Republic of Cyprus
The Republic of Cyprus ( Greek Κυπριακή Δημοκρατία Kypriakí Dimokratía , Turkish Kıbrıs Cumhuriyeti ) is a state on the island of Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean . It was created on August 16, 1960, encompassing the entire island, through the independence of the previous crown colony from the United Kingdom .
From July 20, 1974, the north of the island was occupied by Turkey ( Cyprus conflict ) after Greek putschists wanted to enforce the annexation of Cyprus to Greece. On November 15, 1983, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was unilaterally proclaimed in the occupied area. In Resolution 541 , the United Nations (UN) declared the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus to be invalid.
On May 1, 2004, the Republic of Cyprus became a member of the European Union (EU) . Since it can only exercise its jurisdiction in the southern part of its recognized national territory, only this is in fact part of the EU. On January 1, 2008, the Cyprus pound was replaced by the euro .
Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean. It is geographically assigned to Asia , but politically and culturally to Europe . The highest point of the mountainous island is the Olympos (1951 m) in the Troodos Mountains , which is covered with pine, dwarf oak, cypress and cedar. A total of 19% of the island's area is covered by forest .
The economic center of the island is the southern part of Nicosia , the capital of the republic. The three port cities Larnaka , Limassol and Paphos , which are connected by the south coast motorway, are of roughly equal economic importance . The seaside resort of Agia Napa is also of greater tourist importance .
The former British crown colony was granted independence by the United Kingdom on August 16, 1960 based on the Zurich and London Agreement between the United Kingdom, Greece and Turkey of February 19, 1959 and joined the United Nations on September 20, 1960 .
After an attempted coup by the Cypriot National Guard , which was supported by the military junta in Greece and aimed at enosis , the annexation of the island to Greece, the Turkish armed forces occupied from July 20, 1974 - citing their role as guarantor power for the Turkish Cypriots from the London Guarantee Treaty of 1959 found a northern part of the island, which made up only 37% of the national territory, but on which 70% of all economic output had been provided up to then. These included 66% of all tourist facilities, 80% of all citrus trees and the commercial port in Famagusta. The loss of the most important agricultural land and the means of production forced a reorientation of the economy. Shipping and financial services became new pillars, and tourism could slowly be expanded again.
On November 15, 1983, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus , which was not recognized by the international community, was proclaimed ; On November 18, 1983, the United Nations Security Council in its resolution 541 declared the declaration of independence to be legally invalid and demanded the withdrawal of the Turkish armed forces. Nevertheless, the authority of the Republic of Cyprus has since been limited to the southern part of the island.
In 1990 the Republic of Cyprus applied for membership in the European Union (EU) . After meeting the criteria and undergoing a far-reaching reform that reduced its importance as a tax haven , Cyprus and nine other countries became a member of the European Union on May 1, 2004, although in fact only the southern part of the island is part of the EU.
On April 24, 2004, the " Annan Plan " was presented to both ethnic groups for a separate vote. This would have provided for a confederation with two independent states. While the majority of Cypriot Turks voted for the plan, the majority of Cypriot Greeks voted against it.
There are currently five checkpoints, four of which can be crossed by car.
In 1963 there were disagreements between the “Turkish” and “Greek” part of the ethnically mixed population about the constitution and laws, exercise of state authority, etc. This dispute , systematically escalated by extremists on both sides, made further joint governance impossible. The Turkish Cypriot members of the government withdrew from the government and have since sought a self-governing area, while many Greek-speaking Cypriots sought to join Greece ( Enosis ).
In 1974 officers of the military junta in Greece and the Cypriot National Guard carried out a coup against President Makarios . Thereupon Turkey intervened as guarantor of the London Guarantee Treaty , citing an alleged annexation of the island to Greece and occupied the north of the island . Since then, Turkey has had troops stationed in an area equivalent to about 37% of the island. The constitutionally provided participation of the Cypriot Turks in the state institutions of the Republic of Cyprus has not taken place since then either.
