Cyprus, at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa, is situated in the north-eastern corner of the Mediterranean Sea, 75km south of Turkey, 90km west of Syria and 380km east of the Greek island of Rhodes.
Two mountain ranges, the Troodos Range and the Keryneia Range, run from east to west across the island separated by the central Messaoria plain. The densely forested Troodos Range in the south-west is a dome-shaped highland dominated by the islandΆs highest peak, Mount Olympus, at 1..
According to data from the Statistical Service of the Ministry of Finance, the total population of Cyprus was 802.500 at the end of 2002 of whom 80, 1% (642.600) is considered to be members of the Christian Greek Cypriot community and speak Greek.
The capital of Cyprus is Lefkosia (Nicosia) with a population of 208.900. It is situated roughly in the middle of the island and is the seat of the government as well as being the main business center.
Cyprus is the warmest island in the Mediterranean. The mean daily temperature in July and August ranges between 29°C on the central plain to 22°C on the Troodos mountains, while the average maximum temperature for these months ranges between 36°C and 27°C respectively. Wi.
The coast of Cyprus is indented and rocky in the north, with long sandy beaches and numerous coves in the south. The northern coastal plain is covered with olive and carob trees and backed by the steep limestone Pentadaktylos mountain range.
The history of Cyprus is one of the oldest recorded in the world. From the earliest times Cyprus´ historical significance far outweighed its small size. Its strategic position at the crossroads of three continents, as well as its considerable supplies of copper and timber combined to make it a highly desirable territorial acquisition..
Neolithic Period (8200-3900 BC) - Remains of the oldest known settlements in Cyprus date from this period. They can best be seen at Choirokoitia, just off the Nicosia to Limassol highway. At first, only stone vessels were used.
According to the Zurich-London agreements, Cyprus became an independent republic on 16 August 1960. As an independent country it became a member of the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the Commonwealth and the Non-Aligned Movement.
On 15 July 1974 the ruling military junta of Greece staged a coup to overthrow the democratically elected Government of Cyprus. On 20 July Turkey, using the coup as a pretext, invaded Cyprus, purportedly to restore constitutional order.
The Republic of Cyprus became an independent sovereign state on 16 August 1960. Soon after independence the Republic became a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth, the Non-Aligned Movement and the Council of Europe.
Non Proliferation and Disarmament Issues - The Republic of Cyprus fully recognizes that the uncontrolled spread of weapons, whether conventional or weapons of mass destruction, poses serious threat to international peace and security.
Cyprus is an independent, sovereign Republic with a presidential system of government. Under the 1960 Constitution, executive power is vested in the President of the Republic, elected by universal suffrage to a five-year term of office.
The Legislative Power of the Republic is exercised by the House of Representatives in all matters. Term of Office - The term of office of the House of Representatives is five years. A general election must be held on the second Sunday of the month immediately preceding the month in which the term of office of the outgoing House expires.
Independence of the Judiciary Functioning of Courts - Under the Constitution of Cyprus the judiciary is established as a separate power, independent from the other two powers of the State and autonomous in its sphere of competence, authority and jurisdiction.
Cyprus is represented in the European Union by one Commissioner and six members in the European Parliament. It has four votes in the EU’s policy-making Council of Ministers. Financial Co-operation - Since 1977 Cyprus and the then EEC signed four protocols on financial and technical co-operation providing Cyprus with aid worth around 210 million EUR in loans, grants and contributions to risk capital formation. .
As far as the Cyprus problem is concerned, the EU has taken a clear and firm position in support of a solution that respects the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and unity of the country, in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions and the high-level agreements.
Attorney-General of the Republic - The Attorney-General of the Republic is appointed by the President of the Republic from among lawyers of high professional and moral standard, and holds office until the age of sixty-eight.
According to the Constitution of 1960 the government of Cyprus was constituted in the following manner: Executive power: Article 1 provides that the Republic will have a President who shall be a Greek Cypriot and a Vice-President who shall be a Turkish Cypriot, elected by the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities respectively.
Progressive Party of Working People - AKEL (Anorthotiko Komma Ergazomenou Laou) General Secretary: Mr. Demetris Christofias, President of the House of Representatives. Left wing party, founded in 1941, based on Marxist-Leninist principles, taking into account current international political and economic developments.
Cyprus is divided into six administrative districts. These are: Nicosia, Limassol, Pafos, Larnaka (in the government-controlled areas) and Famagusta and Keryneia (in the occupied areas). Each district is headed by a District Officer who is essentially the local representative or extended arm of the government.
