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Cyprus Basic Facts - History

Cyprus Basic Facts - History

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Population 2006 ........................................................ 784,301
GDP per capita 1997 (Purchasing Power Parity, US$)........... 22,700

GDP 2006 (Purchasing Power Parity, US$ billions)................$17.9

Average annual growth 1991-97
Population (%) ....... 1.2
Labor force (%) ....... 1.2

Total Area...................................................................3,571 sq. mi.
Urban population (% of total population) ............................... 66
Life expectancy at birth (years)..................................................... 78
Infant mortality (per 1,000 live births)........................................ 8
Access to safe water (% of population) ....................................100
Illiteracy (% of population age 15+) ............................................. 4

Agriculture in Cyprus

Agriculture in Cyprus constituted the backbone of its economy when it achieved its independence in 1960. It mostly consisted of small farms, and sometimes even subsistence farms. During the 1960s, irrigation projects made possible vegetable and fruit exports increasingly commercialized farming was able to meet the demands for meat, dairy products, and wine from the British and United Nations troops stationed on the island and from the growing number of tourists.

In the early 1970s, Cypriot farms, still overwhelmingly small owner-run units, furnished about 70 percent of commodity exports and employed about 95,000 people, or one-third of the island's economically active population. [1] Given the expansion of the manufacturing and service sectors, however, agriculture's importance was declining, and in the first half of the 1970s its share of GDP amounted to 18 percent.

The de facto division of the island in 1974 left the Turkish Cypriot community in the north in possession of agricultural resources that produced about four-fifths of the citrus and cereal crops, two-thirds of the green fodder, and all of the tobacco. The south retained nearly all of the island's grapegrowing areas and deciduous fruit orchards. The south also possessed lands producing roughly three-fourths of the valuable potato crop and other vegetables (excluding carrots), half the island's olive trees, and two-thirds of its carob trees. In addition, the south retained two-thirds of the livestock population. [1]

The Turkish occupation caused a large-scale uncoordinated exchange of the agricultural work force between the northern and southern zones. The resulting substantial agricultural unemployment was countered by government actions that included financial assistance on easy terms to farmers. By 1978 the number of persons working in agriculture in the government-controlled area amounted to about 47,000, or 23 percent of the working population. Thereafter, however, agriculture's portion of the work force declined to 20.7 percent in 1979 and 15.8 percent in 1987. [1] Its contribution to the economy also declined from 17.3 percent of GDP in 1976 to 10.7 percent in 1979 and 7.7 percent in 1988. This share was important to the south's economy, however, and in 1988 value added in agriculture, at constant 1985 prices, was C£112.7 million. [1]

Agriculture's share of the national economy declined further in the 1990s, as the Greek Cypriot economy became even more dominated by the service sector. The island's favorable climate and its location near its leading market, Western Europe, however, meant that farming remains an important and stable part of the overall economy. Government irrigation projects, subsidies, and tax policies encouraged farming's existence, as did research in new crops and new varieties of ones already in cultivation. [1]

The Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources oversaw efforts to improve agriculture, fishing, and forestry. Subordinate to this ministry and assisting it were, among others, the Agricultural Research Institute, the Veterinary Service, the Meteorological Service, the Department of Water Development, the Department of Forests, and the Department of Geological Survey. [1]

In addition to macroeconomic considerations, the government encouraged agriculture because it provided rural employment, which maintained village life and relieved urban crowding. Small-scale agricultural activity prevented some regions from losing much of their population. Part-time agricultural work also permitted urban residents to keep in contact with their villages and gave them supplemental income. [1]

History and Ethnic Relations

Emergence of the Nation. The processes of nation building, which transformed Christian and Muslim peasants in Cyprus from colonial subjects to Greeks and Turks, followed those of nation building in Greece and Turkey. Only in the twentieth century was there a widespread emergence of Greek and Turkish national consciousness in Cyprus. During the colonial period, both communities employed teachers from the two states, or their own teachers were educated in Greece or Turkey. Both actively encouraged those states to support them, as Greek Cypriots were striving for enosis and Turkish Cypriots initially wanted the island to remain under British rule or be returned to Turkey. As both groups identified with their mainland "brothers," their respective cultures were transformed in ways that drew them apart from each other. This process began with the identification of each group with the history of the "motherland" rather than the history of Cyprus per se.

