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Introduction - Cyprus:




A former British colony, Cyprus became independent 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 Government-sponsored attempt to seize control of Cyprus 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 (TRNC), but it is recognized only by Turkey. The latest two-year round of UN-brokered 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. The entire island entered the EU on 1 May 2004, although the EU acquis - the body of common rights and obligations - applies only to the areas under direct government control, and is suspended in the areas administered by Turkish Cypriots. However, individual Turkish Cypriots able to document their eligibility for Republic of Cyprus citizenship legally enjoy the same rights accorded to other citizens of European Union states. 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.

Location - Cyprus:


Middle East, island in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Turkey

Geographic coordinates

35 00 N, 33 00 E

Map references

Middle East


total: 9,250 sq km (of which 3,355 sq km are in north Cyprus)
land: 9,240 sq km
water: 10 sq km

Area comparative

about 0.6 times the size of Connecticut

Land boundaries

total: NA; note - boundary with Dhekelia is being resurveyed
border countries: Akrotiri 47.4 km, Dhekelia NA


648 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation


temperate; Mediterranean with hot, dry summers and cool winters


central plain with mountains to north and south; scattered but significant plains along southern coast

Elevation extremes

lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
highest point: Mount Olympus 1,951 m

Natural resources

copper, pyrites, asbestos, gypsum, timber, salt, marble, clay earth pigment

Land use

arable land: 10.81%
permanent crops: 4.32%
other: 84.87% (2005)

Irrigated land

400 sq km (2003)

Natural hazards

moderate earthquake activity; droughts

Environment current issues

water resource problems (no natural reservoir catchments, seasonal disparity in rainfall, sea water intrusion to islands largest aquifer, increased salination in the north); water pollution from sewage and industrial wastes; coastal degradation; loss of wildlife habitats from urbanization

Environment international agreements

party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography note

the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea (after Sicily and Sardinia)

People - Cyprus:


788,457 (July 2007 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 19.9% (male 80,273/female 76,826)
15-64 years: 68.3% (male 272,924/female 265,738)
65 years and over: 11.8% (male 40,458/female 52,238) (2007 est.)

Median age

total: 35.1 years
male: 34.1 years
female: 36.2 years (2007 est.)

Population growth rate

0.527% (2007 est.)

Birth rate

12.56 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Death rate

7.72 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Net migration rate

0.42 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.045 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.027 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.774 male(s)/female
total population: 0.997 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 6.89 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 8.54 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 5.16 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 77.98 years
male: 75.6 years
female: 80.49 years (2007 est.)

Total fertility rate

1.8 children born/woman (2007 est.)

Hiv aids adult prevalence rate

0.1% (2003 est.)

Hiv aids people living with hiv aids

less than 1,000 (1999 est.)

Hiv aids deaths



noun: Cypriot(s)
adjective: Cypriot

Ethnic groups

Greek 77%, Turkish 18%, other 5% (2001)


Greek Orthodox 78%, Muslim 18%, other (includes Maronite and Armenian Apostolic) 4%


Greek, Turkish, English


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.6%
male: 98.9%
female: 96.3% (2003 est.)

Government - Cyprus:

Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Cyprus
conventional short form: Cyprus
local long form: Kypriaki Dimokratia/Kibris Cumhuriyeti
local short form: Kypros/Kibris
note: the Turkish Cypriot community, which administers the northern part of the island, refers to itself as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC)

Government type

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), which is recognized only by Turkey


name: Nicosia (Lefkosia)
geographic coordinates: 35 10 N, 33 22 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Administrative divisions

6 districts; Famagusta, Kyrenia, Larnaca, Limassol, Nicosia, Paphos; note - Turkish Cypriot areas administrative divisions include Kyrenia, all but a small part of Famagusta, and small parts of Lefkosia (Nicosia) and Larnaca


16 August 1960 (from UK); note - Turkish Cypriots proclaimed self-rule on 13 February 1975 and independence in 1983, but these proclamations are only recognized by Turkey

National holiday

Independence Day, 1 October (1960); note - Turkish Cypriots celebrate 15 November (1983) as Independence Day


