Cyprus: Divided island republic in the European Union

The third largest island in the Mediterranean, Cyprus has been an independent republic since 1960. Since a Greek coup and Turkish military intervention in 1974, the island has been divided between north and south and along ethnic lines.

The internationally recognized and mostly Greek Republic of Cyprus is located in the southern part of the island, while the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC), which is only recognized by Turkey, occupies the north of the island.

The whole of the island has been a member of the European Union since 2004, but EU regulations will not apply in the Turkish-Cypriot north until the conflict between the two sides has been resolved.

The island is some 9,250 square kilometres in size, with 2 per cent of the land area reserved for two British military bases.

A total of 900,000 people live in the south, the majority of them Greek Cypriots. The north, which is occupied by Turkish troops, takes up 36 per cent of the land area and is home to 300,000 people.

It is estimated that only 135,000 of the occupants of the northern republic are actual Turkish Cypriots, with the remainder made up of settlers from the Turkish mainland and 35,000 soldiers.

Turkish Cypriots are considered EU citizens. Many have obtained Republic of Cyprus passports and have visa-free access to the EU.

Cypriot euro coins feature the name Cyprus in both Greek and Turkish.

Last update: Fri, 24/06/2016 - 08:49

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