/suy"preuhs/, n. Obs.

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Introduction Cyprus -
Background: Independence from the UK was approved in 1960 with constitutional guarantees by the Greek Cypriot majority to the Turkish Cypriot minority. In 1974, a Greek-sponsored attempt to seize the government was met by military intervention from Turkey, which soon controlled almost 40% of the island. In 1983, the Turkish-held area declared itself the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus", but it is recognized only by Turkey. UN-led talks on the status of Cyprus resumed in December 1999 to prepare the ground for meaningful negotiations leading to a comprehensive settlement. Geography Cyprus
Location: Middle East, island in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Turkey
Geographic coordinates: 35 00 N, 33 00 E
Map references: Middle East
Area: total: 9,250 sq km (of which 3,355 sq km are in the Turkish Cypriot area) water: 10 sq km land: 9,240 sq km
Area - comparative: about 0.6 times the size of Connecticut
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 648 km
Maritime claims: continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation territorial sea: 12 NM
Climate: temperate; Mediterranean with hot, dry summers and cool winters
Terrain: 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: Olympus 1,951 m
Natural resources: copper, pyrites, asbestos, gypsum, timber, salt, marble, clay earth pigment
Land use: arable land: 10.61% permanent crops: 4.65% other: 84.74% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land: 400 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards: moderate earthquake activity; droughts Environment - current issues: 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; loss of wildlife habitats from urbanization Environment - international party to: Air Pollution,
agreements: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants
Geography - note: the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea (after Sicily and Sardinia) People Cyprus -
Population: 767,314 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 22.4% (male 87,981; female 84,168) 15-64 years: 66.6% (male 258,414; female 252,778) 65 years and over: 11% (male 36,607; female 47,366) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.57% (2002 est.)
Birth rate: 12.91 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate: 7.63 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate: 0.43 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/ female total population: 1 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 7.71 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.) Life expectancy at birth: total population: 77.08 years female: 79.5 years (2002 est.) male: 74.77 years
Total fertility rate: 1.9 children born/woman (2002 est.) HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.1% (1999 est.) HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/ 400 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: NA
Nationality: noun: Cypriot(s) adjective: Cypriot
Ethnic groups: Greek 85.2%, Turkish 11.6%, other 3.2% (2000)
Religions: Greek Orthodox 78%, Muslim 18%, Maronite, Armenian Apostolic, and other 4%
Languages: Greek, Turkish, English
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 97% male: 98.7% female: 95% (1999) Government Cyprus -
Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Cyprus conventional short form: Cyprus note: the Turkish Cypriot area refers to itself as the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" (TRNC)
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)
Capital: Nicosia Administrative divisions: 6 districts; Famagusta, Kyrenia, Larnaca, Limassol, Nicosia, Paphos; note - Turkish Cypriot area's administrative divisions include Kyrenia, all but a small part of Famagusta, and small parts of Lefkosa (Nicosia) and Larnaca
Independence: 16 August 1960 (from UK); note - Turkish Cypriot area proclaimed self-rule on 13 February 1975
National holiday: Independence Day, 1 October (1960); note - Turkish Cypriot area celebrates 15 November (1983) as Independence Day
Constitution: 16 August 1960; negotiations to create the basis for a new or revised constitution to govern the island and to better relations between Greek and Turkish Cypriots have been held intermittently; in 1975 Turkish Cypriots created their own constitution and governing bodies within the "Turkish Federated State of Cyprus," which was renamed the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" in 1983; a new constitution for the Turkish Cypriot area passed by referendum on 5 May 1985
Legal system: based on common law, with civil law modifications
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Glafcos CLERIDES (since 28 February 1993); 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 Glafcos CLERIDES (since 28 February 1993); 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 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 15 February 1998 (next to be held NA February 2003) note: Rauf R. DENKTASH has been "president" of the Turkish Cypriot area since 13 February 1975 ("president" elected by popular vote for a five-year term); elections last held 15 April 2000 (next to be held NA April 2005); results - Rauf R. DENKTASH reelected president after the other contender withdrew; Dervis EROGLU has been "prime minister" of the Turkish Cypriot area since 16 August 1996; there is a Council of Ministers (cabinet) in the Turkish Cypriot area election results: Glafcos CLERIDES reelected president; percent of vote - Glafcos CLERIDES 50.8%, George IAKOVOU 49.2%
Legislative branch: unicameral - Greek Cypriot area: 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); Turkish Cypriot area: Assembly of the Republic or Cumhuriyet Meclisi (50 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) election results: Greek Cypriot area: House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - AKEL 34.71%, DISY 34%, DIKO 14.84%, KISOS 6.51%, others 9.94%; seats by party - AKEL (Communist) 20, DISY 19, DIKO 9, KISOS 4, others 4; Turkish Cypriot area: Assembly of the Republic - percent of vote by party - UBP 40.3%, DP 22.6%, TKP 15.4%, CTP 13.4%, UDP 4.6%, YBH 2.5%, BP 1.2%; seats by party - UBP 24, DP 13, TKP 7, CTP 6 elections: Greek Cypriot area: last held 27 May 2001 (next to be held NA May 2006); Turkish Cypriot area: last held 6 December 1998 (next to be held NA December 2003)
Judicial branch: Supreme Court (judges are appointed jointly by the president and vice president) note: there is also a Supreme Court in the Turkish Cypriot area Political parties and leaders: Greek Cypriot area: Democratic Party or DIKO [Tassos PAPADOPOULOS]; Democratic Rally or DISY [Nikos ANASTASIADHIS]; Eurodemocratic Renewal Movement or KEA [Antonis PASCHALIDES]; Fighting Democratic Movement or ADIK [Dinos MIKHAILIDIS]; Green Party of Cyprus [George PERDIKIS]; New Horizons [Nikolaus KOUTSOU]; Restorative Party of the Working People or AKEL (Communist Party) [Dimitrios CHRISTOFIAS]; Social Democrats Movement or KISOS (formerly United Democratic Union of Cyprus or EDEK) [Yiannakis OMIROU]; United Democrats Movement or EDE [George VASSILIOU]; Turkish Cypriot area: Communal Liberation Party or TKP [Huseyin ANGOLEMLI]; Democratic Party or DP [Salih COSAR]; National Birth Party or UDP [Enver EMIN]; National Unity Party or UBP [Dervis EROGLU]; Our Party or BP [Okyay SADIKOGLU]; Patriotic Unity Movement or YBH [Izzet IZCAN]; Republican Turkish Party or CTP [Mehmet ALI TALAT] Political pressure groups and Confederation of Cypriot Workers or
leaders: 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 Australia Group, C, CCC, CE, EBRD,
participation: ECE, EU (applicant), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS (associate), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, NAM, NSG, OAS (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Erato KOZAKOU-MARCOULLIS chancery: 2211 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008 FAX: [1] (202) 483-6710 note: representative of the Turkish Cypriot area in the US is Osman ERTUG; office at 1667 K Street NW, Washington, DC; telephone [1] (202) 887-6198 consulate(s) general: New York telephone: [1] (202) 462-5772 Diplomatic representation from the chief of mission: Ambassador Donald
US: K. BANDLER embassy: corner of Metochiou and Ploutarchou Streets, Engomi, 2407 Nicosia mailing address: P. O. Box 24536, FPO AE 09836 telephone: [357] (22) 776400 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 Cypriot flag has a horizontal red stripe at the top and bottom between which is a red crescent and red star on a white field Economy Cyprus
Economy - overview: Economic affairs are affected by the division of the country. The Greek Cypriot economy is prosperous but highly susceptible to external shocks. Erratic growth rates in the 1990s reflect the economy's vulnerability to swings in tourist arrivals, caused by political instability in the region and fluctuations in economic conditions in Western Europe. Economic policy is focused on meeting the criteria for admission to the EU. As in the Turkish sector, water shortages are a perennial problem; a few desalination plants are now online. The Turkish Cypriot economy has less than one-half the per capita GDP of the south. Because it is recognized only by Turkey, it has had much difficulty arranging foreign financing, and foreign firms have hesitated to invest there. It remains heavily dependent on agriculture and government service, which together employ about half of the work force. To compensate for the economy's weakness, Turkey provides substantial direct and indirect aid to tourism, education, industry, etc.
GDP: Greek Cypriot area: purchasing power parity - $9.1 billion (2001 est.); Turkish Cypriot area: purchasing power parity - $1.1 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: Greek Cypriot area: 2.6% (2001 est.); Turkish Cypriot area: 0.8% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita: Greek Cypriot area: purchasing power parity - $15,000 (2001 est.); Turkish Cypriot area: purchasing power parity - $7,000 (2000 est.) GDP - composition by sector: Greek Cypriot area: agriculture 4.6%, industry 19.9%, services 75.5% (2001); Turkish Cypriot area: agriculture 8.3%, industry 20.7%, services 71.0% (2000) Population below poverty line: NA% Household income or consumption by lowest 10%: NA%
percentage share: highest 10%: NA% Inflation rate (consumer prices): Greek Cypriot area: 1.9% (2001 est.); Turkish Cypriot area: 53.2% (2000 est.)
Labor force: Greek Cypriot area: 291,000; Turkish Cypriot area: 86,300 (2000) Labor force - by occupation: Greek Cypriot area: services 73%, industry 22%, agriculture 5% (2000); Turkish Cypriot area: services 56.4%, industry 22.8%, agriculture 20.8% (1998)
Unemployment rate: Greek Cypriot area: 3% (2001 est.); Turkish Cypriot area: 5.6% (1999 est.)
Budget: revenues: Greek Cypriot area - $2.4 billion (2001 est.); Turkish Cypriot area - $294 million (2000 est.) expenditures: Greek Cypriot area - $3.7 billion, including capital expenditures of $539 million (2001 est.); Turkish Cypriot area - $495 million, including capital expenditures of $60 million (2000 est.)
Industries: food, beverages, textiles, chemicals, metal products, tourism, wood products Industrial production growth rate: Greek Cypriot area: 2.2% (1999); Turkish Cypriot area: -0.3% (1999) Electricity - production: 3.13 billion kWh (1999); Turkish Cypriot area: NA kWh (2000) Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 100% other: 0% (2000) nuclear: 0% hydro: 0% Electricity - consumption: 2.911 billion kWh (1999); Turkish Cypriot area: NA kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products: potatoes, citrus, vegetables, barley, grapes, olives, vegetables
Exports: Greek Cypriot area: $851 million (f.o.b., 2001 est.); Turkish Cypriot area: $50.7 million (f.o.b., 2000)
Exports - commodities: Greek Cypriot area: citrus, potatoes, grapes, wine, cement, clothing and shoes; Turkish Cypriot area: citrus, potatoes, textiles
Exports - partners: Greek Cypriot area: EU 36% (UK 17%, Greece 8%), Russia 8%, Syria 7%, Lebanon 5%, US 2% (2000); Turkish Cypriot area: Turkey 51%, UK 31%, other EU 16.5% (1999)
Imports: Greek Cypriot area: $3.5 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.); Turkish Cypriot area: $424.9 million (f.o.b., 2000)
Imports - commodities: Greek Cypriot area: consumer goods, petroleum and lubricants, food and feed grains, machinery; Turkish Cypriot area: food, minerals, chemicals, machinery
Imports - partners: Greek Cypriot area: EU 52% (UK 11%, Italy 9%, Greece 9%, Germany 7%), US 10% (2000); Turkish Cypriot area: Turkey 59%, UK 13%, other EU 13% (1999)
Debt - external: Greek Cypriot area: $NA; Turkish Cypriot area: $NA Economic aid - recipient: Greek Cypriot area - $17 million (1998); Turkish Cypriot area - $700 million from Turkey in grants and loans (1990-97) which are usually forgiven
Currency: Greek Cypriot area: Cypriot pound (CYP); Turkish Cypriot area: Turkish lira (TRL)
Currency code: CYP; TRL
Exchange rates: Cypriot pounds per US dollar - 0.6518 (January 2002), 0.6427 (2001), 0.6208 (2000), 0.5423 (1999), 0.5170 (1998), 0.5135 (1997); Turkish liras per US dollar - 1,370,629 (January 2002), 1,223,140 (2001), 625,219 (2000), 418,783 (1999), 260,724 (1998), 151,865 (1997)
Fiscal year: calendar year Communications Cyprus - Telephones - main lines in use: Greek Cypriot area: 405,000 (1998); Turkish Cypriot area: 83,162 (1998) Telephones - mobile cellular: Greek Cypriot area: 68,000 (1998); Turkish Cypriot area: 70,000 (1999)
Telephone system: general assessment: excellent in both the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot areas domestic: open wire, fiber-optic cable, and microwave radio relay international: 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: Greek Cypriot area: AM 7, FM 60, shortwave 1 (1998); Turkish Cypriot area: AM 3, FM 11, shortwave 1 (1998)
Radios: Greek Cypriot area: 310,000 (1997); Turkish Cypriot area: 56,450 (1994) Television broadcast stations: Greek Cypriot area: 4 (plus 225 low- power repeaters) (September 1995); Turkish Cypriot area: 4 (plus 5 repeaters) (September 1995)
Televisions: Greek Cypriot area: 248,000 (1997); Turkish Cypriot area: 52,300 (1994)
Internet country code: .cy Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 6 (2000)
Internet users: 120,000 (2001) Transportation Cyprus -
Railways: 0 km
Highways: total: Greek Cypriot area: 10,663 km (1998 est.); Turkish Cypriot area: 2,350 km (1996 est.) paved: Greek Cypriot area: 6,249 km (1998 est.); Turkish Cypriot area: 1,370 km (1996 est.) unpaved: Greek Cypriot area: 4,414 km (1998 est.); Turkish Cypriot area: 980 km (1996 est.)
Waterways: none
Ports and harbors: Famagusta, Kyrenia, Larnaca, Limassol, Paphos, Vasilikos
Merchant marine: total: 1,254 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 22,802,712 GRT/ 36,337,768 DWT note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Austria 12, Belgium 2, Bulgaria 2, Canada 3, Chile 2, China 16, Croatia 2, Cuba 11, Finland 1, Germany 229, Greece 607, Guam 1, Hong Kong 6, India 6, Iran 1, Ireland 1, Israel 5, Italy 1, Japan 26, Latvia 14, Lebanon 1, Lithuania 2, Mexico 1, Monaco 10, Netherlands 30, Norway 23, Panama 1, Philippines 2, Poland 19, Portugal 2, Russia 57, Singapore 2, Slovenia 2, South Korea 4, Spain 7, Sudan 2, Sweden 6, Switzerland 4, Turkey 1, Ukraine 1, United Arab Emirates 13, United Kingdom 6, United States 4, Vietnam 1 (2002 est.) ships by type: barge carrier 2, bulk 438, cargo 378, chemical tanker 24, combination bulk 31, combination ore/oil 2, container 133, liquefied gas 4, passenger 7, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 131, refrigerated cargo 46, roll on/roll off 41, short-sea passenger 10, specialized tanker 3, vehicle carrier 3
Airports: 15 (2001) Airports - with paved runways: total: 12 2,438 to 3,047 m: 7 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 under 914 m: 1 (2001) 914 to 1,523 m: 3 Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 3 914 to 1,523 m: 1 under 914 m: 2 (2001)
Heliports: 7 (2001) Military Cyprus -
Military branches: Greek area: Greek Cypriot National Guard (GCNG; including air and naval elements), Greek Cypriot Police Turkish area: Turkish Cypriot Security Force (GKK) Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age (2002 est.) Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 200,071 (2002 est.) Military manpower - fit for military males age 15-49: 137,322 (2002 est.)
service: Military manpower - reaching males: 6,616 (2002 est.)
military age annually: Military expenditures - dollar $370 million (FY00)
figure: Military expenditures - percent of 4.2% (FY00)
GDP: Transnational Issues Cyprus - Disputes - international: reunification talks - the first since 1974 hostilities divided the island into two de facto autonomous areas, a Greek Cypriot area controlled by the internationally recognized Cypriot Government (59% of the island's land area) and a Turkish-Cypriot area (37% of the island), that are separated by a UN buffer zone (4% of the island) - have recommenced; there are two UK sovereign base areas mostly within the Greek-Cypriot portion of the island
Illicit drugs: minor transit point for heroin and hashish via air routes and container traffic to Europe, especially from Lebanon and Turkey; some cocaine transits as well

