Europe :: Cyprus

Introduction ::Cyprus

    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 discussions under UN auspices aimed at reuniting the divided island. The talks are ongoing. 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.

Geography ::Cyprus

    Middle East, island in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Turkey
    35 00 N, 33 00 E
    total: 9,251 sq km (of which 3,355 sq km are in north Cyprus)
    country comparison to the world: 171
    land: 9,241 sq km
    water: 10 sq km
    about 0.6 times the size of Connecticut
    total: 150.4 km (approximately)
    border sovereign base areas: Akrotiri 47.4 km, Dhekelia 103 km (approximately)
    648 km
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    contiguous zone: 24 nm
    continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation
    temperate; Mediterranean with hot, dry summers and cool winters
    central plain with mountains to north and south; scattered but significant plains along southern coast
    lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
    highest point: Mount Olympus 1,951 m
    copper, pyrites, asbestos, gypsum, timber, salt, marble, clay earth pigment
    arable land: 9.06%
    permanent crops: 3.54%
    other: 87.41% (2011)
    457.9 sq km (2007)
    0.78 cu km (2011)
    total: 0.18 cu km/yr (10%/3%/86%)
    per capita: 164.7 cu m/yr (2009)
    moderate earthquake activity; droughts
    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
    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
    the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea (after Sicily and Sardinia)

People and Society ::Cyprus

Government ::Cyprus

    conventional long form: Republic of Cyprus
    conventional short form: Cyprus
    local long form: Kypriaki Dimokratia/Kibris Cumhuriyeti
    local short form: Kypros/Kibris
    note: 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)
    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, 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 DENKTAS declared independence and the formation of a "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" ("TRNC"), which is recognized only by Turkey
    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
    6 districts; Ammochostos (Famagusta; all but a small part controlled by Turkish Cyprus), Keryneia (Kyrenia; the only district completely controlled by Turkish Cyprus), Larnaka (Larnaca; a small part controlled by Turkish Cyprus), Lemesos (Limassol), Lefkosia (Nicosia; a small part controlled by Turkish Cyprus), Pafos (Paphos); note - the five districts of Turkish Cyprus are Gazimagusa (Famagusta), Girne (Kyrenia), Guzelyurt (Morphou), Lefkosia (Nicosia) and Iskele (Trikomo)
    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
    Independence Day, 1 October (1960); note - Turkish Cypriots celebrate 15 November (1983) as "Independence Day"
    16 August 1960
    note: 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
    mixed legal system of English common law and civil law with Greek Orthodox religious law influence
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President Nicos ANASTASIADES (since 28 February 2013); 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 Nicos ANASTASIADES (since 28 February 2013)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed jointly by the president and vice president
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    elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held on 17 and 24 February 2013 (next to be held in February 2018)
    election results: Nicos ANASTASIADES elected president; percent of vote (first round) - Nicos ANASTASIADES 45.46%, Stavros MALAS 26.91%, Giorgos LILLIKAS 24.93%, other 2.7%; (second round) Nicos ANASTASIADES 57.48%, Savros MALAS 42.52%
    note: 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%; Sibel SIBER is "TRNC acting prime minister"
    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 on 28 July 2013)
    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 4.4%; 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
    highest court(s): Supreme Court of Cyprus (consists of 13 judges including the court president); note - the highest court in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is the Supreme Court (consists of 8 judges including the court president)
    judge selection and term of office: Republic of Cyprus Supreme Court judges appointed by the president of the republic upon the recommendation of the Supreme Court judges; judges tenure NA; TRNC Supreme Court judges appointed by the Supreme Council of Judicature, a 12-member body of judges, the attorney general, appointees - one each by the president of the TRNC and by the Legislative Assembly, and a member elected by the Bar Association; judge tenure NA
    subordinate courts: Republic of Cyprus district courts; Assize Courts; specialized courts for issues relating to family, industrial disputes, military, and rent control; TRNC Assize Courts; district and family courts
    area under government control:
    Democratic Party or DIKO [Marios KAROYIAN (Garoyian)]
    Democratic Rally or DISY [Nicos ANASTASIADES]
    European Party or EURO.KO [Demetris SYLLOURIS]
    Fighting Democratic Movement or ADIK [Dinos MIKHAILIDES]; note - now part of Democratic Party or DIKO
    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 [Serdar DENKTAS]
    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]; note - joined the National Unity Party in 2010
    Republican Turkish Party or CTP [Ozkam YORGANCIOGLU]
    United Cyprus Party or BKP [Izzet IZCAN]
    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)
    chief of mission: Ambassador Georgios CHACALLI
    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
    note: representative of the Turkish Cypriot community in the US is Ahmet ERDENGIZ; office at 1667 K Street NW, Washington, DC; telephone [1] (202) 887-6198
    chief of mission: Ambassador John M. KOENIG
    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
    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 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
    Cypriot mouflon (wild sheep); white dove
    name: "Ymnos eis tin Eleftherian" (Hymn to Liberty)
    lyrics/music: Dionysios SOLOMOS/Nikolaos MANTZAROS
    note: adopted 1960; Cyprus adopted the Greek national anthem as its own; the Turkish community in Cyprus uses the anthem of Turkey

