Cyprus gained its independence from the United Kingdom and established a constitutional republic in 1960, after an anti-British campaign by the Greek Cypriot EOKA (National Organization of Cypriot Fighters), a guerrilla group that desired political union, or enosis, with Greece.
Since 1974, Cyprus has been divided de facto into the government-controlled two-thirds of the island in the south and occpuied by the Greek Cypriots, and the remaining one-third of the island, which is administered by Turkish Cypriots. Greek and Turkish Cypriots share many customs but maintain distinct identities based on religion, language, and close ties with their respective “motherlands.” Greek is predominantly spoken in the south, Turkish in the north. English is widely used.
The northern portion is under Turkish control and is called “The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” but is only recognized as legitimate by Turkey itself. The southern portion is an independent republic called the Republic of Cyprus.
The island is both an ancient land, with an eleven thousand year-old history and civilization as well as a young independent republic since 1960. Its geographic location at the crossroads of three continents- Europe, Asia and Africa- and at the meeting point of great civilizations, has been one of the factors influencing the course of the island’s history throughout the centuries.
A “jewel” of a Mediterranean island and the mythical birthplace of Aphrodite, the island of Cyprus combines a rich natural and archaeological heritage with great natural beauty and a welcoming population!
Along with the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia, the Republic of Cyprus entered the EU on May 1, 2004. The EU acquis communautaire is suspended in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots pending a Cyprus settlement. Cyprus adopted the Euro on January 1, 2008.
Location: Island in NE part of the Mediterranean;
Time difference: GMT +3;
Total Area: 9.250 km2;
Population: 1.2 million;
Age Demographics: 0-14: 16.2%, 15-64: 73.4%, 65+: 10.4%;
Population growth: 1.6%;
Languages: Greek (official), Turkish (official), English;
Religions: Greek Orthodox 78%, Muslim 18%, Maronite, Armenian Apostolic, and other 4%;
Government Type: Republic;
GDP (per capita): $21,000 USD;
GDP (purchasing power parity): $23 billion USD