Facts about Cyprus
Situated at the crossroads 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 european and has now quickly become a second home for many.
Cyprus offers the perfect combination of relaxation, water sports and exciting exploration along the beautiful coastline. Cyprus is a paradise for history buffs with many archaeological sites and medieval castles.
With more than 340 sunny days per year, clear blue sea and unspoiled nature, Cyprus is an oasis where you can enjoy the good days of life. Together with the friendly and hospitable Cypriots and the wonderful food, you have the perfect recipe for a wonderful lifestyle.
The long English influence has a very positive effect for the europeans who want to settle in Cyprus. The English language is generally passable and the legislation rests on an English basis, which makes it easy to understand different types of agreements.
The crime rate in Cyprus is extremely low, which means that you feel safe wherever you go and do not have the same need for alarms or surveillance systems as elsewhere in the Mediterranean area.
Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean, smaller than Sicily and Sardinia and larger than Corsica and Crete. Cyprus is 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, Famagusta, Kyrenia and half of Nicosia are in Turkish Cypriot northern Cyprus and Larnaca, Limassol, Paphos county and half of 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 as a result of friction that lasted for 11 years. Greek Cypriots live in southern and Turkish Cypriots in northern Cyprus. A border known as the Green Line runs through Lefkoşa (Nicosia), the capital, which separates the two states. Currently, there are five border crossings that offer 24-hour free access for EU citizens to cross to both sides.
Northern Cyprus – The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), the Turkish Cypriot northern part of the island was formally established in 1983. The TRNC is a fully democratic state with its own government and popularly elected president.
Southern Cyprus – The 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 a popularly elected president.
Languages spoken in Cyprus
Official languages Greek and Turkish, but English is also common due to Britain’s presence.
Cypern har ett mycket behagligt klimat, med varma, torra somrar och milda vintrar, och i genomsnitt 340 soldagar. I augusti är den hetaste månaden med medeltemperaturer från 30°C till 35°C och under de kallaste månaderna, januari och februari är medeltemperaturen cirka 10°C till 15°C, med ett vintermedelvärde på 6 timmar dagligen solsken och endast måttligt regn, vilket gör den till en idealisk destination året runt.
For nine thousand years, Cyprus has been a melting pot of great civilizations. From the Neolithic settlements on the northern coast to the Egyptian, Persian, Roman, Venetian, Ottoman and British empires. Its strategic location at the crossroads of east and west has endowed 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 the Lionheart, to name a few and who have left their own unique footprints.
To get a good sense of how it all began, the island’s museums are well worth a visit for their fascinating array of objects discovered in the caves dating back to 7000 BC when the first inhabitants of Cyprus are said to have settled on the island. From 3000-700 BC, Cyprus began to emerge as a trading center, with copper mines drawing merchants from across the Mediterranean. With new trade opportunities came settlers from Anatolia and the Phoenicians, bringing new architecture as well as ceramics and metalwork to the island.
Melting pot of great civilizations
The Persians first adopted Cyprus as a base for their wars with Greece in 545 BC which lasted until 331 BC. Then the Persian Empire was defeated by Alexander the Great. Egypt ruled for the next 250 years – a period that ended with Rome’s invasion of the island in 48 BC. The Roman Empire lasted only a few years, as Julius Caesar gave the island to his mistress, Cleopatra, as a gift of love.
Between 100 and 1000 AD, several societies emerged on the island, with Muslim and Byzantine settlers living in relative harmony – that is, until 965 AD, when the Byzantines took full control of the island after defeating Egyptian the fleet.
The Byzantine Empire lasted until the 13th century, when King Richard the Lionheart sold the island to Guy de Lusignan, a member of the French Middle Ages. The 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), which are 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 communities, Turkish and Greek, began to form. It was during the later years of the Ottoman Empire, in an agreement dated 1869, that the British were given the right to rule Cyprus – lasting until the end of the First World War. Subsequently, the Treaty of London and Zurich was signed to grant independence to Cyprus as a partnership between the island and the Turkish and Greek populations. The guarantors of the new state were Great Britain, Greece and Turkey. But in 1963, relations between the two communities, 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 divided the two communities.
Division of the island
In 1974, after 11 years of friction between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, an attempted coup d’état took place by Greek Cypriot nationalists and elements of the Greek military junta with the goal of achieving enosis (unification of the island with Greece). Turkey, which together with Greece and Great Britain were guarantor countries for Cyprus tried to get a monitoring force from the guarantor countries but Greece and Great Britain refused to participate. Therefore, Turkey used this as a pretext to intervene in 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)
Share of the land surface 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 m above sea level)
Other major cities (southern part):
Limassol 182,400 inhabitants, Larnaca 85,900 inhabitants, Pafos 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 residents: 66.8%
Inhabitants/km2 (Land area): 128
Population growth: 1.15%
Infant mortality rate: 7 (per 1,000 live births)
Average 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): Men/Women 99.5 / 98.7
Percentage of children starting primary school: 97.4%
Number of students per teacher in primary school: 12 (Sweden 12)
GDP/capita: USD 27,858 (2019)
Currency: EURO / Lira
Largest trade 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%)
Carbon dioxide emissions / inhabitants (tons): 5.30 (Sweden 4.50)
Number of tourists annually: 3,187,000 (2016)
Mobile phones, subscription: 1,201,000 (2018)
Internet users: 1,045,000 (84.4% of the population) (2018)