Makarios died in 1977, and Spyros Kyprianou succeeded as president. However, this was not recognized by Turkey and the Cypriot Turks. The Greek south then initiated economic sanctions against the north. The north, for its part, responded to the persecution and killing of Cypriot Turks with the expulsion of tens of thousands of Cypriot Greeks and the settlement of tens of thousands of Turks from Turkey, increasing the numerical weight of the Turkish population compared to the Cypriot Greeks.
In violation of the London Guarantee Treaty, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was proclaimed on November 15, 1983 on the northern part of the island occupied by Turkish troops , which, however, is only recognized by Turkey under international law ; Furthermore, in its resolution 541 of November 18, 1983, the United Nations Security Council declared the declaration of independence to be legally invalid and demanded the withdrawal of the Turkish armed forces.
In 2003, the border between the two parts of the country became permeable again for the first time, the border crossings were opened for visits to the other part of the island on April 23, 2003.
The Republic of Cyprus has been a member of the European Union (EU) since May 1, 2004 , although in fact only the southern part of the island is part of the EU.
Negotiations led by the United Nations should bring both sides closer together; the " Annan Plan " presented in 2004 by the then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan envisaged that Cyprus should be united as a federation of two states, based on the model of Switzerland , whose residents were both Cypriot and the nationality of the country from the they come from, received. In simultaneous referendums with 87 and 88% voter turnout, the "Annan Plan" was approved by the Cypriot Turks with a two-thirds majority, but rejected by the Cypriot Greeks with a three-quarters majority because they demand the de facto legal and territorial restoration of the Republic of Cyprus in one state.
A new reunification attempt has been underway since 2008. The biggest point of contention is the state order. The Cypriot Greeks want a stronger Federal Republic, while the Cypriot Turks want a confederation . As early as 1960, the Republic of Cyprus suffered from the veto right of the two national communities.
Integration into the EU
As part of the EU enlargement in 2004 , the Republic of Cyprus joined the EU on May 1, 2004 . Previously, an attempt to unify the island in a referendum on April 24, 2004 failed because of the rejection in the Greek part. The “Green Line” is currently the de facto external border of the EU, the customs authorities of the Republic of Cyprus and those of the sovereign British bases carry out customs controls at the checkpoints.
Since Turkey does not officially recognize the Republic of Cyprus as a result of the Cyprus conflict , in which the government in Ankara acted as the protective power of the Cypriot Turks, the country became a crucial stumbling block in the negotiations on Turkey's EU accession : Turkey refuses to expand of the customs union concluded with the EU on the EU member Republic of Cyprus and does not open its ports and airports for Greek-Cypriot ships and aircraft to call at. Turkey sees in the EU membership of the Republic of Cyprus a breach of the Zurich and London agreements .
The euro was introduced in the Republic of Cyprus on January 1, 2008 . The Republic of Cyprus is one of the so-called low-tax countries in the EU with a corporate tax rate of only 12.5% on generated profits. There is a double taxation agreement with Germany.
On July 1, 2012, the Republic of Cyprus took over the EU's six-monthly presidency for the first time .
In June 2012, the Republic of Cyprus submitted a request for assistance to the EU; you are threatened with insolvency (= national bankruptcy ). On March 16, 2013, the finance ministers of the euro zone and the IMF reached an agreement with the Republic of Cyprus on the basic lines of a rescue package. As part of this, the Republic of Cyprus was granted loans of around 10 billion euros (11,300 euros per inhabitant). The aid package could only be finally sealed when the national parliaments of Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, Estonia and Slovakia had approved it, which finally happened.
Under pressure from the EU, the Republic of Cyprus should share the cost of bailing out the Cypriot banks with savers. The Cypriot parliament rejected this on March 19, 2013.
On March 31, 2016, the Republic of Cyprus was able to leave the " euro rescue package " again. EU Economic Commissioner Pierre Moscovici and ESM boss Klaus Regling described the rescue program as a success overall. The Republic of Cyprus only called 6.3 billion of the 10 billion euros made available. Regling called for further reforms in the banking sector and on the labor market. The Republic of Cyprus must repay the ESM loans between 2025 and 2031.