During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the peasants of Cyprus shared a number of cultural traits, but as ethnic boundaries became stronger, those syncretic cultural traits gradually disappeared. Muslims might visit Christian churches to pray and offer votive offerings to Christian saints. There were people who came to be known as Cotton–Linens ( Linopambakoi ), who practiced both religions at the same time. Even more widespread commonalities existed with regard to folk religion and medicine. People would visit a local healer or spiritual leader of either creed to solve all daily problems, be cured of illnesses, and avoid becoming bewitched. Those common elements gradually were abolished as Orthodox Christianity and Sunni Islam became established. Similar processes took place with regards to language as the mostly oral mixed varieties were replaced by the written official national languages of Greece and Turkey.

Greek Cypriot folklorists attempted to legitimize the struggle for enosis by emphasizing links to contemporary or ancient Greeks, while Turkish Cypriot folklore studies emphasized the commonalties of Turkish Cypriots with the people of Turkey. These attempts at proving a group's purity and authenticity often were accompanied by attempts to prove the impurity and mixed culture (and blood) of the other community in order to deny those people an identity and even existence as political actors who could voice demands. Those conflicts were exacerbated by British colonialism, which tried to disprove the presence of Greeks and Turks in Cyprus in order to counter their anticolonial political strivings, advocating instead the existence of a Cypriot nation with a slave mentality that required benevolent British guidance.

National Identity. In 1960, the new state was composed of people who considered themselves Greeks and Turks rather than Cypriots these people did not support the state. Interethnic conflict erupted in 1963 and continued until 1967, when Turkish Cypriots found themselves on the losing side. When an extreme right–wing military junta emerged in Greece in 1967, its policies in Cyprus led to resentment and made Greek Cypriots wary of joining Greece. As interethnic strife begun to abate, Greek Cypriots tried to reverse the separatist situation. Turkish Cypriots had moved into enclaves under their own administration, and Greek Cypriots tried to reintegrate them in social and political life. In the late 1960s, the two sides negotiated their differences in a relatively peaceful environment. Turkish Cypriots emerged from their enclaves and began, at least in economic terms, to reintegrate with Greek Cypriots. During this period, some Greek Cypriots started to regard themselves as Cypriots, in control of an independent state whose sovereignty they tried to safeguard both from Greek interference and from the threat posed by Turkish enclaves. A group of right–wing Greek Cypriots, with the encouragement of the junta and against the wishes of the vast majority of Greek Cypriots, launched a coup in 1974. The aim was to depose Archbishop Makarios, the president of the republic, and join Greece. Turkey reacted with a military offensive that caused enormous suffering among Greek Cypriots, 170,000 of whom were displaced from the 37 percent of the island that came under the control of Turkey. Population exchanges led to the creation of two ethnically homogeneous sides, although negotiations for a solution still take place.

Ethnic Relations. Greek Cypriots who want a unified state claim that people peacefully coexisted in mixed communities in the past. Turkish Cypriots argue that the two groups always lived in partial separation and conflict.

After 1974, reunification emerged as the major Greek Cypriot political objective. This change in political aspirations led to major revisions. First, the "peaceful coexistence thesis" was established as a historical argument that proposed that if the past was characterized by coexistence, so would a united future. A policy of rapprochement toward Turkish Cypriots necessitated measures of goodwill toward Turkish Cypriots. Turkish Cypriots no longer were regarded as enemies but as compatriots, and all animosity was directed toward Turkey. Gradually, the term "brother," once used only for Greeks (living in Greece) has begun to refer to Turkish Cypriots. Greek Cypriots officially started to talk of "one people" who should live in one state, while Turkish Cypriots officially spoke of "two peoples" or "two nations" which should live separately.

