Cyprus

This article is about the country. For other uses, see Cyprus (disambiguation).
Republic of Cyprus
Κυπριακή Δημοκρατία  ( Greek)
Kıbrıs Cumhuriyeti  ( Turkish)
Flag of Cyprus
Coat of arms of Cyprus
Flag Coat of arms
Anthem:  Ὕμνος εἰς τὴν Ἐλευθερίαν [a] (Greek Cypriot)
"Hymn to Liberty"
Location of Cyprus in bright green, showing the republic of Cyprus in darker green and the self-declared republic of Northern Cyprus in brighter green, with the rest of the European Union shown in faded green
Location of Cyprus in bright green, showing the republic of Cyprus in darker green and the self-declared republic of Northern Cyprus in brighter green, with the rest of the European Union shown in faded green
Capital
and largest city
Nicosia  
35°10′N 33°22′E / 35.167°N 33.367°E / 35°10′N 33°22′E / 35.167; 33.367
Official languages
Minority languages
Vernaculars
Ethnic groups
Demonym Cypriot
Government Unitary bicommunal presidential constitutional republic
•  President
Nicos Anastasiades
Demetris Syllouris
Legislature House of Representatives
Independence from the United Kingdom
19 February 1959
• Independence proclaimed
16 August 1960
1 October 1960
1 May 2004
Area
• Total [b]
9,251 km2 (3,572 sq mi) ( 168th)
• Water (%)
9
Population
• 2013 estimate
1,141,166 [b] [3] ( 158th)
• 2011 census
838,897 [c] [4]
• Density
123.4 [b] [5]/km2 (319.6/sq mi) ( 82nd)
GDP ( PPP) 2014 estimate
• Total
$27.516 billion [6] ( 125th)
• Per capita
$30,882 [6] ( 37th)
GDP (nominal) 2014 estimate
• Total
$23.263 billion [6] ( 105th)
• Per capita
$26,109 [6] ( 31st)
Gini (2011) 29.1 [7]
low ·  19th
HDI (2014) Steady 0.850 [8]
very high ·  32nd
Currency Euro ( EUR)
Time zone EET ( UTC+2)
• Summer ( DST)
EEST ( UTC+3)
Drives on the left
Calling code +357
ISO 3166 code CY
Internet TLD .cy [d]

Cyprus ( Listen i /ˈsprəs/; Greek: Κύπρος IPA:  [ˈcipros]; Turkish: Kıbrıs IPA:  [ˈkɯbɾɯs]), officially the Republic of Cyprus (Greek: Κυπριακή Δημοκρατία; Turkish: Kıbrıs Cumhuriyeti), is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean and the third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean. It is located south of Turkey, west of Syria and Lebanon, northwest of Israel and Palestine, north of Egypt, and southeast of Greece.

The earliest known human activity on the island dates to around the 10th millennium BC. Archaeological remains from this period include the well-preserved Neolithic village of Khirokitia, and Cyprus is home to some of the oldest water wells in the world. [9] Cyprus was settled by Mycenaean Greeks in two waves in the 2nd millennium BC. As a strategic location in the Middle East, it was subsequently occupied by several major powers, including the empires of the Assyrians, Egyptians and Persians, from whom the island was seized in 333 BC by Alexander the Great. Subsequent rule by Ptolemaic Egypt, the Classical and Eastern Roman Empire, Arab caliphates for a short period, the French Lusignan dynasty and the Venetians, was followed by over three centuries of Ottoman rule between 1571 and 1878 ( de jure until 1914). [10]

Cyprus was placed under British administration based on Cyprus Convention in 1878 and formally annexed by Britain in 1914. While Turkish Cypriots made up 18% of the population, the partition of Cyprus and creation of a Turkish state in the north became a policy of Turkish Cypriot leaders and Turkey in the 1950s. Turkish leaders for a period advocated the annexation of Cyprus to Turkey as Cyprus was considered an "extension of Anatolia" by them; while since the 19th century, [11] [12] the majority Greek Cypriot population and its Orthodox church had been pursuing union with Greece, which became a Greek national policy in the 1950s. [13] Following nationalist violence in the 1950s, Cyprus was granted independence in 1960. [14] In 1963, the 11-year intercommunal violence between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots started, which displaced more than 25,000 Turkish Cypriots [15] [16] and brought the end of Turkish Cypriot representation in the republic. On 15 July 1974, a coup d'état was staged by Greek Cypriot nationalists [17] [18] and elements of the Greek military junta [19] in an attempt at enosis, the incorporation of Cyprus into Greece. This action precipitated the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, [20] which led to the capture of the present-day territory of Northern Cyprus the following month, after a ceasefire collapsed, and the displacement of over 150,000 Greek Cypriots [21] [22] and 50,000 Turkish Cypriots. [23] A separate Turkish Cypriot state in the north was established by unilateral declaration in 1983; the move was widely condemned by the international community, with Turkey alone recognizing the new state. These events and the resulting political situation are matters of a continuing dispute.

The Cyprus Republic has de jure sovereignty over the island of Cyprus, as well as its territorial sea and exclusive economic area, according to international law (except for the British Overseas Territory of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, administered as Sovereign Base Areas, 2.8% of the territory). However, the Republic of Cyprus is de facto partitioned into two main parts: the area under the effective control of the Republic, located in the south and west, and comprising about 59% of the island's area; and the north, [24] administered by the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, covering about 37% of the island's area. Another nearly 4% of the island's area is covered by the UN buffer zone. The international community considers the northern part of the island as territory of the Republic of Cyprus occupied by Turkish forces. [25] [26] [27] [28] [29] The occupation is viewed as illegal under international law, amounting to illegal occupation of EU territory since Cyprus became a member of the European Union. [30]

Cyprus is a major tourist destination in the Mediterranean. [31] [32] [33] With an advanced, [34] high-income economy and a very high Human Development Index, [35] [36] the Republic of Cyprus has been a member of the Commonwealth since 1961 and was a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement until it joined the European Union on 1 May 2004. [37] On 1 January 2008, the Republic of Cyprus joined the eurozone.

Etymology

A copper mine in Cyprus. In antiquity, Cyprus was a major source of copper.

The earliest attested reference to Cyprus is the 15th century BC Mycenaean Greek 𐀓𐀠𐀪𐀍, ku-pi-ri-jo, [38] meaning "Cypriot" (Greek: Κύπριος), written in Linear B syllabic script. [39] The classical Greek form of the name is Κύπρος (Kýpros).

The etymology of the name is unknown. Suggestions include:

Through overseas trade, the island has given its name to the Classical Latin word for copper through the phrase aes Cyprium, "metal of Cyprus", later shortened to Cuprum. [40]

The standard demonym relating to Cyprus or its people or culture is Cypriot. The terms Cypriote and Cyprian are also used, though less frequently.