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Cyprus (in Greek Kypros Κυπρος; and in Turkish Kıbrıs) is an island in the Mediterranean Sea, 113 kilometres (70 miles) south of Turkey.

Κυπριακή Δημοκρατία
Kıbrıs Cumhuriyeti
Republic of Cyprus
(In Detail) (Full size)
National motto: None

Official languages Greek and Turkish
Capital Nicosia
President Tassos Papadopoulos
 - Total
 - % water
Ranked 161st
5895 kmē
 - Total (2002)
Ranked 155th
 - Date
From the UK
16 August 1960 (Not recognized by Turkey)
Currency Cyprus Pound
Time zone UTC +2
National anthem Imnos pros tin Eleftherian
Internet TLD.CY
Calling Code357

The English-language "Cyprus" is a Latinized version of the name, which derives from the ancient Greek word for copper, large deposits of which are found on Cyprus.
Cyprus is geographically in Southwest Asia, but Cypriots assert that they are a part of Europe mainly due to the fact that the overwhelming majority of its inhabitants are of European extraction and as such are both culturally and politically closer to Europe than Asia.

Cyprus gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1960, with the UK, Greece and Turkey retaining limited rights to intervene in internal affairs.

The Republic of Cyprus is the internationally recognized government of the island, but controls only the southern two-thirds of that territory. Turkey does not accept its rule over the whole island and calls it Greek Authority of Southern Cyprus. The northern third was occupied by Turkey in a 1974 invasion following a coup sponsored by the military regime of Greece. The area occupied by the Turkish Army proclaimed its independence in 1975, and the so called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was established in 1983, recognized as is only by Turkey and as "Turkish Cypriot State" by the members of Organization of the Islamic Conference. In the time since the invasion, the northern third has become almost exclusively Turkish, and the southern two-thirds almost exclusively Greek, so the territories are now sometimes referred to as the "Greek part" and the "Turkish part" of Cyprus. It should be noted that the so called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is a self-proclaimed state, recognized only by Turkey. All other governments and the United Nations recognise the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus over the whole island of Cyprus.

The other power with territory on Cyprus is the United Kingdom. Under the independence agreement, the UK retained title to two small areas on the southern coast of the island, around Dhekelia and Akrotiri, known collectively as the UK sovereign base areas. They are used to host military bases.

Negotiations have been ongoing for years to reunify the island, but have not as yet seen substantial success. A United Nations plan, announced on 31 March 2004 following talks in Switzerland, was put to both sides in separate referenda on 24 April 2004. It was favoured by the Turkish side by a majority of 2 to 1, but was rejected by the Greek side by a 3 to 1 margin. As a result, while officially the whole of Cyprus entered the European Union on 1 May 2004, the de facto EU border runs along the Green Line, dividing the country between the Greek and Turkish parts. EU law is currently not applied in the Turkish controlled north. See: Annan Plan, 2004 referendum.

EU member states and the United Nations were disappointed by the Greek Cypriot rejection of the agreement. The European Union has promised aid and to work towards lifting the trade sanctions imposed by the European Court, although they have ruled out diplomatic recognition of Northern Cyprus.

See also

External links

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