The strongest proponents of a distinct Cypriot identity come from the largest left–wing party, AKEL. Supporters of that party were in the past victimized for being communist and treated as unpatriotic traitors by right–wingers speaking in the name of Greek nationalism. They had many contacts with Turkish Cypriots through left–wing organizations, such as joint trade unions.

On the Turkish Cypriot side, Turkey generally is considered as having liberated Turkish Cypriots, but after 1974 various groups came to identify themselves ethnically and culturally as Cypriots rather than Turks. Politically, these groups are more in favor of a unified state than are the right– wing Turkish Cypriot parties. As a result of the enormous influx of Turkish people into the island, they feel threatened by cultural assimilation by Turkey. Turkish workers also provide an unwelcome source of cheap labor that competes with Turkish Cypriot workers and their trade unions. For this reason, they began to stress that jobs and resources should belong to the "Cypriots" rather than the outsiders (Turks). As a result of these developments, a new school of folklore studies emerged after 1974 on the Turkish Cypriot side that stresses cultural commonalties with Greek Cypriots. Turks are sometimes called karasakal ("black– bearded") by Turkish Cypriots, a term with connotations of backwardness and religious fanaticism.

People on both sides are mostly secular, especially on the Turkish Cypriot side, since Turkish national identity emerged as a secular antireligious ideology. Greek nationalism eventually acquired strong religious overtones in the form of the Hellenic–Christians ideals, but the influence of religion is also on the decline on the Greek Cypriot side.

Interesting facts about Cyprus

Cyprus, an island in the eastern Mediterranean, has rich, turbulent history stretching back to antiquity.

Cyprus’s official name is the Republic of Cyprus.

It is located south of Turkey, west of Syria and Lebanon, northwest of Israel and Palestine, north of Egypt and east of Greece.

The official languages of the Republic of Cyprus are Greek and Turkish.

The island is divided into two, and the Cypriot Turks live to the north, the Greek Cypriots to the south.

As of 1 January 2016, the population of Cyprus was estimated to be 1,172,071 people.

Cyprus is 240 kilometers (149 miles) long from end to end and 100 kilometers (62 miles) wide at its widest point.

Nicosia, also known as Lefkosia is the capital city of the island country of Cyprus. It is also the largest city of that country.

Nicosia is the only divided capital city in the world. It has a northern (Turkish) section and a southern (Greek) section.

Paphos has been inhabited since the Neolithic period. It was a center of the cult of Aphrodite and
of pre-Hellenic fertility deities. Aphrodite’s legendary birthplace was on this island, where her temple was erected by the Myceneans in the 12th century B.C. The remains of villas, palaces, theatres, fortresses and tombs mean that the site is of exceptional architectural and historic value.

The mosaics of Nea Paphos are among the most beautiful in the world.

The Tombs of the Kings is a large necropolis lying about two kilometres west of Paphos harbour in Cyprus. The underground tombs, many of which date back to the 4th century BC, are carved out of solid rock, and are thought to have been the burial sites of Paphitic aristocrats and high officials up to the third century AD. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Painted Churches in the Troödos Region are a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Troödos Mountains of central Cyprus. The site comprises ten Byzantine churches and monasteries all richly decorated with Byzantine and post-Byzantine murals.

Kykkos Monastery is one of the wealthiest and best-known monasteries in Cyprus.It was founded around the end of the 11th century by the Byzantine emperor Alexios I Komnenos (1081–1118). The monastery lies at an altitude of 1318 meters on the north west face of Troödos Mountains.

Olympus, or Chionistra, at 1,952 meters (6,404 feet), is the highest point in Cyprus.

Cyprus has a coastline length of 648 kilometers (402.6 miles).Cyprus’s coastline is rocky and heavily indented, with a number of bays and capes.

Fig Tree Bay is a sandy beach in the resort of Protaras, Cyprus. In 2011, TripAdvisor declared it to be the third best beach in Europe, but it dropped to 9th place in 2015.

