How do I find everything about Cyprus


Where the island of Cyprus got its name from is lost in the dark of history. Homer calls it "Kypros" in his Illias, which could be derived from the Greek name for the henna plant that grew on the island at that time. A connection with copper, in Latin cuprum, is considered more likely. But whether Cyprus was named after the copper or the copper after the island remains unclear.

flag and emblem

Flag: White field on which the outline of the island is depicted in brown-orange, underneath two crossed olive branches. Coat of arms: After gaining independence, the national coat of arms was introduced in 1960, which depicts a white dove with an olive branch, surrounded by a laurel branch. This was intended to symbolize the peaceful coexistence of the Greeks and Turks in Cyprus.

Population and national languages

Population: 715,000 in the south and 210,000 in the north (of which up to half are new settlers from Anatolia). Ethnic groups: Greeks 85%, Turks 12%, the rest are Armenians, Maronites, Latins and European pensioners (mostly British), and for some time also Russians. It is estimated that 30,000 people from the former Soviet Union currently live in Cyprus.
National languages: The official languages ​​are Greek and Turkish, and a large part of the population also speaks English.


The majority of the Greek Cypriots are Orthodox Christians, the Turkish Cypriots Sunni Muslims.

Geographical location and area

As the easternmost and southernmost Mediterranean island, Cyprus lies at the intersection of three continents and ancient sea routes that connect the "Orient" with the "Occident". Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean (9,251 km²) after Sicily (25,462 km²) and Sardinia (23,828 km²) before Corsica (8,720 km²) and Crete (8,373 km²). 3,355 km2 of the island are under Turkish administration, 257 km2 belong to British military bases. 3% are under the administration of the UN as a buffer zone. Extension: length of coast: 780 km, greatest east-west extension: 224 km, greatest north-south extension: 96 km. It is said that the island is shaped like a pan. In ancient times it was compared more to an outstretched deer skin. Although Cyprus at a glance Cyprus, geographically already part of Asia, appears far more European than many other Mediterranean islands. This may be due, among other things, to the relatively large forest areas and the reserved nature of the Cypriots by southern standards.

Highest mountain

Mount Olympus (1,951 m), in the northern part of Selvili (1,024 m).


The Turks introduced the administrative rules that are still in force today. The country is divided into the counties (districts) Limassol, Famagusta, Lárnaka, Nicosía, Páfos and Kerýneia.

State and politics

South Cyprus: The Republic of Cyprus is a parliamentary democracy. In the 80-seat parliament, 24 seats are reserved for North Cypriot MPs, who have not been represented since 1964. The remaining 56 seats belong to five parties.

Northern Cyprus: In the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" (TRNC), proclaimed in 1983, there is also a democratically elected parliament with a constitution, parliament and parties. International lawyers call this structure a "stabilized de facto structure". New settlers brought into the country from Anatolia get immediate voting rights in Northern Cyprus, so that the Northern Cypriots can no longer determine their fate alone.


South Cyprus: Share of gross domestic product (GDP): services 78 percent, industry 18 percent, agriculture 4% (1999), GDP growth (2002): 2.2%, GDP per inhabitant in purchasing power (2001): 18,500 €, inflation (2002) : 2.8% unemployment (2002) Geographical location: 1. Cyprus at a glance 3.8%, trade balance (2001): € -3.289 million, export (2001): 49% to the EU, import (2001): 55.5% from the EU, main exports: clothing, citrus fruits, pharmaceutical products, chemicals, main trading partners: USA, UK, Italy, Greece. The economy of Northern Cyprus, on the other hand, is in a rather desolate state - not least because of the international isolation and complete dependence on Turkey.

Split island status

Cyprus has been an independent republic since 1960, a member of the United Nations and the British Commonwealth. Since the summer of 1974 part of the republic (approx. 37%) has been under the occupation of Turkish invasion troops. The "Republic of Cyprus" sees itself as the state of the whole of Cyprus, the northern part of which is occupied by Turkey. The »Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus« (»Kibris«), proclaimed in 1983, sees itself as an independent state within the borders created by Turkey. It is only recognized by Turkey under international law. Foreigners usually speak of Southern Cyprus and Northern Cyprus.


Nicosía (currently divided) approx. 200,000 inhabitants,
Limassol approx. 160,000,
Páfos approx. 45,000 inhabitants,
Famagusta (currently under Turkish occupation) 22,000 inhabitants.

Incidentally, regardless of political affiliation, London could be the third largest Cypriot city after Nicosía and Limassol in view of the approximately 100,000 Cypriot Greeks living there.


According to the “Human Development Index” of the United Nations (information on life expectancy, level of education and per capita income of the country concerned), Cyprus was in 25th place worldwide in 2004 and only seven places behind Germany. Life expectancy in Cyprus is 78.1 years and thus even slightly higher than that in Germany with 78.0 years. The Greek south of Cyprus has been a member of the EU since May 1st. However, the European Union has announced that it will bind the poorer north more closely to Europe even without membership. Glavkos Koumides, painter and sculptor born in 1950, when asked which characteristic of his country he would be most ashamed of: "The addiction to food and the fear of running".