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Satellite image of Cyprus
Satellite image of Cyprus
Waters eastern Mediterranean
Geographical location 35 ° 7 '  N , 33 ° 24'  E Coordinates: 35 ° 7 '  N , 33 ° 24'  E
Cyprus (Europe)
length 225 km
width 90 km
surface 9 251  km²
Highest elevation Olympos
1952  m
Residents 1,120,489 (2011)
121 inhabitants / km²
main place Nicosia

Cyprus ( Greek Κύπρος Kypros , Turkish Kıbrıs ) is an island in the eastern Mediterranean . It is the third largest Mediterranean island after Sicily and Sardinia . Cyprus is geographically part of Asia , but politically and culturally it is mostly part of Europe . A good 1.12 million people (2011) live on 9251 km².

The island has been de facto divided since 1974 . The south is ruled by the Republic of Cyprus , which continues to encompass the entire island under international law (except for the British military bases Akrotiri and Dekelia ). The northern part, however, is under the control of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus , which is only recognized by Turkey , which occupied this area militarily in 1974 after Greek putschists wanted to enforce the annexation of Cyprus to Greece. Between the two areas there is a buffer zone , which also divides the capital Nicosia as the “ Green Line ” ( Green Line / πράσινη γραμμή / yeşil hat ) and is monitored and administered by the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).

The “Sovereign British Bases” Akrotiri and Dekelia are exclaves that belong to Great Britain as British overseas territories under international law . For the United Kingdom the possibility of permanent use of the strategically important island was a condition for the independence of Cyprus in 1960. The British also maintain a powerful radar system on the highest point of the island, Mount Olympos , and near the Dekelia exclave the Ayios Nikolaos station , both of which are used for radio monitoring in the Middle East and the US National Security Agency be shared (NSA). Like Malta , there is left-hand traffic on the island , a relic from the British colonial era, which lasted from 1878 to 1960 .

The Republic of Cyprus has been a member state of the European Union (EU) since May 1, 2004 , with its territory recognized under international law. De jure this means that the Turkish north of the island also represents union territory, on which the Republic of Cyprus cannot exercise its rights. The last version of the Annan plan for the reorganization of the political situation on the island was rejected by the Greek Cypriots in a referendum.



Cyprus lies in the northeast of the Levantine Sea . The distance to the south coast of Turkey is approx. 68 km, to the west coast of Syria approx. 95 km, to the north coast of Egypt approx. 325 km, to the east coast of the Greek island of Rhodes approx. 394 km and to the Greek mainland approx. 830 km.

Cyprus is located on the Anatolian Plate and is geographically part of Asia . From the southern edge of Cyprus to Rhodes, the Cyprus Arch extends as a plate boundary between the Anatolian and African plates .

Size and shape

With an area of ​​approx. 9251 km² Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean after Sicily and Sardinia (west-east extension approx. 230 km, north-south extension approx. 95 km). Cyprus' coasts are about 671 km long in total.

Five prominent capes or peninsulas - in Greek Ακρωτήρια Akrotíria  - shape the shape of the island. Starting at the northeast tip of the island, these are (clockwise):

  • in the northeast at the tip of the Karpas peninsula : Cape Apostolos Andreas ('Cape of the Apostle Andreas') - Greek Ακρωτήριο Αποστόλου Ανδρέα Akrotírio Apostólou Andréa , Turkish Zafer Burnu , Cape of Victory'
  • in the southeast: Cape Greko ('Greek Cape') - Greek Κάβο Γκρέκο Kávo Gréko , Turkish Greco Burnu ; also Greek Πηδάλια Pidália , German 'the rudders'
  • in the south at the tips of the Akrotiri peninsula :
    • in the east Cape Gata ('cat's cap ') - Greek Κάβο Γάτα Kávo Gáta , Turkish Doğan Burnu , falcon's beak '
    • in the west Cape Zevgari  - Greek Ακροτήριο Ζευγάρι Akrotírio Zevgári , Turkish İkiz Burnu
  • in the west at the tip of the Akamas peninsula : Cape Akamas  - Greek Ακρωτήριο Ακάμας Akrotírio Akámas , Turkish Arnavut Burnu
  • in the middle of the north coast on the western foothills of the Pentadaktylos: Cape Kormakitis  - Greek Ακροτήριο Κορμακίτη Akrotírio Kormakíti , Turkish Koruçam Burnu