Nissi beach, is a well-known sandy beach in the resort of Ayia Napa, Cyprus.The sandy beach stretches for 500 meters (1640 feet) and the waters are clean enough for the beach to have been awarded blue flag designation. Nissi beach has become a popular destination for clubbers following live programs transmitted through BBC’s Radio 1 Roadshow during the summer tourist season since 2002.

Petra tou Romiou, also known as Aphrodite’s Rock, is a sea stack in Paphos. It is located off the shore along the main road from Paphos to Limassol. The combination of the beauty of the area and its status in mythology as the birthplace of Aphrodite makes it a popular tourist location.

More than 55 beaches on Cyprus have been awarded the EU Blue Flag for cleanliness & safety.

Cyprus is one of only a few places in the world where Green Turtles & Loggerhead Turtles (Caretta caretta) nest.

Cyprus is home to 20 rare species of orchid.

After Sicily and Sardinia, Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.

The island of Cyprus was divided in 1974 when Turkish troops invaded to stop Greek military plans for enosis (union) with Greece.

Cyprus is as multi-religious as it is multi-lingual and multi-cultural. The majority of the island’s residents, 78%, belong to the Autocephalous Orthodox faith 18% are Muslim while the remaining 4% of worshipers are Maronite or Armenian Apostolic.

The national anthem of the country is known as the Hymn to Liberty, which is also the national anthem of Greece.

Cyprus has the largest number of sunny days in the Mediterranean. It receives up to 13 hours of sun a day during the summer.

Cyprus was once the wealthiest nation in the known world. It was during the Copper and Bronze Ages when the island’s rich natural copper resources were exported to other countries.

It has the world’s oldest wine label – the Cypriot dessert wine commandaria is recognized as the world’s oldest named wine.Knight crusaders are thought to have named it in the 13th century, but it may have been made for 5,000 years.

Archaeological evidence suggests that people first lived on the island of Cyprus 10,000 years ago.

In 2004, archaeologists found the remains of a person buried with a cat on Cyprus. Dating back about 9,500 years, this is the oldest known pet cat.

Traffic in Cyprus drives on the left-side of the road and the power plugs used are English style.

10 Cyprus Facts And Things You Should Know Before Visiting

From where is Cyprus to other 9 Cyprus facts you should be aware of before visiting this destination, we have you covered.

Where is Cyprus?

The island nation of Cyprus is located in the eastern Mediterranean sea just off the coast of Turkey, Syria, and Lebanon in the Middle East. Looking at an image of Cyprus country for the sky, it is visible the island is quite small (third largest in the Mediterranean sea), arid and has a pointy tail towards its North East.

However, looking at a political map, you’ll realize Cyprus isn’t as straightforward as it seems. In fact, since the 70s, Cyprus is split into the – slightly larger – southern Greek Cypriot side and the northern Turkish Cypriot side by a demilitarized 180km line from Paralimni to Kato Pyrgos known as ‘UN Buffer Zone’ which have 7 checkpoints to go through. And then there are two little areas in the South of the country operated by the UK called Akrotiri and Dhekelia.

How many districts are there in Cyprus today?

On top of that, the country is divided into six districts (Kyrenia, Famagusta, Nicosia, Paphos, Limassol, and Larnaca), with two of them overlapping the Buffer Zone, which makes Cyprus political geography even trickier.

Is Cyprus safe?

Don’t be fooled: Cyprus crime rate is very low, which makes it very safe and a perfect tourist destination in the sunny Mediterranean sea.

How many people live in Cyprus?

The country’s population is a bit over a million people.

What’s the capital city of Cyprus?

Nicosia is the capital city of Cyprus for both its northern and southern parts. However, given that Nicosia’s airport was abandoned if you want to fly to Cyprus today, you can use Ercan airport for Northern Cyprus or Larnaca and Paphos airports in Southern Cyprus.

Why is Cyprus so diverse?

