Cyprus Cyprus officially the Republic of Cyprus is a Eurasian island country in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of its most popular tourist destinations. An advanced, high-income economy with a very high Human Development Index, the Republic of Cyprus was a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement until it joined the European Union on 1 May 2004. The Republic of Cyprus has sovereignty over the entire island of Cyprus and its surrounding waters except small portions, Akrotiri and Dhekelia, which are allocated by treaty to the United Kingdom as sovereign military bases. The Republic of Cyprus is de facto partitioned into two main parts; the area under the effective control of the Republic of Cyprus, comprising about 59% of the island's area, and the Turkish-controlled area in the north, calling itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, covering about 36% of the island's area and recognized only by Turkey.
Cyprus has been constantly a significant trading post between Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and throughout history someone has always wanted to take it from someone else. First the Mycenaeans grabbed it, then the Phoenicians, Egyptians, Assyrians and Persians. Alexander the Greattook it off them, then Ptolemy snatched it from him.
Rome took over in 58 BC and kept the place in relative peace and security until the 7th century, when the Byzantine and Islamic empires started three centuries of bickering over it. In 1191, Richard the Lionheart, on his way to the Crusades, dropped into Cyprus for a spot of conquering, but the Cypriots caused him too much trouble (one of them killed his hawk and he was forced to massacre a few villages in retaliation),so he sold them to the Knights Templar. The Templars sold the island to Guy de Lusignan, whose heirs hung in for three centuries, repressing the culture and orthodox religion but doing wonders for the economy.
The Venetians took over in 1489, but were booted out by the expanding Ottoman Empire in 1571, which kept Cyprus for 300 years before handing it over to Britain.
In 1925 Cyprus became a Crown colony of the UK, but by then the Cypriots had had just about enough of being a pawn for empire-builders, and agitation for self-determination began. This laid the foundations for today's Greek/Turkish conflict: while many Greek Cypriots wanted to form a union with Greece (a movement known as enosis), the Turkish population was not so keen. By 1950, the Cypriot Orthodox Church and 96% of Greek Cypriots wanted enosis. In response, the British drafted a new constitution, which was accepted by the Turkish population but opposed by the National Organization of Cypriot Fighters, who wanted enosis or nothing. They began a guerrilla war against the British.
In August 1960, Britain granted Cyprus its independence. A Greek, Archbishop Makarios, became president, while a Turk, Kükük, was made vice-president. By 1964 Makarios was moving towards stronger links with Greece, and intercommunal violence was on the rise. The United Nations sent in a peace-keeping force. In 1967 a military junta took over the Greek government and enosis went out the window - even the most fervent Greece-lovers didn't want union with such a repressive regime. Greece didn't give up, though: on 15 July 1974 a CIA-sponsored, Greek-organized coup overthrew Makarios and replaced him with a puppet leader. Turkey responded by invading and Greece quickly pulled out, but the Turks weren't placated and took the northern third of the island, forcing 180,000 Greek Cypriots to flee their homes. In 1983 Turkish Cypriots proclaimed a separate state, naming it the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). No country except for Turkey has recognized this 'state'.
Peace talks have been held sporadically, but Cyprus remains divided. The United Nations has been scaling down its presence in Cyprus, and small-scale border scuffles are on the increase. The Republic's purchase of missiles capable of reaching the Turkish coast has further soured relations between the two sides. However, both Turkey and the Republic are making moves towards full membership of the European Union, and this may force both sides to find a diplomatic solution to the conflict.
In March 2003, the deadline for agreement from both sides on a UN-sponsored reunification passed. When the plan was put to referendum on both sides of the Green Line in April, Turkish Cypriots supported and Greek Cypriots did not. The island joined the EU in May 2004, but EU laws will apply only to Greek Cyprus.
The Cypriot economy is prosperous and has diversified in recent years. Fitch Ratings recently downgraded Cyprus from A- to BBB, a full two notches lower because the rating agency felt the sovereign would be unable to access debt markets internationally. According to the latest IMF estimates, its per capita GDP (adjusted for purchasing power) at$28,381 is just above the average of the European Union. Cyprus has been sought as a base for several offshore businesses for its highly developed infrastructure. Economic policy of the Cyprus government has focused on meeting the criteria for admission to the European Union. The Cypriot government adopted the euro as the national currency on 1 January 2008. Oil has recently been discovered in the seabed between Cyprus, Lebanon, Israel and Egypt and talks are underway between Lebanon and Egypt to reach an agreement regarding the exploration of these resources. The seabed separating Lebanon and Cyprus is believed to hold significant quantities of crude oil and natural gas. However the government of Cyprus states that the Turkish Navy does not allow the exploration of oil in the region.
Cyprus, due to its small domestic market and the open nature of its economy, considers access to international markets as one of utmost importance. As a result, trade has always been one of the main sectors of the Cyprus economy, contributing considerably to the economic growth of the island. During 2004, exports accounted for about 8% of the Country’s GDP.