16 August 1960
note: from December 1963, the Turkish Cypriots no longer participated in the government; negotiations to create the basis for a new or revised constitution to govern the island and for better relations between Greek and Turkish Cypriots have been held intermittently since the mid-1960s; in 1975, following the 1974 Turkish intervention, Turkish Cypriots created their own constitution and governing bodies within the Turkish Federated State of Cyprus, which became the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) when the Turkish Cypriots declared their independence in 1983; a new constitution for the TRNC passed by referendum on 5 May 1985, although the TRNC remains unrecognized by any country other than Turkey

Legal system

based on English common law, with civil law modifications; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

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
head of government: President Tassos PAPADOPOULOS (since 1 March 2003)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed jointly by the president and vice president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 16 February 2003 (next to be held in February 2008)
election results: Tassos PAPADOPOULOS elected president; percent of vote - Tassos PAPADOPOULOS 51.5%, Glafkos KLIRIDIS 38.8%, Alekos MARKIDIS 6.6%
note: Mehmet Ali TALAT became president of the TRNC, 24 April 2005, after presidential elections on 17 April 2005; results - Mehmet Ali TALAT 55.6%, Dervis EROGLU 22.7%; Ferdi Sabit SOYER is TRNC prime minister and heads the Council of Ministers (cabinet) in coalition with Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Turgay AVCI

Legislative branch

unicameral - area under government control: House of Representatives or Vouli Antiprosopon (80 seats, 56 assigned to the Greek Cypriots, 24 to Turkish Cypriots; note - only those assigned to Greek Cypriots are filled; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms); area administered by Turkish Cypriots: Assembly of the Republic or Cumhuriyet Meclisi (50 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: area under government control: last held 21 May 2006 (next to be held 2011); area administered by Turkish Cypriots: last held 14 December 2003 (next to be held in 2008)
election results: area under government control: House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - AKEL 31.1%, DISY 30.3%, DIKO 17.9%, EDEK 8.9%, EURO.KO 5.8%, Greens 2.0%; seats by party - AKEL (Communist) 18, DISY 18, DIKO 11, EDEK 5, EURO.KO 3, Greens 1; area administered by Turkish Cypriots: Assembly of the Republic - percent of vote by party - CTP 35.8%, UBP 32.3%, Peace and Democratic Movement 13.4%, DP 12.3%; seats by party - CTP 19, UBP 18, Peace and Democratic Movement 6, DP 7; note - TRNC seats by party as of September 2006 - CTP 25, OP 3, UBP 13, DP 6, BDH 1, independents 2

Judicial branch

Supreme Court (judges are appointed jointly by the president and vice president)
note: there is also a Supreme Court in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots

Political parties and leaders

area under government control: Democratic Party or DIKO [Marios KAROYIAN]; Democratic Rally or DISY [Nikos ANASTASIADHIS]; European Democracy or EURO.DI [Prodromos PRODROMOU] (evolved from For Europe which merged with New Horizons); European Party or EURO.KO [Demetris SYLLOURIS]; Fighting Democratic Movement or ADIK [Dinos MIKHAILIDIS]; Green Party of Cyprus [George PERDIKIS]; Movement for Social Democrats or EDEK [Yannakis OMIROU]; Political Movement of Hunters [Michalis PAFITANIS]; Progressive Party of the Working People or AKEL (Communist Party) [Dimitrios CHRISTOFIAS]; United Democrats or EDI [Michalis PAPAPETROU]
area administered by Turkish Cypriots: Communal Liberation Party or TKP [Huseyin ANGOLEMLI]; Cyprus Socialist Party or KSP [Kazim ONGEN]; Democratic Party or DP [Serder DENKTASH]; Freedom and Reform Party or OP [Turgay AVCI]; National Unity Party or UBP [Tahsin ERTUGRULOGLU]; Nationalist Justice Party or MAP [Ata TEPE]; New Party or YP [Huseyin TURAN]; Our Party or BP [Okyay SADIKOGLU]; Patriotic Unity Movement or YBH [Oguz OZEN]; Peace and Democratic Movement or BDH [Mustafa AKINCI]; Renewal Progress Party or YAP [Ertugrul HASIPOGLU]; Republican Turkish Party or CTP [Ferdi Sabit SOYER]; United Cyprus Party or BKP [Isset IZCAN]

