Cyprus is not part of Greece, but an independent country located south of Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean.
Cyprus is a country in the eastern Mediterranean, located south of Turkey and southeast of Greece. While Cyprus has a shared cultural heritage with Greece, it is an independent country with its own government and economy. As Lonely Planet describes, Cyprus “is a divided island, with the northern third under Turkish Cypriot control and the southern two-thirds administered by Greek Cypriots.”
A famous quote about Cyprus comes from Lawrence Durrell, who lived on the island for several years and wrote extensively about it: “Cyprus seems to have something for everyone. Its ancient history rivals anything else in the Mediterranean, while its natural beauty is stunning.”
Here are some interesting facts about Cyprus:
- Cyprus is known for its production of halloumi cheese, which has Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status from the European Union.
- The island has a rich archaeological history, with evidence of human habitation dating back to prehistoric times.
- Cyprus was a British colony from 1878 until its independence in 1960.
- The Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, is said to have risen from the sea foam off the coast of Cyprus.
- The capital city of Cyprus is Nicosia, which is the last divided capital city in the world due to the ongoing dispute between the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.
|Official Languages||Greek, Turkish|
|Time Zone||Eastern European Time (EET)|
|Area||9,251 square kilometers|
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Cyprus is located about 80 km (50 mi) south of the coast of Turkey, west of Syria and Lebanon, northwest of Israel, north of the Sinai Peninsula (Egypt) and east of the island of Crete (Greece.) The third largest island in the Mediterranean has a land area of 9,251 km².
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Cyprus became divided after tensions rose between the Greek and Turkish populations following the country’s independence from Britain, leading to a Greek-backed coup in 1974. Turkey intervened unilaterally to protect the Turkish minority, which embarrassed the military government in Greece and led to international condemnation when Turkey continued to push further across the island. The Turkish Cypriot administration was created, and many people were forced out of their homes and cleared from the north. In 1983, the Turkish Cypriot government declared independence, which was only supported by Turkey, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Despite international condemnation, the island remains divided today.