The population in the south of the island, which is controlled by the Republic of Cyprus, is 848,300, the north of the island has 91,800 "legitimate" residents according to government information. This number includes the Cypriot Turks, but not the Turks who were settled after 1974. The census results of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus also include these and are therefore much higher, the authorities there give a population of approximately 294,906 for the area. Between 2014 and 2015, the population in the south of the island grew by around 0.2%. Life expectancy in the southern part was 79.9 years from 2010 to 2015 (men: 77.7 years, women: 82.2 years).
The Republic of Cyprus regards all persons who have or have had Cypriot citizenship since the independence year 1960 as its citizens and grants them consular assistance, i.e. all Cypriot Greeks and Cypriot Turks (but not persons who were subsequently settled). Of the 90,000 Cypriot Turks, 63,592 (as of 2003) have obtained a certificate of citizenship, 57,309 of which have an identity card of the Republic of Cyprus. 2,659 have registered as commuters, around 5,000 other Cypriot Turks work and live permanently in the south again.
The island's long-established population group are the Cypriot Greeks and the Maronites . During the Ottoman rule, a Turkish part of the population was added - today's Cyprus Turks - who are ethnically closer to the Greeks than the Turkish soldiers and colonists who immigrated after 1974; the Cypriot Turks are made up of, among other things, Turkish Greeks and the so-called Linobambaki , Islamic Levantines of Catholic origin. In addition to the Jews, there are also the Armenians , who mostly had to flee Anatolia in the course of the genocide of the Armenians . The Greeks often counted them among the Turks. Around 1,895 Germans are resident in the south and around 180 in the north.
In 2017, 16% of the population were migrants. The most common countries of origin were the United Kingdom (60,000 people) as well as Australia, the United States and Greece (20,000 each). The island is a popular retirement home.
The national and equal official languages of the Republic of Cyprus are Greek and Turkish . As a legacy of colonial times, English is still the lingua franca. The Cypriot dialect and very occasionally Pontic are spoken by the people as their mother tongue , but the state only recognizes the official modern Greek as the standard. Recognized minority languages are Armenian ( Western Armenian ) and the Cypriot Arabic spoken by the Maronites .
Overall, on the southern part of the island controlled by the internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus, 80.9% of the inhabitants speak Greek, 1.2% Arabic and 0.2% Turkish as their mother tongue. English - although not official - is now spoken by 4.1% of the population as a mother tongue and is widely used as a second language. Due to immigration, 2.9% of the population speak Romanian , 2.5% Russian , 2.2% Bulgarian and 1.1% Filipino .
According to the CIA World Factbook , a total of 78% of the population in the entire territory of Cyprus profess Christianity (traditionally Orthodox , Maronite and Apostolic Armenians ) and 18% Islam ( Sunnis and Sufists ); The Jews are an old-established minority.
Most Christians have lived in the area controlled by the internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus since 1974, fewer than 500 still live in the north. According to the 2011 census, in the area controlled by the Republic of Cyprus, Christians make up 94.8% of the population, of which 89.1% are Orthodox. Most of the Christians belong to the Cypriot Orthodox Church of Cyprus , which emerged from the Roman Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and is now subordinate to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople of the entire Eastern Church. 2.9% are Roman Catholic and 2.0% are Anglican or Protestant .
The Muslims in Cyprus officially make up 1.8% of the total population on the territory controlled by the internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus and belong to the Sunni direction. In general, Turkish-speaking Muslims live in the north of the island (where they make up around 99% of the population). Sufism traditionally dominated the Cypriot Turks , and in the Larnaka district there is the important sanctuary Hala Sultan Tekke , a dervish monastery that is also visited by Christians.
Jews have been living in Cyprus again since 1571. During the Second World War , the British mandate power sent those Jewish immigrants to internment camps in Cyprus who had been apprehended while trying to reach the Jewish settlement area in the so-called Alija Bet outside the British approved quotas. Around 1,500 Jews have settled permanently since the 1990s. Half of these are Israeli citizens and the other half are British or Russian. Cyprus is a popular vacation destination for Israelis. In 2005 the first synagogue was opened in Larnaka .
Religious cultural goods
The handling of religious cultural goods is still very controversial and a frequent point of contention in the Cyprus conflict.
