- Area – 9,251 sq. km, of which 3,355 sq. km are in the Turkish Cypriot-administered area
- Capital – Nicosia; population 239,859 (2009 est)
- Major cities – Larnaca, Limassol, Paphos (south of the partition); Famagusta, Kyrenia (north)
- Currency – Euro (€) of 100 cents (south), Turkish lira (north)
- Population – 1,138,071 rising at 1.57 per cent a year (2012 est); Greek (77 per cent), Turkish (18 per cent) (2001 est)
- Religion – Christian (Greek Orthodox 95 per cent) south of the partition; Sunni Muslim (98 per cent) in the north
- Language – Greek, Turkish (both official), English
- Population density – 119 per sq. km (2010)
- Urban population – 70 per cent (2010 est)
- Median age (years) – 34.8 (2011 est)
- National anthem – 'Imnos eis tin Eleftherian' ['Hymn to Freedom']
- National day – 1 October (Independence Day)
- Life expectancy (years) – 77.82 (2011 est)
- Mortality rate – 6.45 (2011 est)
- Birth rate – 11.41 (2011 est)
- Infant mortality rate – 9.38 (2011 est)
- Death penalty – Abolished for all crimes (since 2002)
- CPI score – 6.3 (2011)
- Literacy rate – 97.9 per cent (2009 est)
Climate and Terrain
Cyprus is the third-largest island in the Mediterranean. It has two mountain ranges, the Pentadaktylos along the north coast, and the Troodos in the centre and west. Plains lie between the two ranges and on parts of the south coast. Elevation extremes range from 1,951m (Mt Olympus, Troodos range) to 0m (Mediterranean Sea). The climate is Mediterranean, with very warm summers.
History and Politics
The 1960 constitution provides for power-sharing between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots but some of these provisions have been in abeyance since 1963, when the Turkish Cypriots withdrew from the power-sharing arrangements. The executive president is directly elected for a five-year term. The unicameral legislature, the House of Representatives, has 80 members, directly elected for a five-year term; elections to the 24 seats reserved for Turkish Cypriots have not taken place since 1963.
Demetris Christofias, the candidate of the Progressive Party of the Working People (AKEL), was elected president in 2008. The legislative elections held in May 2011 resulted in gains for both AKEL and the opposition Democratic Rally (DISY) party; AKEL maintained its majority in the House of Representatives through a coalition with the Democratic Party (DIKO), although a munitions blast in the south of the country July 2011 forced a major cabinet reshuffle and the resignation of key coalition members.
HEAD OF STATE
President, Demetris Christofias, elected 24 February 2008, sworn in 28 February 2008
SELECTED GOVERNMENT MEMBERS as at May 2012
Defence, Demetris Eliades
Finance, Vassos Shiarlys
Foreign Affairs, Erato Marcoullis
Interior, Eleni Mavrou
HIGH COMMISSION FOR THE REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS
13 St James's Square, London SW1Y 4LB
T 020-7321 4100 E email@example.com
High Commissioner, HE Alexandros Zenon, apptd 2008
BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION
PO Box 21978, Alexander Pallis Street, 1587 Nicosia
T (+357) 2286 1100 W ukincyprus.fco.gov.uk
High Commissioner, HE Matthew Kidd, apptd 2010
British Sovereign Base Areas
The Sovereign Base Areas (SBAs) of Akrotiri and Dhekelia are those parts of Cyprus that remained under British sovereignty and jurisdiction after independence, and have the status of a UK overseas territory. They are around 254 sq. km in size. There are approximately 15,700 residents: 7,700 Cypriots, and 8,000 military and UK-based civilian personnel and their dependants.