Known as the legendary birthplace of Aphrodite – love and beauty goddess – Cyprus has many interesting things to do and see as it was populated and influenced by Greeks, Assyrians, Egyptians, Persians, Romans, Arabs, French, Italians, Ottomans, and British (which ultimately left most of Cyprus population speaking English pretty nicely on top of Greek and Turkish).

Today, Cyprus has two main religions: Islam on the north and Greek Orthodox in the south.

How is the Cyprus climate?

Cyprus enjoys a warm and dry Mediterranean climate with only some rain in the winter months, which leaves rivers dry in summer.

Which are Cyprus’ main geographical landmarks?

There are two mountain ranges: the rugged Troodos chain, famous for containing the highest point of the country Mount Olympus and Millomeris Waterfalls in the Southwest of the country, and the thinner Kyrenia Mountains along the North coast. After Cyprus’ split, the Turkish side took the grain, citrus and tobacco fields and the Greek side remained with most of the fruit, livestock, vegetable fields, and vineyards.

Stunning cliffs and sandy beaches like Ayia Napa and Landa beach bathe Cyprus coasts. Cyprus is a great scuba diving destination where divers can enjoy shipwrecks, reefs, tunnels, and caves.

Which are some of the best things to do in Cyprus outdoors?

Here are some ideas to keep you busy while in Cyprus, definitely one of the most fun places in the world:

  • Scuba diving in Famagusta
  • Horseback riding at Eagle Mountain Ranch
  • Segway exploration in Paphos
  • Hiking all over Cyprus island like parasailing, jet-skiing, wakeboarding, and sailing in Paphos and Famagusta
  • Sunbathing in one of Cyprus many beaches

Which cultural activities you can’t miss in Cyprus?

  • Sipping some locally produced wine. They’ve done it since 2300 BC so it must be good!
  • Visiting Aphrodite’s rock, claimed to be the birthplace of the goddess Aphrodite.
  • Learning about Cyprus past at Paphos Archaeological Park, which has the excavated remains of Paphos, a UNESCO listed site.
  • Enjoying a theatrical performance in Kourion amphitheater, like the Greeks used to do.
  • Retrace’s Cyprus long history at Cyprus Museum.
  • Get a taste of Cyprus modern art at Nicosia Municipal Art Centre.

Disclaimer: This Cyprus facts article was brought to you by dealchecker.

Do you have any other questions about the country? Have we missed any other Cyprus facts worth being on this article? Please let us know in the comments below.

10 Fabulous Facts about Cyprus That You Need to Know

Cyprus may be a small island, but one of the things that makes the country very special is its long colourful past, steeped in history and culture every step of the way. And with this in mind, My Cyprus Insider sheds light on some of the most interesting facts that we think you’ll love. Read on!

1. The whole of Paphos is a UNESCO world heritage site
Often likened to an open history book, history buffs are certainly spoilt for choice, with the Paphos Mosaics, Tombs of the Kings, Sanctuary of Aphrodite and other special sites taking you on a whirlwind journey back into the past.

2. Cyprus is one of the oldest wine producing countries in the world
Yes, that’s right! With a wine history spanning over 5000 years, the sweet Commandaria actually takes pride of place as one of the oldest wines in the world still in production. And today, there are over 50 wineries dotted around the island where you can taste what was once hailed ‘the gift of the gods’.

3. Leonardo Da Vinci is reputed to have visited Lefkara village to buy lace in 1481
With the gorgeous lace of Lefkara included on UNESCO’s representative List of Intangible Culture Heritage, it is reputed that the famous Italian painter, Leonardo Da Vinci, visited the village to purchase lace here for the main alter of the Duomo di Milano.

4. Ayia Napa was covered in a thick forest, with ‘Napa’ standing as the ancient Greek word for ‘wooded valley’
It may be a tourist haven these days, known for its buzzing nightlife and white sand beaches, but years ago, Ayia Napa was nothing more than woodland. The area was in fact uninhabited, and visited only by hunters from neighbourhood villages!