There are two types of local authorities, Municipalities and Communities, which are governed by separate laws. In principle, Municipalities constitute the form of local government in urban and tourist centers while communities constitute the local structure in rural areas.
Department of Town Planning and Housing - The Department of Town Planning and Housing is a government department under the Ministry of Interior. Its main scope of operation concerns urban and spatial planning.
Department of Lands and Surveys - The Department of Lands and Surveys of the Ministry of Interior is the oldest and one of the largest departments of the Republic of Cyprus. Its role and responsibility have been of immense importance, particularly in operating the Cyprus Land Registration systems.
The Army of the Republic of Cyprus was founded immediately after the Declaration of Independence. It consisted of 2000 men, 60% of whom were Greek Cypriots and 40% Turkish Cypriots. National service was not mandatory and could be imposed with the mutual agreement of the President (Greek Cypriot) and the Vice-President (Turkish Cypriot) of the Republic.
Cyprus Police has a history of over one century. Its structure is basically identical to that of an English Police Service and most of the existing rules and regulations are based on English Laws since Cyprus was a British colony, from 1878 until 1960, when it became an independent state.
The Cyprus Fire Service has stations across the island. The rapid growth of tourism and standard of living on the island forwarded the need for improvements and best performance from the Fire Service. Generally it fulfills an essential social and humanitarian mission in time of peace and war.
In Cyprus there is only one correctional institution, the Prisons in Nicosia, which operates under a new and comprehensive legislative and regulatory frame, put in place in 1996 and 1997. This legislation incorporates the European Prison Rules and is consonant to the standards contained in the Council of Europe relevant instruments.
The main mission of the Civil Defense Force is the performance of various humanitarian tasks intended to protect the civilian population and help it recover from the immediate effects of hostilities or disaster as well as to provide the conditions necessary for its survival.
Basic Characteristics - The Cypriot economy is a small, robust and fairly flexible economy, and has shown itself able to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances. Intertemporally, the Cypriot economy is characterized by a very satisfactory rate of growth (the average annual rate of growth of GDP amounted to 5,1%, in real terms, over the period 1961-2003), full employment conditions and internal and external macroeconomic stability.
The predominant and continuously expanding share of the services sectors (55% of GDP in 1980, 66% in 1990 and 75,7% in 2003) at the cost of both the primary sectors of economic activity, agriculture and mining and quarrying and the secondary sectors of manufacturing and construction, reflects the comparative advantages, which Cyprus enjoys in the sectors of services.
The main objectives of the Strategic Development Plan covering the period 1999-2003 were the completion of the harmonization process and the creation of the necessary structures for the effective implementation of the acquis communautaire as well as the preparation of the economy in view of the accession of Cyprus to the EU, the parallel attainment of the three-fold goal of growth, macroeconomic stability and social cohesion, the restructuring of all sectors of the economy, the modernization of business units, the utilization of Cyprus comparative advantages, the enhancement of its competitiveness and its adaptation to emerging conditions within the context of globalization, the upgrading of the role of Cyprus as a regional and international services centre of excellence, the adaptation to the information society and the reform of the public sector.
The Central Bank of Cyprus was established in 1963 as an autonomous institution in accordance with the Central Bank of Cyprus Law 1963. Since July 2002, the Central Bank has been governed by the Central Bank of Cyprus Law 2002.
The Co-operative Movement was introduced in Cyprus at the beginning of the twentieth century and is considered as one of the most powerful and well organized Co-operative movements on a worldwide basis.
The Early Years of the Tourist Industry – The Turkish Invasion and the Subsequent Reconstruction - The foundations of tourism in Cyprus were laid in the early sixties. Its progress had been smooth and successful until the summer of the 1974 Turkish invasion. .
Cyprus, due to its small domestic market and the open nature of its economy, considers access to international markets as of utmost importance. As a result, trade has always been one of the main sectors of the Cyprus economy, contributing considerably to the economic growth of the island.
Even though the blow inflicted on the manufacturing sector by the Turkish invasion of 1974 was severe, recovery during the 1975-83 period was remarkable. By 2002 the sector accounted for about 10% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 12% of employment.
Cyprus has developed a modern road network. According to 2002 statistics, the road network in the free areas of Cyprus consists of about 7.206 km of paved and 4.387 km of unpaved roads. The Public Works Department of the Ministry of Communications and Works has the responsibility for the maintenance, improvement and construction of motorways, the majority of rural and interurban road network and the main urban roads.
