Introduction Cyprus

Background: A former British colony, Cyprus received independence 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-sponsored attempt to seize the government was met by military intervention from Turkey, which soon controlled more than a third of the island. In 1983, the Turkish-held area declared itself the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,” but it is recognized only by Turkey. The latest two-year round of UN-brokered direct talks – between the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities to reach an agreement to reunite the divided island – ended when the Greek Cypriots rejected the UN settlement plan in an April 2004 referendum. Although only the internationally recognized Greek Cypriot-controlled Republic of Cyprus joined the EU on 1 May 2004, every Cypriot carrying a Cyprus passport will have the status of a European citizen. EU laws, however, will not apply to north Cyprus. Nicosia continues to oppose EU efforts to establish direct trade and economic links to north Cyprus as a way of encouraging the Turkish Cypriot community to continue to support reunification.

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 north Cyprus)
land: 9,240 sq km
water: 10 sq km
Area – comparative: about 0.6 times the size of Connecticut
Land boundaries: total: NA; note – boundary with Dhekelia is being resurveyed
border countries: Akrotiri 47.4 km, Dhekelia NA
Coastline: 648 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 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: 7.79%
permanent crops: 4.44%
other: 87.77% (2001)
Irrigated land: 382 sq km (2001 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 agreements: party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, 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
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography – note: the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea (after Sicily and Sardinia)
People Cyprus
Population: 780,133 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 20.9% (male 83,256/female 79,701)
15-64 years: 67.7% (male 267,446/female 260,846)
65 years and over: 11.4% (male 38,766/female 50,118) (2005 est.)
Median age: total: 34.68 years
male: 33.64 years
female: 35.7 years (2005 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.54% (2005 est.)
Birth rate: 12.57 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Death rate: 7.64 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Net migration rate: 0.43 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2005 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 7.18 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 8.94 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 5.33 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 77.65 years
male: 75.29 years
female: 80.13 years (2005 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.83 children born/woman (2005 est.)
HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate: 0.1% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS: less than 1,000 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS – deaths: NA
Nationality: noun: Cypriot(s)
adjective: Cypriot
Ethnic groups: Greek 77%, Turkish 18%, other 5% (2001)
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: 97.6%
male: 98.9%
female: 96.3% (2003 est.)
Government Cyprus
Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Cyprus
conventional short form: Cyprus
note: the Turkish Cypriot community (north Cyprus) refers to itself as the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” (TRNC)
Government type: republic
note: a separation of the two ethnic communities inhabiting the island began following the outbreak of communal strife in 1963; this separation was further solidified after the Turkish intervention in July 1974 that followed a Greek junta-supported coup attempt gave the Turkish Cypriots de facto control in the north; Greek Cypriots control the only internationally recognized government; on 15 November 1983 Turkish Cypriot “President” Rauf DENKTASH declared independence and the formation of a “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” (TRNC), recognized only by Turkey
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 Lefkosia (Nicosia) and Larnaca
Independence: 16 August 1960 (from UK); note – Turkish Cypriots proclaimed self-rule on 13 February 1975 and independence in 1983, but these proclamations are only recognized by Turkey
National holiday: Independence Day, 1 October (1960); note – Turkish Cypriots celebrate 15 November (1983) as Independence Day
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 became the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” when the Turkish Cypriots declared their independence in 1983; a new constitution for the “TRNC” 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 Tassos PAPADOPOULOS (since 1 March 2003); note – the president is both the chief of state and head of government; post of vice president is currently vacant; under the 1960 constitution, the post is reserved for a Turkish Cypriot
head of government: President Tassos PAPADOPOULOS (since 1 March 2003); 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 16 February 2003 (next to be held February 2008)