Coastal landscape and Pentadaktylos Mountains on the Karpas Peninsula

The rugged mountain range of the Pentadaktylos ( Beşparmak ) stretches along the north-eastern coast with slopes steeply sloping towards the coast and the Kyparissovouno ( 1024  m ) as the highest elevation. The volcanic , wooded Troodos Mountains inland include the Olympos ( 1952  m ), the highest mountain in Cyprus. The Troodos Mountains were created by thrusting oceanic crust (see also: Ophiolite ), associated with chromium and asbestos deposits. The fertile Mesaoria plain ( Μεσαορία 'between the mountains' ) with the center Nicosia extends between the two mountains .

The coast consists of extensive sand and gravel beaches as well as steep rocky coasts with small bays. The two largest lakes are near the coast (near Akrotiri and Larnaka) and are salt lakes . There are no natural freshwater lakes in Cyprus.


Cyprus has a Mediterranean climate with a distinctly continental character. Temperatures are higher than in the northern Mediterranean and hot desert winds often blow over the sea from the Levantine coast . The Mediterranean around Cyprus has the highest water temperatures in the entire area. In February around 17 ° C is reached, in August around 28 ° C.

From May to October it is dry and, especially inland, it is sometimes very hot. Nicosia has an average maximum temperature of 37 ° C in July and August, which is only 2 ° C below the temperature in Dubai and 8 ° C warmer than Mallorca . In extreme cases, the thermometer in the center of the island rises to 47 ° C in midsummer. On the coasts during the summer it is usually 30 to 35 ° C during the day, and at night it cools down to 20 to 23 ° C. The west of the island around the city of Paphos is 2 to 4 ° C cooler than the east.

Rain falls mainly from November to April. In winter the temperatures are between 15 ° C and 20 ° C during the day, from time to time above, rarely below. Above 1500  m there can be snow , frost is more frequent in the lowlands, but practically impossible on the coast.

Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Source: Cyprus Meteorological Service, data: 1975–2000, 1961–1990, 1961–1990
Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Nicosia
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 15.3 15.9 18.6 24.3 29.5 33.9 36.9 36.7 33.6 28.3 21.8 17.1 O 26th
Min. Temperature (° C) 5.2 5.0 6.4 10.1 14.5 18.8 21.8 21.6 18.5 15.0 10.2 6.8 O 12.9
Precipitation ( mm ) 48.0 47.0 37.0 22.0 22.0 7.0 1.0 7.0 6.0 22.0 31.0 58.0 Σ 308
Rainy days ( d ) 9.0 9.1 8.1 4.4 4.0 0.9 0.0 0.5 1.1 4.9 6.3 7.9 Σ 56.2
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Source: Cyprus Meteorological Service, data: 1975–2000, 1961–1990, 1961–1990

Flora and fauna

Cyprus is located in the biodiversity hotspot of the Mediterranean region and a number of endemic species are found on the island .

Vegetation and land use

Cyprus is the most forested island in the entire Mediterranean. Even in ancient times Cyprus was considered the most fertile of the islands; she was particularly known for good wine and high quality olive oil and was able to meet her own needs for grain.

According to Eratosthenes , it was once densely forested, even the plains were covered with forest and so could not be used for agriculture. Parts of the forests were cleared for mining in order to obtain fuel for smelting silver and copper . More wood was needed for shipbuilding after warships secured trade. Everyone could clear the forest and cultivate the land gained in this way tax-free.

In Troodos - the " Black Forest " of Cyprus - the endemic alder-leaved oaks and Cyprus cedars grow . The black pine (in the eastern subspecies pallasiana ) and Phoenician juniper are involved in the forest structure. Here, as on the rest of the island, the Calabrian pine is the most common forest tree, its share of the total forest area makes up about 90%. On the gently sloping edges of the Troodos, the natural flora has been largely displaced by apple , pear , peach , almond and nut trees as well as by vineyards . In addition, the image of the island is characterized by mostly planted cypresses , olive groves and carob trees.

No less than 1800 flowering plants are known. Spring is characterized by anemones , daffodils , gladioli , iris , affodilla , tulips and poppies . There are many types of orchids . Some of them are endemic. With the first autumn rains, grape hyacinths and the endemic Cypriot cyclamen sprout . The widely cultivated bougainvillea, originally from Brazil, blooms all year round.