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officially Republic of Cyprus Greek Kípros Turkish Kıbrıs

Island and country, northeastern Mediterranean Sea.

Area: 3,572 sq mi (9,251 sq km). Population (2002 est.): 970,000 (whole island). Capital: Nicosia. Cyprus is currently divided into two de facto states. The Republic of Cyprus, the internationally recognized government, occupies the southern two-thirds of the island. Its population (2002 est.: 692,000) is predominantly Greek. Language: Greek (official). Religion: Eastern Orthodoxy. Currency: Cyprus pound. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus occupies the northern third of the country. Its population (2002 est.: 215,000) is overwhelmingly Turkish. Languages: Turkish (official), English. Religion: Islam. Currency: Turkish lira. The third largest island in the Mediterranean, Cyprus lies about 40 mi (65 km) off the southern coast of Turkey. It is largely mountainous, with a fertile heartland and coastal plains. Mount Olympus is its highest peak, 6,401 ft (1,951 m) above sea level. The climate is Mediterranean. Cyprus has a free-enterprise economy based mainly on trade and manufacturing, and it ranks high in the world in merchant shipping. The internationally recognized government is a multiparty republic with a unicameral legislature; its head of state and government is the president. Cyprus was inhabited by the early Neolithic Period; by the late Bronze Age it had been visited and settled by Mycenaeans and Achaeans, who introduced Greek culture and language, and it became a trading centre. By 800 BC Phoenicians had begun to settle there. Ruled over the centuries by the Assyrian, Persian, and Ptolemaic empires, it was annexed by the Roman Republic and Empire in 58 BC. It was part of the Byzantine Empire in the 4th–11th centuries AD. It was conquered by the English king Richard I (the Lionheart) in 1191. A part of the Venetian trading empire from 1489, it was taken by Ottoman Empire in 1573. In 1878 the British assumed control, and Cyprus became a British crown colony in 1924. It gained independence in 1960. Conflict between Greek and Turkish Cypriots led to the establishment of a United Nations (UN) peacekeeping mission in 1964. In 1974, fearing a movement to unite Cyprus with Greece, the Republic of Turkey sent troops to occupy the northern third of the country. Turkish Cypriots established a functioning government, which obtained recognition only from Turkey. Conflict has continued, and the UN peacekeeping mission has remained in place. Negotiations to reunify the island under a single government have been inconclusive.

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▪ 2009

9,251 sq km (3,572 sq mi) for the entire island; the area of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), proclaimed unilaterally (1983) in the occupied northern third of the island, 3,355 sq km (1,295 sq mi)
(2008 est.): island 1,076,000; TRNC only, 271,000 (including Turkish settlers and Turkish military)
Nicosia (also known as Lefkosia/Lefkosa)
Head(s) of state and government:
Presidents Tassos Papadopoulos and, from February 28, Dimitris Christofias; of the TRNC, President Mehmet Ali Talat

      The political situation on the divided island of Cyprus showed signs of improvement in 2008. Dimitris Christofias (Christofias, Dimitris ) of AKEL, the communist Progressive Party of the Working People, was inaugurated as the Greek Cypriot president on February 28 and called for immediate and meaningful meetings with Mehmet Ali Talat, his Turkish Cypriot counterpart. The two presidents initially agreed to rejuvenate 13 moribund working groups and technical committees. In later meetings Christofias and Talat agreed on a single sovereignty and a single citizenship. Major negotiations began on September 3 and continued through year's end.

      The negotiators faced many problems, particularly the issue of land ownership, but they met in an atmosphere of lessened tension. The border was increasingly porous, with goods and people crossing in both directions. Despite progress, tensions remained. Vandals damaged Turkish-Cypriot property in the bicommunal village of Pyla, and the two regimes differed on foreign policy. For example, while Turkish Cyprus recognized Kosovo's independence, the Greek zone did not share the enthusiasm. Meanwhile, the UN peacekeeping forces celebrated their 60th anniversary, and the UN force in Cyprus continued the 44th year of its mission.

      On January 1, Greek Cyprus adopted the euro, and the Cyprus pound ceased to be legal tender a month later. The economy was muted islandwide, with inflation slightly up and tourism down slightly. The lack of natural resources and a rapidly growing population caused serious problems. Cyprus was totally dependent on imported energy, and drought forced both sides to import water and increase desalination.

      The island's rich archaeological heritage continued to come to light, often as a by-product of construction. Two ancient shipwrecks, a 3,500-year-old Egyptian ship and a 4th-century BC Greek commercial vessel, were found and investigated.

George H. Kelling

▪ 2008

9,251 sq km (3,572 sq mi) for the entire island; the area of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), proclaimed unilaterally (1983) in the occupied northern third of the island, 3,355 sq km (1,295 sq mi)
(2007 est.): island 1,047,000; TRNC only, 266,000 (including Turkish settlers and Turkish military)
Nicosia (also known as Lefkosia/Lefkosa)
Head(s) of state and government:
President Tassos Papadopoulos; of the TRNC, President Mehmet Ali Talat

      The violence of previous years in Cyprus abated in 2007, and Cypriots from both sides routinely crossed the border to shop and work. Nevertheless, the UN Security Council voted to extend its peacekeeping operations in Cyprus through mid-December. Though the island's Greek and Turkish leaders made little progress on border- crossing rules, the Turkish Cypriots removed a controversial footbridge, and the Cyprus government dismantled a wall in Nicosia; both removals signified a step toward establishing a pedestrian buffer zone. Problems persisted, however; title to confiscated real estate remained vexatious, and truck drivers in Turkish Cyprus staged a strike in late March to protest the shipping of goods out of Greek Cypriot ports.

       European Union membership enhanced prosperity and provided economic stimulus to both zones. The Greek Cypriot state accepted the EU's invitation to adopt the euro as its currency on Jan. 1, 2008; the Turkish lira would remain the currency in the Turkish Republic.

      For the first six months of the year, Greek Cyprus's unemployment stood at 3.9%, compared with the euro zone's 6.9%, while on the Turkish side the influx of foreign labour rose by tens of thousands. Tourism revenue increased on both sides. The government of Cyprus announced that it planned to license 11 offshore blocks within its exclusive economic zone for the exploration of oil and natural gas. Cyprus experienced major forest fires that caused water and power shortages.

      In March archaeologists unearthed 4,000-year-old perfumes, distilling equipment, mixing bowls, and herbs left at a site in Pyrgos when the area was buried by an earthquake about 1850 BC. The discovery indicated that a perfume-distilling industry had once existed in Cyprus.

George H. Kelling

▪ 2007

9,251 sq km (3,572 sq mi) for the entire island; the area of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), proclaimed unilaterally (1983) in the occupied northern third of the island, 3,355 sq km (1,295 sq mi)
(2006 est.): island 1,004,000; TRNC only, 223,000 (including Turkish settlers and Turkish military)
Nicosia (also known as Lefkosia/Lefkosa)
Head(s) of state and government:
President Tassos Papadopoulos; of the TRNC, President Mehmet Ali Talat

      In 2006 European Union membership pervaded life on both sides of the Green Line dividing Cyprus. Most people saw the EU as more important than the UN in resolving the island's future, even though a majority also felt that membership gave Cyprus no benefit. The EU established an office in Northern Cyprus, from which it administered significant aid. Although the leftist parties urged delay, Greek Cyprus planned to convert its currency to the euro in 2008.

      The economy was good but mixed. The building boom on both sides continued, although property values dropped. Banking prospered and tourism was strong, but EU regulation brought some reorganization and layoffs.

      Border crossing had become commonplace, with Greeks going north for entertainment and Turks crossing south to buy groceries. Increased contact brought its own problems. On both sides, for example, ownership of abandoned property became increasingly contentious. Bicommunal cooperation continued in such areas as the removal of land mines and the building of new border crossings. After more than two years with no official negotiations, the two Cyprus presidents met to discuss persons still missing from the time of the Turkish invasion in 1974. The two leaders agreed that the status quo was unacceptable, and they established technical committees to deal with the realities of life on the island.

      Cyprus became the centre for evacuation of refugees from Lebanon following the Israeli incursion in July. Some 47,000 refugees transited the island, sometimes at a rate of 10,000 daily. In addition, Cyprus made an airfield and a military camp available for the UN peacekeepers in Lebanon.

George H. Kelling

▪ 2006

9,251 sq km (3,572 sq mi) for the entire island; the area of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), proclaimed unilaterally (1983) in the occupied northern third of the island, 3,355 sq km (1,295 sq mi)
(2005 est.): island 968,000; TRNC only, 221,000 (including Turkish settlers and Turkish military)
Lefkosia/Lefkosa (also known as Nicosia)
Head(s) of state and government:
President Tassos Papadopoulos; of the TRNC, Presidents Rauf Denktash and, from April 24, Mehmet Ali Talat

      In 2005 Cyprus was adapting to membership in the European Union. The island's complex political situation was complicated further by Turkey's progress in negotiations to join the EU. Accession to the EU was not universally acclaimed; only 41% of Cypriots saw membership as a benefit. Nevertheless, belonging to the EU became a fact of life, and Cyprus benefited from assistance in clearing mines and opening the border. Cyprus approved the proposed EU constitution and began the process of adopting the euro.

      In April Turkish Cyprus elected a new president, Mehmet Ali Talat. Talat was born in 1952 and was educated as an electrical engineer. He became a member of the parliament in 1998, held various cabinet posts, and was appointed prime minister shortly before becoming president. His platform sought a unification of Cyprus as a federal state, with the Turkish zone retaining its identity.

      As intraisland tensions eased, people and goods crossing the interzonal border became routine. Some 5,000 Turkish Cypriots worked in the Greek zone and sent $36 million home during the year. Perhaps because of these practical advances, no significant new reunification negotiations took place. With contacts on the increase, the problem of land ownership in Turkish Cyprus increased. The UN force remained but at reduced strength.

      Turkish Cyprus underwent a building and tourist boom. Imports were up about 48%, much of the increase attributable to trade in building materials. Greek Cyprus remained an offshore business centre, and many banks showed double-digit profit increases.

George H. Kelling

▪ 2005

9,251 sq km (3,572 sq mi) for the entire island; the area of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), proclaimed unilaterally (1983) in the occupied northern third of the island, 3,355 sq km (1,295 sq mi)
(2004 est.): island 937,000; TRNC only, 211,000 (including Turkish settlers and Turkish military)
Lefkosia/Lefkosa (also known as Nicosia)
Head(s) of state and government:
President Tassos Papadopoulos; of the TRNC, President Rauf Denktash

  European Union membership dominated political events in Cyprus in 2004. UN-sponsored negotiations in the spring failed to produce a unification formula for the Greek and Turkish parts of the island before a last-minute referendum on the UN's compromise plan. (For the Greek- and Turkish-controlled areas of Cyprus, see Map—>.) Leaders of both sides recommended its rejection, while the EU, the UN, the U.K., and the U.S. urged acceptance. In the event, the Greeks rejected the proposal, and the island's Turks voted “yes.” On May 1 the Greek side joined the EU. Cyprus participated in EU committees and elected six delegates to the European Parliament. Funding from the EU assisted the island's fishing industry and helped in the demining of the frontier, and EU regulations and supervision regulated the intercommunal border. Despite continued partition, Cyprus Turks were considered EU members. Some voted in the European elections, and international agencies planned economic relief for them.

