OFFICIAL NAME: Republic of Cyprus
CAPITAL: Nicosia (Lefkosia)
SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT: Unitary Multiparty Republic
AREA: 9,251 Sq Km (3,572 Sq Mi)
ESTIMATED 2000 POPULATION 814,800
LOCATION & GEOGRAPHY: Cyprus is an island republic located
in the Mediterranean Sea. It is the third largest Mediterranean
island and its topography is dominated by two mountain ranges,
the Troodos and the Kyrenia, which are separated by the
Central Mesaoria Plain that extends the length of the island
from east to west. The forest covered Troodos Ranges are
an extensive massif formed from the local molten rock whereas
the Kyrenia is a narrow limestone range. The coastline is
indented and predominantly rocky, although there are several
long sandy beaches. There are no perennial fresh water lakes
or rivers on the island. Major Cities (pop. est.); Lefkosia
177,500, Limassol 136,700, Larnaca 60,600 (1992). Land Use;
CLIMATE: Cyprus has a typical Mediterranean climate with hot
dry summers and mild wet winters with rainfall occurring mainly between
November and March while altitude tends to govern internal temperature
and rainfall variations. The average annual precipitation for the island
as a whole is 500 mm (20 inches) with an average of 300 to 400 mm (12 to
16 inches) in the central plain to nearly 1,200 mm (47 inches) at the highest
point of the Troodos Massif. Average temperature ranges in Nicosia are
from 5 to 15 degrees Celsius (41 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit) in January to
21 to 37 degrees Celsius (70 to 99 degrees Fahrenheit) in July.
PEOPLE: Cyprus consists not of two ethnic groups but of two ethnic
defacto states. The Greeks and the Turkish, neither of which consider themselves
Cypriots. The Turkish who account for around 18% of the population, occupy
around 40% of the island above Nicosia while the Greeks account for 77%
of the population. Other ethnic minorities which represent 5% of the population
include Armenians, Latins, Maronites and British descendants.
DEMOGRAPHIC/VITAL STATISTICS: Density; N/A. Urban-Rural; 63.6%
urban, 36.4% rural (1982). Sex Distribution; N/A. Life Expectancy at Birth;
73.9 years male, 77.8 years female (1987). Age Breakdown; 25% under 15,
25% 15 to 29, 21% 30 to 44, 18% 45 to 59, 11% 60 and over (1988). Birth
Rate; 19.0 per 1,000 (1990). Death Rate; 8.5 per 1,000 (1990). Increase
Rate; 10.5 per 1,000 (1990). Infant Mortality Rate; 11.0 per 1,000 live
RELIGIONS: The Greeks are Greek Orthodox Christians which represent
77% of the population while the Turkish are Muslims accounting for 18%
of the population.
LANGUAGES: The official languages are Greek and Turkish with
English often used as a second language and widely understood by both ethnic
EDUCATION: Aged 25 or over and having attained: N/A. Literacy;
literate population aged 15 or over 94% (1987).
MODERN HISTORY - WWII TO 1993: On August 16, 1960 Cyprus became
an independent republic within the Commonwealth under a constitution written
and agreed by Britain, Greece and Turkey. Under the agreement Britain kept
control of two military bases along the southern coast at Akrotiri and
Dhekelia. In 1963 Archbishop Makarios III, leader of the Cypriot Orthodox
Church and President, suggested 13 amendments to the constitution. Turkey
and the Turkish Cypriot leaders opposed the changes which resulted in fighting
between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots. In 1964 the UN sent a peacekeeping
force to Cyprus and in 1967 another clash between the two groups led to
the establishment of an autonomous administration by the Turkish Cypriots
in 1968. Between 1967 and 1974 Greek and Turkish Cypriots held talks in
an effort to reach an agreement. In 1974 the Cypriot National Guard led
by Greek officers overthrew the government which resulted in an immediate
occupation of Cyprus by Turkey which took control of the northern 40% of
the island. Representatives of Greek and Turkish Cypriot as well as Greece
and Turkey have met on and off since 1974 in an effort to reach new constitutional
arrangements for the whole of Cyprus. In 1975 Turkey and Turkish Cypriot
leaders declared the northeast territory captured by the Turkish an autonomous
region, called the Turkish Cypriot Federated States. In 1983 under the
Presidency of Rauf Denktash, Turkish Cypriot declared the territory an
independent nation called the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).