election results: Tassos PAPADOPOULOS elected president; percent of vote – Tassos PAPADOPOULOS 51.5%, Glafkos KLIRIDIS 38.8%, Alekos MARKIDIS 6.6%
note: Mehmet Ali TALAT becomes “president” of north Cyprus, 24 April 2005, after “presidential” elections on 17 April 2005; results – Mehmet Ali TALAT 55.6%, Dervis EROGLU 22.7%; Ferdi Sabit SOYER is “prime minister”; there is a Council of Ministers (cabinet) in north Cyprus, appointed by the “prime minister”
Legislative branch: unicameral – Republic of Cyprus: 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); north Cyprus: Assembly of the Republic or Cumhuriyet Meclisi (50 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: Republic of Cyprus: last held 27 May 2001 (next to be held May 2006); north Cyprus: last held 14 December 2003 (next to be held NA 2008)
election results: Republic of Cyprus: 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; north Cyprus: Assembly of the Republic – percent of vote by party – CTP 35.8%, UBP 32.3%, Peace and Democratic Movement 13.4%, DP 12.3%; seats by party – CTP 19, UBP 18, Peace and Democratic Movement 6, DP 7
Judicial branch: Supreme Court (judges are appointed jointly by the president and vice president)
note: there is also a Supreme Court in north Cyprus
Political parties and leaders: Republic of Cyprus: Democratic Party or DIKO [Tassos PAPADOPOULOS]; Democratic Rally or DISY [Nikos ANASTASIADHIS]; 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]; north Cyprus: Democratic Party or DP [Serder DENKTASH]; 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 [Alpay DURDURAN]; Peace and Democratic Movement [Mustafa AKINCI]; Republican Turkish Party or CTP [Mehmet ALI TALAT] 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, EU (new member), FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICFTU, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MIGA, NAM, NSG, OAS (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WEU (observer affiliate), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Euripides L. EVRIVIADES
chancery: 2211 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 462-5772
FAX: [1] (202) 483-6710
consulate(s) general: New York
note: representative of the Turkish Cypriot community in the US is Osman ERTUG; office at 1667 K Street NW, Washington, DC; telephone [1] (202) 887-6198
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Michael KLOSSON
embassy: corner of Metochiou and Ploutarchou Streets, Engomi, 2407 Nicosia
mailing address: P. O. Box 24536, 1385 Nikosia
telephone: [357] (22) 393939
FAX: [357] (22) 780944
Flag description: white with a copper-colored silhouette of the island (the name Cyprus is derived from the Greek word for copper) above two green crossed olive branches in the center of the flag; the branches symbolize the hope for peace and reconciliation between the Greek and Turkish communities
note: the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” flag has a 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: The Greek Cypriot economy is prosperous but highly susceptible to external shocks. The service sector, mainly tourism and financial services, dominates the economy; erratic growth rates over the past decade reflect the economy’s reliance on tourism, which often fluctuates with political instability in the region and economic conditions in Western Europe. Economic policy is focused on meeting the criteria to join the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM2) within the next two years although sluggish tourism and poor fiscal management have resulted in growing budget deficits since 2001. As in the Turkish sector, water shortages are a perennial problem; a few desalination plants are now on-line. After 10 years of drought, the country received substantial rainfall from 2001-03, alleviating immediate concerns. The Turkish Cypriot economy has roughly one-third of the per capita GDP of the south, and economic growth tends to be volatile, given north Cyprus’s relative isolation, bloated public sector, reliance on the Turkish lira, and small market size. The Turkish Cypriot economy grew 2.6% in 2004, fueled by growth in the construction and education sectors as well as increased employment of Turkish Cypriots in the Republic of Cyprus. The Turkish Cypriots are heavily dependent on transfers from the Turkish government. Ankara provides around $300 million a year directly into the “TRNC” budget and regularly provides additional financing for large infrastructure projects. Agriculture and government service, together employ almost half of the work force, and the potential for tourism is promising, especially with the easing of border restrictions with the Greek Cypriots in April 2003.
GDP (purchasing power parity): Republic of Cyprus: purchasing power parity – $15.71 billion north Cyprus: purchasing power parity – $4.54 billion (2004 est.)
GDP – real growth rate: Republic of Cyprus: 3.2% north Cyprus: 2.6% (2004 est.)
GDP – per capita: Republic of Cyprus: purchasing power parity – $20,300 (2004 est.); north Cyprus: purchasing power parity – $7,135 (2004 est.)