Only about 18.5% of the island (mainly in Troodos and Pentadactylos) is covered by forest. Human interference, grazing with goats and frequent forest fires have reduced the forest areas. Efforts are being made to enlarge the forest stock through replanting. The survival of newly planted trees is made difficult by a lack of water. Some alien species have been introduced (various types of acacia and eucalyptus ).


Hardunes are widespread in Cyprus

Sea turtles lay their eggs on the coasts of the Akamas and Karpas peninsulas and of Varosha near Famagusta ; In order to enable their unhindered reproduction, the Cypriot government adopted a protection program: the beaches are closed to people while the eggs are being laid.

Besides the usual Mediterranean fish species of the island and fish through the romp in the coastal waters in the East Suez Canal from the Red Sea came into the Mediterranean as cornetfish (Fistulariidae) and rabbit fish (Siganidae).

The island is also home to various species of reptiles, including several lizards, of which the hardun is the largest and most conspicuous species, and snakes such as the poisonous Levant otter .

The bird world in Cyprus includes 340 species. The island is a migration area for many migratory birds: 46 species spend the whole year in Cyprus, 27 of the migratory bird species nest on the island. The forests of the Troodos and the high altitudes of the Pentadaktylos are the areas with the greatest number of birds: chaffinches , crossbills , chukar grouse , nightingales and silkworms can be found here. Collared francolin , jay cuckoo , eleanor's falcon , steppe harrier and pond water strider are popular types of "birding tours". Common warbler and Cyprus wheatear are endemic to Cyprus. In the salt lake near Larnaka you can watch flamingos in winter .

In 2004 the Cyprus mouse ( Mus cypriacus ) was discovered, a type of mouse that has lived in Cyprus for at least 10,000 years. It has a larger head, ears, eyes and teeth than any other known species of mouse.

Fossils and archaeological finds show that pygmy hippos and pygmy elephants lived on Cyprus until the post-glacial period, and that they were already extinct in the Neolithic . Pigs, cattle, goats, fallow deer and wild sheep as well as foxes and wild cats were brought with them by the first farmers. The sheep, known as the Cyprus mouflon , feral and still live in Troodos and on the Akamas peninsula. The Cyprus mouflons were almost extinct in the course of the 20th century, and the population has meanwhile been secured by protective measures. The cattle that were also imported disappeared after a relatively short time and were only reintroduced in the late Neolithic.

natural reserve

The Republic of Cyprus has to designate protected areas as part of the EU Natura 2000 and has now defined FFH areas. As a result of structural funding programs, the EU funded preparatory work for the designation of NATURA 2000 areas in the Republic of Northern Cyprus.

BirdLife Cyprus looks after a number of areas in the south of the island, is strongly committed to preventing bird hunting and is working on the designation of FFH areas.


There are two German names for the inhabitants of Cyprus: Cypriots and Cypriots . The name Zypriot is derived from the Greek Κυπριώτης Kypriótis , while Cypriot is the regular German derivation from the country name Cyprus . The two terms have the same meaning. The term Cypriot has no derogatory undertone.

Since the division of the island, some sources have taken the view that Cypriots mean all inhabitants of the entire island, while Cypriots only mean the Greek part of the population. This view is justified with the etymology and with the fact that a linguistic distinction has been useful since the division. However, other sources do not see such a difference in meaning.

In the German-language part of the website of the Cypriot embassy in Berlin, both terms are used without any noticeable difference in meaning. At one point there is even explicit mention of “Greek” and “Turkish Cypriots” (as of November 2018).

The German Foreign Office prescribes the name Cypriot for official use (as of January 2, 2014).

In Switzerland there is no binding language regulation for the official use of country names. In everyday use, Cypriot is the rule.


Population distribution before and after the island was divided

The north of the island has 294,406 (2011) and the south 848,300 inhabitants (2015). There are also 7,500 British military personnel and a further 7,000  Cypriots in Akrotiri and Dekelia and 917 members of the UNFICYP (February 2007). After that, the population of Cyprus was 1,038,461 people. In addition, there are around 60,000 workers from EU countries, who were mainly recruited before 2008.

The approximately 778,000 Cypriot Greeks living on the island  make up about 72% of the population. The number of Cypriot Turks in 2011 was 294,406; however, this includes the approximately 80,000 Turks who were only settled after the occupation of northern Cyprus by the Turkish armed forces in July 1974, as well as another 35,000 or so Turkish soldiers stationed in Northern Cyprus.