      Even while the battle of words continued, the intercommunal situation remained nonviolent. Movement between the zones eased, and telephone contact opened. Perhaps typical of the entire situation, Turkish Cyprus allowed Greeks access to Morphou, on the Turkish side, for a saint's day service. The bishop and the mayor visited their town for the first time in 30 years. The event was marred, however, by a dynamite blast in front of the church a day before the service. The incident demonstrated the passions that continued to rend the island.

      Cyprus's economy continued strong, with considerable growth of the tourist industry in Turkish Cyprus. Economic prosperity and increased communication between the two sides of the island brought new attention to the issue of land ownership by displaced Cypriots.

George H. Kelling

▪ 2004

9,251 sq km (3,572 sq mi) for the entire island; the area of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), proclaimed unilaterally (1983) in the occupied northern third of the island, 3,355 sq km (1,295 sq mi)
(2003 est.): island 921,000; TRNC only, 207,000 (including Turkish settlers and Turkish military)
Lefkosia/Lefkosa (also known as Nicosia)
Head(s) of state and government:
Presidents Glafcos Clerides and, from February 28, Tassos Papadopoulos; of the TRNC, President Rauf Denktash

      In Cyprus 2003 was a year of mixed signals, dominated by impending European Union membership. Greek Cyprus signed the accession treaty in April, effective May 1, 2004, with the understanding that Turkish Cyprus would come in upon reunification of the island. Direct talks between the two presidents continued as the year began, and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan submitted a plan for a federal state. The UN plan included a deadline to allow a referendum and reunification before EU accession. Loss of sovereignty was too much of a price for Turkish Cypriot Pres. Rauf Denktash to pay, however, and he ended all talks.

      The issue was contentious. Thousands of Turkish Cypriots demonstrated in favour of EU membership, but Denktash stood firm and prevailed. On the other hand, Glafkos Clerides, president of Greek Cyprus, was defeated at the polls in February by Tassos Papadopoulos (see Biographies (Papadopoulos, Tassos )), who had voiced doubts on the UN plan in his campaign. Results of the late December parliamentary elections in Turkish Cyprus were dead even on the EU issue.

      Day-to-day Greek-Turkish tensions eased dramatically, with moves to clear mines, account for the missing, and ease trade restrictions. Turkish classes were given in Greek Cypriot universities, and a compensation commission in Turkish Cyprus was set up to handle Greek Cypriot claims against the north. Probably the images that most Cypriots would retain from 2003, however, were the dramatic traffic jams after Turkish Cyprus opened the border-crossing points.There were problems too, of course. In one ugly incident, Turkish Cypriots were assaulted when they visited their former homes on the Greek side. The Greek Cyprus government deplored the incident.

George H. Kelling

▪ 2003

9,251 sq km (3,572 sq mi) for the entire island; the area of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), proclaimed unilaterally (1983) in the occupied northern third of the island, 3,355 sq km (1,295 sq mi)
(2002 est.): island 907,000; TRNC only, 215,000 (including Turkish settlers and Turkish military)
Lefkosia/Lefkosa (also known as Nicosia)
Head(s) of state and government:
President Glafcos Clerides; of the TRNC, President Rauf Denktash

      In 2002 political events in Cyprus were dominated by the vision of European Union (EU) membership and direct talks between the leaders of the two republics. Greek Cyprus completed virtually all the requirements for EU membership. The EU was prepared to accept Greek Cyprus in the hope that the island's future could be resolved, but Turkish Cyprus and the metropolitan Turks made dire threats should that take place. Greek Cyprus continued to maintain that it was the island's legal government, with Turkish Cyprus a rogue breakaway regime. The Cyprus Turks insisted that any settlement contain recognition of their sovereignty. Despite some 60 meetings during the year between Greek-Cypriot Pres. Glafcos Clerides and Turkish-Cypriot Pres. Rauf Denktash, no settlement of the issue was reached.

      Other problems continued. Greek Cyprus protested Turkish overflights, while the Cyprus Turks protested Greek Cyprus's taking over search-and-rescue operations on the island from Britain. The economy felt the global economic distress and uncertainty. Per capita gross national product growth of about 2% was expected in Greek Cyprus, while the Turkish side of the line was much less prosperous.

      Nicosia was such a treasure house of archaeology that it was difficult for Greek Cyprus to find an unhistorical site for a new parliament house. Aridity was a constant, and Turkish Cyprus planned to complete a pipeline to transport water from Turkey by 2004.

George H. Kelling

▪ 2002

9,251 sq km (3,572 sq mi) for the entire island; the area of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), proclaimed unilaterally (1983) in the occupied northern third of the island, 3,355 sq km (1,295 sq mi)
(2001 est.): island 873,000; TRNC only, 198,000 (including recent Turkish settlers and Turkish military)
Lefkosia/Lefkosa (also known as Nicosia)
Head(s) of state and government:
President Glafcos Clerides; of the TRNC, President Rauf Denktash

      Greek Cyprus reported in 2001 that it had provisionally completed two-thirds of the accession requirements for European Union (EU) membership. Completion of the requirements was expected in 2002, with full membership in 2004. The EU planned to provide significant economic support for the transition. While the EU was prepared to accept Greek Cyprus despite partition, the issue added complication to the island's already-complex situation. In May parliamentary elections in the Greek sector, the socialist Progressive Party of the Working People (AKEL) secured the largest number of seats—20 of the 56 seats, up from 19. Pres. Glafcos Clerides's Democratic Rally dropped from 20 seats to 19.

      While the island saw little violence in 2001, tension continued. In May the European Court of Human Rights found Turkey guilty of human rights violations when it invaded northern Cyprus in 1974, a finding rejected by both Turkey and Turkish Cyprus. After a pause lasting more than a year, Clerides and Turkish-Cypriot Pres. Rauf Denktash met on December 4 under UN auspices and agreed to resume negotiations in early 2002.

      Moved by environmental and health concerns, about 1,000 Greek Cypriots protested construction of a 190-m (about 620-ft) radio antenna on the British Sovereign Base at Akrotiri. The incident left some 40 people injured and caused more than £300,000 (about $430,000) in damage. A later survey found that the antenna met EU standards, and the issue was somewhat defused.

      Turkish Cypriot bank failures in 2000 were joined by a 2001 economic crisis in Turkey, resulting in serious inflation and currency devaluation. The per capita gross national product (GNP) of Turkish Cyprus was less than a third of that of the Greek sector. By contrast, the Greek Cypriot economy was solid, with 4.5% GNP growth and unemployment of approximately 3.3% expected in 2001. Tourist arrivals increased more than 5%. Perhaps more important, a second desalination plant opened, with removal of all restrictions on the water supply.

George H. Kelling

▪ 2001

9,251 sq km (3,572 sq mi) for the entire island; the area of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), proclaimed unilaterally (1983) in the occupied northern third of the island, 3,355 sq km (1,295 sq mi)
(2000 est.): island 865,000; TRNC only, 192,000 (including recent Turkish settlers and Turkish military)
Lefkosia/Lefkosa (also known as Nicosia)
Head(s) of state and government:
President Glafcos Clerides; of the TRNC, President Rauf Denktash

      In 2000 the leaders of the two Cyprus governments each met challenges. The Greek Cyprus president, Glafcos Clerides, endured surgery but recovered quickly. Rauf Denktash, his Turkish Cyprus counterpart, was reelected.

      Tension between the Greek and Turkish sectors continued, but so did dialogue. In UN-organized “proximity talks” leaders of the two sides, though not in direct contact, discussed security, property, and territory. Religious visits by both sides across the border continued and led to agreements to restore shrines under UN auspices UN-sponsored talks did not yield an agreement on the island's division, however.

      Greek Cypriots looked to the UN, the European Union, and Third World nations for support. Their Turkish counterparts sought allies in the Islamic world and the Turkic nations of Central Asia. Negotiations to gain EU membership continued, and the EU did not make resolution of the Greek-Turkish problem a precondition for membership. Accession was forecast for 2001.

      The economy of Greek Cyprus continued to grow in 2000, particularly in regard to tourist arrivals, but inflation and balance of trade deficits caused concern. Turkish Cyprus experienced economic crisis sparked by the failure of several major banks and the consequent loss of depositors' savings. Measures to deal with the issue, with Turkish aid, included transfer of the failed banks to the government, plans for reimbursement of uninsured savers, and possible prosecution of those responsible.

George H. Kelling

▪ 2000

9,251 sq km (3,572 sq mi) for the entire island; the area of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), proclaimed unilaterally (1983) in the occupied northern third of the island, 3,355 sq km (1,295 sq mi)
(1999 est.): island 856,000; TRNC only, 190,000 (including recent Turkish settlers and Turkish military)
Lefkosia/Lefkosa (also known as Nicosia)
Head(s) of state and government:
President Glafcos Clerides; of the TRNC, President Rauf Denktash

      The United Nations force in Cyprus observed its 35th anniversary in 1999 and could pride itself on having a generally favourable record in manning the Green Line, which divided the island between the Greek- and Turkish-Cypriot communities. Tensions continued during the year, but hostile incidents decreased. The Greek-Cypriot decision late in 1998 not to deploy a Russian-made air-defense missile system was generally welcomed. Border barriers were opened to allow visits by both Greek and Turkish Cypriots to religious shrines.

      Negotiations for inclusion of the Republic of Cyprus in the European Union continued on schedule. The government endorsed the EU oil embargo of Yugoslavia but openly disagreed with the NATO bombings. Greek Cypriots generally supported the Orthodox Serbians in ways that ranged from demonstrations at the U.S. embassy to taking up collections to aid the Belgrade zoo. Turkish Cypriots supported the Muslim Kosovars. Rumours circulated that Kosovo refugees might be relocated to Turkish Cyprus, which added to the tension.

      The economy, particularly on the Greek side, continued to be robust, if not booming. Foreign trade was slightly down, but tourism, mostly from Great Britain but with an increasingly important Russian contingent, was slightly up. Trade with Russia continued strong, with a volume of $400 million anticipated for 1999. Turkish Cyprus offset its trade deficit with revenue from tourists, about three-quarters of whom were from Turkey. The remains of the Neolithic settlement at Khirokitia were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.

George H. Kelling

▪ 1999

      Area: 9,251 sq km (3,572 sq mi) for the entire island; the area of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), proclaimed unilaterally (1983) in the occupied northern third of the island, 3,355 sq km (1,295 sq mi)

      Population (1998 est.): island 861,000; TRNC only, 188,000 (including recent Turkish settlers and Turkish military)

      Capital: Lefkosia/Lefkosa (also known as Nicosia)

      Head(s) of state and government: President Glafcos Clerides; of the TRNC, President Rauf Denktash

      Cyprus in 1998 remained divided into the mainly Greek Republic of Cyprus, the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus, and the British Sovereign Base Areas. Although intercommunal problems continued to dominate the island's life, the year held some promise. In September North Cyprus Pres. Rauf Denktash presented a new proposal for a confederated state, with both sides retaining sovereignty over their areas. Although the idea was initially criticized by the Greek Cypriot government, serious discussions were expected to be underway by early 1999.

      In elections in February, Glafcos Clerides maintained leadership of Greek Cyprus by less than 1% of the vote. In March formal talks began for membership in the European Union. Greek Cyprus enacted legislative changes, including decriminalizing homosexuality, in order to meet EU standards.

      The opening of a military air base and the continued plans for purchase of a Russian air defense missile system for Greek Cyprus caused the U.S. and the U.K. to express unease. The issue reflected the increasingly close ties between Cyprus and Russia.

      The economy recovered from the slump of previous years, although the Greek sector continued to be much more prosperous than the Turkish side. Tourism increased significantly. Water troubles approached crisis levels, with water reserves down to a dangerous low. The completion of a pipeline for desalinized water solved the problem only partially.


▪ 1998

      Area: 9,251 sq km (3,572 sq mi) for the entire island; the area of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), proclaimed unilaterally (1983) in the occupied northern third of the island, 3,355 sq km (1,295 sq mi)

      Population (1997 est.): island 860,000; TRNC only, 198,000 (including recent Turkish settlers and Turkish military)

      Capital: Lefkosia/Lefkosa (also known as Nicosia)

      Head(s) of state and government: President Glafcos Clerides; of the TRNC, President Rauf Denktash

      Cyprus in 1997 remained dominated by the conflicts between the Greek and Turkish segments of the population, which had resulted in the island's geographic partition. Incidents along the dividing line between the Greek and Turkish sectors continued, although the border was quieter than in 1996. Residents of each sector were allowed to cross the border to visit sites of religious and historical importance, a measure that helped improve relations. The presidents of each sector, Glafcos Clerides and Rauf Denktash, met for one-on-one talks, first in New York City and then in Switzerland. Although the talks produced no specific results, the dialogue was expected to continue. Despite the partition, negotiations for membership in the European Union continued, with formal accession talks scheduled to begin in early 1998.

      The UN force in Cyprus continued its peacekeeping mission. The British Sovereign Base Areas, which were maintained under British rule when Cyprus achieved independence in 1960, were the targets of criticism and demonstrations, both from environmentalists and from Cypriots resenting the bases' separate administration.