The road transport services are performed by the private sector as provided by Law. Routes and time tables of urban, transurban and rural buses and taxis are fixed by the Licensing Authority. The fares for all the passenger service vehicles are fixed by the Minister of Communications and Works.
As a result of the Turkish invasion in 1974 and the occupation of the northern part of Cyprus the air transport sector suffered a severe setback. Telecommunications installations and other vital equipment were destroyed or lost whilst Nicosia airport (the only airport in Cyprus at the time) was rendered defunct.
Department of Merchant Shipping in Cyprus - The Department of Merchant Shipping of the Ministry of Communications and Works is responsible for the development of maritime activities which include: registration of ships, administration and enforcement of the Merchant Shipping Laws, control of shipping and enforcement of international conventions ratified by the Government of Cyprus, investigation of accidents involving Cyprus ships or seamen serving on those ships or foreign ships sailing within the territorial waters of the Republic, resolving labor disputes on board Cyprus ships and training and certification of seafarers.
All port facilities of the island are under the jurisdiction of the Cyprus Ports Authority (CPA), a statutory body set up in 1973. The role of CPA is to implement and promote government policy but it also has the obligation to be commercially oriented as it has to be self financed.
The Department of Electrical and Mechanical Services has the responsibility for the planning, design, execution and maintenance of the electromechanical installations of the Governmental buildings and works and the purchase and administration of the public machinery and equipment.
The broad agricultural sector continues to be a fundamental sector of the Cyprus economy, both with respect to the production of essential food items for the population and exports and with respect to the employment of thousands of rural residents and the containment of the depopulation of the villages.
The Agricultural Research Institute (ARI) is a Department of the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment. It is the sole institution engaged in agricultural research and depends mainly on Government funding, though during the last few years additional funds were obtained through European research projects.
The Agricultural Insurance Organization is a semi-governmental, non-profit oriented organization and functions under the supervision of the State which is implemented by the Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment.
Throughout its long history Cyprus has always been confronted with the problem of water shortage. Droughts are a very usual phenomenon. Cyprus has no rivers with perennial flow while rainfall is highly variable and droughts occur frequently.
The Department of Fisheries and Marine Research developed activities in multidisciplinary fields concerning the sustainable use of marine resources, the development and sound management of fisheries and aquaculture, the marine ecology, the protection of endangered species and habitats, physical and chemical oceanography and the prevention and combat of marine pollution.
The Land Consolidation Department is responsible for the co-ordination, administration and execution of land consolidation measures, in accordance with the agricultural policy of the Government, which aims at raising the agricultural income and creating a better working and living environment for the farmers and the rural population.
The Veterinary Services are functioning under the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment and are regulated by the National Veterinary Legislation which is fully in line with the EU Acquis.
The Geological Survey Department is the technical advisor to the government on issues relating to groundwater, mineral resources and the protection of the built and natural environment. The main Sections of the Department are those of the Hydrogeology, Engineering Geology, Economic Geology, Regional Geology, Geophysics and Seismology and, Environmental Geology.
The mining history of Cyprus is very rich because of the copper metal production, which dates back to 2.500 BC. Unfortunately the mining industry has been on the decline (practically non - existent) for the last three decades.
The Meteorological Service of the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment is responsible for the provision of meteorological services for the requirements of civil aviation, the collection of meteorological data and information, the compilation of climatological statistics and monitoring of the climatic variations and trends and the preparation of climatological studies and reports.
The principle underlying the Government's health policy is that health, as a social good, is the responsibility of the state. The Government's main objective is the continuous improvement of the standard of health of the population, through the promotion of health, the prevention of disease and the provision of high quality health care to all citizens.
Cyprus Employment - As a result of the satisfactory performance of the Cyprus economy throughout the eighties and nineties, the labor market in Cyprus has exhibited conditions of full employment, with unemployment at around 3,5% of the economically active population, but with a moderate upward trend during the last few years.
Cyprus Social Insurance Scheme - On 6 October 1980 an earnings-related Social Insurance Scheme was introduced in Cyprus, incorporating the previous flat-rate scheme in a modified structure providing in addition supplementary earnings - related benefits.
The Social Welfare Services of the Ministry of Labor and Social Insurance are responsible for the provision and promotion of social welfare services. The policy of the Social Welfare Services forms an integral part of the general governmental policy for social and economic development and aims at advancing social welfare, meeting social needs and preventing social problems among individuals, families and communities.