Administrator of the British Sovereign Base Areas, Air Vice-Marshal Graham Stacey, apptd 2010
A military airfield in Paphos provides a base for Greek military aircraft, as Cyprus does not possess its own air force.
|All aged 16–49, 2010 est||Males||Females|
|Available for military service||327,875||287,891|
|Fit for military service (All Greek Cypriot National Guard)||275,842||239,862|
Military expenditure – US$494m (2011)
Conscription duration – 24 months
Economy and Trade
The Greek Cypriot economy is dominated by the service sector, which accounted for 81.3 per cent of GDP in 2011; this was derived mainly from tourism and financial services. Tourism represents a major part of the total GDP, making the economy vulnerable to fluctuations; reduced visitor numbers due to the global economic downturn contributed to the economy entering recession in 2009 and registering no growth in 2011. Shipping services are also important; about 20 per cent of the world's shipping is Cypriot-registered. Industry contributes 16.4 per cent of GDP and agriculture 2.3 per cent. The main products for export are citrus fruits, potatoes, pharmaceuticals, cement and garments. Imports are primarily consumer goods, fuel and lubricants, machinery and transport equipment. Over half of trade is with other EU countries.
The Turkish Cypriot economy suffers from a small domestic market, international isolation and a bloated public sector. It is heavily dependent on financial support from the Turkish government. Services accounted for about 69.1 per cent of GDP in 2006, industry for 22.5 per cent and agriculture for 8.6 per cent. The main products for export are citrus fruits, dairy products, potatoes and textiles. The main imports are vehicles, fuel, cigarettes, food, minerals, chemicals and machinery. The tourist industry is small because the only international transport links are via Turkey, but a drop in tourist numbers and the global downturn had a serious impact on the economy in 2009.
GNI – US$22,539m; US$29,430 per capita (2010)
Annual average growth of GDP – 0 per cent (2011 est)
Inflation rate – 3.3 per cent (2011 est)
Unemployment – 4.6 per cent (2010 est)
Total external debt – US$32,610m (2008 est)
Imports – US$8,568m (2010)
Exports – US$1,514m (2010)
BALANCE OF PAYMENTS
Trade – US$7,054m deficit (2010)
Current Account – US$1,794 deficit (2010)
|Trade with UK||2010||2011|
|Imports from UK||£540,913,187||£669,052,154|
|Exports to UK||£105,631,055||£126,576,116|
Airports – Larnaca and Paphos (Greek area); flight connections to Turkish areas are via Turkey
Waterways – Principal ports are Limassol, Larnaca and Paphos (Greek area), and Famagusta and Kyrenia (Turkish area)
Railways and roadways – There are no railways; the road network (12,321km in the Greek part of the island and 2,350km in the Turkish part) serves the main population centres
Telecommunications – 414,700 (Greek area) and 86,228 (Turkish area) fixed lines in use and 1.03 million (Greek area) and 147,522 (Turkish area) mobile subscriptions (2010); there were 433,900 internet users in 2009
Internet code and IDD – cy; 357 (from UK) 44 (to UK)
Major broadcasters – The state-run Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation competes with a number of privately owned television and radio stations. The Turkish north operates its own services and broadcasts
Press – Major newspapers include Cyprus Daily (English language), Politis (Greek language daily) and Kibris Gazete (Turkish language)
WPFI score – 13,40 (45)
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
In 1974, a Greece-backed coup against the Cypriot government led Turkey, fearing the coup was a precursor to the union of Cyprus with Greece, to invade northern Cyprus and occupy over a third of the island. The following year, a Turkish Federated State of Cyprus was declared, and in 1983 a declaration of statehood was issued which purported to establish the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The declaration was condemned by the UN security council and only Turkey has recognised the republic. A constitution was adopted in 1985, and election have been held at regular intervals since.
Reunification talks were unsuccessful in the 1980s and 1990s, and although Turkish Cypriots approved a UN-sponsored reunification plan put to simultaneous referendums in 2004, it was rejected by Greek Cypriots. Since 2004, the EU has given aid to the area to promote and ease reunification, and UN-facilitated talks began in 2008.
The 2009 legislative election was won by the National Unity Party, which favours unification with Turkey. Dervis Eroglu won the 2010 presidential election, replacing Mehmet Ali Talat.
DE FACTO HEAD OF STATE
President, Dervis Eroglu, elected 18 April 2010, sworn in 23 April 2010
Prime Minister, Irsen Kucuk