Geographic and Governmental Profile of Cyprus

Background
A former British colony, Cyprus became independent in 1960 following years of resistance to British rule. Tensions between the Greek Cypriot majority and Turkish Cypriot minority came to a head in December 1963, when violence broke out in the capital of Nicosia. Despite the deployment of UN peacekeepers in 1964, sporadic intercommunal violence continued forcing most Turkish Cypriots into enclaves throughout the island. In 1974, a Greek Government-sponsored attempt to seize control of Cyprus was met by military intervention from Turkey, which soon controlled more than a third of the island. In 1983, the Turkish Cypriot-occupied area declared itself the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" ("TRNC"), but it is recognized only by Turkey. The election of a new Cypriot president in 2008 served as the impetus for the UN to encourage both the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities to reopen unification negotiations. In September 2008, the leaders of the two communities began negotiations under UN auspices aimed at reuniting the divided island. The talks are ongoing and the leaders continue to meet regularly. The entire island entered the EU on 1 May 2004, although the EU acquis - the body of common rights and obligations - applies only to the areas under the internationally recognized government, and is suspended in the areas administered by Turkish Cypriots. However, individual Turkish Cypriots able to document their eligibility for Republic of Cyprus citizenship legally enjoy the same rights accorded to other citizens of European Union states.
Location
Middle East, island in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Turkey
Geographic coordinates
35 00 N, 33 00 E
Continent / Subcontinent
Europe
Area
total:
9,251 sq km (of which 3,355 sq km are in north Cyprus)
rank:
171
land:
9,241 sq km
water:
10 sq km
Area - comparative
about 0.6 times the size of Connecticut
Land boundaries
total:
150.4 km (approximately)
border sovereign base areas:
Akrotiri 47.4 km, Dhekelia 103 km (approximately)
Coastline
648 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea:
12 nm
contiguous zone:
24 nm
continental shelf:
200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation
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:
Mount Olympus 1,951 m
Natural resources
copper, pyrites, asbestos, gypsum, timber, salt, marble, clay earth pigment
Land use
arable land:
10.81%
permanent crops:
4.32%
other:
84.87% (2005)
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Irrigated land
460 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
0.4 cu km (2005)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
total:
0.21 cu km/yr (27%/1%/71%)
per capita:
250 cu m/yr (2000)
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 agreements
party to:
Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified:
none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea (after Sicily and Sardinia)
Country name
conventional long form:
Republic of Cyprus
conventional short form:
Cyprus
local long form:
Kypriaki Dimokratia/Kibris Cumhuriyeti
local short form:
Kypros/Kibris
the Turkish Cypriot community, which administers the northern part of the island, refers to itself as the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" or "TRNC" (Kuzey Kibris Turk Cumhuriyeti or KKTC)
Government type
republic
a separation of the two ethnic communities inhabiting the island began following the outbreak of communal strife in 1963; this separation was further solidified after the Turkish intervention in July 1974, following a Greek military-junta-supported coup attempt that gave the Turkish Cypriots de facto control in the north; Greek Cypriots control the only internationally recognized government; on 15 November 1983 Turkish Cypriot "President" Rauf DENKTASH declared independence and the formation of a "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" ("TRNC"), which is recognized only by Turkey
Capital
name:
Nicosia (Lefkosia/Lefkosa)
geographic coordinates:
35 10 N, 33 22 E
time difference:
UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time:
+1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions
6 districts; Famagusta, Kyrenia, Larnaca, Limassol, Nicosia, Paphos; note - Turkish Cypriot area's administrative divisions include Kyrenia, all but a small part of Famagusta, and small parts of Nicosia (Lefkosia) and Larnaca
Independence
16 August 1960 (from the UK); note - Turkish Cypriots proclaimed self-rule on 13 February 1975 and independence in 1983, but these proclamations are only recognized by Turkey
National holiday
Independence Day, 1 October (1960); note - Turkish Cypriots celebrate 15 November (1983) as "Independence Day"
Constitution
16 August 1960
from December 1963, the Turkish Cypriots no longer participated in the government; negotiations to create the basis for a new or revised constitution to govern the island and for better relations between Greek and Turkish Cypriots have been held intermittently since the mid-1960s; in 1975, following the 1974 Turkish intervention, Turkish Cypriots created their own constitution and governing bodies within the "Turkish Federated State of Cyprus," which they then called the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC)" when the Turkish Cypriots declared independence in 1983; a new constitution for the "TRNC" passed by referendum on 5 May 1985, although the "TRNC" remains unrecognized by any country other than Turkey
