The third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus lies off the southern coast of
Turkey and the western coast of Syria. Its total area is 9,250 square kilometres.
730,084 (July, 1994 estimate)
Although Cyprus is a republic, a disaggregation of the two ethnic communities
inhabiting the island began after the outbreak of communal strife in 1963. This
separation was further solidified following the Turkish invasion of the island in July,
1974, which gave the Turkish Cypriots de facto control in the north. Greek Cypriots
control the only internationally recognized government. In November, 1983, Turkish
Cypriot President Rauf Denktash declared independence and the formation of a "Turkish
Republic of Northern Cyprus" (TRNC), which has been recognized only by Turkey.
Both sides publicly call for the resolution of intercommunal differences and creation of a
new federal system of government.
The legal system in Cyprus is based on common law, with civil law modifications.
Telecommunications are excellent in both the area controlled by the Cypriot
Government (Greek area) and in the Turkish-Cypriot administered area.
Cyprus has both open-wire and microwave radio relay. Cyprus is serviced
internationally by tropospheric scatter, three submarine cables, one Atlantic
Ocean INTELSAT earth station, one Indian Ocean INTELSAT earth station
and EUTELSAT earth stations.
The Greek Cypriot economy is small, diversified and prosperous. Industry contributes
16% to GDP and employs 29% of the labor force, while the service sector contributes
60% to GDP and employs 57% of the labor force. An average 6.8% rise in real GDP
between 1986 and 1990 was temporarily checked in 1991 because of the adverse effects
of the Gulf War on tourism. Economic growth surged again in 1992, bolstered by strong
foreign and domestic demand. As the economy gained momentum, however, it began to
overheat as inflation reached 6.5%. The economy recorded a sharp drop in growth in
1993, due to the recession in Western Europe, Cyprus' main trading partner. The
Turkish Cypriot economy has less than one-third the per capita GDP of its Greek
Cypriot counterpart. Because it is recognized only by Turkey, it has had much difficulty
arranging foreign financing, and foreign firms have hesitated to invest there. The
economy remains heavily dependent on agriculture, which employs more than 25% of
the workforce. Moreover, because the Turkish lira is legal tender, the Turkish Cypriot
economy has suffered the same high inflation as mainland Turkey. To compensate for
the economy's weakness, Turkey provides direct and indirect aid to nearly every sector.
Financial support has reached about one-third of Turkish Cypriot GDP.
The main industries in Cyprus are food, beverages, textiles, chemicals, metal products,
tourism and wood products.
1 Cypriot pound (£C) = 100 cents
1 Turkish lira (TL) = 100 kurus
Cypriot pounds per $US1 - 0.5148 (December, 1993)
Turkish liras (TL) per US$1 - 15,196.1 (January, 1994)
Cyprus On Cyberspace
Cyprus Tourist Page
North Cyprus Home Page
Republic Of Cyprus Home Page
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