      Another source of tension came in the form of a Greek Cypriot proposal to buy a Russian air defense missile system costing $600 million. The missiles, which were scheduled to be delivered in mid-1998, would dramatically change the strategic balance between the two Cypriot regimes. The missile deal was representative of the increased economic links between Greek Cyprus and Eastern Europe.

      The economy, always stronger on the Greek side, experienced a slowdown in 1997 but recovered, and gross domestic product rose 3% over the previous fiscal year. Offshore investment continued, with Greek Cyprus ranking fifth in the world in merchant shipping (down from fourth in 1996). Work began on a desalinization plant to overcome the island's chronic water shortage.


▪ 1997

      An island republic and member of the Commonwealth, Cyprus is in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Island area: 9,251 sq km (3,572 sq mi). Island pop. (1996 est.): 767,000. Area of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), proclaimed unilaterally (1983) in the occupied northern third of the island (controlled by Turkish Cypriots since 1974): 3,355 sq km (1,295 sq mi); pop. (1996 est.): 110,000. Cap.: Nicosia. Monetary unit: Cyprus pound, with (Oct. 11, 1996) a free rate of £ C 0.47 to U.S. $1 (£C 0.73 = £1 sterling). President in 1996, Glafcos Clerides. President of the TRNC in 1996, Rauf Denktash.

      Although the impasse over Cyprus continued, the events of 1996 held the potential for significant change. One impetus for change was accession to the European Union, forecast for as early as the year 2000. Although the island's partition per se would not preclude joining the European organization, accession would certainly be smoother if the partition was eliminated.

      During the year the U.K. and the U.S. appointed envoys to deal with Cyprus. Despite initial hopes, their efforts did not break the deadlock. International and intra-Cypriot negotiations continued throughout 1996. Significantly, in December the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Turkey had violated the rights of a Greek Cypriot by seizing her property in the 1974 invasion of northern Cyprus.

      Frustration with the status quo manifested itself in several ways. In Greek Cyprus the communist Progressive Party of the Working People won one-third of the votes in the May elections, leaving Pres. Glafcos Clerides's Democratic Rally party only marginally in the lead. Discontent became violent in August as Greek Cypriots demonstrated in the UN-patrolled buffer zone. Two Greek Cypriots were killed and scores injured.

      Despite these problems, the economy continued to boom, with a 5.5% growth in gross domestic product. Offshore investments totaled over $300 million, and a fifth of the world's ships flew the Cyprus flag. The Turkish sector did not share in the island's prosperity, however. Its per capita income was about a fourth of the $13,000 enjoyed by the Greek Cypriots.


▪ 1996

      An island republic and member of the Commonwealth, Cyprus is in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Island area: 9,251 sq km (3,572 sq mi). Island pop. (1995 est.): 806,000. Area of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), proclaimed unilaterally (1983) in the occupied northern third of the island (controlled by Turkish Cypriots since 1974): 3,355 sq km (1,295 sq mi); pop. (1995 est.): 155,000. Cap.: Nicosia. Monetary unit: Cyprus pound, with (Oct. 6, 1995) a free rate of £ C 0.46 to U.S. $1 (£C 0.72 = £1 sterling). President in 1995, Glafcos Clerides. President of TRNC in 1995, Rauf Denktash.

      Events in Cyprus in 1995 continued the trends of the past: partition, intercommunal distrust, intervention by outside powers, and economic prosperity. The island's division into Greek and Turkish republics plus the British Sovereign Base Areas remained. The United Nations continued as peacekeepers. The major protagonists were occupied with other problems—Greece with former Yugoslavia, and Turkey with its dissident Kurdish minority. A serious forest fire in Turkish Cyprus was thought to have been set by Kurdish sympathizers.

      A move toward resolving the island's political impasse came with a proposal to integrate Cyprus into the European Union. The complex plan called for negotiations to begin in 1996 and included economic incentives for Turkey, with the expectation that only a reunified Cyprus could realistically be integrated into the EU. The project was still under consideration at year's end.

      The island's economy continued to prosper. Its geographic situation and the growth of capitalism in Eastern Europe brought opportunities. Much of the world's merchant shipping sailed under the Cypriot flag, and more than 19,000 overseas corporations, many of them Russian, were chartered in Cyprus. The island provided a centre for corporate regional offices, broadcast monitoring, and support of diplomatic missions in the area. Prosperity also brought problems. Eastern European investment led to occasional allegations of the use of the island's banks and warehouses for laundering money and diverting restricted materials such as zirconium.

      Tourism, Cyprus' major industry, employed about a fourth of the workforce and generated about the same percentage of gross national product in the Greek area. The island was host to well over two million tourists in 1995, including a million from Britain and 75,000 from Russia. Like the island's economic prosperity as a whole, the tourist boom had a down side, with tourist-related crime and incidents that raised occasional diplomatic concern about the legal rights of tourists. The tourist industry was looking at expanding its base through such diverse enterprises as eco- and agro-tourism and casinos. (GEORGE H. KELLING)

▪ 1995

      An island republic and member of the Commonwealth, Cyprus is in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Island area: 9,251 sq km (3,572 sq mi). Island pop. (1994 est.): 769,000. Area of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), proclaimed unilaterally (1983) in the occupied northern third of the island (controlled by Turkish Cypriots since 1974): 3,355 sq km (1,295 sq mi); pop. (1994 est.): 155,000. Cap.: Nicosia. Monetary unit: Cyprus pound, with (Oct. 7, 1994) a free rate of £ C 0.47 to U.S. $1 (£C 0.75 = £1 sterling). President in 1994, Glafcos Clerides. President of TRNC in 1994, Rauf Denktash.

      In Cyprus 1994 was the 20th year of partition and the 30th year of UN peacekeeping. To some extent, the two uncelebrated anniversaries indicated the island's situation, for the tragic division into Greek and Turkish sectors separated by a UN buffer zone had become part of Cypriot life. The status of the British Sovereign Base Areas, dating from the independence of Cyprus in 1960, was challenged in Cypriot courts, but the legitimacy of British rule in the bases was upheld.

      The year began optimistically, particularly since both Cypriot states had undergone significant political changes. A coalition government under the longtime president, Rauf Denktash, was installed in Turkish Cyprus in December 1993, while Glafcos Clerides had taken over the presidency of Greek Cyprus some six months previously. UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali continued to press for modest confidence-building accords, including a jointly run airport in Nicosia and the return of the border resort town of Varosha to the Greek Cypriots. Informal steps included a darts tournament between the island's communities, virtually the first personal contact between the two since partition. Intercommunal talks broke down, however. In June Boutros-Ghali blamed the Turkish Cypriots for the failure and proposed sanctions. The following month the European Court of Justice ordered an embargo on Turkish Cypriot exports, which consisted mostly of fruits and clothing shipped to Britain. Despite this setback, the situation generally remained nonviolent.

      Greek Cyprus continued as a tourist mecca and a regional news-media listening post, and the number of offshore corporations increased. For example, Cyprus was home to some 2,000 Russian companies, with a reported billion dollars per month being transferred from Russia to Cypriot banks. The economy on the Turkish side of the line was troubled but was assisted somewhat by financial aid from Turkey. The export embargo threatened to hurt the small state and led to disorders and the closure of the one border crossing between the two parts of the island. (GEORGE H. KELLING)

▪ 1994

      An island republic and member of the Commonwealth, Cyprus is in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Island area: 9,251 sq km (3,572 sq mi). Island pop. (1993 est.): 764,000. Area of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), proclaimed unilaterally (1983) in the occupied northern third of the island (controlled by Turkish Cypriots since 1974): 3,355 sq km (1,295 sq mi); pop. (1993 est.): 178,000. Cap.: Nicosia. Monetary unit: Cyprus pound, with (Oct. 4, 1993) a free rate of £ C 0.49 to U.S. $1 (£C 0.75 = £1 sterling). Presidents in 1993, George Vassiliou and, from February 28, Glafcos Clerides. President of TRNC in 1993, Rauf Denktash.

      The year 1993 in Cyprus was symbolized by the main international event on the island, the Commonwealth summit conference in October. Like the Commonwealth itself, Cypriot politics were long on rhetoric and history and short on achievement. The division of the island would reach the 20-year mark in 1994, and although talks at unification continued, there were strong forces to maintain the status quo.

      Greek Cypriot Pres. George Vassiliou, who had started in office by promising a settlement of the dispute with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) within six months, ended his term in defeat after five years on February 14 by losing a second-round election runoff to veteran conservative campaigner Glafcos Clerides. The campaign was dominated by a single issue, the UN "set of ideas" for reunification. These would reduce Turkish Cypriot territory from 38% of the island to about 28%. Cyprus would become a federal nation, with freedom of movement but limited settlement rights between the Greek and Turkish zones. During the campaign Clerides, leader of the right-wing Democratic Rally, claimed that Vassiliou had sold out and would not be able to amend the UN proposals, particularly on the issue of returning 200,000 Greek Cypriots to their lost homes in the occupied north. Vassiliou, seeking his second term, accepted the UN ideas, with negotiated amendments, as a basis for a settlement. Enough voters agreed with Clerides to hand him victory by less than 0.5% of the 393,375 ballots cast in a nearly 100% turnout.

      Amid growing international impatience with the Cypriots, on May 11 Russia used its first veto in the UN since 1984 to block a resolution calling for the costs of the Cyprus peacekeeping force to be divided among all UN members instead of relying on voluntary donations. Canada then pulled out its troops from the force. They were replaced by an Argentine contingent.

      Clerides and Denktash met on May 24. Confidence-building measures were the main topic, amid speculation that Denktash would return the deserted border town of Varosha-Famagusta to Greek Cyprus as a goodwill gesture. But when Denktash tried to wrest an implied recognition of the TRNC from Clerides, the talks were doomed. By the end of the year, the Cyprus problem was back on a familiar track—no progress, no concessions.

      The Commonwealth conference gave Denktash another opportunity to dig his heels in. He said that the basis for a settlement in Cyprus was destroyed by the final Commonwealth communiqué, which he called "biased." The communiqué demanded the speedy withdrawal of Turkey's 35,000 troops and 50,000 mainland settlers from the north. It also demanded the return of 180,000 Greek Cypriots to their homes there.

      Important political developments took place in the north late in the year. In a dispute with Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu, who advocated a harder line against the Greek Cypriots, Denktash dissolved the TRNC parliament on October 20 and called for elections on December 12, more than a year and a half before they were due. A coalition government was being formed in late December.


* * *

Greek  Kípros , Turkish  Kıbrıs 
Cyprus, flag of   an island in the eastern Mediterranean Sea renowned since ancient times for its mineral wealth, superb wines and produce, and natural beauty.

 A “golden-green leaf thrown into the Sea” and a land of “wild weather and volcanoes,” in the words of the Greek Cypriot poet Leonidas Malenis, Cyprus comprises tall mountains, fertile valleys, and wide beaches. Settled for more than 10 millennia, Cyprus stands at a cultural, linguistic, and historic crossroads between Europe and Asia. Its chief cities—the capital of Nicosia, Limassol, Famagusta, and Paphos—have absorbed the influences of generations of conquerors, pilgrims, and travelers and have an air that is both cosmopolitan and provincial. Today Cyprus is a popular tourist destination for visitors from Europe, favoured by honeymooners (as befits the legendary home of Aphrodite, the ancient Greek goddess of love), bird-watchers drawn by the island's diversity of migratory species, and other vacationers.

      In 1960 Cyprus became independent of Britain (it had been a crown colony since 1925) as the Republic of Cyprus. The long-standing conflict between the Greek Cypriot majority and the Turkish Cypriot minority and an invasion of the island by Turkish troops in 1974 produced an actual—although internationally unrecognized—partition of the island and led to the establishment in 1975 of a de facto Turkish Cypriot state in the northern third of the country. The Turkish Cypriot state made a unilateral declaration of independence in 1983 and adopted the name Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Its independence was recognized only by Turkey.

Land (Cyprus)
 Cyprus lies about 40 miles (65 km) south of Turkey, 60 miles (100 km) west of Syria, and 480 miles (770 km) southeast of mainland Greece. Its maximum length, from Cape Arnauti in the west to Cape Apostolos Andreas at the end of the northeastern peninsula, is 140 miles (225 km); the maximum north-south extent is 60 miles (100 km). It is the third largest Mediterranean island, after Sicily and Sardinia.

      The rugged island of Cyprus resembles a saucepan, with the handle extending northeastward from the main part. The general pattern of its roughly 400-mile (640-km) coastline is indented and rocky, with long, sandy beaches. The Kyrenia Mountains—the western portion of which is also known as the Pentadaktylos for its five-fingered peak—extend for 100 miles (160 km) parallel to and just inland from the northern coast. It is the southernmost range of the great Alpine-Himalayan chain in the eastern Mediterranean; like much of that extensive mountain belt, it is formed largely of deformed masses of Mesozoic limestone.

 The Troodos Mountains in the south and southwest are of great interest to geologists, who have concluded that the range, made up of igneous rock, was formed from molten rock beneath the deep ocean (Tethys (Tethys Sea)) that once separated the continents of Eurasia and Afro-Arabia. The range stretches eastward about 50 miles (80 km) from near the island's west coast to the 2,260-foot (689-metre) Stavrovouni peak, about 12 miles (19 km) from the southeastern coast. The range's summit, Mount Olympus (also called Mount Troodos), reaches an elevation of 6,401 feet (1,951 metres) and is the island's highest point.

      Between the two ranges lies the Mesaoria Plain (its name means “Between the Mountains”), which is flat and low-lying and extends from Morphou Bay in the west to Famagusta Bay in the east. Roughly in the centre of the plain is Nicosia. The plain is the principal cereal-growing area in the island.