In the southern part of the island there are about 2000 Cypriot Turks, in the northern part of the island, mainly in Rizokarpaso (Dipkarpaz), about 500 Cypriot Greeks.

In addition to its own dialect of Modern Greek ( Cypriot Greek ), Turkish and Arabic, English is spoken as an educational and lingua franca. Since the Turkish occupation, around 200,000 Cypriot Greeks have lived in the Turkish-occupied north in the south of the island. The Cypriot Turks from the south have partially founded villages whose names are reminiscent of their hometowns. Some older Cypriot Turks also speak Greek, and in some villages on the Karpas peninsula the Black Sea dialect, Pontic Greek, is spoken.

At the northern tip of Cyprus there are villages whose Maronite population speaks an Arabic dialect. The Kormakiti Arabic spoken in Kormakitis is heavily influenced by Greek in vocabulary, phonetics, and grammar . Due to their special status (no military service), the young men work largely in the south of the island, while women, children and old people work the fields.


Kykkos Monastery in the Troodos Mountains

Most of the residents, around 77%, are Orthodox Christians . The Church of Cyprus has been autocephalous since 431 and is in full religious fellowship with the other Orthodox Churches. Muslims make up a total of 21% of the population and are predominantly made up of the Turkish-speaking population. These are 99% of the Sunni - Muslim faith.

About 1% of the population belongs to the Roman Catholic Church of the Latin Rite, they belong to the Jerusalem Patriarchate . About another percent of the population is also in full unity with the Pope, it is the (Catholic) Maronites who have the only Catholic Archbishop with a seat in Cyprus. For both rites of the Catholic Church and for the diplomatic representation of the Holy See there is a separate Apostolic Nunciature , which is also looked after by the Nuncio for the Holy Land.


Historical map of Cyprus from 1888 (Meyers Konversationslexikon)

The fertile Mesaoria plain is embedded in the two mountain ranges , with the city of Nicosia ( Lefkoşa ) (about 282,285 inhabitants) in the center . Other larger cities are (from west to east) the ports of Paphos (around 36,300 inhabitants), Limassol (around 148,700 inhabitants) and Larnaka (around 66,400 inhabitants) on the south coast and Famagusta ( Gazimağusa ) (around 69,700 inhabitants) on the east coast and Kyrenia (Girne) (about 69,163 inhabitants) on the north coast. In addition, the village of Agia Napa , located on the southeast coast and has become an important tourist center, deserves a mention.

Famagusta and Kyrenia are currently administered by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus .

Nicosia is located partly in the southern part of the island administered by the Republic of Cyprus , in the northern part of the island administered by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and in the UN buffer zone. Nicosia (Lefkoşa) is the capital of both the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus .


Settlement and Early History

Salamis palaestra

The first permanent settlement of Cyprus took place in the Neolithic Age . Epipalaeolithic findings have been excavated in Aetokremnos , but there is no evidence of long-term settlement. The Neolithic settlement took place in the 9th millennium BC. From Syria. The most famous village of the Neolithic is Khirokitia near Kalavasos , other sites from the pre-ceramic Neolithic ( PPNB ) are Ais Yiorkis , Kastros , Lapta , Petra tou Limniti , Shillourokambos and Tenta .

Cyprus has supplied the eastern Mediterranean with copper since the Bronze Age . At the end of the Bronze Age, trading towns such as Enkomi , which were in close contact with the Levant , emerged on Cyprus . Cyprus (or part of the island) was known to the Hittites and Ugarit as Alašija .

Around 1200 BC The island came under Mycenaean influence. Pottery was produced locally using Mycenaean models, which were widely used in the Levant. Thereafter, Cyprus was part of the Assyrian , Egyptian and Persian spheres of influence. The kingdom of Salamis gradually gained dominance over the island.

Greeks and Romans

332 BC The kings of Cyprus passed to Alexander the Great and Cyprus was incorporated into his empire. After the fall of the empire, Cyprus belonged to the Hellenistic Ptolemaic Empire . 58 BC The island came under Roman rule, finally in 31 BC. BC Cyprus remained Roman and Byzantine until 1185, but was last independent under Emperor Isaac Komnenos .