Economy ::Cyprus

    The area of the Republic of Cyprus under government control has a market economy dominated by the service sector, which accounts for four-fifths of GDP. Tourism, financial services, and real estate are the most important sectors. Erratic growth rates over the past decade reflect the economy's reliance on tourism, the profitability of which can fluctuate with political instability in the region and economic conditions in Western Europe. Nevertheless, the economy in the area under government control has grown at a rate well above the EU average since 2000. Cyprus joined the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM2) in May 2005 and adopted the euro as its national currency on 1 January 2008. An aggressive austerity program in the preceding years, aimed at paving the way for the euro, helped turn a soaring fiscal deficit (6.3% in 2003) into a surplus of 1.2% in 2008, and reduced inflation to 4.7%. This prosperity came under pressure in 2009, as construction and tourism slowed in the face of reduced foreign demand triggered by the ongoing global financial crisis. Although Cyprus lagged behind its EU peers in showing signs of stress from the global crisis, the economy tipped into recession in 2009, contracting by 1.7%, and has been slow to bounce back since, posting anemic growth in 2010-11 before contracting again by 2.3% in 2012. Serious problems surfaced in the Cypriot financial sector in early 2011 as the Greek fiscal crisis and euro zone debt crisis deepened. Cyprus's borrowing costs have risen steadily because of its exposure to Greek debt. Two of Cyprus's biggest banks are among the largest holders of Greek bonds in Europe and have a substantial presence in Greece through bank branches and subsidiaries. Cyprus experienced numerous downgrades of its credit rating in 2012 and has been cut off from international money markets. The Cypriot economy contracted in 2012 following the writedown of Greek bonds. A liquidity squeeze is choking the financial sector and the real economy as many global investors are uncertain the Cypriot economy can weather the EU crisis. The budget deficit rose to 7.4% of GDP in 2011, a violation of the EU's budget deficit criteria - no more than 3% of GDP. In response to the country's deteriorating finances and serious risk of contagion from the Greek debt crisis, Nicosia implemented measures to cut the cost of the state payroll, curb tax evasion, and revamp social benefits, and trimmed the deficit to 4.2% of GDP in 2012. In July, Nicosia became the fifth euro zone government to request an economic bailout program from the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund - known collectively as the "Troika". Negotiations over the final details of the plan are ongoing.
    $24 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 125
    $24.6 billion (2011 est.)
    $24.47 billion (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    $23.01 billion (2012 est.)
    -2.4% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 212
    0.5% (2011 est.)
    1.3% (2010 est.)
    $27,500 (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 57
    $28,500 (2011 est.)
    $29,100 (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    8.8% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 131
    12.8% of GDP (2011 est.)
    9.8% of GDP (2010 est.)
    household consumption: 66.8%
    government consumption: 20.1%
    investment in fixed capital: 12.8%
    investment in inventories: 0.3%
    exports of goods and services: 45.5%
    imports of goods and services: -45.4%
    (2012 est.)
    agriculture: 2.4%
    industry: 16.7%
    services: 80.9% (2012 est.)
    citrus, vegetables, barley, grapes, olives, vegetables; poultry, pork, lamb; dairy, cheese
    tourism, food and beverage processing, cement and gypsum production, ship repair and refurbishment, textiles, light chemicals, metal products, wood, paper, stone and clay products
    0.5% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 126
    416,900 (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 159
    agriculture: 8.5%
    industry: 20.5%
    services: 71% (2006 est.)
    11.9% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 124
    7.9% (2011 est.)
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%
    29 (2005)
    country comparison to the world: 118
    revenues:: $9.831 billion
    expenditures:: $10.89 billion (2012 est.)
    42.7% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 32
    -4.6% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 161
    84.4% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    71.1% of GDP (2011 est.)
    note: data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data exclude debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment
    calendar year
    2.4% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 58
    3.3% (2011 est.)
    1.5% (31 December 2012)
