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Cyprus - Learn About Your World

About Cyprus

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Welcome to Cyprus

Official Name: Republic of Cyprus (note: the Turkish Cypriot area refers to itself as the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus"(TRNC))
Abbreviations: CY
Area: 9,251 sq km (of which 3,355 sq km are in the Turkish Cypriot area) [1,2]
Population: 797,800 [1]
Population density: 83.4 people/sq. km [3]
Life expectancy: total population: 77.46 years, male: 75.11 years, female: 79.92 years (2004 est.) [2]
Birth Rate: 12.66 births/1,000 population (2004 est.) [2]
Death Rate: 7.63 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.) [2]
Main ethnic groups (2001): Greeks, 80.6%; Turks, 11.1% (not including an estimated 115,000 settlers from Turkey); Other, 8.3%. [1]
Religion: Greek Orthodox 78%, Muslim 18%, Maronite, Armenian Apostolic, and other 4% [2]
Official Languages: Greek, Turkish, English [2]
Capital: Nicosia
Principal Cities:
Chief of state: President Tassos PAPADOPOULOS (since 1 March 2003); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government; post of vice president is currently vacant; under the 1960 constitution, the post is reserved for a Turkish Cypriot [2]
Government type: Republic **note: a disaggregation of the two ethnic communities inhabiting the island began following the outbreak of communal strife in 1963; this separation was further solidified after the Turkish intervention in July 1974 after a Greek junta-based coup attempt gave the Turkish Cypriots de facto control in the north; Greek Cypriots control the only internationally recognized government; on 15 November 1983 Turkish Cypriot "President" Rauf DENKTASH declared independence and the formation of a "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" (TRNC), recognized only by Turkey; both sides publicly support a settlement based on a federation (Greek Cypriot position) or confederation (Turkish Cypriot position) [2]
Independence: 16 August 1960 (from UK); note - Turkish Cypriot area proclaimed self-rule on 13 February 1975 [2]
GDP per Capita: Greek Cypriot area: purchasing power parity - $19,200 (2003 est.); Turkish Cypriot area: purchasing power parity - $5,600 (2003 est.) [2]
GDP per head: 72% of EU average [1]
Currency: Greek Cypriot area: Cypriot pound (CYP); Turkish Cypriot area: Turkish lira (TRL)
Average pay: 17,607 euros (per year, 2001) [1]
Cars: 40 per 100 people [1]
Mobile phones: 58 per 100 [1]
Internet users: 29% [1]
Inflation: 4.0% (2003) [1]
Unemployment: 4.7% (2003) [1]
Growth rate: 2.2% (2002 to 2003) [1]
Chief crops: potatoes, citrus, vegetables, barley, grapes, olives, vegetables
Livestock and fish: poultry, pork, lamb, kids, dairy
Major industries: food, beverages, textiles, chemicals, metal products, tourism, wood products
Main exports: medicines, fruit and nuts, vegetables [1]
Natural resources: copper, pyrites, asbestos, gypsum, timber, salt, marble, clay earth pigment
Land Use: arable land: 7.79%, permanent crops: 4.44%, other: 87.77% (2001)
Climate: Cyprus has an intense Mediterranean climate with the typical seasonal rhythm strongly marked in respect of temperature, rainfall, and weather. Hot, dry summers from mid-May to mid-September and rainy, rather changeable winters from November to mid-March are separated by short autumn and spring seasons. The island enjoys more than 300 sunny days per year. [5]
Lowest Elevation: lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
Highest Elevation: highest point: Mount Olympus 1,951 m
Rivers and Lakes: There are no perennial rivers or lakes on the island. [5]
Terrain and Environment: Prominent geographic features include the Troodos massif that occupies most of the southwestern part of the country, the Pentadaktylos range in the north around Kyrenia and the Messaoria Plain in between them. [4] The area of Cyprus encompasses citrus and olive groves, pine forested mountains, and some of Europe's cleanest beaches. Since Cyprus rose above the sea, about 20 million years ago, it has always been an island. This has lead to its adequate isolation which has allowed the evolution of many flora and fauna species. This is also attributed to the fact that the country has diverse geomorphology, topography and microclimates and has therefore developed a wide variety of habitats.[5]

The greatest environmental challenge include water resource problems (no natural reservoir catchments, seasonal disparity in rainfall, sea water intrusion to island's largest aquifer, increased salination in the north), water pollution from sewage and industrial wastes, coastal degradation, and loss of wildlife habitats from urbanization. [2]

Where is Cyprus?
Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Also the easternmost island in the Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus is approximately 105 kilometers (60 miles) west of Syria, 75kilometres (47 miles) south of Turkey and 380 kilometers (200 miles) north of Egypt. The nearest Greek point is the Greek island of Rhodes which is 380 kilometers (200miles) to the west. [4] It is geographically placed at the crossroads of three continents-Europe, Asia and Africa. [5]

Cyrpus - An Overview
The metal copper is named after Cyprus. Romans used copper extensively and they received their copper from Cyprus and was known as the metal of Cyprus. In Latin it was aes Cyprium- the 'metal of Cyprus', it was shortened to cyprium and then corrupted to cuprum. The ancient Greek word for copper is chalkos. [6]

Traditionally the birthplace of the ancient goddess of love Aphrodite, Cyprus's modern history has, in contrast, been dominated by enmity between its Greek and Turkish inhabitants. Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded the north in response to a military coup on the island which was backed by the Athens government. The island was effectively partitioned with the northern third inhabited by Turkish-Cypriots and the southern two-thirds by Greek Cypriots. A "Green Line" - dividing the two parts from Morphou through Nicosia to Famagusta - is patrolled by United Nations troops. In 1983 the Turkish-held area declared itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. It is recognized only by Turkey. [1]

The prospect of EU expansion concentrated minds in the search for a settlement. UN-sponsored negotiations continued throughout 2002 and a peace plan was tabled. Soon afterwards the EU invited Cyprus to become a member. But hopes that the island could join united were dashed when leaders of the Turkish and Greek communities failed to agree to the UN plan by the March 2003 deadline. Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash declared it unacceptable, saying too much land would have to be ceded. The Greek Cypriot side said there were inadequate measures for refugees wishing to return to their former homes. As EU entry approached, a revised UN reunification plan was put to both communities in twin referendums in April 2004. [1]

The plan was endorsed by Turkish Cypriots, although not by their leader Rauf Denktash, but overwhelmingly rejected by Greek Cypriots. Because both sides had to approve the proposals, the island remained divided as it joined the EU in May. EU laws and benefits will apply only to the Greek Cypriot community. Turkey has a particular interest in seeing the situation resolved as its own EU aspirations are linked to the island's future. [1]

Satellite Image:

Additional Goodies:
1.Interactive Regional Map from Lonely Planet:
2.Pictures of Cyprus
3.VERY detailed history of the island can be found here.
4.News in English
5.Public Radio

[1] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/europe/04/enlarging_europe/html/cyprus.stm (Source: European Commission / Eurostat / Europa World. (Figures for 2002 unless otherwise indicated.))
[2] http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/cy.html
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_density
[4] http://www.cyprustourism.org/
[5] http://www2.cytanet.com.cy/gym-ath-lar/aboutcyprus.htm
[6] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Cyprus

Anyone been there or have anything else to add?
Current Mood: calmcalm
Current Music: Cyprus has no national anthem
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Date:September 17th, 2006 04:34 am (UTC)
hey, i am greek cypriot, my papou's side of the family is from larnaca, and they still live there.
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