Drainage and soils
      The major rivers in Cyprus originate in the Troodos Mountains. The Pedieos (Pedieos River), which is the largest, flows eastward toward Famagusta Bay; the Serakhis flows northwestward and the Karyotis northward to Morphou Bay; and the Kouris flows southward to Episkopi Bay. The rivers are fed entirely from the runoff of winter precipitation; in summer they become dry courses. The island's major soil types consist of imperfect, gravelly lithosols found in the Troodos and Kyrenia mountains and agriculturally productive vertisols located in the Mesaoria Plain and along the southeastern coast. Other, less-productive soils include solonchaks and solonetz soils. These latter are found only in isolated saline pockets throughout the island.

      Cyprus has an intense Mediterranean climate, with a typically strongly marked seasonal rhythm. Hot, dry summers (June to September) and rainy winters (November to March) are separated by short autumn and spring seasons (October and April to May, respectively) of rapid change. Autumn and winter precipitation, on which agriculture and water supply depend, is variable. Average annual precipitation is about 20 inches (500 mm). The lowest average precipitation of 14 inches (350 mm) occurs at Nicosia, and the highest, 41 inches (1,050 mm), is on Mount Olympus. Summer temperatures in Nicosia range between an average daily maximum of 98 °F (37 °C) and an average daily minimum of 70 °F (21 °C); in winter the range is between 59 °F (15 °C) and 41 °F (5 °C). From December to March the Troodos range experiences several weeks of below-freezing night temperatures, and snowfall is considerable.

Plant and animal life
      There is a narrow fertile plain along the northern coast, where the vegetation is largely evergreen and includes olive, carob, and citrus trees. The Troodos range has pine, dwarf oak, cypress, and cedar forest coverings. The southern and western slopes are extensively planted with vineyards. Between autumn and spring the Mesaoria Plain is green and colourful, with an abundance of wildflowers, flowering bushes, and shrubs; there are also patches of woodland in which eucalyptus and various types of acacia, cypress, and lowland pine are found. Orange plantations dot the island's northwestern end in the area around Morphou.

      Fossil remains of elephants and hippopotamuses have been found in the Kyrenia area, and in ancient times there were large numbers of deer and boar. The only large wild animal now surviving is the agrino, a subspecies of wild sheep related to the mouflon of the western Mediterranean; it is under strict protection in a small forested area of the Troodos range. Small game is abundant but keenly hunted. Snakes were widespread in ancient times, giving the island the name Ophiussa, “the Abode of Snakes”; they are now relatively rare. Green and loggerhead turtles, which are protected by law, breed on the beaches along the coast.

      Cyprus lies on major migration routes for birds. In spring and autumn millions pass over the island, while many species winter there. Among the numerous resident species are francolin and chukar partridges.


Ethnic groups and languages
      The people of Cyprus represent two main ethnic groups, Greek and Turkish. The Greek Cypriots, who constitute nearly four-fifths of the population, descended from a mixture of aboriginal inhabitants and immigrants from the Peloponnese who colonized Cyprus starting about 1200 BC and assimilated subsequent settlers up to the 16th century. Roughly one-fifth of the population are Turkish Cypriots, descendants of the soldiers of the Ottoman army that conquered the island in 1571 and of immigrants from Anatolia brought in by the sultan's government. Since 1974 additional immigrants from Turkey have been brought in to work vacant land and increase the total labour force.

      The language of the majority is Greek and of the minority, Turkish. There are also a small number of Arabic-speaking Maronite Christians, as well as a small group who speak Armenian. These groups each total only a few thousand speakers, and they are mostly bilingual, with either Turkish or Greek their second language. English is widely spoken and understood. Illiteracy is extremely low, the result of an excellent educational system.

      The Greek Cypriots are primarily Eastern Orthodox (Eastern Orthodoxy) Christians. Their church, the Church of Cyprus (Cyprus, Church of), is autocephalous (not under the authority of any patriarch); this privilege was granted to Archbishop Anthemius in AD 488 by the Byzantine emperor Zeno. Under the Ottoman Empire, the archbishop of the Church of Cyprus was made responsible for the secular as well as the religious behaviour of the Orthodox community and given the title ethnarch. The Turkish Cypriots are Sunni (Sunnite) Muslims. There are also smaller Maronite (Maronite church), Armenian, Roman Catholic, and Anglican Christian communities on the island.

Settlement patterns
 The Cypriots were traditionally a largely rural people, but a steady drift toward towns began in the early 20th century. The census of 1973 recorded six towns, defined as settlements of more than 5,000 inhabitants, and nearly 600 villages. Following the Turkish occupation in 1974 of the northern portion of the island, this pattern changed, the result of the need to resettle some 180,000 Greek Cypriot refugees who had fled from the Turkish-controlled area to the southern part of the island. The accommodations built for them were situated mainly in the neighbourhood of the three towns south of the line of demarcation, particularly in the Nicosia suburban area, which was still controlled by the government of the Republic of Cyprus. In contrast, the northern portion of the island is now more sparsely populated despite the influx of Turkish Cypriots from the south and the introduction of Turkish settlers from the mainland.

      The six towns recorded in the 1973 census, under the undivided republic, were the headquarters of the island's six administrative districts. Of these Kyrenia (Turkish: Girne), Famagusta (Greek: Ammókhostos; Turkish: Mağusa), and the northern half of Nicosia are to the north of the demarcation line drawn in 1974 and are in Turkish Cypriot hands; that part of Nicosia is the administrative centre of the Turkish Cypriot sector. Limassol, Larnaca, Paphos, and the southern part of Nicosia remained in Greek Cypriot hands after 1974; that part of Nicosia is the nominal capital of the entire Republic of Cyprus and the administrative centre of the Greek Cypriot sector.

Demographic trends
      At times Cypriots have emigrated in large numbers, and it is estimated that as many live abroad as on the island itself. The great majority of emigrants have gone to the United Kingdom or to the English-speaking countries of Australia, South Africa, the United States, and Canada. Waves of heavy emigration followed the negotiation of independence in 1960 and the Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus in 1974. The population decreased slightly between mid-1974 and 1977 because of emigration, war losses, and a temporary decline in fertility. After 1974 the increase in numbers of Greek Cypriots leaving the island in search of work, especially in the Middle East, contributed to a decline in population, but this tapered off in the 1990s. More than two-thirds of the population is urban.


The economy after independence
      Between 1960 and 1973 the Republic of Cyprus, operating a free-enterprise economy based on agriculture and trade, achieved a standard of living higher than most of its neighbours, with the exception of Israel. This progress was substantially assisted by various agencies of the United Nations (UN), operating through the UN Development Program. Generous financial assistance was given by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in the form of loans for specific development projects, including electricity supply, port development, and sewerage systems. Individual foreign countries also made some aid available to Cyprus. These countries and organizations provided experts to advise economic planning and initiate productive projects; scholarships and grants provided for the training of Cypriot specialists in these areas. During this time gross domestic product (GDP) and per capita income grew substantially, agricultural production doubled, industrial production and exports of goods and services more than tripled, and tourism became a significant earner of foreign exchange.

Effects of partition
      The Turkish occupation of nearly two-fifths of the country in 1974, involving the displacement of about one-third of the total population, dealt a serious blow to the island's economic development. Greek Cypriot losses of land and personal property in the occupied areas were substantial, and they also lost Famagusta, the only deepwater port, and the Nicosia International Airport. GDP of the Greek Cypriot sector dropped by about one-third between 1973 and 1975. Through vigorous efforts, real growth was resumed in the area that remained under the control of the government of the Republic of Cyprus, and between 1975 and 1983 the annual rate of growth was estimated to average about 10 percent. Since 1983 the economy of the Greek Cypriot sector has flourished, and unemployment and inflation have remained relatively low. Tourism has provided the main leverage of economic growth, and many areas have undergone technological upgrading. In the 1990s the Greek Cypriot sector increasingly transformed itself into a centre of international transit trade, merchant shipping, banking, and related services. The republic's Greek-run government established special tariff arrangements with the European Union and from 1990 sought admittance to the organization, whose member countries account for about half of the island's imports. The Greek Cypriot sector joined the EU in 2004 and adopted the euro as its official currency in 2008.

      The Turkish-occupied area has not experienced the same prosperity, however, and the Turkish government has had to subsidize its economy. The Turkish area still depends heavily on agriculture. Trade between the two areas ceased in 1974, and the two economies have remained independent. However, the southern zone continues to supply the northern zone with electricity, and the northern zone still processes the sewage of Greek Nicosia.

Agriculture, forestry, and fishing
      More than one-third of the island's arable land (land reform) is irrigated, mainly in the Mesaoria Plain and around Paphos in the southwest. Woodlands and forests occupy about one-fifth of the total land area. Landholdings are generally small, highly fragmented, and dispersed under traditional laws of inheritance. A program of land consolidation was enacted in 1969; it met with resistance, particularly from Turkish Cypriot landowners, and was only very slowly implemented, but it has proceeded with considerable success in the Greek Cypriot sector.

      The major crops of the Greek Cypriot sector include grapes, deciduous fruits, potatoes, cereal grains, vegetables, olives, and carobs. The area under Turkish occupation produces the bulk of the country's citrus fruits, wheat, barley, carrots, tobacco, and green fodder.

      Livestock—especially sheep, goats, pigs, and poultry—and livestock products account for about one-third of the island's total agricultural production. Some cattle are also raised.

      Cyprus was once famous for its extensive forests, but the demand for timber for shipbuilding by successive conquerors from the 7th century BC onward and extensive felling for building and for fuel have cleared most of them. Under the British administration a vigorous policy of conservation and reforestation was pursued, and the Cyprus Forestry College was established at Prodhromos, on the western slopes of Mount Olympus; the Greek Cypriot government continues to operate an ambitious program of forest preservation and development. Forests are found mostly in the mountainous areas and in the Paphos district.

      The fishing industry is small, in part because coastal waters are deficient in the nutrients and associated plankton needed to sustain large fish populations. Although the industry has shown some growth in the Greek Cypriot sector, most fish is imported.

Resources and power
      Cyprus was for many centuries a noted producer of copper; in Greek the name of the island and the name of the metal are identical. As early as 2500 BC its mines were being exploited. After other mineral sources were discovered, the mines remained neglected for centuries until they were reopened shortly before World War I. They were subsequently exploited from 1925 until they were closed during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Production resumed after World War II, and copper and other minerals—iron pyrites, asbestos, gypsum, chrome ore—have contributed somewhat to external trade; bentonite (a form of clay), umber, and ocher are also exported. The island's most important copper mines are located in the area of Skouriotissa in the Turkish-occupied zone, but copper ore reserves have declined substantially. Extensive quarries for stone and other building materials are for local use.

 As there are no known deposits of fossil fuels, Cyprus must import all the petroleum needed to power vehicles as well as to generate electricity, which is produced by thermal power stations. The country also continues to be one of the world's major producers of solar energy. Although there are several dams, an adequate water supply remains a constant problem.

      Cyprus has limited quantities of raw materials, and this situation restricts the scope for industrial activity. Before the partition of the island, most manufacturing was of goods produced for the domestic market by small owner-operated plants, and a considerable number of those plants were located in the area occupied by the Turks in 1974. Industries in the Republic of Cyprus were subsequently reoriented toward export production, and many factories were built in the south. Petroleum refining, cement and asbestos-pipe manufacturing, and thermal electricity production are the republic's heavy industries, and its light industries produce goods such as clothing, footwear, beverages, and some machinery and transport equipment. Printing and publishing also contribute to the Greek Cypriot economy.

Finance and trade
      The Central Bank of Cyprus issues the Cyprus pound, while Turkish lira are circulated in the Turkish-occupied area. The Republic of Cyprus began to expand financial services, including offshore banking, in 1982. Light manufactures, particularly clothing and footwear, and foodstuffs, including potatoes and citrus fruit, constitute the republic's major exports. Petroleum, petroleum products, foodstuffs, and machinery are the chief imports. Chronic trade deficits are offset by receipts from tourists, remittances sent home by expatriate Greek Cypriots, and receipts from the British military bases on the island. In the Turkish sector citrus fruits, potatoes, carobs, and textiles are the principal exports; foodstuffs, machinery, and transportation equipment are the major imports.

 Tourism became one of the major components of Cyprus's economy after 1960. Most of the tourist accommodations, however, were in the portion of the island occupied by the Turks in 1974. After the partition the tourist trade recovered rapidly in the Greek Cypriot sector: to counter the loss of Kyrenia and the Famagusta-Varosha area, which had been the leading seaside resorts, the southern coastal towns of Limassol, Larnaca, and Paphos were further developed to accommodate tourists. Since the mid-1980s, tourism has been the largest source of foreign income for the Greek Cypriot sector.

Labour and taxation
      With the exception of the years immediately following the Turkish invasion, Cyprus has maintained a low overall level of unemployment—among the lowest in Europe—and labour union activity has been strong, with nearly two-thirds of Cypriot workers belonging to unions. Roughly one-fourth of the Cypriot workforce is employed in trade, while the service industry is the second largest employer, with more than one-fifth of workers engaged in some service-related occupation, mostly in the tourism sector. Agriculture, once the mainstay of the Cypriot economy, now employs less than one-tenth of the workforce.

      Taxation is a major source of state revenue, and the government of the Republic of Cyprus levies direct taxes, including an income tax, and indirect taxes, including various excise taxes and a value-added tax introduced in the mid-1990s.