GDP – composition by sector: Republic of Cyprus: agriculture 4.1%; industry 19.9%; services 76%
north Cyprus: agriculture 10.6%; industry 20.5%; services 68.9% (2004)
Labor force: Republic of Cyprus: 330,000, north Cyprus: 95,025 (2004 est.)
Labor force – by occupation: Republic of Cyprus: agriculture 4.9%, industry 19.4%, services 75.6%
north Cyprus: agriculture 15.1%, industry 27%, services 57.9% (2003 est.)
Unemployment rate: Republic of Cyprus: 3.2%; north Cyprus: 5.6% (2004 est.)
Population below poverty line: NA
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Republic of Cyprus: 2.4% (2003 est.); north Cyprus: 12.6% (2003 est.)
Investment (gross fixed): Republic of Cyprus: 17.9% of GDP (2004 est.)
Budget: revenues: Republic of Cyprus – $5.616 billion (2004 est.), north Cyprus – $404.3 million (2003 est.)
expenditures: Republic of Cyprus – $685.7 million, including capital expenditures of $685.7 million, north Cyprus – $775.7 million, including capital expenditures of $91.4 million (2004 est.)
Public debt: Republic of Cyprus: 74.9% of GDP (2004 est.)
Agriculture – products: citrus, vegetables, barley, grapes, olives, vegetables, poultry, pork, lamb, kids, dairy, cheese
Industries: tourism, food and beverage processing; cement and gypsum production; ship repair and refurbishment; textiles; light chemicals; metal products; wood, paper, stone, and clay products
Industrial production growth rate: Republic of Cyprus: 0.4% (2002); north Cyprus: -0.3% (2002)
Electricity – production: 4 billion kWh; north Cyprus: NA kWh (2003)
Electricity – production by source: fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity – consumption: Republic of Cyprus: 3.663 billion kWh (2003); north Cyprus: 602 million kWh (2003)
Electricity – exports: 0 kWh (2002)
Electricity – imports: 0 kWh (2002)
Oil – production: 300 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil – consumption: Republic of Cyprus: 49,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil – exports: NA
Oil – imports: NA
Current account balance: $-619.9 million (2004 est.)
Exports: Republic of Cyprus: $1.094 billion f.o.b. north Cyprus: $49.3 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports – commodities: Republic of Cyprus: citrus, potatoes, pharmaceuticals, cement, clothing and cigarettes; north Cyprus: citrus, potatoes, textiles
Exports – partners: UK 27.2%, Greece 11.9%, Germany 5%, UAE 4.8% (2004)
Imports: Republic of Cyprus: $5.258 billion f.o.b. north Cyprus: $415.2 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports – commodities: Republic of Cyprus: consumer goods, petroleum and lubricants, intermediate goods, machinery, transport equipment; north Cyprus: vehicles, fuel, cigarettes, food, minerals, chemicals, machinery
Imports – partners: Greece 15.2%, Italy 10.5%, Germany 8.9%, UK 8.6%, France 6.3%, Japan 4.7%, Israel 4.4%, China 4% (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: Republic of Cyprus: $3.385 billion
north Cyprus: $941.6 million (2004 est.)
Debt – external: Republic of Cyprus: $7.327 billion; north Cyprus: $NA (2004 est.)