From a photo documentation that the Greek Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos made on November 10, 2006 Pope Benedict XVI. presented in Rome shows that in the last 30 years of Turkish occupation of Northern Cyprus 133 churches and monasteries were desecrated and converted into mosques, hotels or nightclubs. 15,000 icons were illegally removed from Christian houses of worship and sold on the black market. In 2000, icons worth 100 million marks that the art dealer Michel van Rijn had obtained from Aydin Dikman in Munich were seized. Unlike the customs offices and the courts involved, the Turkish media see smuggling as a staging of the Cypriot government.
While in the 1975–1999 phase the Republic of Cyprus spent a total of only 294,620 euros on the restoration of the 83 mosques that have been listed since then, the restoration program started in 1989 had an annual budget of 347,680 euros out of a total of 737,837 euros this year for the restoration of Ottoman monuments Cultural goods were expended. The restoration of the important Umm Haram Mosque in Larnaka in accordance with the requirements of historical monuments was also supported with UN funds.
For a long time Cyprus had no university apart from a few colleges and universities of applied sciences. Since the 1980s, universities have emerged that introduced the two-tier Bachelor / Master structure. The main new institution is the University of Cyprus, founded in 1989 . From 2003, Turkish Cypriots were exempt from tuition fees in the Republic of Cyprus. The tuition fees have now been lifted for all EU citizens. The tuition fees were previously 4000 Cypriot pounds (approx. 7000 euros). In 2006, the state Open University of Cyprus opened as the first distance learning university.
Economy and Infrastructure
No precise figures are available for the part administered by Turkey, but it is generally assumed that the economic situation in this part of the island will be much weaker. The information therefore only relates to the part of the island controlled by the internationally recognized government.
The gross domestic product (GDP) amounted to 17.394 billion euros in 2014. The GDP per capita was around 20,400 euros (in Germany this was around 36,000 euros). Compared with the GDP of the EU (expressed in purchasing power standards), the Republic of Cyprus achieved an index of 82 in 2014 (EU-28: 100). 72% of Cypriots work in the tertiary sector , whereas only 5% of all employees work in agriculture. In the Global Competitiveness Index , which measures a country's competitiveness, Cyprus ranks 66th out of 137 countries (as of 2017). In 2017, the country was ranked 48th out of 180 countries in the index for economic freedom .
After the Corruption Perception Index ( Corruption Perceptions Index ) of Transparency International was the Republic of Cyprus in 2016 by 176 countries, together with Malta and the Czech Republic on the 47th place, with 55 out of a maximum 100 points.
The unemployment rate was 3.6% before joining the EU. This value is below the EU average. The inflation rate is 2.0%. Due to its economic structure, Cyprus is, alongside Malta, the most developed state of the ten new accession countries. In 2016 the unemployment rate was 11.0%.
The economic development of the Republic of Cyprus is strongly influenced by the global economic development. The economic growth of Cyprus in the last few decades (average of GDP growth 1975–2000: real approx. 5.5 percent) has slowed down significantly against the background of the financial and economic crisis and increased competition in tourism, especially since 2009. With the onset of the Cypriot banking crisis, the country finally slid into recession. According to current estimates, growth in 2015 was again 1.6 percent compared to negative growth of 2.5 percent in 2014. For 2016, the Cypriot government forecast growth of 2.0.
Many Lebanese banks and corporations have been based in Cyprus since the Lebanese civil war, which has resulted in a significant influx of funds. Cyprus is one of the largest investors and exporters in Russia. A lot of money is reinvested in Russia via Cyprus, which is mainly due to the low taxes and the uncomplicated founding possibilities of the offshoreholder companies. In terms of tax law, Cyprus is one of the tax havens . As a result, there are many offshore company formations in Cyprus. In 2012 the government asked the EU for aid loans. In spring 2013 there was a banking crisis; all banks in the country were closed for two weeks.
All GDP values are given in US dollars ( purchasing power parity ).