    country comparison to the world: 120
    1.75% (31 December 2010)
    note: this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro area
    7% (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 130
    6.83% (31 December 2011 est.)
    $14.73 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 69
    $14.6 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
    note: see entry for the European Union for money supply in the euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 17 members of the EMU; individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money circulating within their own borders
    $56.25 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 66
    $52.97 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
    $54.19 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    $53.74 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $2.853 billion (31 December 2011)
    country comparison to the world: 78
    $6.834 billion (31 December 2010)
    $4.993 billion (31 December 2009)
    -$1.963 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 135
    -$2.546 billion (2011 est.)
    $2.679 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 134
    $2.748 billion (2011 est.)
    citrus, potatoes, pharmaceuticals, cement, clothing
    Greece 23.3%, UK 10.1% (2012)
    $7.093 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    $7.951 billion (2011 est.)
    consumer goods, petroleum and lubricants, machinery, transport equipment
    Greece 21.5%, Israel 11.9%, Italy 8.3%, UK 7.4%, Germany 7%, Netherlands 6.7%, France 6%, China 4.5% (2012)
    $1.207 billion (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 129
    $1.207 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $106.5 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 45
    $113.6 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
    $27.26 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 61
    $25.06 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $11.13 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 53
    $10.13 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    euros (EUR) per US dollar -
    0.7778 (2012 est.)
    0.7185 (2011 est.)
    0.755 (2010 est.)
    0.7198 (2009 est.)
    0.6827 (2008 est.)
    Economy - overview: The Turkish Cypriot economy has roughly half the per capita GDP of the south, and economic growth tends to be volatile, given the north's relative isolation, bloated public sector, reliance on the Turkish lira, and small market size. The Turkish Cypriots are heavily dependent on transfers from the Turkish Government. Ankara directly finances about one-third of the Turkish Cypriot "administration's" budget. Aid from Turkey has exceeded $400 million annually in recent years. The Turkish Cypriot economy experienced a sharp slowdown in 2008-09 due to the global financial crisis and to its reliance on British and Turkish tourism, both of which declined due to the recession. The Turkish Cypriot budget deficit also deteriorated in 2009 due to decreased state revenues and increased government expenditures on public sector salaries and social services. The Turkish Cypriot economy declined about 0.6% in 2010.
    GDP (purchasing power parity): $1.829 billion (2007 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate: -0.6% (2010 est.)
    GDP - per capita: $11,700 (2007 est.)
    GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 8.6%, industry: 22.4%, services: 69.1% (2006 est.)
    Labor force: 95,030 (2007 est.)
    Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 14.5%, industry: 29%, services: 56.5% (2004)
    Unemployment rate: 9.4% (2005 est.)
    Population below poverty line: %NA
    Inflation rate: 11.4% (2006)
    Budget: revenues: $2.5 billion, expenditures: $2.5 billion (2006)
    Agriculture - products: citrus fruit, dairy, potatoes, grapes, olives, poultry, lamb
    Industries: foodstuffs, textiles, clothing, ship repair, clay, gypsum, copper, furniture
    Industrial production growth rate: -0.3% (2007 est.)
    Electricity production: 998.9 million kWh (2005)
    Electricity consumption: 797.9 million kWh (2005)
    Exports: $68.1 million, f.o.b. (2007 est.)
    Export - commodities: citrus, dairy, potatoes, textiles
    Export - partners: Turkey 40%; direct trade between the area administered by Turkish Cypriots and the area under government control remains limited
    Imports: $1.2 billion, f.o.b. (2007 est.)
    Import - commodities: vehicles, fuel, cigarettes, food, minerals, chemicals, machinery
    Import - partners: Turkey 60%; direct trade between the area administered by Turkish Cypriots and the area under government control remains limited
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $NA
    Debt - external: $NA
    Currency (code): Turkish new lira (YTL)
    Exchange rates: Turkish new lira per US dollar: 1.67 (2011) 1.5 (2010) 1.55 (2009) 1.32 (2008) 1.32 (2007)

