Archive for April, 2008

Nicosia

Nicosia, known locally as Lefkosia (Greek: Λευκωσία, Turkish: Lefkoşa), is the capital and largest city of Cyprus. It is located at 35°10′N, 33°21′E. Located on the River Pedieos and situated almost in the center of the island, it is the seat of government as well as the main business center. Nicosia is the capital of the Nicosia District.

Following the intercommunal violence of the 1960s, the capital was divided between the island’s Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities in the south and north respectively. An attempted coup to unite the island with Greece in 1974 led to a Turkish invasion, leaving the capital divided since then, with Turkish Cypriots claiming the north as the capital of their own state, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) (recognised only by Turkey). On 3 April 2008, as part of efforts to reunify the island, a symbolic wall dividing the two communities at Ledra Street was opened.

South of the Green Line, the population of the city is 270,000 (late 2004), while a further 84,893 live in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.[1] Nicosia is important commercially with many shops, two modern shopping malls, restaurants and entertainment. The city is a trade centre and manufactures textiles, leather, pottery, plastic, and other products. Copper mines are nearby. Nicosia is the seat of the University of Cyprus (UCY) and four other universities.

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Cyprus

Cyprus (Greek: Κύπρος, Kýpros; Turkish: Kıbrıs), officially the Republic of Cyprus (Greek: Κυπριακή Δημοκρατία, Kypriakī́ Dīmokratía; Turkish: Kıbrıs Cumhuriyeti) is a Eurasian island country situated in the eastern Mediterranean south of Turkey, west of the Levant, north of Egypt, and eastsoutheast of Greece.

Cyprus is the third-largest island and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Mediterranean, attracting over 2.4 million tourists per year.[1] A former British colony, it gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1960 and became a Commonwealth republic in 1961. The Republic of Cyprus is a developed country and has been a member of the European Union since 1 May 2004. It adopted the euro on 1 January 2008.

In 1974, following a period of violence between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots and an attempted Greek Cypriot coup d’état aimed at annexing the island to Greece[2] and sponsored by the Greek military junta of 1967-1974, Turkey invaded and occupied one-third of the island. This led to the displacement of thousands of Cypriots and the establishment of a separate Turkish Cypriot political entity in the north. This event and its resulting political situation is a matter of ongoing dispute.

The Republic of Cyprus, the internationally recognized state, claimed sovereignty over 97% of the island of Cyprus and all surrounding waters, with the United Kingdom controlling the remaining three percent. The island is de facto partitioned into four main parts. The Republic of Cyprus exercises full effective control over approximately 59% of the island, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) controls over approximately 36% of the island, and the remaining approximately 5% of the land mass is split evenly between British-controlled Sovereign Base Areas and the UN-controlled Green Line[3].

  • the area under the effective control of the Republic of Cyprus in the south of the island;
  • the Turkish occupied area in the north[4], calling itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (recognized only by Turkey);
  • the United Nations-controlled Green Line, separating the two; and
  • two Sovereign Base Areas (Akrotiri and Dhekelia), over which the United Kingdom retained jurisdiction after Cypriot independence.[5]