Facts about Cyprus
Situated at the intersection of three continents, Cyprus has a long and vibrant history, a wonderful climate and the warmest welcome in the Mediterranean. Cyprus has long been a holiday paradise for Scandinavian and Englishman and has now quickly become a growing investment potential.
Cyprus offers the perfect combination of relaxation, water sports and exciting exploration along the beautiful coastline. Cyprus is a paradise for those interested in history with many archaeological sites and medieval castles.
With more than 340 sunny days a year, clear blue sea and an unspoilt nature, Cyprus is an oasis where you can enjoy the good days of life. Along with the friendly and hospitable Cypriots and the wonderful food, you have the perfect recipe for a great life style.
The long English influence has a very positive effect for the Swedes who want to invest in Cyprus. The English language is generally valid and the legislation is based on English, which means that you easily understand different types of agreements.
The crime in Cyprus is extremely low, which makes you feel safe wherever you go and does not have the same need for alarms or surveillance systems elsewhere in the Mediterranean.
Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean, less than Sicily and Sardinia and larger than Corsica and Crete. Cyprus is located east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Lebanon and north of Egypt.
Cyprus is divided into six regions: Famagusta, Kyrenia, Larnaca, Limassol, Nicosia and Paphos. Of these are Famagusta, Kyrenia and half Nicosia in the Turkish Cypriot northern Cyprus and Larnaca, Limassol, Paphos county half Nicosia in the southern Greek Cypriot part.
Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots
Cyprus was divided into two separate states since 1974. This was due to the linguistic and cultural differences and due to friction that lasted 11 years. Greek Cypriots live in southern and Turkish Cypriots in northern Cyprus. A border called the green line goes through Lefkoşa (Nicosia), the capital that separates the two states. Currently, there are five border crossings that offer 24-hour free access for EU citizens to pass to both sides.
North Cyprus – Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), the Turkish Cypriot northern part of the island was formally formed in 1983. TRNC is a fully democratic state with its own government and elected president.
South Cyprus – Republic of Cyprus, the Greek Cypriot southern part of the island became a full member of the EU on 1 May 2004. The Republic of Cyprus is a fully democratic state with its own government and elected president.
Languages spoken in Cyprus
Official languages Greek and Turkish, but English is also common due to Britain’s presence.
Cyprus has a very pleasant climate, with hot, dry summers and mild winters, and an average of 340 days of sunshine. In August, the hottest month with average temperatures from 30 ° C to 35 ° C and during the coldest months, January and February is the average temperature about 10 ° C to 15 ° C, with a winter mean of 6 hours daily sunshine and only moderate rain, which make it an ideal destination all year round.
For nine thousand years, Cyprus has been a melting pot of great civilizations. From the Neolithic settlements on the northern coast to Egyptian, Persian, Roman, Venetian, Ottoman and British empires. Its strategic location at the crossroads of the East and West has donated the island with a rich and colorful history spanning centuries. During its living history, the island has been visited by Alexander the Great and Richard I Lionheart, to name a few and who have left their own unique footprints.
To get a good sense of how everything started, the island’s museums are well worth a visit for their fascinating array of objects discovered in the caves from 7000 BC when the first inhabitants of Cyprus are said to have settled on the island. From 3000-700 BC, Cyprus began to appear as a trading center, with copper mines being drawn merchants from all over the Mediterranean. With new trading opportunities settlers came from Anatolia and the Phoenicians, which led to new architecture as well as ceramics and metalworks coming to the island.
Melting pot of great civilisations
The Persians first adopted Cyprus as a base for their war with Greece in 545 BC, which lasted until 331 BC. Then the Persian Empire was defeated by Alexander the Great. Egypt ruled over the next 250 years – a period ended by Rome’s invasion of the island in 48 BC The Roman Empire lasted only a few years, as Julius Caesar donated the island to his mistress, Cleopatra, as a gift of love.
