Official name

Republic of Cyprus




35°00’ N, 33°00’ E


Cyprus is an island located in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea (Middle East); south of Turkey.


Total area: 9 250 sq km
Land area: 9 240 sq km
Water area: 10 sq km

Land boundaries

150 km


648 km

Administrative division

Cyprus is divided into 6 districts.

Political system/Form of government

Cyprus is a republic. The President is the head of state and the government. The President is elected every five years. The House of the Representatives consists of 80 members, 56 of which are Greek and 24 Turkish. The House of the Representatives is elected every five years.


792 604

Ethnic groups/Nationalities

Greek 77%, Turkish 18%, other 5%


Greek Orthodox 78%, Muslim 18%, other 4%



The first settlements on Cyprus appeared probably in 9000 BC. In the Neolithic Age settlements were present on the north and south coasts. The first cities, including Enkomi, were founded in the Bronze Age. In the 12th century BC the Greek started to settle on the island. They introduced their language, culture and religion on Cyprus, as well as founded Greek cities, including Paphos and Kition.

Ancient history

The period of prosperity began in the 8th century BC. Cyprus was divided into ten city-kingdoms: Amathous, Chytroi, Idalion, Kition, Kourion, Ledrai, Paphos, Salamis, Soli and Tamassos. However, from 750 BC the island was invaded by Assyria, Egypt and Persia with several years of independence. From 333 BC Cyprus was a part of the empire of Alexander the Great. After his death the island belonged to the Greek. It changed in 58 BC when Cyprus became part of the Roman Empire. During centuries under foreign rules there were several risings and earthquakes that brought great losses. The island was converted to Christianity by the apostle Paul.

Middle Ages

In 330 AD the Roman Empire was divided into two parts. Cyprus became a part of Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium). In 688 the island was invaded by the Arabs. However, the Byzantine emperor and the Arab ruler drew up an agreement. On the basis of this agreement Cyprus was ruled both by the Arabs and the Byzantines for the next three centuries. In the 12th century the Comnenos family gained control over Cyprus. Later the country was invaded by England, sold to the Knights Templar and then occupied by the Franks who founded the Kingdom of Cyprus. Nicosia became the capital.


In the late 15th century the island was granted to Venice. In 1570 the island was invaded by the Ottomans and remained the part of their empire.

Modern Times

In 1878 Cyprus became a British colony as the result of the Cyprus Convention and in 1914 the island was annexed by the United Kingdom. After the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire in 1925 Cyprus became a Crown Colony. However, the Greek population on the island tried to achieve union with Greece. In 1955 an armed struggle against colonial rule broke out. In 1958 Greek Cypriots demanded independence rather than union with Greece and Turkish Cypriots wanted the island to be divided between the Greek and the Turkish. Cyprus became an independent republic on 16 August 1960. On 20 July 1975 Turkey invaded Cyprus demanding its rights to the island. As the result the Turkish were permitted to stay in the northern part of the island. Turkish Cypriots became a separate state (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus) on 15 November 1983. On 1 May 2004 Cyprus entered the European Union.