Economic aid – recipient: Republic of Cyprus – $17 million (1998); north Cyprus – $700 million from Turkey in grants and loans, which are usually forgiven (2003)
Currency (code): Greek Cypriot area: Cypriot pound (CYP); Turkish Cypriot area: Turkish lira (TRL)
Currency code: CYP; TRL
Exchange rates: Cypriot pounds per US dollar – 0.4686 (2004), 0.5174 (2003), 0.6107 (2002), 0.6431 (2001), 0.6224 (2000), Turkish lira per US dollar 1.426 million (2004), 1.501 million (2003), 1.507 million (2002), 1.226 million (2001), 625,200 (2000)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Communications Cyprus
Telephones – main lines in use: Republic of Cyprus: 427,400 (2002); north Cyprus: 86,228 (2002)
Telephones – mobile cellular: Republic of Cyprus: 417,900 (2002); north Cyprus: 143,178 (2002)
Telephone system: general assessment: excellent in both Republic of Cyprus and north Cyprus areas
domestic: open-wire, fiber-optic cable, and microwave radio relay
international: country code – 357; 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: Republic of Cyprus: AM 7, FM 60, shortwave 1 (1998); north Cyprus: AM 3, FM 11, shortwave 1 (1998)
Radios: Greek Cypriot area: 310,000 (1997); Turkish Cypriot area: 56,450 (1994)
Television broadcast stations: Republic of Cyprus: 4 (plus 225 low-power repeaters) (September 1995); north Cyprus: 4 (plus 5 repeaters) (September 1995)
Televisions: Greek Cypriot area: 248,000 (1997); Turkish Cypriot area: 52,300 (1994)
Internet country code: .cy
Internet hosts: 5,901 (2004)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 6 (2000)
Internet users: 210,000 (2002)
Transportation Cyprus
Highways: total: 13,943 km (Republic of Cyprus: 11,593 km; north Cyprus: 2,350 km)
paved: Republic of Cyprus: 7,211 km; north Cyprus: 1,370 km
unpaved: Republic of Cyprus: 4,382 km; north Cyprus: 980 km (2002/1996 est.)
Ports and harbors: Famagusta, Kyrenia, Larnaca, Limassol, Vasilikos
Merchant marine: total: 972 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 22,016,374 GRT/35,760,004 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 384, cargo 248, chemical tanker 45, container 125, liquefied gas 4, passenger 8, passenger/cargo 19, petroleum tanker 103, refrigerated cargo 19, roll on/roll off 12, vehicle carrier 5
foreign-owned: 899 (Austria 2, Belgium 1, Canada 10, China 8, Croatia 3, Cuba 5, Egypt 1, Estonia 3, France 1, Germany 236, Greece 396, Hong Kong 2, India 2, Iran 2, Israel 3, Japan 18, Latvia 7, Monaco 1, Netherlands 12, Norway 14, Philippines 1, Poland 20, Portugal 2, Russia 56, Singapore 2, Slovenia 4, South Korea 1, Spain 4, Sweden 6, Switzerland 4, Syria 2, Ukraine 3, UAE 11, United Kingdom 24, United States 31, Vietnam 1)
registered in other countries: 54 (2005)
Airports: 17 (2004 est.)
Airports – with paved runways: total: 13
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 1 (2004 est.)
Airports – with unpaved runways: total: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 2 (2004 est.)
Heliports: 10 (2004 est.)
Military Cyprus
Military branches: Republic of Cyprus: Greek Cypriot National Guard (GCNG; includes air and naval elements)
north Cyprus: Turkish Cypriot Security Force (GKK)
Military service age and obligation: 18 years of age (2004)
Manpower available for military service: males age 18-49: 184,352 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 18-49: 150,750 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually: males: 6,578 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures – dollar figure: $384 million (FY02)
Military expenditures – percent of GDP: 3.8% (FY02)
Transnational Issues Cyprus
Disputes – international: hostilities in 1974 divided the island into two de facto autonomous entities, the internationally recognized Cypriot Government and a Turkish-Cypriot community (north Cyprus); the 1,000-strong UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) has served in Cyprus since 1964 and maintains the buffer zone between north and south; March 2003 reunification talks failed, but Turkish-Cypriots later opened their borders to temporary visits by Greek Cypriots; on 24 April 2004, the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities voted in simultaneous and parallel referenda on whether to approve the UN-brokered Annan Plan that would have ended the thirty-year division of the island by establishing a new “United Cyprus Republic,” a majority of Greek Cypriots voted “no”; on 1 May 2004, Cyprus entered the European Union still divided, with the EU’s body of legislation and standards (acquis communitaire) suspended in the north
Refugees and internally displaced persons: IDPs: 265,000 (both Turkish and Greek Cypriots; many displaced for over 30 years) (2004)
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; despite a strengthening of anti-money-laundering legislation, remains highly vulnerable to money laundering; identification of benefiting owners and reporting of suspicious transactions by nonresident-controlled companies in offshore sector remains weak

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