Crusaders, Genoa and Venice

In 1191 the English King Richard the Lionheart , who led the Third Crusade , conquered the island. In the same year he sold the island to the Knights Templar , who returned it to him in 1192 after an uprising by the Cypriots that was barely suppressed. Richard then sold the island to Guido von Lusignan , the deposed titular king of Jerusalem . His brother and heir Amalrich recognized the Roman-German Emperor Heinrich VI in 1196 . as his liege lord, with which he legitimized his position against the formal claim of the Byzantine emperor , and was crowned King of Cyprus by a deputy of Henry. This Latin kingdom existed until 1489.

A private company of merchants and patricians from the Republic of Genoa had had trading privileges in Cyprus since Henry I's accession to the throne in 1232. In 1373 they dispatched a fleet, which displaced the Venetian competitors from some positions and made the east of Cyprus the Genoese protectorate. Several attempts by the Cypriot royal family to shake off Genoese rule together with the Republic of Venice and the Visconti failed. After street fights between the Venetians and Genoese in Famagusta, a squadron under Pietro di Campofregoso occupied Famagusta in 1374 and demanded high reparations and an annual tribute. For almost a century, Cyprus remained a Genoese protectorate. Famagusta was officially ceded to Genoa by King James I.

Unlike the Republic of Venice, the Genoese did not have a large navy and could not secure the property of Cyprus on a permanent basis. So they transferred the administration of the Banco di San Giorgio . In 1464 Jacob II succeeded in taking Kyrenia and Famagusta with the help of Egyptian troops and Spanish-Sicilian mercenaries. These companies were financed from Venice to drive Genoa off the island. With Jacob's marriage to the Venetian Katharina Cornaro , the influence of the Serenissima increased again, so that after the death of Jacob Katharina abdicated and in 1489 Cyprus ceded to her. The island belonged to the Republic of Venice until 1571.

Ottoman and British rule

Ottoman rule lasted from 1571 to 1878 (de jure until 1914). In 1878 the Ottoman Empire leased the island to Great Britain in exchange for support against an advance by the Russians in the Russo-Ottoman War (1877-1878) . When the Ottoman Empire entered the First World War (1914) on the side of the Central Powers , the island was annexed by the British. Until the Treaty of Lausanne came into force in 1923, it was still formally part of Turkey, which recognized the annexation by Great Britain retrospectively since 1914. In 1925 Cyprus became a crown colony .

The efforts of the Greek Cypriots to unite Cyprus with Greece led to an uprising in 1931. After the Second World War there were repeated unrest. From 1950 Makarios III took over . played a leading role in the political struggle of the Greek Cypriots in his dual role as Archbishop of Cyprus and ethnarch . In 1955, the EOKA , a Greek Cypriot underground army, began the fight against the British colonial power with acts of terrorism and attacks. On August 16, 1960, Cyprus gained independence due to the Zurich and London Accords between Great Britain, Greece and Turkey . At the same time, active and passive women's suffrage was introduced.

Cyprus conflict after independence

Divided Cyprus with a buffer zone and British military bases

After unrest and tensions between the ethnic groups in the Republic of Cyprus , a United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) was stationed in 1964 to prevent the conflict in Cyprus from escalating . However, this did not succeed. In one of the Greek junta supported coup of the National Guard in 1974 became president Makarios overthrown. The nationalist- oriented putschists strove to become part of Greece ( Enosis ). As a result of pogroms and ethnic cleansing and citing its role as a guarantee and protection power for the Turkish islanders, Turkey intervened and occupied northern Cyprus . In its resolution 353, the United Nations Security Council reaffirmed the territorial integrity and indivisibility of the Republic of Cyprus and demanded the immediate withdrawal of Turkish troops.

A ceasefire agreement was signed on August 16, 1974, and the United Nations peacekeeping force has been monitoring compliance with the ceasefire ever since, including through regular patrols on the Green Line called the demarcation line .

In 1983, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was proclaimed in the Turkish-occupied northern part of the island . The UN Security Council declared the proclamation in its resolution 541 to be contrary to international law. Turkey is the only state that recognizes the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The southern part of the island covers approx. 5384 km², the northern part approx. 3355 km², in addition there are British military bases Akrotiri and Dekelia with approx. 255 km² area and the buffer zone with approx. 4%.

