CYPRUS

Information about travelling to Cyprus

Cyprus is located in Middle East, island in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Turkey

Facts about Cyprus
Population792,604 (July 2008 est.)
CapitalNicosia (Lefkosia)
Time zoneUTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time) daylight saving time: +1hr, begin
Location Middle East, island in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Turkey

General info about Cyprus
A former British colony, Cyprus became independent in 1960 following years of resistance to British rule. Tensions between the Greek Cypriot majority and Turkish Cypriot minority came to a head in December 1963, when violence broke out in the capital of Nicosia. Despite the deployment of UN peacekeepers in 1964, sporadic intercommunal violence continued forcing most Turkish Cypriots into enclaves throughout the island. In 1974, a Greek Government-sponsored attempt to seize control of Cyprus was met by military intervention from Turkey, which soon controlled more than a third of the island. In 1983, the Turkish-held area declared itself the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" (TRNC), but it is recognized only by Turkey. The latest two-year round of UN-brokered talks - between the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities to reach an agreement to reunite the divided island - ended when the Greek Cypriots rejected the UN settlement plan in an April 2004 referendum. The entire island entered the EU on 1 May 2004, although the EU acquis - the body of common rights and obligations - applies only to the areas under direct government control, and is suspended in the areas administered by Turkish Cypriots. However, individual Turkish Cypriots able to document their eligibility for Republic of Cyprus citizenship legally enjoy the same rights accorded to other citizens of European Union states. The election of a new Cypriot president in 2008 served as the impetus for the UN to encourage both the Turkish and Cypriot Governments to reopen unification negotiations.
Languages spoken
Greek, Turkish, English
What about drugs?
minor transit point for heroin and hashish via air routes and container traffic to Europe, especially from Lebanon and Turkey; some cocaine transits as well; despite a strengthening of anti-money-laundering legislation, remains vulnerable to money laundering; reporting of suspicious transactions in offshore sector remains weak
Ethnic division
Greek 77%, Turkish 18%, other 5% (2001)
HIV/AIDS prevalence rate
0.1% (2003 est.)
Climate
temperate; Mediterranean with hot, dry summers and cool winters
Resources
copper, pyrites, asbestos, gypsum, timber, salt, marble, clay earth pigment
Economy
The area of the Republic of Cyprus under government control has a market economy dominated by the service sector, which accounts for 78% of GDP. Tourism, financial services, and real estate are the most important sectors. Erratic growth rates over the past decade reflect the economy's reliance on tourism, which often fluctuates with political instability in the region and economic conditions in Western Europe. Nevertheless, the economy in the area under government control grew by an average of 3.6% per year during the period of 2000-06, well above the EU average. Cyprus joined the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM2) in May 2005 and adopted the euro as its national currency on 1 January 2008. An aggressive austerity program in the preceding years, aimed at paving the way for the euro, helped turn a soaring fiscal deficit (6.3% in 2003) into a surplus of 1.5% in 2007. In 2008, the Cypriot economy grew by 3.6%. This prosperity will come under pressure in 2009, as construction and tourism slow in the face of reduced foreign demand triggered by the ongoing global financial crisis. Growth is expected to slow to 2%, which would be its lowest level since 2003. As in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots, water shortages are a perennial problem; a few desalination plants are now on line. After 10 years of drought, the country received substantial rainfall from 2001-04 alleviating immediate concerns. Since then, rainfall has been well below average, making water rationing a necessity.
Environment
water resource problems (no natural reservoir catchments, seasonal disparity in rainfall, sea water intrusion to island's largest aquifer, increased salination in the north); water pollution from sewage and industrial wastes; coastal degradation; loss of wildlife habitats from urbanization

Cities in Cyprus

aradippou     chlorakas     dipkarpaz     dromolaxia     empa     gazimagusa     geri     girne     guzelyurt     iskele     lapithos     larnaca     lefka     lemesos     livadia     nicosia     pafos     pano polemidia     paralimni     polis     ypsonas     ziyamet    


Airports in Cyprus
Akrotiri RAFAKT
EpiskopiEPK
GecitkaleGEC
LarnacaLCA
NicosiaNIC
InternationalPFO


Beer in Cyprus (0.33l)
Ayia Napa~ 2 EUR
Famagusta~ 0.5 EUR
Larnaca~ 1.3 EUR
Larnaca~ 1.3 EUR
Limassol~ 3 EUR
Nicosia~ 1 EUR
Paphos~ 1.4 EUR
PAPHOS~ 1.4 EUR
Pissouri~ 1.9 EUR

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