||Greek and Turkish
|Form of government
||Greek area: Euro, Turkish area: New Turkish
||UTC + 2 (OEZ)
|Telephone area code
The island of Cyprus is located in the eastern
Mediterranean and is about 50 km from the Turkish
mainland in the north and 100 km from Syria in the east.
With an area of 9,251 km2, Cyprus is the third largest
Mediterranean island (after Sicily and Sardinia).
The island is characterized by two mountain ranges,
between which there is a wide plain (Messaria). In the
north, the Kyrenia Mountains (also called Pentadaktylos)
run from west to east almost parallel to the coast. The
highest point here is the Kyparisso with 1,024 m. The
mountains drop steeply into the sea towards the north
coast of Cyprus.
In the southwest of the island is the Troodos
Mountains, which are of volcanic origin. The Olympos in
the Troodos Mountains is the highest mountain in Cyprus
at 1 951 m. To the west and south, the mountain range
merges with the hilly country, followed by a coastal
plain. In the center of the island between the Kyrenia
and Troodos mountains lies the Messaria plain, the main
area of cultivation and settlement. Most of the rivers
on the island dry up in the summer months. The longest
river is the Pedias. In addition to some natural
freshwater lakes, there are artificial reservoirs that
serve as drinking water reservoirs.
The capital of both countries is Nicosia , which is
located in the interior of the island and through its
old town the border between the Turkish north and the
Cyprus has a Mediterranean climate with long hot
summers and mild winters. The average January
temperatures in Nicosia are 10 ¡ã C and in July 28 ¡ã C.
Most rainfall falls in the winter months of December and
January. In Nicosia up to 400 mm are measured annually,
in the Troodos Mountains up to 1,000 mm.
Flora and fauna
Macchia and garigue predominate in Cyprus. Parts of
the Troodos Mountains are forested, mainly Aleppo pine,
cypress, cedar and pine grow here. Sycamore, oak, oil
and carob trees are less common.
Among other things, Cyprus moufflons, red foxes,
martens, rabbits and squirrels live on mammals in
Cyprus. In addition to numerous reptiles, the bird world
is particularly rich in species: birds of prey such as
eagles, falcons, sparrowhawks and vultures occur as well
as chickens and songbirds. Numerous migratory bird
species rest on the island.
Cyprus has a total population of around 1,038,000.
About 78% of them are Greek-speaking Cypriots, about 12%
of Turkish descent. The Greeks are mostly members of the
Cypriot Orthodox Church and live in the southern part of
the island. The Turks live in the north, which was
occupied by Turkish troops in 1974, and are followers of
Sunni Islam. Around 80,000 Turks have been settled in
Northern Cyprus since the occupation. Greek and Turkish
are official languages in southern Cyprus, and only
Turkish in northern Cyprus.
According to COUNTRYAAH, 57% of people live in cities, the largest city
is the capital Nicosia with about 305,000 residents
(metropolitan area). The border between the Turkish
north and the Greek south runs right through the old
town of Nicosia. Other cities include Limasol with
approximately 173,000 residents, Larnaca (77,000) and
N¨¦a P¨¢fos (Paphos, 51,000). The average settlement
density of Cyprus is 82 residents per square kilometer,
the Messaria plain and the coastal plains in the south
and west are most densely populated.
Each part of the country has its own social and
health care system, education is good in the basic area,
literacy is around 99%. The average life expectancy is
The northern part of Cyprus has been occupied by
Turkish troops since 1983, the "Turkish Republic of
Northern Cyprus" was proclaimed here in 1983, but is
only recognized as an independent state by Turkey. The
Greek-Cypriot "Republic of Cyprus" in the south of the
island is the official representative of the island of
Cyprus under international law. Between the two parts of
the country is an uninhabited buffer zone guarded by UN
The Republic of Cyprus is a presidential democracy
according to the 1960 constitution. The head of state is
the president, who is also head of the government (since
February 2013 Nikos Anastasiadis) and is elected by the
people every five years. The President appoints the
ministers. According to the constitution, the office of
Vice President must be filled by a Cypriot of Turkish
origin, it has been vacant since 1974. The legislature
lies with the parliament (Vouli ton Antipros¨®pon), the
term of office of the total of 80 deputies is five
years. The 24 seats intended for Turkish Cypriots are
also vacant.Important parties are the Conservative
Democratic Collection (DISY), the Communist Building
Party of the Working People (AKEL) and the Democratic
A separate government and parliament (50 seats) are
elected in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The
term of office of the president elected by the people
(since April 2010 Derviş Eroğlu) is five years.
Cyprus is divided into six districts, one of which is
in the Turkish north.
After the division of the island in 1974, a large
part of the agriculturally important regions in the
Messaria plain came under Turkish rule, as did the most
important industrial plants and the important seaport of
Famagusta. However, the economy of the Republic of
Cyprus quickly stabilized. However, the financial crisis
did not leave the Republic of Cyprus unscathed. The
government asked the EU for aid loans in 2012. In spring
2013 there was a banking crisis.
Around 17% of the total area of the country is used
for agriculture, and this must be largely irrigated. A
large part of it lies in the Messaria plain, which
mainly belongs to the Turkish part of the country. The
main crops are potatoes, citrus, barley, grapes, olives
and various types of vegetables.
In the Republic of Cyprus, around 2% of all workers
are employed in agriculture. Livestock farming is
important (poultry, pigs, sheep, goats, dairy cows).
Mineral resources include copper (which was mined in
prehistoric times), chromium, pyrite, asbestos and clay.
Most of the deposits are now exhausted, so that mining
is of little importance. The industry focuses on the
processing of food and beverages, the manufacture of
textiles, the chemical and metal industries and the
manufacture of wood products.
Services account for the largest share of the gross
domestic product (GDP) of the Republic of Cyprus at 81%.
The tourism industry (around 2.5 million visitors in
2012) is the main source of income. The Republic of
Cyprus is an attractive financial center with a bridging
function in the Middle East and Russia. It has
established itself as an important trading center. The
Republic has one of the largest merchant fleets in the
The Republic of Cyprus mainly exports citrus fruits,
potatoes, pharmaceutical products, cement, clothing and
cigarettes. Mainly food and beverages, crude oil and
lubricants, intermediate products, machines and vehicles
are imported. The most important foreign trade partners
are Greece, Great Britain and Germany in export and
Greece, Israel and Great Britain in import.
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus mainly
exports citrus fruits, potatoes and textiles, mainly
food, minerals, chemical products and machines are
imported. The most important donor and trading partner
The road network in the southern part of the island
covers around 12,280 km, of which around 8,000 km are
paved. The main ports are Larnaka and Limassol. Around
2,350 km of roads are available in the northern part of
the country, of which around 1,370 km are paved. The
most important ports here are Famagusta and Kyrenia.
There are international airports in the southern part of
the country in Larnaka and Paphos; the most important
airport in the northern part is Ercan airport.
Currency in the Republic of Cyprus is the Euro (= 100
cents), in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus the
New Turkish Lira (= 100 New Kurus).