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Cyprus, an island country located in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, is known for its rich history, cultural diversity, and striking landscapes. As the third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean, Cyprus offers a unique blend of Greek and Turkish cultures, shaped by centuries of history and geopolitics. The country is divided into the Republic of Cyprus in the south and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in the north, with the latter only recognized by Turkey. This division adds a complex layer to the country’s identity and international relations. Cyprus is a member of the European Union, which has further integrated it into the Western political and economic systems.


Cyprus covers an area of approximately 9,251 square kilometers, featuring a central plain surrounded by mountains to the north and south. The Troodos Mountains in the south include Mount Olympus, the island’s highest point at 1,952 meters (6,404 feet). The island is known for its beautiful beaches, rugged coastline, and semi-arid climate, offering mild winters and hot, dry summers. This geography has made Cyprus a popular tourist destination, especially for beach and nature lovers.


The history of Cyprus is marked by various dominations, from ancient Greek and Roman times to Byzantine, Venetian, Ottoman, and British rule, reflecting a rich tapestry of cultural and architectural influences. Cyprus gained independence from British rule in 1960, but inter-communal tensions between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots led to a Turkish invasion in 1974, following a coup d’état aimed at annexing the island to Greece. This resulted in the island’s division, a situation that remains unresolved despite numerous peace efforts.


The Republic of Cyprus operates as a presidential representative democracy, where the president is both the head of state and government. The political system is marked by a high degree of centralization. In contrast, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has its own government and political institutions, but its sovereignty is not recognized internationally, except by Turkey. Efforts to reunify the island under a federal system have been ongoing but have yet to reach a successful conclusion.


Cyprus has a high-income economy that is diversified and driven by sectors such as tourism, financial services, and shipping. The island is known for its strong regulatory framework for banking and finance, making it a popular location for international businesses and investment. The discovery of offshore gas reserves has the potential to significantly impact its economy, although geopolitical tensions in the region present challenges to exploitation. The economic division between the north and south also affects the island’s overall economic landscape.


Cypriot culture is a blend of Greek, Turkish, and Middle Eastern influences, reflected in its cuisine, music, dance, and religious practices. The island is famous for its culinary traditions, including halloumi cheese, mezze platters, and commandaria wine. Cultural festivals, religious celebrations, and folk music and dances play a significant role in community life. Cyprus also boasts several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the ancient city-kingdoms of Paphos and the painted churches in the Troodos Mountains.


Cyprus has a population of approximately 1.2 million people. The majority are Greek Cypriots, with Turkish Cypriots forming the largest minority, mainly residing in the northern part of the island. English is widely spoken, reflecting the island’s historical ties to Britain and its status as a tourist destination. The population faces challenges related to the ongoing division, including issues of displacement and identity, but also benefits from a high standard of living and a strong educational system.

Fun Facts

  • Cyprus is the legendary birthplace of Aphrodite, the ancient Greek goddess of love and beauty.
  • The island is home to some of the oldest water wells in the world, dating back to the Neolithic age.
  • Cyprus’s flag is the only national flag in the world to feature a map of the country itself.


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