Transportation and telecommunications
      In Roman times the island had a well-developed road system, but, by the time of the British occupation in 1878, the only carriage road was between Nicosia and Larnaca. An extensive new road network was built under the British administration. A narrow-gauge public railway proved uneconomical and was closed in the early 1950s, and since then inland travel has been entirely by road. The Greek Cypriot sector continues to develop and maintain an extensive network of modern highways. In 1994 a highway connecting Nicosia, Anthoupolis, and Kokkini Trimithia was completed.

      International air services provide connections to all parts of Europe and the Middle East and to some areas of Africa. Nicosia International Airport was closed in 1974, and the airport at Larnaca was developed instead to service the Greek Cypriot sector. An airport at Paphos, also handling international flights, opened in 1983. Flights to the Turkish-occupied sector arrive from or through Turkey and use an airport at Geƈitikale (Lefkoniko).

      There is no significant coastal shipping, and much of the merchant marine registered to Cyprus is foreign-owned. The great bulk of the island's international trade remains seaborne, and the main ports of the Greek Cypriot sector, Limassol and Larnaca, are thoroughly modernized; Vasilikos is a major industrial port. Turkish shipping uses Famagusta.

      The Greek Cypriot sector became a major international telecommunications hub in the 1990s, installing submarine fibre-optic cables and satellite linkup facilities.

Government and society

Constitutional framework
 The constitution of the Republic of Cyprus, adopted in 1960, provided that executive power be exercised by a Greek Cypriot president and a Turkish Cypriot vice president, elected to five-year terms by universal suffrage, and that there be a Council of Ministers (cabinet) comprising seven Greek Cypriot and three Turkish Cypriot members. It also called for an elected House of Representatives with 50 seats, divided between Greek and Turkish Cypriots in the proportion of 35 to 15 and elected for terms of five years.

      The constitution, derived from the negotiations in Zürich, Switzerland, in 1959 between representatives of the governments of Greece (Greece, history of) and Turkey, was not widely accepted by the citizens of the new republic. The Greek Cypriots, whose struggle against the British had been for enosis (union with Greece) and not for independence, regretted the failure to achieve this national aspiration. As a result, it was not long after the establishment of the republic that the Greek Cypriot majority began to regard many of the provisions, particularly those relating to finance and to local government, as unworkable. Proposals for amendments were rejected by the Turkish government, and, after the outbreak of fighting between the two Cypriot communities in late 1963, the constitution was suspended. In the Republic of Cyprus after the Turkish occupation of 1974, the constitution's provisions remained in force where practicable; the main formal change has been the increase in the number of seats in the House of Representatives to 80, although the 24 seats allocated to Turks have remained vacant.

      On the Turkish side of the demarcation line, there have been, since 1974, a popularly elected president, prime minister, and legislative assembly, all serving five-year terms of office. A new constitution was approved for the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) by its electorate in 1985.

      Local government in the Republic of Cyprus is at the district, municipal, rural municipality, and village levels. District officers are appointed by the government; local councils are elected, as are the mayors of municipalities.

      The legal code of Cyprus is based on Roman law. In the Greek Cypriot zone judges are appointed by the government, but the judiciary is entirely independent of the executive power. The Supreme Court is the highest court and also serves as the final appeals court in the republic. A Permanent Assize Court has criminal jurisdiction over the whole island, and district courts handle criminal, civil, and admiralty matters. The Turkish Cypriot zone has a similar system of justice.

Political process
      The oldest established political party in the Republic of Cyprus is the Progressive Party of the Working People (Anorthotiko Komma Ergazomenou Laou; AKEL), founded in 1941. A pro-Moscow communist party that controlled the principal trade union federation, it received about one-third of the vote in the first 25 years of the Republic of Cyprus. Following the collapse of communism in Russia and eastern Europe, AKEL lost much of its support, with some reformists breaking away to form their own party. Other parties have had varying success. Among them are the Movement of Social Democrats EDEK (Kinima Sosialdimokraton EDEK) and the Democratic Rally (Dimokratikos Synagermos). In the Turkish Cypriot zone the major parties include the National Unity Party (Ulusal Birlik Partisi), the Communal Liberation Party (Toplumcu Kurtuluș Partisi), and the Republican Turkish Party (Cumhuriyeti Türk Partisi).

      The island of Cyprus is home to a complicated mixture of military forces. The Republic of Cyprus has a small national guard consisting of volunteers and conscripts, and men between the ages of 18 and 50 are required to serve up to 26 months in the military. The army of the TRNC requires 24 months of military service from men within that same age-group. Likewise, both sides maintain close military ties with their respective kinsmen on the mainland; the Republic of Cyprus's national guard has a large number of officers from the Greek army, and Turkey maintains a large garrison in northern Cyprus. In addition, because of the continued tensions between the two sides—which occasionally have flared into violence—the UN has maintained peacekeeping troops in Cyprus (UNFICYP) who police the demilitarized zone that divides the country; the United Kingdom also maintains two sovereign military bases in Cyprus.

      Health standards in Cyprus are high because of a favourable climate and well-organized public and private health services. Since the eradication of malaria shortly after World War II and, later, that of echinococcosis (hydatid disease), the island has been free from major diseases. Life expectancy is about 75 years for men and 80 years for women, and the infant mortality rate is low.

 Housing became a major preoccupation of the Republic of Cyprus following the Turkish invasion of 1974 and the subsequent displacement and relocation of Greek Cypriots to the south of the country. The government engaged in a long-term program to stimulate the construction of low-cost housing, provided low-interest loans for home buyers, and temporarily housed refugees in homes abandoned by Turkish Cypriots who fled to the north during the war. The government has continued to provide rent subsidies for thousands of refugee families and has also provided housing assistance for other low-income families.

      In the Greek Cypriot sector, 12 grades of free education are provided for children beginning at age 5; schooling is compulsory through age 15. The last three years may be taken at a technical or vocational school or at a lyceum, the latter offering courses stressing such fields as classical studies, the sciences, or economics. Postsecondary facilities include schools for teacher training, technical instruction, hospitality training, tourism guides, nursing, public health, and police work. Greek Cypriots opened the University of Cyprus in 1992; many students, however, attend universities abroad, especially in Greece, Britain, or the United States.

      The education system in the Turkish sector is administered separately, and the Turkish Cypriots maintain an excellent public-school system with facilities similar to those in the Greek sector and several institutions of specialized postsecondary education. As in the Greek sector, many Turkish Cypriots travel abroad (most to Turkey) for postsecondary education. The fine educational opportunities provided by both the Greek and the Turkish administrations have not been without drawbacks, as many of the most qualified Cypriot graduates—both Greek and Turkish—seek employment abroad.

Cultural life

Daily life and social customs
      The culture of Cyprus is divided between the northern Turkish and the southern Greek sections of the country. Since 1974 the Turkish community in northern Cyprus has promoted its own Turkish and Islamic culture, supporting its own newspapers and periodicals and changing many place-names to Turkish. The anniversary of the proclamation of the TRNC (November 15) is celebrated in the north, as are traditional Muslim holidays.

      Greek Cypriots speak a dialect of Greek and maintain a somewhat ambivalent attitude about mainland Greeks. However, most Greek Cypriots who go abroad for their postsecondary education travel to Greece, and these young people share in the popular culture of Greece, which is itself increasingly cosmopolitan. Even so, Greek Cypriots take care to preserve their traditional culture and to observe such important holidays as Easter (and the pre-Easter Carnival) and Anthestiria, a spring flower festival.

      Despite years of civil conflict in the 1950s, '60s, and '70s, the younger generation of Greek Cypriots has grown up in a relatively peaceful, settled, and prosperous society that encompasses aspects of traditional culture while welcoming world trends in dress and entertainment. These trends were introduced not only by the mass media but also by a tremendous influx of young travelers, whose presence can be felt in the dance clubs and bars that now abound throughout the island.

 Greek and Turkish Cypriots alike enjoy a rich tradition of handicrafts and folk art. Among the best-known expressions of this art internationally are Cypriot lacework—particularly that produced in the town of Lefkara near Nicosia—and silversmithing, which is practiced throughout the island.

      Geography has left Cyprus heir to numerous culinary traditions—particularly those of the Levant, Anatolia, and Greece—but some dishes, such as the island's halloumi cheese, pourgouri (a dish of boiled cracked wheat), hiromeri (a pressed, smoked, and aged leg of pork), and sucuk (a confection made of thickened grape juice and almonds), are purely Cypriot. As in much of the Mediterranean world, the appetizer, or meze, in Cyprus plays a central role, often taking the place of the entrée. Fresh fruits and vegetables are a part of every meal, and Cyprus has long been famous for its wine, viticulture having been practiced on the island for thousands of years.

The arts
      Cyprus has figured in the literature of Europe for thousands of years, from the works of Ionic lyric poets to modern travel memoirs such as Lawrence Durrell's Bitter Lemons (1957). Literary traditions are strong on the island itself. Drawing on oral tradition, on classical forms—such as the tekerleme (rigmarole) and mani (quatrain)—and on contemporary styles, Turkish Cypriot singers such as Acar Akalın and Neșe Yașin have developed a body of work that is well known on the Turkish mainland though largely untranslated into other languages. Contemporary Greek Cypriot poets are somewhat better known beyond the island, having been translated into other European languages. Several literary journals are published, and small presses issue hundreds of books in Greek and Turkish each year. Poetry is also an important element in the growing “peace culture” movement, which seeks to forge social and cultural links across the island's ethnic divide.

 Numerous painters and sculptors work in Cyprus, and the Cultural Services office keeps the state's collection of modern Cypriot art on permanent exhibition and sponsors the annual Kypria International Festival of music and theatrical performances. In the village of Lemba, near Paphos, the Cyprus College of Art runs courses for postgraduate art students. The government encourages young composers, musicians, and folk dance groups. Both the Turkish and the Greek Cypriot communities have active film industries, and Cypriot motion pictures have received a number of awards in international competitions. Classical and folk music enjoy a wide following among Cypriots of all ages, and the respective folk music traditions of the Greek and Turkish communities, combined with international styles, have contributed to the development of native Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot popular music styles.

Cultural institutions
      The ancient cultural traditions of Cyprus are maintained partly by private enterprise and partly by government sponsorship, especially through the Cultural Services office of the Republic of Cyprus's Ministry of Education and Culture, which publishes books, awards prizes for literature, and promotes Cypriot publications. Cities have public libraries, as do many rural communities. The government-sponsored Cyprus Theatre Organization stages plays by contemporary Cypriot dramatists as well as classical works. The ancient theatres of Salamis and Soli in the Turkish sector and Kourion (Curium) in the Greek portion have been restored; a variety of plays are staged at Kourion, and a Greek theatre has been built at Nicosia.

      Many noteworthy buildings survive from the Lusignan and Venetian periods, in particular the Gothic cathedrals at Nicosia and Famagusta and the Abbey of Bellapais near Kyrenia. There are other Gothic churches throughout the island. Orthodox Christians also built numerous churches in a distinctive style that was often influenced by the Gothic; the interiors of these illustrate the continued development of Byzantine art. Cyprus has notable examples of medieval and Renaissance military architecture, such as the castles of Kyrenia, St. Hilarion, Buffavento, and Kantara and the elaborate Venetian fortifications of Nicosia and Famagusta.

 Additional sites of cultural significance include the town of Paphos, held to be the legendary birthplace of Aphrodite, which houses a temple constructed in her honour dating from the 12th century BC; the painted churches of the Troodos region, a complex of Byzantine churches and monasteries renowned for their display of murals in Byzantine and post-Byzantine styles; and the Neolithic settlements at Choirokotia, inhabited from the 7th to the 4th millennium BC. These sites were designated UNESCO World Heritage sites (World Heritage site) in 1980, 1985, and 1998, respectively.

Sports and recreation
      Sports play a major role in the Greek Cypriot community, as they have since Classical times, when stadiums stood at the heart of the island's chief cities. Through the Cyprus Sports Organization, an official body formed in 1969, the government has built stadiums, sports halls, and swimming pools and has subsidized associations and clubs for a wide spectrum of sports; there are a professional football (soccer) league and a semiprofessional basketball league.

      Cypriot athletes began to compete in the Olympic Games in 1924 but as members of the Greek national team. In 1978 the Cyprus National Olympic Committee was admitted to the International Olympic Committee, and the Republic of Cyprus has been sending its own national team—consisting of athletes from the Greek Cypriot sector only—to the Games since 1980. There have been unsuccessful attempts at athletic cooperation or contests between the Turkish and Greek communities, and international sports-governing bodies have not recognized the sports associations in the Turkish sector of Cyprus.

Media and publishing
      Television and radio are controlled in the Greek sector by the semigovernmental Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation and are financed by government subsidies, taxes, and advertising. Throughout the island, broadcasts are in Greek, Turkish, English, and Armenian, and daily and weekly newspapers are published in Greek, Turkish, and English. The Turkish sector receives broadcasts from Turkey.

Herman W. Goult Sir David Wathen Stather Hunt John S. Bowman Ed.


Earliest periods
      Tools and other artifacts provide the earliest evidence of human presence on Cyprus; the oldest have been dated to about 10,000 years ago. The first known settlement, as early as 9,000 years ago, was at Khirokitia (near the southern coast), a town of about 2,000 inhabitants who lived in well-built two-story round stone houses. The presence of small quantities of obsidian, a type of volcanic rock not native to the island, is the only sign of the island's contact with other cultures. Khirokitia and several smaller associated settlements disappeared after a few centuries, leaving the island uninhabited for nearly 2,000 years. The beginning of the next period of habitation dates to 4500–4000 BC; the sites of small villages from that time have been excavated north of Kourion (curium) at Sotira near the southern coast and also in the Kyrenia Mountains, and ornaments of picrolite (a variety of soapstone) and copper have also been found in those areas.