Between 100 and 1000 AD, several communities emerged on the island, with Muslim and Byzantine settlers in relative harmony – that is, until 965 AD, when the Byzantines took full control of the island after defeating Egyptian Navy.
The Byzantine Empire lasted until the 13th century, when King Richard Lionheart sold the island to Guy de Lusignan, a member of the French Middle Ages. Lusignans, ruled for 300 years, from the 13th century until 1489, when the Venetians adopted the island and built the historic Girne Castle, as well as the famous architecture of Famagusta and Lefkoşa (Nicosia), all well worth a visit.
The Ottoman period in Cyprus began in 1571 and lasted for more than three centuries, during which time the two Cypriot societies, Turkish and Greek, began to form. It was during the later years of the Ottoman Empire, in an agreement dated in 1869, that the British were given the right to rule Cyprus – until the end of the First World War. Subsequently, London and Zurich treaties were signed to give Cyprus independence as a partnership between the island and the Turkish and Greek population. Guarantees in the new state were the UK, Greece and Turkey. But in 1963, relations between the two societies, separated by language, culture and religion, weakened, and civil war broke out. The UN sent in troops in an attempt to restore peace, creating the green line, which effectively shared the two communities.
Breakdown of the island
In 1974, after 11 years of friction between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, a coup d’état took place by Greek Cypriot nationalists and parts of the Greek military junta with the aim of achieving enosis (union of the island with Greece). Turkey, which together with Greece and the United Kingdom were guarantee countries for Cyprus, tried to get a monitoring force from the guarantee countries but Greece and the UK refused to participate. Therefore, Turkey used this as a pretext for intervening the northern part of the island. With the aim of protecting the Turkish population. Turkish troops remained after a truce, resulting in the division of the island.
Official name: Kypriaki Dimokratá / Kibris Cumhuriyeti
State: Republic, unitary state
Capital / Population: Lefkosia (Nicosia) 269,000 / Lefkosa (Turkish part) 57,000
Area (total): 9,251 km2 (of which 3,355 km2 Northern Cyprus)
Proportion of land area that is arable land: 9.8%
Land area with forest: 18.8%
Coastline: 648 km
Lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
Highest point: Olympos (1,953 masl)
Other major cities (southern part):
Limassol 182,400 inhabitants, Larnaca 85,900 inhabitants, Paphos 64 300 inhabitants
Other major cities (northern part):
Gazimagusa (Famagusta) 40 900 inhabitants, Girne (Kyrenia) 33 200 inhabitants, Güzelhurt (Morfou) 18 900 inhabitants
Inhabitants, total: 1,267,000
Percentage of urban dwellers: 66.8%
Inhabitants / km2 (Land area): 128
Population growth: 1.15%
Infant mortality: 7 (per 1,000 live births)
Life expectancy (estimated) years: Men / Women 76.4 / 82.2
Greek Orthodox 89.1%, Roman Catholic 2.9%, Protestants / Anglicans 2.0%, Muslims 1.8%, Buddhists 1.0%, Other religions 1.4%, Unknown religion 1.1%, Atheists 0.6%
Greek (official language) 80.9%, Turkish (official language) 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%
Literacy% (population over 15 years): Men / Women 99.5 / 98.7
Proportion of children starting primary school: 97.4%
Number of pupils per teacher in compulsory school: 12 (Sweden 12)
GDP / inhabitant: USD 27,858 (2019)
Currency: EURO / Lira
Largest trading partners (exports): Libya, Greece, Norway
Electricity consumption per person: 3,621 kWh (Sweden 13,480 kWh)
Electricity from fossil fuels: 85.0% (Sweden 5.0%)
Emissions of carbon dioxide / inhabitant (tonnes): 5.30 (Sweden 4.50)
Number of tourists annually: 3,187,000 (2016)
Mobile phones, subscriptions: 1,201,000 (2018)
Internet users: 1,045,000 (84.4% of the population) (2018)