Furthermore, in May 2004, Cyprus made a decisive step for its further economic and political development. Entering the EU represents a formal turning point which has already affected Cyprus' international trade, fostering exports as a driving force in the economy.
During 2004, Cyprus recorded a rise in both exports and imports. Domestic exports increased by 10% reaching in 2004 £235 m., in comparison with £215 m., in 2003. Re-exports increased by 19% and reached £313 m. from £262 m. in 2003. Total imports increased by 16% reaching £2.679 m. in 2004 from £2.314 m. in 2003.
Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after the Italian islands of Sicily and Sardinia (both in terms of area and population). It is also the world's 81st largest by area and world's 49th largest by population. It measures 240 kilometers (149 mi) long from end to end and 100 kilometers (62 mi) wide at its widest point, with Turkey 75 kilometers (47 mi) to the north. It lies between latitudes 34° and 36° N, and longitudes 32° and 35° E.
According to the first population census after the declaration of independence, carried out in December 1960 and covering the entire island, Cyprus had a total population of 573,566; of whom 442,138 (77.1%) were Greek Cypriots, 104,320 (18.2%) Turkish Cypriots, and 27,108 (4.7%) others.
Due to the inter-communal ethnic tensions between 1963 and 1974, an island-wide census was regarded as impossible. Nevertheless, the Greek Cypriots conducted one in 1973, without the Turkish Cypriot populace. According to this census, the Greek Cypriot population was 482,000. One year later, in 1974, the Cypriot government's Department of Statistics and Research estimated the total population of Cyprus at 641,000; of whom 506,000 (78.9%) were Greek Cypriots, and 118,000 (18.4%) Turkish Cypriots. After the partition of the island in 1974, Greek Cypriots conducted four more censuses: in 1976, 1982, 1992 and 2001; these excluded the Turkish Cypriot population which was resident in the northern part of the island. According to the Republic of Cyprus's latest estimate, in 2005, the number of Cypriot citizens currently living in the Republic of Cyprus is around 656,200. In addition to this the Republic of Cyprus is home to 110,200 foreign permanent residents and an estimated 10,000–30,000 undocumented illegal immigrants currently living in the south of the island.
According to the 2006 census carried out by Northern Cyprus, there were 256,644 (de jure) people living in Northern Cyprus. 178,031 were citizens of Northern Cyprus, of whom 147,405 were born in Cyprus (112,534 from the north; 32,538 from the south; 371 did not indicate what part of Cyprus they were from); 27,333 born in Turkey; 2,482 born in the UK and 913 born in Bulgaria. Of the 147,405 citizens born in Cyprus, 120,031 say both parents were born in Cyprus; 16,824 say both parents born in Turkey; 10,361 have one parent born in Turkey and one parent born in Cyprus.
In 2010, the International Crisis Group estimated that the total population of Cyprus was 1.1 million, of which there was an estimated 300,000 residents in the north, perhaps half of whom were either born in Turkey or are children of such settlers. However, some academic sources claim that the population in the north has reached 500,000,] 50% of which are thought to be Turkish settlers or Cypriot-born children of such settlers.
Cyprus has a subtropical climate – Mediterranean and Semi-arid type (in the north-eastern part of island) – according to Köppen climate classification signes Csa and Bsh, with very mild winters (on the coast) and warm to hot summers. Snow is possible only in the Troodos Mountains in the central part of island. Rain occurs mainly in winter, with summer being generally dry.
Cyprus has the warmest climate (and warmest winters) in the Mediterranean part of the European Union. The average annual temperature on the coast is around 24 °C (75 °F) during the day and 14 °C (57 °F) at night. Generally – summer's/holiday season lasts about 8 months, begins in April with average temperatures of 21–23 °C (70–73 °F) during the day and 11–13 °C (52–55 °F) at night, ends in November with average temperatures of 22–23 °C (72–73 °F) during the day and 12–14 °C (54–57 °F) at night, although also in remaining 4 months temperatures sometimes exceeds 20 °C (68 °F). Among all cities in the Mediterranean part of the European Union, Limassol has the warmest winters, in the period January–February average temperature is 17–18 °C (63–64 °F) during the day and 8–9 °C (46–48 °F) at night, in other coastal locations in Cyprus is generally 16–17 °C (61–63 °F) during the day and 7–9 °C (45–48 °F) at night. In March and December in Limassol average temperatures is 19–20 °C (66–68 °F) during the day and 10–11 °C (50–52 °F) at night, in other coastal locations in Cyprus is generally 17–19 °C (63–66 °F) during the day and 8–11 °C (46–52 °F) at night. Middle of summer is hot – in July and August on the coast the average temperature is usually around 33 °C (91 °F) during the day and around 23 °C (73 °F) at night (inside the island, in the highlands average temperature exceeds 35 °C (95 °F)) while in the June and September on the coast the average temperature is usually around 30 °C (86 °F) during the day and around 20 °C (68 °F) at night. Large fluctuations in temperature are rare. Temperatures inside the island are more stringent, with colder winters and more hot summers compared with the coast of the island.
