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Cyprus is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean and the third largest and third most populous island after the Italian islands of Sicily and Sardinia in the Mediterranean, located south of Turkey, west of Syria and Lebanon, northwest of Israel, north of Egypt, and southeast of Greece.
Population: 1,192,767 (as of 2018)
Total area: 9,251 km²
Government type: Republic of Cyprus - Presidential democracy
Capital city: Nicosia
Demonym relating to Cyprus or its people or culture: Cypriot
National currency: Euro
Member of the EU since 2004
Island’s highest point: Mount Olympus (1,952 m)
The total area of the entire island is approximately 9,252 km² (North Cyprus covers an area of around 3,515 km²). About 2% of the territory of Cyprus is controlled by the United Kingdom, as its military bases are located west of Limassol in Akrotiri, east of Larnaca in Dikelia, as well on the top of Mount Olympus. The island measures 240 km long from end to end and 100 km wide at its widest point.
Because of the island’s location at the maritime crossroads of the eastern Mediterranean basin and its proximity to the Middle East, Cyprus has always been an island of strategic importance, and throughout its 10,000-year known history it has been conquered and colonised by various people that greatly influenced the development of the country.
The country was factually divided into two parts after the Turkish invasion in 1974: the South and the North. The Republic of Cyprus occupies two thirds to the south of the island and the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus makes up around one third of the island of Cyprus. Depending on which part of the country a person lives, the residents are either known as Greek Cypriots or Turkish Cypriots. The capital city of Cyprus—Nicosia—is the only capital in the world divided by the UN buffer zone between two nations.
Cyprus has two official languages, Greek and Turkish. Although in the territory of the Republic of Cyprus, Greek is the main spoken language and 80% of Cypriots are proficient in English as a second language. English was the sole official language during British colonial rule until 1960, and continued to be used in legislation until 1996. Russian is the third language used on many signs of shops and restaurants, and in the service sector. About 12% of population speak French and 5% speak German.
Cyprus is considered one of the most religious countries of the European Union. The inhabitants of the island share a free choice of religion and are tolerant to representatives of any faith. The majority of the population is Christian Orthodox, and the minorities are Armenians, Roman Catholics, Muslims, some belong to the Church of England. About 1.3% of the population is not stating any religion.
Advantages of Cyprus:
- Over 340 days of sunshine a year
- Clean and safe beaches
- Beautiful and diverse landscape
- High standard European education
- Member of the EU since 2004 and the Eurozone since 2008
- Permanent residency and EU citizenship for property buyers
- High quality of life and low crime rates
- 90% English speaking population
- Low taxes
- Visa free entry to 158 countries for Cypriot passport holders.