Legal system
mixed legal system of English common law and civil law with Greek Orthodox religious law influence
International law organization participation
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief of state:
President Demetris CHRISTOFIAS (since 28 February 2008); 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 Demetris CHRISTOFIAS (since 28 February 2008)
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 on 17 and 24 February 2008 (next to be held in February 2013)
election results:
Demetris CHRISTOFIAS elected president; percent of vote (first round) - Ioannis KASOULIDES 33.5%, Demetris CHRISTOFIAS 33.3%, Tassos PAPADOPOULOS 31.8%, other 1.4%; (second round) Demetris CHRISTOFIAS 53.4%, Ioannis KASOULIDES 46.6%
Dervis EROGLU became "president" of the "TRNC" on 23 April 2010 after "presidential" elections on 18 April 2010; results - Dervis EROGLU 50.4%, Mehmet Ali TALAT 42.9%; Irsen KUCUK is "TRNC acting prime minister"
Legislative branch
unicameral - area under government control: House of Representatives or Vouli Antiprosopon (80 seats; 56 assigned to the Greek Cypriots, 24 to Turkish Cypriots; note - only those assigned to Greek Cypriots are filled; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms); area administered by Turkish Cypriots: Assembly of the Republic or Cumhuriyet Meclisi (50 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections:
area under government control: last held on 22 May 2011 (next to be held in May 2016); area administered by Turkish Cypriots: last held on 19 April 2009 (next to be held in 2014)
election results:
area under government control: House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - DISY 34.3%, AKEL 32.7%, DIKO 15.8%, EDEK 8.9%, EURO.KO 3.9%, other 4.5%; seats by party - DISY 20, AKEL 19, DIKO 9, EDEK 5, EURO.KO 2, other 1; area administered by Turkish Cypriots: Assembly of the Republic - percent of vote by party - UBP 44.1%, CTP 29.3%, DP 10.6%, other 16%; seats by party - UBP 26, CTP 15, DP 5, other 4
Judicial branch
Supreme Court (judges are appointed jointly by the president and vice president); subordinate courts
there is also a "Supreme Court" in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots
Political parties and leaders
area under government control:
Democratic Party or DIKO [Marios KAROYIAN]; Democratic Rally or DISY [Nikos ANASTASIADES]; European Party or EURO.KO [Demetris SYLLOURIS]; Fighting Democratic Movement or ADIK [Dinos MIKHAILIDES]; Green Party of Cyprus [George PERDIKIS]; Movement for Social Democrats or EDEK [Yiannakis OMIROU]; Progressive Party of the Working People or AKEL (Communist Party) [Andros KYPRIANOU]; United Democrats or EDI [Praxoula ANTONIADOU]
area administered by Turkish Cypriots:
Communal Democracy Party or TDP [Mehmet CAKICI]; Cyprus Socialist Party or KSP [Yusuf ALKIM]; Democratic Party or DP [Serdaer DENKTASH]; Freedom and Reform Party or ORP [Turgay AVCI]; National Unity Party or UBP [Irsen KUCUK]; Nationalist Justice Party or MAP [Ata TEPE]; New Cyprus Party or YKP [Murat KANATLI]; Politics for the People Party or HIS [Ahmet YONLUER]; Republican Turkish Party or CTP [Ferdi Sabit SOYER]; United Cyprus Party or BKP [Izzet IZCAN]
Political pressure groups and leaders
Confederation of Cypriot Workers or SEK (pro-West); Confederation of Revolutionary Labor Unions or Dev-Is; Federation of Turkish Cypriot Labor Unions or Turk-Sen; Pan-Cyprian Labor Federation or PEO (Communist controlled)
International organization participation
Australia Group, C, CE, EBRD, EIB, EMU, EU, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS (observer), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, NSG, OAS (observer), OIF, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Pavlos ANASTASIADES
chancery:
2211 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone:
[1] (202) 462-5772, 462-0873
FAX:
[1] (202) 483-6710
consulate(s) general:
New York
representative of the Turkish Cypriot community in the US is Dilek Yavuz YANIK; office at 1667 K Street NW, Washington, DC; telephone [1] (202) 887-6198
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Andrew J. SCHOFER
embassy:
corner of Metochiou and Ploutarchou Streets, 2407 Engomi, Nicosia
mailing address:
P. O. Box 24536, 1385 Nicosia
telephone:
[357] (22) 393939
FAX:
[357] (22) 780944
Flag description
white with a copper-colored silhouette of the island (the name Cyprus is derived from the Greek word for copper) above two green crossed olive branches in the center of the flag; the branches symbolize the hope for peace and reconciliation between the Greek and Turkish communities
the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" flag retains the white field of the Cyprus national flag but displays narrow horizontal red stripes positioned a small distance from the top and bottom edges between which are centered a red crescent and a red five-pointed star; the banner is modeled after the Turkish national flag but with the colors reversed
National symbol(s)
Cypriot mouflon (wild sheep); white dove
National anthem
name:
"Ymnos eis tin Eleftherian" (Hymn to Liberty)
lyrics/music:
Dionysios SOLOMOS/Nikolaos MANTZAROS
adopted 1960; Cyprus adopted the Greek national anthem as its own; the Turkish community in Cyprus uses the anthem of Turkey
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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