|~ Cyprus Population: 1,084,748
~ 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 Turkish and Cypriot Governments to reopen unification negotiations.
~ In September 2008, the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities started negotiations under UN auspices aimed at reuniting the divided island.
~ 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 Greek Cypriot 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.
|~ Cyprus, the third largest island in the Mediterranean and undoubtedly the most enchanting, is reputed to be the birthplace of Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love and Beauty.
~ Cyprus is an island of legends with a rich and dramatic history, dating back thousands of years.
~ In Cyprus the sun seems to shine all year round; even in winter when the temperatures drop, the skies are blue and cloudless and the air pleasantly warm.
~ In summer, when temperatures soar, visitors can escape to the cooler, forested slopes of the Troodos Mountains or simply cool down in the crystal clear waters that surround the shores.
~ Fascinating evidence of the past 3000 years has survived in Cyprus, much of it along the south coast that stretches from Paphos to Larnaca.
~ The island is also littered with churches, monasteries and other impressive religious buildings, of historical significance.
~ Cyprus offers her visitors a wealth of activities, in the most beautiful surroundings.
|~ Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea (after Sicily and Sardinia)
~ Location: Middle East, island in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Turkey
~ 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
~ Nationality: noun: Cypriot(s) adjective: Cypriot
~ Ethnic groups: Greek 77%, Turkish 18%, other 5% (2001)
~ Religions: Greek Orthodox 78%, Muslim 18%, other (includes Maronite and Armenian Apostolic) 4%
~ Languages: Greek, Turkish, English
~ Independence: 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
~ National holiday: Independence Day, 1 October (1960);