In 2003, the border between the two parts of the country was permeable again for the first time when the border crossings were opened for both ethnic groups to visit the other part of the island on April 23, 2003. In 2004, however, the Annan plan for reunification failed in a referendum because it was rejected in the Greek part of Cyprus. The Annan Plan had designated the Greek-speaking southern part of Cyprus as the Greek Cypriot state . If the plan had found acceptance in the southern part, Cyprus would officially be called the United Republic of Cyprus . The Turkish-speaking counterpart in the northern part, on which the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is established, would have been named Turkish Cypriot State . The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus would have dissolved.

Due to the rejection of the Annan Plan in the southern part, in which 76% of Greek Cypriots voted against the plan, the Republic of Cyprus became a member of the EU on May 1, 2004 as a de facto divided country . For the plan and the resulting amalgamation of the island, 65% of the residents of the occupied part voted.

On January 9, 2007, Turkish Cypriots tore down the Lokmacı barricade in Nicosia , which has been a symbol of separation since 1967, as a “sign of goodwill”. On March 8, 2007, the barricade on the Greek side was torn down by the Greek Cypriots. At a meeting on March 21, 2008 between the leaders of the Greek-speaking and Turkish-speaking ethnic groups, Dimitris Christofias and Mehmet Ali Talat, both sides began again to negotiate a unification of the two parts of the island. On April 3, 2008, a border crossing opened in the pedestrian zone on Ledrastrasse in the old town of Nicosia, this is the only one in the center and only open to pedestrians and cyclists.

Economy and Transport

Most jobs are in the tertiary sector, especially tourism and finance. In second place is industry, which is mainly based on natural resources and agriculture. Unemployment is estimated at 17.4% (as of 2013).

Financial services

In Cyprus, banks found a safe haven in the immediate vicinity after the wars in Lebanon, which is why they have been booming since the 1980s. The British heritage stood for stability and security, so that initially a lot of capital flowed from the Arab countries to Cyprus, later also from the USA and Great Britain. A lot of Russian capital has flowed in in recent years. The financial sector has since expanded to eight times the gross domestic product (EU average: 3.5 times). The banking center of Cyprus was seen as a haven for tax refugees from Europe and Russia.

At the end of 2012 / beginning of 2013, the Cypriot banks' undoing was the strong exposure to Greek government bonds. The large price losses on government bonds and the subsequent haircut for Greece plunged the banks into an existential crisis. When the bankruptcy of several banks, in particular the largest institute Bank of Cyprus and Laiki Bank , threatened in March 2013 and the Republic of Cyprus would go bankrupt, the EU had to come to the rescue with a rescue package. According to an agreement reached on March 25, 2013, the Republic of Cyprus will be provided with 10 billion euros from international donors. The condition for this rescue operation was that for the first time in a creditor participation procedure the creditors of the banks were compulsorily to participate in the rescue of the institutes. It was agreed that investors with credit balances in excess of € 100,000 would cancel part of their claims - at Laiki Bank up to 50%, at Bank of Cyprus up to 30%. The most recently insolvent Laiki Bank is to be wound up, the Bank of Cyprus is to be restructured.

Overall, the banking sector of the Republic of Cyprus is to be scaled down to a much smaller extent. Tourism, which ranked second in terms of economic output until 2013, is likely to move into first place after the decline of the banking sector.

Industry and Commerce

The main industrial sectors are the production of food and beverages, cement and gypsum production, ship repair and renovation, the manufacture of textiles, chemicals and metal goods as well as products made from wood, paper, stone and clay.

Citrus fruits, potatoes, pharmaceutical products, cement, clothing and cigarettes are exported in the south and citrus fruits, dairy products, potatoes and textiles in the north.

In the south, consumer goods, petroleum products and lubricants, semi-finished goods, machines, transport equipment are imported, in the north vehicles, petroleum, cigarettes, food, minerals, chemical products and machines.

Natural resources

In Cyprus there is copper and asbestos , in the mountains there are large marble areas and pyrite mines. There is gypsum and salt deposits there. Is on the beaches clay mined. The copper deposits were so important that the metal got its name from this. The Latin name cuprum for copper is derived from aes cyprium 'Cypriot ore' .