(purchasing power parity)
|3.24 billion||5.50 billion||8.95 billion||13.04 billion||17.19 billion||22.99 billion||24.76 billion||26.65 billion||28.22 billion||27.93 billion||28.64 billion||29.33 billion||28.95 billion||27.68 billion||27.78 billion||28.63 billion||29.88 billion||31.59 billion|
GDP per capita
(purchasing power parity)
(as a percentage of GDP)
Cyprus became known in ancient times for its abundant deposits of copper , the metal has its Latin name "Cuprum" after the island; however, these deposits are largely exhausted. The asbestos deposits are important, and there are also large marble quarries and pyrite mines in the mountains . There are gypsum rock and salt deposits there . Is on the beaches clay mined.
More recently, oil reserves estimated at 8 to 10 billion barrels have been discovered on the south coast and explored by an Egyptian-Lebanese consortium. Agreements on so-called Exclusive Economic Zones have been concluded with Lebanon, Israel and Egypt (the neighbors of the affected area) . After a tender, the American company Noble Energy was commissioned with the development. Turkey then threatened to send gunboats and its own drilling teams to the area.
Citrus fruits are grown in Cyprus . There is also the production of vegetables . With many crops (fruit, vegetables and grain) two harvests per year are standard due to the extremely friendly climate. However, the areas used for agriculture have been shrinking since joining the EU (especially in the tourist regions), as the British are increasingly buying land and houses as retirement homes. In the northern part poultry and lambs are preferred . There are also some large olive groves on the entire island .
The EU continues to be the largest buyer of exports, with Great Britain in first place followed by Greece. As in previous years, exports to Germany continued to decline. According to the Statistical Service Cyprus, Cyprus exported goods worth around 111.2 million euros to Germany from January to November 2015, which is 20 percent more than in the same period of the previous year (Jan – Nov. 2014: 92.6 million euros). Cypriot exports mainly consist of chemical products, food (potatoes, wine, citrus fruits) and raw materials.
In 2015, Cyprus imported goods worth around 556.5 million euros from Germany (2014: 571.7 million euros). With a share of 7.1 percent of total deliveries, Germany was the fifth largest supplier to Cyprus in 2014 and the sixth most important export country with a share of 3.3 percent of total exports. The most important import goods are motor vehicles, machines, industrial supplies, Cyprus' foreign trade is chronically deficient.
The state budget in 2016 comprised expenditures equivalent to US $ 7.8 billion , which was offset by revenues equivalent to US $ 7.6 billion. This results in a budget deficit of 1.1% of GDP . The national debt amounted to 21.2 billion US dollars in 2016, or 107.9% of GDP. The share of government expenditure (as% of GDP) in the following areas was:
The most important mode of transport is private road transport, followed by bus transport. There is left-hand traffic on the island's roads. Cyprus has a very good network of motorways : with 38.6 km of motorways per 100,000 inhabitants, the Republic of Cyprus has the highest density of motorways in the EU. In the south of the island there is a continuous connection via motorways from Paphos to Agia Napa and north to Nicosia . In 2011, the entire road network covered around 20,006 km, of which 12,439 km were paved.
The port of Larnaka and the port of Limassol are located in the south of Cyprus. In addition to the handling of goods and containers, there are also sporadic ferry connections , including to Haifa in Israel and Lebanon . In tourism, these are also important for cruise lines . Furthermore, in the harbor Ayia Napa , the leisure and Boat Trips in good shape.
The Larnaca Airport and Paphos Airport are the two airports on the de facto -Staatsgebiet the Republic of Cyprus. The former serves the capital Nicosia . The northern part of the island is served by Ercan Airport. The old Nicosia Airport has been closed since 1974 because it is in the UN protection zone.
The Cyprus Government Railway , which used to cross the country from east to west , has been shut down.
The head of state of the Republic of Cyprus is the President . He must be a Cypriot Greek and is directly elected for five years (Art. 43 Para. 1 of the Constitution) and has extensive executive powers. He appoints the ministers. The ministers are not allowed to belong to the parliament. According to the constitution, his deputy must be a Cypriot Turk ; however, this position has remained vacant since 1974.