Political pressure groups and leaders

Confederation of Cypriot Workers or SEK (pro-West); Confederation of Revolutionary Labor Unions or Dev-Is; Federation of Turkish Cypriot Labor Unions or Turk-Sen; Pan-Cyprian Labor Federation or PEO (Communist controlled)

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the us

chief of mission: Ambassador Andreas KAKOURIS
chancery: 2211 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 462-5772, 462-0873
FAX: [1] (202) 483-6710
consulate(s) general: New York
note: representative of the Turkish Cypriot community in the US is Hilmi AKIL; office at 1667 K Street NW, Washington, DC; telephone [1] (202) 887-6198

Diplomatic representation from the us

chief of mission: Ambassador Ronald L. SCHLICHER
embassy: corner of Metochiou and Ploutarchou Streets, 2407 Engomi, Nicosia
mailing address: P. O. Box 24536, 1385 Nicosia
telephone: [357] (22) 393939
FAX: [357] (22) 780944

Flag description

white with a copper-colored silhouette of the island (the name Cyprus is derived from the Greek word for copper) above two green crossed olive branches in the center of the flag; the branches symbolize the hope for peace and reconciliation between the Greek and Turkish communities
note: the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus flag has a white field with narrow horizontal red stripes positioned a small distance from the top and bottom edges between which is centered a red crescent and red five-pointed star

Economy - Cyprus:

Economy overview

The area of the Republic of Cyprus under government control has a market economy dominated by the service sector, which accounts for 76% of GDP. Tourism and financial services are the most important sectors; erratic growth rates over the past decade reflect the economys reliance on tourism, which often fluctuates with political instability in the region and economic conditions in Western Europe. Nevertheless, the economy in the area under government control grew a healthy 3.7% to 3.8% per year in 2004, 2005, and 2006, well above the EU average. Cyprus joined the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM2) in May 2005. The government has initiated an aggressive austerity program, which has cut the budget deficit to well below 3%, and the EU is expected to invite Cyprus to adopt the euro as its national currency on 1 January 2008. As in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots, water shortages are a perennial problem; a few desalination plants are now on line. After 10 years of drought, the country received substantial rainfall from 2001-04 alleviating immediate concerns. Rainfall in 2005 and 2006, however, was well below average making water rationing likely in 2007. The Turkish Cypriot economy has roughly 45% of the per capita GDP of the south, and economic growth tends to be volatile, given the norths relative isolation, bloated public sector, reliance on the Turkish lira, and small market size. The Turkish Cypriot economy grew around 10.6% in 2006, fueled by growth in the construction and education sectors, as well as increased employment of Turkish Cypriots in the area under government control. The Turkish Cypriots are heavily dependent on transfers from the Turkish Government. Ankara directly finances around one-third of the TRNCs budget. Aid from Turkey has reached over $400 million annually in recent years. Agriculture and services, together, employ more than half of the work force.

Gdp purchasing power parity

area under government control: $18.04 billion
area administered by Turkish Cypriots: $4.54 billion (2006 est.)

Gdp official exchange rate

area under government control: $16.37 billion (2006 est.)

Gdp real growth rate

area under government control: 3.8%
area administered by Turkish Cypriots: 10.6% (2006 est.)

Gdp per capita ppp

area under government control: $23,000
area administered by Turkish Cypriots: $7,135 (2006 est.)

Gdp composition by sector

area under government control: agriculture 3.7%; industry 19.6%; services 76.8% (2005 est.)
area administered by Turkish Cypriots: agriculture 10.6%; industry 20.5%; services 68.9% (2003 est.)

Labor force

area under government control: 380,000
area administered by Turkish Cypriots: 95,025 (2006 est.)

Labor force by occupation

area under government control: agriculture 7.4%, industry 38.2%, services 54.4% (2004 est.)
area administered by Turkish Cypriots: agriculture 14.5%, industry 29%, services 56.5% (2004 est.)

Unemployment rate

area under government control: 5.5% (2005 est.)
area administered by Turkish Cypriots: 5.6% (2004 est.)

Population below poverty line


Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate consumer prices

area under government control: 2.8% (2005 est.)
area administered by Turkish Cypriots: 9.1% (2004 est.)

