National Anthem: “Hymn to Liberty”
Official Country Name: Republic of Cyprus
Government Type: Unitary presidential representative Republic
- President Nicos Anastasiades of Cyprus is both head of state and head of government
- Legislative power is vested in both the government and the parliament.
Area: Total: 9,251 km2 (3,572 sq.mi) (162nd)
Water (%) : 9
Population: Estimation of 2018: 1,189,265
Ethnic Groups: Greek Cypriots 78% , Turkish Cypriots 17% and others 5% (Armenians, Maronites and Russians)
Climate: Cyprus has a subtropical climate – Mediterranean 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 one of the warmest climates 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, summers last about eight months, beginning in April with average temperatures of 21–23°C (70–73°F) during the day and 11–13°C (52–55°F) at night, and ending 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 in the remaining four months temperatures sometimes exceed 20°C (68°F).
Capital: Nicosia ( the largest city of Cyprus)
Main Cities: Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca, Pafos, Famagusta and Kyrenia
Official and National Language: Greek
Other Languages: Turkish (North part of Cyprus), Armenian and Cypriot Maronite Arabic are recognised as minority languages.
Main Religion: Eastern Orthodox Church 78%
Other Religions: Islam 20% and 2% all others
Education Literacy Rate:
- 15-24 years (2016): 99.9 %.
- 15 years and older (2016): 98.7 % , 99.5% (Male) , 98.7% (Female)
- 65 years and older (2015): 7 %
In 2018, child mortality rate for Cyprus was 2.4 deaths per 1,000 live births. Between 1999 and 2018, child mortality rate of Cyprus was declining at a moderating rate to shrink from 7 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1999 to 2.4 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2018.
Currency: Euro (€) (EUR
International Telephone Area Code: +357
HDI: 0,873 very high (31st)
Driving Side: Left
Maybe small in size, but rich in history and tradition, Cyprus has met, throughout changing eras, tremendous changes, wars, rebellions and invasions, mostly due to its strategic position as it is situated in the crossroad of three continents (Europe, Asia and Africa). Cyprus has been coveted, conquered and colonized numerous times during it’s 10.000 year history.
The earliest evidence of human settlement in the island of Cyprus goes back to 9.700 B.C. with the hunters gatherers. In the Pre-pottery Era or Pre-Neolithic Era (8.5000 – 7.000 BC) the first signs of permanent settlements and agriculture habits are noticed in the island.
During Neolithic Era (8.200 – 3.800 BC), the most known settlement which shades light to the way of living of the 6th Millennium BC is found in Choirokitia. Round houses are sorted in an enclosed village, protected by defensive walls, and are built high enough in order to achieve protection from foreign enemies or hostile invasions.
During Chalcolithic Age (3,800 – 2,400 BC) brings small changes in the way of life of the people. Copper is mined in small quanities and locals made the famous cruciform picrolite figurines.
In Bronze Age (2,440 – 1,100 BC) copper is widely being used. During the Era of Bronze, the fist cities are being constructed. Simultaneously, copper is massively exploited and gradually replaces other materials used for various causes. This massive trade of copper and bronze items brings wealth in the island. Cyprus goes through one of its most glorious periods. Jewellery and pottery is vastly produced, Cypriot syllabic is utilized for written communication and habitants enjoy prosperity.
Achaean Greeks inhabit Cyprus mostly after the Trojan war, even though they have been colonizing since 1,200 BC. Achaeans are spreading Greek language, religion and customs. The hellenisation of the island was then in progress.
Hellenistic Age (310 – 30 BC) Alexander the Great makes Cyprus a part of his vast empire in 330 BC.
The Romans during the Roman Empire (30BC – 330 AD) took control of Cyprus and for the next 600 years Cyprus will remain relatively peaceful place. Christianity makes its appearance by Apostle Barnabas and Paul and Cyprus became the first country to be governed by a Christian.
By (330AD – 1191AD) Cyprus comes under the Hellenic Empire of Byzantium, with its capital base in Constantinople, after 330 AD.
From (1192AD – 1489AD) Cyprus passes to the hands of Frank Guy de Lusignan. Cyprus enjoys another round of prosperity.
In (1489AD – 1571) Cyprus is ruled by Venetians (Venetian Period).
For the next 300 years (1571AD – 1878AD) Cyprus is under the Ottomans.