The Parliament of the Republic of Cyprus is the House of Representatives (unicameral system), of which 56 seats are held by Cypriot Greeks and 24 by Cypriot Turks (these seats have remained vacant since 1974). The legislative period is five years (Art. 65, Paragraph 1 of the Constitution).
The party system of the Republic of Cyprus is shaped by four major parties:
- Progressive Party of the Working People Anorthotiko Komma Ergazomenou Laou - AKEL (communist)
- Democratic Party Dimokratiko Komma - DIKO (centrist)
- Democratic Collection Dimokratikos Synagermos - DISY (conservative)
- Movement of the Social Democrats Kinima Sosialdimokraton (Social Democratic)
There are also three smaller parties represented in parliament.
- European party - Evroko
- Ecology and Environment Movement (Greens)
- United Democrats - ED (Liberal) (retired in 2006)
The Republic of Cyprus has been divided into six districts since it was founded :
Situation of asylum seekers
Many refugees from North Africa land in Cyprus every year. Migrants without regular residence status, including rejected asylum seekers, are held in detention for long periods under poor conditions only because of their residence status. The detainees reported limited or no access to legal aid and health care. The police were repeatedly accused of mistreating migrants and asylum seekers. According to Amnesty International, in July 2011 around 35 police officers beat, threatened and verbally abused a group of asylum seekers detained at Larnaca Police Station . One of the asylum seekers reportedly suffered injuries to his leg and was subsequently without medical care for several days.
The Cypriot National Guard (Cypriot National Guard) includes land, sea and air forces and was even founded in independence in 1960 in implementation of Sections 129-132 of the Constitution. In 2017, Cyprus spent almost 1.9 percent of its economic output, or 395 million US dollars, on its armed forces.
The land forces consist of the following units:
- I. Infantry Division (Ιη Μεραρχία ΠΖ)
- II Infantry Division (ΙΙα Μεραρχία ΠΖ)
- IV Infantry Division (ΙVη Ταξιαρχία ΠΖ)
- XX. Panzer Brigade (ΧΧη ΤΘ Ταξιαρχία)
- III. Support Brigade (ΙΙΙη Ταξιαρχία ΥΠ)
- VIII. Support Brigade (VIIIη Ταξιαρχία ΥΠ)
In the field of classical music , the Republic of Cyprus has maintained a classical symphony orchestra , the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra , via the Ministry of Education and Culture for thirty years , which is a professional full-time orchestra based in the capital Nicosia (in the Pallas Theater there , in the historical old town) and from there regularly also the larger coastal cities ( Pafos , Limassol , Larnaka ) with concerts. The concerts take place in the city's theaters and - depending on the season - sometimes outdoors. Besides, this is Cyprus Symphony Orchestra , the orchestra of the year in Paphos held Opera Festival Pafos Aphrodite Festival Cyprus . The orchestra cooperates and produces regularly with the state radio, the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (CyBC) for radio and television. The current chief conductor and artistic director is the German conductor Jens Georg Bachmann .
In addition, through the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Republic of Cyprus maintains a national, nationwide music school for individual instrumental lessons, ensembles and the national Cyprus Youth Symphony Orchestra .
In the 2017 press freedom ranking published by Reporters Without Borders , the Republic of Cyprus was ranked 30th out of 180 countries, while Northern Cyprus was ranked 75th out of 180. According to the non-governmental organization, there are “recognizable problems” with regard to press freedom in the northern part. while the southern part has a largely free press.
The oldest museum on the island is the Cyprus Museum, founded in 1882 . Other major museums include the Leventis Museum and the Church of Cyprus Collection known as the Icon Museum ; both in the old town of Nicosia, the latter also includes secular art. The state Department of Antiquities has 15 museums, for which there is also a daily and weekly ticket. The Kykkos Monastery also has a larger museum. Municipal home museums and private specialty museums can be found in various locations.
In 1971 the Cyprus Theater Organization (THOC) was founded, it operates the state theaters and the Cyprus Theater Museum (Cyprus Theater Museum) , and promotes private and municipal theaters. Events are categorized into Main Stage , New Stage , Experimental Stage and Children's Stage . The THOC is a member of the European Theater Convention.
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