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Country information - Cyprus
Country name - conventional long form : Republic of Cyprus
Country name - conventional short form : Cyprus
Country name - local long form : Kypriaki Dimokratia/Kibris Cumhuriyeti
Country name - local short form : Kypros/Kibris
Capital - name : Nicosia (Lefkosia)
Capital - time difference : UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
National holiday : Independence Day, 1 October (1960); note - Turkish Cypriots celebrate 15 November (1983) as Independence Day
Population : 792,604 (July 2008 est.)
Nationality - noun : Cypriot(s)
Nationality - adjective : Cypriot
Languages : Greek, Turkish, English
Currency (code) : Cypriot pound (CYP); euro (EUR) after 1 January 2008
Currency code : CYP; TRL

Cyprus is located Middle East, island in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Turkey. The climate is temperate; Mediterranean with hot, dry summers and cool winters. The terrain is central plain with mountains to north and south; scattered but significant plains along southern coast.


This entry usually highlights major historic events and current issues and may include a statement about one or two key future trends.
Background : 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.

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