Cyprus (Kypriakí Dimokratía/Kibris Cumhuriyeti/Republic of Cyprus) is an island located in the eastern Mediterranean Sea south of Turkey. In 1983 the northern part of the island – occupied by Turkey since 1974 – has been proclaimed the so-called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (3,355 square kilometers, population 190,000), which is only recognized by Turkey.
The southern part of the island, the Greek-Cypriot territory, is a member of the European Union. Negotiations are still underway to solve the problem of the division of the island. The capital Nicosia in the center of the island is divided into two sectors: a Greek one in the south and a Turkish one in the north. Famagusta is located in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, while Limassol and Larnaca lie both in the Greek part of the island.
The relief of Cyprus is formed by two mountain ranges, which cross the island from west to east. The northern chain is the lower one just exceeds the height of 1,000 meters with Mount Kyréneia or Pentadáutylos with 1,023 meters, while the southern chain possesses the highest mountain of Cyprus by Mount Troodos in the Olympus Mountains, reaching 1,953 meters. Between the two chains is a wide depression, called Mesaoria, which is the only flat part of the island.
Cyprus has a thriving agricultural economy with a significant number of employees cultivating and harvesting citrus fruits, cereals, olives, wine, vegetables and potatoes. In recent years the banking services have become together with tourism the driving force of the economy of the island.
English text correction by Dietrich Köster.
- Area: 9,251 sq km
- Population: 730,000: Greek Cypriots 80%; Turkish Cypriots 18%; minorities of Arabs and Armenians.
- State Capital: Nicosia
- Official Languages: Greek and Turkish are the official languages. English is widely spoken.
- Religion: The overwhelming majority of the Cypriots belong to the Orthodox Church of Cyprus. Turkish Cypriots are Muslims. There are also small Jewish, Protestant, Roman Catholic, Maronite and Armenian Apostolic communities.
- Currency: Euro (EUR)
- Time Zone: UTC+2, Summer Daylight Saving Time UTC+3. Each year on the last Sunday of March Daylight Saving Time comes into effect in Cyprus and all clocks are advanced by one hour. On the last Sunday in October Cyprus reverts to Standard Time.