About Cyprus

Cyprus (Greek: Κύπρος, Kýpros; Turkish: Kıbrıs), officially the Republic of Cyprus (Greek: Κυπριακή Δημοκρατία, Kypriakí Dimokratía) is a Eurasian island country in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea, south of Turkey (Anatolia).

Cyprus is the third-largest island in the Mediterranean and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Mediterranean, attracting over 2.4 million tourists per year. A former British colony, it gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1960 and became a Commonwealth republic in 1961. The Republic of Cyprus is a developed country and has been a member of the European Union since 1 May 2004.

In 1974, following a period of violence between Greek and Turkish Cypriots and an attempted Greek Cypriot coup sponsored by the Greek military junta of that period, Turkey invaded and occupied one-third of the island. This led to the displacement of thousands of Cypriots and the establishment of a separate Turkish Cypriot political entity in the north. This event and its resulting political situation is a matter of ongoing dispute.

The Republic of Cyprus, the internationally recognised state, has de jure sovereignty over the island of Cyprus and surrounding waters; however, the island is de facto partitioned into four main parts:

  • the area under the effective control of the Republic of Cyprus in the south of the island;
  • the area in the north, styling itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus;
  • the United Nations-controlled Green Line, separating the two; and
  • two Sovereign Base Areas (Akrotiri and Dhekelia), over which the United Kingdom retained jurisdiction after Cypriot independence.

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