education.

In 1974, in order to prevent Greece from annexing Cyprus after a CIA-backed coup (see Enosis, the Turkish Army invaded Cyprus. The Turks proceeded and the military invasion of Turkish forces (claiming their authority was as one of the 3 international guarantors of Cyprus), 195,000 majority Greek Cypriots were forcibly expelled from the north and 55,000 Turkish Cypriots from the south were similarly forced to the north. Ever since, Turkish Cypriots unilaterally set up their own institutions with a popularly elected president and a Prime Minister responsible to the National Assembly exercising joint executive powers. In 1983, the Turkish Cypriots declared an independent "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" (TRNC,) contrary to numerous UN SC resolutions calling such an act as illegal and a by-product of a foreign (Turkish) intervention. In 1985, they adopted a constitution and held elections – an arrangement recognised only by Turkey.

See also:


Main article: Economy of Cyprus

Economic affairs in Cyprus are dominated by the division of the country into the southern (Greek) area controlled by the Cyprus Government and the northern Turkish Cypriot-administered area.

The Greek Cypriot economy is prosperous but highly susceptible to external shocks. Erratic growth rates in the 1990s reflect the economy's vulnerability to swings in tourist arrivals, caused by political instability on the island and fluctuations in economic conditions in Western Europe. Economic policy in the south is focused on meeting the criteria for admission to the European Union. As in the Turkish sector, water shortage is a growing problem, and several desalination plants are planned.

The Turkish Cypriot economy has about one-fifth the population and one-third the per capita GDP of the south. Because it is recognised only by Turkey, it has had much difficulty arranging foreign financing, and foreign firms have hesitated to invest there. The economy remains heavily dependent on agriculture and government service, which together employ about half of the work force. Moreover, the small, vulnerable economy has suffered because the Turkish lira is legal tender. To compensate for the economy's weakness, Turkey provides direct and indirect aid to tourism, education, industry, etc.

The end of the Cold War marked the beginning of a new era, in which respect and cooperation between nations, commitment to human rights, democracy and the rule of law are recognized as being of fundamental importance. Within this new environment, the Cyprus issue is not only a glaring anachronism, but also continues to be a factor of potential instability in the Southeastern Mediterranean. Hence, apart from moral obligation, the international community has an additional reason to contribute to efforts towards a just and viable solution.


Main article: Demographics of Cyprus

Greek and Turkish Cypriots share many customs but maintain their ethnicity based on religion, language, and close ties with their respective motherlands.

Greek language is predominantly spoken in the south, Turkish language in the north. This delineation of languages is true only in the present period, due to the post-1974 division of the island, which involved an expulsion of Greek Cypriots from the north and the analoguous move of Turkish Cypriots from the south. Historically however, Greek (its Cypriot dialect) was spoken by nearly 82% of the population, which was evenly distributed along the entire area of Cyprus, north and south. Similarly, Turkish speakers were evenly distributed. English is widely understood.


Cyprus has a well-developed system of primary and secondary education. The majority of Cypriots earn their higher education at Greek, Turkish, British, or US universities, while there are also sizeable emigrant communities in the United Kingdom and Australia. Private colleges and state-supported universities have been developed by both the Turkish and Greek communities.

Although the Cypriote system follows the Greek system in the south and the Turkish system in the north. A large amount of students(after A levels) are studying abroad mainly in English speaking countries in the US, UK, Australia but also in other European destination such as France, Germany etc..., With the opening of eastearn Europe the students also have the opportunities to go to universities of Romania, Hungary etc...

Possibility of higher education on the island:

  • The University Of Cyprus opened up in September 1993. The main languages are officially Greek and Turkish, although classes are mainly taught in Greek.
  • Cyprus College ( (taught in English)situated in Nicosia
  • Intercollege ( (taught in English) situated in Nicosia and Larnaca
  • Philips College ( (taught in English/Greek) situated in Nicosia

Also on the Turkish Side:


Countries in Asia

Afghanistan | Armenia1 | Azerbaijan | Bahrain | Bangladesh | Bhutan | Brunei | Cambodia | China | Cyprus1 | East Timor | Egypt | Gaza Strip | Georgia1 | India | Indonesia | Iran | Iraq | Israel | Japan | Jordan | Kazakhstan | Kuwait | Kyrgyzstan | Laos | Lebanon | Malaysia | Maldives | Mongolia | Myanmar | Nepal | North Korea | Oman | Pakistan | Philippines | Qatar | Russia | Saudi Arabia | Singapore | South Korea | Sri Lanka | Syria | Taiwan | Tajikistan | Thailand | Turkey | Turkmenistan | United Arab Emirates | Uzbekistan | Vietnam | West Bank | Yemen

1. Usually assigned to Asia geographically, but nonetheless often thought of as European for cultural and historical reasons.

European Union (EU)
Missing image
Flag of the European Union

Austria | Belgium | Cyprus | Czech Republic | Denmark | Estonia | Finland | France | Germany | Greece | Hungary | Ireland | Italy | Latvia | Lithuania | Luxembourg | Malta | Netherlands | Poland | Portugal | Slovakia | Slovenia | Spain | Sweden | United Kingdom

Countries in Europe
Albania | Andorra | Austria | Azerbaijan1 | Belarus | Belgium | Bosnia and Herzegovina | Bulgaria | Croatia | Cyprus2 | Czech Republic | Denmark | Estonia | Finland | France | Germany | Greece | Hungary | Iceland | Ireland | Italy | Latvia | Liechtenstein | Lithuania | Luxembourg | Macedonia | Malta | Moldova | Monaco | Netherlands | Norway | Poland | Portugal | Romania | Russia1 | San Marino | Serbia and Montenegro | Slovakia | Slovenia | Spain | Sweden | Switzerland | Turkey1 | Ukraine | United Kingdom | Vatican City
Dependencies: Akrotiri and Dhekelia2 | Faroe Islands | Gibraltar | Guernsey | Jan Mayen | Jersey | Isle of Man | Svalbard
1. Country partly in Asia. 2. Usually assigned to Asia geographically, but often considered European for cultural and historical reasons.

Countries and territories in the Middle East
Bahrain | Cyprus | Egypt | Gaza Strip | Iran | Iraq | Israel | Jordan | Kuwait | Lebanon | Oman | Qatar | Saudi Arabia | Syria | Turkey | United Arab Emirates | West Bank | Yemen



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