Housing Finance Corporation (HFC) - The Housing Finance Corporation (HFC) is a state-owned organization governed by a nine-member Board of Directors, appointed by the Council of Ministers, normally for a three-year term.
The Youth Board of Cyprus was established by Law in April 1994. Its Governing Board has seven members. They include a representative from each of the youth organizations of political parties represented in the House of Representatives and 3 members who are appointed directly by the Council of Ministers.
The National Institution for the Protection of Human Rights, established by a Decision of the Council of Ministers for the purpose of protecting human rights, is an independent body, not answerable to the Government.
The Department of Postal Services provides facilities for collection and transmission of local and overseas mail and delivery of such mail as well as philatelic products and financial services, through some 52 postal outlets and 1.
The main objective of Cyprus energy policy is to meet energy demand at the lowest possible cost with the minimum impact on the environment, promote energy conservation, encourage the use of indigenous renewable energy sources and enhance sector competition.
Department of Electronic Communications - The Department of Electronic Communications of the Ministry of Communications and Works is the Government's advisor on telecommunications policy matters including those related to harmonization with the Acquis Communautaire .
Cyprus has adopted the Acquis Communautaire which concerns consumer protection with the main objective to ensure that the Cypriot consumer enjoys the same high level of consumer protection and safety as exists in the European Union.
The Cyprus Public Record Office was established in 1978 under the Public Record Law, to provide for the preservation of public records. In 1991 it was renamed “State Archives.” It is a service under the Ministry of Justice and Public Order. T.
Educational policies are formulated by the Ministry of Education and Culture and approved by the Council of Ministers. Education is provided through pre-primary and primary schooling, secondary general and secondary technical/vocational schools, special schools, third level institutions and non-formal institutions and centers.
Cyprus Primary Education - Educational policies are formulated by the Ministry of Education and Culture and approved by the Council of Ministers. Education is provided through pre-primary and primary schooling, secondary general and secondary technical/vocational schools, special schools, third level institutions and non-formal institutions and centers.
Cyprus Gymnasio - The Gymnasio is the first 3-year circle of secondary education. Compulsory education in Cyprus spans the primary and secondary education up to the age of 15, therefore tuition at the Gymnasio is compulsory.
Students attending public Secondary Technical and Vocational Education (STVE) programmes represent, approximately, 20% of the total students population. STVE programmes include formal Technical and Vocational Education, an Apprenticeship Scheme and Lifelong Learning and Training Programmes.
Higher and Tertiary Education in Cyprus is offered by both public and private institutions. The Department of Higher and Tertiary Education of the Ministry of Education and Culture was established in 1984 and is the competent department of the Ministry for the following: Legislation for the University of Cyprus The establishment of the Open University of Cyprus The establishment of the Technological University of Cyprus The European Programmes in Higher Education The Private Schools for Higher and Tertiary Education and the relevant legal framework to establish Private Universities The Cyprus Council for the Recognition of Higher Education Qualifications (KYSATS) The Council for the Educational Accreditation of Programmes of Study (SEKAP) The Entrance Examinations to Higher Education Lifelong Learning Student Affairs During the academic year of 2002-2003, the University of Cyprus and six Public Tertiary Education Institutions were operating.
The Institute of Education, Cyprus (Pedagogical Institute of Cyprus), which was founded in 1972, is an institute of teacher education. The Institute's main activities are professional teacher training, educational research and evaluation, educational documentation, educational technology, and curriculum development.
The Ministry of Education and Culture is responsible for formulating and implementing the cultural policy of the Government through its Cultural Services. The Cultural Services are accountable for a broad range of activities including: Literature-Books In order to encourage Cypriot writers in their intellectual activity, the Cultural Services have institutionalized a number of state prizes for: Literature, awarded biennially for poetry, novel, short-story and essay, and new writers under the age of 30 childrens literature, awarded biennially young Cypriot writers (book selected for printing by the Cultural Services) In addition, awards for Excellence are awarded annually for outstanding contribution to the cultural life of the island.
National Struggle Museum - The National Struggle Museum was inaugurated on 30 April 2001 in its new premises. Houses of Arts and Letters - Cultural Services rent premises in Nicosia, Limassol and Pafos in order to house literary associations.
Creation of a Mansion Of Culture - Following a decision of the Council of Ministers, the creation of a Mansion of Culture is being promoted, which will house the Music Centre and the State Library. Creation of Cultural Infrastructure - Within this framework, approval has already been given for the subsidization of various cultural centers, libraries, theatres and museums in the government-controlled municipalities of Cyprus, while new cases are examined every six months.