However the UN and all countries except for Turkey recognize Cyprus as
a single nation under authority of the Greek Cypriot government in the
southwest. On May 19, 1991 the Democratic Rally won parliamentary elections.
In June 1991 Greece and Cyprus indicated that they wanted a UN-chaired
conference to include Greece, Turkey, the two Cypriot communities and the
five permanent UN Security Council members to negotiate a settlement over
Cyprus while in July 1991 US Pres. George Bush supported a Turkish proposal
for quadripartite talks between Greece, Turkey, Greek Cypriot and Turkish
Cypriot with an invitation to the US for talks if the basic issues could
be worked out prior to Sept. 1991, although by Sept. passed with each party
blaming the other for the lack in progress. In 1992 the UN Secretary-General
Boutros Boutros-Ghali spent considerable efforts in attempting to get Turkish
and Greek Cypriot leaders to resolve their 30 year dispute. The UN-sponsored
talks were based on a federal solution to the issue, but, were stalled
over disagreements on the powers of the central government, demilitarization
and the division of the territory while Turkey also rejected the UN resolution
demanding the withdrawal of 35,000 Turkish troops and 45,000 mainland settlers.
In Aug. 1991 UN efforts failed with the collapse of talks held in New York,
although the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash and Pres. George Vassiliou
agreed to meet again in Oct. 1992. In Sept 1992 Cyprus opened its first
university with 90% of the first 500 students women due to compulsory army
conscription. On Oct. 26, 1992 further talks failed when Denktash walked
out because the conference documents failed to title him as "President".
In Feb. 1993 Pres. Vassiliou lost presidential elections to Glafcos Clerides
in the second-round runoffs. On May 11, 1993 used its first veto since
1984 to block a resolution calling for costs of the pace-keeping mission
to be divided amongst the UN members while Canada withdrew its forces which
were replaced by an Argentine contingent. On May 24, 1993 Pres. Clerides
and Desktash met to build confidence between the leaders, although the
talks failed to reach any progress or concessions after Pres. Clerides
failed to recognize the TRNC. In Oct.1993 the Commonwealth summit conference
was held in Cyprus. On Oct. 20, 1993 Denktash dissolved the TRNC parliament
after a dispute with Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu over the Greek-Turkish
CURRENCY: The official currency is the Euro divided into
ECONOMY: Gross National Product; USD $6,616,000,000 (1993). Public
Debt; N/A. Imports; CP 1,482,200,000 (1994). Exports; CP 476,000,000 (1994).
Tourism Receipts; USD $1,396,000,000 (1993). Balance of Trade; N/A. Economically
Active Population; N/A. TURKISH REPUBLIC OF NORTHERN CYPRUS - Imports;
USD $301,100,000 (1991). Exports; USD $52,500,000 (1991).
MAIN TRADING PARTNERS: Its main trading partners are the EU as
well as East European and Arab countries.
MAIN PRIMARY PRODUCTS: Asbestos, Beans, Carob, Citrus Fruits, Chromium,
Clay, Copper, Grapes, Gypsum, Iron Ore, Marble, Olives, Potatoes, Pyrite,
Salt, Vegetables, Wheat.
MAJOR INDUSTRIES: Agriculture, Cement, Chemicals, Fishing, Food
Processing, Mining, Non Electric Machinery, Petroleum Refining, Textiles
and Clothing, Tourism, Wine Making.
MAIN EXPORTS: Asbestos, Cement, Chemicals, Cigarettes, Citrus Fruits,
Footwear, Potatoes, Wine.
TRANSPORT: Railroads; nil. Roads; length 9,824 km (6,104 mi)
(1989). Vehicles; cars 171,000 (1989), trucks and buses 68,800 (1989).
Merchant Marine; vessels 1,270 (1990), deadweight tonnage 32,985,357 (1990).
Air Transport; passenger-km 1,628,716,000 (1,012,037,000 passenger-mi)
(1988), cargo ton-km 26,613,000 (18,227,000 short ton-mi) (1988).
COMMUNICATIONS: Daily Newspapers; total of 9 with a total circulation
of 84,600 (1993). Radio; receivers 200,000 (1990). Television; receivers
234,000 (1994). Telephones; units 311,000 (1993).
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