5. Greater Nicosia is the only part of Cyprus that has been inhabited continually since the Bronze Age
Boasting a history that goes back 2500 years, when the first inhabitants settled in the fertile plain of Mesaoria, Nicosia is rather special among Cyprus Bronze Age sites as it thrived and developed, while others ceased to exist.

6. Chirokitia is famed as one of the most important and best preserved prehistoric sites of the Eastern Mediterranean
Standing as the remains of the very first recorded permanent housing on the island high on a looming hillside just off the Nicosia- Limassol highway, officially in the Larnaca district, the distinctly marked out cylindrical stone and mud dwellings constitute an extremely impressive example of the initial establishment of sedentary communities on the island and the development of an original civilisation: the Cypriot Aceramic Neolithic.

7. Cyprus’ beaches have been continuously named the cleanest in Europe for the past decade
A total of 64 local coastlines received the Blue Flag certification in 2016!

8. Cyprus’ famous halloumi cheese dates back to the Medieval Byzantine period
Every foodies dream, the salty cheese – that’s now famous the world over – was first made in the Byzantine period with a mix of cow’s and goat’s milk. Local cuisine has never been the same!

9. Cyprus’ capital of Nicosia was officially named Ledra in Ancient Times
During the first millennium B.C Ledra comprised one of the twelve city-kingdoms of ancient Cyprus built by the Achaeans after the end of the Trojan War. But it was actually not as prominent as other kingdoms, like Paphos and Salamis, most of which laid on the coastline.

10. The world’s oldest perfume in the world was discovered in Cyprus

It was a team of Italian archaeologists who unearthed the treasures in 2007, found in Pyrgos. Dating back more than 4000 years, the perfumes were scented with extracts of lavender, bay, rosemary, pine and coriander and kept in tiny translucent bottles. The archaeologists also found mixing bowls and funnels with the perfume bottles, which had been covered in earth following an earthquake around 1850 BC.

What Are Some Cool Facts About Cyprus?

Cyprus is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe as its history goes back to 1878 and also believed to be part of the lost civilization of Atlantis. It is officially called Republic of Cyprus and it is the third most populous island in the Mediterranean. According to the Eurobarometer, 76% of Cypriots speak English while the rest of the population can speak at least another second language such as French , German , Turkish and Russian . Read on to discover some fascinating and fun facts about the island.

What is Cyprus known for?

Cyprus is known for its hospitality , sunsets, lovely weather and beautiful beaches. With over 300 days a year of sunshine it’s no wonder it is one of the most popular tourist destinations for the Mediterranean islands. According to the Trip Advisor, Cyprus beaches have ranked number one and number three in the top 10 beaches of Europe. First place was Nissi Beach, Agia Napa and third place Fig Tree Bay Protaras!

Is Cyprus the Lost City of Atlantis?

Breaking news is that across the coast of Paphos a statue of the Goddess of Love Aphrodite was found which is believed to be part of the lost civilization of Atlantis that existed around 360 B.C. The story of Atlantis was told by Plato and believed that the inhabitants were half God and half human.

Can one Scuba Dive in Cyprus?

With high temperatures almost all year round, Cyprus has one of the longest diving season in the world. Another advantage is the calmness and clarity of the sea which has nearly more than 30 metres of visibility. One of the top 10 ship dives in the world is also located in Larnaca, Cyprus. It is advisory for one to take up a scuba diving hand course for underwater communication.

What are some fun sports to do in Cyprus?

If you are a ski lover then Cyprus is the destination for you! It is one of Europe’s most southerly ski resorts with four kilometers of fun slopes. Mount Olympus is rated as one of the best with the highest ski resort extending an altitude of 1,951 metres in the Troodos Mountains. Also, Gastronomy lovers can enjoy the comfort of fine resorts and taste the legendary wine called Commandaria which has a richness and sweetness of caramel aromas that can be enjoyed as an after dinner drink.