In (1878 – 1960) Britain signs an agreement with Turkey and “rents” Cyprus. The British Colony has begun and basically the administration of the island carried out by the British.
The Republic of Cyprus was proclaimed on 16 August 1960. The island became a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth, the Council of Europe and the Non-Aligned Movement. In 1974, Greek nationalists performed a military coup with the support of military junta in Greece. Unable to secure multilateral support against the coup, Turkey invaded the northern portion of the island. Turkish forces remained after a cease-fire, resulting in the partition of the island. The intercommunal violence, the coup, and the subsequent invasion led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Cypriots.
Cyprus become an official member of the European Union in 2004 and adopts Euro in 2008.
Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after the Italian islands of Sicily and Sardinia. It measures 240 kilometres long from end to end and 100 kilometres wide at its widest point. It lies between latitudes 34° and 36° N, and longitudes 32° and 35° E.
Politics and Government:
Cyprus is a presidential republic. The head of state and of the government is elected by a process of universal suffrage for a five-year term. Executive power is exercised by the government with legislative power vested in the House of Representatives whilst the Judiciary is independent of both the executive and the legislature.
In the early 21st century the Cypriot economy has diversified and become prosperous. However, in 2012 it became affected by the Eurozone financial and banking crisis. Cyprus has an open, free-market based economy with some light manufacturing. In the past 30 years, the economy has shifted from agriculture to light manufacturing and services. The services sector, including tourism, contributes almost 80% to GDP and employs more than 70% of the labor force. Industry and construction account for approximately one-fifth of GDP and labor, while agriculture is responsible for 2.1% of GDP and 8.5% of the labor force.
Cyprus has a culture that is a blend of many cultures. The Island has a long literary history dating back to at least the 7th century when Cypria, an epic poem was composed by Stasinus. Many historical works were also written in Cyprus during the medieval period like the chronicles of Leontios Makhairas. A large part of Shakespeare’s play Othello is staged in Venetian Cyprus. The island continues to produce many notable writers and poets to date. The local dialect is used for producing works involving folk songs and poetry.
- Cyprus Independence Day (October 1st)
- Greek Independence Day (March 25th)
- Cyprus National Day (April 1st)
- Ochi Day (October 28th)
- Green Monday – The day after carnival ends is Green Monday, which celebrates the beginning of the 50-day Orthodox Lent.
- Kataklysmos – The annual festival Kataklysmos (Festival of the Flood) takes place 50 days after Orthodox Easter. Celebrated only in Cyprus and a few Greek coastal villages, this is a truly unique festival. Celebrating the biblical story of Noah and the Flood, the festival involves lots of water, with the biggest events occurring in Larnaca.
- Limassol Wine Festival – At the end of August, the great wine festival takes place in the Municipal Garden of Limassol and lasts for 12 days. Started in 1961 to promote the country’s wines, it’s now Cyprus’s largest festival.
- Carnival – This is celebrated across Cyprus with costume parties, parades and processions. The biggest celebrations take place in Limassol, with a week of masqued balls, concerts and parades of beautifully decorated floats.
- Kypria Festival – The Annual International Festival of Arts “Kypria” is one of the most significant cultural events in Cyprus. It was established in 1991 by the Ministry of Education and Culture. Since then Kypria brings to Cyprus musical collectives, theatrical and ballet troupes, artists, film directors and actors from Cyprus and many countries of the world
- Anthestiria Flower Festival – The Anthestiria Flower Festival is held each May to celebrate spring and the rebirth of man and nature.
Cyprus Cuisine Culture:
It is heavily influenced by Arab, Greek and Turkish cuisines, whilst also sharing similarities with the cuisines of Italy and France.
- Halloumi: Halloumi cheese is probably Cyprus’ most famous product. Distinguishable by its mild salty flavour and rubbery texture, the delicacy has become a favourite for chefs across the globe
- Koupepia (stuffed vine leaves)
- Sheftalia (spiced sausage parcels with herbs, minced pork or lamb that are grilled)
- Souvla (comprising large chunks of meat slow-cooked on a large skewer over a charcoal barbeque)
Education in Cyprus is overseen by the Ministry of Education and Culture.
The education system is divided into:
Age 3 – 6
Length: 3 years
Age: 6 – 12
Length: 6 years
Full-time education is compulsory for all children aged between 5 and 15.