Investment gross fixed

area under government control: 21.2% of GDP (2006 est.)


area under government control: revenues: $7.395 billion; expenditures: $7.695 billion (2005 est.)
area administered by Turkish Cypriots: revenues: $685.7 million; expenditures: $432.8 million (2003 est.)

Public debt

area under government control: 64.8% of GDP (2006 est.)

Agriculture products

citrus, vegetables, barley, grapes, olives, vegetables; poultry, pork, lamb; dairy, cheese


tourism, food and beverage processing, cement and gypsum production, ship repair and refurbishment, textiles, light chemicals, metal products, wood, paper, stone, and clay products

Industrial production growth rate

area under government control: 2.4% (2005 est.)
area administered by Turkish Cypriots: -0.3% (2006 est.)

Electricity production

area under government control: 3.926 billion kWh
area administered by Turkish Cypriots: 998.9 million kWh (2004)

Electricity consumption

area under government control: 3.651 billion kWh (2004)
area administered by Turkish Cypriots: 797.9 million kWh (2004)

Electricity exports

area under government control: 0 kWh (2004)

Electricity imports

area under government control: 0 kWh (2004)

Oil production

area under government control: 300 bbl/day (2005 est.)

Oil consumption

area under government control: 53,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil exports

NA bbl/day

Oil imports

NA bbl/day

Current account balance

area under government control: -$1.051 billion (2006 est.)


area under government control: $1.34 billion f.o.b.
area administered by Turkish Cypriots: $68.1 million f.o.b. (2006 est.)

Exports commodities

area under government control: citrus, potatoes, pharmaceuticals, cement, clothing and cigarettes
area administered by Turkish Cypriots: citrus, dairy, potatoes, textiles

Exports partners

UK 15.1%, Greece 14.2%, France 7.7%, Germany 4.9%, UAE 4.2% (2006)


area under government control: $5.8 billion f.o.b.
area administered by Turkish Cypriots: $1.2 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)

Imports commodities

area under government control: consumer goods, petroleum and lubricants, intermediate goods, machinery, transport equipment
area administered by Turkish Cypriots: vehicles, fuel, cigarettes, food, minerals, chemicals, machinery

Imports partners

Greece 17.6%, Italy 11.4%, Germany 9%, UK 8.9%, Israel 6.3%, France 4.3%, Netherlands 4.3%, China 4.2% (2006)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

area under government control: $4.613 billion
area administered by Turkish Cypriots: $NA (2006 est.)

Debt external

area under government control: $12.63 billion
area administered by Turkish Cypriots: $NA (2006 est.)

Economic aid recipient

area under government control: $NA
area administered by Turkish Cypriots: under a July 2006 agreement, Turkey plans to provide the area administered by Turkish Cypriots 1.875 billion YTL ($1.3 billion) over three years (600 million YTL in 2006, 625 million YTL in 2007 and 650 million YTL in 2008); Turkey has forgiven most past aid

Currency code

area under government control: Cypriot pound (CYP)
area administered by Turkish Cypriots: Turkish New lira (YTL)

Exchange rates

Cypriot pounds per US dollar: 0.4586 (2006), 0.4641 (2005), 0.4686 (2004), 0.5174 (2003), 0.6107 (2002)
Turkish lira per US dollar: 1.4451 (2006), 1.3436 (2005), 1.426 million (2004), 1.501 million (2003), 1.507 million (2002)

Communications - Cyprus:

Fiscal year

calendar year

Telephones main lines in use

area under government control: 408,300 (2006); area administered by Turkish Cypriots: 86,228 (2002)

Telephones mobile cellular

area under government control: 777,500 (2006); area administered by Turkish Cypriots: 143,178 (2002)

Telephone system

general assessment: excellent in both area under government control and area administered by Turkish Cypriots
domestic: open-wire, fiber-optic cable, and microwave radio relay
international: country code - 357 (area administered by Turkish Cypriots uses the country code of Turkey - 90); tropospheric scatter; 3 coaxial and 5 fiber-optic submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean), 2 Eutelsat, 2 Intersputnik, and 1 Arabsat

Radio broadcast stations

area under government control: AM 5, FM 76, shortwave 0
area administered by Turkish Cypriots: AM 1, FM 20, shortwave 1 (2004)

