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   Cyprus Country Guide


Flag of Cyprus A former British colony, Cyprus received independence in 1960 following years of resistance to British rule. Tensions between the Greek Cypriot majority and Turkish Cypriot minority came to a head in December 1963, when violence broke out in the capital of Nicosia. Despite the deployment of UN peacekeepers in 1964, sporadic intercommunal violence continued forcing most Turkish Cypriots into enclaves throughout the island. In 1974, a Greek-sponsored attempt to seize the government was met by military intervention from Turkey, which soon controlled more than a third of the island. In 1983, the Turkish-held area declared itself the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus," but it is recognized only by Turkey. The latest two-year round of UN-brokered direct talks - between the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities to reach an agreement to reunite the divided island - ended when the Greek Cypriots rejected the UN settlement plan in an April 2004 referendum. Although only the internationally recognized Greek Cypriot-controlled Republic of Cyprus joined the EU on 1 May 2004, every Cypriot carrying a Cyprus passport will have the status of a European citizen. EU laws, however, will not apply to north Cyprus. Nicosia continues to oppose EU efforts to establish direct trade and economic links to north Cyprus as a way of encouraging the Turkish Cypriot community to continue to support reunification.



Map of Cyprus Full Name: Republic of Cyprus
Area: 9,251 sq km (of which 3,355 sq km are in north Cyprus)
Population: 1,205,575 (July 2016 est.)
Capital City: Nicosia (Lefkosia)


People: Greek 77%, Turkish 18%, other 5% (2001)
Language: Greek (official) 80.9%, Turkish (official) 0.2%, English 4.1%, Romanian 2.9%, Russian 2.5%, Bulgarian 2.2%, Arabic 1.2%, Filippino 1.1%, other 4.3%, unspecified 0.6% (2011 est.)
Religion: Greek Orthodox 78%, Muslim 18%, other (includes Maronite and Armenian Apostolic) 4%

Government Type: Republic
note: a separation 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 that followed a Greek junta-supported 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
Chief of State President Nicos ANASTASIADES (since 28 February 2013); note - the president is both 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
Head of Government: President Nicos ANASTASIADES (since 28 February 2013)

GDP: $US 19.93 billion (2015 est.)
GDP per Capita: $US 34,400 (2016 est.)
Inflation: -0.3% (2016 est.)
Unemployment: 1.8% (2016 est.)
Industries: Tourism, food and beverage processing; cement and gypsum production; ship repair and refurbishment; textiles; light chemicals; metal products; wood, paper, stone, and clay products
Currency: Greek Cypriot area: Euro (€ - EUR)

Member of EU: Yes



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Info provided by the CIA World Factbook
Updated 2/2017
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