How to find Work in Cyprus

Thousands of positions are available in Cyprus and one can easily get a job by applying either online or networking. The highest in demand positions are nurses and auditors along with sales executives , accountants , engineers and TEFL teachers. Personal contacts and discovering vacancies by word-of-mouth is also one of the easiest ways for foreigners to get a job. Interviews are usually held online and work visas will be applied by the employers. Average salaries range from 550 euros to about 2000 euros with the luxury of an easy lifestyle and plenty of time to enjoy outdoors, socialize and travel.

What passports do citizens of Cyprus have?

All Cyprus citizens are also Commonwealth citizens and a citizen of the European Union and have a free right to travel or reside in any of the states including Switzerland. As of 10th of July, 2020, Cyprus citizens had a visa-free or visa on arrival to 176 countries! According to the latest Henley Passport Index of 2021, the Cyprus passport has been ranked 13th in the world from the featured 199 passports on the list.

Cyprus Culture

Location: Middle East, island in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Turkey
Capital: Nicosia
Climate: temperate Mediterranean with hot, dry summers and cool winters
Population: 775,927 (July 2004 est.)
Ethnic Make-up: Greek 77%, Turkish 18%, other 5% (2001)
Religions: Greek Orthodox 78%, Muslim 18%, Maronite, Armenian Apostolic, and other 4%
Government: republic

Most of the culture in the island is linked with the Greek culture which has been present here from the ancient times. However Cyprus has also been affected by the Arabic and Turkish neighbours in terms of various culture elements which will be analysed further down. As the island is divided in two separate parts, the two sides have their own distinct cultures both linked to Greece and Turkey accordingly and no interchange has taken place between the two groups.


In 1960 the demographics of were :
• Greek Cypriots, 77 percent (441,656)
• Turkish Cypriots, 18.3 percent (104,942)
• Armenians–Gregorians, 0.6 percent (3,378)
• Roman Catholics and Maronites, 0.5 percent (2,752)
• A total population of 573,566.

However since the division of the island, many Turkish- Cypriots left the island while many Turkish people inhabited Northern Cyprus.


Cyprus has two official languages which are Greek and Turkish. It is important to note that the Greek spoken in Cyprus is a strong dialect, with about 15% of the words peculiar to Cyprus. There are also many minorities which are Armenian, Cypriot Maronites, Arabic and Romani. Apart from these languages, 76 % of the Cypriot population speak English, 12% speak French and 5% speak German.


The most well-known literary production is the “Cypria” an epic poem written by Stasinus a semi-legendary poet who write the entire history of the Trojan War in epic hexameter verse. Epic poetry, called the "acritic songs", thrived during the Middle Ages. Modern poets and writers include: Kostas Montis , Michalis Pasiardis , Dimitris Lipertis.


According to the Educational system of the island , students are expected to complete an education of 12 – 14 years. The system includes:
• Pre-Primary Education - one-year pre-Primary education is obligatory and it accepts children over the age of three.
• Primary Education - it is compulsory and takes six years to complete. Primary education is also provided by English-language, French-language and Russian-language private schools.
• Secondary Education - secondary education consists of two three-year cycles: Gymnasio (lower secondary education) and Lykeio (upper secondary education) for students between the ages of 12 and 18. Instead of the Lykeio, students may choose to attend Secondary Technical and Vocational Education
• Higher Education – students can choose to follow their university studies in the public or one of the three private universities with campuses in Lefkosia and other towns.

The People of Cyprus

Type of Government: republic

Languages Spoken: Greek, Turkish, English

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

Nationality: Cypriot(s)

Religions: Greek Orthodox 78%, Muslim 18%, Maronite, Armenian Apostolic, and other 4%

National Symbol: Cypriot mouflon (wild sheep) white dove

National Anthem or Song: Ymnos eis tin Eleftherian (Hymn to Liberty)

Outline Map of Cyprus

The blank outline map above represents the island country of Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea. The map can be downloaded, printed, and used for map-pointing or coloring activities.

The above map represents Cyprus. The country is rougly oval-shaped with a peninsula in the northeast stretching into the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Watch the video: A Super Quick History of Cyprus (May 2022).