Energy ::Cyprus

Communications ::Cyprus

    405,000 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    1.09 million (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 154
    general assessment: excellent in both area under government control and area administered by Turkish Cypriots
    domestic: open-wire, fiber-optic cable, and microwave radio relay
    international: country code - 357 (area administered by Turkish Cypriots uses the country code of Turkey - 90); a number of submarine cables, including the SEA-ME-WE-3, combine to provide connectivity to Western Europe, the Middle East, and Asia; tropospheric scatter; satellite earth stations - 8 (3 Intelsat - 1 Atlantic Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean, 2 Eutelsat, 2 Intersputnik, and 1 Arabsat)
    mixture of state and privately run TV and radio services; the public broadcaster operates 2 TV channels and 4 radio stations; 6 private TV broadcasters, satellite and cable TV services including telecasts from Greece and Turkey, and a number of private radio stations are available; in areas administered by Turkish Cypriots, there are 2 public TV stations, 4 public radio stations, and privately owned TV and radio broadcast stations (2007)
    252,013 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 67
    433,900 (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 120

Transportation ::Cyprus

    15 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 145
    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 (2013)
    total: 2
    under 914 m:
    2 (2013)
    9 (2013)
    total: 20,006 km
    country comparison to the world: 107
    government control: 13,006 km (includes 2,277 km of expressways)
    paved: 8,564 km
    unpaved: 4,442 km
    Turkish Cypriot control: 7,000 km (2011)
    total: 838
    country comparison to the world: 13
    by type: bulk carrier 278, cargo 163, chemical tanker 77, container 201, liquefied gas 11, passenger 3, passenger/cargo 25, petroleum tanker 62, refrigerated cargo 5, roll on/roll off 9, vehicle carrier 4
    foreign-owned: 622 (Angola 1, Austria 1, Belgium 3, Bermuda 1, Canada 2, China 6, Denmark 6, Estonia 6, France 16, Germany 192, Greece 201, Hong Kong 2, India 4, Iran 10, Ireland 3, Italy 6, Japan 16, Netherlands 23, Norway 14, Philippines 1, Poland 24, Portugal 2, Russia 46, Singapore 1, Slovenia 5, Spain 6, Sweden 5, Turkey 1, UAE 3, UK 7, Ukraine 3, US 5)
    registered in other countries: 152 (Bahamas 23, Cambodia 4, Comoros 2, Finland 1, Gibraltar 1, Greece 3, Hong Kong 3, Liberia 9, Malta 32, Marshall Islands 40, Norway 1, Panama 5, Russia 13, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 3, Sierra Leone 2, Singapore 6, unknown 4) (2010)
    major seaport(s): area under government control: Larnaca, Limassol, Vasilikos; area administered by Turkish Cypriots: Famagusta, Kyrenia

Military ::Cyprus

Transnational Issues ::Cyprus

    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; 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; Turkey protests Cypriot Government creating hydrocarbon blocks and maritime boundary with Lebanon in March 2007
    IDPs: 208,000 (both Turkish and Greek Cypriots; many displaced since 1974) (2012)
    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 vulnerable to money laundering; reporting of suspicious transactions in offshore sector remains weak (2008)