Theatre in Cyprus has flourished since antiquity and there is wonderful proof of this with the existence of the ancient theatres of Kourion, Pafos, Salamis and Soli. The Cyprus Theatre Organization (THOC) was founded by law in 1971 with the aim of promoting Theatrical Arts in Cyprus and aiding cultural links with other countries.
Department of Antiquities - The protection, conservation or restoration and promotion of ancient monuments and archaeological sites as well as the maintenance of government museums throughout the island are the responsibility of the Department of Antiquities.
The geographical position between three continents made the island of Cyprus the crossroad of eastern and western civilization. Through the passage of time it has created its own history and culture. Craftsmen through the ages created a wealth of traditions in folk art.
The aims and objectives of the Cyprus Research Centre are: The organization, commencement and conduct of academic research in the disciplines of Cypriot history, archaeology, sociology, linguistics and folklore.
The sports history of Cyprus dates back many centuries. Inscriptions found in various archeological sites both on the island and in Greece bear witness to the Cypriots love for sports, and also to their success in the Pan-Hellenic and Olympic contests of ancient times at Olympia, Pythia, Isthmia and elsewhere.
The media in Cyprus functions freely and independently without intervention or control by any state authority. Freedom of the press is enshrined in the Republic's constitution which stipulates that, "Every person has the right to freedom of speech and expression in any form.
The first Cypriot newspaper was circulated on 29 August 1878 under the name “Cyprus” (Kypros). It was published both in Greek and in English. The first Turkish Cypriot newspaper was circulated on 11 July 1889 under the name “Sadet” (Hope). Curren.
The Cyprus News Agency (CNA) is an independent and autonomous corporation functioning under the Cyprus News Agency Law. The Agency is governed by a seven-member Board composed mainly of journalists representing the Union of Journalists, the Publishers' Association, the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation, the Press and Information Office and the Ministry of Interior.
The independent radio came into being in 1990 and the first independent television channels started broadcasting in 1993 after legislation had been passed de-regulating the sector. Until then, there was only one television and radio channel, the single public service channel (Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation – CyBC). .
The Press and Information Office (PIO) is a government department under the Ministry of Interior, which has been assigned the responsibility of publicising and promoting government policy as well as the work of the Government, the House of Representatives, the Judiciary, the semi-governmental organisations and independent bodies.
Cyprus, owing to its strategic position, was throughout its history colonised by some of the most influential colonial powers in the Eastern Mediterranean. In 1878 Britain was the last power to occupy Cyprus, taking over the island from the Ottoman Empire.
In occupying the north of the island, Turkey forcibly expelled the Greek Cypriots living there, who constituted about 80% of the indigenous population. About 28% of the Greek Cypriots, fleeing from the Turkish invading forces, streamed into the government-controlled area, homeless and destitute.
Over one and a half thousand people have gone missing when Turkey invaded and occupied a large part of Cyprus in 1974. This tragic problem of a purely humanitarian nature remains unresolved to this day because Turkey, in full disregard of international conventions and declarations, does not allow effective investigations to be carried out.
In the aftermath of the Turkish invasion in 1974, about 20,000 people - mainly Greek Cypriots including just over a thousand Maronites - found themselves cut off behind enemy lines in their villages in the north-eastern Karpass peninsula and in the Maronite villages west of Kyrenia town.
Since the Turkish invasion of 1974 and occupation of 36% of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus, Turkey has maintained a policy of bringing in thousands of Anatolian colonists to settle in the occupied area, thus changing the demographic character of the island.
The European Court of Human Rights has given the clear message that the Cyprus issue is primarily an international case based on the violation of human rights and international law by Turkey. Furthermore, the Court has ruled on important issues of international law, judicially verifying the legal status of the Republic of Cyprus and the illegal actions of Turkey in Cyprus.
Numerous resolutions on the Cyprus issue have been adopted by the Security Council, the General Assembly and other United Nations bodies since 1974. The General Assembly - Time and again the General Assembly has reaffirmed the need to settle the question of Cyprus in accordance with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and the relevant United Nations resolutions and stressed the right of the Republic of Cyprus and its people to full and effective sovereignty and control over the entire territory of Cyprus and its natural and other resources.
The violation of human rights and international law by Turkey in Cyprus, which has been continuing for so many years, is unique in recent European history. Turkey, having driven the bulk of the Greek Cypriot population from the area under its occupation, achieving thus the ethnic cleansing of the part of Cyprus occupied by its armed forces, has prepared the ground for partitioning the Republic of Cyprus.