Cyprus (Kypriaki Dimokratia/Kibris Cumhuriyeti) is as island country in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, with divided government control, since 1983, due to disaggregation of the two ethnic communities that inhabit the island: Greek and Turkish. The capital is Nicosia.
Independence from the UK was approved in 1960, with constitutional guarantees by the Greek Cypriot majority to the Turkish Cypriot minority. In 1974, a Greek-sponsored attempt to seize the government was met by military intervention from Turkey, which soon controlled almost 40% of the island.
In 1983, the Turkish-held area declared itself the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus," but it is recognized only by Turkey. In 2004, the internationally recognized Greek Cypriot-controlled "Republic of Cyprus" joined the EU. The Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities are still trying to reach agreement.
Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea (after Sicily and Sardinia). There are some environmental issues, such as 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 and loss of wildlife habitats from urbanization.
Administrative divisions: 6 districts; Famagusta, Kyrenia, Larnaca, Limassol, Nicosia, Paphos; note - Turkish Cypriot area's administrative divisions include Kyrenia, all but a small part of Famagusta, and small parts of Lefkosia (Nicosia) and Larnaca.
Terrain: central plain with mountains to north and south; scattered but significant plains along southern coast. Highest point: Olympus 1,951 m.
Total area: 9,250 km² (of which 3,355 km² are in the Turkish Cypriot area). Coastline: 648 km.
Climate: temperate; Mediterranean with hot, dry summers and cool winters.
Ports and harbors: Famagusta, Kyrenia, Larnaca, Limassol, Paphos and Vasilikos.
Population: 1.2 million (2018 est.).
Religions: Orthodox Christian 89.1%, Roman Catholic 2.9%, Protestant/Anglican 2%, Muslim 1.8%, Buddhist 1%, other (includes Maronite, Armenian Church, Hindu) 1.4%, unknown 1.1%, none/atheist 0.6% (2011 est.).
Ethnic groups: Greek 98.8%, other 1% (includes Maronite, Armenian, Turkish-Cypriot), unspecified 0.2% (2011 est.).
Language: Greek (official) 80.9%, Turkish (official) 0.2%, English 4.1%, Romanian 2.9%, Russian 2.5%, Bulgarian 2.2%, Arabic 1.2%, Filipino 1.1%, other 4.3%, unspecified 0.6% (2011 est.).
Note: data represent only the government-controlled area of Cyprus.
Main source: CIA - The World Factbook.
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