The Cyprus economy has high expectations of significant natural gas discoveries south of the island. In 2011, the US company Noble Energy encountered a natural gas field with a circumference of, according to initial estimates, 255 billion cubic meters, about 130 km south of the island during test drillings about 4500 meters below the sea floor. The start of funding is planned for 2018. [obsolete] A year earlier, Israel and Cyprus had agreed to demarcate their economic zones in the eastern Mediterranean. At the beginning of 2013, the government granted a concession for drilling around 50 to 100 km southeast of the island to the Italian Eni and the South Korean Kogas, as well as a concession for drilling around 150 km southwest of Cyprus to the French Total . In the conflict over natural gas reserves off the coast of Cyprus, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan threatened military violence on February 13, 2018. According to the government in Nicosia, since February 9, 2018, Turkish warships have been preventing a drilling ship rented by the Italian energy company ENI from reaching an exploration area southeast of the port city of Larnaka.


Citrus fruits are widely grown in Cyprus. Orange and grapefruit groves dominate the area around Limassol and Morphou . There is also the production of vegetables. The “land of the red earth” in the southeast of the island is considered to be the vegetable garden of Cyprus with potatoes , eggplants , tomatoes , cucumbers , onions and other species. Cypriot potatoes are among the export hits (mostly to Great Britain). Figs and pomegranates grow in the northwest. In the southwest, near Paphos , there are important vineyards and extensive banana plantations . Commandaria is a small wine-growing region north of Limassol . There are also some large olive plantations all over the island . In the northern part poultry and lambs are preferred.

With many crops (fruit, vegetables and grain), two harvests per year are possible due to the extremely mild climate. Almost every family of Greek Cypriots still has a small piece of land somewhere on the island that is grown for their own use. Foreign unskilled workers in agriculture come more and more often and completely legally from the north, unlike in the tourism industry (here it is primarily Polish seasonal workers).

The areas used for agriculture have been shrinking since joining the EU (especially in the tourist regions) as the British and other EU members are increasingly buying land and houses for retirement homes.


Left-hand driving has been in force in both parts of the island since British times. The speed limit information is still given in km / h. The motorway, which was completed in the 1990s, connects Paphos in the west of the island via Limassol with the east of the Republic of Cyprus and via a branch to the north with the capital Nicosia. Liability insurance taken out in the Republic of Cyprus is not valid in the northern part; a separate insurance must be taken out there. There are two international airports in the Republic of Cyprus, Larnaka and Paphos . Ercan Airport is located in the northern part of the island and is only served via Turkey. The most important port city in the Republic of Cyprus is Limassol. There are no regular ferry connections. The island is increasingly being approached by cruise ships. In 2016, the degree of motorization (passenger cars per 1000 inhabitants) was 595.



Cyprus has many museums, mainly historical, and some archaeological sites open to the public. The two main archaeological museums are the Cyprus Museum in Nicosia and the Pierides Museum (Larnaka) . The largest archaeological park is the Pafos Archaeological Park . In Nicosia there are also museums in the southern and northern parts of the city, which give an insight into the political history of Cyprus in the 20th century from the two partly very different perspectives.



The Cypriot cuisine is a Mediterranean cuisine that has been shaped by the history of Cyprus due to numerous influences from different cultures . The main basis of the Cypriot cuisine, however, is the Greek and Turkish with their preference for grilled and stew dishes , lemon , yoghurt , parsley and garlic , but generally less spicy than the Turkish and Arabic and Italian with the use of far more spices and herbs. Wine from Cyprus was already famous in ancient Rome and is used in cooking. Ultimately, during the English colonial era, Cypriot cuisine also incorporated northern European and Asian ingredients, including particularly Indian ingredients such as curry powder and ginger .

See also

Portal: Cyprus  - Overview of Wikipedia content on Cyprus


Web links

Wiktionary: Cyprus  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Cyprus  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
 Wikinews: Cyprus  - in the news
Wikivoyage: Cyprus  Travel Guide

Individual evidence

  1. ^ CIA Factbook
  2. The Great Ploetz . Freiburg i. B. 2008, p. 57.
  3. Silvio Janetz: Ophiolithe - fragments of fossil ocean crust. (No longer available online.) In: Lutz Geißler, June 12, 2010, archived from the original on December 16, 2013 ; Retrieved on November 2, 2018 ("This text was published on July 22, 2004 on the old version of and was adopted.").
  4. ^ Cyprus Meteorological Service: Climate Information Nicosia. World Meteorological Organization, accessed July 8, 2012 .
  5. Thorsten Schiemann: Climate table Cyprus with Nicosia and Paphos. (No longer available online.) In: 2006, archived from the original on February 2, 2007 ; accessed on April 18, 2019 (private website).
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