Television broadcast stations

area under government control: 8
area administered by Turkish Cypriots: 2 (plus 4 relay) (2004)

Internet country code


Internet hosts

67,589 (2006)

Internet users

356,600 (2006)

Transportation - Cyprus:


16 (2006)

Airports with paved runways

total: 13
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 1 (2006)

Airports with unpaved runways

total: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
under 914 m: 2 (2006)


10 (2006)


total: 14,496 km (area under government control: 12,146 km; area administered by Turkish Cypriots: 2,350 km)
paved: area under government control: 7,845 km (includes 276 km of expressways); area administered by Turkish Cypriots: 1,370 km
unpaved: area under government control: 4,301 km; area administered by Turkish Cypriots: 980 km (2005/1996 est.)

Merchant marine

total: 884 ships (1000 GRT or over) 19,477,944 GRT/31,157,473 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 354, cargo 210, chemical tanker 44, container 145, liquefied gas 8, passenger 7, passenger/cargo 23, petroleum tanker 64, refrigerated cargo 15, roll on/roll off 9, vehicle carrier 5
foreign-owned: 777 (Belgium 1, Canada 2, China 11, Croatia 2, Cuba 2, Denmark 1, Estonia 6, Germany 214, Greece 337, Greenland 1, Hong Kong 1, India 5, Iran 2, Ireland 3, Israel 3, Italy 2, Japan 17, South Korea 1, Latvia 4, Netherlands 18, Norway 16, Philippines 1, Poland 20, Portugal 2, Russia 53, Singapore 1, Slovakia 1, Slovenia 4, Spain 7, Sweden 3, Switzerland 4, Syria 3, UAE 11, UK 6, Ukraine 4, US 7, unknown 1)
registered in other countries: 87 (Bahamas 13, Belize 2, Cambodia 12, Georgia 1, Gibraltar 1, Greece 1, Isle of Man 1, Liberia 3, Malta 15, Marshall Islands 15, Norway 2, Panama 14, Portugal 1, Russia 2, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1, Sierra Leone 1, Turkey 2) (2006)

Ports and terminals

area under government control: Larnaca, Limassol, Vasilikos; area administered by Turkish Cypriots: Famagusta, Kyrenia

Military - Cyprus:

Military branches

Republic of Cyprus: Greek Cypriot National Guard (GCNG; includes air and naval elements); north Cyprus: Turkish Cypriot Security Force (GKK)

Military service age and obligation

18 years of age (2004)

Manpower available for military service

Greek Cypriot National Guard (GCNG):
males age 18-49: 184,352
females age 18-49: 175,567 (2005 est.)

Manpower fit for military service

Greek Cypriot National Guard (GCNG):
males age 18-49: 150,750
females age 18-49: 144,344 (2005 est.)

Manpower reaching military service age annually

Greek Cypriot National Guard (GCNG):
males age 18-49: 6,578
females age 18-49: 6,200 (2005 est.)

Refugees and internally displaced persons

IDPs: 210,000 (both Turkish and Greek Cypriots; many displaced for over 30 years) (2006)

Military expenditures percent of gdp

3.8% (2005 est.)

Trafficking in persons

current situation: Cyprus is primarily a destination country for a large number of women trafficked from Eastern and Central Europe, the Philippines, and the Dominican Republic for the purpose of sexual exploitation; traffickers continued to fraudulently recruit victims for work as dancers in cabarets and nightclubs on short-term artiste visas, for work in pubs and bars on employment visas, or for illegal work on tourist or student visas; there were credible reports of female domestic workers from India, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines forced to work excessively long hours and denied proper compensation
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Cyprus does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and failed to show evidence of increasing efforts to address its serious trafficking for sexual exploitation problem; however, it is making significant efforts to do so

Disputes international

hostilities in 1974 divided the island into two de facto autonomous entities, the internationally recognized Cypriot Government and a Turkish-Cypriot community (north Cyprus); the 1,000-strong UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) has served in Cyprus since 1964 and maintains the buffer zone between north and south; on 1 May 2004, Cyprus entered the European Union still divided, with the EUs body of legislation and standards (acquis communitaire) suspended in the north

This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>

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