      The Chalcolithic Period (Chalcolithic Age) (Copper Age), which dates from 3000 to 2500 BC, was followed by the Bronze Age. Several styles of well-made decorative pottery from the Middle Bronze Age (1900–1600 BC) demonstrate advanced craftsmanship, and imports from Crete, Anatolia, Syria, and Egypt prove that external trade had begun by this time. It is possible that the name Alashiya or Alasia, both of which occur in Hittite and Egyptian records in connection with the supply of copper, refers to Cyprus. These trade links probably accounted for the foundation of new settlements in the eastern part of the island that became international trading centres.

      The Late Bronze Age (1600–1050 BC) was one of the most formative periods of the life of ancient Cyprus. The island's international contacts extended from the Aegean Sea to the Levant and the Nile River delta. ( Thutmose III of Egypt claimed Cyprus as one of his conquests about 1500 BC.) Writing, in the form of a linear script known as Cypro-Minoan, was borrowed from Crete. Cypriot craftsmen were distinguished for fine jewelry, ivory carving, and bronze figures. From about 1400 BC Mycenaean pottery was imported from mainland Greece, and it is possible that Mycenaean artists accompanied the merchants. There is evidence of Greek immigration from the Peloponnese after 1200 BC, with the collapse of Mycenaean civilization. West of Famagusta was Engomi, the principal city and port; its massive city walls and houses of hewn stone demonstrate a high level of prosperity.

Greek immigration
      The immigration of settlers from Greece, which had begun at least by 1200, led to the foundation of Greek (ancient Greek civilization) kingdoms covering most of the island, and, since the start of the 1st millennium BC, the Greek language has been predominant in Cyprus; the fact that the dialectal form in which it first appears is known as Arcado-Cypriot confirms traditions of the Peloponnesian origin—and specifically of the Arcadian (Arcadia) origin—of the immigrants. They founded new cities, which became the capitals of six ancient Greek kingdoms on Cyprus: Curium (Greek: Kourion), Paphos, Marion, Soli (Greek: Soloi), Lapithos, and Salamis. About 800 BC a Phoenician colony was founded at Citium (Greek: Kition), near modern Larnaca, as a dependency of the mother city, Tyre. A seventh kingdom, Amathus, remained for some time under the control of the earlier indigenous inhabitants; the language used there was called Eteo-Cypriot (“True Cypriot”) by the Greeks. Amathus became active politically, especially in external trade relations. Spectacular chariot burials of the royal family of Salamis—which closely match descriptions found in the Homeric poems, suggesting inspiration by them—are evidence of an advancing civilization in the late Iron Age.

External political influences
Assyrian and Egyptian domination
      In 709 BC Sargon II of Assyria erected a stela at Citium recording the fact that seven Cypriot kings had paid him homage; subsequent Assyrian (Assyria) documents mention 11 tributary kingdoms: the seven already cited plus Citium, Kyrenia, Tamassos, and Idalium. This subordination to Assyria, probably rather nominal, lasted until about 663. For the next hundred years, Cyprus enjoyed a period of complete independence and massive development. Epic poetry grew increasingly popular, and much was written on the island; Stasinus of Cyprus, credited with the authorship of the lost epic poem Cypria, was highly regarded among the poets of this literary style in the 7th century. Bronze, iron, delicate jewelry, and ivory work are characteristic of this period; notable examples are the ivory throne and bedstead excavated from a royal tomb at Salamis dating from about 700 BC.

      When the Assyrian empire finally broke up at the end of the 7th century BC, Egypt (Egypt, ancient), under the Saite dynasty, became the predominant power in the eastern Mediterranean. About 569 the Cypriot kingdoms recognized the pharaoh Ahmose II (Amasis) as their overlord. Direct Egyptian influence was not always apparent, but many limestone sculptures reproduced Egyptian conventions in dress, and some statues were directly inspired by Egyptian models. A more important influence in the late Archaic period (750–475 BC) came from the artistic schools of Ionia, which was also probably the same source of the inspiration for issuing coinage; the first Cypriot coins were circulated for King Euelthon of Salamis in 560–525 BC.

The Persian empire
      In 525 BC the Cypriot kings transferred their allegiance to the Achaemenid (Achaemenid Dynasty) (Persian) conquerors of Egypt. The Cypriots retained their independence until the accession of Darius I in 522 but were then incorporated into the fifth satrapy of the Persian empire. When the Ionians revolted in 499, all the kingdoms of Cyprus except Amathus joined them; the revolt was subsequently suppressed, culminating in sieges of Paphos and Soli. During Xerxes I's invasion of Greece in 480 BC, the Cypriot kings, like the Ionians, contributed naval contingents to his forces. Cyprus remained under Persian rule during the 5th century in spite of a major Athenian expedition there in about 450. Evagoras, who became king of Salamis in 411 BC, maintained a pro-Hellenic policy—with some help from Athens—and succeeded in extending his rule over a large portion of the island. He was defeated by the Persians in 381 and was assassinated three years later. After the victory of Alexander the Great over the last Achaemenid ruler, Darius III, at Issus (Issus, Battle of) in 333 BC, the Cypriot kings rallied to Alexander and assisted him at the siege of Tyre. During the Classical period (475–325 BC), Cypriot art came under strong Attic influence.

Hellenistic and Roman rule
      Alexander allowed the Cypriot kingdoms to continue but took from them the right to issue coinage. After his death in 323, his successors fought for control of Cyprus. The eventual victor was Ptolemy I (Ptolemy I Soter) of Egypt, who suppressed the kingdoms and made the island a province of his Egyptian kingdom. He forced the last king of Salamis, Nicocreon, to commit suicide in 310 BC, together with all his family. For two and a half centuries, Cyprus remained a Ptolemaic possession, ruled by a strategus, or governor-general.

Cyprus as a Roman province
      Cyprus was annexed by the Roman Republic (Roman Republic and Empire) in 58 BC and, along with Cilicia on the coast of Anatolia, was made into a Roman province. One of its first proconsuls was the orator and writer Cicero. Cyprus was briefly ceded to Cleopatra VII of Egypt by Julius Caesar, and this status was confirmed by Mark Antony, but, after the victory of Caesar's heir, Octavian (subsequently the emperor Augustus), over Mark Antony and Cleopatra at Actium in 31 BC, it became a Roman possession again. Cyprus was originally administered as part of the “imperial” province of Syria but became a separate “senatorial” province in 22 BC. Its governors resumed the old republican title of proconsul, although there is evidence that Augustus did influence the Senate's choice. For the next 600 years, Cyprus enjoyed peace, disturbed only by occasional earthquakes and epidemics and by a Jewish uprising suppressed by a lieutenant of the future emperor Hadrian in AD 116. Many large public buildings were erected, among them a gymnasium and theatre at Salamis, a theatre at Kourion, and the governor's palace at Paphos.

Early Christianity
      One of the most important events in the Roman period was the introduction of Christianity to Cyprus. The apostle Paul (Paul, the Apostle, Saint), accompanied by Barnabas (later St. Barnabas (Barnabas, Saint)), a native of the Cypriot Jewish community, preached there about AD 45 and converted the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. By the time of Constantine I the Great, Christians were numerous on the island and may have constituted a majority of the population.

      After the division of the Roman Empire in 395, Cyprus remained subject to the Eastern, or Byzantine, Empire at Constantinople, being part of the diocese of the Orient governed from Antioch. In ecclesiastical matters, however, the Church of Cyprus (Cyprus, Church of) was autocephalous—i.e., independent of the Patriarchate of Antioch—having been given that privilege in 488 by the emperor Zeno. The archbishop received the rights, still valued and practiced today, to carry a sceptre instead of a crosier and to sign his name in purple ink, the imperial colour.

      There was a break in direct rule from Constantinople in 688 when Justinian II and the caliph Abd al-Malikʿ signed an unusual treaty neutralizing the island, which had been subject to Arab raids. For almost 300 years Cyprus was a kind of condominium (joint dominion) of the Byzantine Empire and the Caliphate, and, although the treaty was frequently violated by both sides, the arrangement lasted until 965, when the emperor Nicephorus II Phocas gained Cyprus completely for the Byzantines. The period that followed was one of modest prosperity.

 A remarkable mosaic of the 6th century, at Kiti, is the best example of Eastern Roman art of that date, comparable to works at Ravenna, Italy. Another equally remarkable mosaic of roughly the same date, at Lythrangomi, was destroyed in 1974. Wall paintings demonstrate close contact with Constantinople; those at Asinou, in particular, are noteworthy as being the earliest of an unparalleled series of mural paintings showing successive developments of Byzantine art.

      About 1185 a Byzantine governor of Cyprus, Isaac Comnenus (Isaac I Comnenus), rebelled and proclaimed himself emperor. Isaac resisted attacks from the Byzantine emperors Andronicus I Comnenus and Isaac II Angelus, but in 1191, on engaging in hostilities with an English Crusader fleet under King Richard I (the Lion-Heart), he was defeated and imprisoned. The island was seized by Richard, from whom it was acquired by the Crusading order of the Knights Templar; because they were unable to pay his price, he took it back and sold it to Guy of Lusignan (Lusignan Family), the dispossessed king of Jerusalem.

The Lusignan kingdom and Genoese and Venetian rule
      Guy, a Frenchman who called himself lord of Cyprus, invited families that had lost their lands in Palestine after the fall of Jerusalem to the Muslims under Saladin to settle in Cyprus and thereby laid the basis for a feudal monarchy that survived to the end of the Middle Ages. His brother and successor, Amalric (Amalric I), obtained the title of king from the Holy Roman emperor Henry VI. The earliest kings of the Lusignan dynasty were involved in the affairs of the small territory still left to the kingdom of Jerusalem, and this commitment drained the resources of Cyprus until the kingdom collapsed in 1291 with the fall of Acre. Over the next hundred years, Cyprus gained a reputation in Europe for having immense riches, especially among its nobles and Famagustan merchants. Famagusta's wealth derived from its position as the last entrepôt for European trade adjacent to the Levant.

      The kings of Cyprus had kept alive the Crusading idea, and the island remained a base for counterattacks against the Muslims. In 1361 the Cypriot king Peter I devoted himself to organizing a Crusade; he captured Adalia (Antalya) on the Cilician coast of Anatolia, and in 1365, after having collected money and mercenaries in western Europe, he seized and sacked Alexandria. He was not able to maintain the conquest, however, and was soon forced to abandon Alexandria. At his son's accession the rivalry between Genoa and Venice over control of Cyprus's valuable trade resulted in Genoa's taking possession of Famagusta and holding on to it for nearly a century, which thus led to a rapid decline in the island's prosperity. In 1426 an expedition from Egypt raided and overran the island, which from then on paid tribute to Cairo. The last Lusignan king, James II, seized the throne with the help of an Egyptian force and in 1464 expelled the Genoese from Famagusta. He married a Venetian noblewoman, Caterina Cornaro (Cornaro, Caterina), and, on his death (which was followed by that of his posthumous son), she succeeded him as the last monarch of Cyprus. During her reign she was under strong Venetian pressure and was eventually persuaded to cede Cyprus to the Republic of Venice. It remained a Venetian possession for 82 years, until its capture by the Ottomans.

      A Turkish invading force landed in Cyprus in 1570 and seized Nicosia; the following year Famagusta fell after a long siege, which ushered in the beginning of more than three centuries of Ottoman rule. The Latin church was suppressed and the Orthodox hierarchy restored; after feudal tenure was abolished, the Greek peasantry acquired inalienable and hereditary rights to land. Taxes were at first reduced but later greatly increased and arbitrarily raised. In the 18th century the Orthodox archbishop was made responsible for tax collection.

      Thousands of Muslims were settled on the island immediately following the Ottoman conquest. To the sultans Cyprus was an unimportant province; its governors were indolent, inefficient, somewhat oppressive, and corrupt. There were Turkish uprisings in 1764 and 1833, and in 1821 the Orthodox archbishop was hanged on suspicion of sympathy with the rebels in mainland Greece. The sultanate's various imperial proclamations in the 19th century promising reform had no effect in Cyprus, where local opposition blocked them.

      The Cyprus Convention of 1878 between Britain and Turkey provided that Cyprus, while remaining under Turkish sovereignty, should be administered by the British government. Britain's aim in occupying Cyprus was to secure a base in the eastern Mediterranean for possible operations in the Caucasus or Mesopotamia as part of the British guarantee to secure the sultan's Asian possessions from Russia. In 1914, when Britain and Turkey became adversaries during World War I, the former annexed the island; Turkey recognized this under the Treaty of Lausanne (Lausanne, Treaty of) in 1923. Two years later Cyprus was officially declared a crown colony.

      British occupation was initially welcomed by the Greek population, which from the start expected the British to transfer Cyprus to Greece (Greece, history of). The Greek Cypriots' demand for enosis (union with Greece) was opposed by Turkish Cypriots, constituting a major division in the island's politics; a string of almost annual petitions demanding enosis were matched by counterpetitions and demonstrations from the Turkish Cypriots. Britain had made an offer to transfer the island in 1915, on condition that Greece fulfill its treaty obligations toward Serbia when that country was attacked by Bulgaria; the Greek government refused it, and the offer was not renewed. In 1931 the demand for enosis led to riots in Nicosia.