Average annual temperature of sea is 21–22 °C (70–72 °F), from 17 °C (63 °F) in February to 27–28 °C (81–82 °F) in August (depending on the location). In total 7 months – from May to November – the average sea temperature exceeds 20 °C (68 °F).
Sunshine hours on the coast is around 3,400 per year, from average 5–6 hours of sunshine / day in December to average 12–13 hours in July This is about double that of cities in the northern half of Europe, for comparison: London – 1,461, however in winter up to some times more sunshine, for comparison: London has 37 hours while coastal locations in Cyprus has around 180 hours of sunshine in December (that is, as much as in May in London).
HOUSING / REAL ESTATE
Village homes in Cyprus are generally constructed of stone, sundried mud bricks, and other locally available materials; in the more prosperous rural centers, there are houses of burnt brick or concrete. A growing population has resulted in a shortage of dwellings, especially in urban areas. This was further aggravated by the 1974 war, which resulted in the displacement of more than 200,000 people and the destruction of 36% of the housing stock. The government provided temporary accommodations for about 25,000 displaced people and embarked on a long-term plan to replace the lost housing units. Between 1974 and 1990, 50,227 families were housed in a total of 13,589 low-cost dwellings.
In 1982, the Cyprus Land Development Corporation was formed to address the housing needs of low- and middle-income families, including the replacement of old housing stock. By 1991, the corporation had disposed of 573 building plots and helped construct 391 housing units. Between 1975 and 1991, the private sector constructed 83,197 housing units. The total number of housing units grew from about 75,000 in 1976 to about 125,000 at last estimate.
According to a 2001 census, there were about 292,934 conventional dwellings across the country. Nearly 43% were single, detached houses; nothers 20% were apartment blocks. About 35,829 conventional dwellings were built from 1996–2001. Most dwellings have from four to seven rooms. The average household contained three people. About 68% of dwellings were owner occupied. About 5.6% of dwellings are temporary housing sites for refugees.
Cyprus' Lifestyle mainly centers around Fun in the Sun. With an average 326 days of sunshine, it’s little wonder that the Cyprus lifestyle involves so many outdoor leisure activities, from high energy water sports to Alfresco dining.
The Akamas Peninsula is a very lovely area close to Paphos and excellent for swimming, cycling and walking. A real treat for nature lovers and there are many trails to explore such as the popular Aphrodite and Adonis Trails.
The Troodos Mountains stretch across the centre of Cyprus and are edged with 12th and 15th century Byzantine frescoed churches and monasteries, forests of pine and wine making villages. The area can be reached by car or bus and the nearby resort of Platres is where many take a relaxing break from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Visit the lovely beaches and enjoy swimming in the crystal clear turquoise blue waters of the island.
Relax and treat yourself to a day in one of the many luxury spas Cyprus is famous for.
Have fun at the excellent water parks on the island.
Golf in Cyprus
Cyprus is becoming internationally famous for its lovely golf courses which are all in idyllic settings. There are already three championship courses with more great golf courses in the pipeline.
The Education system in Cyprus consists of the following stages:
One-year pre-Primary education has recently become compulsory and it accepts children over the age of 3. This level of education aims to satisfy the children’s needs for the development of a wholesome personality in an experiential environment which enables them to recognize their capabilities and enhance their self-image.
Primary education is compulsory and has a duration of 6 years. The aim of Primary Education is to create and secure the necessary learning opportunities for children regardless of age, sex, family and social background and mental abilities..
Secondary General Education offers two three-year cycles of education - Gymnasio (lower secondary education) and Lykeio (upper secondary education) to pupils between the ages of 12 and 18. The curriculum includes core lessons, interdisciplinary subjects and a variety of extracurricular activities.
Instead of the Lykeio, pupils may choose to attend Secondary Technical and Vocational Education which provides them with knowledge and skills which will prepare them to enter the workforce or pursue further studies in their area of interest.
Services to drop-outs
Students aged 14-16 who drop out from a secondary school can enter the Apprenticeship Scheme. The system is administered by the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance and run by the Cyprus Productivity Centre and the Ministry of Education and Culture, which provides the theoretical part of studies within the Technical and Vocational Cycle described above. Dropouts can also attend evening classes run by the Ministry of Education and Culture , and obtain the school leaving certificates awarded at the end of the first compulsory and upper secondary levels.
At present, public and private universities operate in Cyprus
LIST OF SCHOOLS & COLLEGES Americanos College
College of Tourism and Hotel Management
Cyprus Academy of Art
Cyprus College of Art
Cyprus International Institute of Management(CIIM)
Cyprus Institute of Marketing
Dramatic Faculty "Vladimiros Kafkaridis"
Global International College
Hellenic College of Music
Higher Technical Institute, Nicosia
Management Center, Nicosia
Eastern Mediterranean University
College of Tourism and Hotel Management
Cyprus Art and Design Foundation College
Cyprus International Institute of Management (CIIM)
Cyprus Productivity Centre
Frederick Institute of Technology
Higher Technical Institute