      Cyprus was untouched by World War II, apart from a few air raids. In 1947 the governor, in accordance with the British Labour Party's declaration on colonial policy, published proposals for greater self-government. They were rejected in favour of the slogan “enosis and only enosis.” In 1955 Lieutenant Colonel Georgios Grivas (Grivas, Georgios) (known as Dighenis), a Cypriot who had served as an officer in the Greek army, began a concerted campaign for enosis. His National Organization of Cypriot Struggle (Ethnikí Orgánosis Kipriakoú Agónos; EOKA) bombed public buildings and attacked and killed both Greek Cypriot and British opponents of enosis. British jurist Lord Radcliffe, among others, suggested self-government in 1956, but all of the proposals were rejected, and the attacks continued. Archbishop Makarios III, who as ethnarch considered it his duty to champion the national aspirations of the Greek Cypriots, was deported to the Seychelles. He was released from exile in March 1957 and soon made his headquarters in Athens. By that time the operations of EOKA had been reduced, but on the other hand the Turkish Cypriot minority, led by Fazıl Küçük, expressed alarm and demanded either retrocession to Turkey or partition. Public opinion in Greece and Turkey rallied in support of the two communities, respectively; riots ensued, and Greek residents were expelled from Turkey. Despite mediation by the United Nations, the two sides reached no solution.

      The Greek and Turkish governments took a decisive step in February 1959, when they reached an agreement in Zürich. Later that same month, at a conference in London, the British government and representatives of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities accepted the Greek-Turkish compromise. In 1960 treaties that made Cyprus an independent republic, with Britain retaining sovereignty over military bases at Akrotiri and Dhekélia, were ratified in Nicosia. According to the terms of the treaties, the new republic would not participate in a political or economic union with any other state, nor would it be subject to partition. Greece, Turkey, and Britain guaranteed the independence, integrity, and security of the republic, and Greece and Turkey agreed to respect the integrity of the areas remaining under British sovereignty. In December 1959 Makarios was elected president and Küçük vice president, both of whom could exercise a veto in matters relating to security, defense, and foreign affairs. Turkish Cypriots, who made up less than one-fifth of the population, were to represent three-tenths of the civil service and two-fifths of the army and to elect three-tenths of the House of Representatives, and a joint Greek and Turkish military headquarters was also to be established.

The Republic of Cyprus
      The first general election occurred in July 1960. Of the 35 seats allotted to the Greek Cypriots, 30 were won by supporters of Makarios and 5 were allotted to the communist-led Progressive Party of the Working People (AKEL). All 15 Turkish Cypriot seats were won by supporters of Küçük. Cyprus became a republic on August 16, 1960, and was admitted as a member of the UN. The British government agreed to provide financial assistance over a period of five years, and Cyprus gained membership in the Commonwealth in March 1961.

      Despite these arrangements, the long-standing conflict between the Greek Cypriot majority and the Turkish Cypriot minority intensified following independence. The difficulties the government encountered in implementing some of the complicated provisions of the constitution, particularly regarding local government and finance, led Makarios to propose 13 amendments to Küçük in late 1963. These were rejected by the Turkish government and the Turkish Cypriots, and fighting broke out between the two Cypriot communities. As a result, the area controlled by the Turkish Cypriots was reduced to a few enclaves, and Nicosia was divided by a cease-fire line—known as the Green Line—policed by British troops. In March 1964 the UN Security Council agreed to send to Cyprus a multinational peacekeeping force (United Nations Peacekeeping Forces), the mandate of which was extended repeatedly as the conflict continued. In 1964 the Turkish air force intervened after intensified fighting broke out in the northwest. Contingents of troops and officers from Greece and Turkey were taken into the island clandestinely to command and train the forces raised by the two communities. Grivas, who had been promoted to lieutenant general in the Greek army, returned from Greece to command the Greek Cypriot National Guard. In 1967 an incident in the southeast led to a Turkish ultimatum to Greece, backed by the threat of invasion. The military junta then ruling Greece complied by withdrawing the mainland contingents and General Grivas. An uneasy peace ensued, but intercommunal talks failed to produce a solution.

      Makarios was reelected president in 1968 by an overwhelming majority and won again in 1973. Although he had originally been a leader in the campaign for enosis, many Greek Cypriots and mainland Greeks believed that, by the time he became president, he was content with Cyprus's independence. Angered, dissidents tried to assassinate Makarios in 1970 and 1973, and in 1973 he was denounced by the three suffragan bishops who were ecclesiastically subordinate to him. Meanwhile, Grivas had returned secretly to Cyprus in 1971 to resume the campaign for enosis; he died in Limassol in 1974.

Establishment of an independent Turkish state
 On July 15, 1974, a detachment of the National Guard, led by officers from mainland Greece, launched a coup to assassinate Makarios and establish enosis. They demolished the presidential palace, but Makarios escaped. A former EOKA member, Nikos Sampson, was proclaimed president of Cyprus. Five days later Turkish forces landed at Kyrenia to overthrow Sampson's government. They were met by vigorous resistance, but the Turks were successful in establishing a bridgehead around Kyrenia and linking it with the Turkish sector of Nicosia. On July 23 Greece's junta fell, and a democratic government under Konstantinos Karamanlis (Karamanlis, Konstantinos) took power. At the same time, Sampson was replaced in Cyprus by Glafcos Clerides, who as president of the House of Representatives automatically succeeded the head of state in the latter's absence. As required by treaty, the three guarantor powers—Britain, Greece, and Turkey—met for discussions in Geneva, but the Turkish advance continued until mid-August. By that time Turkey controlled roughly the northern third of the island. In December Makarios returned and resumed the presidency, and a few months later Turkish leaders proclaimed a Turkish Federated State of Cyprus under Rauf Denktash as president. Since that time the boundary between the two sectors has unofficially been known as “the Attila Line,” named for the Turkish army's battle plan.

      In May 1983 Denktash broke off all intercommunal talks, and in November he proclaimed the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC); the republic's independence was recognized only by Turkey. The UN Security Council condemned the move and repeated its demand, first made in 1974, that all foreign troops be withdrawn from the Republic of Cyprus. Renewed UN peace-proposal efforts in 1984 and 1985 were unsuccessful, and in May 1985 a constitution for the TRNC was approved by referendum.

The failure of intercommunal talks
      Negotiations between Clerides and Denktash, representing the Greek and Turkish Cypriots, respectively, had begun in 1968. They continued inconclusively until 1974, the Turks demanding and the Greeks rejecting the proposal for a bizonal federation with a weak central government. In February 1975 the Turkish Cypriots proclaimed the Turkish-occupied area the Turkish Federated State of Cyprus (a body calling itself the Provisional Cyprus-Turkish Administration had been in existence among Turkish Cypriots since 1967); Denktash announced that their purpose was not independence but federation. Talks were resumed in Vienna in 1975 and 1976 under UN auspices, and in early 1977 Makarios (Makarios III) and Denktash agreed on acceptable guidelines for a bizonal federation.

      In August 1977 Makarios died, and Spyros Kyprianou, president of the House of Representatives, became acting president of the republic; he returned unopposed to that office for a five-year term in January 1978 and was reelected in 1983; Turkish Cypriots took no part in the 1983 election.

      Kyprianou lost his bid for a third term in 1988 to an independent candidate, George Vassiliou. He in turn lost by a narrow margin in 1993 to Clerides, a rightist, who was reelected in 1998. At first Clerides showed no willingness to deal with the Turkish Cypriot leader Denktash, but the two eventually met in New York City under UN auspices. The government of the Republic of Cyprus (composed solely of Greek Cypriots) began applying for membership to the European Union (EU) in 1990, though its admittance was repeatedly blocked by Turkey and its supporters.

      In late 2002 the EU (European Union) offered Cyprus membership in its organization on the condition that reunification talks conclude by March 2003 (barring reunification, membership would go to the Greek Cypriot portion of the country only). Just weeks before the March deadline, Tassos Papadopoulos defeated Clerides and assumed the presidency of the Republic of Cyprus, but no agreement was reached. The following month TRNC leaders relaxed restrictions along the Green Line that divided the island, and, for the first time in some 30 years, Cypriots moved with relative freedom throughout the country. Led by Papadopoulos, in 2004 the Greek Cypriot community overwhelmingly rejected a UN-backed reunification plan; as a result, Greek Cyprus alone was admitted to the EU in May 2004.

Sir David Wathen Stather Hunt John S. Bowman
      In early 2008 Papadopoulos was narrowly defeated in the first round of voting during the country's presidential elections, a move thought to signal declining support by Greek Cypriots for the country's continued division; Dimitris Christofias, leader of Cyprus's communist party and an advocate of renewed unification efforts, was elected to the presidency shortly thereafter. Soon after his election, Christofias reached an agreement with Mehmet Ali Talat, the leader of the TRNC, to open a crossing at Ledra Street in the divided capital of Nicosia. The division of Ledra Street, split since 1964, had for many come to symbolize the broader partition of the island.


Additional Reading

General works
Eileen Davey, Northern Cyprus: A Traveller's Guide (1993), provides a useful glimpse into the Turkish sector of the island. Lawrence Durrell, Bitter Lemons (1957, reissued 1996), gives an excellent introduction to the island by providing an account of a year on Cyprus. David Hunt (ed.), Footprints in Cyprus: An Illustrated History, rev. ed. (1990), is a collection of illustrations of unfamiliar subjects. A useful reference is Stavros Panteli, Historical Dictionary of Cyprus (1994). H.D. Purcell, Cyprus (1969), includes an outstanding survey of the island's history. Bernard McDonagh and Ian Robertson, Cyprus, 4th ed. (1998), is from the Blue Guide series and serves as a solid introduction to many aspects of the island. Eric Solsten (ed.), Cyprus: A Country Study, 4th ed. (1993), although somewhat dated, gives a complete overview of the country.

Specialized topics on the natural environment are covered in G. Elliott and R. Dutton, Know Your Rocks: An Introduction to the Geology of Cyprus (1963); David A. Bannerman and W. Mary Bannerman, Birds of Cyprus (1958); Esther F. Cyprus Chapman, Cyprus Trees and Shrubs (1949); Jens Holmboe, Studies on the Vegetation of Cyprus (1914); B.F. Osorio-Tafall and George M. Seraphim, List of the Vascular Plants of Cyprus (1973); and Oleg Polunin and Anthony Huxley, Flowers of the Mediterranean, 3rd ed. (1987, reprinted 1990).Works that explore some of the pervasive social and economic issues between the Greek and Turkish communities include Vangelis Calotychos, Cyprus and Its People: Nation, Identity, and Experience in an Unimaginable Community, 1955–1997 (1998); William J. House, Dora Kyriakides, and Olympia Stylianou, The Changing Status of Female Workers in Cyprus (1987); Peter Loizos, The Heart Grown Bitter: A Chronicle of Cypriot War Refugees (1981); and J.V. Thirgood, Cyprus: A Chronicle of Its Forests, Land, and People (1987). Antonios Andronikou, Development of Tourism in Cyprus: Harmonization of Tourism with the Environment (1987), gives some perspective on a problem of the late 20th century. Diamond Jenness, The Economics of Cyprus: A Survey to 1914 (1962), is a specialized historical study of the country's economy.Among the useful discussions of cultural aspects are J. Paul Getty Museum, Cyprus Before the Bronze Age: Art of the Chalcolithic Period (1990); Nancy Sevcenko and Christopher Moss (eds.), Medieval Cyprus: Studies in Art, Architecture, and History in Memory of Doula Moriki (1999); Athanasios Papageorgiou, Icons of Cyprus, trans. from Greek (1992); Nicos S. Spanos, Cypriot Prose-Writers, from Antiquity to 1950 (1983); Tony Spiteris, The Art of Cyprus (1971; originally published in French, 1970); and Andrea Stylianou and Judith A. Stylianou, The Painted Churches of Cyprus: Treasures of Byzantine Art, rev. ed. (1997).

For the earliest and ancient periods, some of the more accessible works for the nonspecialist include Jane C. Biers and David Soren (eds.), Studies in Cypriote Archaeology (1981); Nicholas Coureas, The Latin Church in Cyprus, 1195–1312 (1997); Louis Palma Di Cesnola, Cyprus: Its Ancient Cities, Tombs, and Temples (1877, reprinted 1991); Vassos Karageorghis, The Civilization of Prehistoric Cyprus, trans. from Greek (1976, reissued 1983), View from the Bronze Age: Mycenaean and Phoenician Discoveries at Kition (1976), and Cyprus: From the Stone Age to the Romans (1982); and A.T. Reyes, Archaic Cyprus: A Study of the Textual and Archaeological Evidence (1994).Accounts of the medieval and early modern periods include Peter W. Edbury, The Kingdom of Cyprus and the Crusades, 1191–1374 (1991, reissued 1994); Benedict Englezakis, Studies on the History of the Church of Cyprus, 4th–20th Centuries (1995); George A. Hill, History of Cyprus, 4 vol. (1940–52, reprinted 1972); and Ronald C. Jennings, Christians and Muslims in Ottoman Cyprus and the Mediterranean World, 1571–1640 (1993).Clement H. Dodd (ed.), Cyprus: The Need for New Perspectives (1999); George Horton Kelling, Countdown to Rebellion: British Policy in Cyprus, 1939–1955 (1990); Zaim M. Necatigil, The Cyprus Question and the Turkish Position in International Law, rev. 2nd ed. with corrections (1998); Pierre Oberling, The Road to Bellapais: The Turkish Cypriot Exodus to Northern Cyprus (1982); Norma Salem (ed.), Cyprus: A Regional Conflict and Its Resolution (1992); Ioannis Stefanidis, Isle of Discord: Nationalism, Imperialism, and the Making of the Cyprus Problem (1999); and Tom Streissguth, Cyprus: Divided Island (1998), include detailed discussions on modern Cyprus, including the conflict between Turkish and Greek Cypriots.John S. Bowman

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Universalium. 2010.

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